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Hands on a Hard Body on This American Life

I linked to Hands on a Hard Body yesterday. If you need a little extra prodding to watch it, check out the first segment of this old episode of This American Life.

We hear a long interview with Benny Perkins, who won the truck one year and was back the year they made their film to try to win again. He says a contest like this is not easy money. You slowly go crazy from sleep deprivation.

Hands on a Hard Body

Hands on a Hard Body is available on Google Video in its entirety. From Wikipedia:

Hands on a Hard Body: The Documentary is a 1997 film documenting an endurance competition that took place in Longview, Texas. The yearly competition pits twenty-four contestants against each other to see who can keep their hand on a pickup truck for the longest amount of time. Whoever endures the longest without leaning on the truck or squatting wins the truck. Five minute breaks are issued every hour and fifteen minute breaks every six hours.

I *love* this movie. (via waxy)

Update: Whoa! The contest on which this film is based was cancelled after a 2005 competitor shot himself shortly after he left the contest.

Vega had been a contestant in the internationally popular Hands on a Hardbody contest at Patterson Nissan in Longview when he killed himself Thursday morning after leaving the contest at the beginning of its third day. The 24-year-old East Texan walked away around 6 a.m., when he politely excused himself just before a scheduled 15-minute break for competitors, a witness said.

A lawsuit filed by Vega’s widow alleging that the dealership was “negligent in organizing and conducting the contest” was just recently settled. (thx, justin)