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Introspect This Inspector

Tuesday, August 13 2002

You might be an egg head and already realize this, but it occurs to me that introspection gets easier with age and experiences.

This gem of truth was brought on by my thinking about how I hated the Flying J

brand when I was no more than twelve years old. With the power of Introspection, it all makes sense now, and it didn’t then.


When I was a kid my family couldn’t afford fancy Club Med vacations or little jaunts to the Swiss Alps for days of effortless skiing through feather-like fluffy powder while eating fondue. We took road trips to exotic destinations like Redding California, or Pocatello Idaho while eating beef jerky and smelling like fondue three hours out.


Hours in a car on a roadtrip to a twelve year old are longer than they are to those in their late thirties to early forties. It’s a percentages game. Ten hours to a twelve year old is, if we carry the two, three times as long as an hour to an adult. By the same math, the younger you are, the longer your hours feel in relation to your entire life. An hour long roadtrip for an hour old baby would literally be a lifetime to the baby.


On roadtrips, the Flying J sign is everywhere. In certain parts of Utah, it’s not a dishonest claim to say you can see a dozen in a hour span. It’s like a mirage that haunts you as you watch blurred fields whizzing by as you imagine that you were riding a mini-bike over the hills at 75mph rather than playing volleyball with your brother’s sweaty, sleep induced, nodding head.


With the power of introspection, it makes sense why the logo itches at you with it’s weak font, with it’s yellow, orange, and red stripes. It’s lack of creativity is insulting. As a twelve year old, it simply “sucked”. The reasons why couldn’t be articulated by a mind concerned with plots of sneaking pocket lint into sleeping siblings mouths, but with a little bit of time it now all makes sense.


A drunken trucker who loved nothing more in this world than his ZZ Top bandana and his fake spurs could have drooled a better logo than a flying J, and I knew this at age twelve. I knew that if someone was gonna get my buck, they’d better have a damn good logo.


Speaking of logos, Andre Torrez needs one, and he’s managed to get a lot of submissions. Imagine if Flying J had 48 drunken truckers submitting drool logos? I might have enjoyed roadtrips more.