Cannonball Run 2005: High Stakes

AN:Welcome to the next running of the Cannonball Run remake series. For this tale, we return to the states and raise the danger level. Some new faces will show up and some new actions will occur.
I thought I should include a cast list so you would have a better idea of what my reinvisioned characters looked like. I asked Anthony, a.k.a. Turbo Man and he agreed. So, here's my selected cast:

J.J. McClure-Jerry O'Connell
Victor Prinsi/Captain Chaos-Horatio Sanz
Pamela Glover-Tara Reid
Mad Dog-Ice T
Batman-Beck
Jamie Blake-Colin Quinn
Morris Fenderbaum-Arsenio Hall
Jill Boyd-Tinsley Grimes
Marcie Thatcher-Jordana Spiro
Jessica Munroe-Raelee Hill
Jackie Lewis-Dustin Diamond
Michael North-Darius McCrary
Brad Compton-Will Forte
Seymour Drake Jr, a.k.a. "The Drake"-Cole Hauser
Ron-Brian Baker
Venom-Matt Schulze
Terry Fletcher-Andrew Heckler
Melvin Sharp-Anthony Clark
Monkey-Chad Lindberg
Danny Mitchell-Martin Henderson
Dr. Nicolas Van Helsing-Randy Quaid
Arthur J. Foyt-John Lithgow
Frankie Thunder-Johnny Strong

Well, here we go.

----------

Toronto, Ontario, Canada...

"I think this will be perfect for the party." said Wayne Bruce, or Batman as his friends called him.

"I think you'll also find the parking lot to be fully capable of holding all of the cars in your race." said the manager of the hotel he was in.

"Yeah, very nice." said Batman. "So, tell me. Will the Toronto airport allow a few fly-bys of vintage biplanes for the party?"

"What?" asked the manager.

"Just kidding." said Batman with a laugh.

The manager laughed too.

"Anyways, this might be the best place to stage the start of the race." said Batman. "I'll call you when we make the final decision."

"Thank you very much." said the manager. "Have a good day."

"Talk to you later." said Batman. As he walked out to the parking lot, he took out his cel phone and dialled.

"Yo, it's Mad Dog." said the voice on the other end.

"Mad Dog, it's me, Batman."

"Wassup, bud?" asked Mad Dog.

"The hotel in Toronto is a lock." said Batman. "As soon as we can get the teams to Canada, we can start."

"Good to hear." said Mad Dog. "You're coming back?"

"I'll be there soon." said Batman. He walked around to where he parked his car, a Cadillac XLR, and froze when he saw two police officers. "Uh oh." he said. "We got cops."

"Uh oh is right." said Mad Dog. "We can't let the local constabulary get in our way."

"I'll see what I can do." said Batman. He walked up to the officers and said "What seems to be the problem, officers?"

"We've gotten reports of foreign nationals preparing to perform some kind of illegal activity here." said one of the officers. "We're checking everyone out."

"I'm just from New York." said Batman. "Does that count?"

"It's another country, eh?" said the other.

"What is your business in Toronto?" asked the first.

"Just a business trip." said Batman. "That's all."

"What kind of business?" asked the other.

"Automotive." said Batman. "I work for a car customizer in Brooklyn who was hired by a Toronto man to do up his ride."

"What customizer?" asked the first.

"Mad Dog Customs." said Batman. "I have a business card if you want to contact them."

He handed the officers the card. "Thank you." said the other. "You can go now, but don't leave town."

"Okay." said Batman.

The officers walked away. Batman put the phone back to his ear.

"Did you hear that?" asked Batman as he got into his car.

"Yeah." said Mad Dog. "I think we may have been made."

"We might have to reconsider the hotel if..." said Batman before looking at the officers and seeing them talking to a pair of men in familiar red coats and wide-brimmed hats. "Shit!"

"What?" asked Mad Dog.

"Mounties!" said Batman. "Basta, I'm outta here!"

Batman started his XLR and backed out of the space in a hurry. This attracted the attention of the Mounties. Batman flashed a quick smile and took off.

The Mounties and Toronto police ran to their cars and gave chase. "This is unit 12." reported one of the Toronto cops. "We are in pursuit of a late model Cadillac roadster with New York plates. Believed to be involved with illegal activities. Over."

Batman pulled into the backlot of a convenience store and parked. He cut the engine, jumped out, and jumped the fence nearby. On the other side was a Mercedes Benz G500 which he climbed into. He started the truck, put it in gear, and drove to the exit of that backlot. Two of the city's police cruisers raced by looking for his car. They didn't notice him. He reached up and scratched the side of his nose with his middle finger, then drove off.

