Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Plus She Looks Great in Pants Suits

And the devil is outside, flying around like a bat while I'm trying to clear out all the old 70's movies from my DVR. This devil isn't really the devil, it's like the devil in a Tom Waite's song, he plays an instrument (nothing conventional; broomstick bass, spoons, wooden knee blocks). He's more like a mall Santa Claus: an aura of bad ju ju. Like that motion detector light in Brick.

The air conditioner is blowing on me even though it's nice outside. Too many bugs outside, too many smells of mowed grass and salt water, fireworks off in the distance. Fun I used to have. Riding bikes in New Milford. Hanging out in friend's basements on Saturday Night watching Headbanger' Ball. Stealing beer and trying cigarettes. Everything new and fun.

The scope has narrowed and there isn't any fun left. These days I just long for some quiet.  A book. Some mad scribble/typing. A few minutes with my girl quietly contemplating quiet futures.

But the devil is outside. He's always outside. Around the corner. Playing that racket.
And it's never quiet.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Maybe This October I'll Get It Right

Every Arcade Fire song exists in the fall because that's when the Reverend Howe first played them for me and since then it's been a perpetual trigger for memories of brisk breezes and dead leaves. I'm sick of the summer already but that's probably my fault. No more afternoon buzzes on the boardwalk with the great expanse of the ocean right in front of me. Everything felt wide open and scary but scary in a good way. The unknown wasn't a bad thing because how could it be bad? Boredom was the biggest bratty fear to have and that was all I wanted to combat. Even all this scribbled down bullshit is really just foggy memories of good times long since run through a kaleidoscope of binges and breakdowns. 
And enough on all that.
No one is here to be heady and heavy all the time.
I don't think anyway.
October looms.
It's been a mild summer until now.
It almost felt like fall a few nights
Soon enough the lights will go down early.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Brief History of Coffee

A few minutes later I woke up in the Doors movie. We were in a park across the street from the hotel, there was a Native American “Pow-Wow” going on according to the signs. Thumping drums echoed off the buildings a mile away. Chanting and singing. Drum skins taking a beating. Concession stands selling bracelets and stones and crystals, lemonade and hot dogs. A tall man in a wolf-skin and a smoking lantern walked the perimeter of the “sacred circle”. Barefoot hippies climbed the trees and danced around all 1967, beads bouncing off breasts in summer dresses. After a few minutes the drums stopped and someone grabbed a microphone:
Alright everyone thanks for coming,” the calm voice announced, “I want any couple who wants to be in the dance contest to line up outside the sacred circle.” His voice was dry, too close to the mic he sounded more like a camp counselor than a shaman and it snapped me out of the Summer of Love.
Later on Jimi said to me:
We don't get no summer of love. We're all at work, or looking for work. Everything costs too much. Can't have fun while you're thinking about your bank account rolling back to zero.”
Which was true. But we were at a bar and I had cash and was entertaining a mild buzz in an unknown city, and even Jimi and his cosmic blues weren't going to bring me down.
Cobain tried that shit the first night we were in town.
He was paranoid. He was always paranoid.
No one is on your side. No one is on my side. I'm not on your side. I want to be but I'm not.”
Alright that's enough out of you,” Morrison yelled. He was drunk and so was I. “We're here for a wedding not to listen to you ramble on about how uncomfortable you are in social situations.”
Oh leave him alone,” I started.
"It's fine," Cobain got up to slink outside for a smoke.

Then we talked about getting a room in Atlantic City, just for old times sake. It seemed like a good idea on a Monday night. Weekday rates were cheap, it would be just us and the elderly slot players.
Morrison came up with the plan:
We'll sit at the slots all night and get our drinks comped. If we win anything we'll go to a bar and cover the tab with it.”
It sounded like a good plan, but no one came around to take our order. Jimi quickly got restless and went to the poker table.
Fuck it man, I'm going for it.”
An hour later I was back in the room.
The weather had picked up and from 20 floors up I watched the ocean pound the boardwalk while rain sprayed against the window.
Atlantic City was a bad idea.

Luckily we ended up back at the Biltmore, in the restaurant bar downstairs. Everyone was tired. It was a long day and things were closing up.
Last Call!” the lights flickered.

