“Hey Dad.” the kid before my door greets, with a sheepish smile.
That’s where I left it. I know, cliffhangers are a bitch. But I’m only allowed to say so much, and well, the fact that I have a kid is shock enough. Yes, I am not a virgin. Surprise, surprise. Yes, I have a near 16 year old daughter. If those two facts blow your mind, you might want to sit down…
You see, I once had a body like Adonis. I had 6 pac abs, that V cut at the hips, you know, that set of muscles that teases the dick route and makes women melt. My arms were cut, my shoulders popped, and I could literally break a walnut with the cheeks of my ass. Why anyone would want to eat butt nut, well, I never asked, I simply cracked ‘em.
Regrettably, back in those days, I was a bit of a man whore. This kid before me is not my only daughter, nor my only child. However, she is the only child that I acknowledge, or publicly recognize. Why? Because I’m an asshole. It’s pretty much that simple. And because her mother took me to court one day, forced the court to do a DNA swab, and prove that I was her father. I’ve been paying her a portion of my wrestling winnings ever since.
Might explain why I happily lose so much, you see, the worse I do, the less I get paid. The less I get paid, the less I have to fork over… What? I told you, I’m an asshole.
“Uhm, Dad?” my daughter asks, drawing me out of my mental exercising funk.
My smile erupts, now that I’ve gotten over the shock and my heart starts beating at it’s normal slightly elevated pace, stupid diabetes. “SMELLY BELLY!!!!” I yell out as my arms open wide causing her to smile in return before racing forward. One good thing about being the fat fuck that I am, I give the best hugs. Just gotta remember not to maintain contact for too long because the shared body heat will cause me to break out into an uncomfortable and quite revolting sweat. Also could suffocate the person I’m hugging.
“Dad!” her words come out muffled as she buries her face into my chest. “Mo… a… Ja…. nt… a… cr…z. So sh… d… co… d… sta…. wit… jew.”
I push her back to arms length, looking down at her slightly as she’s had a bit of a growth spurt since the last time I’d seen her, which I regret to say, has been longer than it should have been.
Yeah, I know, asshole, remember?
“Wanna try that again, ‘Belle?” I ask with a chuckle.
“Mom and Jason went on a cruise, so she said I could come and stay with you until they get back.” Annabelle informs me, which reminds me just why I dislike her mother so much. Always making decisions without thinking to run it by anyone else first. Who does that? “She said she left a message with Uncle Cancer a month or so ago and he said no problem.”
Now that tracks.
Sounds like something Jiles would do, at least. I mean, if the message doesn’t pertain to him why should he bother to write it down?
“Well come on into the eGG Carton.” I offer, holding the door open for my progeny to walk in. As she passes by I am once again taken aback at how much she has grown. Wearing black jeans, with frayed holes scattered along the length of each leg adorn her legs, matching the black and white Converse on her feet. She’s got some sort of horror themed t-shirt on with the caption of “Let’s Kill Jimmy” arching over the top with a scene of three girls, tying down a young boy who must have the misfortune of being Jimmy.
To cap it all off, she’s pasty white like she hasn’t been in the sun for the entirety of her life, she’s got shit brown eyes, slightly cherubic cheeks, with a beautiful smile to rival my own, and brown hair that cascades in waves down just past the blades of her shoulders.
My inspection takes seconds, before I turn with her in my wake, as I lead her on the grand tour. With the wide eyes of a 15 year old girl she takes in every minute detail, her head spinning this way and that. Her nose crinkles at the sight of the dishes stacked up in the sink. I’d explain how Cardboard Dan was on washing duty for punishment, but that would probably just lead to more questions. Her eyebrows then raise as she sees the television paused with the Gilmore Girls on the screen, shifting her gaze back to me with a question in their reflection. A question I simply shrug my shoulders at, I mean how can you explain the joy in watching the budding romance between Rory and Dean? Before he went off to kill vampires with his brother, conveniently, also named Dean…
After the tour of the Carton, excluding the rooms of her two favorite uncles, Annabelle and I find ourselves seated on the couch. The Tupperware bowl full of spinach, kale, quinoa, and sliced zucchinis has been replaced with a vat of vanilla bean ice cream covered in a cascade of chocolate syrup.
