Motorway Services: Where the bare minimum costs more

At the Service Station by Tom NashAh, the motorway service station. A British institution if ever there was one. They are nobody’s destination but still, usually thanks to our bladders, on long car journeys many of us can be found prying ourselves out of our vehicles and lumbering into these soulless strip-lighted bastions of aggressive capitalism like Zombies, ready to pay massively inflated prices for, well, everything… like the mugs we are.

Next time you find yourself at a Welcome Break or a RoadChef, take a look around. They’re great places to do a bit of people watching. You may just spot some of this lot:

The regular
As you stand waiting for the sweaty, wheezy ‘barista’ to whip up your large (I’ll say ‘venti’ when I’m in Italy- deal?) latte, this weirdo swans in like a diva onto a film set, with waves and hellos to all staff members, who they know by name, in sight.

If there’s nothing depressing about having a ‘usual’ in a Burger King in a service station just off the M4, then I guess we’ve all fucked up our chance already, haven’t we? (The use of ‘optimistic’ in the subtitle of this blog would need reviewing as well.)

So why do these oddities seem so proud of the fact they do? And why are they speaking so loudly?

The big fuck off shiny German car driver
Obviously if you drive a big fuck-off shiny German car, you must be double busy, as well as super fucking important. So busy and important that bothering to park within designated bays is simply a waste of your busy and important time.

Suits jackets hanging up in the back are a must and if you’re really lucky they’ll use their in-car Bluetooth system to make a super-important and even louder phone call while they’re parked next to you.

These are the kind of self-obsessed stink-nuggets that would use the middle urinal if there were three available in the gents’. And all blokes know what type of fella does that… A cunt.

The sentinel
This is the middle-aged fella that stands guard outside the main entrance. He may be puffing on a cigarette too, but he tends to just stand with his hands in his pockets, surveying the car park. When one leaves, another is soon along to take his place.

Maybe he’s got a big fuck off shiny German car that he’s parked like only a douche-nozzle can and he’s checking that nobody does it over with their key… Which keeps happening for some reason he can’t fathom.

The anti-social family
You always see one. No matter how packed their motor is, this lot will choose to sit in their car and eat their over-priced burgers rather than make use of the seating area inside the building.


The obligatory gambler
No matter where in the country you are, or what time of the day (or night) you visit, there will always be one lonely soul amidst the flashing lights and misleadingly upbeat music and sounds feeding coins into the fruit machines. Always. Even if your car is the only one in the car park.

The new fish
If you’re queuing up for food, this will be the person in front of you. Despite appearing to be a fully functioning adult human, they seem to have never visited a service station before, or a shop, or ever spoken to another person for that matter. When they are served you will have to wait for an age as they have the contents of every item on the menu explained to them by some poor migrant worker with an accent that this probable Daily Mail reader will decide halfway through that they cannot understand.

The concept of separate toilets for men and women also seems to be too much for them to grasp as well. But they can be trusted behind the wheel of a car… Hmm.

Oh, and if there’s a step to fall down or trip over, this is who will be doing it.

Just make sure you leave before they do. And put your foot down when you get back on the road.