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Monster truck rally, part 2


I forgot to report on the monster truck rally. The stadium was half full, which equates to about 40,000 people. Mostly young families, couples in their 20s and 30s with young children. The crowd was probably 70 percent Caucasian, 20 percent Hispanic, and perhaps 10 percent black and Asian.

Everyone was dressed fairly normally. The women mostly were dressed up in tight jeans and boots or heels, and the men were dressed mostly in jeans, t-shirts, sweatshirts, and sometimes polos or button-down shirts. There was very little flannel in evidence, and very few John Deere or NASCAR hats. Most men were clean-shaven and had all their teeth.

In short, the idea of monster truck rallies being the domain of toothless bearded rednecks is a myth, promulgated by urban liberals who have never seen a monster truck or been to a monster truck rally, and who have certainly never talked to anyone outside of their urban liberal bubble.

It was a nice evening. This particular rally was sponsored by Marvel Comics, and most of the trucks were patterned after Marvel superheroes like Iron Man or Spiderman, painted in their colors and patterns. A few didn’t follow the Marvel pattern. Instead, they were decorated like dogs (complete with floppy ears coming out of the cab, a tongue lolling out of the radiator, and a big furry tail sticking straight up in the air, bolted to the rear bumper). One was patterned after a boxy Humvee military truck, painted white, and labeled The Ice Cream Man. And of course, Gravedigger was there (one of the current prominent drivers, with at least four different trucks that we could identify, all painted in the same Gravedigger pattern).

The rally was divided into two heats: one where each truck raced through an obstacle course of hills and smashed cars and tried to set the best lap time, and the other where each truck got a minute or two to “freestyle,” doing tricks like spins, doughnuts and even back flips off of a huge dirtpile. Those tricks wound up damaging or disabling about half of the trucks. Some of them broke their axles or lost a wheel. Others rolled over. One caught fire.

It was fascinating. And very loud. The first eight or ten rows of seats all around the stadium were cordoned off, so that people could not sit there and be hit by flying dirt or truck parts. We sat up high, where the noise was less but the view was good.

It was fun. The crowd was nice. The drivers were entertaining. Most were men, but at least two were women.

I think I might go again, the next time another rally comes around.

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