I'm not sure you want to hear this, but I have absolutely no intention of going to bed right now,” I said to anyone who wanted to listen.
No, I'm up for going somewhere, but where? We don't really know this town,” Morrison answered.
We went through the park. The Pow-Wow was over. Everything was over.
A dark pub on the corner invited us in and we sat in a booth.
I'm tired,” Jimi said.
Go back to the hotel, we're probably only staying for one anyway.”
That's not what I mean. I'm just tired. We got old fast.”
You got old fast,” Morrison slurred, “I've always been old.”
I'm not sure I want to do this shit anymore. Going out, sitting in a bar waiting for something weird to happen.”
Everyone was quiet for a moment, acknowledging that Jimi was just slinging some drunken honestly, drenched in melodrama.
Well what the hell else is there to do?” Morrison answered, peeling the label off his bottle.
I don't know. I guess that's the problem.”
Then the fire alarm went off.
There was no visible fire, and everyone looked at each other as if someone was a member of the fire department and would tell us all not to worry it was just a malfunction but no one was qualified enough to make such a statement.
We slipped through the door, if for no other reason than the alarm was terribly loud. We walked back towards the hotel, and found the diner truck still taking requests.
We ordered and took our sandwiches over to the steps of city hall.
Two tuna melts and a cheeseburger.
Over priced.
We'll regret this in the morning.
I don't think this is tuna,” I said.
I don't think this is bread,” Morrison answered.

I rolled over onto a hangover that morning. I never remember to shut the shades after a long night of drinking and I always pay for it with light piercing into my beer-beaten brain the next day. A vague headache.
My neck hurts.
If I can just sleep for another 20 or so hours I should be fine.
But there are things to do.

Michael Keaton Batman was fighting Jack Nicholson Joker in the stereo of three tv's. The Door in between is Open.
Sir Paul is there in a fluffy, white bathrobe pacing.
Into one room around the corners then into the next room
He has a suite which lends itself to such things.

What are you doing here, are you dead?” I groan.
No. I'm getting married,” he answered.

Oh yeah.

Later, after the whirl-flash of fancy clothes and blue and red lights we're back down at the bar.
Ties undone.
Dresses exchanged for jeans or sweats.
I'm not sure I know who any of these people are.
There's music but I'm not sure what it is.
Background music.
It's probably on someone's I-pod.
On their “Awesome Songs” playlist.
This buzzing could be someone's favorite song.
Their Wedding Song.
But not tonight.
Everything is over tonight.

Couple of flashes of weather puddle up the streets and sidewalks and stain the park with mud.

The bar closes, again right on time.

You guys can hang out for a bit and finish up if you want,” they say.

You want another one?” I ask Morrison.
Nah, I don't think so,” he slurs back.
We can't sell you guys any more,” the bartender interrupts.
That's fine because we don't want another one,” Morrison shoots back.
He puts his head on the bar.
It would be too bad if I don't remember any of this.”

It wasn't long before I found myself back at the kitchen table. It was late. 
Or early.
The sun was coming up.
The coffee started brewing.
Everything was finally quiet.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Unenployment Thing That I Got Them To Keep "Whachamacallit" In The Title Of

I can not come up with non-nonsensical titles for straight pieces, so the fact that they didn't change the title of THIS, even though it's not really a good one is a victory in and of itself.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dracula's Castle and the Wildwood Monsoon

Hair gel always smells like the beach to me. I dabbled in using it for a little while in the late 90's when I cut all my hair off but haven't touched the stuff since. It was the same hair gel I brought to Wildwood when six of us crammed into one hotel room and the same hair gel we shot into a pair of poor ol' Reinhold's trunks while he was on the deck chatting up some girl. I'm not sure if he noticed they were loaded before he put them on because I was probably passed out on the floor between the bed and the air conditioner, wrapped in a blanket or two.

