If you’ve wondered where the expression “haulin’ the wicker” comes from, meaning to carry a lot of stuff, rapidly and a little recklessly, then I’m delighted to show you this old 1978 Ford Escort van brochure, because this is the genesis. A distribution error from Ford of Britain’s brochure printer caused a copy of this page of the brochure to go out with the Sunday Times, so huge numbers of people saw this image of the Escort van, crammed full of wicker.
Ford of Britain, hoping to mitigate the error and cost, sent a fleet of Escort vans to collect as many errant brochure pages as possible, as quickly as possibly, resulting in many vans tearing ass around the city, crammed full of reams of paper, knocking over trash cans and side-swiping fences.
The public conflated the wicker in the image with the speeding vans, and the expression stuck. If you were rushing to the airport with an armload of overnight bags and carry-ons, you were hauling the wicker, as you were when you rushed home with two full grocery bags, or if you were collecting a dozen rambunctious kittens.
Also, I may have just made all this up.
Must be headed to one of those all-night wicker places…
I am not a native speaker, so I had no idea that “hauling the wicker” was a thing! I just saw a literal description of the brochure on the header, no big deal. Took me a while to realize I was missing out on another brilliant linguistic archeologic piece from our very own Torchiana Jones!
The exact derivation of the phrase has been disputed:
At that same time in East London, mass confusion ensued. A crowd vigorously chanted “Haul in da Wicca,” as a mad mob searched high and low for the local pagan priest allegedly transporting pig hearts in large wicker baskets.
You mean it doesn’t have to do with The Wicker Man?
One does not simply haul wicker. Most undignified.
Making me nostalgic for my ‘80 MkII! Man that was a fun first car!
Haulin’ the Wicker is now part of my lexicon
LOL farm camp.
Turns out Torch is just dropping Otto off in an empty field every morning at dawn and coming back to pick him up at sundown.
Stop crushing Torch’s head.
Wasn’t there was an early Saturn prototype here in the States that was known for “Haulin’ the Wicker”?
I can’t believe that they were able to get that Star Wars tie in by having Luke Skywalker load the wicker in that bottom image.
They’re out of wicker at Tosche Station.
It’s the only way to safely transport those power converters.
“Haulin’ the wicker” almost sounds like something that would be in practice in the south. Except I’ve never seen any real evidence that anyone from the south moves that fast, unless it’s a race. I might incorporate it into my own idioms here in the great north, though.
Then you, sir, have never been in a bar at last call.
This is why nobody is *ever* in a rush in New Orleans—no closing hour.
I believe the story originated during the 70’s Britain labor disputes. Factories had become so dysfunctional that the workers could not wait to get to their favorite picnic and fishing locations, hence “haulin’ the wicker”.
Autopians conflated the Cold Start with stories full of grammatical and syntactical errors “and the expression stuck.”
Torch, I can’t wait for the next story where you or David are haulin’ the wicker.
sorry, sorry. I take my kid to farm camp in the mornings so I’ve been writing these at, like 2 am. I fixed the errors.
Hey Torch, I didn’t actually see any errors. I was just trying to expand on the fun of this wonderful story. You and David, the whole team, are doing a great job.
What is Farm Camp?
The preview I see is a picture of a camouflaged development pickup truck
Yeah can’t decide if that’s part of the joke? It’s too early
Crap. No, that’s some technical error. Lemme see what’s up.
This was even funnier when the image was wrong
This incident also doomed the “Atlas Shrugged” inspired ad campaign that was planned to involve a year long series of “Who is Ebenezer?” ads. Sadly, the big reveal has been lost to history.
I don’t see a brochure, I see a picture of a pick up truck.
If we are going to be hyper literal, why not tell us where this picture of the pickup truck is?
I see there was a previous picture posted. I respectfully apologize and withdraw my snark.
No problem, strange things happen.
I’m totally thinking of one of the lesser-known but still great episodes of Fawlty Towers now.
Interesting front grill badging…when did Ford go to the oval emblem in the UK? In the ’80s?
Ah, perhaps all those baskets are full of… duck?
One of them has no duck. It’s the surprise.
If you don’t like duck, you’re stuck!
I think (but I’d have to check) that later versions of the Mk2 Escort reverted back to the blue oval on the grill. It was definitely present on the Mk3 Escort.
Thinking about it, here in the States, the Mustang (Fox body) might have been the first model to use the blue oval in the late 70s?
Most of the line got it in the ’82 model year except the Fairmont which was on its’ way out.
Never let the truth get in the way of a good story.