Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The end of the Big Blue Thunder

Once upon a time, about a decade ago, my brother-in-law and his family moved back to the U.S. for a while. The big global company for which he works had transferred him back to HQ. Not surprisingly, his eldest son played soccer. And not surprisingly, the kid who'd started playing "football" as a wee tot in England was quite good. He played for a team called the Big Blue Thunder, and, dutiful soccer mom that she was (though, as a non-citizen, not quite the Soccer Mom the politicians were aiming for at the time), she had a decal on the back window of her minivan: a soccer ball labeled "B B THUNDER."

Global corporations being what they are, a few years later, the gang was headed back to the UK. We were headed into the minivan stage of our lives -- two car seats didn't work so well in my pre-marriage red convertible -- and it wasn't worth it for them to ship the van across the Atlantic, particularly with the steering wheel on the wrong side and all, so they gave us a deal. We became the owners of a minivan complete with B B THUNDER decal.

Not being a soccer mom, and being very conscious of that fact, I wanted to get rid of the decal, but Mr. Sane was very insistent that we keep it. "It'll make it easier to pick out our van in parking lots."
Sure, 'cause nobody else has a soccer ball decal. "But nobody else has the Big Blue Thunder around here." Apparently, the personalized license plates weren't enough to distinguish our van from the others. So, for nearly Beta's whole life, I've been driving around supporting a team none of whose current members I know, which might not even still exist.

I made a purchase at our last tournament, though. I've been biding my time, waiting for a thaw, but Cleveland in late January and early February does not experience many thaws. (
Forbes.com just named us the city with the worst winter weather -- it seems Buffalo was not big enough to be considered.) So last week, when it seemed to be as warm as it was going to get for a while, I took out the razor scraper and removed the Big Blue Thunder. A couple of the letters came off whole, but mostly there were little shreds of white on the garage floor. I washed the window as best I could then took the van to the car wash (which Beta thoroughly enjoyed). Once we were home, I cleaned up that area of the window yet again (it seems that any cycle that came with a dryer also came with car wax). The consensus on the Web was 50°, so, since it was scarcely above freezing, I cranked the heater up full blast and let the van run until the rear window seemed warm enough. I carefully followed the directions, and I'm no longer following the Big Blue Thunder. Instead, as my van will tell you...

Hockey Girls Rule!

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