UPDATE: The Guerilla Drive-In is On Hiatus

Since I've become the announcer for the Brandywine Roller Girls, I'm putting the Guerilla Drive-In on hiatus for 2012.

But that's not necessarily bad news: if you like the GDI, you'll love modern roller derby. It's fast-paced, athletic, cheerful, and irreverent.

There's loud music, corny names, and silly clothes, but unlike the staged derby of the 70s and 80s, modern roller derby is a real amateur sport now, with rules and referees and actual sporting competition going on. You can come out and watch (and see me announcing as "Thurston Howl III"), the third Saturday of every month. Check out some videos of the Brandywine Roller Girls in action, then get your tickets!

Find the MacGuffin

The MacGuffin is an AM transmitter, wired to an ex-Retropod Sony Sports Walkman, playing a continuous-loop answering machine cassette, all stuffed inside a waterproof Pelican case.

The MacGuffin broadcasts a short message on AM 1700. The message contains the information you need to complete the quest.

Once you complete the MacGuffin quest, you'll be awarded a permanent GDI member number. You'll get an email with all upcoming movies and locations, about a week before each showing.


The MacGuffin Quest

This year, not only must you find the MacGuffin, you must complete an epic task. I don't use that word lightly, either; we're breathing new life into a slumbering monster. Let me explain.

First, memorize Shelley's poem Ozymandias:

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!"
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Ozymandias is the most metal poem ever written. It has majesty, bombast, British schoolboy overtones, and a ten-cent platitude delivered as a monumental insight. How metal is this poem? The cover of Powerslave is almost, but not quite, as metal as Shelley's Ozymandias.

But this poem has never been given its due on the Internet. Ben Kingsley recited the poem in a very odd promotion for the Bank of Switzerland, but, I mean... look at the job he did. It's terrible. He phoned it in. He smirked.

This will not stand, man. We're going to change that. We are going to rescue Ozymandias, and give it the respect it deserves. In front of people that will have no idea what you're doing.

When you find the MacGuffin, be ready to recite Ozymandias to the people you will find there. And I don't mean mumble through it. I mean stand on a box, put one hand on your heart, hold the other in the air, and declaim that m@&#3%f^(|er. Put some OOMPH into it. If everyone looks at you like you are crazy, RECITE HARDER. The Guardians of the MacGuffin will be there, and they will pretend like they don't know what you're doing. They are testing you. MORE METAL. They will ask "fool, what are you doing here?" MORE. METAL. Keep reciting.

In order to show you JUST HOW METAL you must be, I asked Hunter Davis to recite the poem for you. You might remember Hunter as the brilliant fellow who recited the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air intro as Sir Ian McKellen. Here he is, CRUSHING Kingsley's weak, smirk-y performance:

If you recite Ozymandias perfectly, if you give it the respect it deserves, if you bring everyone to their feet and sear their soul with the loneliness of the lone and level sands... why, then, the Guardians of the MacGuffin will approve you. They'll allow you to take your picture with them, and you'll email that picture to me at , and I'll give you your official, permanent GDI number, and you'll know about each and every show coming up.

Do a weak or halfass job, forget the words, refer to a crib sheet, and the Guardians of the MacGuffin will tell you that they don't know what you're doing, that they've never heard of the Guerilla Drive-In, that you're crazy.

Can you accept the challenge? Caln you breathe new life into this slumbering monster of metal? Email me at if you need clues.

Trivia: last year, we had a man that did such a fantastic job, he was issued a citation by the police. I am perfectly serious, and have the security-camera footage to prove it. Get your MacGuffin number, and you can meet the man himself!

The Kids' MacGuffin Quest

Now, the location of the MacGuffin is not always kid-friendly. There's all kind of seedy interesting characters there. So if you have kids that are still trick-or-treat age (or if you are a kid who's trick-or-treat age), then this is the quest for you!

Go to the very best ice cream parlor in West Chester, and ask for the (sshhhh!) Guerilla Sundae.

The (sshhhh!) Guerilla Sundae will come in a special bowl, with a special secret code at the bottom hidden under the chocolate syrup. Reveal the secret code, take a picture of yourselves with the bowl, and send both the picture and the code to me at !

Note that this quest is ONLY for folks that have trick-or-treat-age kiddies. That's not a precise age definition, of course; just use your best judgment!

Searching for the Secret Access Code
GDI members 027 Agent Stigora and 027 Agent Peaches
demonstrate the process to reveal the secret code!

What Happens Then?

Once you've proved that you've found the MacGuffin, you'll be assigned a sequential, immutable, and eternal Guerilla Drive-In member ID number.

You'll get an email the week before each showing, describing exactly what'll be shown and where.

You'll also get to proudly wear the secret and exclusive "Found the MacGuffin" Nerd Merit Badge!

Hints and Questions

The MacGuffin's purpose is not to exclude anybody. Rather, it's to make things more fun, and act as a sea anchor on sudden, big crowds. I won't tell you the location, but I'll drop all kinds of corny hints if you're stuck. And I will add you to the comp list for a while if you want to know about upcoming shows. Email me at or DM @guerilladrivein on Twitter.

Sam B., Tom F. and Sara A.
find the MacGuffin in June, 2009 and become
GDI members 107, 108, and 109!

Comments and Questions

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