Thursday, March 8, 2012

oh wow. an anecdote about buying a minivan. how fantastically interesting.


Did you know if you do this cool thing called "letting all the oil leak out of your engine" it makes your car not work anymore?

I love how stuff works!

On a more serious note, I had to go shopping for a new minivan.

This is the most riveting thing you will ever read.

Because minivans, by their very nature, scream good-looking young people who rock hard and take down names after kicking some butt.

They are the devil's wheels.

When I drive a minivan, I am no longer my self.

Something in me groans to life; it rips through my fatty shell and births itself before the eyes of the world, all steel and hair, all double muscled and cross-eyed with hypnotic lunacy.

Women weep as I drive past in my furious chariot, they see me and long for what they cannot have.

Their men stab at their own eyes for they know they are forever bested, forever cuckolded by the god in the minivan.

Let me tell this to you in my plainest words: there is no more I and van, van and I; there is only the saber that separates the heaven of us from the hell that is all of you.

So anyways, when you shop for a car with very little money, you can't be picky.

And then we tried a dealer, but my wife didn't like the way the salesman cocked his head to the side.

Finally we found a nice Chinese family who wanted to sell their minivan.

Just writing that sentence made me feel like this blog is a horrific waste of time.

Please don't ever let me write a sentence that boring, that indicative of a complete absence of things to say again.

It means death.

Anyways, I really did not want to ride in the car alone with Blevin.

My absolute discomfort with other humans has by now been well-documented on this blog, but it is so central to who I am as a person that it cannot be overstated.

For you, Joe Shmoe or Sherry Commonperson, a ride in the car with other living things might be delightful at best, a minor annoyance at worst.

For me, it is like being disemboweled by Gumby, which means very painful and invasive, often with a sense of confusion on Gumby's part as to what his weird green hands are doing.

He looks for Pokey in vain, good old rational Pokey always does his thinking for him; but this time, this time the orange horse is no where to be found, and it's just me and my guts, steaming all over, and Gumby crying because he's in over his head, and Blevin sitting there with the insufferable mask of stoicism so prevalent on the faces of our Asiatic brothers.

I can't ride in the car with this man.

I cannot.

Oh, but thankfully, he was dropped off at the bank by a coworker, and actually needed a ride back with us.

 "........he exhibited a great fear of touching......" (pg.49)

Having someone in your car is exactly the same as having them in your house except you can't excuse yourself to go pass gas on the basement stairs.

Your car is a window into all your flaws; your bad habits, your proclivities, you inability to aim.

And when a person first gets into your car, whatever they smell is the smell they will forever associate with you and yours.

Blevin, you gotta believe me: I shuttle the unwashed pantseats of the special educated all day; that buttfunk slapping your nose in the face right now is theirs, not mine.

What do you want me to say about that fifteen minute car ride?

In those fifteen minutes, babies were born across the globe.

Someone died of impetigo, all alone and unloved in some distant alleyway.

A horse on a forlorn hill raised its head in one of those whinny songs that only dogs can hear.

My heart ceased to beat.

Blevin breathed loudly through his nostrils.

My sons in back wondered aloud if Blevin was speaking Spanish, or if he was asleep because his eyes looked closed.

Shut up you little fools, I longed to scream, can't you see he's a Chinaman??? You're embarrassing me. 

The car filled with the distinctive musk of my social anxiety.

When at last it was over, I could have done somersaults on the immaculate lawn of his subdivision home.

I felt exactly like a convicted killer going down that long walk to the electric chair, only to get the 11th hour call from the governor telling me I was free to go.

Don't tell me depressing stories of this world and its shuffle towards collapse, of humanity and its insistence on slicing its own throat.

Tell me the quiet stories of hope, the stories of men who ride with other men that they don't know, and how they somehow get to their destinations without completely freaking out.

That is a conversation I can actually contribute to.

That is a narrative of which I am proudly a part.


  1. Blevins to betsy, that was a good chuckle!

  2. Aww... I thought you were going to buy from the smoking guy - he was by far the coolest!

    1. His van had rust on the inside, like on everything, and it was only four years old. Plus I was nervous about what Jobaby's kids might have done to it

  3. Far out man (van speak) death by Gumby would be more painful than death by a spoon. Well said Gween, your pain comes across the miles and yes - cars are dreadful tell tales.

    1. Thanks for reading Julie! I agree with you about everything you said.

  4. BAHAHAH. Incredibly poetic. I recently took my father with me to buy a car. It was one of those rights of passage that I never got around to. Imagine this story with your maniacal father behind the wheel and you riding shot gun because your father (who can't count all of the accidents that he has been in on his fingers and toes (I should point out he's missing two of them)) doesn't trust anyone behind the wheel except for himself. Thanks for the ride Gweenbrick.

    1. That sounds terrifying! Your dad sounds cool and like a good blog character.
      Thanks for always reading and being so supportive of my stupid endeavors, Jeremy!

  5. I van, Van I, Ivan, Иван

    Sometimes you just want to reach out, into, down, through the hundreds of miles of Internet copper wires and fibre optics, pass through the routers and the firewalls, to grab hold, hug you, pat your back and say, "Shhh, there, there, Gweenie, itz gonna be okay, itz gonna be okay."

    1. If you really did that, I would probably scream.
      Mostly because I am unused to seeing men emerge from my modems.