“It’s no choco taco,” I can’t help the muttered “dammit” that follows, “but it’s the next best thing, eh?”
With a mouthful of ice cream she simply nods her head, as both of our attentions return to The Gilmore Girls, as Mama Lorelai tries to lock down the backward hat wearing Luke at his Diner.
What kind of loser still wears a backwards hat, right?
Later that evening Annabelle and I were playing Mario Kart on the Nintendo Switch. One of, if not the worst, racing games in the history of racing games.
“Man, you really suck at this…” my sweet child says with mild disgust in her voice as she cruises along past in 1st place, while I am in last. “I honestly didn’t think you could lap people in this game, with the rubber-banding and all.”
“I’m more of a Sims kinda guy.” I admit, cringing as I run into the wall for the umpteenth time. “I like to play games that have no point to them, other than making my character breed with every other person in the game.”
“That is both disgusting and disturbing,” she retorts, shuddering at the thought. “And, it explains a lot of what Mom said about your relationship, prior to my birth. Maybe a little life inspired art type thing?”
Before our conversation can dovetail into my Sims serial sex life further, the door to the Carton opens up as Doozer comes marching in. At least I think it’s Doozer, as my eyes are glued to the screen in front of me and I know that Cancer is on sabbatical isolated on a ship that, according to some, we don’t actually have.
The only canon we respect launches eGGs.
My guess is proven correctly as Belle jumps up off the couch, don’t worry, she’s already finished the race long ago, screaming “Uncle Doooozey!!!!”
Scampering over the back of the couch she runs over and leaps into the arms of her oldest Uncle. The incoming collision of a 15 year old teenager with a decrepit body of an old grandpa causes me to toss the controller away and immediately turn my head. I don’t like car wrecks, but if I’m about to see one, I want to catch every little detail I can!
“Anna-OOOof!-Belle…” he finishes weakly, as the sound of his back cracking and popping echoes throughout the room, making my smile grow wider. I can’t explain it, but seeing Dooze get hurt always makes me smile. “How ya doing kiddo!?”
“God, you’re sooooooo old!” she laughs, while insulting him. “You sound just like my Gram-pee.”
“Didn’t even answer the question before throwing out the insults.” The Elder Bandit turns my way. “You been letting her FaceTime Cancer, again?
I shrug with a guilty smile spread across my face.
Night of ReVival #12
The voice of Angelica Brooks echoes up into the rafters as Doozer and I slink our ways along the catwalks suspended high above. Careful with every step we take as our hands are full of precious cartons of eggs. Nimble as a cat, and an elephant can be, I’ll let you guess who is who in that analogy, Doozer leads the way towards the spot directly above the trio of Angelica Brooks, Jonathan Rhine, and Paxton Ray.
“Finally, I want to ask you about something else that happened on the show, right after your reunion.” Angelica Brooks asks the duo as Doozer and I, now in position, drop to our knees and scatter the unopened cartons at our feet.
Neither Doozer or I pay much attention to Rhine’s response as we’re busy opening carton after carton. You would think preparing 48 eggs to hurl wouldn’t take so much effort, but then you would think Doozer would be bright enough to buy the cartons that hold a dozen eggs each instead of the smaller six instead… I swear he’s really starting to lose his marbles lately.
The smiles on our faces grow wider and wider as the voice of Angelica Brooks asks, “Do you disagree, Paxton?”
The snarling response of Paxton Ray causes the smile on Doozer’s face to falter, as my own smile shifts into more of a sneer. It’s not beautiful. “Yeah I disagree. Look, I ain’t a vet like Jon…” His voice continues on as his words drift up into the scaffolding above. “But where I come from, we don’t let our friends get punked. So yeah I’m mad, and I wanna get my hands on those jackoffs…”
Doozer is on his feet, like he’s sprung out of a Jack n the Box, eggs clutched gently, but firmly, in hand. “JACKOFFS!?” he bellows out, “That’s it, lower the boom, Bobby!”