"Even in Canada, police are the same." he quipped.

----------

The following day, he returned to Brooklyn. He pulled into the parking lot for Coney Island, got out, and found Mad Dog waiting for him at a bench.

"Bad news." said Batman as he walked over. "Canada is out."

"Damn!" said Mad Dog. "How'd they find out about this?"

"I dunno." said Batman. "There must be a leak somewhere."

"Great, we just ruined a perfectly good trip to Canada." said Mad Dog.

"What are we gonna do now?" asked Batman. "Canada was the only country we could use that wasn't too expensive to go to."

"I don't know." said Mad Dog. "I need time to think."

"Maybe we should let the heat die down and run it next year." said Batman.

"No, I missed the race last year because I was too sick." said Mad Dog. "I'm not going to let some cops ruin it this year."

"Well, it could be the best option." said Batman. "If it's that risky in Canada, we might as well run across America again."

"What?" asked Mad Dog.

"Well, since the Canadian police are just as fired up as the American police..." said Batman.

"That's actually not a bad idea." said Mad Dog. "We should run it across America again. You know, stick with tradition."

"Are you nuts?" asked Batman. "The very reason the Drake ran the race in Australia last year was because the police in the States are more dilligent due to the race two years ago."

"Yeah?" asked Mad Dog. "Screw them."

"Okay, maybe I can't talk you out of this." said Batman. "But do you have to drag me along?"

"Not really." said Mad Dog. "I need someone to coordinate things behind the scenes."

"And you want me to do it?" asked Batman.

"Sure." saidMad Dog.

"You trust me that much?" asked Batman.

"Of course." said Mad Dog.

"Wow, I'm honored." said Batman. "I think we should tell J.J."

"Know what?" asked Mad Dog. "We'll go up and see him tomorrow. I need some time to organize these new plans."

----------

In Washington, D.C, Arthur J. Foyt slammed down the receiver for his telephone. "Toronto police called off the search!" he yelled.

"They're probably not going to run the race there now." said the other man in the room.

"Have you heard anything about the race being canceled?" asked Foyt.

"No, which is not very surprising." said the man. "No one is more determined to race than the Cannonballers."

"Then, they must have a backup plan for the starting line." said Foyt. "Do you know what that could be?"

"If there are backup locations, no one told me yet." said the man.

"Well, keep an ear out." said Foyt. "If we have to, we might have to let you actually take part in the race."

"Seriously?" asked the man.

"Seriously." said Foyt. "Two years ago, I had the Cannonballers right in my hands and they managed to slip right past me! Not this time. This time, the Cannonballers will be stopped with your help."

"If I am to help you stop the Cannonball," said the man "I'll need a car. Something high performance, exotic, preferably red."

"An exotic sports car?" asked Foyt. "Do you have any idea how much those cost?"

"You want to stop the Cannonball by letting me to go undercover in it." said the man. "I need a sports car. I'm not driving some riced out Honda. I got a reputation to protect."

"Alright, I'll start looking." said Foyt. "Anything in particular?"

"I've always wanted to test drive an Aston Martin." said the man.

"Okay, it's a deal." said Foyt. "Your next assignment is to keep your ears open. If you hear anything about the Cannonball, make a note of it and tell me when you have a chance. Until then, we never had this conversation."

"Okay." said the man. "Nice talking with you, Mr. Foyt."

"Until we meet again, Mr. Blake." said Foyt.

----------

The day after they met at Coney Island, Mad Dog and Batman drove up to Stone Ridge, New York to meet with J.J. McClure. J.J. had a late model Ford Crown Victoria up on the lift when he saw Mad Dog and Batman approach.

"Hey, Mad Dog!" said J.J. "What's up?"

"Canada is out." said Mad Dog. "We need to change the plans."

"Okay, how so?" asked J.J.

"Hey, Mad Dog!" said J.J's assistant, Victor Prinsi as he came out of the garage.

"Hey, wassup, Victor?" asked Mad Dog. "How's the car coming?"

"Tuning it is going well." said Victor. "I think that performance-wise, it already meets the official requirements."

"Good." said Mad Dog. "We have a design all set up."

"I hit ninety on the Thruway just to get this." said Batman as he took out his cel phone and activated the camera. He showed off a picture of a New York state trooper's car. He then showed off a picture of the car's door and the intricate decal.

"You could have just gone to the town hall." said Victor. "There's usually one or two parked down there."

"Wish you'd told me that two hundred dollars ago!" said Batman.

