The first snag comes when Lady Kathy has to bow out of the trip. Surprisingly, it didn't take long to find a replacement. (Isn't it amazing how people trust me?) He was 6-foot 5-inch Marine reservist Burford Jones, from whom, in fact, I had borrowed the Santa suit in the first place. Given that we'd be leaving Xmas day, and therefore Burford would be missing Xmas, New Year's Day, and his & his wife's wedding anniversary, and that his wife was newly pregnant, he almost instantly agreed to don elf garb and accompany me.

Mark Simple informed X Magazine readers everywhere:

From: X Magazine
18 Dec 1994

[Re:] the Route 66 X Magazine Staff Car trip.

We have been hounded by numerous logistical coordinators for the Route 66
X Magazine Staff Car trip to remind our readers that the theme for this perverse piece of performance art is, indeed, Christmas, and the driver shall be wearing a jolly Santa suit for the journey. His co-pilot, having morphed (brrrr...morphing) from a supposed sultry 'zine (brrr... "'zine") editrix to a 6'5" "guy", will be wearing a comical elf outfit, meeting "Santa" at the beginning of Route 66. Oh, the tickets they'll gather! X Magazine regrets the error. As with all X Magazine performance art pieces, the Jon Stewart (Show) will be duly notified. You just know they're going to ditch the suits one hundred miles out of Chicago.

As various Warner Bros. cartoon characters used to say: "He don't know me very well, do he?"

Meanwhile, X Magazine readers were kept apprised as the diligent Simple prepared Lucky for his journey towards the sunset:

From: X Magazine
21 Dec 1994

We took the X Mag Staff Car out for a quick spin to test the new tires and its general road-worthiness for our X Mag Staff Car raffle winner, Mr. Doc of TEMPE, ARIZONA (Doc sends along a mini-update: "The Santa suit fits nicely"). It passed the road test (much
better than early in July, when part of one of the tires inexplicably got caught in the front-right quarter-panel. Don't ask), and it also passed the cop-magnet test. Dovetailing behind us quite handily, a Plymouth police officer pulled us over trying to get on I-275, a mere two minutes after starting the car (a new record!). "Kind of cold to be driving a convertible this time of year, isn't it?" I'll spare you the emotionally-gripping transcript.; as it turns out, the license plate had dropped down again (see X8). The driver of our chase car is convinced that this officer also participated in the humorous four-cop-car-starter's-pistol-excuse melee, of which I offer a small transcript dollop:

OFFICER (upon seeing the Fisher-Price fun jet on the hood, and a painting of the same jet in flames on the trunk): "Are you a pilot?"

ALL NON-UNIFORMED PERSONNEL IN IMMEDIATE AREA (flooding their respective bodies with Maximum Laughter Suppression endorphins): "mmm"

DRIVER: "No sir. They're toys."

After being pulled over last night, I wasn't sure which was stupider: riding in a convertible (actually, a car with the roof cut off) in the dead of winter, being pulled over, or the fact that the officer let us go..."Come on, Jake! Let's do those crimes..."
Simple went on to outline the details of the next X Magazine contest, finishing with:
The first person that sends X Magazine an e-note with the word "Prozac" in the subject of the message gets the pin...however, Doc of TEMPE, ARIZONA remains ineligible for valuable X prizes until the year 1998.
A pin?!? Ha! I got a CAR! Did I SCORE, or what?

Well . . .