So Brian found this kick-ass race a couple years earlier, a rental car rally event on the East coast. It went from New York to somewhere in Canada. We vowed that if it ever came west we would join. Finally we saw they had one from L.A. to Vegas. It came west. We joined.

According the website there are three things to know about this event:
1. Rental Car Rally is Halloween on Wheels
2. You Win by Hitting the Checkpoints and Looking Awesome
3. Expect Good Times and Possible Incarceration

Yeah, this was going to be fun.

Check the promo video.

Our official team logo.

Our team page: Me as Ob/GYN Kenobi, Brian as Queen Makeyouholla Amidala, Bill as Princess Lay Yah, and Alex as Han Swolo. Who was Token Calrissian, you may ask?

Dominick, of course, our only black friend.

Alex rolled in with the pleather pants, but Brian was unimpressed (and by the looks of his costume we all concurred that Brian had the right to ask for a bit more commitment from his teammates).

Alex is nothing...

...if not committed.

Brian was equally unimpressed that Dominick had neither shaved his goatee, purchased a space gun (instead a mini M16) nor brought eggs as we had instructed.

The Jedi Bus was fueled up and ready to hit the road. The only question was whether it could make it hundreds of miles through the scorching desert carrying over 1000 pounds of geek. That, of course, is a big question.

Bill was excited, though I'm still not sure if it was for the trip or just to wear the Leia gold bikini.

We stopped at a minimart so Dominick could pick up eggs.

Bill had to help him find the eggs.

I really thought the clerk was going to call the cops thinking that the black guy was going to rob the joint.

Only D-Rob could make buying eggs look cool.

The starting point was the Irwindale Speedway, where we found a line of cars waiting to get in.

The bus couldn't contain our excitement.

Fortunately I had a sunroof.

The other teams were also bored while waiting in line.

Yeah, this was going to be fun.

View from outside.

View from inside. Let the record show, Brian thought this would be a cool Ben Kenobi beard. Papa Smurf, maybe. Worst $3.99 plus shipping and handling ever.

The Star Wars chonies, however, were the best $16.99 plus shipping and handling ever!

We finally made it to the front of the line where we received our box of "mischief-making swag" from one of the main dudes.

We then found a strategic and delusional-appropriate parking spot.

We immediately caught the attention of some of the Party Pirates.

These guys were hardcore.

The Channel 4 News Team was already there.

Stay classy, Irwindale.

Free candy? Don't mind if I -- Whoa! Hold on a minute.

These guys were fueled by a higher power.

The Party Pirate bus.

The Jedi Bus.

Formally introducing Princess Lay Yah, Token Calrissian, Han Swolo, Queen Makeyouholla Amidala, and Ob/GYN Kenobi.

Brian was interviewed by a reporter from KPCC.

Ain't nobody jacking the Jedi Bus on his watch.

The Black Crystal Wolf Kids provided the live entertainment.

Two new fans?

The Blues Brothers showed up.

Still on guard.

Oh, baby!

Nothing could keep Bernie from this weekend excursion.

Yep, this was going to a fun group of people.

At least we fit in.

Did someone order boobies?

Here you go.

Then the S.S. Minnow showed up.

These castaways came prepared for more than a three-hour tour.

This brings up the age-old question: Ginger or Mary Ann?

There are two reasons why I am a Ginger guy.

Ok, three.

Still not convinced?

The Skipper sure was.

The Baywatch "Babes" bounced in.

These Asian girls never got out of their car during the festivities.

And yet they still were not the worst team presentation.

Dominick was happy not to be the only black person at this party.

Baywatch commandeered the party bus.

The wedding party showed their commitment to the cause.

Jesus Christ! (The funny part was that Jesus handed out rosaries to the crowd.)

Bill almost got clucked from behind.

This hot number posed in front of the bus with Alex and some blonde lady.

That's a lot of cleavage (yes, Bill, I'm talking about you).

Out came the water balloon catapult.

Fire away!

Some sexy schoolgirls joined in on the fun.


Sammy Hagar dressed like Han Solo, too?

The bus party was still going strong.

A little nipple pinching goes a long way.

Alex's face says it all.

Crazy costumed ladies in the house.

Mutant ninja turtles danced to the band.

