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Ever since Judge Jonny and I discovered that extorting accepting bribes from LeMons racers put the kibosh on whining about “unfairness,” we’ve been using special stencils to mark the teams that show respect to the LeMons Supreme Court.
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It’s pretty simple: your team slips a jug of booze, cash, some high-fat snacks, or other judge-pleasing goodie to the Court, we let the other racers know that you’ve bought your way into our good graces. 
 
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The very first BRIBED stencil was broken out at the first-ever LeMons South event, back in the fall of 2008. It was cut out of cereal-box cardboard and showed the scales of justice being tilted by a dollar sign. This stencil lasted until early 2009, at which point the buildup of spraypaint got so thick that the stencil started to break (LeMons stencils are subjected to some pretty rough handling; they get stepped on constantly during the BS Inspection, and they get stuffed into plastic bins full of penalty props at the end of each race). When we retired BRIBED Stencil #1, we hung it up in the LeMons Museum (aka the wall behind Jeff Glenn’s desk at LeMons HQ in Emeryville). 
 
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I made Bribed Stencil #2 using the same pattern, so those of you with the dollar-sign BRIBED stencil on your car probably can’t prove whether you’ve got a #1 or a #2. This stencil made it deep into 2009 before getting retired. Painted over your stencils? That might make it harder to prove your car’s provenance at the 2019 Barrett-Jackson auction! 
 
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Since most of our bribes turned out to be booze, I replaced the dollar sign with a South Carolina-style moonshine jug when I made BRIBED Stencil #3. 
 
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This design looked pretty good, but #3 was worn out by the end of the 2009 season.  
 
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At the beginning of the 2010 LeMons season, I made BRIBED Stencil #4. This is identical to #3, except for the drops of booze flying out of the bottle’s neck. 
 
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At the Cain’t Git Bayou race in May of 2010, we failed to pack BRIBED Stencil #4, so I had to make a Field Expedient BRIBED Stencil with a Coke box and a carpet knife. BRIBED Stencil #5, which reads “BAKSHEESH PAID” with a dollar sign, is by far the rarest of all the LeMons Supreme Court BRIBED stencils.  
 
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Only 33 teams started that race, so if you’ve got this stencil, don’t paint over it! 
 
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BRIBED Stencil #4, which was made on thick posterboard, held up under the rigors of the BS Inspection better than any of its predecessors. I’d hoped that it would last through all 21 races of the 2010 24 Hours of LeMons season, so I kept taping and re-cutting it as the paint buildup caused it to break. Once the paint got close to a half-inch in thickness, however, the whole stencil just disintegrated at the 2010 Arse Freeze-a-Palooza at Buttonwillow. You can identify the era of your #4 by how blurry the design looks; late-2010 applications don’t have visible XXX symbols on the bottle. We stuck it back together as well as we could and hung it up in the LeMons Museum. 
 
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For the THE PAINFULLY BLAND BOWL OF THIN LUKEWARM OATMEAL THAT CAN NOT POSSIBLY OFFEND ANYONE, NO MATTER HOW MUCH THEY ENJOY BEING OFFENDED, 24-HOUR SEASON ENDER race, I decided to make a special Che-esque BAKCHEESH stencil, based on the Baksheesh! T-shirt design
 
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We got all psychedelic with the paint with BRIBED Stencil #6, no doubt due to the mind-altering influence of the thallium salts that were supposed to make our beards fall out. 
 
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Bribed Stencil #6 isn’t quite as rare as #5, since the Miami race had more than twice the cars of the Cain’t Git Bayou event, and we may bring it back for future races. Still, the BAKCHEESH! stencil should be a coveted collector’s item in the future. 
 

15 Responses to “Collect Them All! The History of the LeMons Supreme Court’s BRIBED Stencil”

  1. name_too_long

    Seems like it might be worthwhile to exert some judicial pressure on a team with access to a plasma cutter and get some metal stencils. Maybe have a team cut their own “Bad Driver” stencil as a punishment.

  2. ronman

    So wait, is it “baksheesh” or “bakcheesh?”

  3. Murilee Martin

    BakCheesh is a variant used only for the Miami race. Get it? bakCHEesh?

  4. mharrell

    For the sake of completeness, there’s also the “BRIBED” sheet from the Concours d’LeMons (for cars far too pristine to be subjected to stencil, naturally), featuring a dollar sign in the lower pan outweighing a lemon in the upper pan. There’s one on the windshield here:

    http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2797/4425234362_cba4b34543.jpg

    highlighted by my niece (and CdL Volvo 144 owner) Andrea.

  5. LTDScott

    Ohhhhhh….. now bakCHEesh. I get it now!

    Our car has had our bribe stamps painted over twice. Hell, our car probably has a 1/2″ thick build up of Rustoleum on it now!

  6. Darren

    What about the Arabic script baksheesh one from arse sweat (and presumably others?).

    @mharrell - pooh, well la-di-da! Look who’s got budget for fancy name brand paint! ;-)

  7. John Baird

    The Coupez Le Fromage [a.k.a. the '88 AMC Eagle Premier That Time Forgot] wears its stenciled proof of [assing BS tech proudly on the hood. Team DWeeBS figures it’s Ver. 2.0 since the paint is gold and we were so honored at the Lamest Day of Nelson in 2009.

  8. Sir Thomas Crapper

    What about the Arabic “baksheesh”? I’ve got that from Capitol offense.

  9. Champion

    Whoops, we’ve painted over at least part of most of our stencils. I think that our Louisiana Baksheesh stamp is almost obliterated, in fact.
    Andy still has his Tyvek jumpsuit with the booze-bribe stencil on the back, though.

  10. Phil

    Our family’s/team’s former racer is sporting a ton of stencils from 2009. Most were put on during Lamest Day 09 (Ironic isn’t it? :o)). Let’s see Van Halen, 4Non-Blondes (i think), SATURN (in pebble trim spray), and atleast 3 others maybe even a “bribed” trademark (i’m not sure). It would have a cone strapped to the roof but track people wanted it before we packed up. lol. we are debating when or how we should get rid of the car and all the extra hardware which is why it hasn’t been to any races for 2010. 1998 crown vic police packaged w/ working a/c lol case anyone is curious.

  11. Mad_Science

    Don’t remember if the UB still has a bribed stencil (from Arse-sweat ‘09), but we *do* have the exclusive two-color Murilee Martin Wrech/skull stencil.

  12. Micahel Rennick

    We’ve got 1, 2 and 4 living under the many coats of paint on our Escort. Your Honor and the other judges never found anything worth a bribe on our car, but we’ve always felt it our duty to ensure the law of the land was fed, lubricated and/or mildly amused. Our lame theme attempts have meant that each stencil will live on only in our memories unless we do a Louvre style paint removal on the car.

  13. Rockford Brodie

    This whole time I thought those BakCheesh stencils were some kind of mashup between Che Guevara and Cheech Marin…

  14. OA5599

    I have a dollar sign one from MSR Feb. ‘09. I presume that race was early enough in the year that numero uno was still in use?

  15. mharrell

    @Darren– It’s more that I live in dread of the day I’ll need to repaint my car.

    Here’s a closeup of the CdL sheet, as used at the 2010 Box Wine Country Classic:

    http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5081/5351514154_6ccee673c6.jpg

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