A dude named Napoleon once said, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it a seed of an equal or greater benefit.” Not translated. That dude’s last name was Hill. Also, fuck you if you’re judging me for reading self-help books. If you spent as much time with Cancer Jiles and Bobby Dean as I do, you would too.
And who hasn’t faced more adversity, failure, and heartache during their short runs with High Octane Wrestling than the eGG Bandits? I mean, sure, there are those on the roster who might be higher on the adversity or heartache scale, but we tip the failure scale harder than Bobby Dean vs. a bird. An actual bird, mind you.
Not the Cowboy King of Assguard.
Fuck off autocorrect. That shit’s spelled correctly.
Anywho, it just so happens that the “seed” carried with our historic levels of strife germinated inside the bald, white bearded, weird eyed head of Lee Best. See, he knew better than any that, when it comes to High Octane, no one walking HIS 97RED Earth had less to lose than us.
And the flipside of that very same scenario?
No one has more to gain.
Flashback – The Flight
TO BE FAY-UHHHHHH, I’m not sure if I like the amenities of business class over those offered in coach so much… or if I just like the extra distance from Bobo back there. I mean, you all know what he’s like. Now imagine being trapped next to him for an entire flight. If you still can’t grasp how bad it can be, you’ve never been dutch-ovened by someone with a steady diet of Hot Pockets and Reese’s White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups.
Either way, the flight from Vegas to Miami was pretty nice this time around. Couldn’t make for a better opportunity to dive into my latest self-help book. Finally, Papa Lee was taking care of us… that is, until…
“Oh man, do you think Darin Zion could find his way out of the Loop Hold, Dad?” A little voice, not many rows in front of the founders of eGG, squeaks out in excitement.
The father figure places a hand on top of his son’s head, ruffling the kid’s hair.
“Oh, I don’t know.” He chuckles. “I’ve seen him kick out after some pretty big moves, like when he beat the eGG Bandits for the tag titles years ago!”
That’s when the little fuck scoffed. So loud he almost choked on his shitty response. Or maybe that’s just me being hopeful.
After the little shit got done laughing, his annoying voice squeaked out, “You mean Doozer the Loser?!” More stupid, high pitched guffaws ensue. “When was the last time he ever heard a three count without it being HIS shoulders on the mat, Dad? Come on!”
I could see Cancer’s stupid fuckin’ smirk in my peripherals.
“And even if Mr. COOL was his teammate, instead of that fat guy, what did that ever do?”
Well it won us the HOW Tag Titles a couple times, you little shit. BUT, seeing Cancer’s smile turn upside down kept any impending contention to that point from bursting out of my mouth.
“Row three, seats A and B…” I caught Jiles muttering their seat locations to himself.
Then, as if she timed her opportunities for maximum annoyance, Bobby Dean’s little girl piped up.
“So…” Never a good sign. “Uncles of Old.” Told you. “You two don’t like, think we’re a bunch of jerks up here for living the good life while Dad sits back in coach, trying to fit into a seat that barely fits one of his cheeks, with their crappy drink and snack offerings?”
She might be ruthless, but in her own Dean way, that was a statement of love and compassion for her old man. Despite that sweet sentiment, Cancer and I replied in unison,
Young Annebelle’s head swiveled back and forth, and then once again, before she could shake off the stupor and speak again.
“I…” It took the poor girl a minute. “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you two agree on anything.” She paused, still a bit stunned. “Especially like, that quick.”
I smirk, then glance over the girl toward Jiles, who’s reciprocating the same gesture back my way. We communicate our agreement without the requirement of words, then look down to her from each side, and respond as if we had rehearsed this moment for the decades we’ve known each other.
“You have met your Dad before, right?”
Trust me, though, when I tell you it wasn’t a long pause.
“Gotta say, Gramps, I would’ve put money on you being the last of Dad’s friends that’d ever need to get bailed out.” I won’t lie. Annabelle delivers the type of compliment you can only expect from a Dean so naturally I actually do believe Bob had sex with a woman now. Although, frequent donations to sperm banks would make just as much sense.
And that could explain how Cancer got into the cryo business…
“Good thing Uncle Cancer wasn’t done with his three hour hair prep by the time you called.” There’s that infamous cherubic smile her father made famous. “I mean, would you even have been able to make it another day? I’m pretty sure they don’t allow blenders or anything for you to puree your meals here.”
“I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that last bit.” I clear my throat angrily. “How’d you even get him over here before finishing the ‘do? Kind of impressive, if I’m being honest.”
She waves the comment off like it was nothing.
“Oh that?” She releases a devious giggle. “That was… over-easy, as you cringe-lords would say.”
A Half Hour Earlier
“Hey, dickhead.” Young Annabelle Dean’s soft voice nearly made it sound like a cute nickname. “We gotta go bail out your boyfriend.”
It’s not easy to break Cancer’s focus away from his golden locks, but that sure did the trick.
“First, no.” Jiles nearly spits venom alongside his quick response. “Second, what the fu-”
“Uh-ah! Dad said no swearing!” There’s that shit-eating grin only a daughter of a Bandit could master so early in life.
“You just called me a-”
“That’s a body part, technically.” Belle interrupts with a finger pointed to the ceiling. “Unless it’s sooo small you consider the term offensive?”
Cancer grits his teeth so hard it’s a wonder none of them cracked.
“What do you want, kid?” The air of defeat flowing between each word is real.
“And here I thought Doozer was the one who needed hearing aids.” Bobby Dean’s daughter takes pleasure at Jiles’ inability to snap back at her. “I said we gotta bail out your boyfriend. Or is he your ex now? Seems like he plays tag with Dad a lot more than you lately.”
