Dirt MO-ronathon

For most riders, dirt is where it all began.

The adults have conspired to keep the grommets out of the streets until the age of 18, but that's OK, because nothing spells fun like a homemade mini-bike with a lawnmower engine and some wide-open spaces. I myself can fondly recall zipping around at the age of 6, eating my Dad's dust and trying to chase him over obstacles for which my suspension-less steed and I were woefully unprepared. One pothole in particular shot my still-hairless buttocks up into the air in what I claim to this day was a perfect Superman aerial maneuver. I'll confess to a less than perfect recovery though, as my feet were nowhere to be found when I needed them, and I landed with my belly on the seat and my legs still straight out behind me. My troubles were only just beginning, however, as my death grip on the handlebars kept the throttle held wide open as I rapidly picked up speed. I remember thinking that the longer I held on, the worse I was gonna eat sh*t, but that the sooner I let go, the sooner I was gonna eat· KABLOOIE! My decision was made for me, as I hit a small berm and went flying head over heels, creating a truly impressive cloud of dirt, especially considering my still underdeveloped gravitational mass. Like a computer trying to reboot itself after a crash, I began to take stock of my various limbs and digits, finding to my amazement that I had been left virtually unscathed. Then I began to feel something wet and warm running down my arm. It had taken awhile for the blood to begin seeping through the caked-on dirt, but there it was, a nice gash along the backside of my forearm. I was so amped up on adrenaline that it didn't even hurt, and I remember shifting rapidlyfrom scared sh*tless mode to cracking up laughing at myself. I still have that scar as a souvenir of my first gnarly get-off.

Let's face it, something about playing in the dirt is innately funny, and there's no hooligans like dirt hooligans.

On the street there is always fear of The Man, or some blind cager, or that hard-looking pavement hanging over your good time, but in the hinterlands, the only thing to fear is your own stupidity. So I say, "Let the stupidity begin! Bring on the Dirt MOronathon"!

Crusty Demons: Nine Lives

Music: 5 Assuming you've watched the first eight Crusty's, its got all the alternative, punk, and neo-metal you've come to expect. Someday they'll make a Crusty that features Yo Yo Ma and Andres Segovia... but not today.

Comedy: 5 Not that there aren't any laughs in CD9, but it's a mime troupe kinda thang. This DVD was a dialog-free zone with the singular exception being a brief skit with Bubba and some kids in which he tries to leap a 7-foot gap with a mini-chopper and faceplants violently. Pretty hilarious actually! The boys have a good ol, fashioned fireworks fight in the Utah sand dunes. Then there's some Flugtog footage in which teams build parade float-like flying devices that stand zero chance of actually flying, and dump them off the Santa Monica Pier. Oh and let's not forget my personal favorite slapstick moment in which a stripper flat out decks a guy that musta touched something he wasn't supposed to touch. He won't make that mistake again. That is if he remembers what happened when he comes to.

T&A: 4 I suppose a short clip of scantily clad chicks racing monkey 50s counts for something, but overall I found the female anatomy content to be disturbingly PG. I've found myself more aroused watching Josie and the Pussycats reruns on Cartoon Network. Mmmm... Melody! Stunts: 8 Of course the quality of these fellers, dirt skeelz is beyond compare, but really the only new stunt on display was Deegan & Pastrana at the X-Games throwing horizontal 360s for the first time in history. Of course, this represented a watershed event in the world of freestyle, not to mention the world of physics, so that counts for a couple of points. Oh, and I suppose I have to give credit for Ryan Capes launching 260, for a new long jump record too. Oh, OK, so the stunts were pretty good!

Crashes: 8 Here is where CD9 really shines. The opening sequence jumped right out at me with the full-on Jackass treatment usually reserved for a grand finale. Lotsa cringeworthy faceplants, a wide variety of crashes (skateboards, bmx, off roofs). My favorite was the guy trying to jump his bike up onto a rooftop coming up short and getting a face full of storm drain. Excuse me, is there an orthodontist in the house?! Lots of ghostrides where hooligans intentionally pin the throttle and bail, launching bikes off of jumps to their imminent demise. The OEMs must be thrilled. They,re shooting rider-less bikes into the air just to see them crash. We get blackballed for a year if we drop a scooter.

Overall: 7 In dirt video circles, Crusty stands for quality, and this go round is no exception. They go the extra yard with exotic location shots on a beach in the Dominican Republic and illicit footage from Australia of the Crusty Global Assault World Tour that was blackballed stateside. CD9 features all the usual suspects like Clowers, Twitch, Hart, and Enslow. Variety is the spice of life, and in addition to the dirt bikes, off-road Baja racers and truckees that get thrown in, even (gasp) street stunters make an appearance! There's a general theme of destructive behavior but it got an "OK for teenagers 13 and over" rating from a single-mom I know who actually has a 13 year old, so consider this a "hooligan-lite" viewing experience.

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