Friday, December 10, 2010

WRESTLING NIGHT

There was a time when the company I work for was separated into several different buildings.  Most of the buildings that housed the company were in an industrial park in Kansas City, Missouri.  The building where I worked in those early days was across the river in Downtown Kansas City, Kansas.  The drive was a pain, particularly in the winter, but the location had several positives that we enjoyed while working over there.

Among those positives was that we were far far away from the executives of the company giving us freedom that no workplace should ever have at its disposal.  There was a bar right across the street which several of my fellow workers would go to for lunch not be seen again until the next working day.  The famed strip clubs of Kansas City, Kansas were about a mile from the office and where some of our customers were taken if they so desired and be able to have the company pay for it under "entertainment".  The eateries in that part of town were mostly little mom and pop restaurants where the food was as if your grandmother had cooked it up just for you.  Then there was Memorial Hall.

Memorial Hall was built after one of the World Wars.  It was a majestic looking building and when you walked into the lobby you would find murals on the walls depicting different wars that had taken place and memorializing those who gave their lives for our country and our freedoms.  Once you got through the lobby though, the only history being honored was the history being made.

There were about three thousand seats in the little arena that surround an area about half the size of a basketball court with a stage on one end.  On this stage concerts were held almost non-stop through the years.  I have been to many of those concerts over the years seeing such great artists as Rick Wakeman, Charlie Daniels, Three Dog Night and many others.  As a matter of fact, there was only one time I went to Memorial Hall not to see a concert.  That was the night we went to the professional wrestling matches.

Memorial Hall was home to pro wrestling on Thursday nights.  The following Saturday you could catch the previous Thursday's matches on a local television station.  One of those Thursday nights, me and some of my fellow workers decided to attend the matches.  It would be a night that we all could look back on with laughter and good memories.

There was a wrestler that went by the name of Bulldog Bob Brown.  Bulldog was a short stocky man who sported a flat top haircut atop his head and had a nose about as crooked as an old trolls cane.  The bonus of bulldog was that he looked almost exactly like a coworker named Leo.  We decided to go see Bulldog Leo wrestle just for the fun of it.

We went to a bar for dinner and drinks before the wrestling match so a couple of the guys were pretty loosened up by the time we made our way over to Memorial Hall.  Kevan, our boss, was particularly loose after downing a few beers and he was ready and excited as we bought our tickets to gain entrance to the matches.  Once inside it was clear that it was a Mecca for people watching.  There were people from every walk of life and every economic class there.  There were rednecks and businessmen.  There were old codgers and young grass smokers.  Virtually every walk of life was represented and some of the looser members of our party did not fail to point out some of the stranger looking members of the crowd.  A couple of us tried to keep them as quiet as possible while they were doing their people watching as to save us all from getting into a situation that we had come to witness, not take part in.

We yelled and screamed and cheered through the matches until finally Bulldog stepped into the ring.  As he did so, all of us stood up and cupped our hands around our moths and let out a big "LEEEEEEEEE-OH!!!" and continued to do so during the course of the match which ended with a Bulldog victory much to our pleasure.

After the Bulldog match Kevan and I took a trip to the restroom where we found filled with drunken fans just as drunk as Kevan was.  As Kevan was leaving the restroom, he reached over and turned out the lights which resulted in a lot of cursing and death threats, which I took seriously but Kevan found amazingly humorous.

We went back into the small arena for the last match and Kevan started making fun of how fake the wrestling was looking.  When a wrestler was slammed down he would shout "Oh!!! that looked like it hurt!" and other outbursts that generally was starting to irritate the crowd around us for Kevan was by making fun of the wrestlers, also making fun of the fans gathered to watch the spectacle.  Finally after one of Kevan's exclamations on how bad that must have hurt, this little seven year old girl turned and looked at him very seriously and said "It does.  It does hurt them."  Kevan laughed a bit bit and ask her if she was sure and to no ones surprise, yes she was very sure.  Kevan quieted after that and we began to watch the little girl and her reactions to the final matches of the night.  She was in that ring with her heroes and Kevan had tried to make them look like fools.  To her, Kevan was the fool and she had made him feel like it.

It was the last wrestling night any of us had.

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