In the way that the rodeo was invented by cowboys who got extremely bored on long cattle drives, this is what happens when you have big cars, a lot of space, and cheap petrol. Basically, anywhere in the States. We got tickets through event sponsor Chevron. "Why would we want to sponsor a monster truck show?" asked Hannah, showing that the image of Chevron held by those within is somewhat different from those without.
The whole event is presented as a sport - everyone gets points, and there's a grand final in (where else?) Las Vegas. Of course, like most American sports it's more about giving you something to watch between adverts, and each truck is sponsored by motor parts companies, or a fuel additive, or even a movie or TV show. Along with 55,000 others we were cheering on VP Racing Fuels' Mad Scientist, Gas Monkey Garage, and the somewhat-clunkily-named Marvel's The Punisher™ On Netflix.
After the national anthem - naturally - the spinning death machines arrived in a flurry of fireworks, and proceeded to race and jump. And crash. The first time this happened I assumed ambulances would arrive and we'd be asked to file out in respectful silence. But no! A tow truck appeared, flipped the truck back onto its wheels, and off it went again.
It was AWESOME!
In the racing part, Lucas Oil Crusader reigned triumphant, before Maximum Destruction took the two-wheel skills challenge. In the freestyle - which everything leads up to, as that's the crazy trucks-doing-backflips bit - it was Grave Digger who came away with the trophy.
As the fumes of petrol, testosterone, and freedom began to grow stale we wandered back to my Ford Fiesta. I gunned the engine, slipped the clutch, and drove under the speed limit observing all stop signs on the way home.
Monster Mummy and driver. I don't hold out much hope for those pumpkins, mind.
The pre-show pit party, where you could stand by a truck and get dubious freebies from various companies. No one was advertising any electric cars down there, I'll tell you that.
Pete, feeling a little tired.
I made truck ownership a condition of moving to Texas. Still waiting...
One of the aforementioned freebies. You were meant to write the name of the truck you were supporting. Peter is supporting Peter.
Boom! It's Marvel's The Punisher™ On Netflix!!
And lots of other trucks.
Racing, two at a time, like that cycling one they do at the Olympics, only NOT BORING!!
Um...is that meant to...is he ok?
Let's get this show back on the road!
Whoa! If he can land that then -
Nothing to see here, move along.
You'll believe a truck can fly.
Amazingly, this did not end in disaster.
And it was LOUD! But the Davies motto is 'safety first'.