Thursday, April 9, 2009

A day of reckoning

Yesterday I bought a van.  A minivan to be precise.  In fact, a beige minivan.

For some men, getting a minivan is looked upon as a moment of defeat -- as the moment when a man finally admits (for a decade or two at least) that he's no badass* whose lifestyle is befitted best by a Toyota MR2 or a t-topped Trans Am -- but for me it's quite the opposite. 

As a child, I didn't have posters of sports cars on my walls.  Instead I had ads for Nissan Quests, Dodge Caravans, and Chryslers Town and Country cut out of Popular Science.  After college, but before I started dating Baby, my career plan was to save up enough money to buy a solid diesel van (preferably a Sprinter) and outfit it to live in.  I was going to live outside a library at UC Berkeley.**  I have no clue what was supposed to happen after that, but during times of great stress I sometimes daydream*** about that life in the van.

So for me, this transition is not a defeat -- it's a victory.  After years of waiting and dreaming, I have finally attained van status.

Since we bought it used, I didn't really have a choice of colors, but I really wanted beige from the beginning and that's what we got.  Nothing says "I don't give a shit" like a beige minivan.  You could almost say that having a beige minivan is punk rock -- that is, if describing things as "punk rock" wasn't the least possible "punk rock" thing that could ever be done.  Baby and I thought about getting a diesel Suburban or Expedition and converting it to run on waste vegetable oil, but I decided that purchasing my fuel at a gas station was a compromise I am willing to make, when compared to hanging around behind Chinese restaurants with an industrial grease pump and particulate matter filter (read: crab wonton filter).

Now, in the complete opposite vein, I discovered that I have free access to an electronic vinyl decal cutter at work, so I'm kind of thinking about taking advantage of that little perk.  Any decal suggestions?  Somehow I feel that Boli may have something to offer here.  Flames are kind of played out, but a screaming falcon could be nice.

* "Until a man is twenty-five, he still thinks, every so often, that under the right circumstances he could be the baddest motherfucker in the world. If I moved to a martial-arts monastery in China and studied real hard for ten years. If my family was wiped out by Colombian drug dealers and I swore myself to revenge. If I got a fatal disease, had one year to live, and devoted it to wiping out street crime. If I just dropped out and devoted my life to being bad."  --Neal Stephenson in Snow Crash

** What do you mean "naive?"

*** And by this I mean I use Cylonic projection.


  1. Perhaps you should try Rekall instead. Nasty side effects, I know, but may get you dreaming of more exciting affairs....

  2. No - affairs that are both badass AND noble in their quest to bring air to the Red Planet. Dude, use Rekall and you could totally be the baddest motherfucker alive.

    Re: decals. Android gryphon with laser eyes holding a robot serpent in it's jaws. Totally awesome.

  3. Sorry Nick, I removed the comment you were responding to. It said "Affairs that are both sleazy AND demure?" I accidentally posted it with the wrong profile.

  4. I am definitely feeling the android gryphon, by the way. Is the robot serpent being destroyed, or are they working together for maximum badassness?

  5. Forget the decals and just focus on some rims. And maybe one of those stick figure sticker collections for the back window where it's "Papa" and "Mommy" and "Veronica" and "Junior" and "Blanca" (who is a puupy) and so on.

  6. Do I have ideas? Oh my yes. Yes lazlo we will make this van a vehile to be feared. Now bear in mind that vinyl cuts are always a single color and not capable of photographic quality. So... It gotta be a bit graphic in nature. I may whip up some comps just for kicks that I'd IF you don't mind. Can I con you into cutting some reproduction decals for my moped?

  7. somehow i actually don't believe you ever dreamed about minivans.

  8. The gryphon is destroying the serpert, which I think we can all deduce represents Restless Leg Syndrome. So clearly, the gryphon is then a symbol for The Mayo Clinic with the laser eyes being benzodiazepine.

  9. It's too bad I can't post pictures in a comment field, as I have a vision for your vantastic mural. It's really too bad that Leal's Tire Service in Elgin had their Native American Fantasy Mural painted over with plain blue paint and Christian fish. Then you would have had a model for the side of your van.
    Then there's always the Death Star. Buffy fans would totally get the reference.