We join Mario Maurako in the kitchen of his Minneapolis home. Mario is shirtless, wearing a beige apron that reads “Well Hung” with red and green lettering and a Christmas ornament hanging from the letter g. He’s also wearing a Santa Claus Hat.
Mario Maurako: Hello there friends, and welcome to the House of Maurako this holiday season. Today I’ve invited you all along on a magical journey. Today, we are going to accomplish three things, in no particular order. One: I am going to explain to you all what’s going on with my ticker. Two: I am going to enlighten you as to how I once again pulled the wool over the eyes of Bobbinette Carey. Three: I am going to show you how to make an Italian rendition of a classic Christmas cocktail.
Mario flashes a cheesy toothy grin.
Mario Mario: In fact, let us start there. It will be nice to have something to drink during story time. A Bombardino is an Italian take on eggnog and is pretty simple to make. You will need three ingredients. Some Zabaglione, Whipped Cream, and your favorite kind of Brandy.
Mario takes a moment and holds up the bowl of the Zabaglione, and then the bottle of Etichetta Nera, Italy’s most popular Brandy. Mario turns around and grabs a medium sized sauce pan off of the stove top located behind him and off to the right. When Mario turns it reveals his ass showing that he is clearly only wearing the apron.
Mario Maurako: I know what you are thinking. You are at home thinking “Mario, isn’t it risky to cook without a shirt on?”. But do not worry, we are only going to warm up the Zabaglione. You do not want to bring it to a boil. That is too hot and will cause your alcohol to separate. So you want to remove it from heat just before it boils.
Mario takes the bowl of Zabaglione and begins spooning it out into the sauce pan. Mario then returns it to the stove top, again showing his ass. Mario turns the burner on to medium and gives it a good stir and then returns to the kitchen island where the rest of the ingredients are.
Mario Maurako: Next you will want to pour the Etichetta Nera into an espresso cup. For those of you who are not espresso fans, a shot glass will do just as well.
Mario turns to remove an espresso cup from the cupboard. He quickly returns and pours some of the Etichetta Nera into the espresso cup. Mario picks it up and gulps it down.
Mario Maurako: That round is for me. This next one is for you. Follow me back to the stove.
Mario returns to the stove top and sees that the Zabaglione is still warming up. Mario contorts his face looking perplexed.
Mario Maurako: Well, I didn’t think ahead and did not pre-warm this up so I guess I will use this time to catch you all up on where in the world I have been. So, you guys remember my old pals Silver Cyanide & Paul Paras right? Sure you do! The good ol’ days of the Argonauts of Awesome. Well about two years ago now we had a little bit of a falling out. It ended up with the three of us facing off in a Texas Death Match. I know, scary stuff right? Well during that match I suffered a fairly significant cardiac event. I had not been cleared to wrestle until this past September. So I had to learn to find some new hobbies, like playing chess, running tag team divisions, and you guessed it, learning to make Bombardinos. Which by the way, when translated to english means, “little bomb”. Which also reminds me, there are substitutions you can make to this as well. You can absolutely use whiskey instead of brandy, and some people like to sprinkle cinnamon powder on top after the whip cream.
Mario motions to his stomach with his hand.
Mario Maurako: I had a bad experience with Fireball in Las Vegas once, so I leave off the cinnamon. But feel free to make it your own. Let’s check on that Zabaglione again now shall we?
Mario looks into the sauce pan and smiles and then removes it from the burner.
Mario Maurako: Marvelous! It’s done.
Mario opens the cupboard again and removes three more espresso glasses with his left hand, while still holding the pan in his right. He closes the cupboard and places the glasses down and then starts pouring the Zabaglione into the espresso glasses.
Mario Maurako: Now we put it all together. We pour the Zabaglione into the glasses and then add our Brandy.
Mario returns the sauce pan to the stove top, again showing his ass. Then returns to the espresso cups and pours a little brandy into each cup. He then takes out a toothpick, which the health inspector would not approve of, from behind his ear and begins to stir the Bombardinos with the toothpick.
