Man, even I hate how believable that sounds. Rolls right off the tip of the tongue. I wonder, would it even be considered ironic at this point? Pathetic? Or would no one even care to begin with?
Also, talk about a good Cracking News headline. I guess I wouldn’t have to share it with Mike and Dan at least.
I jest, and know of a better headline. One that is so far fetched and so unbelievable it actually stops the presses.
Cancer Jiles, Recognized and Renown GOD Slayer, wins HOW World Title in Main Event of March To Glory
LET’S. FUCKING. GO.
The Best Arena
I can’t remember the last time I was at the Best Arena and it wasn’t for a show. Sure, there was the odd occasion of sneaking in late Friday night to set egg traps throughout the building, but outside of that it just doesn’t happen. I train on the decks of the ship, and do my promotional bits from HOTv Studios. The now defunct Bandits were based out of the Den, and if I ever needed treatment for an injury I certainly wouldn’t have come here for it. The medical staff is as blind as the guy who signs their paychecks.
Basically, what I’m getting at is I don’t come to the Best Arena unless someone needs a kick in the right direction, or the place is packed with boo birds waiting to chirp in my ear. All of that said, here I am at the Best Arena on a Wednesday afternoon.
And I have no idea why.
Maybe I’ve come to gain perspective. Maybe I’m sensing that my time could soon be up, and I want to capture as much as I possibly can of this place before the hourglass gets turned over. Hokey as that may sound, there are no guarantees I’m back on Refueled when the curtain closes on the main event this Saturday. After the Garden, the show goes on but there’s a very real possibility I don’t. Frankly, I think I’m struggling a little bit with that fact.
Not a little bit, but mightily.
I’ve left High Octane too many times to count. My past in regard to the company is as checkered as a board. I’ve burned down the bridges leading back here so many times Lee bought a fucking ship to ferry me to and fro.
Now it’s different. I’ve come way too far for it all to end with opening the show and getting my pink slip shortly thereafter. I’ve suffered too greatly, paid too much a price. Lost, so much. Sacrificed, damn near everything… and I’m so fucking close to making it all worth it.
I don’t know. I’ll figure it out. I’ve been left with no other choice but to.
Where was I? AH! Yes, the Best Arena on a Wednesday afternoon. There I am, my hair is in that constantly terrific, Valdez state it so much enjoys being in. My shades are perfectly T’ing, and my outfit is a cozy jumpsuit which glows of 97red. All very good things. My righteous, permit requiring, footprint leaving, salty shoes are sitting snug atop a guardrail, and my COOL ass along with my priorly mentioned assets rests in a front row seat. That, while sounding swell, is not such a good thing. We’ll get to why that is in a bit. First, we need to take the tour. Oh, and in case any of you are wondering which side of the ring it is that I’m sitting on, just a few feet in front of me is where they outlined Teddy Palmer in chalk.
I’ve been at the Arena for about an hour now. Maybe two. Maybe four. I don’t know how long it’s been because when I first got here time stopped. I entered through the old Bandit entrance; which for context is that yolk yellow door with the giant egg painted around the jamb. As I passed through it, for a split second my hair stood up like I was watching Bobby enter the building again. I know how much it used to pick him up being the first man in, so we would always encourage him to do so. Plus, when they televised it, a Bobby Dean pop is a Bobby Dean pop. Even we knew better than to screw that up.
My heart was warm while reliving the cherished moment from a time that now seems so long ago. Then, crashing back to reality, I heavily sighed knowing I’d never experience it again.
Talk about a bummer.
So, I left.
I wandered around the backstage hallways for a bit. I even went down the one which led to where CBD met his fiery, untimely demise. I hadn’t been back there since it happened all of those moons ago. I can tell you the smell never left, and it brought me right back to a feeling of helplessness. As my nostrils burned from the stench of cardboard death, I thought… if I’m not around after March To Glory would anybody else smell him? I dryly laughed at my own ridiculousness, and suddenly for some reason pictured trees falling down in the woods. And by trees, I mean gigantic, towering, different shades of angry, Pine Ryans. I was chopping them down one by one, while woefully humming the fabled Sailor’s Hymn.
Needless to say, being back there started bumming me out.
