Tuesday, April 20, 2010

R.I.P. Shaba

I'd like to take some time this week to talk about vans.

A few days ago, on the West Side Highway, I totaled our trusty old Shaba. She'd been with us for about a year. Dave and Joel bought her off of a sketchy Craigslist character we call the Flesh Dealer, who allegedly used it to transport women to and from massage parlors. I'm not even exaggerating--these were his words. We bought her for $2000.

The picture above was taken a few days after we bought Shaba, when she broke down for the first time. There would be many others.

We had some great times with Shaba, so named because when we bought her there was a sticker on the passenger airbag that said "Shaba the Great."

The picture below was taken as the tow driver took her away to the junkyard, moments before the street cleaning cops arrived.

Here's another little picture of Shaba, just for rememberance's sake.

Our new van ($1,500) has 280,000 miles on her and a hole in the passenger seat floorboard (I sit mostly in the passenger seat now) from which I can see asphalt coursing by. She doesn't go above 40 miles an hour, and came with a sticker that said "Porky," so that's what we've calling her.

Within 36 hours of owning Porky, we'd amassed 6 parking tickets, to the tune of $680. The first was for not having pasted lettering with our business name and address on the doors. As Joel was remedying this very problem with acrylic adhesive lettering in the hardware store parking lot, he received a second ticket for the same offense. The third ticket was because the letters are 2 inches high rather than 3 inches. And so on.

I'd rail on New York City's cops awhile, but given that they saved me from both a bike accident and a car accident this week, I'll keep my mouth shut.

After Sunday's market at One Hanson, Joel went back to the van to find one of the tires completely bust. He replaced it with the spare, which was, as it turns out, a different size from the other tires and made a rubbing noise against the wheel well every time he changed lanes or turned.

After a few hundred dollars of work and several trips to Purgatory (a.k.a. the DMV) Porky passed NYS inspection yesterday.

Welcome, Porky! R.I.P. Shaba.

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