Latest Industry News

Road Noise: Delightfully Tacky, Yet Unrefined.

  • August 8, 2008
  • Road Noise
  • Posted by
  • Comments Off on Road Noise: Delightfully Tacky, Yet Unrefined.

Summer’s getting on. It’s still blisteringly hot most of the time, but it’s getting dark a little earlier each night, and the great summer holidays – Memorial Day, Independence Day, my birthday – are behind us. Only the county fair stands between us and the short, quick slide into autumn.

late summer.jpg
Positively bucolic. It can’t last.

Our county fair’s already over, actually. But I wanted to get that poetic, soft-focus stuff out of the way early, because I’m going to spend the rest of my space talking about a county fair spectacle so awesome that’ll melt the flesh right off your face: the combine harvester demolition derby.
I’ll pause for a second so you can get yourself back under control.
I know what you’re saying: “Katrina, demolition derbies are for hicks and yokels who get their jollies by watching stuff go boom. Adding farm equipment into the mix only serves to lower an already-puerile entertainment to positively subterranean levels.”
Hey, I know where you’re coming from – I’m cultured, I’ve traveled, I’ve been educated to the point where I can use “puerile” in a sentence. But I will tell you one thing: If watching stuff go boom is wrong, I don’t wanna be right.

These are adults in full control of their faculties driving six-ton death machines into each other. How is that not the best thing in history, ever?

See, lots of people think this is as simple as driving stuff into other stuff, but it’s a subtle art. It’s a case of kill or be killed, of sizing up one’s opponents and attacking accordingly, of selecting one’s weapon vehicle based on a careful balance of mass, speed and maneuverability. It’s a game played on the track and in the mind, with players carefully applying war paint to intimidate the competition.
fire combine.jpg
Our puny language lacks words that can convey the awesomeness of this image.

Most importantly, it is about smashing giant farm equipment into other giant farm equipment. I don’t think that part can be overstated – it’s like watching dinosaurs do battle with each other.
But wait, there’s more! A good combine derby includes suspense (Will the driver of No. 7 be able to restart his machine before getting black-flagged?), pathos (That smallish combine got pushed right out of bounds. Awwww.), dramatic continuity (Will the winner of the second heat be able to take out the competition in the championship match? Wait and see!) and universal narrative tropes, as demonstrated here:

David vs. Goliath! The triumph of the human spirit!

So, if you are a connoisseur of things that are totally awesome, I beseech you to travel any distance necessary to take in the spectacle, the majesty, the psychodrama of a combine harvester demolition derby. It’ll give you a new appreciation of their might the next time you get stuck behind one on a country road.
Also, stuff goes boom.
Not pictured: Strategically placed basketballs.

Back to top