  6. At least poo did not roll out of anyones pant leg during the car ride.

  7. Replies
    1. No, thankfully no. Unless.....I have to say I did not look under Blevin's bottom when he lifted off the seat.

    2. You should have had him sit on a trash bag covered by a towel

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  9. This post confuses me. Were you buying the van from Blevin, or just giving him a ride home, or both?

    Ignoring my confusion (usually the best way to move forward and get things done) I don't know which line is better:

    "it's just me and my guts, steaming all over, and Gumby crying because he's in over his head" or Shut up you little fools, I longed to scream, can't you see he's a Chinaman??? You're embarrassing me.

    Both are golden.

    1. AHHH! I knew my narrative structure on this one was complete crap! Darn.

      I bought the van from Blevin.
      I thought I was going to have to ride back in his car with him from the bank to his house to pick up the van. Just him and me.
      I was prepared to make my wife go instead.
      But it turned out that he just got dropped off and had to ride with my family instead.

      It sounds so much stupider written out like that.

      But I am glad you liked some of it, Alan!

  10. I laughed out loud through the first half of this...especially the "take-your-ring-off" picture. Another great story!

    (Although - and I feel mildly stupid for this - I'm not quite sure who Blevin is. Is he a bad man or a good man?)

    1. Glad you liked....the first half, Stephanie.
      Alan had the same problem, I fumbled the narrative..
      Blevin was the Chinese guy I bought the van from. He was a good man.
      Blevin is a psuedonym.

  11. See Gweenbrick? Each moment you spend with a stranger makes you more prepared for the next. Don't fear us! We are kind, gentle creatures, Asiatic persuasion or not.

    1. NO DPL, its the opposite, each encounter makes me more afeared of the next.

  12. "Let me tell this to you in my plainest words: there is no more I and van, van and I; there is only the saber that separates the heaven of us from the hell that is all of you."

    My god it's near poetry. Milton must be trembling in his grave. I will now make a heart emoticon to show you the sincerity of my praise: <3

    1. You want to know how stupid I am Mandy? I never knew that emoticon was supposed to be a heart. Honest. I think I thought it was a nose or a scrotum and I was always confused by the meaning. If Milton were alive today, I bet minivans would inspire him too.
      They're just so damn scintillating.

  13. Loved this post! Your writing is actually very poetic.

    1. Thanks Kevin. I am flattered that you think my writing is poetic. That is all.

  14. Brilliant. Only you can take the mundane task of purchasing a new mini-van and turn it into an epic tale of lust, shame, and international relations.

    1. Ha ha, my dear you give me too much credit.

  15. I once knew a Chinaman named Blevin...

    Okay, I'm lying.

    Your tale of deeply personal inner-conflict was like opening a small basement window to your soul... Or like one of those little triangle windows that used to be on cars. You know, those little window cut-outs that opened and closed but seem to serve no purpose?

    Again I feel compelled to say, "BRILLIANT!!!"

    1. Thank you Killer Cupcake! You are welcome to peek through the useless triangle window of my blog always. And you always such nice stuff to me.

  16. As a man who drives a parentmobile which is in such a state of disarray it has a colony of seagulls and a team making a hard-hitting documentary about slum life, I can both sympathise and empth . . .

    Wait, you've got a basement?

    1. Ha ha ha I love the idea of your van having its own documentary team.
      I do have a basement, and one half of it has been overrun by legos, robots, bins of childhood crap, and all of daddy's other hoards.
      The other half is nice, though. Very roomy.

  17. I only liked the second half.
    (not really, I liked the whole thing. I'm just trying to balance out Alan and Stephanie.)

  18. If I had been sat behind you in that van would the view of been a similar one to you sat in the pool ?

    I cannot tell you how excited that thought make me....

    Funny as ever, and just given me an idea for a post too, cheers :)

  19. You always know just what to write to keep me laughing for hours.
    I drove a minivan for a few years. I have no children, and no excuse.

  20. I'm loving that you're still drawing your wife in her dressing gown. Even when you're in the car.

    Another great post :)

    1. I thought that was the fuzzy robe? I love the fuzzy robe.

  21. "but my wife didn't like the way the salesman cocked his head to the side"

    Followed by your illustration of the man...

    I cracked up laughing for a solid 5 minutes =D

  22. I can relate. Small talk=death

  23. How is it that you only have 400 and something followers? With your talent, you should have, like, 4 million.

    BRILLIANT. Effing brilliant.

    Here is my favorite line: "The car filled with the distinctive musk of my social anxiety." Urban poetry, concrete symphony of the soul.

    Keep writing, please don't ever stop.


  24. I like hoe you turned into an ant eater or something when you sat in the mini van! I never knew a tongue could be drawn so beautifully. Magnificent.

  25. Cool blog!!!

    Plz view and fallow my blog

    Tnx :D

  26. I know this is admitting my immature sense of humor, but I cracked up at "that buttfunk slapping your nose in the theirs and not mine". Buttfunk is funny enough, but the idea of a nose having a separate face in which to be slapped by said buttfunk also got to me.
    I also liked your sons musing aloud about the "Chinaman". Good post.

  27. So I'm working my way back, reading every single blog. Its killing me! SO hilarious and wonderful! I love to lol (even though I refuse to use those 3 letters together. I'll do it here. Because its accurate).

    1. Thanks Heather! One of my favorite things is when people take the time to go back and read old posts-thank you for reading!