Little Sake Sipper


a sake bottle, Yashima-tanuki (酒徳利, 屋島狸)Image via Wikipedia


We were driving behind an old Toyota Land Cruiser today. No, not one of those shiny ones that would pass for the morning carpool; a real one that can go OFF ROAD. Off the PAVED road. Like, into the dirt and shit.


We had a Land Cruiser when I was little, probably kindergarten age, and I'm fairly confident it had a winch on the front of it, as did the Jeep Wagoneer that followed. I have fond memories of going off-road in those vehicles, mostly the times we'd go straight up a hill or straight down a hill. The winch was usually used, in my memory, to pull some other car out of a ditch or snow bank.


Along with the culture of driving off into the wild came the CB culture, which meant we all had handles. Since our car was Japanese, my dad creatively came up with his handle, Sake Sipper. The rest of our handles followed suit. My mom was Mrs. Sake Sipper. I was Little Sake Sipper. My brother, a toddler at the time, was Little Soggy Zipper.


Then, in the late 70s, I have a distinct memory of going to the car dealership, trading in the Jeep Wagoneer, and driving home, my 6'4 1/2" father at the wheel of our brand new burnt-orange VW Rabbit. Hello, oil embargoes. He had to open the sun roof to be able to sit fully erect.