So, I left.
I headed for the old eGG Basket with the hope that Doozer might have been stuffed inside his locker this entire time, and the person who did it had simply forgotten about him. I wasn’t expecting much, definitely emaciated that’s for sure, but alas, he was not to be found. So, I pressed my hand against his handicap accessible, locker door as if it would speak to me. Instead of his Boston accent offering sage advice, all I heard was the sound of a loud siren battling howling gusts of wind. I jolted my hand back, and the ominous sounds ceased. My mind’s eye quickly flashed back to the thick, dense, infinite forest. There I was, once again humming away, chopping down Pine Ryans one at a time like it was two weeks before Christmas and I was in the business of selling Christmas trees.
I started bumming again.
So, I left.
I made my way over to where I slaughtered Bobby Dean’s beautiful face. I stood at the noteworthy scene of the crime as if it had just happened. My heart raced. My shades steamed. My foot salted. Yet, for some reason I bent down after noticing some of my yellow mist was still stuck to the wall. Without hesitating, I licked my thumb and fervently tried to rub it away. It took a few tries, which is pretty gross now that I think about it, but I’ll be damned if I didn’t feel a little better after cleaning up my mess. Don’t ask me why. I do not know. Maybe it was the repressed guilt for how I played Bobby manifesting itself. I know shame. I scrub. I am but a mere mortal after all. I still must ride the roller coaster of life like everybody else does, even if I do battle with the GODS.
Obviously, I was back to feeling bummed.
So, I left.
Luckily for me I didn’t zone out to Pine Ryan National Park and Canary Reserve this time.
Talk about a giant dick. It’s winter there now and Dan’s lost all his needles if you catch my drift.
Soon thereafter, I found myself standing at the top of the entrance ramp. I looked out, and instead of empty seats or imaginary boo birds chirping away all I could see were the tombstones and ghosts of Octabandits scattered about. Not wanting to keep them waiting, I started towards the ring. It felt like I was walking down a path inside of a Bandit Graveyard, and all of the yolky skeletons I’ve buried there had risen from their graves just to get one more look at me.
Finally, I got down to ringside, gazed up into the ring, and there they were. The Ghostly eGG Bandits. Dead to me Doozer. Freakishly Fat Bobby Dean. Green Zoblinon. Killer Crockboard. Just RICK. Shellulelee. The eGG Queen in full traditional grab. They all shared the same look that Zeb had on his face after Teddy paid the price of fame on last week’s show. So of course, because these shoes run, jump, kick salt white, I hopped over the guardrail, sat down, and threw my feet up.
It was the first time I smiled since walking into the building.
After all, I did do all of this for them. Yes. That is right. Delusional as it sounds. I cracked the Bandits’ shell beyond repair so that we could achieve what always seemed forbidden. We’ve gotten close to it before. However, like a bucket of crabs not knowing any better we kept dragging each other back to the bottom. No more. Now, after everything I’ve done and been through, and as shameful as it sounds, there’s nothing left to hold me back.
I alone will carry the egg across the finish line for all of us, because only alone I can.
With that, the ghosts inside of the ring disappear, and the haunting spirits of the eGG Bandits are laid to rest.
No matter what happens, one way or the other I will have given up everything for them.
I can sleep well knowing that.
The Pain Game
“Hello again, Dan. We have a lot to talk about. I’ll give you a minute to get comfortable while I fix the Windsor knot on my tie.”
There is no tie. Just me staring blankly from behind the safety of my T-Shades into Dan’s soul.
“Hey, did you know if I lose to Mike at March To Glory then I get fired? I’m sure you wouldn’t care if that happened, right Dan? Please though, regardless of how you feel towards me, it’s time to put any ill will aside for now. Afterwards, we can pick back up and you could even be the first person I defend the World Title against. I’d bet you’d like your odds more against me than you would against Mike, huh?”
I figure it best to try and entice the Ego Buster with alluring potential opportunities. Hopefully, it disarms him and he actually listens to what I’m about to say.
“I have two options for you, Dan. Here’s the thing though. They both wind up with you losing. However, and hear me out, one is much better than the other. We’ll call that better option, The Same Side of the Coin Option. You might be able to guess what it entails, but I’m still going to tell you because I’d hate for you to miss out on such a wonderful opportunity.”
