Thursday, August 12, 2010

Unsafe at any speed, even slow

This will confirm what many of you have thought for years: I am obsessed.

God help me – I want a Volkswagen vanagon. I crave a camper van. A really old one with the spare tire on the front. That’s tops on my Bucket List.

It’s not like I need a hobby. I have one-third ownership in a dog. My third has to go walking every morning, rain or shine. Evenings, likewise.

But I drift from my talking points.

I cannot explain this hunger for a clunker. After all, I was never a hippie. Didn’t have much use for them. My Lubbock heritage was a beta blocker. Just couldn’t break through back then like I have now. There’s something about the slow process of going bald that sets you free.

Click and Clack, the Car Talk guys, say a vehicle this old is not a car – it’s a dependent. I know the drill. For years, I drove a 30-year-old Mercedes. My mechanic and I grew so close, we exchanged Christmas gifts. And he’s Jewish.

Yes, I know there are no cup-holders but I quit drinking and driving years ago.

So what if the crate can’t make Interstate speeds. Blue highways are better.

Too much arthritis to even think about getting frisky under the roof tent. Hmmm. Is that where frisky business is supposed to take place? I don’t even know.

Nor do I want to go camping. After four years as a Scoutmaster, I know camping. Generally speaking, campgrounds are a turn-off, roof tent or no. Although I do wonder if the Sun Shower that hooks on the roof gutter would work. The Mystery Woman absolutely refuses to test the device.

The Mystery Woman is not supportive. She owned a VW bus (not a camper) back when her kids were K through middle school. Her memories are vivid. Like the time the sliding door fell off and into the snowbank. And the time a hippie friend crawled under the van and re-connected the accelerator link with a paper clip. Or the see-through floor boards. Or …

I don’t care.

Undoubtedly, this saga will continue … as long as there's a CraigsList, I have hope.


Anonymous said...

My most favorite car was a 1960 Studebaker Lark four barrel V-8. It had three on the column and went like hell. There were several downsides...the horn would stick at inappropriate times, and I would have to pull over, open the hood and pull the wire. Then, there was the passenger door that flew open on left turns and had to be secured with a rope to the steering column...and the rusted out floor boards that allowed you to see the pavement beneath your feet. Not quite a VW Vanagon, but a car like no other! jb

Anonymous said...

Another in a line of excellent efforts...I had a 66 white chevy half ton that I drove through high school and into college. what a BEATER!!!!

The South Plainsman said...

I wish I still had that 1957 Chevy convertible. White, with orange and white seat covers. A dream car.

I can remember a time when in west Texas the VW you are talking about was a guranteed stop and search for marijuana. LOL

paula said...

You're not going to believe this, but I've seen three (3!) Vanagons since I first read your post, all in Vermont (of course), all being used for whatever purpose they serve. Not one clunker or parts cache. Two grey/white and one green. One had a spare on the front. I felt like running out in the road to tell them you want their car. Then I thought better of it...

Anonymous said...

were they all driven by older men? the vanagon seems to be on lots of bucket lists.

hell, i'm not certain i'm limber enough to climb in and out of one anymore.


paula said...

I don't think so. I saw one family with kids in a white one, loaded up to the roof with vacation gear. Another was driven by a youngish guy, and third was parked behind some crunchy granola shops in Brattleboro, still Mecca to aging hippies.

Maybe there's special physical therapy a guy can do to get in and out of the car of his dreams.

Carie said...

I'm with you but my obsession is so odd that idiotic individuals (in their 30's) look at me in utter confusion when I profess that I want an International Scout.

My best friend in college had one and Craigslist recently listed an orange one (yes, it must be orange) in my hometown of Midlothian.

I too am obsessed, and it's healthy.

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