Saturday, August 28, 2010
It Takes a Man to Drive the Van
I reported at length on the pending purchase of the Man Van, but I have not told you how my life has been working out in the three weeks since. Well. I'm happy to report that life is good. Very few material objects in this world can actually make you happier, but I've now identified three: Sharp tools. iPhones. 2011 Toyota Siennas. I could make myself delirious with pleasure by bluetoothing my iPhone to my ManVan while driving to the hardware store for a new chisel. I may do it. Today.
Yesterday I put a ball hitch on the van. Doesn't that sound manly? It is. Now I can pull things around with it. I could pull a small boat if I had a small boat, which I don't. I could pull a snowmachine on a trailer if I were ever to get such a thing. I could pull a large camp trailer for a very short distance. Mostly, I will pull an empty 1-7/8" chrome ball around demonstrating the potential to do any or all of the above. It would be a place to mount the Truck Nuts, I suppose, but I no longer have the, uh, will or desire to do it. I do have a 4x6 utility trailer to pull around which I can fill with garden soil for the wife's beds, mulch, stuff for the landfill. But I have to admit it doesn't look that great on the back of the van. Like putting a backpack on your grandma. Love the old lady. Love the pack. Best to keep them apart.
The van is the singularly dopiest looking vehicle I've ever owned. And this from a man whose first car was a 1955 Pontiac Star Chief. But, like the Star Chief, once you slide behind the wheel you are in a rather massive world of your own mounted to a liquid ride. It is a gas bubble of pleasure in a flat water world. The ManVan also reminds me of the bulging Bonneville Grand Safari my parents owned throughout my high school career. I could fit all of my friends and three strangers in that car and often did. With a seating capacity of 7 in the ManVan, I can almost accomplish the same thing today. If the folks' Grand Safari had the second row captain's chairs and fold-out footrests of the ManVan, my crummy friends would be in it still.
My friend who also owns a ManVan (I'll call him Bo because that is his name) agrees that the van is a continual source of pleasure and -- being Men of a Certain Age, married with children -- we are not inclined to worry about our masculine bona fides. In fact, quite the opposite. Bo knows that real men don't need the props. Ditch the Mustang. Park the Navigator. Take a walk on the mild side, boys.
It takes a man to drive the van.