There’s nothing like a place that’s familiar to you, especially when it sells candy and toilet paper in the same aisle. Rory’s, a gas station chain that only exists in my home state of Indiana, is no exception to that. In fact, this gas station is so integral to who I am and the world around me that I will not accept anyone else not knowing what it is, even if they’ve never been to Indiana. So here’s why I will continue to act shocked when people don’t know the distant gas station chain that I’m always talking about!
It seems like every time I bring up Rory’s, the gas station next to the fire station off of Gillian Avenue, everyone acts confused – which is weird, because everyone knows Rory’s! That’s why when anyone asks what it is, I always respond “Wait, you’ve never been to Rory’s? Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!” I think this opens a generative dialogue.
Even once someone has told me they have never been to or even heard of Rory’s, I try to help them with a series of follow-up questions. I’ll ask: But you know about their signature sandwiches, like Classic Egg Salad Mango or Bacon Lettuce Tomato and Oat? And they’ll say, “No, I don’t know about that because I haven’t been there.” It’s typically around this time that I have to remind people that it’s the only place where you can get fresh peach rings. No, like, really, really fresh. These are fundamental touchstones to my personhood, and if you don’t get them, you’re unrelatable and, sorry to say it, fully insane. At least tell me you know about their mint-flavored coffee machine!?
Anyway, when I say this to my friends, acquaintances, and strangers, they all act like I don’t know what I’m talking about. Which is why I’ll have to continue saying “Hello! It’s the gas station down the street from the abandoned-church-turned-soul-cycle on Palm Street, remember?” But many people still don’t. And with so many forgetting these cultural landmarks, it looks like it’s up to me to keep the spirit of Rory’s alive.
How could I not be shocked when people say that they’ve never been to the most iconic gas station known to man? I believe that it’s my duty to inform everyone about this wonderful, specific place, and that is why I will continue to be shocked that no one has apparently ever been to the gas station chain that is local to my home state of Indiana!