Toad Suck's Stuck on a Truck

It's come and gone once again, as reliable as the azaleas and right around the time the honeysuckle starts to perfume the air.

Toad Suck's Stuck on a Truck contest. Twenty contestants, forty hands, one truck. Last person standing wins.

This is not a new event. It was immortalized in Hands on a Hard Body, the great documentary about a similar contest in Texas.

But we've got our own right here in Arkansas. It's held during our annual Toad Suck Daze festival. I went Saturday night. I'll admit: I was a little tipsy. I'd been to a Kentucky Derby party, watched a line of storms descend on Central Arkansas, felt fear when the tornado sirens went off, contemplated hiding in the shower, but then realized the party was in a converted concrete factory, so was secure. During a break in the torrential rain, I headed downtown. It was my only chance to eat a corn dog, a fried Oreo, alligator on a stick and funnel cake.

Despite the weather, the Stuck on a Truck pavilion was packed. It was at 58 hours and the contestants were getting loopy, but no one was hallucinating yet. It was tense, humid, thick with rain and the pressure from the storms. There were still a lot of contestants on that truck.

Stuck on a Truck is either about great athletic endurance or tremendous stupidity. It's either about materialism or asceticism. There's denial involved--this year's winner went 91 hours without sleep--but it's all to win a Ford F150, which negates the spiritual transcendence. I'm not sure anyone got any closer to the divine over the weekend. But they sure do look like they're praying.

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