The clock is ticking and the buildups have begun.
And while there was no real deadline by which these piles needed to be ready, the specter of imminent competition loomed large over each staffer's head. Well, at least two of the staffers. The hardest part (for Trasborg and Cappa, at least) was not knowing what the contest would entail, because Hazel wasn't letting the cat out of the bag until the actual Derby Day. And to Hazel, the effect of this was in many ways more hilarious than the actual Derby will be for you readers.
Trasborg, you see, isn't exactly a mover and a shaker. He's more of a muller and an obsessor, and he made at least a half-dozen calls to Hazel in an attempt to glean information about the contest challenges: Would there be rockcrawling, 'cause he doesn't wanna dent his pickup. Would there be sand or steep climbing, 'cause then he'd have to convert his 2WD MJ to 4WD. Would it be hot, 'cause the amperage of his on-board microwave and electric toaster GPS would cause overheating. And so on.
Cappa, on the other hand, plodded through his buildup in stoic silence, nabbing parts and pieces at bargain prices (namely free, mostly) and working away in secret through the middle of the night with his garage doors closed. Will his new ignition system cure that horrendous stumble? Will his cooling system work without spitting vital fluid all over the desert? Will his new tires eat into the body? Well, that's the other joke, 'cause he's too afraid of killing the engine to take it out for a shakedown run.
Apparently it's not the strongest runner and he's keeping what little life his engine has left in reserve just in case Hazel has a drag race or a burnout contest up his sleeve.
And what of Hazel's buildup? After all, he knows all and tells none. Should the other two look to his buildup for clues about this contest? There are no on-board air systems, lockers, winches, or other hardcore components going into his buildup. It just looks like an aging bald guy trying to thrash together a nonrunning pile of dung well enough to hold together through a weekend without burning itself to the desert floor.
Enjoy the buildups this month and we'll be back next issue with the wrap-ups. Cappa will be fixing his brakes and installing a 270-degree mirror system so he can check his hair gel on-the-fly. Trasborg will probably be obsessing about wiring in some diode thingy so his disco-strobe LED light party pack will come to life if his oil pressure drops below 38.809 psi. And Hazel will be installing some tattered seating and a rollcage-mounted Rogaine drip dispenser. 'Cause all these bald jokes are getting stale.