Sometimes there are videos on the internet that you watch not once, not twice, but hundreds of times.
They’re typically short—no one is ever going to watch a minute-and-a-half video more than twice—and dramatic as all hell. These are the videos that drove Vine’s popularity, and even though Vine is now dead, the churn of bite-sized videos never stopped. A new one popped up on the internet today and it’s taken over my goddamn mind.
The video is ever-so-brief—ten seconds for the original on Facebook (though the CBC edited that shit down to seven for their mesmerizing, looping tweet). It’s set in Quebec and features a semi truck that has forgotten to take down its trailer running full speed into an overpass, which causes the trailer to explode, showering grain across the entire highway. (A quick note that, while the highway was shut down by the crash, no one was hurt.)
As I’ve written about before, I’m a very simple man and I like very simple things, which may be why this video compels me so much. Like the videos of incredibly powerful presses compacting things and those weird grinder machines that destroy everything, this video is just so goddamn satisfying.
So let’s break this down, shall we? (For this article we will be using the ten-second director’s cut posted to Facebook, which you can watch below.)
One second in:
Oh man, look at this goofy trucker, he’s ripping at a good speed without lowering his trailer. What a silly goose.
One and a half seconds in:
Oh fuck me, there is an overpass coming up right quick on his ass. He better slow himself down.
Two seconds in:
He’s not slowing down. JESUS CHRIST HE IS NOT SLOWING DOWN.
Two and a half seconds in:
The front end of the truck has gone under the bridge. Impact is imminent. This is bad.
Also, there is a turn-off coming up. I hope buddy filming this didn’t miss his exit.
Three seconds in:
HERE WE GO!!!
With the truck going full speed the trailer smashes into the overpass and chaos happens. If you watch it in at regular speed like a normal human it seems to just disintegrate. However, if you’re like me, you slow that shit down. Going frame-by-frame we can see the top of the trailer starts to peel off like a sardine can and there’s suddenly more canola than air. The entire top of the trailer is sheared off and goes pretty much vertical.
Sadly, at this point, the camera cuts away from the carnage and we can’t tell what happens next.
Five seconds in:
The camera continues swinging and we’re now shown the scene from the windshield instead of the driver’s side seat. From this new angle, we see that the canola has engulfed the bridge like a wave of sweet, sweet grain.
Seven seconds in:
The vehicle filming the accident passes under the Overpass of Destruction and it starts fucking raining grain. Seriously, if you look closely you see that it’s lucky buddy had his wipers going for some snow because his windshield starts to get covered in canola.
Eight to ten seconds in:
You can hear the sounds of a thousand pieces of grain pouring down on the windshield. The vehicle filming carries on its merry way and we, the viewers, get to sit back and relax in the same way you do after good sex.
You get this relaxation for about one second before that shit starts looping and you do this journey once more. (It’s not an exaggeration to say that I’ve watched this video a hundred times or so in the few hours it’s been online.)
The thing about this video that I find so riveting is I know how straight-up dangerous it is. About ten years ago in Edmonton, Alberta, I was traveling on a highway on the way to my family’s farm when a gravel truck that hadn’t lowered its guard slammed into an overpass. This caused the semi to jackknife, rip away from its trailer, and careen through the opposite lanes of traffic. I saw it at the last minute as the trucker veered it to the small space between myself and the car in front of me. I missed slamming into him by inches and he clipped the car in front of me—the cops who came to the scene said it was a miracle no one died.
It was hands-down one of the scariest things to ever happen to me.
This video, which I can’t stop gawking at, isn’t far off from what I experienced all those years ago. And yet I obviously don’t watch it for the purpose of reliving that trauma. I watch over and over again because it’s one of the most classic sight gags of all time—up there with a guy getting hit in the nuts with a football.
I don’t know why something so dangerous can double as high physical humour, and I don’t plan on figuring that out anytime soon. The only thing I do know is I'm going to watch this video at least a hundred more times.
Follow Mack Lamoureux on Twitter.
This article originally appeared on VICE CA.