Disunited Statements of America

The Mojave Desert, Nevada, is the lowest place in North America, finding itself at an uncomfortably barren 282ft below sea level. It would seem to be apt, that while searching for an unbearably late breakfast during a road trip to Las Vegas, we would find ‘Cherry Patch Ranch 2, House of Prostitution’ sitting provocatively on the edge of this driest of abysses.

The windowless Cherry Patch Ranch 2 shared its car park with an adjacent building, a Convenience store, yet considering its nearest patron would have to traverse at least 30 miles of lifeless nothingness to get there, this name seemed somewhat undeserved. While walking to the store, the Cherry Patch entrance presented itself across the car park, over which a sign boasted ‘Home of Madam Butterfly’, lit up in red. Without wanting to sound fastidious, I usually prefer to purchase food from stores which do not back onto brothels, but when it is 2.00 pm and I still have yet to eat, my sense of culinary hygiene has little authority over my stomach. I was unsurprised to find the wasteland outside offered more edible food than what we found inside the store. The cashier sat in a corner of the huge, empty room behind a wooden desk, mindlessly sucking on a cigarette while staring through the buildings single window into the nothingness outside. It took a good minute to walk to the back of the room, and to realise the store offered only crackers, Beef Jerky and inflatable Area 51 aliens.

I kept walking, and through a doorway at the rear and I found myself in a small bar with yellow, laminated menus which recommended Beef Sandwiches and French fries. Behind the bar stood an overweight man in a chef’s hat who was intently rotating his little finger in his exposed belly button while talking to the waitress leaning over the other side of the bar. ?It occurred to me that the store was so long that by entering the bar I must be well into the attached ‘Cherry Patch Ranch’ as it became stomach-churningly apparent that the adjacent building wasn’t adjacent at all, but part of the same. Neither the chef nor the waitress noticed me walk in, and neither noticed me quickly walk out. I went to pay for my crackers in a hurry, although I suddenly wasn’t particularly hungry anymore. Considering I was only buying one item, the smoking woman with the lost face took an awfully long time. I thought ‘She definitely shouldn’t quit her day job’, but then instantly felt a pang of guilt when I guessed what her night job might entail. I took my incorrect change and left.

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