Wilder by Far

A look at life with the Wilder family. Updated most weekends and some vacation days. You can contact me at movingnorth@gmail.com..

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

"Hi, I'm Julia Roberts. You know, a lot of people died in the tsunami, but don't worry, I didn't." - Julia Roberts, The Family Guy


If someone tells you that Monster Trucks are unpopular in the South, well, maybe in South Manhatten. If it consumes gasoline, it's the bee's knees in Houston.

It started on Friday night. The Boy, after being sent to bed, came out in his ‘jammies and said, “I want you to take me to Monster Trucks.”

He was referring, it turns out, to the show that would be held at the local stadium, Reliant™ Stadium. I’m not sure why we have Reliant® Stadium here in Houston, since as near as I can tell the Astros play at Enron™ MinuteMaid® Park and we have no professional football team. I do know that Reliant© Stadium irritates me just a little, since Reliant® is the company I buy my electricity from. I really want that particular company using both sides of the copy paper, working in horrid conditions in dimly lit offices and driving 17 year-old-pickups, not spending millions of electricity-generated revenue a year on a nice stadium sign.

I thought about it, and talked it over with The Mrs. We thought it was a good idea, so I told The Boy, yes, we could go to Monster Trucks on Saturday. Monster Trucks are everything The Boy (and, indeed most six-year-old boys) would enjoy: fire-breathing massive chunks of steal that drive fast, make lots of noise, and are designed to crunch cars better than the ones I own.

I’ve been to a Monster Truck show twice in my life, and in both cases you could walk to the venue and just buy a ticket and walk on in. Monster Truck show selling out? Nah. Reliant® Stadium has seats for 70,000. Would 70,000 people pay to see big trucks? No.

Well, we left early. I hadn’t been to the stadium before and didn’t know where to park, or, really even where it was in more than a general sense. I picked up the cell phone, and called The Mrs. (who was busy, as she is 14 hours a day, feeding Pugsley). She was able to bring up an Internet map. She helped me take the right exits to get near that nirvana of little-boydom, Monster Trucks.

As I took the exit to get to the huge highway that runs past the stadium, my dadsense® registered a problem. There was a ten mile backup of cars on the freeway. Immediately I sensed that the previous places that I had been were not nearly as Monster Truck crazy as Houston.

We drove for another forty minutes and finally the signs near the parking displayed the message I’d feared – Monster Trucks were sold out.

For a few minutes, The Boy was inconsolable. He cried, indicated that we were “poor” (the definition of which was “not having tickets”) and generally was upset that we didn’t have tickets.

I floated an alternative. “Hey, let’s go to a movie instead.” That led to a fractured conversation.

The Boy: “No, you can’t do that.”

John Wilder: “Sure you can! They’re on big screens and they’re neat.”

The Boy: “Like a plasma screen?” (We don’t own one – he’s seen on at Best Buy™)

John Wilder: “No, bigger!”

We settled on Charlotte’s Web. I knew nothing about the current release, and, in fact, know one the barest of plot details on this as well, something about a talking pig eating a spider. I was reading chainsaw operations manuals when they did Charlotte’s Web in third grade, and intellectually I prefer pigs as bacon rather than as talking protagonists (except in Animal Farm, in which I believe that they were evil enough to make bacon taste even better).

We got our tickets, got our goodies, and settled down. We watched the previews, and then that creepy Dakota Fanning girl raised a pig. When the talking pig, Wilbur, met the talking spider, who I assume was Charlotte, The Boy announced, “Time to go home.” Julia Roberts’ voice brings that out in me, too.

As we walked to the car, he enthused that he thought that Charlotte’s Web was the best movie he’d ever seen. Driving home, I told him we’d seen only about twenty minutes of the movie, and there was a lot more.

“We’ll go back and see the rest sometime.”

“No, we won’t.” Not at $15 for two people, plus a mortgage’s worth of snacks.

I think we left at the right time, before the pig eats the spider. That would just be a downer, except that I could imagine that the pig was really eating Julia Roberts, which I guess would be okay. Besides, I’ve also committed to actually buying tickets in advance for the February 3, 2007 Monster Truck show. And, I will, to avoid the whole Julia Roberts thing.

10 Comments:

Blogger Shawn Kielty said...

My son made me go to a Roger Waters concert, but he never asked to go to a Monster Truck show.

I'm a bit jealous.

8:55 PM  
Anonymous Tiffany from PA said...

I feel for the kid! That monster truck thing sounds like a hoot. Good thing you got tickets ahead!

4:46 AM  
Blogger Aaron the Truck Driver said...

At least the boy now has interstates to enjoy!

for some reason i remember reading that that was what he missed about the lower ... middle earth. Land. U.S.

4:50 AM  
Blogger Duck Hunter said...

Monster trucks are awesome! Me and the boy (mine, not yours) went last year and loved it.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous CWH said...

I should look for a monster truck event out here in CA. I'm sure they have hybrids or electric ones by now (so we can save the planet), to take the boy(s) to of course.

I remember my own dad taking me to see them at McNichols arena (you have to be a bit older to remember that place). The cowboy in the row behind us got into a fight with the South of the border Americano in the row in front of us and it was my first night going home smelling of stale beer. Man I miss those days.

Loved the book.

8:19 PM  
Blogger tablefor4 said...

Wow! Am I wayyyyyyyyy out of the loop or WHAT? Wait, wait, I'm behind on the story of why you guys moved to Texas. Big change.

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Oz. said...

CWH: Wow. Other people remember
McNichols?

John: My the boy sat through most
of Charlotte's web. Maybe it is
because the Julia Robert's noise
sounds a lot like the Taos Hum...

9:45 PM  
Blogger John said...

shawn,
Yeah, he's a good The Boy.

tiffany,
It was rather heart-breaking. But, come February 3, we won't need the whole seat - only the edge!

aaron,
Yup. By the way, you almost made me spit out beer - lower . . . middle earth. Land. U.S.

duck,
Our day will come. And we'll be early this time.

cwh,
Yes, BigPriusFoot is the one I'm waiting to see.

It was the first, but, even today, I think not the last.

Thanks for the book comment. Me, I think that everyone needs a copy!

tablefor4,
Yup. Big change. Air conditioning in January.

oz,
My first trip there involved Angus Young. As did another. And another . . .

I'm just laughing - Taos Hum. Love it!!

3:51 PM  
Anonymous F R A G M E N T S said...

But, Julia Roberts did really say that?

5:46 AM  
Blogger Alberto said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:47 AM  

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