a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Archive for October 4, 2012

the curious astro vanology of dr. walter lowery

< by Brennan Lowery >

You can tell a lot about a man by looking at his wheels. Flashy sport cars, futuristic hybrids, and nostalgic American classics all say something about the person behind the wheel. Some men prize a big price tag; some treasure fuel economy or fine craftsmanship. And then there are men who value consistency.

My dad has been the proud owner and operator of Chevrolet Astro vans for 27 years. To help put this in perspective: I am 25 years old, and he recently took pride in correcting me when I mistakenly noted he had an Astro van my whole life; turns out it is my whole life and then some. Not only he has been a Most Valued Customer of the Astro line for 27 years, but he has managed to stretch out only three vans during this period of time. Three over 27 years—not too shabby, except that each of these vans, in its own special way, has been tremendously shabby. Meet the fleet:

The Reentry Vehicle: So named because it went so long without a new paint job that the front hood started to peel away in strips, almost like it would if you were reentering Earth’s atmosphere from space.

The Toaster: Big, gray, and often full of crumbs.

The Big Apple: Red Chevy Astro a day keeps the gas savings away.

There is only one real tragedy to this story: the Chevy Astro van has been discontinued, thus we will ride the Chevy Astro line only as long the Big Apple holds on. Alack, alas, what will come next? I might have children in college by the end of the next line.