The eGG Den
Needless to say.
Did not go.
From War Games to War Flames.
That’s life on the beaches of Normandy.
The Bandits will not pout. They will not shout. They will not blame. And they will not shame.
Long, may we still maim.
Bobby and Zeb, amongst circumstances precluding any possible preparations or poise, held their own against some of the best in the business.
I couldn’t be more proud of them.
We couldn’t be more proud of them.
Which, as fate would have it, brings us to the here and now.
Dooze, Bobby, Zeb, and myself are all sitting around a circular folding table. We borrowed it from a HOW production truck when we moved into the eGG Den a ways back. Same goes for the chairs our asses are in. I suppose you could call them both housewarming gifts. The plastic plates and utensils we are using to eat are from catering, because GOD is nothing if not generous. Our food, a bountiful family sized smorgasbord of fancy sandwiches, charcuterie, and side salads came from a nearby Italian restaurant.
“Trust me, Bob. I appreciate the sentiment, I do. But, I’m telling you the truth. It wouldn’t have mattered who was out there. Sometimes, and Dooze knows this better than anybody, it’s just not your day.” As soon as the words leave my lips, they’re greeted with a scowl from the old bull sitting across from me. I casually turn my head around and aloofly search for the nonexistent person the well mannered man’s gaze is intended for. Then I return my focus to his fire-filled eyes and double down. “Or year.”
I smirk that way I always do.
If Doozer’s looks could kill, I’d be Lucky Santa.
Oh, and I’m sure old Dooze would have rather said something in return instead of just scornfully glaring in my direction. However, luckily for me, I avoided his verbal ire by delivering my unintentional quip while his mouth was full of Caesar salad.
Like I said, well mannered.
“And I appreciate your candor, Charles Jiles the Third.” You can always count on Bobby to break the tension. “Still, we know those types of opportunities don’t come often. Once every seven or eight weeks it would seem. Knowing that, and how badly we all wanted to bring those belts back home, I can’t help but to wonder…” Bobby trails off, still learning how to live inside his new skin.
Side note, in order to combat Bob’s prior bad habits — mainly depressive eating — he is using a spork. It slows him down like putting a tennis ball in your dog’s food bowl.
“Fear not, and worry not, my Beautiful friend from Honalee.” I further reassure my brother of the yolk by gently smiling at him as if he were a cripple. “We will have another chance. And, much to our chagrin, another one after that. And, you guessed it, another after that.”
The table, sans me of course, collectively shakes their head at my craziness.
“We will have all the chances we want, and here’s why.” I inch up closer to the table, and wipe the food debris from my mouth with some of the napkins you’d find at the backstage buffet of a HOW show. “We, The eGG Bandits, sell. We are marketable, and dare I say that excluding replica title sales, we lead in every metric known to man. From one size fits all beautiful, blue bathrobes to fishing poles even Michael Jeffery Stevens could cast. You name it. Wristbands, vibrant colored t-shirts, trucker caps, replica T-shades, canes for the elderly.” Honestly, I couldn’t hold back the wink I just shot Doozer, if I tried. “We got it.”
“Uh, merchandise sales?” Bobby confusingly asks, unaware of the bigger picture.
“Yes.” I answer with stern authority. “That bozo went and bought a REPLICA AIRCRAFT CARRIER to hold bare knuckle brawls on. Brian Bezoswood doesn’t even have one of them. Now, more than ever, he needs us. He needs the Bandit dollar, and more Octabandits spending them. You’ll see. I wouldn’t be surprised if we were in the main event on the next show.”
And that’s when the simultaneous notification hit everyone’s mobile device.
I don’t bother to check it.
I don’t have to.
Yes, Bobby. That’s me.
Not to be confused with any other motherfucker walking.
Time to remind someone of that.
There’s the plastic, potted fern we have all grown to love.
Then there’s me, The Maestro, one leg crossed atop the other. Don’t lie. You can’t help but bask in the COOL as I sit here, relaxing back on the comfy, cozy, blood red couch from which I eviscerate Mongoloids.
Also something we have all grown to love.
There’s nothing on the monitor for this go around. Not worth the electricity. Plus, every penny counts. Which reminds me, I should check these cushions when I’m done. I imagine any donations to the Carrier Fund would be looked upon as beneficial.
As you might have guessed; the tracksuit jumper is vintage nine-seven. The hair; well it’s certainly no dad’s do. The shades; a spectacle in and of themselves.
“It may surprise some of you, but I was on the FIRST Refueled of this… final era. Good old, Refueled One. That’s what we called it.” My reminiscing tone continues. “It might be even more surprising to learn that I was also in the main event… co-main event… of that solemn night.”
“Not only was I returning to the ring after a lengthy layoff, but it was happening in HOW of all places. Funny, thinking about how far we’ve come since then. Just goes to show you that anything is possible. Ironic, seeing as my opponent on that night was none other than Big Money, Dee Zee himself.”