On every pass through I made it a point to stop at Castle Dracula, I don't know why I have some weird affinity for haunted houses. I don't even particularly like horror movies, I just like Halloween and haunted houses. Castle Dracula sounds like a goth-club and it probably is somewhere but this was just a building that was made to look like a castle with some plywood, drywall and stucco.There was a moat running around and under the building and slabs of wood wrapped in rubber that ferried you around while people jumped out at you along the way.
The Castle itself was a longer attraction. You went through a parlor where a man appeared seemingly out of thin air and warned you to go no further because his "master" wouldn't be happy with guests. I worked in a haunted house for many Octobers and the 'master' theme was prevalent in each incarnation. I'm not sure if it's just standard haunted house procedure or if maybe it was ripped off, either way, everyone was just an Igor serving their faceless master.
It's not hard to fall for girls in places like that. Heaps of makeup, tight black dresses, fish-nets, candy-striped socks under high boots. Things like that.
And that's what happened.
I got smitten with some girl who worked the guillotine.
We caught up with her at the pizza stand across from the castle and barraged her with questions like the drunk teenagers (re:20) we were.
She just moved to Wildwood and sort of had a boyfriend but not really. It was complicated.
It's always complicated.
She has to go back in, her break was over.
She stomped her cigarette out on the boardwalk and told us she might be back around later if we were still in the area.
We were but we didn't see her.

A few weeks passed by and Professor Hogan, (then only Mr. Hogan) decided he wanted to take an impromptu trip to Wildwood before the summer was over.
I was already in Brick, not living there, merely visiting the empty house that was about to be shut down for the season. Headmaster Porr of Slytherin was also down there. We had a few random beers left over from the last party and were enjoying them when Hogan showed up in his his fire-truck red SUV blasting Metallica, armed with a bottle of Vodka.
"I'll drive" he said as we gathered a cooler and threw in anything remaining in the refrigerator that could be considered an alcoholic beverage.
Hogan sped down the Parkway stopping only at toll booths to open his door and recover any change that weak-armed drivers threw but didn't make the basket, until he was yelled at by a collector.
We made it down quick and checked into the first place we could find that had a 'vacancy' sign.
Let's call it the "Ocean Gate".
It wasn't but I can't remember what it was really called and Ocean Gate sounds the most motel-y to me at this late hour.
We walked into the office; two shirtless children, both girls, chased each other to all corners screaming at each other while their mother, behind the counter, held an infant in her arms and yelled back at them to "knock it off."
"Y'all want a room?" she asked.
Her hair was ragged and unkempt, and there were teeth missing from her smile. She handed us the key after we handed her our cash and she returned to yelling at the children after our brief interruption.

The only thing missing from the room was the chalk outline of a body. The rug was shit-brown with enough water stains to make it look like a map. The television looked like it was shipped directly from 1967, rabbit ears and no remote. There was no clock in the room but there was a musty smell as if no one had been in here for years. We put this aside and opened the cooler. There were two patio chairs in front of the room and if we turned our necks left we could see the ocean clearly.

Two hours later the weather had picked up and I was alone. Headmaster Porr and Professor Hogan were snoring the song of vodka drenched dreams in the room while Happy Days flickered on the screen. We were out of booze, and I couldn't sleep.
It was still early but the wind had started whipping around anything that could move. The patio chairs were dragged and some turned over as the gusts gained strength. I decided to take a walk down to the boardwalk even thought it looked like most people were packing it in.
My head was helium filled, drowsy but incapable of sleep. Not in that place.
I passed by the large hotels along the coast of the town. Bright beautiful lights, devoid of the sound of any people or cars or any other interference. Just the wind swelling up and down and the hum of the lights.

If that girl was working I was going to ask her to get a drink. Or a slice of pizza or whatever.
Why not?
And it wasn't a psych-yourself-up moment. It was just a simple light bulb flash. Oh yeah. That girl might be in there. I should see if she wants to do something since my two traveling companions have passed out.
I waited in the short line. Went through all the attractions. Finally the guillotine room. She was there. "off with his head" she shrieked before pulling the rope to release the wooden blade. As the group filtered out I hung towards the back of the line, she pointed to the exit, I approached her and took my "Hey I don't know if you remember me but we hung out a few weeks ago and I don't know what you're doing after this but I wanted to see if maybe you wanted to get a drink or something to eat when you're done" inhale but nothing came out.
I choked.
She looked at me for a second and kept up with the "get out" routine, perhaps knowing instinctively what I was trying to blurt out.
A few minutes later I was walking back to the hotel. It started raining now and I pictured myself as some dejected-hero in a movie, walking in the rain.
"Eh, broads."
I got back to the room and the two were still passed out, having only rolled over in the last hour. The Mary Tyler Moore show had replaced the Fonz. but I knew there was no way I was getting any sleep. Not in that place with whatever microscopic-DNA-monsters were swimming on everything.

