I guess I started this whole Las Vegas thing backwards. Call me dyslexic, but I told the end first. Our trip to Vegas actually started over a year before we actually went there.
I used to work downtown. At the time, I drove a van which has since been absconded by The Brat. Got up one Saturday morning and was sitting in the kitchen bleary eyed, when Dan started yelling at me to come outside and look at something. He didn't sound too happy, and when I got out there, he said "when did this happen?" He was pointing to the passengers' side, which had beautiful circles all over it, where some wonderful individual had dug their key into the side of my van, creating a piece of art that not even his mother would be proud of. I told Dan I had no idea when it happened, and go the "how in the hell could you not see this because someone just dug into this van, and even as wild a kid as I was, I'd never do this to someone's car" lecture. Didn't matter. I still didn't know when it happened, since when I come out at midnight, I usually climb in the driver's side, not the passengers'. He just muttered something at me that sounded like the dad in "A Christmas Story," and wandered off.
No worries, I figured, because we were getting ready to go to Seattle, to see my brother for a few days. I made plans to drop off the van while we were gone, and it was going to be ready when we got back. Perfect. Dropped it off, flew to Seattle, saw the bro and his family, and flew home. (I won't mention the panic attack I had on the flight home, because I suck at flying, and pretty much figured that we were not going to end as well as those people standing on the wing of the plane on the Hudson River last week. But I digress.) A few days away from the kidlets always does the parents good, so we came back happy, refreshed, and ready to conquer the world. Till we went to pick cup my van.
We pulled into the parking lot, and there it was. Shiny and beautiful, and I remarked how nice it was. We got out to look at it, with Dan going to the passenger's side, and me going to the driver's side. I remarked how they must've buffed up the driver's side, because it looked mighty fine. Dan was really quiet. I walked around to where he was, and found him there, staring at the side of the van. The unpainted, still full of artwork side of the van. I don't think he said much till he got inside the body shop, where he proceeded to ask the owner to come out and look. "Now you tell me," he said, "just how in the HELL could you not figure out that you were painting the wrong side?" The guy, who admittedly was pretty old, and had cataract, just spit on the ground and shook his head. "I got no idea," he said, right before he said for us to leave it there so he could paint the correct side.
Well, no way was I leaving it there. I need my van, man. I have kids to haul around. And inventory. And dogs. Et cetera, et cetera, as Yul Brenner said. So home we came in the van, and figured we'd wait till our next out of town trip to get it fixed right. It took till the following spring, right before our Vegas trip.
The compelling end to this store involves a cell phone, Pizza Hut, and a cup of Starbucks. But that'll have to wait till tomorrow. Just know in the meantime that a) when you go out with us, there's a prize every time and b) you can get this cool vintage Seattle belt from aprizeeverytime, on etsy.