Revisiting Jeff Reed's Paper Towel Freakout: An Investigative Report

You're probably thinking to yourself, "Hey, did they ever fix the towel dispenser that Jeff Reed broke?" That or you were thinking of pie. Quite often it's pie.

If you don't remember, the Steelers jocose placekicker acted out of character two Saturdays ago by throwing a terrible towel temper tantrum at the Sheetz in New Alexandria, Pennsylvania. The bathroom was out of paper towels at 3 in the morning. Naturally, this was just cause to bitch out the employee behind the counter. Monday he pleaded guilty to criminal mischief and operating under the influence of puffy nipples, both misdemeanors.

I happened to be in the area, driving right past that very gas station. (See, when I'm not writing for this sports blog, there's also a full time, actual job that pays the bills, wherein I write for a sports blog under the pseudonym "Michael David Smith.") There was only one Sheetz in the hamlet of New Alexandria, so it wasn't difficult to find.

But first, a side note on Sheetz. We don't have them on the swampy side of Ohio or in Michigan, but holy shit, what a great concept. It's not that just because the food is amazing — although it is — but that it's available 24 hours a day and there's a variety beyond the normal gas station frightening pre-wrapped "sandwiches." (Hard boiled eggs AND chicken sandwiches? Fuck dieting!) If there were Sheetzes across the country, society would probably crumble as we know it, for everyone would fall into one of three different states of mind at any time: eating food from Sheetz, looking forward to eating food from Sheetz, and pooping. And in many cases, all three states will happen simultaneously.

Now then. The centerpiece of Mr. Reed's vandalism occurred in the bathroom, a room which most gas stations already neglect enough. So I just had to find out in what condition the bathroom was.

The hardest part, though, was finding an opportunity to take a picture inside the bathroom. With so much traffic — again, the food is heavenly but it will admittedly do that to you — it required patience (read: "circling around the candy aisle") until I surmised the room was empty. Once I thought it was vacant ... oh, wait, there's an 8-year-old in there. Having that little dude tell his mom that "there's a man with a beard and a camera" inside the restroom probably isn't what I'm going for. (Although that would give me a chance to meet the officer who cited Jeff Reed.)

Finally the coast was clear, and here's what I witnessed:

Revisiting Jeff Reed's Paper Towel Freakout: An Investigative Report

Conclusions we can draw:

• Well, they both work. I think that's a new gas station record for "quickest maintenance on a bathroom facility."

• I can understand if one was empty, but ... both of them? Really? They were at least full when I visited, although that's because it was dinnertime on a Tuesday. Still, to see two towel dispensers and have both full of nothing but oxygen might even make me a little pissed. I can empathize with Reed a little. On the other hand...

• ...Dude, there's a hand dryer right between the towel dispensers. What this means is there was a fucking hand dryer right between the towel dispensers. Does he hate modern technology? It's not like he could miss it. It's right between the two metaphorical goalposts, and he's actually a reliable kicker. So I can understand if Mike Vanderjagt couldn't locate the hand dryer, wondering how the hell he can wipe his hands off with the condom machine.

• (Not pictured) While the towels were in great shape, one of the two urinals was out of order. I can probably safely assume this was due to Byron Leftwich wandering into that same restroom the very next day, getting unruly and finally complaining that the cake inside the urinal tasted terrible.

• 75 cents for one condom? Well, hell, if I was made of money like that, I could buy a higher quality hooker that didn't require protection.

I was going to rummage around and try to score an interview with an employee, but it was rather busy. Plus, I remembered the primary reason I got into Internet sportswriting in the first place: to be neither seen nor heard. You can always tell a Milford man.