On my recent drive to and from Florida, a distance of about three thousand miles, I had occasion to stop at various and sundry rest areas along my route. These stops, on the return leg, became more frequent as a consequence of a nasty stomach virus, which required the use of the...um...facilities.
As I prefer to stop, and find the nicest hotel, the use of a rest area toilet was a shock to my delicate system (and my sensibilities).
I learned three things--universal truths of rest areas--which, gentle readers, I will share.
First, the American rest stop (or state Welcome Centre) is the territory of the rapist, retard, child molester, disaffected non-custodial parent (with stolen children in tow) and Canadian. Were I not doubled over with stomach pain, I could have set up shop and conducted a sociology experiment, which (no doubt) could have earned me fame and fortune, as well as a Nobel Prize. After all, if Al Gore can get nominated for a work of fiction, then think what a true scientific study would get me.
Second, the southernmost rest areas and welcome stations had the cleanest toilets. Don't ask me why. Perhaps, it is the fact that Southerners have a clear understanding of civility that is absent in northern climes. Without a doubt, I would return to the Georgia Welcome Center (Sonny Perdue, Governor) in a heartbeat. The loos on the New Jersey Turnpike rest areas (which have names like "Clara Barton" and "Vince Lombardi"), on the other hand, were a bit dodgy. And, I swear, I am pretty sure that I saw two pairs of shoes (and two pairs of legs) in one of the stalls.
Finally, I note that I really only had Two Universal Truths about rest areas.