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HAPPENINGText: Mikey Richardson

Always open to new and potentially humorous opportunities, I recently accepted an invitation from Amoeba Corp. New Media Designer Neil Collyer to attend “Monster Jam” at the Sky Dome. Having just finished a grueling week-long “cleansing diet”, I was excited by the prospect of consuming hot dogs, french fries and draft beer while surrounded by legions of Mullets.

We managed to identify a rare “mo-mullet” (a hybrid of mohawk/mullet) but were much too shaken to snap a photograph. I discovered a whole new respect for photojournalists who manage to perform their duties in the face of sometimes horrific scenery.

After rapidly consuming my much anticipated feast, I caught up with Neil and his brother Jason and settled into my seat to enjoy the evening. Oh, what amazing sights were seen! Famous monster trucks Grave Digger, Maximum Destruction, American Guardian and Sudden Impact battled it out in both freestyle and racing competitions. The freestyle event was much more interesting, as the drivers got sixty seconds to drive around crushing obstacles (old cars and a van) as the crowd chanted, “sick air!, sick air!, sick air!” in hopes that one of the drivers would launch his machine from one of three earthen ramps.

Sharing the spotlight of the evening, the demolition derby and autocross events were something the three of us will surely never forget. During the autocross race, car number 65 drove most of the event in reverse while trying to hit the other cars. At first we thought there was something wrong with his vehicle, but later realized that he was probably just confused as to the purpose of the race.

I imagined the driver to be somewhat crazy due to his obscure driving strategy and the large hand painted word “SWEETNESS” across the back of his run-down ride. The demolition derby is something one would really have to experience to fully appreciate. Badly hand painted machines spewed smoke while smashing into each other. Dirt and gravel flew through the air. Children screamed and cheered on their favourites. 20 minutes of absolute destruction finally ended when only one car was still able to drive. It was the winning driver’s second time in a demolition contest.

I would highly recommend attending Monster Jam or a similar event to anyone interested in discovering new and strangely interesting cultures. The people, the loud t-shirts, the heavy metal soundtracks, the exaggerated voice of the announcer, and of course the beer make for a uniquely enjoyable outing. TAKE A CAMERA.

United States Hot Rod Monster Jam
Date: January 18th, 2003
Place: Sky Dome

Text: Mikey Richardson
Photos: Neil Collyer

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