You usually make good decisions, right? You’ve never been one to murder anything, so why start now? Better yet, why start with your own body? I just want you to think about the upstanding citizen you were before this pound cake debacle took place.
I get it, me. It’s 3 AM and you got a late start driving home to meet family. You’re gonna get hungry, and the first place you see open (in this case, a truck stop), is going to seem very appealing. It’s an oasis in a desert of highway and radio stations that fade their static in and out like tides made entirely of will.i.am songs. You can’t be fooled by this. There are better choices just two exits ahead; actual grocery stores with actual, body-sustaining foods in it. Proteins and vitamins and all that. You could be happy there.
Going to this truck stop is taking the coward’s way out. I hope you know that now.
And even though it’s a truck stop, look how many more choices you have! There are donuts, which are sort of in the same realm as what you’ll eventually by cramming into your head, but the good thing about donuts is, when you buy them at truck stops, they’re manageable. They’re made in normal human quantities. That pound cake is something that a crazed Roman Emperor would demand, if only to see whether or not he could nibble on it while cutting off the heads of an entire plebian village.
There is beef jerky, a meat item that is so far removed from anything organic that any piece made past 1994 is just recycled Tupperware and cow hooves. But at least it has “beef” in the title. The name “pound cake” is a deliberate attempt at explaining what that thing is going to do as it passes down through your digestive system. At the end of this ordeal, your intestines are going to press charges for battery, and unlike other eating choices that you’ve made in the past, you won’t be able to blame drunkenness on this one.
Just get some candy, dude. You spent most of your teenage life surviving off of candy, and look where you ended up! That might not be the best example to use, as you ended up trying to qualify in your brain how a full pound of pound cake could be a “late dinner” at 3:07 AM. Instead, look at where you could’ve ended up, i.e. anywhere but here, at a truck stop in Morganton, NC, validating your decision to buy copious pound cake while everyone you’ve ever loved or cared about or ever will love or care about, is content and happy, asleep.
The pound cake has a picture of an American flag on the front. I know that you’re a “comedy writer,” and sometimes you do things to maximize their sarcastic or ironic potential, but buying this pound cake isn’t supporting our country or the troops, no matter how much you joke inside your own head that it is. The cashier isn’t going to “get it” when you buy this pound cake alongside a Dr. Pepper, and neither will you in about six minutes.
I want you to take one hard look at it and imagine, for a second, how it’s even fit for human consumption. It costs $1.79. For a pound of specialized baked good. There is definitely something lost in translation here. If this was a well-made, non-truck stop pound cake, it would definitely cost more than a $1.79. You know, in slasher films, often the teens get clues about the danger that they’re walking into, before someone shoves an arrow through the back of their neck? That’s what’s happening right now. There are a thousand warning signs around you, the biggest one being common fucking sense, and you are refusing to acknowledge them. I’m disgusted with you, me.
Okay, you bought it. Fine. There’s still time for you to realize that it’s better used as a tire block than as the loosest definition of a “meal.” How are you going to eat it? You’re endangering everyone on the road around you, because you have to double fist this single pound cake chunk while you’re driving. Think, not just of yourself, but of your fellow man. They could die, because you were too busy heaving this gargantuan piece of breaded moss down your throat to notice the highway, at night. You’re going to swerve into a car, kill an entire family, and the first thing the CSI will report will be “Why would he buy a full pound of truck stop pound cake? It just doesn’t make any sense.”
Okay, you took it out of the plastic wrapping, and the box it came from, and you see, like most pound cakes, that unless you’re eating it on a stable surface, it crumbles everywhere. THIS IS NOT A FOOD THAT ONE EATS WHILE DRIVING, IDIOT. DON’T BE A HERO.
You’re halfway through, and what you’re feeling is regret. I know it feels like you’re receiving a spongy enema directly into your core, but it’s really regret. You don’t know anything about nutrition, or even basic healthcare, so you’re going to drink that Dr. Pepper to make you feel better, and hopefully ease the pain of brick loaf cancer.
You literally just turned the overhead light on to check and make sure that there weren’t any big crumbs on your sweater. What, you have a hot date tonight, and you don’t want her to think that you’re the type of guy who would stop in the bakery aisle of a truck stop to pick up a soda and the stomach equivalent of a kidney stone? Just leave them there, you piece of shit. Let them cover you like dead leaves on a forest floor. Your body is a terrarium of failure.
Oh, you decided that one of the bigger crumbs wasn’t worth wiping off, so you ate it. This is a new low for you. Every single time you were bullied at twelve-years-old, combined, couldn’t amount to the shame that you should feel now. I hope Bobby, from sixth-grade-math, appears in your passenger’s seat while you’re driving and draws penises all over your precious, big-enough-to-eat crumbs.
Are you satisfied? Not just with almost finishing a pound of truck stop pound cake, but with your life right now? You can stop. No one will make fun of you or think less of you because you quit with a few bites left to go. Just put it down, or toss it out the window. There is no way that that thing is biodegradable, and many years from now, when the world is destroyed in a misguided, global nuclear strike, all that will be left are $1.79, truck stop pound cakes. There is no loss in dignity if you don’t complete the “mission.”
A Letter To Myself After I Ate That Pound Cake In The Car