A hearty, reassuring thumbs up to go along with my car salesman smile.
“But first, before that, let’s go over your other option. It’s familiar. It is called, The Saturday Night Special Option. I want to be clear. This option is boring. This one winds up hurting us both, and is not how I want things to go. I don’t want you to choose this.”
I signal scouts honor just to let Dan, and everyone else know that I’m on the level.
“This option sees me and you trying to survive each other, while the guy we both are going to face watches along from ringside, talking to Joe about how much he idolizes beating you.”
“Not only that, you get the mist. And the salt. And your nuts up in your belly. You get the whole, COOL, premium package if you will. Sure, you will also get some licks of your own in, but I wasn’t done, Dan. Worst of all, included with the Saturday Night Special Option, you get the Nail. You remember him. The not going anywhere, soon to be World Champion, salt white Hitlerstache leaving motherfucker who survived your best shot.”
I pause, warning bulletin boards everywhere that more material is incoming.
“You get the guy you can’t beat, Danny Boy.”
Cork Boards collectively pipe out.
“I know, when I put it that way I’m pretty much begging you to take the other option. So, let me tell you about it.”
I perk up from the swoon of excitement that floods my being. My inflection changes from that of a drab Mongoloid, to that of an enthusiastic pitch man.
Here comes a curveball.
“The Same Side of the Coin Option is fun. It’s hip. It’s what the COOL kids are doing. It’s one people will not see coming. It means you get the night off, Dan. From me anyway. You get a chance to rest after fighting four matches inside of a HOFC cage, and at your age, and I’m not trying to make fun of your age here, I’m just saying that I’m pretty sure twenty years from now when I’m hopefully in your shoes I would think the added rest would be beneficial. That’s all.”
Confidence oozing, I laugh at how red I imagine Dan’s face must be getting with bustling anticipation.
“Here it is, Danny. We have a common foe. He’ll be sitting right there on Saturday night as if he were placed by GOD himself to get his fucking ass kicked by the two of us. I say we do exactly that. Hammer and Nail. Fuck pride. Fuck honor. Fuck him. Fuck even. Let’s be thieves, Dan. Let’s tip the scales in our favor for once because let’s face it, we both could use the extra help.”
“Imagine this, we both get counted out beating the fear of GOD out of Mike Best. Well, as a favor to me for not other optioning you, I’ll slide back in the ring right before ten. Just look shocked when I do it. The old man already has it out for you, it can’t get any worse. But me, he’s got his blind eyes watching me.”
I press my hands together, as if to say my ensuing plea could not be anymore sincere.
“Please, Dan. Pick this option. Let’s make this both of our best shots to get him at March To Glory. Two matches, on the same night, and we both go into them in tip top form while he’s still trying to get out from underneath the announcer’s table. Granted, it would be more so my best shot since I’d get him second, but the fact remains neither of us have been able to get the job done.”
I frown at the terrible news.
“Not to mention, it is my job that is on the line at March To Glory. I’m not so vain to admit I couldn’t use your vast expertise at almost beating Mike to death to my advantage. So as part of this Same Side of the Coin Option, I pledge to be rooting for you when you’re dueling Mike aboard USS Octane… while the fans are filing into the Garden and watching it on their smartphones.”
Go Dan. Win the DeNucci Cup!
Home away from home. The USS Octane that is. I’m looking to get out of the Garden as quickly as possible.
“That’s it. Those are your two options. Think it over, and don’t tempt these shoes, Dan. You’ve seen what they are capable of.”
No, there are no other options, Dan. Especially not one where you and Mike juggle poor Jiles out of the building and into a cardboard box on the side of the street.
Some change, sir? Can you spare some?
Big C was lying. He can’t say it, because his job is on the line and he has to cover all of his bases. But fuck that. I can. I operate with impunity. Cancer Jiles is no longer afraid of ghosts, and he’s never been afraid of you, Dan. Don’t be a bummer, pick the Saturday Night Special Option and get your big, pine needle ass chopped the fuck down.
Don’t worry, it should be easy enough. You’re used to big falls and rough landings.
But hey, let’s still take care of the Son.