That's what the sign said. I wondered what "early" meant. It was already after six and the place was still dark.
"Sam's Watering Hole" was one of those places that someone had built in the middle of the desert because they had passed through there and at about that point in their trip some one or all of the family had to take a leak or was thirsty.
"Sam this would be a great place to open that cafe we've always wanted," Sam's wife said.
So "Sam's Watering Hole" had been conceived, gestated and delivered.
I had been following the signs for the last fifty miles.
Stop at Sam's...Open early...Gas...Food...Drinks...Clean Rest Rooms...Water $1.00
That's what I needed...not for me but for the old clunker I was driving. I had used my last 2 gallons of water about 10 miles out and my radiator was hissing like a pissed off snake.
I peered though the dirty window but no one seemed to be around. I walked back out to the water tap by the gas pump and tried it...nothing...They probably guarded that closer than they did the gas. The signs never did say how much water you would get for $1.00 but my assumption was a gallon.
I said out loud, "Robbing thieving bastards have no right to charge for water. Water is from God and it is free everywhere else."
I walked behind the cafe and there was nothing back there except an old broken down wooden shed.
I walked over to the shed and rather than put my hand on it and take a chance on being bitten by something I kicked the door open with my foot.
There was just enough light to see the outline of a body hanging by a rope.
"Son-of-a-bitch", I uttered
Before I could say another word a voice from behind me said, "That's old Charlie. He ain't real. I just put him out front to get people to stop. Works good too."
He gave me a kindly slap on the shoulder as he walked by to round up "Old Charlie".
"I'll be there in a minute. The door's open and the coffees ready...help yourself.
I see your engines steaming a little. I'll see if I can fix that for you. You goin far?"
All I could say was, "Vegas".
"Well I will do my best to get you there. But, you better watch out. Those robbin-theivin bastards will steal you blind.
written for "Two Shoes Tuesday" by gs batty