Full Metal Insanity


Missing scrap engineering extravaganzas like Scrapheap Challenge and Salvage Squad, I've started watching Full Metal Challenge. It didn't start off very auspiciously, despite being co-presented by the brilliant Cathy Rogers, but this week's episode was pretty good. The British team — The Dodgy Oppos — were a bit of a wash-out (though amusingly self-effacing), but there was a fantastic battle between the North Carolina team The Country Boys, and the all-female Australian team, The Flamin' Aussies.

The Country Boys started things off with a bang when they hurtled at breakneck speed towards the skittles in the ten pin bowling game. Imagine, if you will, a wire mesh, rocket-powered helmet-shaped vehicle with tank tracks, driving at what seemed like 70 mph towards 12ft bowling pins. Excellent. As The Country Boys put it:

"The last words of most North Carolinans are, 'Hey y'all — watch this!'"

However, The Country Boys met their nemesis in The Flamin' Aussies. They made everyone else look silly in Pit Ball* by nipping in, zooming up the bank in reverse and popping the ball over the bank. Then, in Sumo, they saw their chance when The Country Boys' vehicle tried to mount them: they sped forwards and tipped it on its side like a giant metal beetle. Cathy's joy at the women winning was palpable.

*Powerful cars, fire and football: can you imagine a more testosterone-fuelled sport?