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You have to see the monster truck show at least once

July 18, 1997

I woke up Saturday morning and said "I'm going to have bacon and eggs! eggs! eggs! eggs! eggs!.

"No, make that bacon eggs and toast! oast! oast! oast! oast!"

I knew I'd need a big breakfast because that evening I would be on my way to the Hagerstown Speedway to see U.S. Hot Rod Monster Jam 2, nineteen ninety seven! evin! evin! evin! evin!

Sorry. But the guy on the advertisements always sounds so excited about the monster truck show he got me all hot and bothered to see it live.

Besides, if you live in Washington County it is sort of your obligation to see the monster trucks when they come to town. Well, not an obligation maybe. But living in Hagerstown and not seeing monster trucks is like going to Egypt and not seeing the Sphinx. You can do it, but what's the point?


So Saturday morning I set out looking for a Big A auto parts store, where the tickets were on sale.

I'll be honest. I don't spend a lot of time in auto parts stores, so I had to ask a friend how to get to Big A. "They're all over," he said and left it at that. And I know he's right, because I always see them when I'm not looking for one. But when I am? Humph.

An hour into the search (looking in the phone book would have been too easy) I chanced across a Big A, but they had a big sign in the window "Sold out of monster truck tickets." They steered me to another branch where I asked the clerk "Do you have any monster truck tickets left?"

He said "No - all we have left are the adult tickets."

This was my first rumbling of trouble. Either this guy would card Grandma Moses, or most of the people who want to go to the monster truck show are going solely for the sake of their kids. Or are pretending to go solely for the sake of their kids.

Fortunately, I thought fast. In a loud voice I said for all to hear, "Hang the extra expense, good man! No amount of money is going to stand between my little Chauncy and his beloved monster trucks! Uh, one please."

So I'm driving out U.S. 40 and about two miles before the track, traffic slows to a crawl. I notice the guy in front of me is driving a pick-up. And the guy behind me is driving a pick-up. Not just any pick-up. It's one of those big Ford four-person cab deals with duals on the back and big chrome lugnuts on the front.

The license plate, I swear, says Texas.

Driving was a fellow with a tank top, long yellow hair and a yellow beard who for all the world looked is if he, if so inclined, could change places with his rig and carry it on his back for a while, if need be.

He gunned his engine.

The pick-up in front of me gunned his engine.

I took assessment of my own situation and started to seriously question the wisdom of arriving at a monster truck show in an automobile with a bicycle rack on the trunk and dry cleaning hanging in the side window.

But, when in Rome... I gunned my engine.

Not that it mattered much, because by now the voice on the track's loudspeaker was echoing over the hills. I parked and hurriedly found a bleacher seat as the show was about to commence.

It was loud. It was dusty. It was great. Gigantic trucks, bouncing, flying, rolling, burning (although I guess this part wasn't amusing to poor Pam Vaters and her Boogey Van) and stunting to beat the band. This is exactly what I used to do with my Matchbox trucks when I was a kid, but never dreamed I'd get to see played out in real life.

You say it's stupid? Of course it's stupid. But soap operas are stupid. Cross stitch is stupid. Golf is stupid. Arguing over a cuttlefish with some neo-Darwinist on the edge of a Galapagos tidal pool is stupid. The whole world is stupid.

I say, if you can't enjoy watching a monster truck show, then you just don't know how to live life. Varoom.

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