We were barreling down the highway in the maintenance truck, our trailer swinging behind us. Lawn clippings flew out the back and scattered across the road like snowflakes.
Crew Leader Carl was driving. Keeping a hand on the wheel, he reached into the lunchbox sitting beside him and wrenched out a Ding Dong. He tore open the package, tossed the wrapper out the window, and started gnawing on the treat with his three rotted teeth.
“Now there’s a breakfast of champions,” I said, sitting crammed in the backseat between Slim and Juan.
Carl looked at me in the rearview mirror. “What’s that?”
“Nothing,” I said. “Just clearing my throat.”
Carl’s eyes narrowed. He brought the Ding Dong to his mouth to take another bite, but as he did, it slipped from his hand and tumbled to the floor.
“Ah, damn!” Carl said. Holding the wheel with one hand, he bent down and fumbled around.
“Did you get it?” I asked, when he resurfaced.
“No,” he said. “It rolled under the seat. Can you reach down and feel around for it?”
“You don’t want to eat it if it’s been on the floor, do you?” I asked.
“I wasn’t even halfway done with it!” Carl said. “Just find it, will you? I can’t reach from up here.”
“Fine.” I took off my seatbelt and leaned forward. Fumbling around under the seat, my fingers wrapped around something that felt like cake. I pulled it out and handled it to Carl. “Here you go. It’s covered with dust now.”
“Thanks,” Carl said, taking the cake and brushing it against his shirt. He started to bring it to his mouth, but then stopped. “Wait a minute. This isn’t a Ding Dong.”
“It’s not?” I asked.
“No. It’s a Ho Ho!”
“A Ho Ho?” I frowned. “Well, how long has that been under there?”
“Probably not too long,” Carl said. “It’s still soft.”
“Do you want me to keep searching till I find the Ding Dong?” I asked.
Carl thought for a moment, then shrugged. “Nah. They taste the same to me, anyway.”
He shoved the Ho Ho in his mouth and started gnawing with his three rotted teeth.
“Yeah,” I said, frowning. “Like dust.”