The long wait is over. All the begging, pleading, and threatening to get dad's keys to the ultimate autoduelling vehicle is presented here for your enjoyment. At the end of the road, we've got a winner whose sure-fire speech would definitely get the keys away from us. If we hadn't already lost them in a death race, that is.
The "Borrow the Car" contest rules clearly stated your task. To wrest the keys from dear old dad and take the car for a spin, you had 100 words or less. Let's see what you did with them.
Dad? I don't know how to tell you this, but...
There's a lot of folks out there sayin' that you don't have the brains or the balls to raise a son who could handle your car on the open road. I don't know about you, but that kind of talk pisses me off. It's like they're slappin' you in the face while they're pissin' on my shoes.
I think the best way to get back at 'em is to let me borrow the keys and drive past the lot of 'em. Kind of show 'em they ain't as smart as they think they are...
- Charlie Ball
"So, Dad. It's Mom's birthday tomorrow. What? You forgot?
And now you don't have time to drive me through the Combat
Zone to the mall? But I've already ordered that present for
her - the machine thing she's been on about - and had your
name put on the card!
"Hey! Why don't *I* scoot down there? I can take the car to
ward off the bandidos...."
- Tom McGrenery
"So Dad... it's just about time for the uh... Varsity Combat Soccer
tryouts. I know you're in the middle of watching the news, but I'll need a
ride out to the field. Of course, I could always drive there myself..."
"But Daddy, I said I'd bring back beer!"
Of the approaches used, some themes came up regularly. The hot date, for example:
Errrr... uhmmm... Dad? Can I borrow the car?
You see, Jenny Anderson--you know her, she was over last week--wanted to
check out that new algae burger stand in Midville. Her ex, Slash McChesny,
runs with the Road Lords cycle gang and he's been bugging her for the last
couple of weeks. Apparently, he's the sort who can't take no for answer.
Anyway, she's afraid that Slash and his crew are going to try to bother her
tonight and I want to be prepared--you know what I'm saying? Yes, I'll
recharge her and reload the magazines when I get home. I can? Thanks!
What's that Dad? Yes....I'll bring protection. I''ve got a couple of
kevlar vests we could use.
- Mark A. Siefert
"Dad, I need to borrow the car tonight. Why? Well, it's because of Suzy.... you know, Suzi, the hot redhead down the street? Well, later tonight, Suzi and I are going to get together at the youth center, and when the lights get low, we are going to do...el! That's right - an automotive duel to the death with Suzi. And if I don't have the right car for the job, I'll be the laughing stock of the school. And you'll be known as the father of the kid who lost to a girl! So, let me have the car, and if there's one left, I'll put gas in the tank! Thanks."
- James Steinhoff
"Hiya, Dad, guess what? I've got a date with Melody! Who is she? Do you remember when we drove by the Rave last week? Remember the girl with the long black hair and the... yeah, Dad, that's the one! Imagine that, a 4.0 student, a scholarship to an Ivy league school, looks that could kill, and she's crazy about me! She said her dad works at the same company you do, isn't that funny? Her last name? It's... hey, how'd you guess? He's your boss? He's your boss's boss's boss? That's, what, CEO?
So, um... could I borrow the car?"
- Gregory Craff
"Dad, I want to borrow the car. Just hear me out. There's this girl named Cristina that I want to take to the laserball game tonight out at the megastadium. She's head cheerleader, and an ace student, but I can't ask her out if I don't have transportation right? I know that Jim Thorton's son is going to ask her out too, but his dad's car can't compare to yours. Isn't that Thorton guy the one who got promoted over you? Whatever. But anyway, I promise to have it back as soon as the game's over. How 'bout it?"
- Paul Friedman
Um...Dad? You know how you don't like it that I'm dating Killer, the bassist for the post-Apoc hardcore band, Your Mama's Slippers? Well, now I totally understand what you were saying. I know I was really difficult before, but Killer is an ass, and I know that now.
But here's the thing Dad, I haven't broken up with him yet, like you wanted...I was going to do that tonight. So, he's playing at the Thunderdome tonight, and I thought I go there and dump his ass. But there's just one thing Dad, I don't feel really, safe, taking public transport to the 'dome...especially since I'm going to be dumping Killer and he's bound to be mad. So...I was wondering if I could borrow the car--I got good grades, including an A in the Vehicle Marksmanship section of Driver's Ed. I have both my Driver's and Gun License. If you let me borrow the car, I be sure to be safe in case he gets uppity. Would that be okay? I promise to be home by 2am. Please, Daddy?
- Steph Pennington
Dad, can I borrow the car? Ya gotta. There's this girl Marie, dad, she's really hot--I mean, she's cute and sweet and goes to that church on Main. But she's a senior, ya know. There's no way she'd go to Homecoming with me unless I had a really bitchin' car. You know what it's like, dad. What's SHE like? Oh, she's nice, dark hair, silver-carbide fingernails, and she's got two steel claws mounted right on her . . . anyway, she's really smart, too, and her dad autoduels when he's not in the regen tanks. So whattaya say?
