Daily Operation

Wagonlove

I’ve always been practical folk. I like Swiss army knives. I like backpacks with lots of pockets. I like shoes that are comfy firstly. I travel light. I like James Brown. I like convenience stores. I like vinyl. Well, nothing’s practical about vinyl. When I first learned how to drive, I was tossed the keys to a magnificent Dodge Aries station wagon (see above). The thing was a beast. It was my fathers, my brothers and then it belonged to me. It was like no other vehicle. When you turned on the air conditioning, the radio would switch from FM to AM. It had wood trim inside. It was beautiful. Not only that, you could fit a full-sized bass fiddle in the back with relative ease. Of course, along the way, I found it possible to work a bass into almost any size of vehicle. It’s a Wyrick talent.

I loved that thing. It was so hood. Golden. And, unlike the above photo, it had wired rims. Yep, real G’s drive station wagons. In the Aries’ heyday, it was rated as the least stolen car in America. Can’t imagine why not. I mean, the very least. That meant that during that year, more Escorts were stolen. I’m not talking the mid-90s Escort. I’m talking the 1986 Escort. That thing was junk. If the Aries was a Swiss army knife, the Escort was a mangled wire hanger. Who knows, maybe it’s just that more Escorts were sold. Very few can afford the luxuries of a Dodge Aries wagon.

You could say I’ve always had a thing for station wagons. I never fell out of love with them. I never could get with lowriders. Couldn’t mess with a pickup truck. Sure, I liked Hondas. I liked the Accord. The station wagon Accord. In 1994, when I was a year from high school graduation, I threw a rod in the Golden Screamer while on the south loop of Lubbock. He died. He died miserably. There was no saving him. Had some good times in that thing, f’real.

As my eyes shifted toward a replacement for the Golden Screamer, I was fixated on the wagon. My high school student parking lot was a sea of Camaros and Silverados, y’know, rich kids. Eh, rich parents. Is “rich” derogatory? Fine, affluent. Successful.

For my second car, I desperately wanted back in another wagon. Something a little higher profile, though. I knew we couldn’t afford a new one, but I kept scouring the used lots looking for a gem with a long end. Something with some space. I came to the Mazda lot and I found an old garbage Volvo wagon (brown) and I stood there on the front bumper, looking up the hood all the way down the length of the car thinking one thing:

“Totally.”

It would turn out that, in the end, a Volvo would prove to be too much of an expense. A used one would sink the entire family in repairs knowing that I couldn’t front the cash on a Dairy Queen salary. I ended up getting a Buick Century (Limited–and “limited” it truly was). Years later I would make one the greatest moves I ever made when I invested in my first Honda Civic. I’m on my second. It’s a beauty. Been beat up a bit, but it’s paid for. That’s all that matters to me.

As I enter into inevitable fatherhood, I’ve found myself, really over the last two years, developing a distinct liking for the Honda Odyssey. I’m absolutely gravitated to it. When I’m behind one at a light, I drift. I think of what bumper sticker I would put on it.

I love it many ways. It’s my Swiss army knife. I almost wanna have three kids just so I can justify such a purchase. I know it almost top to bottom at this point. Hell, I could probably sell three or four of them in one sunny Saturday if you put me on the Honda lot. I could sell one to a single 24 year-old man. Watch me.

This thing is so gangsta.

And not to mention that’s it’s clearly more elegant than any minivan out on the market. The lines are so perfect. There’s nothing out of place.

My lovely wife thinks I’m losing my mind or that I’m just playing. I ain’t playin’, son. I love me an Odyssey. And what can I say, I have a habit of falling in love with high-occupancy vehicles. Is a family of three with two dogs considered justification for a minivan?

Celtics won tonight in convincing fashion. They look like they’re in championship form. As a fourth seed in the east, I can’t say that anyone really would’ve seen it coming. But this is a team that you don’t put in as the underdog. This team doesn’t quit easy. Paul Pierce plays best with he’s disadvantaged. I’ve seen this guy lead countless comebacks. He likes it when the deck is stacked against him and there’s no perceivable way to come out victorious. That’s when he’s at his best. Bring on LA. Bring on that rapist Kobe. Oh wait, he was acquitted. I still think that they’re not supposed to be winning right now, but they’re doing everything right. For that reason, I’d think it would be foolish to bet any more than a penny on the Celtics in the championship, but I’ll say this…they’re gonna make it damn hard on the Lakers.

Go C’s.

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