Once upon a time you’d drive to a gas station to get your car filled up, and maybe serviced. Today, it’s another opportunity to get fat. In an aptly titled article, Service stations are filling bellies as well as tanks, the LA Times describes the evolution of food sales at a once-upon-a-time seemingly unfit place. Think back 30 or 40 years. Would it make sense to purchase food or drink in a place reeking of gas fumes and grease? With lavatories unfit for human entry?
These days, not only is it OK, there are fast food joints, delis, and convenience stores in almost every gas station in the country.
But it’s not only the gas stations that have caught on to food as an extra revenue source. Food and Drink is everywhere. Which got us to think about a typical day in suburbia:
You get up early to sweat at the gym. While there, you can get bars and juices from the vending machine, or in some cases a little cafe. Hit the shower, get dressed and hit the road for the morning commute. Not before a drive through Starbucks for your morning latte and scone. Thank goodness for cup holders.
At work it’s bagel Friday, on the house. You’re having only one, and with low-fat cream cheese, so it’s OK. Plus you paid your dues working out earlier today, right?
On your way t0 the 10:30 planning meeting with your boss you chat for a bit with your her personal assistant, downing two or three Hershey’s kisses from a huge glass bowl on the desk. Perks.
The meeting lasts for ages and at one point turns into an eat in lunch, with catered meals from a reputable kitchen in the neighborhood. You get a healthy turkey sandwich with multi-grain bread, a small chicken soup, a mixed green salad with dressing, and a diet soda. Dessert is a baseball mitt sized chocolate chip cookie. Hey, it’s made from oatmeal, it’s healthy!
The post launch snooze is almost inevitable, so you take a 5 minute break to grab a coffee and snack bar from the vending machines conveniently located by the restrooms. Now you have the strength to pull two more hours before the weekend officially starts.
It’s 5pm and a bunch of folks have invited you for happy hour at a nice pub in a nearby open air mall. After a drink or two, and some uber salted nuts, you’re ready to go home, but just to be safe, you take another 30 minutes before driving and head into a Barne’s and Noble. From the in-store cafe, a tall carmel machiatto to set the head straight, and you settle in with a nice paperback.
A few chapters later, you’re in the car on the freeway home, with a detour at the supermarket to pick up some groceries for tonight and the weekend. You rapidly fill the cart with some fruit and veggies, chicken, organic milk and some pasta. You contemplate what to make for dinner. Thank goodness they’ve renovated here recently, and have an in-store deli and takeaway. You’re too wiped out to cook tonight.
You’re home, reheating some of the stuff from the supermarket, and setting the table for a nice family dinner. Bon appetit.
Later the babysitter will come in, and you’ll go to the movies and down a bucket of lightly buttered popcorn, a diet soda, and some milk duds.
Oh shoot, you forget to fill up your gas tank; tomorrow you have a long drive to the country. There’s a 24/7 gas station is right on the way home. And you’re in luck, the convenience store is open too. Stock up on some gum, diet soda and potato chips for tomorrow’s drive.
Finally you make it home. Thank god it’s Friday….
[Anybody want to tally up the calories consumed?]