Letters to Holly

Tuesday, April 11

Rasslin for Dummies

Got home last night and Your Sister reminded me that we wanted to adopt library books. As the Mayberry Library finally moves to their new digs, they’re asking patrons to take home boxes of books to ease the move. We take four boxes with us and find the library folks aren’t really sure what limit there is, if any. We load up. I aim for the arts section and get a graphic novel, some books on influential art and photojournalism, an Andrew Vaachs mystery, a few Heinlein paperbacks, a collection of “Fresh Air” interviews, at least one Stephen King, a Jeeves anthology, a David Mamet novel (I didn’t even know he wrote them), a history of Captain Kangaroo (which delighted the wife), and a hernia from carrying them all.

When we got home, I started making the wings for the guests. They show up exactly as the oven announces the dinner’s done baking. Travis, Kathy and Tonia the German Exchange Student have little to no wrestling exposure. Kathy watched some when she was in fifth grade while hanging out with boy pals, Travis knows some names, and poor Tonia thought we were going to watch amateur wrestling. I make the offer again to pause the show at any time to fill them in on characters, motives, and angles. We sit down at nine to watch the show.

9:00-9:20 A long talking segment as John Cena, Edge, and Triple H sell their upcoming pay-per-view match for the title. All conversation turns to Lita’s fake chest. Does she use double-sided tape for that shirt? How can she wrestle with those? And Kathy, the expectant mother, says that’s how her chest feels these days. As follows the audience pattern, Travis and I aren’t warming up to Cena while the women are getting hot and bothered over him. Kathy loves his army haircut. Tonia is dazzled by his arms. Tonia, however, is mortified by Triple H. She loves the Lord of the Rings films, and Triple H looks exactly like Bormoir. She physically turns away from the TV and says he’s gonna ruin the films for her. Triple H offers the Evil Handshake Gesture, and Travis and I quickly explain how this always, always, always works: The good-guy hesitates to shake hands, knowing the bad guy will in some way embarrass or assault him. But, being the good guy, he wants to display sportsmanship. He’ll extend his hand and either a) watch the evil hand quickly retract and fix the bad guy’s hair; b) get decked with a clothesline; or c) have the bad guy spit in his face. Instead, Cena, quickly walks to Triple H, slaps him, and walks off. That wins us over. We hate stupid good guys, and Cena has proven that he too watches wrestling and knows the traps.

Kathy is dismayed by all the talking. She wonders if there are any smaller guys, and I explain they’re on the Friday show. We also all compare notes on Ric Flair, known to even the most causal of fans.

9:25ish Rob Van Dam vs. Rob Conway. The match does nothing for the new folks, and Kathy, Tonia, and Your Sister instead talk about the handsome, evil Shelton Benjamin sitting at ringside. Tonia laughs at the Five-Star Frogsplash.

Maria interviews Mickie James, and Kathy cracks up over Maria’s dress.

Kathy: Is she supposed to look like she walked out of a cartoon?

Me: You mean, um, larger than life?

Kathy: Exactly.

Me: Yeah.

Kathy mistakes Maria’s giddy personality for the actress’s inability to keep a straight face during the interview.

9:30ish to 10ish The Spirit Squad immediately wins over Kathy. She and TLMT talk about dropping wrestling references to their classrooms and how it can get the attention of the bored male students. Their opponents are Kane and Big Show, massive gigantic giants, and we all discuss where they can buy clothing (Very Big and Very Tall Shops). So far nothing has convinced Tonia this is worth her time until she sees the replay of cheerleader Kenny hitting a big legdrop from the turnbuckle during last week’s show. She’s gobsmacked by the hangtime, and now she’s watching intently. The Squad does what they specialize in and fly all over the ring even when they get hit. Kathy is in hysterics (“They’re like little monkeys throwing themselves at him!”). The Squad members scream whenever Kane throws them around, and we all crack up over it, rewinding to watch it over and over. Kane goes nuts and scares off the Squad before turning on his partner. When he chokeslams the larger Big Show, all are impressed.

Kathy: So this runs from 9-10, right?

Me: (with bad English accent) This one goes to 11.

This, however, doesn’t work for them as Kathy has to leave. They almost get out the door when Vince and Shane McMahon walk into a church to talk to God. Vince decided that if Shawn Michaels wanted to rely on God to get him through their feud, then God can be Shawn’s tag partner at the next PPV. The skit works for all of us as we crack up over Vince’s arrogance and wait for the divine lightning bolt that never comes. With that over, the gang has to leave. I think Kathy wants to make this a regular event, and I’m all for it.

And speaking of expectant mothers, we ourselves went through a pregnancy scare. Your Sister was feeling weird in some unusual places for a few days, and we bought a pregnancy test. It gave us a “negative.” During the time, we talked a bit about having a kid as we’ve done before. We still prefer the idea of adopting, but one of us would need to stay home with it for the first few years unless we adopted a kid old enough to go to school. I’d rather not work so far away if we had a child, but there’s nothing in town for someone with my skills. The local paper looks like it hasn’t upgraded its technology since the end of the Reagan administration. But frankly, I’m too selfish to share her with a kid right now. I want to enjoy the time we have on our won as a couple. There are a slew of pregnant gals in our social circle, including a number of teachers.

Picture of the Day
This is a recent Star Wars character piece by comic-book master Adam Hughes. I want my SW drawing to be able to stand next to this.

In the news
A European spacecraft has entered orbit around Venus. NASA announced it will send a craft to crash into a moon crater to search for water. We should be able to see the impact from Earth. This kind of simple experiment is what budget cuts have lead to.

+ + +

A local radio host, a guy who prides himself on taking independent positions, is raving in the immigration debate. His new sound bite is that all English-speaking people will be relegated to history books as we are run off the continent. I’m willing to concede that North America may eventually lose pure American English and take on more Spanish, but it’s done that for over a hundred years. Most of the lingo from Westerns is from Spanish. American English is all about assimilating slang. Consider how much French and German we use regularly. The supposition that a pure Queen’s English, white-dominated America is the epitome of social evolution is mindless. Populations evolve. Languages evolve. Laws evolve. This hardline “us or them” mentality is just going to get some one killed. I keep hearing the stat that 11 million (presumably Mexican) immigrants are threatening our national sovereignty. That number represents barely 10 percent of the country’s population. Ten percent. I’d hardly call that the invasion force that the Minutemen want us to perceive.

+ + +

The Cubs have a 4-1 record and lead their division.

No comments: