My trip to the Bahamas was several weeks ago, but I’m still telling people about it. Not just about Mike’s shark attack (read the previous column), but also about my two-hour bout with scurvy. Turned out to be a thorn, but that’s the good thing about hypochondria…you imagine the worst and then whatever you really have isn’t so bad.

The one thing about the Bahamas that I loved was the fact I didn’t have access to my cell phone or the Internet for eight days. I thoroughly enjoyed being a recluse to normal society. But at times, I admit, it felt weird. When I told my friend back in Nashville that, here’s how the dialogue went down:

“It was a bit awkward being on an island, miles away from the bustling world, and not having the usual technology available. I felt like Tom Hanks in that movie.”
“You mean Castaway?”
“No, Big. I made a wish to be big, and the Bahamians became tiny, tiny people. Then I fell in love with a mermaid and coached a girl’s baseball team before flying a rocket on a moon mission.”
“A simple yes answer would have worked just as well, you jackass.”
“Maybe, but a simple yes answer wouldn’t have provided me with a new joke, thank you very much.”

One thing I did miss having in the Bahamas was my car. Of all the American legends the locals talked of, the Saturn was prominently ranked in their top 163. (Some notable icons who the Saturn beat out include Jazzy Jeff, Shirley, and DMC but not their Fresh Prince, Lavergne, and Run counterparts. It did, however, edge out both Hall and Oates, but that’s not much of a feat now is it?)

Which brings me to the point of this column. The ol’ Saturn couldn’t have treated me better if she tried. Over the course of eight years, she put on 230,000 miles. We saw everything from the Rocky Mountains to the beaches of Miami (she wasn’t, however, allowed on South Beach, those elitist jerks). After that much road work with one car, I could tell the end was near. She still runs great, but to be safe out there, I figured I might want to get a new vehicle. On my next trip home, I bought a used car. Not just any used car, but that’s right, kids…another Saturn. This one is two years younger than the other one, but there’s one more difference. Are you ready for this? …It’s a station wagon. If there was ever any question about my commitment and focus on comedy over a decent social life, that should pretty much settle it, don’t you think? I have officially taken myself out of the game known as dating.

After hearing this news, the first thing people say is, “Why don’t you contact Saturn? You traveled all over the country in their product, and now you have another one. You could be some sort of spokesperson.” On the surface, that sounds like a good idea. But at one point, Jared’s friends probably told him, “You should tell Subway about how you lost all that weight.” So he did, and now everyone is sick and tired of seeing that guy. Being a commercial figurehead would be a great way to make big bucks, but if the end result is people saying, “Oh, God…not him again”, then I couldn’t really convince comedy clubs to book me. So no, I’m not contacting Saturn.

There have been other frequently asked questions about the wagon. Before you ask, here are your answers:

  • No, I don’t take naps in the back.
  • No, there is no wood-paneling on the sides.
  • Yes, when driving through school zones, the crossing guard is shocked that I’m not stopping to pick up the kids she thinks I must have.
  • No, when buying auto parts, I don’t end my order with “it’s my girlfriend’s car.”
  • No, there isn’t a bumper sticker that says “If this wagon’s rockin’, don’t come-a knockin’.” To my knowledge, that particular bumper sticker has never existed.
  • No, nobody has ever asked me if I sell Mary Kay cosmetics.

The fact is, it’s a good car and it’s just like any other. Except it has more roof space and a wiper blade on the back window. That’s right, people…when the back window gets misty, I no longer have to look through the transparent moisture. I can simply wipe it off with the flick of a switch. Sometimes I do it while in traffic, just to show off.

If I can get another 230,000 miles out of this baby, I’ll be more than satisfied. Granted, that’s a lot of mileage. The older road warrior certainly set the bar pretty high. Only time will tell whether or not Wagon Thunder fills those shoes. That’s right…her name is Wagon Thunder, because she rolls like thunder. Her name just as easily could have been Wagon Dice, but that sounds even more stupid.

You know, I didn’t have to tell you about my new car. I could have written something about my road experiences or my thoughts on current events. But I regard you readers as family. Besides, by laughing at myself first, there’s little damage you can inflict on me later. Kind of like Eminem in Eight Mile, only my story has less rapping and more subject/verb agreement.

Chances are good that you’ll see me in this fine piece of machinery in your neck of the woods at some point down the road. Be sure to honk and/or wave. You won’t be able to miss me. I’ll be the one without a date in the passenger seat.

Categories: Columns