The Rice Report – Introduction

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I am pleased to announce the arrival of a new category: The Rice Report!

Surely you remember a time when it was impossible to drive anywhere without being constantly surrounded by ricers. It seemed to really peak right around 2003-ish. At the time I was driving an S10 with a loud exhaust and it seemed like somebody wanted to race me at every light. I remember receiving constant “rice-bys” on the way to school. (Who really feels like driving like that at 7AM, anyway?) I remember going to AMC 30 around that time and just marveling at how basically every spot in the gigantic parking lot was full of cars with unpainted body kits. And then, thankfully, the whole thing started fading away just as suddenly as it had appeared.

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Ricers: The Next Generation

Let’s play a little word association game. If I say the word “ricer”, what words come to mind? If you are in your mid to late 20’s your brain is probably flooded with words like “body kit”, “spoiler”, “a-pillar mounted fire extinguisher” or “roof scoop”, right?

Guys, this is 2012. The dudes who drove the cars with all that bullshit on them have moved on. Most have lifted trucks now, a few probably have stock, newer Civics. All the dickheads who could actually afford them just have BMWs. The cars are long gone too. Either driven into the ground by an ex-girlfriend, parted out, or sold to tweakers. Anyways, they aren’t really around any more. Don’t worry though, I’ve got you covered- while not an exhaustive list by any means, this is pretty much everything you need to know about the concept- the theory, if you will- of what this new generation of dumbfuck kids are doing with their parent’s debt.

The ricers of yesteryear were at least attempting to look like they knew a little bit about cars. Sure, a chrome hot-air intake from eBay does fuck all for performance and makes you look like a tool. But at least it signified 2 things:  1. You knew how to open your hood, and  2. You owned or were otherwise able to gain access to a flat head screwdriver. Ok, maybe they watched The Fast and the Furious a few too many times. At least they were still trying to be car guys, even if they were failing miserably at it. Modifications were meant to give the illusion of speed. They meant well, one could argue. Everything is different now. It’s no longer about going fast, it’s about-and I use the term loosely- “looking good”. Today, you can show up at a car show with a stock-motored car with cut springs, your wheels painted baby blue or RC car neon yellow, and 14 or 15 of the same sticker carefully plastered in a perfectly arranged pattern on one your quarter panels and turn some heads.

Fuck that. It’s almost like it’s not only not cool to have actual car knowledge, its actually uncool to know about cars. Like only a slobbering, inbred redneck would want to modify a car for performance. And American cars? Forget about it!  Nowadays, it’s all just about showing off your “style”, and the car is a fashion accessory, merely a giant, rolling Trapper Keeper to cover with stickers so the whole world can see you and know that you’re too cool for school. It’s bad. Smugness abounds. I do have to say, however, that going to the Pavilions on Saturdays and seeing the number of stickered up, rusted-hooded shitboxes multiplying exponentially every week has really put things into perspective for me. It really helps me appreciate pretty much every other little subculture going on within this bigger subculture I love to complain about so much. Even the kind of lame ones, like Minis.

Even the jocks in their impossibly mean sounding 5.0s and 4th gen F-bodies, even the greasers with the permanent “fuck you” look on their faces, even the billet-and-tweed-everything old guys, the eBay turbo kit import guys, the I-hate-to-admit-how-fucking-fast-they-can-be-made diesel trucks, the old Corvette guys who all look the same, even all the 240sx guys (where do all these 240sx’s keep coming from anyway?), the transformer-dorks with their new Camaros, the guys who apparently just found out about LEDs, the sleazy Euro-trash guys with the Ferraris, the regular-Joe looking guys who try to park their NSX’s right by the Ferraris, the guys who ride street bikes who put those weird mohawks on their helmets, the guys in newer GTO’s who look like they should be riding street bikes with mohawks on their helmets, even the guys with the Grand Nationals with eight miles on them, even the SHO guys who all neglect their cars terribly, and  God, even the Mopar guys. I (heart) you all. Each and every one of you.