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by adam mathes
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Need For Moon Power

Before my senior year of college, I almost bought a Mazda Miata.

My friends cautioned me against it. Some even said it would make me a “pussy.” Apparently due to the (obviously absurd) concept that the Miata is a “chick car.”

So I decided to ask Evan, as he was clearly the best arbiter of what would or would not make one a pussy.

Actual AIM conversation with Evan on 9/1/2001:

adam: would buying a mazda miata make me a pussy?

evan: absolutely

adam: that’s what i thought

adam: i don’t think it’s going to stop me though

evan: a man once said, it’s not the size of the car but the size of the arm hanging out of the window

evan: in which case, you’re fucked either way

adam: yeah, good point

Although I love the car I did buy (which isn’t a Miata) sometimes I thought of what the alternate world is like where I did get a Miata.

I hadn’t thought about that bizarre alternate world where I’m a miata-driving pussy in a long time. Until I started playing Need For Speed Underground. Need For Speed is a long running video game franchise that used to be about driving exotic cars really fast. Need For Speed Underground breaks with this and is about the vast world of underground street racing, and seems to be heavily based on the often cited canonical documentary work on the subject, The Fast and the Furious.

For those unfamiliar with it, the idea is instead of spending $50,000 on a fast sports car, it’s better to spend $15,000 on a Honda Civic and then spend $25,000 and five years tricking out the engine, adding flashing neon lights under the car, and something about nitrous. Apparently nitrous is important.

As you start Need For Speed Underground, you’re offered a few cars. A Lancer, a VW Golf, Dodge Neon, Honda Civic, and - inexplicably - a Mazda Miata.

And then I realized: Need For Speed Underground was my chance to buy a Miata and prove I wasn’t a pussy. I would race! And win! And show everyone that I was… the fastest and the most furious!

Things went well. I customized my car. I won races.

I had a car with giant red flames on it! Hot Wheels! Beat that! Then, after beating a time trial my mentor, Samantha, offered me the choice of a full body vinyl. I looked through them, skulls, robots, some other stuff, and then, I saw it. The new skin of my ride. It spoke to me. Could it be? Were the Sailor Scouts going to help me be the best street racer I could be?

Oh, I knew the other drivers might laugh. But I would prove them all wrong.

“I’m not a pussy! I will drive my pink Miata with Sailor Moon ripoff vinyl and beat all of you!” my character screamed before a 6 lap circuit through the city. (At least, he should have, I mean, the glass is tinted, it’s hard to see the lips.)

And that’s how I beat Need For Speed Underground.

Which I think just proves that if I had bought the Miata, I would not have been a pussy, I would have actually been too badass for the world to deal with.

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