As far as minor league baseball gimmicks go, this ain't a bad one. At least for the fans. And the internet.
Here's the set-up: Five applicants were selected for a contest to win a Lexus, but not a new Lexus. Instead it's a 1996, worn-out, slightly rusted version with 182,000 miles on it. What a catch. The Akron Beacon Journal, which reported on the contest this morning, says the car might, might, be worth $4,000.
Those five guys ("Matthew Morgan, 24, of Willoughby; Vic Allen, 59, of Akron; Willie Huddleston, 21, of Akron; Alex Paul, 21, of Akron; and Anthony Martini, 21, of Warwick, N.Y." according to the paper) — bearing loaded gastrointestinal systems, a light application of deodorant, and a healthy dose of sweat — will sit in the car. The last one to leave wins the ride.
They loaded into the choice whip last night, prepared for trash talking, fan gawking, snoring, awkward hiding of morning erections, and more than one "roll down the window" gas expulsion.
The rules of this tightly packed bonding adventure after the jump.
• Anything a contestant takes into the car must stay there. That includes electronic equipment and food. The Aeros hope they will share their experience on the Internet.
• Contestants will be free to leave at any time, but leaving disqualifies them.
• Threatening, harassing, unusual or criminal acts are forbidden and could lead to prosecution.
• (This one seems obvious, but necessary) ''Secretion, projection or loss of body fluids while seated within the vehicle will result in immediate disqualification from the contest.'' It might be assumed that the secretion ban excludes sweat.
• A judge has the right to disqualify anyone on the basis of medical needs. Each participant must drink at least a gallon of fluids each day. Water will be provided.
• Everyone gets to leave the car for a 15-minute break every six hours. Restrooms will be available and contestants can have ''fans'' bring them food.
• Initial seats were assigned at random and last for the first six hours. After that, they will rotate clockwise every period, so the driver will go to the front passenger seat in the second six hours.
Here is where we'd think about strategy. If you're only allowed to hit the can once every six hours, limiting intake of food in general and possibly stomach-upsetting comestibles specifically has to be key, along with liquids, naturally. But hunger can be distracting. We'd get our loyal friends and family to ply the other contestants with nachos, burgers, and maybe a healthy offering of the 21-scoop ice cream sundae/ artery clogger. Short of that, we'd probably pepper the carmates with questions like, "Do you need to pee?", and, "Man, I think I need to pee, how 'bout you?", and, "Come on, you'd love to go pee right now, wouldn't you?" every five minutes. Either that, or just fart a lot.
One entrant, who clocks in at 270-pounds-plus, offered his take: ''I think the biggest person might be me or there's another person who's just as big as me and these skinny minis are going to get in there and say they are going to win this against these big guys because they are not going to last. They got another thing coming. With the bigness on us, we got insulation so we can stay cool and stay hot.''
Good luck to the contestants, and an early congratulations to whatever steely stomached, odorous-tolerating soul emerges with the 15-year-old Lexus that will probably break down before it leaves Akron city limits.