Monday, March 07, 2005


On Friday night I had a few friends over to watch a couple of DVDs, as is my wont. First up AB insisted that we watch 'Paris, Texas', a Wim Wenders film from 1984. About an hour into it, we had the following conversation:

Me: Are there any car chases in this movie?

AB: No. There is a sort of car following scene later on though.

Me: Skidding around corners? High speeds?

AB: No, but you can definitely tell that one car is following another car.

There was some nice dialogue and some elegant visuals, but it took two and a half hours to tell a story that could have been just as deftly expressed in one. I'm not a big fan of Wim Wenders.

As a tonic, we followed it up with the American remake of Luc Besson's 'Taxi', which was nothing BUT car chases. After an hour of that, I sort of wanted the characters to stop and talk awkwardly about their feelings. There's obviously no satisfying me.

But the highlight of the evening came as the last DVD switched off and the TV came on, at around 1am. It was showing some program called 'Jet Set', counting down the World's Top 10 Truck Stops. We found ourselves watching, in the manner of people staring in horror and disbelief at a mangled car wreck.

Number 5 was the World's Classiest Truck Stop, so called because it has live music in one of the bars (country and western, naturally) and a dance floor for you to practice your bootscootin'. Afterwards you can head up to the hotel rooms to unwind in a jacuzzi (which sits in the middle of the bedroom as if someone's forgotten to put up an intervening wall) with, like, candles and wine. Boy howdy, if that ain't classy, then my ass don't smell bad.

Number 2 was the World's Yuppiest Truck Stop, for all those high-powered corporate truck drivers in their BMW M3 rigs and Armani trucker caps. The stop is classed as Yuppie because it has one of them Starbuck's joints in it, and they clean the bathrooms occasionally. Also, as the narrator mentioned, the building itself was designed by an architect. As opposed to Cousin Cletus with a pencil on a McDonalds napkin, presumably. You can tell that they got one of those fancy big-city architects because the front wall is all steel-framed glass, and the roof is curved. You don't see that on a double-wide trailer, no siree bob.

And in a terrible blow to American pride, the Number 1 Truck Stop in the World is in Germany. It's chief attraction, according to Jet Set, is that it has mixed, nude saunas, spas and swimming pool. Oh, and a drive-thru large enough to handle the biggest of big rigs. Drive-thru food and a chance to see some Teutonic titties - what more could a truck driver ask for?


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