We gave you a brief sampling of the action in the Gator-O-Rama penalty box, and Judge Dube put together a mighty penalty gallery, but it's time we examined the Gator-O-Rama correctional system in more detail.
LeMons Supreme Court Justice Lieberman and myself were already heavily armed and in a foul mood due to the freezing-assedly windy weather during the BS Inspection phase of the prerace activities when a certain Alfa Romeo-driving team attempted to bribe us (unironically) with Boone's Farm wine and processed cheese slices. We hit 'em with 10 laps for that crime against our
snobbish coastal-elite sensitive California palates (in addition to 8 laps for plain cheatin'), and that pretty much set the mood in the penalty box for the rest of the weekend.
Naturally, we kept the old traditional LeMons favorites, such as Preaching To The Converted. Here we see a member of the Über-Recidivist-but-much-beloved Los Diablos team preaching the tale of a rescued Ford Pinto from The Hemi In The Barn.
Speaking of Los Diablos, those sombrero-wearin', Camaro-
spinnin'drivin' Texans provided us with all the props for a great locally-themed penalty: Houston, We Have A Problem! The miscreant dons a NASA jumpsuit and baseball cap, then must eat a generous helping of Tang powder- dry, just like the astronauts! That's followed with a Moon Pie chaser, also dry (later we replaced the Moon Pie with a fresh lemon, which solved the dry-mouth problem but seemed extra sour coming on top of super-sweet dry Tang). Gracias, Diablos!
LeMons Supreme Court Justice Lieberman, in his rule as Mean Judge (I'm the
sucker for bullshit "not my fault" stories Nice Judge), developed a real fondness for what he called the "writing penalties." Early on, we just handed the miscreant a rattle can and had him or her tag the race car with a description of the crime committed.
That didn't keep the miscreants off the track for long enough, so Justice Lieberman- apparently in the throes of some elementary school flashback- came up with the idea of having the team write their crime over and over on the car. 50 times… 100 times… 200 times…
But what do you do once you've made a team write "I will not pass under yellow" on their Grand Prix 200 times, and they still show up in the penalty box? Bible chapters! Here's a Pontiac driver copying out Chapter 36 of Genesis on the roof of his car, in Sharpie: And these the sons of Oolibama, the wife of Esau: duke Jehus, duke Ihelon, duke Core. These are the dukes of Oolibama, the daughter of Ana, and wife of Esau. These are the sons of Esau, and these the dukes of them: the same is Edom.
Remember Bob Ross? Of course you do, and so we decided to honor the late artist with The Bob Ross Penalty. This one is the brainchild of LeMons Supreme Court Justice Scott, who dispensed judgments from his Segway-O-Law-Enforcement. Miscreants are given paint, brushes, and a book containing some Bob Ross masterpieces. They must then recreate one of those paintings on the hood of their race car; if the onlookers don't give their effort the thumbs-up, they must start over on another body panel.
Judge Scott's Segway-O-Law-Enforcement proved very handy when leading the Parade Of Incontinently Bad Drivers around the pits. Let's say your double-Neon team manages to rack up 12 black flags in what seemed like about two hours. What do you think happens next? Well, if you're in our penalty box, you get to tape on some adult diapers, then follow Judge Scott on a sl-o-o-o-ow cruise around the pits, hand on the shoulder of the miscreant in front of you, labor-gang-style, and you must shout out "WE'RE BAD DRIVERS!" every time he raises his gavel. Oh, the crowds loved this one!
The Art Car Parade was another audience-pleaser. The Sashimi Tabernacle Choir guys were kind enough to show up and offer their services, so we'd stack up a few miscreants and have them take a leisurely cruise around the pits while the STC led the parade.
Some henchmen of the Choir showed up as well. This Chrysler convertible often joined the Art Car Parade.
The Buick Reflectra must be an awesome sight at night! We're doing our best to talk the Houston art-car contingent into building something to put on the racetrack for the Yeehaw It's Texas 24 Hours Of LeMons in October.
Another Judge Scott creation was the self-explanatory Habitat For Dogmanity. Believe it or not, we were able to fit two miscreants at once inside the doghouse.
The Marcel Marceu, aka Mime Your Crime, requires audience approval in order for the miscreant to return to the race. He or she puts on a beret, striped shirt, and white greasepaint, and then must act out the crime that led to the penalty box visit. We saw some very innovative ways for racers to show spinouts, passes under yellow flags, ignoring of black flags, and fender-crunching aggression.
Here's another Mean Judge Lieberman special: Tires On Your Roof! That's what you get when we're so damn sick of seeing your spinout-prone Saab (this penalty was pretty much Saab-specific, though the MGB-GT was able to earn it by simply using up all the other punishments) showing up in the penalty box that we want to make you run around the pits trying to find the drill, bolts, and big fender washers that you'll need to make an old tire stay in place at racing speeds. It usually took a gratifyingly long time for miscreants to round up all the tools and hardware needed to attach the tire, but that didn't stop the Norwegian Slaabs from getting it twice!
We thought up the Studs & Spurs penalty when we spotted this beefcake calendar at the Wal-Mart next to our motel. Originally we were just going to tape calendar pages to the doors of the more macho machines, but Judge Lieberman felt that making the miscreant match the poses in the calendar
appealed to his mile-wide cruel streak seemed like more fun. If the ladies in the audience don't like the pose, the miscreant must keep trying until he gets it right!
The penalty box was extremely busy all weekend, and you're just seeing a fraction of the justice that was handed down at the Gator-O-Rama. We think up new penalties for each race, so be sure to head to Carolina Motorsports Park next month to enjoy them in person!