Idiosyncrasies. Everyone’s got ’em. I have a lot of ’em. For example, I urgently and irrationally want a 1970s Winnebago, and why not? Look at that big green “W” on the side. Look at that reverse canted windshield, which is simply a safety glass finger in the face of aerodynamics. Face it, a 70s Winnebago is hideous, but I don’t care. Who hasn’t loved something or someone they shouldn’t?
With my idiosyncrasies come some semblance of rationality. I have absolutely no need for a large motorhome. My precarious relationship with the other folks in my neighborhood
might would be irreparably damaged if I left one of these toasters on wheels in front of my house. My wife may beat me senseless. After all, we camp twice a year, in a tent. Maybe. Just think of all the wood paneling and dirty carpet I’d have to clean or replace. It just makes no sense at all.
But I don’t care. I’m so Winnebago sick that I borrowed the manual above from my library this past summer, just to see what repairing a Winnebago would entail. I fascinated myself by reading the section about how the refrigerator operated; who thought of that? It’s a miracle of science! At the risk of sounding like I’m ready made for a straitjacket, I’ve been at a fever pitch–I’m Winnebago crazy!
I’ve talked to people who have owned 70s Winnebagos, and they look at me like I’m delirious.
Fortunately, I found an acceptable alternative/outlet for my craziness: the Tonka “Mighty Winnebago,” introduced in 1973. Or rather, my mom and dad found it for me. They witnessed my looking over one at the local antique swap meet one year, and by the time I made up my mind to buy it, it had sold.
So it was a Winnebago Christmas! It may not have a 413 Chrysler rumbling beneath the doghouse, but it doesn’t take up much space, and it doesn’t use any fuel. It also doesn’t frustrate me with mechanical woes, upset my mold allergies, or get me in hot water with my spouse. My parents are so smart.
So, I’m a happy man living in the best of both worlds. My Winnebago is a fun Tonka toy like the ones I remember from my childhood; it has a movable awning, which provides hours of fun for childish men (OK, maybe not hours); and it fits in a corner of my car room. Everybody’s happy.
But that doesn’t mean I can’t park one in my driveway.