Van-ity Fair

Ron Nagasawa
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Wednesday - February 03, 2010
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Back in the day, I decided that I would never drive anything that wasn’t cool or masculine. I’ve owned some great cars: a 1965 Chevy II Nova, a 1970 Firebird Formula 400, an Alpha Romeo Spyder, a Jeep Wrangler, a Lotus Esprit and a Porsche Carrera.

And, of course, up until late last year, my black 1995 Dodge Ram truck. I was reminded how much I missed my truck when the other week Scott Brown made his truck a part of his campaign strategy. I’ve chronicled the life of my truck in this column, and you know what it meant to me.

These days I’ve been driving my kid brother’s Ford Ranger truck. It’s a great vehicle, and it maintains my reputation for driving something manly. That is, up until the last few weeks. For convenience reasons, I’ve been driving my in-laws’mini-van.


It goes against everything I stand for, and despite being a family man with kids, I hate driving it. Well, maybe not driving it, but I hate being seen driving it. I know that sounds superficial and probably a real man would be confident enough to do it. After all, there are millions who do.

But my reputation is at stake every time I get behind the wheel of this Caravan. I refuse to go in a drive-through or anywhere I regularly go where people know me. Of course, because people recognize me from MidWeek, that’s getting pretty hard to do.

The other day I was using the van when I had to make a run to the store. I parked and went in. When I came out, I ran into a woman with whom I had gone to high school. In fact, back then I had a secret crush on her, so I wanted to make a good impression - my ego, you know.

As we walked through the parking lot, it became evident to me that she had parked right next to my mini-van. I panicked but saw a nice new Mercedes close by. I took my keys out and pretended that the Mercedes was my car. She gave me a look of approval until the real owner of the Mercedes appeared.

He confronted me and said very loudly, “Hey, uncle, this is not your car. Are you lost?” Committed to the farce, I quietly replied, “I’ll give you a hundred bucks if you let me sit in your car.”

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