The Great “Honky Lips” Mystery: Seattle, 2010

Yesterday morning John and I woke up to find the pristine, metallic pea, beloved wood paneling of the Wagon Queen Family Truckster had been vandalized!

I GASPED in dismay. John wailed “the HORROR!” We could not believe our eyes.

Vandalized Truckster

Honky Lips.

Upon further analysis of the evidence, we realized that no harm had been done. The writing was made of cardboard wrapped in black electrical tape, which had been precisely taped letter-by-letter to form the identical formation that had been spray painted on the back siding of the Truckster last time it hit the streets of St. Louis.

The meticulous detailing and obvious effort involved in the creation of the message told us that the attack had not been malicious – but a sign of appreciation for the authenticity of our EXACT replica.

After brushing up on your Truckster trivia, watch this short video I created to see just HOW authentic this one time 1986 old Ford Station Wagon now turned 1983 Wagon Queen Family Truckster truly is:

So John and I began to narrow the suspects. The attacker must be friend, not foe since the detailing had been so precise as to ensure no harm to the Truckster. Our prime suspects were Jen, the blogger who is staying with us for the weekend in Seattle, or Shelley, the homeowner at the Shirley Marvin (where we’re staying.)


Jennifer Miner: Travel writer and blogger. She’s a co-creator, writer and editor at The Vacation Gals, a luxury travel columnist at Suite101, and she contributes regularly to other sites such as Hybrid Mom. Watch her live interview tomorrow morning on Seattle’s FOX affiliate KCPQ channel 13 at 8:45 and follow her on Twitter @JenniferMiner.

She supports team blackberry, enjoys mac-n-cheese-n-tuna surprise, and is a mother of two.

Shelley: Homeowner of HomeAway property 300257 and manager of the extended stay hotel, the Shirley Marvin. With a bottle of complimentary wine, fresh-cut flowers, and a welcome package of coupons for the locally owned businesses only a few minutes away by foot, she had been an especially welcoming host for the Truckies and Mrs. Miner. Perhaps too nice? She EVEN set up the free screening of National Lampoon’s Vacation that played yesterday and this morning at the Columbia City Cinema (just around the corner from the rental!)

We knew one thing was for sure, she knew her movie facts… suspicious, indeed.

But since we had to get to SeaFair for the FanFest festivities, there was no time to conduct our interrogations. We cleaned up the Truckster and carried on with our day.

Later, we received a frantic call from HomeAway headquarters. “Was the Truckster VANDALIZED!? WE SAW THE PHOTO ON TWITTER…HOW’S THE WOOD PANELLING???”

Though the day was full of lively distractions, we knew we MUST get to the bottom of this. So we confronted Jen.

“Was it you?” I said firmly, giving her the most hardcore stink-eye I could muster.

She acted innocent.

“Did you write those words on the Truckster? Honky lips?”

“What? No, what are you talking about?” She questioned in return.

I had no choice but to laugh off the seriousness. The poor woman was probably telling the truth about her innocence, and I didn’t want to scare her while sporting the HomeAway attire. (Bad for the Truckie image.)

So, we concluded: Shelley. Our welcoming homeowner was actually a total prankster.

Or was she?

I had made up my mind. This morning, at the Columbia City Cinema I would confront her once and for all. But when the moment of truth was upon us, she told us it had been an honor to house the Truckster, hugged us goodbye, and wished us happy travels for the remainder of the trip… I blew it; I forgot to ask.

Moments later a couple approached us. They had just finished enjoying the free screening and came to get a few final glimpses of our movie star. The man started asking me why our replica didn’t have “Honky Lips” on the siding like the one in the movie.

“Well is a family company, offering vacation rental properties to travelers. Rentals accommodations are perfect for traveling families especially because of the extra space…” I started to explain.

But he continued to question me about it.

“Have you driven through St. Louis?” he asked.
“No, our three-month road trip actually sticks to the perimeter of the country. Even though we don’t have any hubcaps… “ John started to explain.

All of a sudden it clicked. I looked at the couple, they were obviously big fans of the movie, but they were hiding something.

“Wait” I said slowly, looking the man in the eyes, “it was you, wasn’t it? You guys wrote it on our car the other night, didn’t you?”

And there before the judge (me,) he confessed.

Our mystery ghost-writers got away without punishment, gave me a CD copy of (sing these next two words…should take at least eight seconds…) “Holiday ROOOAAAADDD,” and I didn’t even get a chance to catch their names before they snuck away into the afternoon.

Watch-out Seattle, there are some true fans out on the loose, and you never know where they might strike next.

Case closed.

After a few errands around Seattle, we’ll be on the ROOOAAAADDD to Portland, OR tomorrow.