When Donna and I put on this event for the very first time way back in 1999 I had devised it sort of like a rally style start, I would send each car out at 3 minute intervals to guarantee clean air in front of the cars for maximum exposure to bugs. When I tried that the next year everyone balked at it, so I handed out the maps and sent them all on their way. I had underestimated the Club’s love of driving all in one long line (which as it turns out is second only to the love of all eating at one long table no matter how big the group or small the venue.)
By the third year everyone wondered why Donna and I weren’t playing along. When I explained that we didn’t want to steal anyone’s chance at a prize, they all went, “Pshaw, you should have some of the fun too.” We have been leading the line of cars around the route ever since.
It took me a couple of years to figure out the group had ulterior motives for this. They just wanted someone to lead so they wouldn’t have look at a map and/or not get lost, but probably the most likely reason was to decrease their odds of winning the Biggest Bug Trophy which is so ugly it is kind of cool. You either love it or hate it, with the haters having the larger numbers.
As we were loading the trophy in the trunk to bring to the starting point on Saturday, Donna was looking over the list of names of those who have held it in the last 18 years and asked, “How come we haven’t ever won it?”
“Alexa: play ominous music”
That’s right, we won the trophy this year with a silver dollar size splat on the nose of the CTBNL right next to the Mazda logo.