Enter The Dooze.
Doozer’s robust silhouette glows in the entrance of what looks like a training facility. Looks like were not filler words. Instead of weights, cartons of eggs line the walls. Instead of workout machines, standing targets pepper the room. All of which are set at varied heights. Instead of treadmills and bikes… chickens.
Chickens are running everywhere.
Doozer steps into the room and closes the door behind him. Without the sun’s glare, we can see him fully suited up in eGG Bandit workout sweats. The forty seven year old smiles as he surveys the facility. His pair of experienced, ring-worn hands come together in front of his chest and he gets a satisfying couple of cracks out of his old knuckles.
As prudent as ever, the veteran wrestler begins to peruse the setup more closely. His blue eyes almost ironically grow distant as he robotically assesses the heights of the standing targets. Despite the lack of any company, The Dooze mutters out loud, “Back to the basics…”
A smile grows across his square face. He turns his attention to a chicken as it scurries by him. “Save that speed for Dean, little guy. He’s faster now, allegedly.”
Doozer approaches a tall stack of 30 egg carton flats. He carefully lifts the cover on the top flat and inspects each egg. “Attention to detail is key.” He picks up a single egg and brings it close to a squinted eye. “Which one of you will send our very important message to Rick and Matt? You have to be just right. Maybe it’s not a severed head in a box, but the message… The message remains the same.”
Nodding, before setting the egg back in its spot and moving over to another stack, the old man’s focus is broken by a ringtone coming from his pocket. Slightly perturbed by the interruption, Doozer snags the cell and answers, “What?” His face twists while listening. “You pulled a what? I don’t think that’s even-”
He quickly yanks the phone away from his ear. Loud rustling noises emanate from the phone’s speaker. They finally stop and The Dooze hesitantly brings the cell back. “Jiles?” A slight pause. “Okay, good. Just get him here, but don’t hurt yourself. I need you ready to lay it all out. No holding back.”
A scowl forms, creating new lines on Doozer’s aged face, as he begrudgingly listens to Cancer’s response. “Kill that chicken shit talk right now, man. Not hearing it. Not now. Not ‘til we get our gold back. Hell, maybe even not then. I’m serious this time. The Bandits are done underestimating their opponents. Sometimes you have to realize where you’re at in life, and we aren’t young chicks anymore.” His brow furrows. “That sounded, whatever… we can’t make up for that lackadaisical bullshit anymore. It’s time we take our business between the ropes more seriously, man.”
For a moment, it looks like the old man’s facial expression began to look relieved. Then, instant rage, “I DON’T CARE IF THEY’RE CANADIAN!” He throws his free hand above his head in frustration. “You know I’m half, ri-”
Doozer stops mid word, and brings the phone out in front of his face.
The call ended.
Apparently Cancer didn’t want to hear what was coming. Either that, or-
The door swings open in a hurry. Stumbling through, almost as if he were pushed, lumbers a still large Bobby Dean. On his heels, the One and Only High Chief of COOL.
… maybe just High Chief for now, as it’s quite clear he’s lost his cool.
“HOW MANY YEARS?!”
Doozer raises a single eyebrow as his long time tag partner quickly approaches him. “Uh, since wha-?”
Cancer interrupts, “Better yet, how many titles?! How many victories?! How many eggs?! How many moments of glory?!” Doozer, completely lost, just stands there shaking his head. The High Chief leans into his older colleague. “You never mentioned being… half… y’know…”
The single raised eyebrow from before returns to its upright position as The Dooze helps his friend finish the statement, “Canadian?”
Jiles, now avoiding eye contact, just nods. Doozer places an open hand on Cancer’s shoulder and goes full Canuck, “I’m sorry.”
The seconds pass like minutes. One edge of the old man’s mouth starts to twitch, then he bursts, “NOT SORRY!” Doozer’s hand falls over King COOL’s shoulder and lands on his own knee, as the roughneck of the bunch doubles over in a laughing fit.
The COOL One, however, does not laugh. With an aggressive sneer, Cancer makes that teeth-sucking sound, then swiftly cracks his neck in each direction, and heads to the nearest 30 carton egg flat.
Within seconds the man starts throwing strikes like he’s Hyun-Jin Ryu.
Turn it up!
Doozer, quite satisfied with this result, basks in the glorious site that is Mr. COOL chucking eggs like the days of old. If you don’t remember those days, maybe Brenton Cross can take you back.
Seeing his COOL counterpart as determined as ever, The Dooze spins around to locate the big, beautiful Bobby Dean. Just in time too, as the three hundred plus pounds of inexplicable self confidence was just about to slip out the doorway.
