Do you remember those commercials for monster truck rallies in which the announcer is yelling “SEE IT LIVE ONLY ON SUNDAY, SUNDAY, SUNDAY!!!!!!!” as if missing this monster truck rally is equivalent to missing out on the fire-and-brimstone-and-totally-badass apocalypse happening right in your backyard while you play video games in your moldy and poorly-lit basement like a chump with the blinds drawn?

The four horsemen asked if you wanted to chill, but you were too lazy to change out of your pajama pants.

This is the kind of monster truck rally announcer I want you to picture:

Well, on Sunday, we were most definitely not those chumps stuck in the basement. We went to MONSTER JAM 2012, and it was amazing.

We found out about this magical experience from a friend, and although he was unable to make it at the last minute, Mink, Aliza, Breanne and I ended up in a section with about 40 other people in their mid-20s and -30s who were interested in drinking the ludicrously-priced beer in the Rogers Centre and soaking in the entire experience. Some were hardened veterans, and have been coming to this event for years. Others were as ignorant and mystified about the whole experience as we were.

Naturally, trailer trash costumes were mandatory.

A brief rundown of our outfits: I was wearing a green plastic-y dress, with teased hair and glitter eye shadow, and had an 8-month baby bump to complement my Budweiser can – and also to serve as a convenient beer rest. Mink was wearing a full hot pink jumpsuit scored at Goodwill, along with aviators, a bandana, blinged-out earrings and a leopard print bra. Aliza and Breanne went the more masculine route with trucker hats, grungy beaters, torn jeans, large sweat socks, and work boots. Other highlights amongst the group included scruffy mullet wigs, risqué Daisy Dukes, torn jeans, blue eyeshadow, and lots and lots of flannel and camo. It was a beautiful thing.

Not surprisingly – but perhaps most disturbingly – our section didn’t stand out markedly from the rest of the attendees of MONSTER JAM. Go figure.

This is the line up:

If you don’t feel like watching that introduction (because clearly although you’re reading my blog currently, you have better things to be doing with that minute) – here are my favourites:

Monster Mutt

Driven by the badass Candice Jolly (who was the only woman driver!), Monster Mutt was doubly awesome because it had a tail and ears and a sticky-out tongue that flapped endearingly as the truck made a lot of revving noises to simulate barking. Or at least I’m choosing to pretend that’s what Jolly was going for.

Grave Digger

This monster truck is famous. It’s been “Bad to the Bone for 30 Years.” That’s serious monster truck business, people. It is even sometimes just called “Digger” because its fans sense some strange affinity for this inanimate object, enough to feel the need to shorten its puntastic and mortality-scorning name to this emasculating diminutive. Not to worry, though – I’m pretty sure Grave Digger has a hearse for a body. If that’s not a hearse, it should be.


Let's see how it feels about giant pots of boiling water.

This ocean-inspired monster truck mixes two awesome things: puns, and my reluctant but lasting love for the Maritimes. I may not be a fan of consuming lobster, much as I love garlic butter – blah, blah, no real Maritime roots, blah – but this truck is adorable! It even has rubber bands on its claws to keep from fighting with the other lobsters in the tank. Clearly, designing a monster truck is all in the details.

Mohawk Warrior

As offensive as the name “Mohawk Warrior” is, this is clearly the best monster truck because it has a giant Mohawk. ‘Nuff said. (Also, the driver had a Mohawk. So that was a nice touch.)

Northern Nightmare, the only Canadian truck on the tour, held its own for the races but was a bit of a non-starter for the freestyle section. Sorry, bud, we were really stoked on being patriotic but you just couldn’t hack it. And how is a maple leaf motif ever going to be cooler than a Mohawk or a giant crustacean or a giant dog or a Grim-Reaperesque veteran in the field?

So non-threatening and heart-wrenchingly Canadian.

There were races. There was a freestyle section, during which many of the monster trucks flipped and smashed their cabins completely and couldn’t get up again. There was a short demonstration in which dudes on motorcycles did flips and let go of the handlebars and generally exhibited a lust for death. There was a demolition derby. With fire. And loose tires.

I can’t really get into the details of how magnificent a monster truck rally is in its unforgiving crassness, its bold flaunting of man-and-machine symbiosis. Or perhaps it just speaks to our desire for loud noises and fancy tricks and the thrill of maybe seeing something explode. MONSTER JAM was a glorious, wasteful, noisy afternoon, in an arena filled with ball cap wearers and beer drinkers, tired moms in sweatpants and tiny, excited children sporting lawnmower earmuffs to avoid the hearing damage that most of us likely sustained. While I can’t say that it’s going to be an annual tradition for me, I do endorse experiencing new and awesome things on a regular basis.

I will leave you with a video of the freestyle winner, Maximum Destruction, driven by Tom Meents. Life affirming win, I’d say. Watch as much as you want, but remember that MONSTER JAM just ain’t the real MONSTER JAM without the hearing damage and the overpriced beer.


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