“Not only did the fruits of my labor stay sweet, but I also became unburdened. I had done what I previously could not, and now walked higher and lighter than I did before. We were even.” — Jiles’ Journal, October 6th, 2023.
I almost fell down to the ground when I got back to the eGG Den. Well, no, I definitely did fall. The door shut behind me, and I dropped to the floor like a Glasgow cripple. I laid there for a bit, too. Bobby didn’t seem to mind at all. He enjoys the stationary position over anything else.
To overcome an obstacle like Nate. To finally return to the MAIN EVENT. To successfully defend the honor and prestige of both the eGG Bandits and the GOLDEN TICKET in ROUND ONE.
More like, To not stumble out of the gate with your wrestling tights down around your ankles and egg all over your face.
Who the fuck knows? I mean, now that Nate’s no longer haunting my dreams in the form of a skeleton in my closet — a skeleton that could go fuck off to GoodWill for all I care — maybe just maybe I can ride this momentum to do something else I once failed to accomplish.
Win the last match of the Almasy.
But yeah, back to the floor. I was totally spent after my match at ReVival 36. Mentally, physically, even my COOLYMPIAN reserve was depleted. It had taken everything I had, and then some, and then some more to wrangle victory.
Alexa, play Breath Again.
Still, while the sweet taste was indeed earned the hard way, it was worth it. Not only did I evict a skeleton, but I had also become better for it. My will was now stronger, sharper, tougher, more… cockroachier than before.
I had grown.
Which was a good thing.
Especially since the win I just experienced would be hard to follow up on.
“History has a funny way of repeating itself… and then it doesn’t.” — Jiles’ Journal, October 26th, 2023.
He is me.
Talk about your big pair of salt shoes to fill.
I am Him.
It’s going to be a long flight.
That’s not it.
I shake my head free of confusion.
That’s not it either.
“I mean, Don. Winters.”
There I sit; atop a comfortable and plush throne fit for a GOLDEN TICKET carrying COOLYMPIAN.
“Friends. Of. Mine.”
As per, my oil slicked hair is as white as a ghost, and the T-shades covering the top half of my clean shaven face are jet black like the blood presumably running through “Him’s” veins.
“Do me a favor, Don, sit back down for a little bit and listen to what I have to say before you go putting on a pair of black Nikes. Trust me, the others drinking the fruit punch before their nap in the heavenly bunkbed room aren’t going anywhere.”
Gated communities, who knew?
“The reason I’m asking for such a favor is because I’d like to share a memory with you, and frankly I hate wasting my breath.”
Seated behind me, neither plush nor GTC but comfortable nonetheless, and partly out of view minding their own business are Bobby and Coral. I figured if I was going to go down Memory Lane it would be nice to have some people around for the trip.
Truth is the three of us are aboard Timo One and heading towards our first family vacation of sorts. For now though, business before pleasure.
“Sorry. What I meant to say is I think you’ll really… appreciate how this particular memory pertains to you.”
More sincere than Cheshire.
“I can remember it all like it happened just yesterday.”
But still very Cheshire.
“It was last year’s Almasy. Round Two. MAIN EVENT. ReVival number THREE.”
My electric blue track jacket is unzipped. The collar is starched and popped. Coral has on the same outfit, although his tracksuit isn’t as… well, pompously presented as mine. Bobby’s tracksuit however, is all black. Not jet black like my T-shades, but funeral black like his chances at being in the main event of Colossus.
“On the one side there was Nova, PRIME’s capeless hero, dash beloved Hall of Famer, dash tournament favorite, dash GOLDEN TICKET holder, protector, and defender…”
Nova, the boy who fell from the sky and landed in my garden. He was also an ex-con cigarette smoker who would later go on to travel through time. That’s not of any real importance for this jaunt though.
”…and on the other side there was me, Cancer Jiles, the Pizmo Crumb with the cool hair and sweet T-shades that not too many on PRIME’s side of the aisle had heard of. Not that their ignorance bothered me. If anything it made it easier to accomplish what I was setting out to do; which of course was to burn PRIME to the ground and run off to High Octane Wrestling with the UNIVERSAL Championship as my way of pissing on the ashes.”
“All of this is to say, Don, that most if not all had already penciled Nova in as the one who would be advancing to Round Three.”
I spit. Charcoal in color, and glue like in texture.
“Definitely the PRIMEates.”