“THANKS, for shutting that door, Bobby.” Doozer’s sharp words whip Dean into a soldier-esque stance. Bobby smiles sheepishly while closing the door in front of him. His longing eyes take in the beautiful view of the Dunkins across the street just one last time. With how he squinted at the end there just before the door shut, one could imagine Dean tried his best to snap a mental picture to save for later.
Bobby, now head down, shuffles back toward The Dooze like a little kid expecting a punishment. Doozer, without a word, just smiles at his fat friend and points toward the chickens still running about.
Dean confirms his suspicion, “Chasing chickens, huh? Again?”
His pleading face is met without sympathy, as The Dooze replies in a tone cold enough to chill the bones of the most faithful Canadians fan, “Back to basics, Bobert.”
Dean’s head somehow slumps even lower. He begins to make his way toward the nearest chicken, “At least it’s not a greased pig like last time.”
Doozer smiles and turns to Jiles. “Yo, COOL! I think those targets you’re tossing at’re too easy. Ya need something… I dunno… that moves?”
Initially misunderstanding, Cancer twists around to shoot a confused glare toward his old teammate. Then, it hits him. Without another moment passing, he switches his target to the closest chicken and unloads. Doozer returns focus back to Bobby, “Turn it up.”
Bobby shrugs his shoulders while raising his palms in a very ‘what-gives’ manner.
“No whining, Dean. No excuse making. No nothin’, but doing. You remember the deal.” Doozer nips the issue in the bud. Bobby deflates as The Dooze continues, “While Cancer and I need to show Rick and Matt just how serious we are at Refueled Twenty, YOU need to show HOW just how serious the Bandits are from here on out! And the first, and most important, step in that process is losing the ell-bees. So buck the fuck up and catch those god damn chickens!”
And just like that, Bobby Dean went running.
Which sent the High Chief into a chucklefit.
The Dooze did not approve.
“Aren’t you supposed to be egging chickens?” Oddly enough, it was a serious question from the Elder Bandit. However, it only made Cancer laugh harder.
“Do you have any idea how Rick Dickulous that sounded?” The rhetorical, punny retort turned Doozer’s face lobster red.
“Last I checked, Jiles…” The Dooze pronounced his teammates’ last name like it hurt to say. “Rick’s got one more singles wins around this place, since it resumed operations, than you do. Not like that’s saying much.”
Lord COOL sneers, “Not like you’ve got anything to brag abo-”
Doozer raises a swift finger at his friend, “And I ain’t braggin’!”
His blue eyes electrify and stare holes in COOL’s cold soul.
“Talk all the shit you want from here on, but I’m done working through words. This run’s about action. I thought a lot during our break… a lot about what went wrong. Then I realized that… That’s what went wrong.”
It’s almost as if Doozer expected Cancer’s face to scrunch. He paused just long enough to let his confused counterpart think.
“Focusing constantly on what went wrong, just caused more shit to GO wrong. So… I started thinking about back in the day, back when it was like NOTHING could go wrong. And you know what was different about us… Mr. COOL?”
Doozer slowly approaches The High Chief.
“We were hungry.”
Cancer, with The Doozer towering in front of him, gulps.
“We’d look at a matchup like the one in front of us… and instead of mock it and act like it was a waste of our sweat… no… we anticipated that shit like it was Christmas.”
Dean suddenly stops running dead in his tracks, “OOOO, DOOZE! More like Easter, am I right?…”
“… ‘cause… eggs?”
Doozer pretends he didn’t hear a word. It was too much. Instead he remains fully focused on King COOL. “We’d plan out every move from the day the match was booked to the friggin’ match itself. We’d have Rick Dickulous and Matt Klazzic’s Canadian heritage dated back to the Conquest of New France, for fuck’s sake!”
Jiles, absorbing every word, begins to nod.
Doozer continues, “And most importantly, we’d figure out exactly what we had to do to get what’s most important! Those belts are ours for the taking, man. And step one of that is beating Turn It Up Express at the next Refueled. And I don’t care what Rick’s record is, was, or ever will be. We take him, and his unknown partner, as serious as we would if this was a match against GOD.”
The Dooze lifts a clenched fist and holds it in front of The Count of COOLysllvania.
Cancer raises his own and pounds. “And abused!”
They grin, then almost simultaneously realize Dean stopped running again.
Bobby cautiously approaches, “I like the energy, guys… don’t get me wrong, here… but we aren’t really trying to beat up Jesus, right?”