Then the real playahs rolled in. This party had it all:

Fire breathing...

...matching dog costumes...

...scantily clad hotties pouring vodka bongs from car tops...

... and hot schoolgirls who were also part-time porn stars (the blondie on the left is Kayden Kross).

Welcome to Rental Car Rally!

These were the Teenage Mutant Corporate Turtles.

Then the flour hit the fan.

If memory serves, the tortilla and shaving cream was Alex's work.

The bright side of the chocolate syrup was the happy face.

That's just nasty.

After a couple hours of socializing and vandalism it was time to start our engines.

Which meant power-brake burnouts.

Sadly, this guy died of lung cancer five days later.

Then it was gridlock just getting out of the parking lot.

Waiting to hit the track.

Welcome to the Irwindale Speedway Jungle!

Our first stop was the Old Los Angeles Zoo, located somewhere near the current zoo.

Someone had called the cops after the first wave of ralliers came through.

The best I could do was snap a picture to prove we had been there.

We pulled over and chatted with some equally confused teams.

We decided to strategically choose our next stop, which meant skipping a couple on the list that called for climbing mountain terrain, something the bus could never do with five guys packed into it.

After a couple hours or so of slow driving on the freeway we decided to stop off at Morongo Casino and take a picture. While I sat outside with the bus idling they bumrushed the place, snapped the photo, and hauled ass out of there. We then uploaded it to the RCR website with the caption, "Vegas, bitches! Where is everybody?"

Heading up a steep Highway 62 (I know! I didn't know there was a Highway 62, either) we stopped off at Willie Boy's Saloon. There are only two reasons for city boys to go to Willie Boy's: The giant horse in the parking lot and the Tesla Tribute band. What you don't see in the photo is the two pitbulls that came charging from behind the bar while I was taking the picture. I almost ate it trying to get back into the bus while wearing a Jedi robe and holding a camera in my hand.

We finally found our next checkpoint: a bunch of religious sculptures in the middle of nowhere. This was the shot we uploaded to the RCR site.

This was taken in nearly pitch black, with only the stars and my camera flash for light.

Sexy beast.

The Highway 62 trek was not the best of drives. First, we ran over something that I swear was either a chupacabra or a really big jackrabbit; my money's on the former. Second, the Jedi Bus began to make a strange ticking noise, forcing me to drop down to second gear at 20 miles per hour just to get up the long inclines. By the time we were heading back the desperate sounds emanating from the engine compartment compelled me to pull over at a rest stop. Third, I parked near what was most likely a rape van. All of the above did not bode well for the rest of the journey... and it was only 4 a.m.

Just don't ask these guys about any of it.

Things got so bad that I almost ran out of gas so we had to pull over and fill up (at least I had the foresight to bring a five-gallon gas can).

It was a long trip already. It looked like the bus was simply not going to make it (we still had a long desert drive to make in the Summer heat and we had to pull over because of the engine sounds).

We had already paid for hotel rooms in Vegas so something radical had to be done. We headed back home and...

...traded rides for Alex's new Kia.

6:22 a.m. and we were back in action!

"Back in action" is, evidently, a relative phrase.

Even though we were out of the official running we decided to make the best of it and hit some of the checkpoints.

So we headed east, into the desert.

We stopped for gas and Bill changed out of his gold bikini.

Cheap real estate, anyone?

While looking for salt fields we somehow lost the paved road.

I literally climbed a hill to see if I could see anything that looked remotely like a salt flat.

Sweet Kia, dude.

Alex and the Orange Bang Bus.

We stopped at a local diner for directions.

A guy pointed us down the road. He never mentioned that the road would disappear.

Driving along we found what turned out to an extinct volcano and lava field.

Props to Brian for being the only one still in costume.

Alex was more appropriately dressed for the 90-degree weather (and it was only 10 a.m.).

Bill took advantage of the moment to flex his photography skills.

Alex took advantage of the moment to flex his sexy skills.

I just took advantage of Brian.

Back on the road we found the crater monument...

...which we immediately planked.

Nice form, Bill.

Yep, a natural landmark.

We figured we were on the right track when we passed a few Rental Car Ralliers we hadn't seen in many hours.

We finally found the chloride fields. Big whoop.

We found the next checkpoint, a tree that people hang shoes in.

