This week, the Van Tuyl Lecture deviated from its usual geologic subject matter. Attendees were treated to an in-depth analysis of modern, innovative lower surface material renovation for small-scale passenger transportation vehicles. The special edition Van Tuyl “Van Tile” lecture concerned the dynamics of design and implementation of tile flooring in vans. Honored guest-lecturer and world-renowned van enthusiast Tony Kornheiser wowed the audience with enthusiasm and professional grade pyrotechnics.
Traditionally, colorful shag carpeting adorns the interiors of vans. Extensive research surrounding reactions to this flooring material suggests that nearly all demographics are repulsed and/or frightened when met with imagery or folklore regarding vans with unsightly carpeting. Kornheiser quoted an anonymous survey taker: “I threw up in my mouth a little.”
As a child, Kornheiser was fascinated with the exterior grandeur and beauty of full-sized vans, but was always disappointed upon entering them. “The sleek, graceful exterior of vans, sometimes embellished with mystical and inspired murals really transports me into a state of relaxation and bliss,” said Kornheiser. However, the atrocious interior of vans, which almost always contain shag carpeting, disrupts this tranquil state of being.
Research conducted at the University of Maryland University College suggests that shag carpeting is a breeding ground for dangerous infectious bacteria and fungi. Kornheiser quoted the study as he said, “The foul stenches in most vans are commonly due to various strains of the fungus mycorrhizae, which thrives on the enigmatic ‘gooch’ particles present in shag carpeting.” Mycorrhizae has been associated with the origins of several devastating diseases and illnesses such as SARS, tuberculosis, cholera, and Hepatitis E. Not only is shag carpeting tacky, but it also poses real and serious health risks.
Displeased with the current state of affairs, Kornheiser sought a way to embrace the elegance of vans, yet avoid the negative side effects of shag carpeting. “After months of study and meditation in a Shaolin Monastery in Beaver Lick, Kentucky, I stumbled upon the epiphany I was so desperately seeking. Whilst working with fellow monks declawing orphaned badgers, I discovered the solution,” he said. The simple solution was the removal of carpeting in vans all together. Kornheiser was going to install high quality tiling in vans.
Upon the announcement of his solution, the awe-inspiring pyrotechnics were unveiled. A 40-minute laser light show with a musical appearance from guitar legend Slash wowed the audience and nearly did Kornheiser’s revolutionary discovery justice.
“From that point on, it was a downhill ride. My team and I began gutting the interior of every van we could find and replacing the carpeting with tasteful tile design schemes,” said Kornheiser. His vision had become reality. Vans were now the peaceful and resplendent sanctuaries of his dreams. Kornheiser left the audience with noble advice, which left tears in their eyes: “Now vans are beautiful on the inside, which is what truly matters. Stay in school.”
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