And with that signal, the two of us are firing away. Egg after glorious egg is fired from above. A few seconds, and 48 eggs later Doozer and I are scampering back the way we came. I can’t help the giggles that escape as the sight of Paxton Ray standing below us like he’d just shot his first bukkake film, a mixture of shame, rage, and embarrassment clear on his face, just brings soooo much joy to me.
“We got him good, Doozey,” I whisper yell as we scurry down the ladder and make our way down the hall. “Who else can we egg?”
Just as I ask that we happen to pass Haynes Hanlon walking along the opposite direction. Our eyes lock in passing, but mere seconds pass before he turns his attention away, obviously not impressed by seeing a man of my size “running” down the hall.
I don’t know why, but his complete and utter disdain for me strikes a nerve deep down in my core. I might be an asshole, I still like to be liked. Without effort, of course.
Hours later, I follow the slumped shoulders of my tag team partner back into the allotted dressing room of the eGG Bandits. Normally Cancer Jiles would be here to console us, but he’s still off finding himself or a boat or maybe both.
I’d give anything to lose myself right about now.
This shit is getting old.
“Are you sure you guys picked the right career choice in life?” the sweet and innocent voice of Annabelle Dean cuts through the air, as she enters the room carrying a big box of barely eaten popcorn. “I mean, if I was as bad at a job as you two are at wrestling, I think I would go back to the drawing board and see what else was available?”
Doozer doesn’t bother responding. I’m pretty sure he snarled, though. And I think I heard a rumble of a grunt. He grabs his towel along with a change of clothes and makes his way to the nearby showers. Leaving me alone with the little girl I’m contemplating throttling. Her once infectious smile, that reminds me so much of myself, is now more annoying than cute. I wonder, for the slightest second, if my smile does the same?
“That powerbomb, though. Slay! I never thought he’d get you all the way up for that one,” she rattles on incessantly while popping kernel after kernel into her mouth. “I saw a lady fall on her ass when you landed! Funniest thing I’ve seen in a long time, the look on her face. Wanna see a picture?”
Without waiting for a response she has the picture in my face.
Damn it she was right, too. It did look hilarious.
“I heard someone in the audience mention that every loss you guys have had was with Uncle Doozer getting pinned…” her voice trails off as a freshly showered, and dressed, Dooze happens to walk into the room, shooting lasers out of those baby blues.
His eyes shift from Belle to me and back, a look of confusion, after the anger fades, on his weathered face. “That’s not true! I keep hearing people say that, but I’ve only been pinned in these tag matches twice! Once by Solid Gold Rock N’ Roll, and then tonight. I don’t know why people keep saying that!”
“Probably because everyone likes my Dad more than you?” She answers the rhetorical question in the way only a teenage girl knows how. Cutting deep.
“Yeah, that sounds about right.” Doozer answers, shrugging his shoulders, as if to ask, what can I do? “And then they actually meet him and suddenly I’m the popular one again.”
Annabelle bursts into laughter as Doozer walks over to his locker room, to put his sneakers on, while I continue to simply sit there wallowing in self pity. I was getting tired of losing, be it with Doozer’s inability to count to three, or because we were in some cockamamie scramble match.
I was ready for a change.
It was a typical evening for the Dean’s. 6:30 at night, Doozer tucked in bed, counting decrepit sheep, while Annabelle and I sat on the couches in the living room. Her on Cancer’s blue couch, phone glued to her hand, while I sat on my egg shell white couch channel surfing.
Pausing for a moment on one of the channels amongst the ACE Network, I happen to see the commercial for ReVival #13 ongoing. Darin Zion vs. David Fox, you lost me at Darin. Pete Whealdon vs. Cancer Jiles, oh man, what a short show, only four matches…
Shortly after Cancer’s billboard quality face leaves the screen it’s followed by GREAT Scott, and Paxton Ray.
