Reading this week:
- Christian Missionaries and the Creation of Northern Rhodesia 1880-1924 by Robert I. Rotberg
This past weekend my super amazing fiancée and I went to Monster Jam! In doing so I achieved a bit of a childhood dream, which was to see Monster Trucks doing Monster Truck things and it was indeed pretty awesome. The genesis of us going to this particular event was because I got free tickets from Vet Tix, which is an organization that gives veterans (which includes me!) free tickets to various events. “Various events” seems to include in large part local standup comedy nights, but when the email came across my transom saying there was a chance to get free tickets to see Monster Trucks I was all about it. Since I had never asked for tickets before they gave me tickets, and we had a date with destiny.
The first most surprising thing about the night was my fiancée’s utter unfamiliarity with Monster Trucks. After much prodding she vaguely recalled seeing ads as a child. Now look I don’t know anything about Monster Trucks, but I am extremely aware of Monster Trucks, and am especially aware that they are big and loud and drive around doing things like jumping over things and maybe crushing smaller cars. I mean this is America! And Monster Trucks are the very loud beating heart of America! Plus I knew like, Grave Digger was a thing (which we saw that night!). Helpfully though Monster Jam has a Monster Jam 101 page with tons of useful information, which they not-so-helpfully emailed me only after we went, but nonetheless I now know the trucks run on methanol and generate 1500 horsepower!!! Neat!!!
But the second most surprising thing was how family friendly it was. There were tons of little kids and whole families out for a night of bonding over the smell of burning methanol. In retrospect I think this makes perfect sense since it was my inner 9-year-old that really wanted to see Monster Trucks. Monster Jam also seems to have leaned into this, because in addition to Grave Digger there was a truck that was shaped like a Dalmatian (a monster Dalmatian but still, more info on the extremely extensive wiki) and another shaped like a Megalodon:
We were of course rooting for Megalodon. However despite our earnest support she didn’t do so well:
Can’t win ’em all.
But yeah anyways the point is that Monster Jam was awesome!!!! They started off by racing around and that was really cool, and then they had the coolest event of the night which was all about two-wheel tricks, like wheelies or even making the Monster Trucks stand on their nose which was extremely impressive! I mean seriously the things they make those trucks do can’t be easy, even when you have all that torque. The technical skill is what impressed us the most, but maybe my fiancée and I are not the typical Monster Jam fans. But maybe we are! There is art in any endeavor in which you put your time and effort! Also at halftime they had motocross which was also very impressive and undoubtedly actually vastly more dangerous (no rollcages on these bikes):
After the intermission they had the donut competition which I think mostly illustrated the vast power of the exhaust of the trucks. And also the “flair” move most of the drivers did was take of the steering wheel as they were in the middle of the donut and hold it out the window which um I guess the steering wheel isn’t that important? But the front and rear steering of the trucks was a sight to behold. Anyways it all ended with the freestyle competition which was also an impressive display of skill, but focused way more on the raw power of jumps which made for the best pictures but some of the least interesting watching. When it was all finally over we were so revved up by all the revs and also the ups that we went out and got some fries before heading home for the night.