Smeagol is Free!
A hermitudinal view of...stuff...


The Black Van of Death

FCF's Setup & Takedown Team called it the "Black Van of Death". We all occasionally joked that its VIN ended with a "666" and the thing had a personality that came straight from the Halawa prisons. It was big, it was black, and it was ugly. Still, like the gentle and faithful giant it was, we loved that mechanized beast, we really did. For the faithful, sweaty few, the Black Van of Death embodied what it meant to be a member of FCF's not-so-famed setup and takedown crew: Smashed fingers, stubbed toes, bruised shins, strained backs, sweat mixed with name it, we had it, and we were proud of it. We took a perverse, masochistic joy in our job. We went until there was no gas left in the tank, and still, we kept on pushing.

Just like the Black Van of Death.

The team looked upon that automotive monstrosity with a peculiar affection, perhaps the sort of affection only a mother would know. Ok, maybe only my mother would know. Anyway. Moving on. The van's headlights might as well have been powered by hamsters (there were surely critters of some sort living in the van), the internal gauges were about as accurate as Enron's accounting (did anyone else see that Kenneth Lay passed away today?), and the windshield wipers wiped as efficiently as a two-year old after he's gone "number two." Yup, just like the rest of the team, the Van was ugly, but it got the job done. There was no doubt about it, it was one of us.

I don't recall precisely when the BVD met its ultimate (yet well-met) demise, but it was on the morning of, ironically enough, an Easter Sunrise Service. Gary Manning, bless his brave soul, was driving it from Blaisdell Park, where the Sunrise Service was held, when the BVD's engine decided to suddenly and fatally seize up. Black smoke poured forth from under the hood, and all Gary the Valiant could do was pray as the Van choked and coughed its way into the Aliamanu parking lot. Our respects were paid in the only appropriate manner: we unloaded the speakers and miscellaneous equipment from the back of the Van, knowing very well that our dear buddy had given its last sparks for the team. A few weeks later, the BVD was to be towed away, never to be seen by any Setup & Takedown Team member again. Yet, the legacy of the Black Van of Death lives on. Like Grant said, "The thing was a disaster - and it was fantastic."

posted by Bolo | 10:54 PM
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