Mario eyes the drinks carefully and when he is content they are fully mixed he places the toothpick back behind his ear. Then he grabs the whipped cream and places little whip cream swirls on each drink. Upon completion he flashes that toothy smile again.
Mario Maurako: Now as I was saying this is when you can put some cinnamon on there, you would just sort of sprinkle it on top. There you have it. The Bombardino!
Mario takes a moment and places the four espresso cups onto a tray and then makes his way out from behind the island and into the next room. Mario places the tray down on coffee table and then takes a seat on the white leather sofa. Mario sort jumps a little.
Mario Maurako: Whoa, that’s cold!
Mario leans forward and places his elbows on his bare knees.
Mario Maurako: You guys want to hear a story? Gather around.
Mario takes one of the Bombardino drinks from the tray and woofs it down like it was nothing.
Mario Maurako: I remember it like it was September 12th, 2021; because that’s exactly when it was. I was doing a Meet and Greet at Bunny’s Bar & Grill for the first game of the NFL season. They were having one of those watch parties I think they are called.
Suddenly we transport through time and Mario is sitting at a table inside Bunny’s Bar & Grill. There are signs hyping up the Vikings season opener against the Bengals. The place is packed and every TV in the joint is turned on, and 80% of them are on the Vikings and Bengals. There is a whole mess of people waiting to get a chance to talk to Minnesota’s favorite son. The Marvelous One, Mario Maurako. A small boy and his father are the first to walk up.
Father: Hey there Mr. Maurako. I know you’re a long time Vikings fan. Who is your favorite all-time Viking?
Mario Maurako: Great question. I’ve been partial to Culpepper, as he was my first fantasy football quarterback. But I will have to say Chris Carter. I loved Randy Moss too, but Chris Carter was my guy.
Father: I enjoyed your career and had a blast following you. Any chance you will be back in the ring soon?
Mario Maurako: I have not been able to get cleared for competition. It has been a little while since I have harassed my doctors. Never say never I guess.
Father: What about Paras? Would you be open to teaming with him again?
Mario takes a deep breath and then slowly exhales.
Mario Maurako: I will just say that I do not think you will be seeing us together anytime soon. Who should I make this out to?
Father: My son’s name is Timmy, you can make it out to him.
Mario scribbles “To Timmy, SKOL” on one of the headshot photos of himself and then hands it to the father. Mario then notices the father is squeezing in one of those awkward long armed selfies, and Mario unleashes the pearly whites for him. The boy and his father then move along as a middle aged fat guy with long hair walks up next. You know, the kind that reeks of dorky wrestling fan.
Virgin: So Marvelous One, who would you say is your greatest rival in wrestling?
Mario chuckles, and pretends that he is thinking about the answer but already knows the answer, he’s answered it 1,000s of times already.
Mario Maurako: It’s tough, but I have to go with my old pal Paul Paras.
The dude about drops his soft taco, not receiving the answer that he figured he would hear.
Virgin: What about Bobbinette Carey?
Mario Maurako: What about her?
Virgin: You don’t think she is your greatest rival?
Mario Maurako: No. If I did, I would have said Bobbinette Carey.
Virgin: But you’ve feuded with her for like over a decade.
Mario Maurako: And?
Virgin: I mean, yeah, that’s really shocking to me.
Mario Maurako: I mean, a lot of people say that but you’re glorifying it. Take a good long hard look at it. You’ll see that it wasn’t that good. She never brought anything to the dance. Most of the feud was really me having a chip on my shoulder and feeling like I had something to prove and there she was, a low level Hall of Famer, just begging for me to pluck her feathers.
Virgin: You make it sound like you’ve owned her the entire time. You haven’t, that is why the rivalry is so great!
Mario runs his hand through his hair wondering what it will take to get this dude out of the line and out of his life.
