Once again, it's time to load up the rental car and grab your briefcase full of mischief-making swag -- the Rental Car Rally is back.
This year's "single-leg competitive road trip" runs Feb. 25-27 from Los Angeles to Tahoe.
Notice how it's not called a race. That would imply dozens of vehicles driving at unsafe speeds. This is a rally. The scoring is all about a team's odometer reading, style, and of course, hijinks.
Teams will meet at a yet-to-be-revealed starting line somewhere in Los Angeles and then hit checkpoints along the way to Tahoe. Each team will get a briefcase with the checkpoints and "mischief-making swag" (read: bottle rockets, smoke bombs, condoms, cigarettes, chaw). The whole journey takes about 12 hours -- perfect for anyone who wants to pack as much adventure as possible in one weekend.
Previous team looking to capitalize on style points have included such themes as "Reno 911," "The Big Lebowski," "The Beastie Boys," ex-presidents (possible "Point Break"?) and "The Royal Tenenbaums." One guy even drove a DeLorean (Now, that's heavy).
Last year's rally started at the Santa Monica Pier and ended in Tombstone, Ariz.
No offense to Tombstone, but a finish line in Tahoe is a bit more enticing for those drivers considering the trek. There's something about skiing, gambling and gorgeous mountaintops that trumps Tombstone's gunfight shows and stagecoach tours.
In full disclosure, one of the rally's organizer works for NBC in New York, and once again this year, he's refusing to leak any insider info.
Tickets are $179, covering one vehicle's entry and unlimited teammates. Don't forget to budget for fuel, food, hotel and possibly bail.