Hail to the King Midget


There's really nothing like a humiliating incident that has oxidized into a funny story. I learned this early on from my father, whose timing and delivery is largely influenced by mid-80s John Candy. During car trips or any other kind of captive audience scenario, we'd beg him to burst into a rendition of "the King Midget story."

The short version is that his father had a brief infatuation with this very special kind of vehicle (the King Midget!), and mortified his children by insisting on driving them to school in the thing (you can see why Uncle Buck was a healing movie for my father). Of course, upon seeing actual pictures of the car, my sister and I were obsessed with somehow recreating this moment. We had to be driven to school in a King Midget! This was a car that came in a kit! You could assemble it in your garage just like a Big Wheel!

Unfortunately, Midget Motor Corporation stopped making them in 1970, so we never got our wish; however, The International King Midget Car Club, Inc. keeps the dream alive, offering--could it be true?--vendors who will still peddle Midgets: "King Midgets bought, sold, restored. No King Midget too rusty!!" and urging members to: "Relive the Memories." First of all: anyone who has a King Midget experience, please share. Secondly: were any of you embarrassed to be driven to school in something your parents drove?