"This paint job is doable." said J.J. "However, we're going to have to paint these stripes and symbols. There's not a decal maker on the planet that's going to make official vinyls without identification."

"Sounds like a lot of work, but we don't have a choice." said Mad Dog.

"I know." said J.J. "On other details, where's the starting line?"

"Your guess is as good as ours." said Mad Dog. "Do you know of a place that's secluded, but can host a decent party?"

"As a matter of fact, I do." said J.J. "Come on."

J.J. and Mad Dog walked to J.J's Camaro and climbed in.

"I've got a CD in the player." said J.J. as he started the car. "It was half-finished when I parked. We'll be at the location and back before it runs out."

J.J. pulled out onto the road and drove.

"By the way, did you call the others to tell them about the venue change?" asked J.J.

"Sure did." said Mad Dog. "I called Blake and Fenderbaum."

----------

"I called the Drake."

In a Chicago parking garage, Seymour Drake Jr. raced through the structure in a white BMW M3 four-door. His bodyguard Ron held on for dear life.

After the Drake came around a turn at high speed, he started to lose control. When he ended up pointing in the direction he had come, he threw the car into reverse and continued. Shortly afterward, he performed a bootlegger and drove towards the next ramp. He drove up it and stopped in the first available parking space.

"So, Ron." asked the Drake. "What do you think?"

"Definitely puts the El to shame." said Ron. "I see those defensive driving courses are paying off."

"Alright." said the Drake as he went for the door handle. Ron got out as well.

"I still think it needs something." said the Drake. "I'm thinking some performance adds from Dinan, Hartge, Alpina perhaps. You know, if we're going to supe it up, we might as well decorate it too. How does this sound? Metallic red, gold pinstripes, Hartge rims."

"If the pinstripes are gold, why not the rims?" asked Ron.

"Nice thinking." said the Drake. "How about a body kit as well?"

"Okay." said Ron. "Now, about security."

"Ron, I was kidnapped last year." said the Drake. "I'm willing to accept my share of the blame..."

"Your share?" asked Ron. "You got kidnapped because you were distracted talking to a girl. I wasn't exactly in a postition to intervene."

"Anyways, I think we could use a little help." said the Drake.

"Mister Drake..." said Ron.

"No, my decision is final." said the Drake. "I've hired another bodyguard. I don't want you to think of him as your replacement. Think of him more as a partner."

"Where did you get him?" asked Ron.

"One of my golf buddies set me up." said the Drake. "Come on, we've got some plans to make."

----------

"I called Mel and Terry."

In Kentucky, a used car dealer led former stock car driver Melvin Sharp and his former chief mechanic Terry Fletcher to a '77 AMC Gremlin. "So, what would it take to get you into this Gremlin?" asked the dealer.

"Chloroform." said Mel.

"Actually, we've already got a car chosen." said Terry.

"That's right." said Mel. "We checked out the lot last week and found what we needed."

"That's it right over there." said Terry as he pointed across the lot at a faded gray '69 Dodge Coronet R/T.

"I'm afraid that car's been reserved." said the dealer. "Someone tried to buy it twicein the last week, and both timeswe got a notice from the computer that it was reserved."

"That would be us." said Mel.

"Yeah, the mechanic set up the reservation." said Terry.

The dealer looked to the repair bay. He knew just which mechanic was responsible. Three guys were standing around a Ford Taurus checking the brakes and oil. A fourth was giving the engine an examinationby hanging from an engine hoist by his arms and legs.

"Excuse me." said the dealer.

"Come on, let's check out the car." said Terry.

The dealer marched into the repair bay. "Monkey!" he yelled.

"Hey, what's going on, dad?" asked Monkey, the mechanic hanging from the engine hoist.

"Did you reserve that Coronet?" asked the dealer.

"Yeah." said Monkey as he climbed off the engine hoist. "Those guys..."

"Why did you do that?" asked the dealer. "I almost got rid of the Gremlin!"

"These guys were looking for something powerful and the Coronet fit the bill." said Monkey. "And I told you. If you want to get rid of that Gremlin, there's a junkyard across town that will give you more than it's worth!"

"I'm telling you, Monkey!" said the dealer. "If you supercede me like that again, you're finished! Got it?"

"I can only hope." muttered Monkey.

Mel and Terry heard the tirade from the Coronet. "What do you suppose that was about?" asked Mel.

"I try not to get involved with other people's messes." said Terry as he reached into the driver's side footwell and pulled the hood release. "Check the engine." he said.

Mel opened the hood and let out a howl. "Big Hemi!" he said.

Terry took a look. "Oh yeah." he said. "That's gotta be at least a 440."

