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Guest Post: Philip Rivera

Minivans, the Great Equalizers of Life

There is an ancient Japanese proverb that states, The nail that stands out gets hammered down. The suburbs also have a way of dealing with deviance: The Minivan Hammer.

A while back, I was sitting atop my suburban perch at the local Dairy Queen, observing people as they droned around the shopping strip like busy ants on a hot summer day. I spied a guy in his 20's with one of those super-cool, avant-garde haircuts that push the limits of Riverview, Florida (my suburb of choice) fashion. It resembled a tidal wave, frozen in time, with a smooth fade that blended down to his scalp. I could have sworn I saw a touch of sparkle when his head was at the right angle with the sun. He sported an electric-blue bow tie and a slim-fit, almost see-through, white collared, cotton shirt. His black, crumpled pants seemed to be coated in wax, perhaps to preserve them in the event of a sudden flood. They were covered in zippers and crisscrossed stitches and tapered down at the ankles. It was as if he stepped off the Milan runway and onto Maple Lane. I imagined his name was Francois or Atticus.


"Man...that guy's unstoppable! He's probably looking to buy this whole shopping center." I pondered as I scraped the bottom of my Dairy Queen Blizzard cup.


Then the great Equalizer of Life stepped in: The Minivan. Francois Atticus stepped off the sidewalk and started heading to his vehicle. But he didn't walk toward a Maserati or a Bentley...no, he walked toward a 2014 Honda Odyssey Minivan. And suddenly, this cutting-edge, fresh-from-Milan monsieur was no longer a runway man, but an everyday man who probably gives grooming tips to middle-class kids in his suburban neighborhood. Yes, the minivan makes the foolish things of the world wise (like small-screen DVD players), and takes the excessively cool things and makes them average.


So I lifted my empty Blizzard Cup to the man formerly known as Francois or Atticus, and waved at him as he backed out of his parking spot.


"Goodbye, Hank!" I yelled. Go make your cul-de-sac the most fashionable corner in Riverview.

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