sunset from behind the wire

sunset from behind the wire

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday Report


Saturday Night Redux:

Q. What do young boys need in their lives to find fulfillment?

A. They need to watch monster trucks smash each other in a showdown to destruction!   --and-- Being there is better than watching the video.

It is with this mission in mind that I went to Angel Stadium (Anaheim, CA) with my son-in-law and grandsons to view Monster Jam in person.

What's not to love? It's NASCAR without the pretense of a race -- a demolition derby on steroids.

Valentine's Day (day of artificial love) comes tomorrow with cupids, arrows, chocolate, balloons, fancy wine, extravagant dinners and roses. It brings hope of romance that will possibly end in loathing and court actions.

But that's in the future, today is February 13th and tonight is for the guys.

Q. Do we err on the side of testosterone?

A. We must!

Tonight it's gladiatorial carnage that would have amazed and delighted the citizens of ancient Rome. It's true that there would have been more sword fighting in Ancient Rome, but you can't have everything in the modern world. You have to settle for El Diablo, Zombie and Grave Digger crushing a school bus - without the children in it.

First, there is the drive to the stadium and a discussion of snacks available at Angel Stadium. You can't watch AVENGER, MONSTER, MAD MAX, MOHAWK WARRIOR, and METAL MASHER fight for supremacy without something to eat. It's simply not done.

A lot of planning goes into snacks. Upon arrival at the stadium, following settling down in seats, the execution of those plans begin -- and deviations occur. The slice of pizza looks better than the hot dog, and there is the ever popular ice cream sunday with hot fudge topping. Grandpa says, "we'd best get it all because you guys are going to get hungry". The boys agree with solemnity because eating goodies is serious business.  When you are a grandpa, you don't worry about the impending 'sugar rush'. (bwahahaha!) Their dad is here too if one must deal with the fall-out...  ;^)

Since the outcome is uncertain, you also need a guide to the machines that will be grinding each other into metallic shards. The booklets are sold at the gate.

Q. Do these monster engines have mufflers on them?

A. You have to be kidding. Hearing protection is advised but for a family of shooters, the supply of foam ear inserts is inexhaustible. We bring them with us from home.

There is no discussion of global warming or gas mileage on the Path of Destruction. Monster trucks are not politically correct. Hippies and freaks are not drawn to events such as this one. Ghetto rats avoid them. Cowboy hats, on the other hand, are welcomed...because it's really not much more than a modern machine rodeo. And what's not to love about a rodeo?


video
This is one of C. Larry's birthday presents.

The crew, pictured (above) favored GRAVE DIGGER, which won the competition. MAX D parked in front of us, so I got a good before and after of it's run to glory.

Max D (before)
Max D (after)

14 comments:

  1. I saw them once and wondered if they wore kidney belts and something to protect their bum-hole. And the money involved. Just looking that the tiers and rims on Max D made me grab my checkbook and hiding it. But the noise alone makes the trip worth it. That and the trip with the grandkids.

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    1. Max D's skin tore off and at the end, the rig caught fire - but it's difficult to assess the actual damage. They do this every weekend, and I think that most of the parts are modular enough to allow for quick changes. I would have liked closer looks at the vehicles themselves to see how they did this or that. 1,500 horsepower engines, all wheel drive and tractor tires makes them pretty awesome. They drivers sit in chromoly cages, and they roll over frequently.

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  2. I'm a car guy, to the bone. And into the marrow. BUT: I will never understand how these Monster truck guys can spend around $300K on these rigs, with the intent on smashing them up. That just doesn't make any sense whatsoever. I know what it costs to put these things together with the kind of horsepower they require, what with 671 blowers and the other high dollar pieces and parts everywhere. they go nuts on these rigs, and even the paint, which is guaranteed to get hammered, runs five figures. I can't stand to watch it, because usually I am the guy that has to put these things back together, with the owner completely anal about every little nut and bolt: just to smash the shit out of them on the weekend.

    I will never understand.

    And then they look like they are actually trying to wreck them, roll them over, smash them into things. I don't get it.

    Now, Demolition Derby, I get. You can rig up a nice unit for under a $1000 bucks. No problemo, can do.

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    1. It has to be a lot more than $300K when these guys are trashing transfer cases, transmissions, engines, the flexible bodies, etc every weekend. I'm guessing at least a million a rig when it comes to transportation, labor, insurance, equipment and the components that go inside the chromoly cage.

      All these trucks are built to tight Monster Jam specs. They're almost copies of each other. And the truth is the people like to see them take them apart by flipping them, rolling them and jumping them. When I said "yes" to Monster Jam, I had NO Idea how much tickets cost. But there were 40,000 people there and the seats I sat in went for $75 each plus $20 to park and high prices for food in the venue.

      They do it because they make money doing it.

      And prior to this experience, I hadn't thought much about it. The grandkids wanted to go.

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  3. That looks like a lot of fun, but I'm a little surprised you didn't go liturgical dancing.

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    1. It was a tough choice but life only gives us one thing - TIME. And for the most part, there is a choice of how to spend that time. I chose not to dance with lesbians and witches...I went to the Monster Truck Rally instead.

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  4. When I was growing up in Illinois, we didn't have Monster Trucks.....we had Tractor Pulls!

    And they were just about as bad-ass, especially the unlimited class, where they'd crank to boost up until the engines were making insane amounts of horsepower.

    LOTS of fun, and lots of cute girls.

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    1. Yes, I remember tractor pulls. I remember attending one that was followed by a Merl Haggard concert.

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  5. Replies
    1. Girls have garden parties, don't they?

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  6. Pfft....not in my pack they don't. We have hunts AKA pub crawls where we take over. Only last week my friends and I went to the pub (still no sign of psycho wine killer - think he poisoned himself - didn't realise how hard I was drinking that wine and surviving) it escalated into a coat swapping party which I thought was a good idea - see how many peoples coats you can nab and wear. Everyone started to play and Simon the builder kept knocking over his pint. He had five in a row and spilt 'em all without a sip cos he couldn't put his bloody coats on properly. The bartender, who's awful good at wishing people "Happy Birthday" and usually as sweet as a bag of midget gems, was getting rather pissed off at having to come out from behind the bar on a busy Friday to mop the floor and clean up the broken glass. He asked me if I wanted an ice bucket for my bottle of wine but I said I didn't think it was a very good idea on our table which had about ten hardcore coat swappers at it getting worse for wear by the minute. Anyway, this bird turned up on her own and was invited to sit at our table. I asked her about herself, as is my wont, she asked me if I was a psychologist. Prickly bitch. Anyway, she had a posh coat on. From Marks and Sparks, she said. Well, that 'aint posh, love, I replied. You can't play here unless you put it out (the coat I meant, obvs) Begrudgingly, she played and found herself smiling which I think hurt her face. She soon stopped when some burly fellar ripped the inside lining of her coat sleeve with his big forearms. As I do, when I've had enough, I just left and went home without a word. I found out the next day that she got so hammered that she slipped of the bar stool and cracked her head on the beer barrel table. Simon the builder had to go to the hospital with her and wait for 4 hours and then told to leave as they were keeping her in for observation. It cost him £20 to get home in a taxi and £30 on spilt ale that he never had a drop of. The barman says I can't play coat swapping anymore unless I go outside. You did ask.

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    1. What's a coat?

      I think that I've seen them in photos...

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  7. Looks like you and the crew had a good time, and that is the best!
    When they have monster trucks at Arco the noise is definitely deafening without ear protection.

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    1. Oh they're loud, obnoxious and roll over cars and such.

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