Americans are so lucky.
They’ve popularised, in my opinion, two of the greatest inventions known to man. The hot dog and the monster truck. I got to sample them both at the Extreme Stunt Show in Whitby on Thursday.
One of them was a huge disappointment. But thankfully the other was over-sized, top quality, a real taste of Americana, and best enjoyed with mustard and ketchup.
Don’t get me wrong, £3.50 is a little steep for a hot dog, but sometimes it just feels right, and this one was pretty tasty.
You may notice I’m avoiding the subject of the show itself. Well, there’s a reason for that, and it mainly harks back to my initial statement.
I went to the show undoubtedly influenced by the spectacle you see in the great American arenas of the Deep South, where monster trucks hurtle over an (American) football pitch filled with school buses, while fireworks light up the sky and cheerleaders dance as Michael Buble sings the Star Spangled Banner.
It’s possible this had an effect on my enjoyment of the show.
What didn’t help was Jez, the compere for the night, both looking and sounding like Peter Kay. I’m not going to lie, I wanted the bloke from X Factor, or Morgan Freeman. But we got Jez. And a brief powercut.
And Jez kept complaining that the grass was a bit too wet for the stunts, making it difficult. Was this a work? I’m not sure. Last year we went to the circus and saw a high-wire fella called Marco Polo slip from the rope twice before finally making it across, and I’m not sure they weren’t employing a similar tactic at the stunt show.
Since when did repetitive failure followed by one final successful attempt constitute entertainment? Maybe they’re trying to tap into the British affinity for the Underdog, but frankly I’d rather see a seamless, exciting show than hear some bloke complaining about the fuel consumption of his monster truck and the price of diesel.
So, to the show itself. BMX’s are great. But they aren’t extreme. Quad bikes and beach buggies. Again, pretty cool. But they’re not extreme. Blokes getting set on fire is pretty extreme, but he didn’t really do anything other than try to keep up with the fella’s carrying the fire extinguishers. Is it asking too much for the guy to perform a backflip on a motorbike while he’s on fire? Now that would have been extreme.
And the less said about the stunt man’s stool the better. That joke really writes itself.
Now a monster truck is extreme. Oh and it was loud, really loud. But a four-minute stint at the end of the show was not good enough, since it’s what everyone came to see.
It was a really nice hot dog though.
Americans are so lucky.
Do you agree? I’d love to hear your reaction to the show.
Tweet me using @karlhansell or email firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also send along your pictures and videos from the event and we may use them in next week’s Whitby Gazette.