Thursday, March 11, 2010

Virginia has worst rest areas

Back in my day, my mom vetoed any suggestion that we vacation in Mississippi, because she had heard that the Magnolia State had the worst rest areas in the country.

I envisioned Mississippi rest areas as being nothing but outhouses overflowing with poop.

When I finally made it to Mississippi, I was actually disappointed to find clean rest areas. I was eager for some laughs, but was met with only the boredom of cleanliness.

Shortly thereafter, however, Virginia's rest areas fell into a state of shambles. I noticed that this decline coincided with the reigns of right-wing governors George Allen and Jim Gilmore.

On a trip to Virginia Beach, I used a rest stop that was overpowered by a foul odor that I can't quite describe. It was not of bodily waste but of some chemical that I never detected before or since. A sign at this rest area actually boasted about this stench, which was so strong I could barely breathe.

I think it was billed as some sort of cost-saving measure - like when Wisconsin's right-wing Gov. Tommy Thompson got rid of all the trash cans at state parks. (All Thompson's move accomplished was to make the parks full of litter.) In that era, conservatives kept bragging that they were saving taxpayer dollars even as they kept awarding expensive contracts to their cronies and wasting money on a failed drug war.

And the restroom at this Virginia stop was in a semi-enclosed structure with no roof - so if it was raining, you'd have gotten leaked on yourself.

Now another website agrees that Virginia has the worst rest areas of all 50 states:

Virginia's rest areas are in the same condition as its weak labor laws, apparently. I guess it's not a right-to-poop state, huh?

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