"Let's put some money on it." said Mel as he closed the hood.

They went into the office with the dealer.

"So, what are you boys going to do with this car?" asked the dealer as Monkey walked in.

"Basicly, we're going to take a little trip." said Mel. "Just go out and ride until they say no."

"We're Cannonballers." said Terry as Monkey picked up the phone and dialled.

"Stop it, boy!" yelled the dealer. "I told you not to play with the phone!" He threw a paper pad at him to make his point.

"Wasn't that a little harsh?" asked Mel.

"Damn kid costs me three hundred a month in wrong numbers." said the dealer. Suddenly, Monkey reached into the candy jar, pulled out a handful of mints, and started throwing them at his father. "Hey, stop it, you little puke! That's it, I've had it with you!" he said. He turned to Mel and Terry and added "'Scuse me, boys. I gotta teach this brat some manners."

He walked over to Monkey and said "Listen, son!" He then slapped him with his hat. Monkey responded with a punch to the jaw that knocked his father across the room.

"I've had it!" yelled Monkey. "I try and I try and I can never impress you! I'm sick of your treatment!"

"Oh, now you've stepped in it." said his father. He rushed Monkey and tried to punch him, but Monkey grabbed him and threw him into the desk chest-first.

"This is better than 'American Chopper'." said Terry as Mel stared in shock.

Monkey's father tried to attack him again, only to be thrown into the desk again right in front of Mel and Terry. He dragged himself back to his feet and looked at the two.

"Boys, I got one condition on your needs." he gasped. "I'm gonna give you the Coronet, but only if you take this hairy son of a bitch with you!"

Monkey grabbed him by the hair and pulled him away until his toupee came off.

----------

"I called Jackie and Michael. Brad's working with them, you know."

At a Seattle Best Buy, Michael North stood in line with a cartload of computer equipment. A woman walked into the line behind him with a couple of CDs. Her eyes went wide when she saw how much stuff Michael had.

"You might want to take another checkout." he told her. "This could take a while."

"Let's see." said the checkout girl. "You're buying a top of the line motherboard, the fastest processor on the market, the biggest hard drive we sell, and some high capacity RAM chips. When you build your own computer, you don't mess around."

"I know." said Michael. "So, take a credit card?"

"Of course." said the girl as she took his card. "Thank you, Mr. Compton."

Outside, Michael's partner Jackie Lewis was sitting in the driver's seat of a silver Acura TSX. Their backer, Brad Compton, sat in the front passenger seat. Jackie had a laptop set up on the dashboard and was watching a Homestar Runner webtoon.

"What are you, uh, doing?" asked Strong Bad.

"I'm practicing closing my eyes." said Homestar.

Jackie laughed. Brad just stared.

"What the hell is this?" asked Brad.

"Pure genius." said Jackie.

"You're into this?" asked Brad.

"Don't knock it." said Jackie. "Give it a chance. You'll be e-mailing Strong Bad by the end of the week."

Michael walked up and knocked on the window. Jackie rolled it down.

"Wanna pop the trunk?" he asked.

Jackie popped the trunk and got out to help him.

"Whoa!" he said. "We should be able to make a decent system out of this."

"I've already drawn up the plans." said Michael. "So, whatcha doing in there?"

"Just watching a video on the net." said Jackie.

"Homestar?" asked Michael.

"Who else?" asked Jackie.

----------

"I sent Jill and Marcie an e-mail."

In Santa Monica, California, Jill Boyd drove her Honda Civic street racer into Marcie Thatcher's driveway, avoiding the Toyota MR2 that she drove to victory in the 2003 Cannonball. After parking, she, Marcie, and Australian street racer Jessica Munroe climbed out.

"Here we are." said Marcie. "Casa del Thatcher."

"Nice place." said Jessie. "So, this is where I'm staying?"

"Absolutely." said Jill. "Oh, one other thing."

"Remember last year when you lent us your Skyline?" asked Marcie. "You said you wanted a car that wasn't available in Australia when you came here to visit?"

"Yeah?" said Jessie.

"Check this out." said Jill as she pushed the button on a garage door opener. The garage door opened to reveal a white sport coupe in the garage. "Voila, a brand new car all for you. Cute, huh?"

"Yeah, it's nice." said Jessie as she looked it over. "What kind of car is this?"

"It's a Scion tC." said Jill. "It's a youth oriented model made by Toyota. We did our research. It's only available in America."

"Why is it stock?" asked Jessie.

"Well, we thought since it was your American ride, you should be the one to customize it." said Marcie.

"Alright." said Jessie. "I'm just going to have to come up with something. Give me a moment."

