To whom it may concern,
I have been enlisted, through threats, bribes, blackmail, and the bartering, crossroads-like, of one slightly under-utilized and threadbare soul, to entreat you, through the use of eloquent and mellifluous prose, to allow the entrance of one Team Huey Newis and The Lose into the hallowed and oil-stained halls of the LeMons. This is a Sisyphean task that I take to with neither joy nor relish; but like the man who has sat down to consume a jar of mayonnaise at one sitting, I will dree this grim weird one spoonful at a time.
While I cannot truthfully profess to be an expert on many things, the entrance into a race I’ve never seen, by a group who, to my knowledge, have limited their racing to the variety that occurs between the car and the darkened rest-stop men’s room when that urge that Dare Not Speak Its Name hits, is something I can clearly lie about, and with gusto. My understanding, without having consulted either the LeMons handbook or the actual entrants into the race, is that there are three very important standards that must be met for entrance into the Hallowed Race, and I posit that all are not merely met by this crew, but bested in a manner befitting the knights of old. That is to say, they literally got on horseback and, at full gallop, drove a lance through the heart of the LeMons rulebook.
They are not very bright, and this is but one example of that fact. But I digress. As follows, the standards they bear, and their unique methods for upholding same:
The Theme: This LeMons standard is, at least to the members of the team, something that they have not knowingly ascribed to. I say “knowingly” because, as you’ve no doubt gathered by the name of the team, they have inadvertently stumbled, like Peter Sellers from “Being There”, onto genius. To put it simply, these are not men of their own era. They, like the eponymous song lyric from a later age, have simply been born too slow. While the rest of the world has soldiered on, through Clinton and Bush presidencies, the rise and fall and Phoenix-like rise again of Britney Spears, and not one but two Silicon Valley booms, these brave few have refused to buckle to the whims of passing days; they have been steadfast, resilient, and, indeed, mocked. While we live in an era of suddenly plummeting DJI’s and the possible dissolution of a Major American Automaker, they have stayed in the comforting, womb-like era of suddenly plummeting DJI’s and the possible dissolution of a Major American Automaker. Their ties? As thin as a rail of coke on a hooker’s ass in the ’85 Mets’ locker room. Their suits? Clad with shoulder pads that not only protect, but surround and enfold, much like your mother’s thighs. Their jeans? Jordache, stonewashed, and matching their jackets. These are not merely pleasant anachronisms, but severely deluded and, frankly, frightening men. They claim to be music aficionados, but when they give prospective girlfriends mix tapes, they just consist of two sides of a 90-minute Memorex with nothing but a repeating loop of “In the Air Tonight” and “Karma Chameleon”. To put it succinctly, in their minds they are nihilistic loners who are flouting the spirit of the competition by wearing their street clothes. Their minds are wrong.
The Team: Think back to the 80’s. What was a common theme in the shows that you loved? Was it the constant, uncomfortable references to how you should tell an adult if the creepy old guy next door tried to touch your personal stick shift? Was it the repeated instances of the heroes testing a bag of white powder by sticking their finger in and tasting it, oblivious to the possibility that, at best, they were putting enough pure, uncut cocaine on their gums to light up downtown Miami, and at worst they had just eaten a tablespoon of finely powdered soap? Was it the profusion of nihilistic outcasts with, to say the least, odd living arrangements? Magnum in the guest house, Crockett living hobo-like on a marina with a pet alligator, Hannibal et al living like a pack of well-armed transients. Yes, these were all themes. But the force that drove these themes, that was the touchstone in a time of uncertainty, was The Team. Michael and KITT. Joe Penny and the guy with the mustache. The A-Team. The goddamn A-Team. Sweet Jesus, the word “team” is right there in the name. The Team was everything; if the team stuck together you were guaranteed success. Without the team? Failure. The Team was not built of characters, it was constructed of archetypes, individuals that were each born to a task that they were invariably called upon to do. And do it they did, with aplomb, with vigor, with style. Never were they expected to vary from the path that fate had sent them down. Was Face ever to pilot the get-away copter? Of course not. And neither was Hannibal called upon to woo the comely lass, or Murdoch to perform incredible feats of strength right before being poisoned by his closest friends, failing once again to resist the temptation of the sweet, sweet elixir that was a cold glass of milk. Were any of that to occur, it would lead to the unknown; and that way, as we all know, lies madness.
Perhaps the place where The Team becomes most evident, where the archetypes are stripped of unnecessary encumbrances like “character development” and “acting”, is in the realm of the cartoon. And among the cartoons, Voltron stood tall, for he was the mighty Defender of The Universe. That’s right, sonny boy, The Universe. Not “The Kitchen” or “The Block Between 4th and 5th Streets” or even “Miami”. The motherfucking Universe. How, you ask, could one group defend an territory that encompasses all known space? The answer is simple. The Team. They depended on The Team, for it was the life’s blood of their mission statement. And, as with all good teams, the archetypes were clear. The Leader. The Byronic Cool Guy. The Ox-Like Man-Child. The Short Guy. The Chick The Loses Her Bikini Top With A Frequency That Seems Inappropriate For A Show Aimed At Pre-Teens. With a team thus assembled, there was no threat, no matter how great, no matter how terrifying, that they could not be beaten up by for 3 minutes while defending themselves with new, interesting, and completely useless weapons, until finally getting bored and cutting said threat in half with The Blazing Sword.
Team Huey Newis and The Lose is not a team thus constructed. There is no leader. There is no cool guy. Sadly, there’s not a single one of them that would look good in a bikini.
It’s five Pidges and a Hunk.
But they’re here. And they’re…well, they’re here. My understanding is that that’s all that’s really required of them.
The Car: The 80’s were a time of great turmoil. Saturday morning cartoons were telling us horror stories of families separated by the Berlin Wall, Robert Ludlum was assuring us that Mutually Assured Destruction was only moments away if Jason Bourne didn’t get off his amnesiac ass and do something about it, and Bono still hadn’t brokered a peace in Belfast. Cocaine use was rampant, Star Wars had only recently primed your childhood for being raped, and children were learning, through the combined propaganda of Ralph Macchio and Duke, that not only was “Knowing Half the Battle,” but “Kicking Your Enemies in The Teeth” was the other half. Forged in this fiery foundry of fear was the car that was the car, as the man says, for its place and time. The 1985 Mustang GT 5.0. But not any Mustang 5.0—this is the last of the carburetor 5.0’s, with all of 210HP and 270LB/FT of God’s Own Torque, puking enough unburned hydrocarbon out its tailpipe so that if you were to order the convertible model, it would create a portable hole in the ozone layer above your car that would double your tan efficiency as you drove. When new, this was a car that burned rubber, loosened morals, and lubricated lasses.
The Lose’s car is, sadly, no longer that car. The only thing it burns is oil, and the only thing it will loosen is the valve gear, most likely at an inopportune time. Unfortunately for that very valve gear, the only thing that will be well lubricated is whatever parking spot the car currently sits in. It is old. It is tired. And it is time for this old mare to be put out to pasture. But before that time, before the crushing teeth of an automotive purgatory await, this old girl has a final mission to accomplish. And who are we to deny the dying their final wish?
And so. Three standards, all well met. The only thing standing between this ragtag bunch of misfits and the glory of victory is the acceptance of this entry form, and the possibility that their car won’t start. The second part is almost a given. Don’t be like Sarah Jessica Parker’s father in Girls Just Want To Have Fun. Don’t be like Dean Rooney. Don’t be like Principal Vernon. Don’t be like…well, there’s a lot of them. Don’t be that guy. Pharaoh, let my people race.