Mario Maurako: Yeah, you know I had a pretty bad habit of getting cocky. You know the name “Marvelous” Mario Maurako can lead itself to that from time to time. Anyways yes, there were several occasions where I got too big for my britches and Bobbinette Carey caught me. One such occasion was the fabled Dog Collar Match for the Stable Title in 2009. Sektor successfully defended the belt earlier in the night and so I thought it would be a grand showing of dominance if I also defended it against Carey in that Dog Collar Match. I took my eye off of the ball there and she got me. The other time was that dreadful “Til Death Do Us Part Match”…. How exactly do you think this shit was good?
Virgin: Well I believe you are focusing too much on the low points.
Mario Maurako: Listen, what’s your name?
Mario Maurako: Listen, John, I’m glad you enjoyed the ride. But I have said what I have said. Can I sign an autograph for you or take a picture?
John the Virgin: I’ll take an autograph.
Mario grabs a head shot and starts scribbling “To John, go to ADDRESS REDACTED and ask for Bobbinette Carey. Maybe you’ll get laid, but probably not.”
A cell phone starts ringing and we are jolted back to reality. Mario grabs the cell phone and silences it and flips it over.
Mario Maurako: Whatever that is can wait. Now where were we? Oh yeah, the moment I met Narciso.
Mario crosses his legs like he’s being put in the figure four, leaving the apron to lay down and cover the family jewels, trying to save some decorum here.
Mario Maurako: So I’m sitting there at the Bunny Bar & Grill, and this dude walks up and he looks like a knock off version of me. Like if I was a G.I. Joe, he was an X-Troop.
Boom! Just like that we are back in Maurako’s story at the Bunny Bar & Grill where Mario is sitting across from Narciso, his doppelganger.
Narciso: So, people tell me that I look a lot like you.
Mario looks up from his table and lays eyes on a man that looks an awful lot like him. A little shorter, a little younger, and I’ll be nice and just say maybe the physique Mario had a few years earlier. Kind of in awe Mario stands up and shakes Narciso’s hand.
Mario Maurako: I should get your number. If I ever make it to Hollywood and need a stunt double I’m sure I could get you a job.
Narciso: It wouldn’t be the first job you have gotten me.
Mario’s head cocks ever so slightly to the side like an inquisitive dog.
Mario Maurako: What are you talking about? I don’t know you do I?
Narciso: You do not know me, but I’ve been a fan of yours for a long time. I mean growing up an Italian in Minneapolis, how could I not follow you? And the job you got me, is actually the reason why I’m here.
A slight look of concern forms on Mario’s face.
Mario Maurako: Go on.
Narciso: Well, I’m not sure if you know this or not but HOW is coming to the Target Center this coming Saturday and I was hired to play you.
Mario Maurako: Wait, what? I’m still under contract with them, why would they hire you?
Narciso: That’s where it gets interesting. I wasn’t hired by High Octane Wrestling. I was hired by Bobbinette Carey.
Mario Maurako: Jesus Christ, she isn’t dead yet?
Narciso laughs, but Mario is less than entertained at the moment.
Mario Maurako: So what’s the deal? Why did you come to see me?
Narciso: Like I said, I’m a fellow Italian who grew up in Minneapolis. You are my idol. I wanted to let you know what was going on. She plans on belittling me, pretending to be you, right here in our back yard.
The old vein in Mario’s head starts to pop out.
Mario Maurako: Alright, here’s the deal. Do whatever she asks you to. I mean whatever. When the time is right we will make our move. Are you in?
Narciso: Hell yeah I’m in!
Mario grabs a photo and starts writing “To Narciso, Here is to the beginning of something Simply Marvelous. PHONE NUMBER REDACTED”. Mario picks up the photo and hands it to Narciso who reads it and is almost giddy.
A cell phone starts ringing and we snap back to reality again. Mario looks down at the cell phone and sees the name “Steve MacKinnon” pop up. His eyes widen, you can tell he thinks about silencing the phone again, but he does not. After his pause he answers the phone and brings it to his ear.
Mario Maurako: Steve, what’s up?
Mario’s face droops with sadness, obvious sign it is bad news.
Mario Maurako: Shit.