"In the meantime, I'm going to check my e-mail." said Marcie.

As Marcie went to the computer, Jill found Jessie looking at the Scion. "I can tell you're anxious to get started." she said.

"Oh yeah." said Jessie. "This is a car I've never seen before. Looks like a challenge if I do say so."

"Oh my God!" said Marcie. "Jill, come here!"

Jill and Jessie ran over to Marcie and the computer. "What's up?" asked Jill.

"I got an e-mail from Mad Dog." said Marcie. "He says that the Cannonball's starting line has been moved to the U.S."

"The Cannonball?" asked Jessie. "Isn't that the race you needed the Skyline for last year?"

"That's the one." said Jill. "Looks like they're running it across America this year."

"Have a car picked out?" asked Jessie.

"No." said Marcie. "Why?"

"I think I have an idea for the car." said Jessie as she looked at the Scion.

----------

"Did you call that guy in Miami?" asked J.J.

"Oh, thanks for reminding me." said Mad Dog. He took out his cel phone and dialled.

In a doctor's office in Miami, Danny Mitchell sat on the examining table when his cel phone rang to the tune of the Killers' "Mr. Brightside". He picked it up and said "Mitchell."

"Yo, Danny."

"Hey, Mad Dog." said Danny. "What's up?"

"I'm just calling to tell you that the starting line has been moved to the U.S." said Mad Dog. "I'll get back to you on the exact spot. The race starts in a month. Can you make it?"

"I don't know yet." said Danny.

"Why? What's wrong?" asked Mad Dog.

"I'm at the doctor's." said Danny. "I've got some kind of kidney infection."

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that." said Mad Dog. "How bad?"

"I need a transplant." said Danny. "My cousin's flying in from Wellington to donate one. I'm scheduled around the time of the race. If you can give me an exact day, I'll try to arrange accordingly."

"Okay, I'll see what I can do." said Mad Dog. "By the way, can I recommend a specialist to keep tabs on your condition?"

"Sounds good." said Danny. "Hold on, the doctor's coming back. Can you call me back?"

"Sure, no prob." said Mad Dog. "See ya."

"Bye." said Danny as he hung up his phone.

The doctor walked in and said "Okay, Danny. We're all set for next month. We just need you to set a date. In the meantime, you need to take some medication."

"Medication?" asked Danny as the doctor handed him a bottle of pills.

"Yes." said the doctor. "It's experimental. You will need to take this three times a day with water until the transplant."

"Any side effects?" asked Danny.

"Stress incontinence." said the doctor. "That means you'll have trouble holding your urine."

"Wait, I have to take water with this and I won't be able to hold my piss?" asked Danny.

"I'm afraid so." said the doctor. "If you need a refill, just call your local pharmacy a couple days in advance. You should be fine."

"Okay." said Danny as he got up to leave. "Oh, one more thing. Do you think I'll be fine with a long car ride, say across the country?"

"Of course." said the doctor. "You should be fine."

"Alright, thanks." said Danny.

----------

Shortly after Danny finished the phone conversation, J.J. pulled up to the entrance of a rather majestic-looking Victorian hotel high in the mountains.

"Whoa, nice place!" said Mad Dog.

"Welcome to the Mohonk Mountain House." said J.J. "Let me show you around."

After showing Mad Dog around the hotel, J.J. led Mad Dog outside next to a lake. "Yeah, this is the place." said Mad Dog. "I think this will make a perfect starting line."

"I thought so." said J.J.

"How do you know of this place?" asked Mad Dog.

"I have my sources." said J.J.

"J.J? What are you doing here?" J.J. and Mad Dog looked to see J.J's girlfriend, Pamela. It turned out she worked there.

"Hi, Pamela." said J.J. "Mad Dog was looking for a starting line for the Cannonball and I thought of here."

"Here?" asked Pamela. "I thought we were running it in Canada this year?"

"We were, but there were slight problems with the local authorities." said Mad Dog.

"Wow, this is kind of a surprise." said Pamela. "I'll see if I can help. J.J, what about the trick?"

"I think we're going to do it just as planned." said J.J. "However, there will be a slight change in jurisdiction."

"I gotcha." said Pamela. "So, Mad Dog. Let me get you in touch with the guy in charge around here."

J.J. looked around. "One month." he said. "Guess I'd better get cracking."

AN:So, here we go.
In case you're wondering, the Mohonk Mountain House is a real place. However, I am not affiliated with it in any way other than having paid a couple of visits. I share Mad Dog's opinion, though. I think it's a nice place.
Stay tuned. There's more to come.