Mock Away

IMG_2736People mock you when you have a minivan. They mock me,  but hey: when somebody  wants to transport a coffin I’m the one they call – and I notice they’re not laughing then.

I’ve had six minivans over the years, all made by the company that shares a name with that gorgeous Art Deco spire in New York City.

I had a red one, then a maroon one, then a white one, then a green one and now a midnight blue one.  

These last years, of course, they’ve all had the famous Stow ‘n Go Seats, where you just pull a couple of straps and the chairs all sink down into the floor, making room for your sideboards, sinks and sarcophagi.

Also I love the design of the thing, with its cute high-hipped look, like certain breeds of puppies have, or colts. The running board is well off the ground, see, so you don’t have to shrink and stoop to get into it. Plus then you ride high, like a long-distance trucker.

You rule the road. And the speed at which you can accelerate is nothing short of amazing. 

Above is my baby today, just waiting to shake off this cocoon of snow and take me where I want to go tomorrow, when the sun is once again shining.


Hail and Farewell

All last week my car was dying. I knew it because we’re close, my car and I. It wasn’t just this rattle or that wheeze. It wasn’t just the ever-more-frequently failing battery because goodness knows a person can get a new battery.

There is this new noise it has begun making as we struggle up a hill together. Even last week I knew we were coming to the end of something.

So I went to the dealership where I bought this old friend in ‘05 and saw the car I wanted right away; saw it the second I walked up the hill way back up in the field up behind the showroom.

It’s a midnight blue, a beautiful dark color, and has a ‘pearl coat’ as they call it.

Nicer still is what the car doesn’t have:

It doesn’t have leather seats, but rather those nice fuzzy seats like I had in my last car that remind me of the fur on a cuddly Care Bear.

It doesn’t have automatic doors which may seem like a fine thing until they start malfunctioning and pop open again behind your back, so there you are walking out of the supermarket with your cart full of food only to find both sliding doors and the hatch yawning as far open as the mouth of that deadly Great White in the movie Jaws.

The windows of this blue dream car are automatic though, and there’s air conditioning and I’m glad about both those things, but if you want the front seats to go forward you have to reach under them for that steel bar we remember from the old days and yank on it while scooting forward with your body. I think I love that most of all! “It’s the ‘70s again!”  was all I could think on trying it, and looked in the mirror to see if my Farrah hair was back.

It has a rear-view mirror of course but no back-up camera so I’ll  still have to put a hand on the passenger seat and crane my neck to look behind me, which seems like a fine thing, both for keeping a limber neck and a watchful eye.

It has no TV monitor for small children to ruin their neurons on. I don’t approve of small children watching TV at all, much less in a car.

Finally it has the very best thing that ever came out of Detroit: I speak of the Stow-and-Go Seating System that lets me touch here and here and here and see two rows of seats disappear into the floor, affording me enough cargo room to transport beds and bureaus and large buffets from dining room sets built in 1910, then push another button, see them pop back up and take six big guys to see a performance of Macbeth or any number of kids and grandkids for a nice little ride to McDonalds.

My little red car has this, old she is now, and my new blue car will have it too, so I really just want to say THANK YOU, Chrysler, for creating a great concept and staying faithful to it. All hail your awesome minivan! This will be my fifth.