Challenge #01537-D076: No Place Like It

It was a Trucker's Drinking Hole, beer on tap and lachrymose songs on the Juke Box. It didn't matter that 16 wheelers were replaced by space haulers, some things never changed. -- Anon Guest

After months of monotony, hauling whatever the cargo was, even an AI would crave variety from the humdrum. And this place was the one-stop shop. Inebriants for those on rest cycle. Stimulants for those just stopping by. The inevitable tones of Cryin' Joe Bardnaw on the jukebox, jukebox impersonator, or holographic media player.

This time, some wag had queued up What's New, Pussycat? a large number of times. Cryin' Joe and his Hawaiian Guitar Band had managed to make it sound like a dirge. It fit just as well as any other in this place. The food was unsuitable, unbalanced, and long-term unhealthy. The beer and the coffee were the same. The pool table was rigged, and the dartboard had to be removed after the stabbing incident. The waitstaff were always called Pam or Jo. And there was always a scruffy guy named Bob hanging around by the counter.

Dallas took it all in and thought, There's no place like home. There would be a by-the-hour bunk rental place around the corner or, if this was the enterprising kind of Trucker's Dive, it would be attached. Dallas took a seat one seat away from Hairy Bob and said, "What's good, Bob?"

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