Charcoal in color, disgusted in nature.
“Yeah, what a night it was. Seems like forever ago, these days… maybe the less than desirable outcome has something to do with that part of it. Regardless, here we are. Thirty Refueleds later, and the Emperor of the Midcard has finally returned to the marquee.”
Hey, it’s better than being crowned the King of Pole Matches.
Or this next one.
“My opponent for my glorious return to unfamiliar territory? The Number One Dad: Steve Solex. He’s the guy from that Grunt Style clothing ad that ran during War Games, in case you’re having trouble placing the face.” I pause, allowing any shock I might have caused to settle. “He still wrestles here, apparently. Which turns out to be a good thing. You know. Since I still owe him.”
The Bandit revenge tour remains in full swing. Though, chances are any given week I get booked will be revenge-worthy due to our fondness of goose eggs.
Two terms you wouldn’t use to describe Doozer’s next opponent.
I’m not bitter.
“And while I’d normally be chomping at the bit to extract my pound of flesh, and right the wrongs of both my pasts, Steve’s tragic tale has me more morose than feverish. Will it stop me? Of course it won’t. But still. It is truly sad. Truly. Like, the opposite of PBR.” I digress. And quickly snap out of it. “Anywho. Somehow, Daddy Daycare went from beating the Bandits to-” I signal air quotes for the idiots. “- used condom -” End air quotes. “- afterthought that doesn’t even make it into the trash can. Rather, it gets left at the scene of the crime, forgotten about on the floor, until getting stuck to the bottom of a passerby’s shoe.”
I look over and inspect my vintage, all-white, Air Stevens.
No rubber, yet.
“The worst part of Steve’s tragic story? There was no foreplay involved. Classic Dad move. No slow burn. Instead? A rapid, unfulfilling climax. He seemingly said something like,” Return of the air quotes, “- we are dads hear us roar, -” End air quotes, “- then shot his load at my expense, and instead of walking back through the curtain and onto bigger and better things, he hopped the guard rail, divorced himself from relevancy, and started selling refreshments in Hal’s fan zone.”
If I can be honest, Lucky has it better. And he’s dead.
“And now, Steve, as you hope to close the chapter of your career entitled: Discarded Used Camel Sheath; My Time in Section 214… well, I can’t help but wonder: Will you stick to the bottom of my Terminal boot as I pass you by on Saturday night? Or does that mustache have one last ride on it? We will find out. That much I know.”
I chuckle at the thought.
Only for a second, though.
“That said, a word of advice because I’ve been in your shoes before and I know just how much fun it is getting kicked while you’re down. The war might be over, yes, but I still yearn for the games. I do not understand pity.” I can feel my eyes inflame. “And will forget what empathy means by the time I’m done talking.” Neck-crack. “So if you’re still struggling to find your most dadliest of self come Saturday night, try shoving some Omega-3 vitamins up your ass before the match. It should still be loose enough from all of the shits you’ll be taking.” Insert classic, devilish smirk here. “Fuck, and have been taking.”
“Me, personally? I’ll stick to eating them, being as that’s where most of my shit comes from.”
“And if that doesn’t work, maybe you could adopt a child on your way down to the ring to help power up that daddy vigor of yours. I’m assuming that’s how it works for you.”
I shrug in that way that pisses you off.
“I tell you this not because I’m some threatening nail eater from DYFS ready to skull fuck you into oblivion and take your kids because you won’t be able to care for them.” I shake my head slowly, left to right then back again. “Like I said, I still yearn for the games, for the spotlight, for the rush… so I will be looking to rectify that all in one shot, at your expense, this Saturday night.” Engage sarcastic, sympathetic chin-in pose. “And sorry, but it definitely doesn’t help your cause that I have the highest platform to do so.”
“In other words,” The King of COOL inhales deeply, giving himself another moment to choose his words. “If you don’t come correct, Steve, I’ll be ordering for you. You’ll be having, for the main course-” I lower the shades to show my sincerity “- off the adult menu mind you -” One last wink, for good measure, “a Saturday Night Special, compliments of the Maestro, on the house. Call it a late Father’s Day gift,” Insincere head tilt. “If you want.”
Goodbye, #1 Fad.
In sports, there is such a thing called a look-ahead game. Say the number one ranked team is playing some scrub this week, but next week they play the number two ranked team. So, they take it easy, try not to get hurt, wind up playing flat, and even sometimes end up taking a loss to an inferior opponent.
A look-ahead game.
Solex might not be a bottom feeder, but he’s been scraping the sea floor as of late. And even though he’s ranked ahead of me, we all know who the favorite is, just the same.
And if I do win this week…
Next up in the rankings…
I would hate to further confuse my opponent.
He’s got a kid to take care of.