Creepy White Van

This song is just for fun. It’s based on a real character. I was on tour with Pale Blue Dot crossing Mississippi from New Orleans to somewhere in Florida and we stopped at a truck stop for the necessaries. There he was, directly across the road in a folding chair under a pop-up tent just waiting. His plain white van had the back doors thrown open and a large, obviously hand painted sign that read FREE BIBLES let the passers-by know what it was he had in there. A second chair served as an invitation to sit a spell for what I could only assume would be a rousing discourse on the nature of sin and predestined damnation, inescapable save for one way. I noticed that although this gentleman apparently had a van load of bibles at his disposal he was not reading one himself. Ah, I thought, he doesn’t need to, he already knows the whole story. 

The song wrote itself. 

Then I thought, what if maybe, just maybe, this was the one guy who actually understood. What if he was getting it right? 

He’s got a creepy white van and the doors are open wide 

All he wants from you is a look inside 

If you do he will show you Paradise 

But it’s not gonna be what you had in mind 

It would be easy to get sidetracked and go on a tirade about organized religion. In fact I started to write one but that’s not why we’re here. Suffice it to say I think they are doing it wrong. All of them. They all have a version of the Golden Rule but the doctrines are riddled with exceptions and caveats to it. I don’t buy into the whole “hate the sin, love the sinner” loophole either. It’s lazy. A half-assed attempt at justification to treat people badly and still feel good about yourself. Because it’s not the Love part of that equation that manifests is it? Personally my go-to version of the Golden Rule is the most basic: don’t be an asshole. Given how inept we humans are with that simple concept, myself included, I have to believe the average person’s preconception of what Paradise is or is not is way off the mark. 

But maybe our friend by the roadside knows. All you have to do is look in the van. 

If you do he will show you Paradise 

But it’s not gonna be what you had in mind 

No, it’s not going to be what you had in mind

Leave a comment