Friday, February 10, 2012


My wife and I got my Dad tickets to go see WWE Smackdown for his birthday/Christmas.  I would also go with him, you know for company.  He can't go by himself.  Dad is a huge fan of the 'rastling.  Watches it religiously.  Since before Hulk, Andre, and the WWF Dad would watch.  With the advent of the VCR he could "tape it" and watch it later, and now with the DVR and Dish network he is set up.

Yes, we used to bug him with the "is it Real" questions, and how stupid the conversations were.  Over the years I have made peace with the authenticity, and have embraced the entertainment value.  Whatever that value may be, my Dad is entertained by it, and that is all that matters.  Right?  I think it is great that he has something that is his joy.   The last several trips to Texas that I have made have involved several hours of watching 'rastling with my Dad.  Like anything on TV if I watch it long enough I get into it, or just get used to it. 

I went into this WWE "project" as something for my Dad, and I wanted to go into it with a good attitude.  I love my Dad and want to support him, the way he has supported me all my life.  I was going to enjoy going to the 'rastling matches, if it killed my sensibilities.  At first I was going to make a joke of the whole thing, but then I realized that, this is something that my Dad is into.  So, I can't make a joke of something that is part of my Dad, no matter what I think about it.

After going to see the WWE, I have made some changes to my thinking.  A) The people that go to watch are just as diverse as any sporting event involving a winner and a loser.  I saw everything there.  All walks of life, and yes I wanted to document it all on film, but that would make me and A-hole.  One can throw classifications around all day, just be careful that you don't get hit by them yourself.  "People who live in glass houses -shouldn't throw rocks"  The average 'rastling fan is there to be entertained.  And you know what?  It is entertaining.  The fans love it and the WWE spoon-feeds them what they want.  It is like the most base  common denominator entertainment, but it works, and works well.  Is it simple, yes -but it works.  I cannot hate on these people because of my system of entertainment.  They love what they love, and it is to be entertained.  Plain and simple.  Don't judge.

2)  I was entertained.  I had a great time.  Do you know how cathartic it is to Boo the villain?  Cheer the hero?  I found out that clapping or chanting someones name they gain strength and can whoop anyone.  It is amazing, I think the next time someone needs CPR, I'm just going to clap and chant their name.  This multi-million $ enterprise sells a great product, and they do it a lot.  They are playing a show almost every-other night.  I am impressed with this business.  Not a fan, but I was entertained.  I would go back.  It is base, simple, and no matter the authenticity it is pure.  Pure entertainment. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Grinding Gears

This last Sunday I left work and jumped on the turnpike to head to Texas.  Roadtrip to see my Dad, and Mom, but this was for my Dad's 70th birthday.  My wife and I bought tickets to take my Dad to see WWE Smackdown at the BOK.  I was on my way to pick him up and hang out.  He is a huge fan of wrestling, Professional Wrestling that is.  Has been since I can remember.  And, I remember watching wrestling with my Dad on TV, well as long as I can remember watching TV.  That is a lot of TV wrestling watching.  It's a pure miracle that I am so well adjusted.  Or am I?

Monday came early and we set out to ride, me on my bike and my Dad in the follow truck with the dogs.  I was on a mission to bag some climbs.  There are not too many "climbs" in the Texas Panhandle, but there happens to be two massive (by panhandle standards) climbs 40some odd miles from my parents front door.  I set off to slay these two dragons and call it a day.  The weather was very beautiful, but the wind was forecast to be out of the North, it was out of the South.  Headwind/crosswind all the way.  Two hours and some change later we were descending down into the canyon.  I could see my prize across the way.  It was daunting, and staring me in the face.  I flinched.  Totally underestimated this climb.  I felt beat. Scared.

I stripped off my armwarmers, hat, and unzipped the jersey.  This was going to be a battle.  Man I did not do my homework on this climb.  I had already, in my mind, won this thing.  About a mile into this slog, I cracked, there was a small explosion, one might call it a Pop.  Yeah, that was me.  Done, with a big fork sticking out of my back, not even half-way up.  I don't know what it was that hurt the worst?  Lungs? Legs?  D -all of the above and other things not even on the list were calling in damage reports.  "Captain, we've lost contact with the brain, the legs are out of power, and the lungs have imploded.  Imminent and total destruction."

Not to ruin the story, but if you are reading this -then I had to write it, so I am still alive.  There was no way I was going to willingly get off of my bike with my Dad in the car behind me.  Gravity was going to have to pull me to the ground, unconscious, eyes rolled back, mouth foaming.  I could not stop even though every fiber of my existence was a deafening roar to quit.  I would like to write that I "dug deep" "went to my special place" "gutted it out" "buried myself in the pain cave", but these would be lies.  Knowing my Dad was with me, I forced every labored pedal turn one over the other in a slow display of "square pedaling", out of sheer pride.  That's right, Pride. 

I had cracked, but I wanted my Dad to see me, to be proud of me, to show him that I could fight and be his son.  I wanted to be able to look my Dad in the eye and know that he was proud of me.  My Dad would have been proud of me if I had stopped at the start of the climb.  I wanted him to share my victory against this climb as if it were his own.  There was no stopping, I turned myself inside out for pride.  I was so spent, I was finished.  We pulled into the rest stop/scenic overlook to potty the dogs and to have a look at the beast from the top.  I pulled off my jersey and changed into street clothes, put the bike in the pick-up bed and hopped in.  Finished.  I had one more climb to do, but not today.  I won a battle, but the war is still there waiting.  Like General MacArthur I shall return.  I will live to fight another day, my Dad at my side pushing me up a small canyon wall in the Texas Panhandle.

Cheers, Dad