Saturday, February 23, 2008

Monster Jaaaaam!

So my phone rings yesterday afternoon and my pal, Brett, has a pair of tickets he cannot use... for the Monster Jam monster truck show at the arena downtown. Can I put them to good use? A few phonecalls later and yes, I can.

Jody had no interest, but how about Alex? He got his grades back into shape and got new permission to play videogames with Mr. John when he's feeling well. To quote his mother, he was speechless when asked if he'd like to go.

So we met up and drove into the city with time to spare. I shared a little secret with Alex that if we paid for our parking before we went to the show, we wouldn't get stuck in traffic afterwards...

Inside the arena, we were greeted with the floor paved over in fresh dirt with jumps and whoop de doos and the commensurate sacrificial cars to be crushed by the monster trucks. I had a strong suspicion the relatively small confines of the arena would be mighty loud with the roar of unbridled, un-muffler'd, torque-happy monster truck engines. I was not wrong and I was thankful I had some nice, new, professional grade ear plugs to share with Alex.

Of course, I forgot to take the good camera. I forgot to take my old PHd camera. I did have my phone though...


Whoops... let me change the picture settings and see if I can get a better shot...



There we go! Well, sorta.

To be brief, the show was awesome. It started a little strange as the Cannon Lady was shot from her firetruck-sized cannon hiiiiiigh into the air and landed in a net right in front of us. She did this all without any fanfare or music though so the crowd was a little surprised.

Then came the trucks. In the timeless grunts of Tim Allen, "ARRR! ARRR! ARRRRRGH!!!" Eight huge trucks lined up in front of their four-wheeled victims promising to crush them to pieces. The contests began with a wheelie contest where the poor cars below served as ramps to launch the huge trucks into the air.

Things continued with drag race eliminations, over the gradually flattening four-doors. In between, the dreaded Team New York quad-bike racers managed to win the first of three rounds of Quad Wars racing on the dirt floor. They played nasty against hometown heroes, Team Baltimore. And with the first win, their team captain provoked the crowd by insulting the beloved Ravens wondering why we were booing the winners. They'd get theirs soon enough...

The drag race eliminations continued with favorite truck, GraveDigger, suffering a breakdown at the starting line! The tension mounted and fans were worried the truck would not be able to compete in the final Freestyle contest (it had won the Wheelie contest, hands down). The radical Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle truck was there though to keep the fans excited.

The quad racers returned and Team Baltimore strategically put one of their men ahead at the finish for a big win. The crowd went nuts and sent the New York team packing with taunts and well-deserved boos. In the final race, the New Yorkers were out for blood and crashed on of the Baltimore riders in a scary moment. The rider was unhurt and Team Baltimore took the victory. The icing on the cake was the mouthy Team New York captain had gotten hung up on a Baltimore rider he was trying to bump off. Even after the checkered flag, he was flailing around on his ride and managed to flip himself over on his own butt. HA! Take that, Yankee!

Now it was time for the Freestyle competition. The trucks were offered fresh meat in the center of the arena with uncrushed cars and a big van to smash. Out came the trucks and in went the earplugs. I admit I'm a bit of a motorsports snob but man o man when those trucks were let loose to just do whatever the driver wanted... it was awesome. It's not about being fastest or most precise but being the most impressive. The trucks sailed through the air and bounded around on their huge tires, crushing the cars and van using them as launches, ramps, and sometimes as landing pads... with car parts falling and breaking on both the cars and the trucks. Sparks flew and the fans cheered when the GraveDigger truck emerged ready for the challenge. It closed the show in a spectacular finale spinning donuts and flying higher and farther than all of the other amazing trucks had done. It was totally cool.

I was very thankful to be feeling well enough to even think of going. Hopefully Brett will be able to let me return the favor so he can take his son tomorrow because Alex and I had a lot of fun. Thank you, Brett!


3 comments:

tinkknitz said...

Sounds like a hoot! What's next? Wrestling?

Nittany Knits said...

Alex had a blast! Thanks so much for asking him to join you.

Jana G said...

You are the first adult I've ever heard that still enjoys this... I guess you are still a kid at heart.