We were ready to watch our first Monster Trucks show. My son and his friend had their Monster Truck flags, which indicates that they had not succeeded in poking out any eyes with the flag sticks during the pit party. They had their industrial-grade earmuffs, and my wife and I had our ear plugs ready.
On the arena floor were two rows of junk cars just waiting to be crushed to bits. The Monster Trucks were scattered around the outside of the floor area. We anticipated a fun-packed circus of mechanization and noise.
The announcer introduced the drivers. The names floated past us into oblivion. The drivers put on their helmets and got into the their trucks, assuming their true identities (e.g. the guy driving the black truck).
The boys put their ear protection into place, which instantly turned them talkative. You’ve never heard a more confused conversation than one between two preschoolers wearing earmuffs:
FRIEND: “The red truck is starting up.”
FRIEND: “The red truck is starting.”
SON: “Huh? Oh look, the red truck is going.”
Seeing me put in my ear plugs inspired my son to attempt a conversation with me, an activity fraught with miscommunication under ideal acoustic conditions. Realizing that I couldn’t hear him, he helpfully lifted a muff from one of his ears every time he spoke.
I tried to preserve my son’s hearing by discouraging him from talking. I turned my attention to the spectacle below. This was when I realized that I’m not really a Monster Truck kind of guy. Yes, it was cool, the first time the trucks ran over the cars, but they just kept running over them again and again. I believe this is where the phrase beating a dead horse originated, back during the old Monster Stage Coach exhibitions.
Finally, after the cars were crushed flat, the announcer declared, “Well, the time has come . . .” I reached for my coat. “. . . for intermission.” Intermission? You mean we’ve got to wait half an hour until they decide to start driving over a road of flattened metal again? “That’s right, it’s intermission time!” the announcer replied to my thoughts.
The second half of the show was amazing, for those who can’t get enough repetitive truck driving. The boys were fidgety. They were losing interest, but they didn’t want to go, because at that age it’s easy to get trapped in that gray area between boredom and not wanting to miss anything. One of the trucks shot sparks, leaving the boys hoping for a full-blown fireball. It seems almost cruel that none of the trucks exploded.
The show finally ended when the grand champion’s truck started leaking some crucial fluid. It wasn’t exactly a heart-stopping finale, but all the smoke rising from the engine made it almost like the fire the boys had been awaiting.
My wife had the boys’ coats on, earmuffs put away, and was leading them out of the arena in about 15 seconds. Apparently, she’s not a Monster Truck kind of gal.