Friday, August 29, 2008

The Wheels on the Van

This week marked the return of school buses, long commute times, and sardine-like van accommodations. In the early morning mugginess, the van has been swarming with mosquitoes. Which means the cabin is filled with sounds of random slaps and thuds as we try to massacre the wee varmints. Ahh, Texas.

The beginning of the summer was met with much happiness from fellow vannies because, according to them, traffic is significantly reduced during summer months. I dismissed this advice as wishful thinking, but have since come to realize that, sweet God, were they right.

The first week back is especially heinous as the roadways are clogged with folks who have been on vacation rather than commuting (and whose driving skills have not improved from lack of use).

Summer has drawn to a close and with it the carefree days of driving my own car or hitching early rides home. So, gentle readers, tuck in and buckle up for another long season of vannie antics.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Newest Vannie

There are some new faces on the vanpool these days and one of these faces sure does like to talk.

I was on the fence about this woman in the beginning. She was confident, which was a point in her favor, but she took the front passenger seat too many times during her first few weeks on the van, which turned me off. I was on the vanpool for at least 6 months before I dared sit in that seat.

The front passenger seat is as close as a vanpool rider will get to the warm towels, champagne and toasted nuts treatment. The semi-private front seat is the Concorde, resplendent with headrest, legroom, radio access, lumbar support, and personalized climate control. It is, quite simply, divine.

No newbie, not even a newbie with brass ones and an insatiable appetite for communication, can rightfully occupy the Holy Grail of vanpool seating.

I've been torn coming up with an appropriate moniker for this woman. I was considering the wordy and unimaginative (and thus completely appropriate) alias of She Who Can't Not Talk but ruled it out because I don't want to have to type that over and over. And over, because something tells me this woman is going to be giving me lots of material.

So, I've settled on Gabby. It's short and to the point, and fits her like the gag I occasionally imagine stuffing into her mouth.

It's been a while since I cast the The Vanpool Chronicles Show. Let me welcome Gabby and say that while I know we won't be going out for pints or painting each other's toenails anytime soon, I am appreciative of her supporting role in The Vanpool Chronicles.

As the newest addition to the stable of memorable vanpool personalities, Gabby will be played by Chatty Cathy.