February 9, 2017
As Captain Obvious famously once said, “Minivans are not cool”. And, as a guy who drove a Ford F-150 truck to work (and maybe just park ON TOP of your Toyota Prius) the descent into the lowly minivan has been humbling. Like now I have 18 year olds revving the engine of their Mini Cooper at stoplights thinking they can beat me off the line. Hold on kid, I might be a Stay At Home Dad (SAHD), but I still have 6 cylinders in this kiddie wagon and I ain’t afraid to use ‘em. Plus, I’m late for my 3pm school run, so I’m gonna drop the hammer and drive like Danica Patrick!! [INSERT CLOUD OF SMOKE FROM BURNING TIRES AND MELTING GUMMY BEARS!!!]
Speaking of gummy bears, can someone please tell me WTF is this $%#@ jammed into every crevice of my car seats!? Probably a toxic gelatinous goop of Goldfish, Pirate Booty, Smarties, and a little Capri Sun mixed in for good measure. I am SERIOUSLY EMBARRASSED when I bring my highly scratched grey Honda Odyssey into the car detail guys. I’m sure they’re like, “Dude, you have a small COMPOST pile of banana peels and apple cores in the third row backseat AGAIN!!” And then, just for fun, they park it next to the 30 year old single guy’s BMW M3. As I drive away muttering under my breath, “THIS IS GOING TO BE YOU IN 20 YEARS, PUNK!!”
Happy to report that my SAHD minivan offers a mixture of entertainment AND safety for all passengers ranging in age from 5 to 13. For safety, everyone buckles up EVERY TIME!! (Because there was that one time when little 5 year old Callan TOLD MOMMY about the time when he smashed his face into the back of my headrest when I slammed on the brakes to avoid hitting a deer!!! Two lessons there: (1) Buckle up every time!!! (2) DO NOT TELL MOMMY about things like this!!! HERE IS A GUMMY BEAR TO KEEP YOU QUIET!! Shhhh!!)
And for entertainment, the DVD player is both a blessing and a curse as it helps put the kids in a semi-coma-like-Disney-trance which keeps me sane when I’m putting in more time behind the wheel than an Uber driver. And I don’t get SURGE RATES! But, the DVD is also a curse because most of my world view is now shaped by Shrek I-IV, Madagascar I-III, and Zootopia! But, I know ALL of the jokes from the Penguins which makes me very popular at 10 year old birthday parties!! And, for my 13 year old, I take great pleasure in jamming Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, or the Pixies at top volume WITH HER FRIENDS IN THE MINI-VAN!! “OMG DAD!!!! TURN OFF THE OLD FOLKS MUSIC!!!!” [INSERT IMAGE OF ME LAUGHING WILDLY WHILE WEARING MY SMASHING PUMPKINS T-SHIRT.]
So, the life of a SAHD minivan driver ain’t too bad really. The sliding rear doors are neat because if you slide both doors back you can make a game where you kick or throw a ball CLEAR THRU the van while you’re waiting in the parking lot at soccer practice!!! And, yes, you can throw all your Tae Kwon Do gear in the ample trunk, but PLEASE – DON’T SMASH my collection of insulated grocery bags!
You don’t need to PIMP MY RIDE! No, sir! A grown man with a collection of re-usable GROCERY BAGS in the trunk of his minivan is pimp enough! Giddyup!