Sunday, 29 July 2012

1990 Dodge Caravan - The Nightmare that Started it all.

Like most 16 year olds, the very thought of owning your own car and breaking away from your parents bosom, brings about a sweet euphoria of life without parental supervision. But like most 16 year olds funds of producing this thought is crushed by the economic reality of not having the means of buying your own car. This may be due to the fact that those of us who never had an allowance had about as much change in his pocket as an adult in Burundi. Picking up a part time job washing semi-trailers may help pay for a tank of gas, but it still doesn't make you enough to avoid driving your mom's Dodge caravan. If I had cool parents I could have been learning how to drive a stick in a classic 69 Dodge Charger or maybe cruising around the streets of LA in a new (at the time) Lexus sc300. But believing my parents could no longer punish me like they use to when I was a child, found a whole new punishment befitting my rebellious years. Enter the 1990 Dodge Caravan.

Normally I would be appalled and detest the very idea of being seen in such a pathetic excuse of a vehicle. But at 16 and full of vinegar it provided me the one thing I never had experienced until then. Freedom. Pure uninterrupted freedom. But like with all freedom it comes a price, and this price was leaving your Manmarbles in the driveway before stepping into the van. No matter, this new luxury abled me to go and do things I never could before. Up till then my previous boyhood expansion of the known universe was limited by peddle bike and how much sugar and caffeine I had earlier that day.

To say the van was a flying death trap would be an understatement. It had more shakes than a Turkish belly dancer, The windows would randomly fall off, and the steering wheel even committed suicide in mothers lap one afternoon. Can't say I blame it. It could have been steering a F1 driver around Monaco, or chasing a bad guy in the streets of San Francisco. But no, it had chauffeur soccer moms around the suburbs instead. Our Caravan was the color of duct tape and had an aerodynamic efficiency of a lead casket. This too is good news, because they won't have to look hard to find one to bury you in. Too bad that no one would be caught dead seen in it - that is, until the next time you and your pubescent friends want to go out on the town, and this meant parading the strip. 


Now "the strip" should be considered a sociological experiment in itself. Those of us, who haven't snuck into the bars by 9pm, are now subjected to the animalistic calls of the night life on a strip of paved depravity. This may be the only time in recorded history where one could get away picking up the opposite sex in unfashionable manner, because both she knows and you know that you’re driving on borrowed time. The whole idea of picking up girls on the strip is complete and utter nonsense. Your style is terrible, your face is breaking out, you’re neither a boy nor a man and your changing voice proves that. I found it hard enough to talk females without all these challenges going on - but add matching the speed of your vehicle with that, the adolescent girl is driving, and trying to say something witty enough for them to smile at you, is like juggling Dobermans on fire while shaving blindfolded - apocalyptic failure. It never did have the romanticism of American Graffiti, but despite all obstacles and handicaps, you conjure up a wink, or maybe a smile, or *gasp* her phone number. Too bad that too will be called from your parents borrowed house phone...


Saturday, 28 July 2012

So it begins...

        Some nights while the wife is out working her shift on my days off (of course), I sometimes find myself reading up on something I heard about or an idea I had earlier that day. This one day in particular left me reading about car magazine writers. Sounds like fun!  I read how some writers stumble across these jobs, with no journalistic qualifications, get to fly halfway around the globe (free) to drive and review the latest and greatest car on the market. Right. But being a car nut myself tinkering on my cars, and I'm always on multiple car forums, blogs like Speedhunters, I thought I'd give it a go and see what happens.
        The first website looking for writers I came across were into exotics. Now having only seen a few in museums and never actually sat in any I decided the best thing to do was to make fun of them and their poorly designed website. Naturally it promoted a response but not what I thought. They were favorable. So favorably that they were asking for more of my work, schools I went too, journalistic qualifications, etc., etc. Now I have about as much qualifications as writer as I do performing neurosurgery on pygmy monkeys. But fortunately for the monkeys, I have had some published poetry in the past, so the only brain surgery I'll be doing is on my own mind.
        Sadly my inexperience of exotics has curbed my writing career from their web page to this uncharted territory of blogging. It’s too early to say if this a step up or down in the evolution of my writing. Little to me is known about this world and what lies within it. I do know that from the 5 minutes of browsing the interwebs of other bloggers, I realized that they have a nice theme to their blogs - they are about as exciting as shoving sand in my eyes and using rubbing alcohol to wash it out. Sadly this is not what I have expected, but this does provide me with the creative outlet I need to share my thoughts, feelings, ideas, frustrations, things I should say out loud, things I should not say out loud, viewpoints or anything I may or may not be held accountable for.
        Rather limiting myself to one topic, I will be posting anything and everything I feel I need to share. Although I do love certain subjects more than others (cars for example) but I'm always working on poetry, songs, and shit I find funny or interesting. I will try to post at least one thing a week and go from there. Lookout world, Dano is here...