I love tools. Tools are awesome. However, a tool should always be an inanimate object. It’s always good to have a tool. It’s never good to be a tool. And to me, one of the most egregious tools of being a tool is taking yourself too seriously. In the off-road world you sometimes have to contend with big egos on the trail, but that’s not the case when it comes to our Ultimate Adventure. The event’s motto is “No whining,” but it could just as easily be “No tools.” Everybody who attended UA 2018 was just incredible, offering plenty of camaraderie, support, enthusiasm, and most of all fun.
I’ve always prided myself on leading from the front. Suckfest job? I’m on it. Winch line needs to be pulled? I’m there. Tomfoolery afoot? Me first! So months prior to the event, when Tech Editor Verne Simons and I were discussing the UA Derange Rover and started joking about how funny it would be to wear British-inspired pith helmets while driving it, the thought of looking silly became an inspiration and not a deterrent. Verne is even sillier and more self-deprecating than I, so between us we came up with a few themed costumes to unveil on UA 2018 while driving the “Rovah.”
1980 Permed Macho GuyWith a Camel Trophy–inspired vibe to the Derange Rover build, we had to tip our wigs to the ubiquitous Camel cigarette ad guy who so routinely sparked a fag in front of some uber-macho backdrop in magazine ads throughout the early 1980s. I’m sure the real Camel ad guy died of cancer a long time ago if he was a true devotee of his own product, but Verne and I had fun until our mustaches fell off from sweat and humidity.
Dr. Livingston, I Presume?There’s no more iconic symbol of British field exploration than the pith helmet. And no vehicle pairs more nicely with a pith helmet than a Range Rover. Verne got the cool Sherlock Holmes pipe, and I got to try to keep a monocle cinched in my eye. I felt more like Popeye most of the time, but I think in the end Verne and I enjoyed our alter-inept-explorer egos more than the UA onlookers did.
There Are No Tigers in AfricaThis costume was my idea. As a Monty Python fan, I guess I naturally assume everybody knows and appreciates the movie The Meaning of Life as much as I. In a nutshell, two characters dressed in a tiger suite steal a British officer’s leg in Africa. I thought it would be hilarious, but most people thought Verne was a British cop and I was the cartoon character Hobbes. Sigh.
Knights Who Say NiHow can you do select British costumes without dressing up as King Arthur and Sir Bedivere? And yes, we did find a shrubbery. I lost probably 10 pounds of water weight while wearing the heavy foam chainmail and plastic helmet in the 95-degree, 95-percent humidity that day, but man, Verne and I laughed our coconuts off. Hopefully some others enjoyed our shenanigans as well.
TomsquatchVerne and I didn’t actually get to wear everything in our big bag of costumes. On the last obstacle on the last trail, Verne decided it would be fun to mangle up one of the powdered wig outfits we had to see if he could mimic UA crony and class clown, Tom Boyd. The result brought to mind the offspring of Tom Boyd and Sasquatch. That’s to say, Verne nailed it.
So that’s us having some goofball fun and trying not to take ourselves too seriously. If you want to join in, check out motortrendondemand.com for Ultimate Adventure Week, airing October 1-5 this year. Hopefully you’ll watch with a smile on your face.