Sunday, January 23, 2005

Cup 44: Oasis

Originally uploaded by matt_leclair.
Location: Bethel, Maine
When: January 22, 2005, 6:45 pm
Present: Jessie Brakely
Coffee: Dunkin' Donuts whatever
Mood: tense

I love Irving. Many Mainers would consider me a traitor for saying so. Irving gas stations are owned by a Canadian. For some reason, people really resent this. I'd go out of my way to stop at an Irving station if I had to, but fortunately they are always conveniently located just where they need to be. There's one in Waterville, exactly midway between Portland and Orono making it the perfect place for a bathroom brake and a coffee refill. Irving's bathrooms are always clean, the coffee is usually pretty good, and the people who work there are always pleasant and courteous. Except for the Irving station in Pembroke. Well, at least the bathroom is clean there.

The Bethel Irving station was an oasis to us. I was so happy to find it! Jessie surprisingly had never noticed the magic that is Irving, but after coming down from the White Mountains in the remains of a snow storm it was just what I needed. I was dissappointed though. This was a weird Irvings. It had a Dunkin Donuts and a Subway inside. First time I'd ever seen that. I couldn't get MainWay, Irving's house blend. I had to get the Dunkin Donuts coffee. I also got two donuts. I wanted one donut, but as in something from a weird and stupid dream, if I bought two donuts it cost me sixty cents less than if I bought just one. Dunkin Donuts makes the Muzak of coffee. If you could somehow average together every cup of coffee in America, you'd get Dunkin Donuts coffee. It has no characteristics. There is nothing offensive about it, but also nothing interesting. It works, though, and after driving through two mountain ranges in heavily blowing snow in a front-wheel drive car without snow tires it was just what I needed.

Jessie loved the bathroom. She wanted to move in. It had flowers and hand lotion.

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