A New Jersey Crapper

I’m still too jet-lagged to get back into the swing of writing so I’ll drop in an old journal piece I stumbled on today.


Internal Thinking

New York and Philadelphia, America’s first and fourth largest metropolises, bastions of culture, commerce, art and architecture. Sure there’s squalor within their beltways but the cities try to fix it – or at least hide it. Not so with the road between. The New Jersey Department of Transportation seems to go out of its way to ensure that the scenery on the NJ Turnpike is as unbecoming as possible. Apparently if you want to build something that can be viewed by a highway motorist, it has to be a warehouse or a chemical refinery.

I drove past the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Rest Area. Although I needed a break I refused to stop as a matter of principal. The 28th President of the United States, a Nobel Piece prize recipient and the architect of the League of Nations deserves better than to have a toilet named after him. I thought I could hold out until the Thomas Edison Memorial Stop – I had read somewhere that Edison was a bit of a bastard. I resolved that if I ever got famous I would stipulate in my will that no one could name a New Jersey crapper after me. On second thought I’m going to amend my will as soon as possible, in case my dying act is so heroic that I’m awarded with posthumous fame.

‘The Garden State’, what a joke of a state slogan that is. I spent the rest of the journey back to Philadelphia trying to think up an alternative. The best I came up with was – “NEW JERSEY – A STATE TO GET THROUGH.”


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