Theaters rely on donations. Whether a generous donation to fund a particular production, cast-off furniture for actor housing, or older cars to be used by visiting artists – all is welcome. Which brings me to the minivan from hell.
“Come on, Claudia, it’s just a regular old minivan,” you say. “It looks perfectly innocent!”
When you climb into the driver’s seat, you are greeted by 3 laminated signs permanently attached to the dashboard.
#1. “What to do in case of an accident. Look in glove box.”
#2. “The radio and CD have been disconnected in this car because they would run the battery down. Completely.”
#3. “Attention Blue Mini Van Driver! Don’t Start without Reading!
1. Start the Van.
2. WAIT 3 MINUTES while it is running. Do not start driving yet!
3. After 3 minutes or so, tap the accelerator.
4. WAIT A MINUTE more.
5. Drive to your destination.
Please do this EVERY TIME you start the minivan. It will help keep the catalytic convertor from having to be replaced.”
This gets old fast. Every time I start it, I have to go through this rigamarole. When you’re actually timing it, 3 minutes is a long time. Often we’ll all be leaving at the same time and within a minute, everyone will drive off. Not me. I’ll still be sitting in my parked van, waiting for the moment I can tap the accelerator.
It is also a gas hog. If you care to look up gas hog in the dictionary, you will see a photo of this minivan.
Unlike most of the company who are being housed within 4 miles of the theater, I am living 11 miles away. Most days, I have to go back and forth a couple of times. I was stunned at how much gas was being used in these relatively short trips. In a desperate plea, I asked if I could change cars with someone who was living closer to the theater. No one wanted to do it.
The theater has suggested we split the cost of gas, which will help a great deal. However, if given an opportunity, I will exchange this beast in a heartbeat.
I hate it.
It’s our day off. We’re all tired. One of the other vocal coaches and I are driving (in her car) to the big city today. You know that MHC is in the country, right? Well, the surrounding area back home seems positively urban compared to this area. It’s beautiful here, though. So Chris and I are going to Madison to visit Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods….we can hardly stand it, we’re so excited.
I’m buying some flowers. Yes, I am.