I pulled up the patio chair and lit a cigarette. I started scribbling some bullshit, post-high-school-yet-still-high-school-sounding thoughts or poems about the tall girl in the vamp costume who I choked in front of. Then I heard a grunt.
I looked into the room but it wasn't coming from there.
Another grunt followed.
It was coming from the open window directly across from me; the upstairs level of the office.
Another grunt, a moan, a shriek, a moan, a grunt.
Head board slamming into the wall.
Yeah. Harder. Yeah. Oh. Oh God.
The tooth deprived woman with the ratty hair and topless toddlers was getting it good.
Good and loud.
The rain started up again drowning her and Mary Tyler Moore out.
The wind threw the rain around splattering up in my face a little.
I was awake and it looked like I was staying that way.
Only a few hours til the sun came up.
Plenty of places to go for breakfast and kill some time until Hogan and Porr recover and we can get out of this town and flip the calendar to Fall.
Until then I sat on the patio chair hoping, Mr. Hotel Keeper didn't have the stamina for another round.
Slightly drunk and wide awake.
Pretty fucking haunted.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Regardless of Most Things

At the end of the day you'd probably miss this weight in your chest. The one that keeps swelling up at all those sad George Harrison songs, and revisited conversations. It's that big freak out that'll get you sooner or later.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Losing to the Scene

Ah dark lights and smoke machines. Thumping beats and loud distortion. Ears ringing, head like a lead balloon full of watered down whiskey. Crumbled up dollar bills stuffed into your pocket. Coins jangling. Keys somewhere in there. Girls perfume and sweat thicken the air. Your head spins so fast you almost can't tell anymore. You're dizzy. You're sick. You're an alien. You don't belong here. What am I doing here? Who the fuck are these people and what the hell made me come here? What the fuck do we have in common that we should be spending any night of the week in the same place looking for the same kind of fun?

Maybe I'm not doing it right. I lose them all to a scene. I don't want to be in a scene. I have no real burning desire to belong with a bunch of bobbing heads. Sometimes I think I want to get old in front of a blue glowing monitor and type away every shitty impulse in my head. Hope someone gets it but never really care if anyone does.

A little bitter.

A little bitter and a little tired and a little burned out of all of it and having to think about it and trying to compete with it and trying to think of a way to get ahead of it and trying to stay on top of it and trying to get over it. Paranoid and intolerant. Too many losses to those armies of cardboard cutouts. Ah but thus is life. They will win because they do win.

Satellite Radio Withdrawl in the Old West

I used to get in the car around 5 am, if I was lucky, I'd skip around the AM stations listening for traffic and weather. If it was winter I might have a looming fear that a snow storm would break out the further north I got. That had happened on more than one occasion, the worst of which the Parkway traffic slowed down to a one lane, 25mph crawl, where I spun out for a moment before getting control of the car. I stopped at the next rest stop, called out from work and drove back to the shore white knuckled.
But on a good day, by the time I got to the Parkway and the sun would start showing itself, I'd plug the satellite radio into the cigarette lighter and usually hear this come up.
It's from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly soundtrack by Enrico Morricone. Metallica used to come out to it in the early 90's, then recorded a version of it in the 00's. Opie and Anthony probably got it from them.

Anyway it was the first thing I'd pay attention to in the morning. I'd pretend I wasn't driving to work but was instead on some Eastwoodian quest for revenge, or justice or something of the like. It made it easier to wake up pretending I was headed towards some cinematic showdown rather than an office where I'd be fielding phone calls and discreetly abusing the Internet for 8 or 9 hours every day. Opie and Anthony, and usually Jim Norton but sometimes, (hopefully) Patrice O'Neal would start up shortly after that. The first segment of the show could run up to an hour long if they were on a roll and often they would. Sometimes I'd sit in the parking lot and listen to the end of the bit. This happened in college several time for things like this and missed a class for this (which is only part of a bit that went on for well over an hour).

