Vacation ’58

The short story by John Hughes that was published by National Lampoon Magazine and would later be expanded into the screenplay for National Lampoon’s Vacation.

If Dad hadn’t shot Walt Disney in the leg, it would have been our best vacation ever! We were going to Disneyland. It was a dream come true. The rides! The thrills! The Mouseketeers! I was so excited that I spent the whole month of May feeling like I had to go to the bathroom. When school finally let out on a Tuesday, I sprinted home as fast as I could, even though we weren’t leaving until Friday.

Dad picked up our brand-new 1958 Plymouth Sport Suburban Six station wagon on Thursday morning. The speedometer had only six and three-tenths miles on it. Dad said that it would be a pleasure to travel for six days in a car that smelled as good as our new Plymouth. It was nice to see Dad excited about our trip. For months Mom had to act moody and beg to get him to drive out to California. “What good will it do the kids to see their country from an airplane seat?” she wanted to know. Finally, Dad gave in and said we would get a station wagon and drive the 2,448 miles from 74 Rivard Boulevard, Grosse Pointe, Michigan, to 1313 Harbor Boulevard, Anaheim, California.

It took almost all day Friday to pack the car. Dad loaded and unloaded it again and again to save a square foot here, a square inch there. Then he simonized the car and hung litter bags in the front and back seats, attached a compass to the dashboard, and put a first aid kit in the glove compartment. Then he called everyone outside to take one item apiece out of the car so he could close the back.

After dinner, Dad ran the Plymouth up to Richie’s Marathon Service to gas up and have Richie check under the hood and see if everything was A-O.K. When Dad backed out of the driveway the car scraped bottom. Not a little scrape but a sccccccrrrrraaaape!

2 Comments

  1. I was an avid reader of NatLamp from my college days until just a couple years before they stopped publication (the mag had really gone downhill). I remember this story; in ways funnier than the movie.

    There is a DVD set of all NatLamp issues I SO want to get, too.

  2. Funny story. I’ve never seen any of the Vacation movies, so this was fresh to me. I wasn’t even sure it was the same story until it mentioned Clark’s full name.

Comments are closed.