Look at this photograph.
It had earned a permanent place on the end table next to the family couch. Anyone who’s ever taken a beach vacation had likely seen the exact same portrait being taken just before the sunset. Zeb Martin, his mother, his stepfather, and his two sisters: all dressed in white shorts, flip flops, and light blue shirts.
Zeb was 15 at the time, and it was the one shot the photographer got that didn’t feature him giving bunny ears or making a stupid face behind the taller blond sister’s back. When the rest of the family caught wind of his actions, Kendra put a quick stop to it by stomping down as hard as she could on his exposed foot.
Then, when he’d lifted said foot in agony, she followed suit by stomping down as hard as she could on his other one.
Needless to say, the next picture turned out quite wholesome.
“Ain’t go’n be easy tuh beat, that’s fer sure. What yew thank?”
A highlight reel of Teddy Palmer’s in-ring bravado had recently come to an end. Prior to this, Zeb Martin had ventured down a research rabbit hole of interviews and individual matches on YouTube by way of a brand new laptop.
The MacBook was a Christmas gift to the teenaged blond seated next to him on his right. She was so elated upon receipt that she hugged his neck without intentionally trying to choke him. An hour before opening her present, she’d questioned his additional muscle gains over the past couple of months as a way to compensate for his inability to talk to women. When he’d first arrived back in Comer the day after Christmas, the rest of the family was excited to see him, welcoming him home with open arms. Kendra had instead opted to ask why he didn’t bother to shower before he got on the plane.
She secretly adored her brother, which is why she agreed to participate in this bit in the first place. But, she had a reputation to uphold, which made her the perfect candidate for this particular interview.
“You said he tore his arm up?” Kendra asks.
“Yeah. Bicep,” Zeb responds.
His sibling rolls her eyes. “Shoulda asked the doctor tuh fix them big ass ears, too. You oughta be friends with him so he kin fly you around on his back without havin’ tuh pay for a plane ticket home fer Easter.”
Zeb’s eyes dart from the laptop screen towards his sister. “Kennie.”
“What? I mean, he’s cute’n all. Just don’t let him ride in the truck with the winders down if yer in a hurry to get somewhere. Hey,” she smirks, “if you break his arm and he’s gotta retire fer real, you thank you could get him tuh live in the shed in the backyard? Maybe then we’d have better cell reception.”
The Watson Mill Kid shakes his head, releasing an exhale in frustration. “Is this what you go’n do this whole time?”
“Make fun of everybody you fightin’ against? That’s what I thought yew wanted me to do, doh-doh,” she fires back.
“Mebbe this wasn’t such a good idea.”
“Too dadgum late, Fartin’ Martin.” Kendra extends her arm and pie-faces her brother, beckoning the HOTv crew member closer to focus completely on her and effectively cutting Zeb out of the line of sight.
Lot of y’all losers on the Internet like to say you like my brother a lot, but he ‘ain’t got what it takes on the microphone’ to be a real success. And that he ain’t mean enough as he needs to be to get ahead in the ‘rasslin business. And that he ain’t got the smarts tuh realize none of it. While I agree that he’s ‘bout four matchin’ dice short of a Yahtzee in brains, who the hell needs any of that in somethin’ that’s based on whether or not they can give and take an ass whoopin’?
Y’all want take no pris’ners attitude? Y’all wanna see Zeb trim someone down tuh size? Since y’all seem tuh love that corny ol’ clown at the dunkin’ booth shit, then you gonna get it from somebody who’s actually fifteen years old. Nice change uh scenery instead of grown men who wanna act like they’s a high school girl.
Lemme hear what you got, Teddy Bear. When I’m done stickin’ a huntin’ knife in yer belly, ain’t go’n be much stuffin’ left fer my brother to rip out this weekend.