There was also Ron and Fez. Both shows were on WNEW in the late 90's and early 00's. Opie and Anthony got fired over the Sex for Sam thing and shortly thereafter WNEW switched formats and Ron and Fez were fired. They came back a few years later on XM Satellite Radio and my boss at the time, VP Rolo Beesler, bought his own setup specifically to listen to them while he worked. After the first few "fucks" and "shits' echoed through the entire office he kept the volume low and usually shut the door to his office.
A few months later Ron and Fez got a show on the same channel. I started commuting from Brick to Ramsey. In honor of this, VP Rolo, who was upgrading his XM, gave me his old receiver; a stereo and a car mount. I'd catch the first hour of Opie and Anthony on the way in and rest of the show on a replay going home. Ron and Fez (doing bits like How Many 9 Year Olds Can You Beat Up) were on mid-days and I could keep them on while everyone was at lunch.

Sir Bert of Rohan soon joined us XM owners and it wasn't long before we just kept the radio on all day in the office and had our own little inside jokes that annoyed and alienated everyone else we worked with. The swan song for this came when Rolo and I were relocated to the warehouse (I suppose demoted) Rolo wired speakers running from his office to the rafters of the warehouse.

Anyway, I'm thinking about all this stuff because I'm looking for a job. Not a job, I guess. I'm looking for some work. I sort of have a job that I work at from home, however I'm constantly finding myself broke, so I'm looking for some supplementary income. So I'm going to go out and have to meet new people, get acclimated to a new environment, curb whatever tics or shitty things I say or do on a normal basis.

After I quit the XM place I got a quick job at a warehouse, closer to home. No radio, no friends, no fun. Just an old gray job. I loathed every second of it.

