Great empires fall, the brightest stars burn out, masterpieces fade, and minivan backseats inevitably become sticky, disgusting, and uninhabitable places. The enfilthment of a backseat is like erosion; a slow process, but, given the time, sediment from all regions will be deposited in the minivan’s backseat usually taking the form of spilled colas, spilled Kool-Aids, and spilled science fair projects.
You can’t fight the machine on this one. Like a moth to light, the backseat of any minivan is going to attract a certain level of nasty, stank trash-doody. Frankly, you’d be better off trying to get water to boil at sixty degrees Fahrenheit or tying to teach a mentally impaired horse how to read rather than trying to keep a minivan backseat clean. I realize it would still be near impossible to teach a non-mentally impaired horse to read, but it would be extra tough if the horse was, how should I say, wealthy in the chromosome department. I’m off topic, I don’t mean to debate the tenants of equine literacy, but, basically, what I’m trying to say is that it’s a pseudo-law that a minivan backseat will get disgusting.
If you’re not taking care of children currently because you never had kids, you’re kids abandoned you, or maybe they’re dead or something then I can safely assume that you’re not in the market for a minivan. But, for the experience, flashback to 1997—my mom, taking care of two kids who take up every spare minute of hers with bickering over watching Clarissa Explains it All or The Wonder Years, decided to purchase a 1997 Plymouth Voyager. Flash, swag, prestige—driving off the lot I can assure you the minivan had none of those qualities, and, somehow, had even less of those qualities years later when my mom sold the vehicle in exchange for a partially used gift card to Applebee’s.
The lack of resale value was not my mom’s fault. In fact, I distinctly remember wiping boogers on everything I touched in that van. I remember the time I started digging in the crevices of the seat only to discover a treasure trove of Jolly Ranchers and Skittles that were all fused together in a hair-covered, sugary cluster that was big enough to choke a dog. I put the wad back in the seat; knowing that it would be a fun surprise for someone else down the road. It didn’t stop there though, every vacation in which fast food was ingested over car rides resulted in a few rogue fries escaping into the seat folds and sodas being spilled in the cup holders thus creating sticky pools of syrup which were resistant to any cleaning attempt.
The field trips didn’t help. A seventh-grade trip to see an afternoon performance of the musical Grease turned sour after a fat, mean girl was assigned to ride with us. I mean, the knowledge of having a chubby child in your car is already going to hurt the resale value, but that wasn’t enough for Little Miss Two Mayonnaise Sandwiches For Lunch, no, even though we were leaving for the play right after lunch she still saw it necessary to bring a goodie bag filled with pretzels, Slim Jims, and Ring-Pops that she proceeded to hoard and munch on during the ten-minute ride to the show. In the spirit of Grease I won’t tell you more, tell you more anymore detail about this large mammal grazing in the backseat of said van, but the result of her presence was a half-eaten and melted Ring Pop jammed in the seat pocket, a bunch of wrappers in the storage compartment, and a streak on her seat that we all prayed was just chocolate.
The Kelly Blue Book rated the brown stain as “undesirably tragic” and proclaimed that it was certain to doom the re-sale value of the vehicle. By the end the person we sold the van to declared he would be selling it to the booming Detroit ashtray industry that would turn said minivan into several hundred trays for ash. A fitting afterlife for an existence spent being filled with garbage. And, akin a morbidly obese scuba diver dying after being mistook for a trophy fish and harpooned, it was a sad end to a sad life.