Joe Santos Medina

The Laugh Mobile Strikes Back' is a good title Grandpa," said my grandson, C.J. I was thinking more of the title "the giving back phase." My logic was that as amusing as the Laugh Mobile is, it is still a viable mode of transportation on a needs basis. My modest pet project to get the Laugh Mobile some serious respect has turned out to be a long term and on going work-in-progress.

My cousin, the mechanic, had done some electrical troubleshooting on the inside lights system, which included the driver panel lights for the speedometer, battery and water temperature that lets me know how the van is doing. The inside lights are working properly now, so we are able to travel at night without using a flashlight to monitor the speed we are traveling.

However, this van still has some other quirks. There is an electrical malfunction that burned the driver panel lights. This electrical problem is probably a couple of fused wires in the electrical system. My future plan is to have the electrical system checked by a professional.

Meantime, I have to accept the fact that I must disconnect the 12-volt vehicle battery when the vehicle is not being used. Why? Well, when the battery is connected, it does appear that there are wandering ghosts in the vehicle because the locks from the front doors, sliding door and rear door all intermittently lock and unlock at random. This lock and unlock technique goes on without stopping as long as the car battery is connected.

There are more reasons why this van earned the name the Laugh Mobile. The turn signals, which work very well, thank you, have an added feature. This feature is that whenever you use the turn signals it automatically engages the windshield wipers on and off. I guess that this ensures the windshield is always kept clean and clear when making a turn signal. It is like a bonus round in the Wheel of Fortune.

My favorite part, when we are driving this van, is the need to install new vehicle-shocks to prevent the bouncing action when travelling over a bumpy section of a road. Honestly, it is like an enjoyable free circus ride- especially driving over the overpass traveling into the Richard M. Borchard Fairgrounds. The only thing missing is the automatic turning on and off of the inside lights while the van is going through its bouncing routine. The lights attraction could be done manually, but I do not want to give my grandchildren any more new ideas.

I wanted this entertaining vehicle to be available when my grandchildren visited again during Super Bowl Sunday.

The panel and inside lights have been working properly. The window was repaired and once again we were ready for an ice cream run with our grandchildren. We went directly to the ice cream parlor after dinner. I had to say it, "How does it go, Bill? I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream."

Victoria was thrilled to see the lights turning on as she was getting into the Laugh Mobile. She quickly remarked, "Wow, Grandpa, the lights look pretty." CJ, my grandson, had already helped me set the car seat for Victoria and it seemed to get easier every time. I had just connected the car battery prior to the children's boarding the van. Upon our return, I had to again disconnect the battery cable so as not to exhaust the battery power.

We had fun. As soon as the battery cable was connected, the door power locks could be heard at random but steady intervals, on, off, on, off, on, off, on, off; I believe it was a sort of musical pattern. We all laughed and smiled with another day's ride on the Laugh Mobile.

Joe Santos Medina is a resident of Robstown. Readers may contact him via email at