- Steve Setzer
I need to borrow the car tomorrow night. As you know, the Mad Max
Marathon is on at the Drive-In, and I promised Tina I would pick her up
with style. Also, with the new car, I can be the envy of all the kids, and
can get a few more into the movies! Not to mention how easy it would be to
park right up front! Please????
- Jim Leitzel
Blackmail was a fairly popular tactic as well:
Dad, I know you want me to be more responsible. I think I have the answer. A wise man once said, "With great power comes great reponsibility." Thus, in
order to gain responsibility, I need more power. So can I borrow your car? Not the mini-van, but the Eviscerator. Before you say no, I would like you to see these pictures I took at the PTA Christmas Party. I'm not an expert, but I think Judge Harper might have some problems with what you're doing to his wife and his Rottweiler. Now, can I borrow your car?
- Craig C. Robertson
"I really need to borrow the car tonight ...I know I know you said something about hell freezing over so maybe this will make you change your mind. Remember about 2 months ago when mom was out of town on her business trip ...Right that one ... Well if you remember i came home and saw you and Mrs. Johnson in the hottub... I think i was as shocked as you two where .. well if a certain roll of film where to just show up ... Yes i told you many times i got rid of it but these are desperate times ... I swear dad after this we are even .. I just really need it tonight...." (long pause)
(gets thrown keys)
(evil grin) "Thanks dad will be back by midnight 1am at the latest."
- Darrin Umbaugh
Some of you thought school commitments would pry the keys from dad's hands:
It's Friday night. The libraries close in a couple of hours. Dad is busy
defouling the dog. Time to spring into action!
" Dad! I need to use the car! I have a project on Particle Accelerators due
Monday! The only Library, with the information I need, is clear across
town! Please help... see how exuberant I am! About the project... see...
Not only do I get to take the car, but I have substantial time... for
cruising!!! Now I just need to find out what a particle accelerator is.
- Brian Kivari
Hey Dad, the school is having a student car show, and I was thinking you
might let me borrow yours. There is a $500 prize for 1st place and I will
split it with you if I win, but I would have to take it myself since its a
students only car show. I swear, I won't let anything happen to it and
I'll bring it back with a fully charged power plant.
- Lee Langston
A few of you tried the direct approach:
What's this sh*t about borrow? A 12 guage to the face will get me the keys real quick. Never believed he was my real dad anyhow. If mom gets in the way, well, she can't cook worth a damn. A quick side trip to pick up my girl and the roads are mine.
- Roy "God that's an ugly truck" Kubicek
"If you loan me the keys, I'll put the firing pins back in."
- Michael Dinsmore
The Runners Up
While everyone deserves an extra turret mount on their vehicle for their efforts, the next few were leading the target so well, we wanted to single them out as great efforts. Here's the few that nearly reached the finish line.
I never understood, Dad.
I was barely seven when Uncle Billy died. You wore your militia uniform. All those words at the wake:"ambush", "yuppie scum", "rat-bastard Turbonium", didn't make sense. But they do now.
They do now.
I met a girl today, dad. She has blue eyes and long long legs.
Her dad drives... a Passat.
Dad, you taught me to walk,
to ride bikes,
to field-strip a bolt-action,
to lead the turret gun and aim low when shooting pedestrians.
Tonight, let me be a man. Let me send Amy Kreplowski's dad back to the Euro-trash hell that spawned him.
(Suggested music: Rage against the Machine, "running 'round the family, with a pocket full o' shells"...)
- Derek Petrey
The Art of Negotiation
By Roger Barr
Kevin was nervous. His father was an excellent negotiator for parts contracts, which was great for Fnord Motors, but it sucked if you were one of his kids trying to ask for something. Negotiations for favors from dad were always difficult. He gathered his courage and walked into the living room.
His father looked up from his book. "Yes, Kev?"
"You've said before that every person has a price, right?"
Raising an eyebrow, his father replied cautiously. "Yes, in business negotiating, that's true."
Crossing his arms, he smiled. "Good. I want to borrow your new car tonight. Name your price..."
"But I was going into Tashi station to pick up some power converterrrrrrrs!"
- Christian Vanover
The Big Winner
Finally, here's the winning entry, from Dann Webster of Austin, TX (must be something in the water). With the right mix of autoduelling flavor and humorous outcome, Dann takes the prize with these words:
Remember how last time I borrowed the car, I pissed-off the driver of
that Busnaught? And though I dodged those rockets, oil-slicked him,
and brought the car home without a scratch, he followed me to the old
settlement, broke down the gates, and burned everything down with his
side-mounted triple flamethrowers. And even though Mom was horribly burned
to death, we made it to the car in time to escape and moved to this
settlement, where our past is a horrible secret?
I PROMISE it won't be like that this time. So what do you say?
- Dann Webster
Congrats, Dann. All nine Car Wars: Fifth Edition books are on their way. Thanks to all those who participated. Your entries kept us highly entertained during this contest.
Dad wants his keys back now. And his ammo.