Every Adventure’s Gotta Start Sometime…
The Men of Vanture
(Calendar to follow)
On a sunny Tuesday morning in August, (in which I, nevertheless, detected a distinct chill in the air) we headed North to South Dakota, but not before some desperate pleading from me.
All the Vanture guys had been impressed with the chores they saw Tim do around the bus during the few days we were parked in their lot. They had even let him use some of the shop tools. For his part, Tim couldn’t be happier hanging with the guys, talking tools and shop and whatever it is guys talk about that they find oh, so important. Can styles of wrenches possibly hold the same fascination as styles of shoes? No man has ever said, “Did you see the new haute catool collection from Snap-On? I mean, don’t get me wrong. I liked it. But, it was kinda grunge, ya know? Hard-edged. I just don’t think it’s going to translate well to the average guy at Sears.” You would think I couldn’t wait to get out of there. But, no. I was still bus phobic. And, my phobia was starting to generalize, a fancy-schmancy shrink term that means I was starting to get bat shit crazy about anything that moved. So, I was perfectly happy to live in the Vanture lot for a year, and I knew both Tim and his alter ego Project Nerd would love it, too. To achieve my goal, I decided it was best not to show any weakness.
“Ah, Chris?” I ventured to the Vanture head. “Final offer. Tim and I live in your lot for a year and in exchange for free hook- ups, Tim works for you and I do evaluations on potential customers to judge compatibility.” This was a rather deft touch, if I do say so myself, as I knew Chris particularly hated working with difficult people. He gave me a big smile and immediately answered, “SOLD!”
“Hah!” I couldn’t help it. “I would’ve thrown in weekly group therapy for the entire shop!”
“Ouch.” He played along. “I knew I should never have accepted the first offer.”
But, the time for play was over. The time for starting our year long hell on earth, er, Prevost, was at hand. Before we hit the highway, Tim wanted to stop at a gas station a few blocks away that sold diesel fuel. He asked if, rather than hook the Jeep up at Vanture, I could just follow him…
“To South Dakota?” I ventured, hopefully.
“No,” he continued with a snort, “just to the station. It’ll be easier to hook up the Jeep there after we gas up.”
So, with one last picture of our home away from home (see above) and one last tearful (OK, OK, overwrought) farewell… we were off.