Back on the road lined with cool rock formations.

Even queens need to pee.

Bill was intrigued by the Joshua trees.

I hope I didn't ruin his shot.

Then it happened: after years of use and abuse, from Halloweens to gong show videos to Star Wars premieres to Saturday nights when the wife and kids were out, the Queen Amidala mask finally broke. Long live the Queen!

It could always be worse, I suppose.

We claimed the Mojave Desert as our own.

We finally made it back to Interstate 15.

At this rate we would be in Vegas in 15 minutes!

Desperado at Stateline! The fact that we didn't stop to ride the rollercoaster is a testament to how tired we were.

Vegas was in our sights!

The Vegas checkpoint was the Rumor Hotel, a eurotrash "boutique".

While waiting to check in Brian discovered the fuzzy pillows.

We decided to eat at the hotel restaurant. The food was some of the best I've had; the service was some the worst.

Teams like the wedding party began to trickle in.

When we finally got into our rooms Alex found a corner and crashed.

Brian made use of the hot tub, sans water.

From our window we could see some of the thrashed RCR cars parked by valet.

Meanwhile Bill began planking the hotel room.

And planked.

And planked.

And planked.

And planked.

And planked.

Even Brian got into the planking spirit.

Bill kept going.

And going.

He was an Energizer Planking Bunny.

Then I tried to get in on the act by planking the French doors.

The low ceiling proved a problem.

One last-ditch effort to scale the doors.

Epic fail!

Brian was bored by our antics.

And then he was out.

He rallied enough to head over to the Mirage to B.B. King's for dinner. Alex was hanging out with some friends back at the hotel (including the notorious Frances Melegrito) so he missed out on some delicious food.

The highlight was the brownie sundae.

Then we picked up Alex and headed to the afterparty at the Double Down Saloon, the epitome of a dive bar.

There we met with the RCR teams that made it to Vegas.

The joint was jumping.

Plus there were actual girls.

If this pool table could talk imagine the stories it could tell.

The wall art was, um, interesting.

The sign of a true dive bar.

This would not be my normal Saturday night stop.

Requisite slot machines. Vegas, baby.

Maxin' and chillaxin'.

The RCR organizers finally took the stage to announce the winning team and award the Golden Gas pump.

Why does it look like Bill is sitting on this girl's lap? And why does it look like this is the closest he's ever been to a female not his mother? And why does it seem creepy that he's wearing an original Captain Eo t-shirt?

After the party we found a car that was clearly part of RCR.

What's with Alex's face standing behind this guy in Subway?

He thinks the guy looks strangely like Bill. (Because to Alex all white people look alike.)

I think this guy agrees.

Alex tired of waiting in Subway's line so we headed over to the Hard Rock Hotel.

On the way over we were reminded that the Electric Daisy Carnival was also in town.

Brian found some lights and joined the EDC spirit.

Welcome to the Hard Rock.

Alex ordered Mr. Lucky's 24/7, the secret menu item you have to ask for by name.

If you ask, "May I have the 777?" you get a steak, three pieces of grilled shrimp, a salad, and your choice of either mashed or baked potatoes, or french fries. All for $7.77! Vegas, baby!

Color Bill impressed.

Some of the Hard Rock memorabilia dedicated to the King.

Back to Rumor for some much-needed sleep.

The next morning Alex made a new friend while we were checking out.

Because of our tremendous detour we never had a chance to explore the box of mischief.

Energy powder, maybe?

Back to L.A.

The trip from Vegas always seems longer.

We stopped at Bob's Big Boy in Baker for tasty Big Boy Combos, though you couldn't tell that by the looks.

Where did the smiles go?

There they are!

One final plank!

With lunch out of the way it was time for dessert: Peggy Sue's 50's Diner in Yermo!

Why yes, I would like to sample Circus Animal Cookie ice cream.

And yes, I will follow that with a sample of Alex's nipple.

I'm not sure what Bill is doing but I bet James Dean would not approve.

This is awesome...if it was 1995.

Ok, now you have my attention.

Awww yeah!

Kong is in the house.

These people weren't messing around when they put together a "diner-saur" park.

Crocs, even?

No one can resist the Diner-Saur Shop.

One final plank before the return to reality.