MOSES LAKE — You might have seen it out and about.
Bright blue and green, with orange letters all around that say “The Mystery Machine,” rambling down country roads, an arm sticking out occasionally, shoving mail into rural mailboxes.
“It started out as a safety thing,” said Andrew Arnold, a rural mail carrier who works out of the main post office in Moses Lake. “My biggest fear is getting creamed on the side of the road. The bright colors made it stand out.”
And stand out it does, this bright 1997 Ford Aerostar van, looking for all the world like Fred, Daphne, Velma, Shaggy and even Scooby — Arnold has a Scooby head he sometimes wears — are going to tumble out of the van and foil some villain’s attempt to haunt for fun or profit.
Arnold has only delivered mail for the last year or so. Before that, he was a professional chef and worked at The Gorge. However, being laid off during the winters didn’t help pay the mortgage or provide for his family, so a friend suggested Arnold look into the Postal Service.
But he’s always tinkered with cars, always seen what he can do with junked cars, spare parts and odds and ends.
The Mystery Machine isn’t his first project. Arnold has made “rat rods” — cars built from parts of other cars — before, including a Bat Mobile, a Joker “rat rod,” and a “Zombie Response Team” vehicle.