A friend of ours had extra tickets to the U.S. Hot Rod Thunder Nationals (“WITNESS THE CARNAGE ... LIVE!!!”) and she wondered if we were interested. We jumped at the chance. Our “Pit Passes” allowed us to get in early to meet the drivers and see the Monster Trucks up close. They knocked me out. They're so big, they are hard to photograph. The sign over the door got me a little worried about taking photos but I just went for it. I did leave my weapons in the car.

Down on the floor of the Blue Cross Arena (“the pits”) were four Monster Trucks behind yellow tape. We bought a souvenir program/wall calendar at the door for five bucks. And there were lines of kids in front of the trucks who were getting their programs and checkered flags signed by the drivers. Radical Rob, who was scheduled to jump the wrecked cars ala Evil Kinevil, and the Cannon Lady, who would launch herself out of a cannon, were signing autographs as well.