Interactive English: Reception

Reading and Listening

Listening: Hands on a Truck

on December 6, 2012

hands on a truck

In the next class we will practice our listening skills focusing on using context to guess hard-to-hear words and phrases. We will listen to excerpts from a documentary called Hands on a Hard Body about a contest held every year by a Nissan dealership in Longview, Texas. Twenty-four people stand around a $15,000 hard body pickup truck. When the starting whistle blows, each person puts one hand on the truck. They wear gloves, so as not to mess up the paint job. And they stand there … and stand there … until one by one, people get tired and drop away, and one person is left standing. That person gets to keep the truck. We hear an interview with Benny Perkins, who won the truck one year ago and came back to try to win again. He says a contest like this is not easy money. You slowly go crazy from sleep deprivation.

Choose ONE of the questions below and answer it in the comments.

1. Predict what you think Benny Perkins will tell us about the contest.

2. What kind of person do you think enters and wins a contest like this?

3. What might be some of the difficulties with this listening?

Also, as you read pages 103-127 of Paranoid Park, keep track of the characters and map and answer the following questions (make sure all information is in your journal):

1. What does he mean on pg105 by “Sometimes you get all bent over nothing”?

2. On pg107, what do you think it means that Mrs. Adams “seemed a little on edge”? What about the office seeming “a little amped”?

3. How was the police questioning like an AP class?

4. What does he think about the college girl they show on the news? How do you know?

5. What does he mean by saying “Bring it on” on pg119?

6. He says he thinks the detective is probably from the East Side. What do you think the east side of Portland is like?

7. What do you think will happen in the next 20 pages?


7 responses to “Listening: Hands on a Truck

  1. Satomi Togari says:


    2. What kind of person do you think enters and wins a contest like this?

    All I can imagine is a group of beefy body builders surrounding the truck for days and weeks, but I think people who
    a. are confident in their physiques (especially men)
    b. really, really want the pick up truck
    c. want to have a laugh/something to tell people
    d. all of the above

    In terms of winning, I think the most determined person is likely to take the truck home!!
    I probably wouldn’t participate even if you paid me, but this competition looks like a lot of fun to watch!!

  2. Shogo Inoue says:


    1. Predict what you think Benny Perkins will tell us about the contest.

    I think he will be talking about the reason for him entering the contest and also how he felt during it. It will be very hard and not something everybody can do. It might be interesting to watch it, from when there is only 2 people left. I don’t think I can watch it for so long as I’ll get bored and leave the spot before anyone lets go of the car.

    It will definitely be interesting to hear about his story of his experience in the contest.

  3. Takumi Nakanishi says:


    3. What might be some of the difficulties with this listening?

    I guess that I will have difficulty grasping the whole story.
    That is because I’ve never experienced or heard about this contest, so I don’t have any background information.

  4. Wataru Okubo says:


    1. Predict what you think Benny Perkins will tell us about the contest.

    I believe in any fields, to be the winner is a great accomplishment. This sport (I’d like to call it sport, and for convenience’s sake, name it “truck and field” (because I think it’s held in a huge Texas field)) doesn’t sound popular, but as the documentary was made out of it and it has been held at least several times so far, it’s not easy to win and the winner must get a lot of respect from people.

    All I know about Benny Perkins are his name and that he has won once before and returned to win again, so I can’t really imagine what kind of person he is. Possible stories are: he wanted to be a star in truck and field since he was little, he is from a distinguished family in these kinds of sport or activity, or maybe he might be talented for truck and field, but no one had noticed for a long time, however, somehow he realized it and since then his career has started. Anyway he must have interest in truck and field, and that is interesting to me.

    Thinking about how to win in truck and field myself, I found that I need some muscle to keep my hand on the truck for a long time (it must be harder than it sounds) and a strong mentality to concentrate on playing and not to be distracted by the other players or audience (imagine people drinking beer and having nice food around you and then they start to stop paying attention to you anymore and get on their way home while you’re putting your hand on a truck!!)

    Therefore, just as other athletes, players have to practice and prepare well, which would include: muscle training, meditation, health care and tactics. It’s clear they need to train their muscle so that they can keep the posture during the game. Meditation would help people develop their patience and concentration. Maybe the concept of Zen is spreading among players. I’m not sure how long it lasts but it’s likely that it doesn’t end within a day as it said “You slowly go crazy from sleep deprivation.” So, keeping the good condition of body, especially stomach, must be important. Since this is a competitive game, you have to fight against not only yourself but also other players. Then tactics is necessary. Although it seems what players can do is limited, there might be a severe psychological battle of bluffing among them. But, then I thought what if this documentary was made to appeal his strength beforehand?

    So, I expect to hear from Benny Perkins about his story until he finds truck and field and how it changed his life after that, his opinion on the situation of track and field today, advice for novice and what he does to maintain his performance.

    I feel we can learn new philosophy from the listening this time…

  5. Ayumi Sugaya says:

    Hello. I will answer the first question.
    1. Predict what you think Benny Perkins will tell us about the contest.

    I think Benny Perkins will tell us how he trained his both physical and mental strength. I’ve never heard of such a competition before, but I’m sure ordinary person cannot be able to win the game. Some special traings must be essential for enduring the task. I think the winner of this game is a person who has extraordinary power and mind. I really want to know what kind of person Benny Perkins is, and details of this strange game in the next class.

  6. saya says:

    3. What might be some of the difficulties with this listening?

    Since Matt mentioned ‘we will practice our listening skills focusing on using context to guess hard-to-hear words and phrases’, the difficulty will be something about words and phrases, not that the entire story is complicated or the speaker talks so fast. Probaply, some words are ones we don’t know. Or, the pronunciations of some words are different from the usual.

    Another possibility is,though it is not realistic, that because of the sleeping deprivation, the speker couldn’t talk smoothly.

  7. Shino Yanagimura says:


    1.Predict what you think Benny Perkins will tell us about the contest

    I think he will talk mainly about his mental conditions during the contest.
    I’m sure it will be hard to just keep on touching the truck. Your hand will get tired, you can’t
    sleep, maybe can’t even sit down..
    I wouldn’t last an hour, so this guy should have an extremely tough mentality.
    He will probably talk about how to keep up his spirit, and why he is going to enter the contest again.

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