2am and heading southeast. The family is sound asleep. No one awake except me and Sally (Who is Sally? Keep reading…I’ll get there). We’re maybe 20 minutes or so west of Williamsburg and gettin’ low on gas. Figure I’ll stop and gas up and maybe grab a cup of joe to keep me rollin’. The next exit is a place called Croaker. I don’t know anything about Croaker other than it’s got 2 gas stations so…it’s gonna be my next stop!
I pull off the exit and the first thing I notice is…it’s REALLY dark. Not a light anywhere except waaaaay in the distance. It’s the gas station. So I hang a right and head toward the light.
Normal looking gas station. 8 pumps, ready to fill er up! But wait a minute…no one at the station? Damn! But all the lights are on..so I stop and look. The pumps are on. I look around some more. No one home…but the music is JAMMIN’! It is 2am in Croaker and this station is rockin’ ’round the clock to some classic 50’s tunes! And it is freakin’ LOUD!
So let’s put this in perspective..It’s 2am in the middle of nowhere. I have a family sound asleep, out here in the dark, with no one at the station but everything is on and Del Shannon is rocking through “Runaway”? So what’s a sane, middle aged man gonna do in this situation? Get back in the vehicle and head on out to the freeway…right?
Nope. I gas up. But the hair on the back of my neck is standing straight up and my nerves are on edge the entire time. It’s like a scene from one of those bad Stephen King flicks. Music blaring Orbison’s “In Dreams” while some psycho killer comes around the corner wearing a Captain Kirk mask and welding a giant hatchet while you’ve locked your keys in the car and…no one…can hear you…SCREAM!!!
$75 later and coffeeless, I’m back in the car with my headphones cranking some Hold Steady. Needless to say, I was kinda freaked out for a while there. Croaker might be a nice little town here in Virginia, but for me it’s always gonna be creepy.