Last Thursday, I was meeting with an engaged couple at Starbucks. They’re getting married this week and I’m DJing their wedding. We chat for a few minutes about their music, first dances and such. Then I tried to order one of those unicorn drinks, but they were out of the ingredients. Don’t worry; I forfeited my man card long ago.
After we wrapped up the meeting, I head outside to my van: My 1993 Chevy Astro. Every single person who sees this van says the exact same thing: “Nice creeper van!” But, hey, it’s paid for and any embarrassment I can cause my kids by dropping them off in the van is worth it. I’ll admit: there are times when my “creeper van” gets to me. Like, when I get in my van and, as I buckle up, I see my clients pull out of the parking lot in their drop-top Porsche.
I sighed silently to myself as I turned the key in my creeper van, only to discover that it won’t start. This is why you can’t convince me that God doesn’t have a sense of humor. My van, in all its “creepiness,” is always reliable. Sure, the AC doesn’t work, I can only pick up one radio station, only have one working speaker, water leaks out under the dash when it rains (seriously) and my decorative hubcaps are falling off one at a time. But, the damn thing runs.
It runs well, especially for a van that is older than the clients I was just meeting. But the good lord picked today, the day I watch my clients speed off in their 911 Carrera, for my van to leave me stranded like Tom Hanks. I can almost hear him laughing up in heaven. Wocka-wocka-wocka!
I went in to notify the Starbucks manager that I’d be back the next day to get my van. If you’ve never felt the joy and pride of telling a store manager “please don’t tow my out-of-commission P.O.S. because I’m leaving it overnight,” then you just haven’t lived.
Fast forward to the weekend and me trying to figure out why my van won’t start, then attempting to fix it. I’ll spare you these details, but it involves me and my dad poking around the engine, scratching our heads, several trips to the auto parts store and drinking some beers. There’s some rule somewhere that says when a man is working with tools, beer is to be consumed.
After two days of all this, my cousin Tony (who actually knows what he is doing) came over to diagnose and within 10 minutes told me that it was the first thing that I had originally thought to replace (but didn’t). We replaced it and, voila, the engine roared to life. Well, as much as a 24-year-old minivan can roar, anyway.
A whole weekend shot, when I could have followed my first instinct and been done with it Saturday morning. Well, my first guess, anyway.
For a hot second, I thought that I might get to go car shopping. I had visions of listening to the radio from more than one speaker dancing in my head. A car starting every time I turned the key, not getting a wet foot every time it rains — all ideas that I was starting to get excited about. Alas, the creeper van rides again!
It’ll be a hot summer sweating it out with no AC but, at least I don’t have a car payment! Dave Ramsey would be proud.