Monday, April 1, 2013



Today is the start of the A to Z Challenge for 2013. This being April 1, 2013 and April Fool's Day, we'll start with the letter "A". Amusement for me is lying in bed in the early morning, listening to the TV in the next room, imagining what's on the ol' boob tube. Today, it sounds like some type of el-cheapo Advertisement for some horrible el-cheapo van, maybe made by Sanyo, called the “Meat Wagon.” The music, filtering dimly through the bedroom, sounds as if it is being played on something resembling a thumb-harp, accompanied by bongos. It is a happy, dippy, vaguely oriental tune, full of spry alarm, minor undertones, beneath the silly, disjointed melody.

I can only imagine what this thing looks like; some horror, possibly outsourced to the Dinky Toy Car Company, contract bought and built by the lowest bidder in WhereTheHellisStan. Low-balled parts, cheap aluminum carapace, a narrow wheel base, tall profile and that lovely raw rubber smell, that screams out “Death Trap!” No digital here. All analog, with dials and push-pins that once pushed, fall into crappy clear plastic dashboard coverings, forever registering 374-mile road trips, a testament to the finest engineering found in Asia Minor.

Slowly, slowly, the crappy clear plastic dashboard covering develops one giant cataract, providing the pilot and navigator the added fun of having to guess at fuel mileage and the rate of travel, although all inhabitants of the “Bring Out Your Dead Cart” are put so shame as traffic zooms by, hell-bent on reaching the event horizon before our hapless pioneers. Heating and cooling are no longer an option in this, the smokehouse from hell on wheels. All that is missing is the coal-tender. Hot, fetid air, smelling vaguely of stray pets, fur, tool parts, motor oil and insects circulate through the cabin.

The “Wagon O' Doom” was never intended for passengers, not really. It was meant as a work van. There are only 2 actual seats. The owners however, have lovingly installed two, plastic chairs like one sees on porches around the country for their offspring. There are no other windows then the front windshield and 2 back windows. It's like riding in a cave and it smells like a den full of rabid mechanics.

The engine is beginning to go and it whines and shudders upon starting. It farts, groans and howls and this is only in the driveway. But, the “Van of Destruction” is a campaigner. It has been around many years. It serves it purpose and is eventually passed on to another hard-working handyman, for 600 dollars. Amused by my imaginings, it turns out, I was remembering an old friend.

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