A common stigma of getting older and shuffling into adulthood has always been the looming specter of the inevitable acquisition of a minivan. It is an almost universal symbol of uncool, unfairly associated with accepting that youth has passed you by and that you will now operate as little more than a sentient attachment to your kid-transporting vessel. Chrysler, however, is aiming to make the minivan cool with 30th anniversary editions of their Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan minivans.
Chrysler, which attests to having sold more than 13 million minivans since 1983, will be rolling out the 30th Anniversary Editions as 2014-year models. Chrysler’s official release details the rather luxurious amenities, trims, and options available for both the benchmark Town & Country and Grand Caravan. Okay, we’ll admit, they do sound pretty cool and not at all like the essence-stealing swagger-vampires that we have all come to believe minivans to be.
It is likely, however, that before minivans can become fully accepted as cool, they will need to toil for a while beneath the label of guilty pleasure. To celebrate the 30th anniversary of this particular brand of secret joys, we here at Shuman would like to take a moment to share some of our most shameful delights with you.
- White Castle – You know how it is. You’re out of town and driving at three o’clock in the morning and, like a fairy tale, a White Castle appears in the distance. Only the banquet here is less ham hocks, copious fresh fruits, and goblets of fine wine and more like pre-moistened buns, Jalapeno Sliders, crinkle fries and a drum of Diet Coke. Yum!
- Meal Pictures on Instagram/Mundane Facebook Updates – One of the distinct advantages of modern day social networking is the ability to feel that, at all times, you are the absolute foremost star of the universe. Only in the 21st century could a picture of a burrito with three different filtering effects accompanied by the caption “OMG jus got mah burrito and I’m bout to eat it #YOLO#SWAG” or a status update reading “My dog farted” qualify as acceptable for public consumption.
- Reality TV Shows – The old idiom of train wreck is more than apt when it comes to these kinds of programs, except your hara-kiri-committing brain cells are the only real collateral. Who cares about what a bunch of squat, orange people from New Jersey do on the weekends? You do, of course. Why would you possibly care about what backwoods people do for a living? Have you even heard these guys’ crazy accents, my word! Of course you care about what those people found in a storage locker and how much money they think they will make from it!
- The 1980s – Yes, all of it. It doesn’t matter if you were a jock or a punk, if you listened to Bon Jovi or Bauhaus , if you wore leather or DayGlow. Regardless of which Breakfast Club character to whom you most closely associated, you grew up in the 1980s, you were a part of it, and for that you should be sorry. But every once so often, when no one is around, you’ll pile on the eyeliner and tease out your hair like Robert Smith, pop on Disintegration, and belt out “Lovesong” at the top of your lungs in honor of time’s greatest era.
- Professional Wrestling – Whether it’s Bruno Sammartino or Harley Race, Hulk Hogan or “Macho Man” Randy Savage, The Rock or “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, or C.M. Punk or John Cena, you at some point or another were turned into the squared circle soap opera. You cheered, you booed, you laughed, you cried, and you put your brother in the Figure Four until he tattled. And yes, you know that the outcome is pre-determined, but that doesn’t mean it’s fake. Did you know: the outcome to movies are predetermined as well, but very few people feel the need to point that out every time you say you hit the cinemas.
What kind of guilty pleasures are you culpable for? Do you secretly pine for fried bologna or yearn for Syfy Channel movie marathons (particularly when they involve amalgamating two animals together and creating some kind of Sharktopusnado)? Let us know in the comments below!