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June 2011 Dr. Vern

Posted in Features on June 1, 2011
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Contributors: Dr. Vern

In anticipation of the high point of the year for any Jeep enthusiast, I’ve been working out and have my body in top physical condition. I don’t mean to drift off subject, but it’s been said that I have the body of an Olympic athlete (the police want to talk with me about that). Oh, anyways, for this event I need to be in top physical condition or I may not be able to keep up with the competition. I’m not talking about the Top Truck Challenge or anything like that. Competing in an event like that is child’s play in comparison. I’m going to a swap meet.

Swap meets are great fun, but have one serious drawback. Thousands of other people also show up and try to buy Jeep parts that should rightly belong to me. This just isn’t fair, but it does explain why my physical conditioning is so important. I need to be able to smoke the competition when I cruise the aisles. It’s tough to know how best to train. On one hand, I need speed and agility to be the first to reach those great deals on Jeep parts. I also need great physical strength to muscle the competition out of the way and then carry my spoils to the parking lot. Last, but not least, I also need the endurance of a marathon runner so I don’t fade when the going gets tough. (Editor’s note: A proper training regiment based on Guitar Hero should satisfy all three requirements.)

In the interest of making the world a more environmentally-friendly place, and for absolutely no other reason even though it would appear to be self-serving, I propose that swap meets should be organized differently. This particular swap meet is a big gathering with hundreds of sellers, and several thousand potential buyers drive there to attend. The swap meet is about 3 hours away from my house, but I know many others drive much further than that. With a little bit of math based on a few basic assumptions, the sum of visitor-miles driven falls into a potential range from seventeen thousand to seventeen bazillion. No matter what the actual number is, that accounts for a lot of wasted fuel, especially considering all those Jeep parts should have gone to me. Therefore, I see no need for anybody else to attend. Actually, the sellers should still be there because that would otherwise defeat the general purpose of a swap meet, but no other buyers should make the journey. I’d just show up with a few empty semi trailers and load ’em up. In the interest of making the world a better place, this seems like a reasonable proposal.

Alas, other potential buyers probably won’t stay away on their own, so I need to be more proactive. One thought is to install spike strips on all roads leading to the swap meet. To put this into practice would only require suppressing my conscience. Well that, some good maps, and a bunch of spike strips. Careful planning is essential, such as making sure I place the spike strips behind me and not in front. Unfortunately, hundreds of immobilized vehicles will lead to a new problem. A typical person would attempt to fix the problem, not that they’d make much progress with four flats and one spare. Folks on the way to a swap meet, however, behave more like zombies. Much like a real zombie on the way to a brain snack bar, a person heading to a swap meet isn’t going to let anything interfere with his quest. It would be quite a frightening sight to see hundreds of people marching like zombies down the road towards the swap meet. It would be almost as horrifying as the hordes heading for the free bar at a magazine editors convention. (Editor’s note: Thank you for not making a joke comparing the brain capacity of editors and zombies.)

But I’m being good and won’t be laying down spike strips because my conscience says not to do this. This is in marked contrast to a certain class of people who obviously have no such moral compass: swap meet food vendors. After a busy morning at a swap meet, fatigued from elbowing other buyers out of the way, what could be nicer than recharging your batteries with a massive jolt of caffeine? Sure, but a cup of coffee is no longer enjoyable when the cost approaches what I’ve paid for an entire Jeep. At least I take my coffee black in a dirty cup, which saves a little bit of money. What if you are a fan of frou-frou coffees? You know who you are, as you always get in front of me in line no matter what coffee shop I visit. Since you get winded taking so long to recite your order, there should be a chair to sit down and catch your breath. I was going to suggest an oxygen mask, but I’m sure you’d first ask if it was organic, free-trade oxygen.

Well, the swap meet is next weekend, so I need to get back to my workout. I don’t want to miss a single Jeep part. Thanks to my physical fitness plan, I’ve now got six-pack abs. Actually, I’ve sluffed off a little bit with my workouts, but it’s still safe to say my abs are in top shape and will stay that way, thanks to the soft, protective layer covering them. The six-pack is under there somewhere.

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