Itís midnight, and Iím wide-awake. After two hours of making angels in the sheets, I figure I might as well get up and do something productive. Spouserís sawing lumber and doesnít notice Iím headed out the door. He doesnít need to know.

ďMake that a burrito supreme with extra cheese and a strawberry milkshake,Ē I shout into the crackling speaker.

ďWeíve got tater gems with cheese on special,Ē the voice cracks back over the intercom.

ďOh, why the hell not?Ē I say. ďLet me have an order.Ē

Itís the night before Iím officially going on a strict 14-week ďGina to Xena the WarriorĒ diet and workout marathon. I figure I might as well make the last night to cheat a worthwhile event.

So, while Iím waiting for my cellulite-in-a-sack to arrive, I check out my fellow feasters in the cars parked around me. School just let out for the summer, and Iím guessing half these kids were just weaned. Instead of straws, they should be sipping from Cookie Monster training cups.

Food arrives, and Iím wiping chili off my chin when a couple of boys in their momís Land Rover glide up to the speaker on my left. When they roll down the window to order, the sonic blast of rap sends my milkshake moon-walking down the dashboard and almost into my lap.

Iím not one of those people who put down the next generationís taste, but you have to wonder about music that makes food try to escape.

Apparently, the guys in the jacked-up Chevy parked across the grassy section feel the need for a cultural exchange. They pump up Puddle of Mudd to a scream, which prompts the girls in the Volkswagen Beetle to stir in a little Britney Spears. (Having been an Engelbert Humperdinck fan, who am I to judge?)

As much as Iím enjoying the ambience of dueling youngsters, I decide itís time to move on. The night is clear and humid. The Beatles are on the radio, and the next thing I know, my moon roof is open, and Iím clipping down the highway toward South Padre Island.

When I arrive at the causeway, I pull over as close to the water as I can and watch the Big Dipper plunge into the horizon. The moon reflecting off the water, I stare up at the sky, glad to be alive.

Junk food, rock and roll, and a warm summer night. If I had a hickey on my neck, it would be just like high school all over again.

Gina Tiano is the author of Life in the Bike Lane.