Monday, July 4, 2011

In the Air Tonight

I never got used to the speed of the Ferrari. I always thought that was a good thing; it kept me grounded. This wasn't our car, this was all part of the job. Crockett thought like that too but he would never admit it. We both needed something to remind us that none of this was real. It was all part of the game. On the streets, in this line of work, the line was blurred often.
Crockett stopped off at a pay phone, said he had a contact that was waiting for a call. I think he called home, but within a few minutes we were off, our hair blowing in the wind, the radio blasting just to take our nerves off the business at hand.
The more I saw of Miami the more I missed New York. Sure, the weather is nice and the women are beautiful but it's all like an illusion. New York looks like trouble. You can smell it. This place is paradise and you never know where to look for it.
We finally pull up to the marina just outside of town. The Carteret.
"You ready?" Crockett asks, screwing a cigarette into his lop-sided smile.
"Yea I'm ready. Now remember we're just here to talk, Castillo is already on our asses."
"Hey, I'm cool." Crockett takes a deep drag and walks ahead.
I know the job is getting to him.
We're meeting Elisha Sanchez, a local girl who has agreed to make a connection for us with her uncle Livian, hired muscle for the Cortez gang.
Elisha was waiting for us and though she put on a brave face, I could tell she was scared.
'You're late," she snarled at Crockett.
"We can go if you'd like?" he shot back.
"Let's just do this fast."
She lead us down to the dock to a yacht. On the deck chair sat her Uncle Livian.
"So what's this all about? Why did you want to me?" he said lighting a cigar.
"Mr. Sanchez, we know that you might represent certain interested parties who would want what we have," I said to him staring him straight in the eye. If I've learned anything over these past three seasons, it's to always look them in the eye or they're liable to shoot you on spot.
"Oh and what is that?"
"How about enough of product to keep his business running smoothly for the next four months," Crockett chimed in.
"Hey man, who am I talking to you or him?"
"You're talking to me," I jumped in. Crockett looked flummoxed but he usually took the lead on these things and I felt that I was due.
"Ok, so how much is this going to cost him? That is if I represent somebody and if they're interested in whatever it is you might be selling."
"We won't worry about price now. If this is something he's interested in tell him to meet us back in town at a place called the Florida on Canal, tomorrow round 11 pm., that's not too early for you is it?"
"No, that's not too early for me, if anyone is interested maybe we'll see you there. If not maybe we'll see you some other time then."
We backed away and went back up to the car.
"How did it go?" Elisha asked.
"We'll find out tomorrow," Crockett snapped back.
"What about my cut?"
"Darlin' right now any percent of zero is zero so why don't you make sure you put in a good word for us with your boss."
"He's not my boss, he's my uncle. I don't work for him."
"I believe you." Crockett answered tenderly.
"I had nowhere else to go and I've had to stay with him."
"That must have been rough on you."
"It was," a tear started running down her cheek.
"There now don't cry," Crockett rubbed her face gently.
I took this as my cue to leave. Crockett had used this trick many times. He missed his family, sure, but he also was a man in a white Armani suit and when he had that suit on he became the character he was playing. Suave and ruthless. I on the other hand could shut it off, at least I thought I could. I caught a cab back to my apartment. It was a hot night in Miami.
The air conditioner was broken. A lake of neon pink ran through my window from the motel sign across the street. I was tired and I was lonely and I was bored.
My Atari 2600 was often the only thing I had to take my mind off the job, but how many times  can I play Pole Position  and Pitfall before I go crazy?
The next night Crockett knocked on my door, two coffees in hand and the cocksure smile of a man who had accomplished what he'd set out to do the night before.
We headed off to The Florida Club over on Canal street. They offered an early bird special of scrambled eggs, sausage or bacon, and toast for only $3.99 every weekday. It was a deal I took advantage of on many sleepless nights.
Our situation seemed bleak when we arrived.
Elisha was there and seemed like a new girl.
Crockett took her to the side and I only made out part of her conversation but I definitely heard the words "but we could leave this place, forever" thrown in there. This was all part of Crockett's game. He had the girl convinced that between the money he made in this score and the percentage he was going to throw her for making the connection they could start their lives over together somewhere else. Away from all of this. Maybe he believed it but I knew that when all this was over we'd just be going after some new drug dealer, with some other young pretty thing caught in the middle, and I'd be at home cursing the sensitivity of my Atari joystick.
"Tubbs you still with us?" Crockett yelled.
"Yeah," I answered.
"Mr. Cortez asked you a question."
I had hardly noticed Emanuel Cortez, the dealer we'd been chasing for the last few weeks was standing before me. I had so often deferred to Crockett in these situations I almost forgot what to do.
"Yeah, so do you want to buy some stuff?" I mumbled.
"Some stuff?"he answered disgustedly.
"Yeah," I snapped out of my fog, "Do you want to buy some of our drugs, I have drugs to sell and I want to know if you want to buy them?" I said forcefully.
"What the hell is this are you some kind of cop?"
"Yeah that's right I am a cop, undercover Miami Metro!"
"Tubbs what are you doing?" Crockett cried.
"Son of a bitch you set us up," Cortez reached into his jacket pulling out a chrome gun and pointing it at Elisha.
Before I could realize what was happening Crockett dove, almost in slow motion in front of her, yelling "no" for what seemed to go on for at least 10 or 11 seconds.
He was too late, Elisha was shot
Cortez then turned his gun towards me as did several of his henchman.
Except Livian, who was overcome with grief at watching his niece shot before him, he pointed his gun at the hench man, who, not expecting such an attack were quickly mowed down. Livian then aimed the gun at the back of Cortez's head.
"Drop it," he said in a clear distinct tone.
"What are you doing Livian?" Cortez growled.
"Emanuel Cortez you're under arrest," Livian said, reaching for handcuffs in his back pocket.
"What? You're  undercover?" I shouted.
"Yeah, FBI. Name's Larkin" Livian said
"Livian Larkin?" I asked.
"No Agent Larkin," he corrected.
"How did you know we were cops?" I asked.
"Your partner there, he slept with my contact, told her he was going to get her out of all this, stuff like that, sounded like standard undercover stuff."
"So she's your partner?" Crockett asked.
"No, I just met her a few weeks ago, told her I was a long lost uncle, her mother's brother and that I was going to take care of her."
"She's not in on this then?" I asked.
"No, I was deep in on this,"
"So she's really shot then?"
"Oh yeah, she'll probably need medical attention."

