Van of Fire and Ice

Take in the above picture for a moment. It’s a gem of a van that I came across while in the drive-thru. They are a heating and air company that apparently delivers “comfort everywhere”. While I’m unsure what a giant fireball and ice water have to do with comfort, here is how I saw this glorious vehicular masterpiece come into existence.


“…Ok, next item. Johnson,” Mr. Management circles his gaze around the conference table and lands on Johnson furiously taking notes on his phone, “Show us what you came up with for the van designs.”

Johnson pauses Candy Crush and clicks his device face down on the laminate table, “The van designs sir?”

“Yes, your idea for the van wrappings that you’ve been working on.”

Johnson’s eyebrows reach for his hairline and he nods his head at the speed usually associated with a grave realization. He hopes there is still color in his face.

“Um…Oh yeah…the artwork…right…for the um…van wrappings…right…”

He pulls his messenger bag onto the table and starts thumbing through the various papers inside while trying to decide if it would just be easier to jump out of the three story window behind him, with his chair leading the way. He could surely come up with an idea on the trip to the hospital.

He realizes that he is still rifling through his bag. He’s not sure why he’s doing that, he knows nothing is in there. But now it appears that he is looking for his presentation and has committed himself to the illusion that he did have an idea for the van wrappings.


“Well sir,” Johnson drags those two words through molasses, “I think you’re really going to like it. I know I do.”

What? Why did you say that? Your idiocy is a master class.

Johnson scolds himself and pulls a menu for a chinese restaurant out of his bag. He has about five seconds to tie chinese symbolism to heating and air conditioning.

“There it is,” Mr. Management points to a piece of paper that slid out of the bag with the menu. Johnson picks it up. “Pass that down.”

“Sir, this isn’t my—”

“Pass it.”

Johnson, sighs and hands it off to make its way down the table to Mr. Managment.

“Sir—” He protests.

Mr. Management holds up his hand as he reads the title aloud.

Frozen’s Elsa versus The Devil. ” He holds it up to show everyone the picture of tiny characters surrounded by fire and ice clashing in an epic battle of Biblical proportions. Mr. Management turns it back around to behold the crudely drawn scene.

“You want to wrap our vans in this?”

Johnson pauses the mental note he was making to pick up résumé paper in a few minutes. “Ha!…um…not exactly. I had a whole asian–inspired theme that I—”

Not listening Mr. Management erupts, “I love it! It’s bold, daring. It will get people talking. Someone may even take a picture of one of our vans in a drive-thru and blog about it. We’ll remove the characters for licensing reasons, but the fire and ice water is pure gold. We are greenlighting this. Get this to the wrap people to work on and have them slap something about comfort on it.”—Mr. Management hands the drawing to his aide who rushes out the door— “Good job Johnson. Though I have seen better drawings from you. Have a good weekend everyone.”

Johnson is the last to leave the conference table, too busy replaying what just happened to concern himself with moving.

When he gets home his six year old daughter races to greet him.

“Did you find the picture I put in your bag?” She asks. “I drew it this morning.”

“Oh, I did honey. I didn’t know you could draw cats so well, ” he replies as he hangs up his coat.

Johnson then steps into his study and looks at the hand-drawn pictures pinned in a line on his wall. The final showdown piece to complete his storyboard is probably at the van wrapping place right now. He’ll have to redraw that last scene of the fan-made Frozen movie sequel he’s been working on during his lunch breaks.


If someone was actually in that meeting, and it didn’t go down this way, don’t tell me. I want to believe this is what happened with all my heart.

One Comment

  1. Kathy said:

    I assure you, Ryan, it went this way. Or, at least, it should have.

    May 20

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