*Friends, there is no better feeling than barreling down the highway directly behind a one million ton truck hauling a crane so big it's used to refasten nebulae when they threaten to come loose, frisky rainwater and chilly nuggets of state highway splooshing and crackling upward from the rusted behemoth's roaring tires onto your windshield, like a hose of chunky interstate backwash, your vision blurring and your ears ringing from the devil incantations of traffic reports, visions of three-car meat 'n metal kill fusions scratching across the skin of your brain, the image of the 5 o'clock pain nexus vomiting a standstill of black-choked smoke idlers and their workday prisoners backward, backward to I83, backward to your home, the home you'll not be seeing now as you claw forward north on a two-hour stride against the shit and ichor of overcast clouds, yet then - then - then -

It's time for a free hot dog!

I don't know who got the bright idea to ask organizations to stand around at rest stops on the holidays and hand out free hot dogs and coffee to holiday weekend travelers, but they're an unsung hero and much greater than all the Saints. Nothing beats drifting into a pull-off, hopping out of the car to see the smiling faces of the American Association of Freedom Partnerships, and cupping your fist real tight so that the affluent motorists next to you in line can't see quite how many pennies are in that pile of change you're dropping into the donation box. I speak hypothetically, of course - I personally donate only crisp fifty dollar bills, fresh from the many banks I own. You get a hot dog for your troubles, and maybe sugar for your coffee if you don't get there too late.

It's exactly like Heaven. I'd drive almost anywhere, with the promise of a free hot dog at the end, or perhaps a prudent mid or quarter point. Just another reason why this world is worth living in, and I'd list many more if the voices weren't telling me I need to go to sleep because I haven't done that in a spell.