SUMMER OF DESTRUCTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Summer makes me think of county fairs. When I was a kid we’d go to LOTS of fairs. There was one we’d go to every summer in a place where people sit on lawn chairs in front yards with no lawns drinking Olympia, I mean, Coors Talls out of one hand and swatting flies out the other. We’d spend all day riding rides, eating crap and trying to win stuffed animals or little dishes and glasses (Why?!?!) and goldfish that swam in colored water. But the event we waited all day for came at night, the spectacular DEMOLITION DERBY!

We’d head up into the stands and me and my brothers would sit three rows down from our parents so our dad couldn’t hit us when we accidentally yelled curse words because the excitement of smoke, crashes and revving engines made boners out of our entire bodies.

The cars could only go in reverse. They went there fast and loud. You could hear them from a mile away. All their windows were busted out and they were spray painted with numbers on their hoods or doors or roofs in mixed colors with the penmanship of an alcoholic. They looked like abandoned buildings.

The crowd would become a feeding frenzy and I was a mouth among them, high on gnashing teeth and calls for destruction. My little girl screams, my tiny clap of hands; I wanted fire and blood and crushing with every part of my suntanned skin. I didn’t have the words for it then, but later I would think, that was what gang raping must feel like; knowing that something is wrong but getting so caught up in the pleasure of the tearing down of another that you don’t give a fuck anymore, you’re just glad it isn’t you and you can’t wait to have your turn.

The winner would be the guy with the car that could still function. He would climb up through the windshield of his car and jump up onto the hood, fists punching the air above his head. The crowd would cheer regardless of whatever car they had been rooting for; they had their winner.

The lights would come back up and cut through the smoke like laser beams. That’s when you’d notice the crowd making their way out of the stands and how your heartbeat was invisible again, the sudden quiet wrapping around you like the pause after a slap.

On our way out my dad would buy us ice cream and my brothers would recreate the pivotal moments of the derby using their cones as cars. They could always make the best crashing noises.


  1. I'm now imagining five men with nasty mustaches and sleeveless t-shirts gang banging a woman while making intricate car-crashing sound effects.

  2. i miss the demolition derby video game from the 80's.

  3. shannon. where have you been all my life?

    i miss the contra game from the 80's. with that code to get 99 lives.

  4. up up down down left right left right b a

  5. barry, that wasn't just the contra code. that was the code for all nes games from konami.

    the demolition derby was an arcade game.

    fuck, i miss arcades.

  6. remember putting your quarter up on top of the game or on the screen to call next player? I had the high score on donkey kong for an entire summer one year. yes, i was THAT girl.

  7. i'll still beat any takers at SFII. the classic. not that new turbo shit.

    i was more of a digdug guy than donkey kong but i feel ya.

  8. digdug was my shit. miss pacman too

    i had the high score at motor race usa for a year and a half at the arcade by my old house.

    i played qbert the most cuz there was a glitch in the game that if you turned it on and off a million times, it would give you free credits.

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  10. my brother ruled on Defender. Nobody could beat him. I also loved Joust, Crazy Climber, Galaga and also Dig Dug. Fuck. Let's time travel