Monthly Archives: January 2015

How to feel manly in a minivan

Once you get a minivan, your sex life is over.

Well, unless you’re my 43-year-old divorced-father-of-four friend who has more insane sex in his minivan than I ever believed possible. Clearly, most of middle America is just doing it wrong.

I hadn’t ever considered that a futon mattress fits in the back of your standard minivan, and, being significantly past the era of his life where spur-of-the-moment overnight road trips are a thing, I was unspeakably surprised to learn that for special occasions he takes out the seats and throws in the duvet. “Special occasions” being planned sex in said minivan. Sometimes with more than one lady! I’ll just never look at those bench-seated monstrosities with the same derision!

For VanMan’s best story, though, there was no mattress required.

It was an ordinary-enough April evening spent dancing with friends at the most lustily flamboyant gay club in the city. VanMan and ladyfriend-of-the-moment start getting a little frisky on the dance floor and decide that it’s business time, and determine that the shadowy corner probably isn’t optimal for a quickie. Popping outside to the minivan, they run into a minor obstacle: said minivan is currently protecting VanMan’s bicycle from Portland’s dreary spring mist. Evaluating the propensity for a bicycle handle to explore deep space nine where no man has gone before, and figuring they were going to be there for a good time, not a long time, they unload the two-wheeled cockblocker and lock it to a bike rack immediately outside the van’s sliding door.

About a quarter-hour later – twenty minutes at the outside – they emerge, mussed and flushed. The bike is fucking gone. In its place is a forlorn two-foot-tall zoobomber-style mini bike. Ladyfriend’s first thought, of course (unfortunately unfiltered by her lips), is “Holy shit! Your bike shrank!” (because, sex brain). Miserably (following one witheringly tearful look from VanMan), it quickly sinks in that Portland’s uniquely ambitious bicycle thieves have struck again. VanMan is pretty unhappy about the loss, having won the bike (oddly for this town, his first) as a work bonus literally the day before. Ladyfriend, in an effort to cheer him up, points out that since the bike was about 36 inches away from where they were steaming up the windows, there was virtually no way that the thief didn’t notice that there were two folks doing the minivan mambo. Speculating on whether Sticky Fingers lingered to watch the show for a few minutes before taking off on his/her pilfered steed did, in fact, make VanMan crack a smile, and the pair returned to the gay caballero dance party to dance off their downer.

This is an excellent sex fail story, but the epilogue is epic and ridiculous.

The next morning, VanMan calls a friend, who is a bike enthusiast (he runs a bike shop and knows his rides). Friend also had a camera at the previous night’s events, and VanMan figures that perhaps if there might be a photo it would be helpful for him to attach it to the police report. It’s a real honest-to-god separate camera, without internet connectivity, but when Friend hears of VanMan’s loss (for a bike nerd, apparently on par with losing a pet, or maybe a less-treasured member of one’s extended family) he volunteers to bring it across town to meet VanMan.

While driving (itself unusual for Friend), stopped at a light, Friend glances over at the array of sidewalk-scratchers and derelicts and sees none other than some peddler with VanMan’s bicycle. Which of course he recognizes, because although to normal people bikes are distinguished from one another by colors (IF THAT – I’ve always had to put some kind of doohickey on mine to find it in my own building’s bike room), he can tell it’s the same supercoolspaceman model of widgetwheels. So he pulls over and approaches the guy: “Hey, sweet ride, dude” (or whatever those gearheads say when hitting on someone else’s chrome molly) … “I’ve been looking for one of those for my lady-gearhead. Is it for sale?” Of course it’s for sale, and dude-who-has-more-than-one-bike-related tattoo definitely looks legit and non-undercover-cop-esque. “Yeah, man! $100! Take it for a spin!”

Once it’s in Friend’s hands, Friend drops the nice-guy shtick and says, “Look, dude. This bike belongs to my friend, and it disappeared last night.” Scumbag responds that, you know, in that case maybe $50 would be a fair price. Swallowing the urge to punch him in the face, Friend gives the guy $20 and tells him to feel free to drop by the bike shop for the other $30. (He views this as $20 well spent on not getting a brick thrown through the window of his bike shop by this gutter punk, although I’m baffled why he told the dude where he worked.) Popping the bike in his car, he meets up with VanMan bearing not only photos but the actual recovered bicycle. A regular bicycle-riding crimefighter.

Only in Portland.