Totally Recalled – 1991 Some gimmicks included reporting ETs to checkpoint workers (there was a factory named E. T. S. across the street from a checkpoint) and adjusting for Mars gravity by dividing the weight of your vehicle (predefined as 10,000 pounds) by 4/5. The mathematically challenged went down a street marked with a weight limit of 12,000 pounds.


Lords of the Ring Road, or This Could Get to be a Hobbit – 1992 I buried a gimmick in the tiebreaker quiz, something that became a staple on my rallyes. Through a torturous set of instructions I made Brackett (as in Leigh Brackett, one of the answers on the quiz) equivalent to both “brackets” and to a street named Cooper. Since the general instructions prohibited “using anything in brackets,” rallyists who spotted a certain sign along Cooper were off course.


Debbie Does Rallyes: An X-Rated Road Rallye – 1993 (with Ted Zelman) This one was loaded with great gimmicks! Rallyists were warned that, since it was an X-rated rallye, they were to report to a rallyemaster if anyone in their car was “under 14.” (At first we were going to specify 21, but we had some regular rallyists as young as 15 – naturally that night we had a driver show up for his first rallye with three very young kids in tow!) We put a checkpoint inside of a tent on the parkway along Penny Lane. Hanging from the roof above their heads was an ornamental #14. We also warned the rallyists that graffiti would not be tolerated: “Do not write on any walls.” At another checkpoint the worker handed them a clipboard and asked for a signature. The clever ones noticed that they were standing on a board that said: “wall.” Those clever ones said: “Ha ha!” and stepped off the board before they signed. The REALLY clever ones, few in number, noticed the street sign buried in the tree that told them this particular checkpoint was on Wall Street.


Lorena and Tonya Do Road Rallyes – 1994 (with Ted Zelman) Not much of a title, but as I recall it wasn’t much of a rallye. Ted has the documentation. I’ll have to twist his arm (all that was left after Lorena and Tonya got through with him) to get a copy.


Pulp Rallye – 1995 Ted retired from writing for a few years, so I was back on my own. This was one of my favorites. There were 28 gimmicks, and I tried to craft 7 for each level of rallyist. One of the gimmicks was the left at “L.” You would expect turns to be forced at L-shaped intersections, but I found a way to make the road BEHIND the rallyists disappear. Another was a very nasty version of Aristotle. The Aristotle rule, when in force, prohibits using the same intersection on consecutive instructions. I found two intersections of Hicks/Lincoln at opposite ends of Palatine. It was even trickier because the second one’s most prominent sign identified the northbound road as Northwest Highway; you had to look long and hard to find the Hicks Road sign.


Las Vegas Rallye – 1996 Lefts and rights became “splits” and “hits.” In keeping with the theme rallyists were told to never split 10s, while elsewhere they learned that 10-King were all equal. So when they came to a street called King, guess where they shouldn’t have turned left. There was also an elaborate gimmick in which one neighborhood of Elk Grove Village was converted into a giant slot machine.


It’s a Far Kai – 1997 The first of three oriental themed rallyes. I used my nastiest Aristotle ever, when I equated Waikiki and Hollywood (“even Waikiki’s gone Hollywood”). Aristotle applied not just on consecutive numbered instructions, but on consecutive lettered instructions, and while rallyists passed through the intersections of Waikiki and Third, and Hollywood and Third an hour apart in time, the two lettered instructions they were working on were consecutive. Rallyists were also helpfully informed that they would pass “the first McDonalds” in downtown Des Plaines, which meant that they could not possibly turn “right after the 1st McDonalds” along Golf Road.


Slow Rallye Car to China – 1998 I put addenda on the checkpoint markers – in Chinese! There were also optional instructions where three captioned pictures directed various actions, and each time they had to choose one. In one instruction I used my own picture, and since the “rallyemaster’s word” trumped all other instructions, that was the one to obey.


Orient Express – 1999 Another of my personal favorites. A common gimmick is the old “u-turns are permitted only in cul-de-sacs” combined with an optional lettered instruction “U Turn.” The idea of course is that you should not execute instruction U. The wording was changed to “only at a road’s end,” and instruction U occurred at the intersection of Wooddale and Thorndale, where DuPage 10 ends. Rallyists were instructed that punctuation was irrelevant on signs. Signs included checkpoint workers nametags, so when they saw a checkpoint worker who was an “officer of the rallye police,” they should have seen a sign reading “louse.”


Debbie Does the Millennium – 2000 My tenth and last rallye to date. I learned once again that you just can’t put fifty hard gimmicks into a three hour rallye! Most cars were running so late they never got to the checkpoint in the Winnebago along Penny, where “Mister Stanley G. Erdanger” was not quite “Mister Stranger Danger” He would, however, if you remembered to ask for it, open his raincoat and show you an addendum posted in an unusual place.