Tuesday, January 19, 2010

I’m worried about the Hitman

*Ed Note - Today is Dolly Parton’s birthday. Instead of paying tribute to my idol, I’m going to talk about wrestling. Yup.

Wrestling used to be my thing. It's my brother's fault.

When Benjamin wasn’t dressing me up in goalie equipment and rifling pucks at my head, he was practicing pile drivers and tomb stones with me as the willing dummy.

We owned these.

My Dad, a nonjudgemental supporter of our interests, took us to Wrestlemania XI (or what I thought was Wrestlemania. Turns out it was Summer Slam or something. Kids are dumb). The main event featured Hulk Hogan and Sgt. Slaughter in a battle royal. Hogan (my hero) lost after Slaughter pulled the Camel Clutch. Hogan was bleeding and everything! Intense.

While I've outgrown wrestling, I can still appreciate it. I really love how after decades, so much chnages but stays exactly the same. In this way, The WWF is like Days of our Lives. Characters in wrestling and in soap operas persist like wrinkly cockroaches. You don’t have to watch for ten years, and suddenly without warning, you’re drawn in to Dr. Marlena Evans/Vince McMahon. Within five minutes, it's like you never left.

This is exactly what happened to me when I logged on to YouTube the other day. One of the recommended videos was called: “
Bret Hart returns to WWE.”**

**Sidenote on YouTube recommended videos. YouTube thinks I’m a 12 year-old boy. It only suggests I either watch wrestling, World of Warcraft videos, or pervy slideshows of Miley Cyrus. Occasionally, it’ll throw me a gem with a shirtless Alex Ovechkin, but those days are sparse.

Some history for non-WWF losers: twelve years ago, Bret Hart left the WWF after “being screwed” by Vince McMahon in a fight against Shawn Michaels. Hart vowed NEVER to return to the organization. NEVER EVER EVER. Of course, we all know what
never means in people speak. It means “maybe later.”

Bret Hart is going back on his word and doing something he said he would never do.

He must
be poor.

To keep from looking like a chump, Hart should walk around and quote Whitman wherever he goes: “
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself. I am large, I contain multitudes.”

I love that. It justifies all hypocrisy. I use it a lot. An equally handy quote comes from Walker Evans. It justifies nosiness:

Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something. You are not here long.”

Feel free to use that the next time you’re caught staring through a neighbour’s window.

But I meander. Where were we? Ah yes. Now, after a 12 year hiatus and at fifty-two years of age, the Hitman returns to the squared circle. He's signed to a four month contract.  He'll wrestle against the other fogies I watched as a babe, namely Shawn Michaels and the Undertaker.

That’s right, The Undertaker. Have you seen this guy lately? He looks like he sleeps in a crypt. Sure, that’s
kind of his thing, but really. He’s beyond tried and old looking. I'd post a photo but nobody needs to see that.

After approximately 45 million years with the WWE, why does The Undertaker continue to wrestle? I can think of only one reason - he, like Bret Hart is broke as all hell.

There are other impossibly old wrestlers who must be hard up for cash.

Rick Flair, born in 1949 still wrestles professionally. Broke.

Dave Kidney, at 78 years of age, is the
oldest professional wrestler alive. He must be Dickens orphan type poor.

Listen, you might think these men continue to wrestle because they love it. Don’t be an idiot. Thanks to The Wrestler with Mickey Rourke and Canadian investigative news show W5, I know everything about wrestling. Everything.

Several years ago, W5 profiled Canadian wrestler Chris Jericho. At the time, Jericho held the heavyweight title belt and was at the top of his game. YET, he still drove his broke ass to every city and wore cheap clothes. The W5 spot showed us a dedicated athlete and performer, who was in the business because he loved it. Not because of the monies. Basically, it told us that wrestlers ain't getting paid.

How depressing is that?


Did you make it through that? Wow. You’re a nerd. Have a present – the 30 most important cats of 2009 (imagine my joy when I found this link).

Start with Indifferent Cat (for days when you just don’t give an eff), stop at Asshole Cat (for Mondays); continue to Ignored Cat (IS ANYONE ELSE OUT THERE? ARE YOU EVEN LISTENING?) And let Keyboard Cat play you off. 2009 was a historic year for LOLcats.

For the record, I posted Gyoza cat to my Facebook page in October2008. Clearly, the list is flawed. Awesome, but flawed.

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