You'd Help Van Morrison. You'd Help Dick Van Dyke. Now's Your Chance to Help a Regular Van (Okay, Maybe You Wouldn't).
Our lead photo was taken in 2006, a few weeks after driving the Blue Meanie from its custom-camper birthing center in Austin, Texas to its new home in West Townshend, Vermont. It has served us fabulously since that time, accumulating close to 300,000 miles (482,000 km) over the past thirteen years. True to its name, it has been mean to us on many occasions, dropping a fuel pump here, an alternator there, as well as popping practically every possible poopy hose, for the love of Pete, Pedro and Penelope. Of course, nearly every emergency occurs while on tour, and as far away as possible. And we handled each incident with aplomb, switching to Plan B or Plan C or Plan 9, renting cars, or rescheduling shows if necessary.
In early February, while slipping away on Carefree Highway near Phoenix, Arizona, the Blue Meanie, ironically, developed an unnatural attachment to first gear, which it refused to leave. A visit to the van hospital revealed that the Meanie's transmission, and much connective tissue, was beat up beyond repair. Further investigation revealed that its stiff steering, which we had attributed to Ken's withered biceps and bad attitude, was actually due to a busted rack and pinion mechanism, which has something to do with steering. While steering parts grow wild in the forest, refurbished Blue Meanie transmissions must ship from their homeland in Germany by paddle boat.
In a nutshell, you will find a nut, or in our case, two. And we wanted to crawl back into that shell when we heard that the total bill for bringing the Blue Meanie back to life was going to be a slobbering $11,000, which costs more than both of us put together. So we did two things: rented a car, started a GoFundMe page to raise $10,000 and got a couple of burritos. A month later, we are pleased to say that the burritos were excellent.
I suppose we should also mention that at the time of this Newsdumpster, we are at about 65% towards our goal, for which we are obsequiously thankful. Of course, we would love to reach or exceed our goal--yes, we know that there are more important causes out there that need your support--but if you care about what the Blue Meanie has done to make our touring career possible, we hope that you will consider helping us reach our lofty goal and/or sharing our GoFundMe page. And if you're wondering why we don't just swap the Blue Meanie for a prettier, younger model, a new, similarly outfitted Meanie would cost well over $100K, so even repairs as large as this make sense in a sick kind of way.
To those who have contributed already, we are grateful and humbled; to those who have not, we love you just the same. Thank you!
Theo: How did you like this month's Newsdumpster? Vincent: I thought it was boring. All this crap about needing money for their van. Theo: Don't you want Hungrytown to keep touring? Vincent: I suppose I could sell my ear and go to hungrytown.net or facebook.com/hungrytown to make a donation. Theo: Or you could go to their Save the Blue Meanie GoFundMe page. Vincent: Any chance of selling one of my paintings? Theo: Still working on it.
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