Tata: Frigging Connecticut!
Daria: On 95, are you?
Tata: Freaking Connecticut!
Daria: On the way home, I saw an eight-mile backup to get onto the Cape. I’ve never seen that before.
Tata: Fecking Connecticut! New Haven oughta be carpet-bombed. And don’t get me started on the roads around Bridgeport.
Daria: Even New Yorkers are like, “These people are crazy.” How do you like the stopping for no reason whatsoever?
Tata: Not as much as I hated stopping at a McDonald’s just inside the Connecticut border. I knew something was up when I saw someone had washed the floor with the wrong greasy mop and the floor was still wet. So I made the mistake of walking into the ladies room, where people in stalls were talking and stopped when I walked in. And the two open stalls? The toilets were full. I tapped the handles: disconnected. I walked right out into the restaurant, determined not to touch anything while I waited for Pete. The floor was still wet. You know what that means?
Daria: I could puke!
Tata: When I told Pete my story, we drove across the road to Stuckey’s, where the bathroom was only moderately gross. We got fake strombolis at the one and only Sbarro that doesn’t smell like burnt tomato sauce and sat down at a reasonably clean table. I have eaten about half of my lunch when this guy in a Stuckey’s uniform walks over to the garbage can behind Pete and sticks his arm into the can to smash down the garbage. Then he straightens up the used trays. I stopped chewing. The guy walks around behind me and does the same thing where Pete can see it. I said, “Did you see that?” He said, “I really did.” I said, “And now, we are leaving.“
Daria: A district manager would loooooove to see that.
Tata: I know, but what can you do when a whole town doesn’t know shit about basic hygiene?
Daria: Todd was just telling me about taking his kids to Chuck E. Cheese, which is the Land of All Things Contagious. I mean, what do you do? How do you scrub up after that?
Tata: You slather your kids in head-to-toe Purell? Yeah, so we’re never stopping there again.
Daria: Exit 93? I’ve never been there.
Tata: Howcum you just know that?
Daria: You know, people who are not you actually remember things.
Tata: Okay, so the gross isn’t just in Connecticut. On the way out of town, we stopped for bagels. Pete went around the corner to gas up the car and I went into the bagel shop. So I’m standing behind this young couple that just started sleeping together.
Daria: What? In the shop?
Tata: No, at his house. I get his newsletter. Doofus! Anyway, they order a bagel each and a cup of coffee each. The kid behind the counter seems to only exhale, and he’s wearing one glove.
Tata: Yup, only one. I watch him slice two bagels in geologic time, spackle them lightly with cream cheese and eventually pour one cup of coffee. They correct him. He pours another. He handles their money and finally looks at me. Meanwhile, three people wandered into the bagel shop and are now standing behind me. One walks out.
Daria: Really? It was that long?
Tata: Absolutely. The kid’s obviously someone’s nephew. I’m almost sorry to ask him to slice three bagels, put cream cheese on all of them, and on one, slice tomato and lox, but I do. The woman behind me starts to deflate. He cuts everything crooked, he’s stingy with the cream cheese. It’s a disaster. He disappears into the kitchen and in line, we just look at each other. He comes back with a few scraps of lox. Finally, he slices a tomato with what might as well have been a spoon. By now, Pete’s waited so long he’s walking into the shop to threaten the kid, because Pete’s seen this dance number a few times already and he doesn’t care for the ending.
Daria: Oh Lord, here it comes! What’d Pete do?
Tata: Nothing, because just then the kid asked for money and handled it with both hands.
Daria: What did you do?
Tata: I turned to the woman behind me and said, “If I were you, I’d ask for a new glove.”
Tata: Frigging Connecticut!