“Granted, they had their reasons. Like I said before, I was still a relative unknown here, and Nova was the exact opposite. Plus, though I had won in the first round it was against a sideshow cousin fucker nobody ever heard of. At the very least he was less heard of than I was.”
Pudding Pop Cosby.
Also ironically enough the name of the Georgia Bulldog mascot.
“In fact, as far as anyone outside of Camp Bandit was concerned I remained untested, and moreover unqualified for my match against Nova. Not in Round Two, they said. Not for his GOLDEN TICKET, they said. Not on the third show of PRIME’s revival, they said.”
I peer out the window for a couple of seconds, as if I can see my MAIN EVENT ROUND TWO REVIVAL THREE MAIN EVENT GOLDEN TICKET MAIN EVENT matchup against Nova taking place among the clouds.
Fitting for a Nova match I’d say.
And a Jiles one.
“So there we were. Him, the legend. Me, The COOL. All set to square off inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena in front of a packed house where any PRIMEate present would’ve taken a Termiblast for their beloved hero.”
Finally, with my sincerity running out I get to the good part.
“Until the time came when they didn’t.”
“All of those loyal, devout, dedicated, idiotic, stupid, moronic PRIMEates who had lauded their cherished hero… suddenly they didn’t. Suddenly, they were quiet, and they didn’t know what to do next.”
A knuckle biting pause.
“Don, when I say the sound of their silence was SO good, like, So. Fucking. Good. And that I’ll never forget it, I really mean it. I do. It’s like you when it comes to capitalizing him.”
Maestro for a reason.
“The moment is etched into my medulla crumblongata for all of eternity no matter the amount of TBI’s I sustain in the ring. Shit, I think I’ll still remember it after passing through the gates of Valhalla, that’s how much it resonates within me.”
Or when I’m downtown playing cribbage with Hades.
“They never saw me coming, Don. None of them. The PRIMEates, Nova, Dirty Dick and Saint Nick… the boys and gals in the back, none of them. Me. With this hair but radiating blonde, and with these shades on. I even rode a horse down to the ring that night and still no one saw me coming.”
Hello darkness my old friend.
“What a memory, Don. What. A. Memory.”
If I had tears one would fall from my eye. However, I used them all up after Bob got screwed over by Timo and Mom still wouldn’t overturn the decision.
“The match, the victory, taking the GOLDEN TICKET from Nova and what he represented. To come from out of nowhere, swoop in and… sorry. Look at me. I mean, obviously I still cherish the moment.”
I don’t know about obviously.
“The point though, Don, of how this very vivid memory of mine pertains to you is if I hadn’t already walked a mile in your shoes so to speak; chances are I would lose my GOLDEN TICKET to you at thirty-eight just like when Nova lost his to me wayyyyy back at the third ReVival.”
I take a breath.
Let’s tame this erection and COOL down some.
“After all, even with the GOLDEN TICKET empowering me — you’re still a nobody — and I mean that in the nicest way possible. It’s your second match in PRIME. In other words I don’t know you. Dim who, ya know? Shit, when Bobby said we bumped into each other outside the venue I got into a ten minute argument with him about how he was confusing you for Coral. It wasn’t until after he played the video back did I believe him, and even then I was still a bit skeptical.”
A small chuckle. Very light. See, it’s not professional to laugh loudly at the new people. You have to wait until after the match, and when you’re back in the locker room so everyone who matters can hear it.
“Just kidding. Not only do I remember looking into your lustful eyes, but I see you coming. You’re not going to surprise me like I did Nova.”
Don “Pop” Weasels is more like it.
“Maybe if I hadn’t been written off as a shitpiss underdog not worthy of the cot Nova slept on… and maybe if I never knew what it was to drool over the GOLDEN TICKET… and maybe if I wasn’t the hardest working man in PRIME today.”
No one does it better.
“Maybe if I wasn’t on a collision course with the tournament final and the COOLOSSUS MAIN EVENT.”
One more pause.
Chalk it up to posterity.
“Maybe then I would’ve mailed it in, called you Doozerator a bunch, and started cracking jokes on Tony Gamble.”
“Maybe I would’ve even laughed at you without you knowing why.”
Some things in this life you just can’t help.
“BUT, and it’s a big one, BUT Nova was buried by MY shovel. I scooped the dirt. I filled in the hole. I did the heavy lifting. I did the dirty work so that the next time someone like you heard me laughing we both would know why.”
Because I want the people who matter to hear it.
And because I had won.
