I was easing my Chrysler Pacifica into the perfect spot at Target when Josh Abbott Band broke my concentration with a single word:
“It’s happening,” I thought. My palms sweated a little while I saved the song, “Real Damn Good,” from JAB’s The Highway Kind album, in Spotify. If this was, indeed, a country song about a minivan, it would not only be my favorite; it would change my life.
You see, I’m a man who loves his minivan. But whenever I admit this to people, I feel an urge to explain myself. As if the sliding doors, unsurpassed cargo space, and game-changing, multi-purpose functionality (outdoor sports, tailgate party, tee-ball-team-picnic-turned-kegger, etc.) weren’t enough to turn my friends’ laughter into jealousy.
A country song about a minivan would validate my choice and help me carry my head a little higher while I loaded diapers and juice boxes into my ride that day. And I thought I’d found it… until I started listening a little closer:
“She keeps her makeup in a coffee can Got a Bible verse tattoo on her hand Goes 90 in a 50 in her minivan And she’s real damn good at not giving a damn She’s real damn good at not giving a damn…”
“Oh shit,” I said loud enough to poison my toddler’s ears in the back. “It’s about a woman.”
And now I’m back to square one, a dude driving a minivan in a world full of old school country tastemakers like the Oakridge Boys (“It’s Hard to Be Cool (In a Minivan)”) or the bro trio of Brantley Gilbert, HARDY, and Toby Keith (“The Worst Country Song of All Time” featuring a minivan as the worst country vehicle of all time), all eager to throw shade at my ride.
It is hard to be cool in a minivan. But it’s also hard to be cool when you’re wrestling two kicking, screaming lunatics (my kids) into their car seats through a traditional door, let alone one riding high in an SUV or the extended cab of a truck.
IMHO, the minivan is a no-brainer for anyone, and especially for dads. It can haul your kids, your buddies, and all the bikes and camping gear and 30-racks of Coors Light you can handle.
You can camp in it, tailgate behind it, and you CAN look cool in it if you own it hard enough (or if you’re big and mean-looking).
Personally, I slap on some Pit Vipers and the meanest mug I can, crank up the country bangers, and imagine Josh Abbott is singing about me while I peel into the parking lot at Target with “Real Damn Good” blasting out my sliding doors.
When they see me like that, the haters can tell that I love my minivan, and, more importantly, that I’m “real damn good at not giving a damn.”