An hour later the ambulance lights blazed
"That girl," Lt. Castillo said grimly, "she didn't make it."
Crockett looked stunned, His eyes welled furiously with frustrated tears.
"Was it worth it Lieutenant?" he said.
"Is it ever Sonny?"
I guess there are some lessons we're all still learning.
The ambulance was gone. A squad car took Cortez away to a life sentence for murder. But someone else would pop up in his place next week. They always did.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Counting Lights

Alright, this is going to be about wrestling so if you have no interest in that you might as well just skip this one, of course there is a better than average chance that this could veer off into something else like being absolutely joyless for the first time I can remember about 4th of July weekend or my unconditional love for Deadwood
But for right now let's just stay on wrestling.
Professor Horgan of the Northern New Jersey Wrestling Archives of Pompton Lakes is to blame for my continued interest in professional wrestling. Sure, when I was a kid I was caught up in the wave of 80's rock 'n wrestling and Hulkamania, Macho Madness and the 'power of the Ultimate Warrior' and kept watching into the era of the steroids hangover when smaller guys like Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels starting headlining. But at some point, I guess I kind of grew out of it. It was hard to get interested in things like circus clowns and garbage men who just happened to wrestle as a side career.
I didn't get it anymore.
The option was watching the rival WCW but as you can see by watching this or this that it really wasn't an option.
But in a few years time WCW started pulling in some of the older WWF guys like Randy Savage, Mean Gene, Hulk Hogan and probably most tragically Bobby Heenan. After trying to re-tread what WWF had done in the 80's with guys who were 10-15 years older WCW finally had the brainstorm to turn Hulk Hogan into a bad guy here and what followed was the wildly successful NWO angle that put WCW on top and almost put WWF out of business until they let Steve Austin off the chain. Then the the Rock and eventually  things got bad in WCW when things like this happened and Vince McMahon bought WCW and ran it into the ground. Austin broke his neck, Rock went to Hollywood,  the Undertaker became a biker, Shawn Michaels retired, Triple H married the boss's daughter and Mick Foley couldn't be thrown off a cage every night. Without any competition things got stale and story-lines got, um weird. (I'm not going to post it but search for 'Katie Vick' on youtube. Actually, don't)

But over the last few years Professor Horgan still gets himself amped up for Wrestlemania season beginning with the Royal Rumble, the winner of which gets a title shot at Wrestlemania. Feuds build up for the three months in between until finally the payoff. However like most things in life the build up is usually better than the result but usually one match steals the show, be it expected (Shawn Michaels vs. The Undertaker at WM26) or unexpected (Shawn Michaels vs Undertaker at WM25).
The best thing on television the past few months, maybe even years has been CM Punk. (I have no idea what C.M. stands for). The WWE is now kid-friendly. Their television programs have a PG rating which may or may not be linked to Vince McMahon's wife running for Congress last year. In all likelihood it has to do with marketing to a new generation of fans who will stay with the product for the next 20 years. Kids like me in the 80's who stopped watching came back in the 90's to see Hulk Hogan, that old patriotic vitamin-eater, with a black beard acting like a jackass and hung around to watch Steve Austin cursing every three words, drinking beer and beating up his boss but they took that as far it could go.
So now we have John Cena who started off as a rapper and has turned into Superman carrying the Hogan-torch, and just behind him is Randy Orton, a maniac who punts people in the head because he hears voices. They're the top to stars in the company but the best all around guy on the mic and in the ring is CM Punk. Cena can cut a promo but his matches are boring and usually end with him overcoming insane odds to win. Orton can wrestle but he's stiff on the mic.
CM Punk is allegedly leaving the WWE. He's announced it and then went on to cut this promo on Monday Night Raw this past week. It wasn't 'real' but it was pretty impressive.  It was probably the most interesting thing in the WWE in ten years and they're letting him walk which is a shame and will probably result in me being done with this miserable sport/entertainment/tv show/thing that kids watch, at least until January.
Pro wrestling at it's best is stand up comedy and performance art; a bunch of maniacs throwing themselves at each other at lightning speeds and then calling each other names, controlling a crowd of people, most of whom are in on the joke.
Randy Savage died a few weeks ago and he was always one of my favorites.
His promos were insane and he always had exciting matches, easily outperforming Hogan and Warrior on their best days.
So here are a couple of those.