The Big, Red Spaceship Car & the Time Rift

usa_2009_dodge_grandcaravan_van_4_x_exfrdrvr75_xOver the past week, I feel like I’ve aged 10 years. When my wife and I went out looking for a new car, I was thinking of the sporty Subaru WRX, or maybe the bold Toyota FJ Cruiser.

We came home with a Dodge Caravan: 17 inch wheels, inferno red, nine speakers, I was ready to roll.

And what was our first road trip? Turtleback Zoo!

As we cruised down the road I wondered why my office mates gave me such a hard time when I tried to show it off.

“I remember those days,” one groaned.

“I just got free myself,” said another. “I couldn’t wait to get out of that thing.”

“But it’s got the sports suspension,” I countered.

That gave everyone a good laugh.

Luckily, my wife and I suffer from the same delusion and we were totally happy with our purchase.

“Put on Dan Zanes,” said my son.

Dan Zanes, good idea, I thought to myself as I hit play and started the folk music sing-along.

How could anyone not think this minivan was cool?

“Comfy back there?” I asked as the minivan that my son named “Big Red Spaceship Car” floated along. This was certainly a new phase in my life.

The time shift caused by purchasing a minivan was not unlike the effect caused in the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” when the scene jumps from young boy George Bailey to a fully grown Bailey in a fedora.

Viewers first meet him as an adult holding a suitcase. This scene perfectly illustrates why I love my minivan.

Just like the jumbo suitcase that wide-eyed George Bailey intended to buy, the minivan represents possibilities.

Family trips to Colorado to see Owen’s grandparents, Florida to see my cousin…the same cousin I teased for buying a minivan not so long ago!

My mind switched to thinking of him. We always had fun camping together as kids.

I should take the family camping with the minivan I thought as I took off my fedora and put it on the passenger seat.

Yes, I was wearing a fedora, and yes, I was driving in the right lane.

I do feel older in my new minivan, but maybe that’s not such a bad thing.

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About genemyers

Gene Myers is a New Jersey poet, music journalist and columnist who learned to walk twice. His weekly column is called The Joy of Life. He was awarded first place in Arts and Entertainment Writing by The New Jersey Press Association.
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