Adam Stremmel

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The Swaggin Wagon

As many of you probably know, I drove a mom van for two whole years.  Affectionately referred to as “The Swaggin Wagon” by family and the occasional friend, this wonderful dumpster fire of a car practically fell apart before my very eyes the more and more that I drove it.  From its glorious dent in the front bumper to its lack of audio capabilities, the Swaggin Wagon taught me everything from patience to problem solving to humility.

“So why did this happen?” you might be asking yourself.  My parents, knowing that sixteen-year-olds are some of the most reckless people on earth, decided that they would wait to give my siblings and me our first cars until we were seventeen (still reckless, just a year older).  They knew that most people tend to crash their first car, especially at age sixteen, so they gave us one year to prove that we were responsible drivers.  They decided on the mom van as the vehicle of choice since there was no way that we could mess it up any worse than it already was.  Additionally, the mom van taught me to be humble.  As people saw me pull into the school parking lot in the dented Swaggin Wagon, they could really get a good sense of me as a person, unattractive yet practical.  My new car does nothing of the sort, making me seem flashy and well put together, which I most certainly am not.

The Swaggin Wagon, while it taught me to appear humble, also taught me patience as well as problem solving.  The first problem I solved was the lack of air conditioning, as it had died several months prior to my adoption of the mom van.  I learned the perfect height that the window should be lowered to in order to maximize air flow, as well as minimizing the loud thudding of air that often accompanies an open car window.  Additionally, the passenger door could not unlock from the outside.  One would have to open the side door, reach forward, and pull up on the lock from the inside.  Not only was it unable to unlock, any attempts to unlock it resulted in a loud screech, startling one of my friends even after she was warned.  Finally, when opening the side door on the driver’s side, a loud crack would almost always ring out from the door.  This especially taught me patience, as I would often have to try to open the door several times before it would actually open.  Additionally, this door would occasionally refuse to close unless you guided it the entire way.  These are just a few of the many problems that the car provided me with, not including the fact that the AUX cord was located in the back seat of the car, as well as the dent resulting from the supposed “trash can that fell from the sky” while my sister was driving.  As fate would have it, this happened about a week before I got the van and two weeks before school was supposed to start.  When I pulled into the school parking lot, everybody immediately assumed that I was the cause of the dent.

In conclusion, the Swaggin Wagon put me through trials and tribulations.  I truly feel that I have been changed for the better by my mom van.  I learned patience, problem solving, and humility.  As much as I miss the mom van, I never want to drive it again in my life.  In my two years of driving the Swaggin Wagon, it gave me all that it had, which isn’t saying much.  Currently, my younger brother Carter has the pleasure of driving the mom van as his own crash dummy and will continue to do so until he turns seventeen.  Until then, however, I can only hope for smooth sailing for him and look back on my own memories I made in the Swaggin Wagon.

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