“Surprise, Don, I see you, and I’ll be seeing you again real soon. Give Him my best.”
“It’s gone rain.” — Jiles’ Journal, November 1st, 2023.
It was a couple days before the show. I was out and about, Coral was busy dealing with non-forehead related issues, and Bobby was at a local fair allowing people to guess his weight against the wager of a dollar.
Bob’s trick is he keeps eating throughout the day so his weight is always in flux. He usually cleans up on the hustle. And by out and about I meant when I walked into the news studio I didn’t really know what to expect. Sure, I had done bits promoting the show and PRIME a zillion times over. I sell tickets. The most. But this time it was different. This time I was going to be on the morning news. More importantly, I was going to be the weatherman.
Meteorologist Cancer Jiles.
And the rest of the Channel 4 Greater Greensboro news team.
So, at the top of the hour, which was in about a minute or so, me, my hair, my T-shades, my EB tracksuit, my wonderful personality and outlook towards life would be calling the weather straight down the middle.
“Go on down to the fair and take a guess!” The lead anchor exclaimed. He looked like some crumb who wanted to ask me if wrestling was real or not. He continued, “Next up, after the break we have a very special substitute weatherman joining the broadcast. He’ll be appearing at the Greensboro Coliseum on November 3rd when PRIME and the second round of the Almasy Invitational come to town. He’s one of the COOLEST stars taking part in PRIME’s ReVival. He is The GOLDEN TICKET, and hopefully he’s not here to tell us about some golden showe–”
They had asked me to write an intro for myself, so I did.
TICKETS SOLD OUT!
WATCH REVIVAL ON NOVEMBER 3RD!
When the morning news came back to life, there I was, standing in front of a green screen with a big smile on my face. The image on the green screen was of all the counties in the surrounding area, and what the temperature was going to be for the day. Both the high and the low. Of course, since I am the embodiment of a walking professional and have been on the biggest and brightest stages ten times over, I wasn’t nervous in the slightest bit.
“Hello, I’m Cancer Jiles and here’s the weather. Today’s high in the always lovely Hicksville will be an unseasonably forty-nine degrees, with a low of thirty-five.”
No, it’s not an actual town. Not in North Carolina anyway.
“Fear not, there will be plenty of sunshine to keep you and your cousins warm throughout the day, so do be sure to go outside and hunt something before one of my greatest nemesi sets at around six o’clock tonight.”
COOLYMPIAN plural of nemesis.
The image up on the green screen switched. It’s now showing an active radar with no green blips in sight.
“If you check out the News 4 Doppler Satellite Imagery you’ll notice that it is still impossible to see Doozer.”
Yes, I was the only one.
The image up on the green screen switched once more.
“And lastly, taking a look at the five day forecast you’ll notice temperatures begin to rise when ReVival, THE BANDITS SHOW, comes to your three tooth town on Friday the 3rd. This of course tracks since Don Winters run in the Almasy will be coming to an end that very same night.”
A righteous, self serving nod of approval.
“I guess this is one of those rare times where you can safely trust the weatherman. Pizmo, back to you.”
And that’s the weather.
Just in case anybody wanted to know.
“She seemed a lot nicer than when I first met her, and I’m sure given enough time she’ll fully adapt/learn to eggscept us for who we are. She’ll see that we’re not as bad as TV makes us out to be, and that we even know how to change a diaper from having to drag Doozer along for all those years.” — Jiles’ Journal, October 27th, 2023.
Vacation was fun.
Coral has a lovely home, and an even lovelier bride. I have absolutely no reason to believe he will not thrive as a father and a husband while under the intense tutelage of the eGG Bandits. I can not wait to see just how far he and that forehead of his will grow.
I knew it then, and I know it even more so now; he and the small town living above his eyebrows are going to boost me higher than I could have ever imagined. Forget the pinnacle. Forget the summit. I’m going to…. I mean, I always knew Coral was going to make a great Bandit.
It was a shame what Bobby did to his toilet though; dropping it like it’s hot. No one deserves that. Innocent accidental hazing gone wrong or not.
“Floors can be replaced, Coral, no one lost their lives today and that is what matters most.”
That’s what I would have told him about the incident; if I had told him about the incident in the first place. That said, before our welcome could be overstayed and our stench whiffed, Bob and I hit the road. Luckily, neither of us are named Jack or chances are we might have been told to not come back.
Like I mentioned before though, Coral and Belle 2.0 have an absolutely lovely home to raise a family in.
Well, they used to anyway.