“Hold on, what? Cancer Jiles ISN’T in the Main Event!?” I ask the air, as my daughter doesn’t even bother to acknowledge my presence now that she’s engrossed in the screen of her phone.
Before I can ruminate on the tornado of emotions that Cancer Jiles must be going through right now, I’m once again taken for a loop, when my face appears on the screen next to Hanes Hanlon…
I’m in a singles match.
I couldn’t believe my eyes, my heart skips a beat as my pulse quickens, and a nervous sweat begins at my temples and in the palms of my hands.
The last singles match I had was at ReVival #2 against Dusk for charity. Back when this place was called PRyME and they were focused more on teaching math than wrestling. I mean, we’ve come a looooong way!
I know just moments ago I expressed my eagerness for change, but now that it is upon me, I can’t help but feel my heart stutter. What will I do? Who will I blame if I lose, now that Doozer is taken out of the equation?
Hopefully Timo will be the referee assigned to the match, that fucker has been Anti-Bandits from day one!
Oh my gosh…
What if I actually win!?
My thoughts are interrupted as the sound of someone trying to open the front door can be heard. I share a look with Annabelle before saying, “I think Uncle Cancer is finally home.”
A mischievous smile slowly spreads on her face.
Definitely my kid.
The day of reckoning is finally upon us!
I have a small confession to make. When I saw that you and I were facing each other, I actually mistook you for someone else. This entire time, I thought you were the guy who made that one underwear. You know, that slogan you came up with, “Let thy dangle be tranquil.” Shit, wait, I think it was “Wait till I get my Hanes on you.”
All it took was a 45 minute rant by Cancer Jiles for me to understand that you’re not Hanes Hanlon, after all. You’re HAYES Hanlon. I would say I feel like a fool, but it would be a lie. To be honest with you, I actually feel slightly disappointed, I mean, it’s not every day you get to wrestle a member of the Hanes family fortune!
Fruit of the Loom is still better.
The door to the elevator slides open and I step in, ready to make my descent for a night of hopeful victory. I stand in the back of the small box, staring into the beautiful baby blue eyes reflecting back. Before the doors can close a voice calls out, “Hold the door!”
Looking forward to a quiet ride down to the lobby floor is ruined as Cancer Jiles, Doozer, and Annabelle Dean walk into the box. My face turns to confusion as I look at Doozer and Annabelle, thinking the two of them were going to remain in the room since Doozer wasn’t scheduled to appear.
“What are you two doing here?” I ask, looking between the two, as Cancer casually slides into the corner, arms crossed over his chest, T-Shades firmly in place, oblivious to everyone around him.
“You think I’d miss this?” Annabelle retorts, as if it were the dumbest question I’d ever asked.
“Yeah, come on Bobby,” Doozer chimes in with a smirk on his face. “It’ll be fun seeing if you can beat a guy the great Cancer Jiles couldn’t beat!”
Cancer looks at Doozer, tipping his glasses low, his gaze boring into Dooze’s soul.
“Hey who knows, maybe if he can pull this off, he can face Brandon Youngblood, and do what you failed to do? Twice.” Doozer continues to pour salt into the wound. “Bah, I forgot who we’re talking about for a second.”
Suddenly Doozer bursts into laughter, I feel, at my expense… Cancer even offers a chuckle of his own, as my daughter simplay stands there staring at me, waiting for me to say something.
But what can I say? He kind of has a point… How am I supposed to beat a guy Cancer couldn’t?
My face drops, accepting the inevitable.
“I believe in you, Dad.” Annabelle offers, reaching up and wrapping her arm around me in a side hug. “Even if you are just a Booger Faced Bitch.”
With that the elevator dings and the doors slide open. I’m the only one standing in the box, staring at my child in confusion and shock. Before I leave, I look back at the mirror and notice there actually was something peeking out of my left nostril.
“Dammit.” I mutter as I try to slyly flick the offender free.