Man Loves Van: A Modern Day Romance

The year was 2010, it was a scorching hot summer day, over copious amounts of beer, my friends and I decided we were going to buy a van for our yearly rugby pilgrimage to S.H.I.T.S.town (Sumas Huntingdon International Touring Squad campsite) in Williams Lake. We may, or may not have been, absolutely fucking shitfaced. But we knew this would be a life changing decision. We scrounged craigslist for ads, of course
checking out the “missed connections” and “casual encounters” first. And then it happened, the heavens shone down on us, “Chevy Van For Sale”.

Contact was made with the three nomadic Aussies. They had made the van their California road trip vehicle and home in Nelson, while working as ski bums. I drove out to a fleabag hotel on Kingsway with my friend MadisoMan Loves Vann, and we met with the owners of the most majestic looking beast you’ve ever laid your eyes on. The front bumper was completely pushed in from an incident with the police, in Redondo Beach, California. The front quarter panel had a decent sized ding which we were given no explanation for. The windows were held closed with chicken wire; surprisingly the Van seemed out of place in such a shitty parking lot.

The red exterior had faded into a nice, matte finish burgundy. The interior was pristine, with dark burgundy coloured carpeting, velour burgundy walls, and the most exquisite plush, diamond-stitched, velour ceiling you’ve ever been privileged to see. It also had mood lighting. The Van, or as the Aussies called him, Ron, had 2 captains chairs that swiveled and a back bench that folded into a nearly full-sized bed. In the middle of the van, the Aussies had removed two captains chairs, to make space for all sorts of nefarious activities. This beautiful machine, was exactly what we were looking for.

Man Loves Van
Our engagement photos in the burgundy love den

The Aussies were asking for $2500, but made the fatal error in telling me that they were flying to Argentina the next morning. Knowing this, I low-balled them at $1000 like the true asshole I am. They balked at the offer and told me they already had someone else offering $1600. I got back in my car discouraged that I was going to lose the deal, but as Maddy pulled out of the parking lot, they came running over and banged on our window. As I had suspected they did not have another offer, and were desperate to offload Ron. They took my $1000 begrudgingly, and Ron Burgundy was forever mine.

The drive home, can only be described as “sketchy”. I was immediately aware that there were some mechanical issues. For starters, there didn’t appear to be any front breaks. The radiator needed to be flushed; it was running rich enough to make me concerned about carbon monoxide poisoning and there was a hole in the exhaust. As you can imagine
Ron would not pass AirCare the first time around.

Man Loves Van
S.H.I.T.S.town

The acquisition of Ron, was supposed to be a short-term, joint partnership between myself, Krispy, Kitt, and Madams; none of them remembering their drunken pledge to buy a van and abandon it in S.H.I.T.S.town. This has resulted in the greatest love story since The Dude and Maude. Ron and I have been on many adventures as loving life partners, meeting folks of all different strokes, and adding to Ron’s rich history.

Some such adventures include:

  • 7 consecutive years as the familiar focal point in S.H.I.T.S.town; with many Canadian Rugby legends (and non legends) stopping in for a pint and a vomit.
  • 2 trips to The Gorge for Watershed Music Festival, where Ron hosted a couple magical runs down to the Columbia River involving too many
    Man Loves Van
    Watershed

    people and flying gag-gift dildos. All while I wore a women’s American flag bikini bottom and cowboy hat and was still the most responsible one there.

  • Numerous Stag Weekends, where Ron was both transportation and lodging when we could not pull ourselves together enough to get a hotel.
  • 6 months as my faithful, but not reliable daily driver. (Only once requiring a boss to pick me up on the side of the road)
  • 4 or 5 incidents with the police, because people thought I was on the prowl, and not the upstanding member of society that I am.
  • 1 or 2 fines from my strata council because Ron is too juicy for their bylaws.
  • 1 dead deer resulting in a dent in the other quarter panel, and two orphaned bambies.
  • Being the loud and proud groomsmen transportation for my very own wedding, sporting his Gulwing Door makeover for all to behold.

Man Loves Van

These are only but a few stories that can be repeated in a public forum. As all great men, Ron has a checkered past, which makes him all the more intriguing.

He’s had some drinks and seen some things, to be sure.

Man Loves Van
Our first camping trip as a family

Ron’s next adventure will be a real change of pace. The newest members of the Ron touring party, are my Son and Wife. As you can imagine, Ron needs some alterations to accommodate these two, and their high maintenance safety concerns. I tell my wife Ron’s legendary history for the 14 millionth time, as that glorious bastard sits not more than 10 feet away from me and my son naps inside; grimy windows covered by sheets and towels, to make it even darker than it already is.

I love you Ron, you sweet prince.
Tyler xo

 

 

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