Last night, I attended my first-ever "Monster Truck Jam." I don't think it's the beginning of a trend. It was my nephew's birthday, and he had seen the commercials and wanted to go, so my boys and I went. The "monster trucks" are basically a chevy truck shell perched atop a giant chassis and 4 huge tires, pretty much a decorated go-cart with a huge engine. The trucks line up in front of a row of junked cars, rev the giant engines, then speed forward, crush the cars, and sometimes go airborne for a second. Then they back up, line up, and do it again. Judges rank which one did the best. For this, 10,000 people sat in traffic. Apparently there is a whole subculture of people who follow this "sport." At dinner, there were tons of people wearing t-shirts advertising the "Grave Digger" truck, which I guess is a superstar of the monster circuit; they were shooting t-shirts into the crowd throughout the show, but I can't say I would have risked life or limb to get one... somehow I just don't see myself as being on the front end of that particular fashion trend.
It was amazing to me how large and diverse the crowd was. Of course, there were an abundance of mullet haircuts and folks who looked like they would fall into the "them thar's big 'ol trucks" demographic--but there were huge numbers of just regular people: families, college kids, more men than women, but a genuinely broad spectrum. I had no idea this stuff was so popular!
The highlight of the night was "Draco the Dragonator," a jerry-rigged green backhoe decorated with scales, wings, glowing red eyes, and the ability to "breathe" fire. They rolled this thing out and it "ate" a compact car, to the delight of all the little boys (present company included) in the crowd. I'm pretty sure that in the next 24 hours there will be a similar device in my home made of legos.
The low point--being reminded again that even among rednecks, I'm a redneck. As we waited and waited and waited for traffic to clear up, I watched the Sal-mobile heat up, gradually reaching the point where idiot lights began to flash. Luckily, we rolled on and it cooled off, but you have to admit--sitting with your hood up, pouring steam, while traffic backs up behind you at the monster truck jam--that's a Jeff Foxworthy special waiting to happen.