We all knew it was coming, but most of us hoped it was a little ways off yet.
It isn't. It's here.But before we tell you all about it, may we suggest you send adolescent children out of the room. You may also want to consider eating this article as soon as you've read it to keep it from the children.
Sound a little dramatic? Read on.
Nintendo video game decks are now being built into custom vans. Remember the agony of tracking down those pesky little decks before Christmas. Remember (Can you ever forget?) the children's ceaseless din over the whole thing.
First they kept reminding you to be sure to get one with guns on it, then they kept asking you if you had gotten it yet. And don't forget the still-mounting cost of buying all those Nintendo games to go with the deck.
Now, just when you thought you could put the whole ugly experience behind you, Nintendos are being built into custom vans. Worse still, if your van doesn't have one, it's possible to get one installed.
The Nintendo rage is only part of the 1989 trend toward equipping family vans with extensive entertainment centers that include 9-inch color television with headphones, VCRs, double stereos with headphones for the back stereo and CD players.
"What's the proverbial question?" asked Jesse Proctor, a Granville representative from Granville's Indiana custom plant. "It's `Dad are we there yet?' or `How much farther?' Parents are getting sick of it."
So they're slapping headphones on their kids and telling them to stick a game in the Nintendo deck.
The entertainment centers are designed to have all facets used simultaneously. "Mom and Dad can listen to the stereo up front, Paul and Johnny can be watching a video movie on the color television with headphones and Suzy and Mary can jam on the second stereo in the back," Proctor said.
Custom vans are keeping up with all the entertainment trends. "Where a year ago, orders were for 100 percent cassettes, now they are approaching 25 percent CDs and growing," Proctor said.
The custom van for families and the camper van for retirees may be the hottest commodities in the recreation business. While most promoters at the 24th Annual Utah Boat, Sports and Travel Show reported modest growth in the sales of their products, van salesmen say their sales are soaring.
"From 1987 to 1988, we doubled our van sales," said Steve Padjen, representative of Cary's Vans, 9159 S. State.
The van's chief charm is versatility, Padjen said. It has room, luxury, beds, towing ability and truck chassis for longevity, he said.
Camper vans are a popular alternative to the full-size RVs, salesmen said. "Nearly 60 percent of our van buyers are trading down from the big motor homes and RVs," said Don Frederiksen, representative of Vehicle Concepts, Bristol, Ind.
Camper vans have most of the amenities of a larger motor home: bed, tub, shower, toilet, refrigerator, stove, sink and microwave oven. Most are wired for entertainment centers in place of the overhead bed.
People are turning to vans for travel, salesmen said. "Motor homes and RVs are great if you want to go one place and park it. But if you want to see the country, you have to pull a car behind it, then you park the trailer and drive the tow car. With this, you can live in the piece you are driving and go anywhere a car can go," Fredriksen said.
And you can play Nintendo the whole way.