“That’s because I’m-” The Platinum Blond Bandit stops himself. “You know what, I don’t need to explain sh-” Annabelle’s finger raises. Jiles sneers, then clears his throat. “I don’t need to explain anything to you, kid. And I don’t need to bail Doozer out just because YOU said so, either.”
The Fifteen year old, female version of Bobby Dean shrugs innocently.
“You’re right.” Her response raises one of Cancer’s eyebrows. “You can leave Doozer in the clink for all I care.”
She takes a moment to let the payoff build.
“Just means you’re the Grandpa of the group now.”
Jiles immediately releases a noise that’s something like a groan, grunt, and primal roar all rolled up in one.
“So where’d they drag the old bag of bones off to and how much do we need?”
Flashback – Post Flight
So there I was, being the stand-up kinda guy I am, standing up from my seat in Business class and plowing through the normies looking around like a bunch of dumb fuckin’ HOW fans waiting for GOD to tell them what to do.
You know what to do when your flight’s over and they tell you to get off the fuckin’ plane?
You do what I did.
In the one moment I decided to peek over my shoulder to see if Annabelle was all set, I could see Cancer staring at me. I’m still not sure if he was mortified, or impressed. Maybe both?
Anywho, after grunting at the dumbasses in their stupid suits with their silly wing pins, I made my way off the plane and headed to luggage pickup. Without a backward glance, I simply walked along, thinking that the others had to know the way, but not really giving a shit if they didn’t. They’d figure it out one way or another, so really it’s no sweat off my sack.
What a trip, that was, too. Leading me here, staring at a sea of stupid.
The mind-numbing number of Mongoloids in 97RED threads would make a bulimic never want to leave.
And as if that wasn’t punishment enough, I heard that little fucking prick’s voice again.
No, it wasn’t another Bergman promo.
“Oh, hey! Doo-sa-”
Honestly, I’m not sure if the shithead was going to say “Doozer” or “Dooze, sir” but, either way, it didn’t really matter.
Unfortunately, my right arm shot out, instinctively mind you, before the perp could finish. How are my… experienced… instincts NOT supposed to react to such an unexpected threat?
Worse off, long story short, ALLEGEDLY the little fuckhead was just trying to get an autograph.
Too bad I don’t forget a nagging ,little, two faced bitch when I hear one. I mean… how else would I remember anyone from High Octane?
But that’s not the important piece of the picture here, is it?
What really matters… is what happened to ME.
I can’t actually prove it or not. But if I had to put my money on anything… I bet a scorned Octobandit, like the little bitch I stiff-armed, went ahead and shouted for the dressed up dickheads in dark blue on me.
And before long, they were fast approaching.
I did my best to quell the inevitable.
“Dumb little fucks could use a couple more shots like that, huh?”
Believe it or not, that didn’t work.
“I think you should come with me, sir…”
He looked confused.
How the fuck could he look so-
“Wait.” I couldn’t help myself. “Yerda’hnly pro wrasslin’ lovin’ redneck ‘round Miyami duran thiz thymah- OW!”
That’s when the pig snapped my arms back and together in one motion.
“Okay, okay.” I do my best to sincerely settle the situation. “Let me get this straight…”
There’s a moment of reprieve, but there’s also a devil on my shoulder.
“If I was an asshole in a stupid fucking Byrd costume, and it was accepted that I was an asshole because the aforementioned bird was an Eagle-”
“Take him away.” The cold words flowed from my old friend too easily. Cancer Jiles causally steps forward from the sea of stupid. “He might be old, but he’s clearly a threat.”
Cuffs are cold, kids.
“Alright, Mr. Mayhew, looks like it’s your time to go.” Officer Jamison calls out with a bored voice, dragging me from my thoughts.
Sighing, I don’t bother moving as I look up from the bench I’m currently lounging on, asking, “Do I have to?”
The simple question causes Officer Jamison to stop in tracks, and has every eye in the large cell turned my way as if I was the craziest person they’d ever met. Or the dumbest. Maybe both?
“You want to stay?” Officer Jamison can’t help but ask. “Here? In jail?”
The question may seem ludicrous to all of them, but have they ever had to deal with Bobby Dean on a regular basis? Or listened to the quips from Cancer Jiles that cut you to the core? No. Have they ever had to face the judging eyes of a teenage girl who acts like every little decision in life you make is the absolute worst one you could possibly make?
I take a second to look around, realizing, perhaps this wasn’t my best decision, after all.
Being honest though, I’d take Bobby Dean, Cancer Jiles, and even the kid, happily. They aren’t the reason why I sit here contemplating if I should extend my stay, no, it’s the thought of leaving one hell for another.
“I don’t know,” I begin tentatively, still not moving from my comfortable perch. “I can’t decide if a jail cell in Miami, Florida is better than an evening spent in a High Octane ring…”
“Yeah, well, decide quick pal, cause I’m about three minutes away from my end of shift and I really couldn’t care less about you or your fucking problems.” Officer Jamison throws out as he jerks the cell door open, looking pointedly at me.
Sighing before I accept the inevitable, I begin to climb to my feet. I can’t help but think back to my last text exchange with the GOD of HOW.
Doozer: Remember what you said. You don’t care if we win or lose, just show up.
Sightless Asshole: That tracks, or something.
Doozer: Good, cause this is about to turn into the biggest shitshow you’ve ever seen.
“Let’s get this show on the road.” I mutter as I follow the office out of the cell, and back to the free world. “I’ve got people to disappoint.”
“Hey, guys, either of you know who this Laura B chick is?” I grinned, asking the rhetorical question to my self-proclaimed saviors, since I knew the answer. “She just slid into my DM’s.”
Jiles goes cross-eyed.
Belle goes one brow raised.
Dooze goes Berrrrrrrrr.