Small World

Another man's famine

The car in front of us heading into the parking lot has a bumper sticker that reads, "Buy a horse for a stable relationship." I am going to the Monster Truck Jam.

I don't do "guy" very well. Oh, I can throw on an old sweatshirt and look purposefully cute and scruffy, like someone who might help you refinish your end table on a Sunday afternoon, but butch and unconcerned is out of the question; you can always tell I'm carrying some hand sanitizer somewhere on me. Walking into the Tacoma Dome with three other adventurously ironic friends, I immediately face the burning question that seems to arise whenever I'm confronted with the bloated, manly escapes that pass for entertainment among the masses: Where can I get some curly fries?

They stop serving at the appetizingly named Taste of the Sound stand—where they have no curly fries—to observe the singing of the national anthem. I wonder if this is usual practice or simply post- Sept. 11 patriotism. It's meant to be reverent, this pause, but it brings something out in you if you're already feeling contrary. You want to lean over the counter and say, Look, I love this country as much as the next guy, but could you just hand me a soft pretzel?

Inside the stadium, rest assured, the mullet quota is met, and there's the requisite red, white, and blue color scheme and more baseball caps than you'll ever see at any sporting event (not that I've been to any sporting event, but, you know, you hear about these things). It is also once again made clear that, contrary to the delusional fantasies of many gay males, your average straight guy has a really fat ass.

The event itself is, well, uneventful. You see one big truck run over an old car on a dirt track, you've seen 'em all. You get the Insano truck, painted like a grinning skull, and, oh, the Gravedigger, and Wicked Sick, which was green and orange. None of them look as big as I expected them to be, but isn't that always the way? The couple a few rows down squeeze each other tighter and kiss whenever one of the trucks jumps a hill with particular success. It's ridiculous, you might think, getting that excited about something essentially stupid and meaningless, until you remember that you'll be rushing home to watch the Golden Globes.

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