I learned quite a few previously unknown and in fact never-imagined facts today from an article at AOL (an AOL original, no less) by a Jeff Glucker. It concerned a young man who recently set the new horizontal distance record for launching a so-called "monster truck" off a dirt ramp and into the air.
I learned, for example, that "Lots of folks in this country remember a time when they attended a monster truck event." I'll take Jeff Glucker's word for that, although not only do I not remember such a time, I don't know a single person who does, that I'm aware of anyway. But no matter, I know they're out there.
I also was fascinated to find out that there is a "monster truck industry" and a "monster truck world," the latter of which "may have peaked in September of 1999, when Dan Runte drove the iconic Big Foot off a ramp and over a Boeing 747. That jump put him in the record books when his tires touched down 202 feet from where they left the Earth."
Joe Sylvester, the young man who broke that 11-year-old record a few days ago by launching a 10,200-pound truck off a dirt ramp so that it remained airborne for 208 horizontal feet, is from Boardman, Ohio, where I lived part of my childhood.
The AOL article does a good job of explaining how Sylvester accomplished this noteworthy feat, which is now enshrined in the annals of American civilization, as well as recounting in some detail the amount of work and sacrifice Sylvester and his crew had to make to reach this goal. However, it begs the question, why would anyone want to do such a thing?
From the comments section: "What's the last thing a redneck says before he dies? 'Hey, y'all, watch this.' "