“He might not know it now, but he will afterwards that much is for certain. He fucked around, and on the yolk and shell of my brothers is he going to find out.” — Jiles’ Journal, September 20th, 2023.
What’s done is done. Yeah, I hit him low. Yeah, I made it so his tiny little face matched the stripe running down his back. Yeah, I salted his cheek for good measure. Do I regret any part of it? No. Am I sorry for any part of it? No. It was just the start of Coral’s hazing.
Get your pledge pin ready.
There I am; sitting on my throne. A throne, mind you, built a top eggshell, yolk, blood, sweat, and cardboard. Mostly eggshell and yolk.
Definitely not tears.
As always, I look the part: electric-blue tracksuit with the collar popped, priceless jet-black T-shades with the cocaine sniff tint, and of course my oil slick of an immaculately gray bush.
“Friend. Of. Mine.”
I take a deep breath, because well, I’m not going to enjoy this. Truth be told, I hate all the digging. Too scrupulous, you know?
Talk about your bold-faced lies.
“And the next member of the eGG Bandits.”
A smile cracks across my clean shaven mug. A friendly, warm, inviting kind of smile. A smile that tells my pal Coral he is welcome in the den of the eGG. Granted, it won’t be until after he’s paid his hefty initiation dues.
“Coral, I must ask, did you like the show?”
Casually, I make a lewd gesture with my left hand.
“Before we get fully into it I’d like to point out that at this stage of the game, guys like us, we don’t have the luxury of being able to fall down again and again. We don’t have the butts for it. Shit, there’s no telling if our next fall will be our last. I mean, you ONLY cracked a rib and were out of action for almost two months because of it.”
I grab at my side to sincerely share in Coral’s pain.
“My point is we can see the light at the end of the tunnel. Sure, it might be brighter for one than it is for the other, but we both see it.”
My sincerity is about to run out.
It was a good run.
“Oh, and a cracked rib.”
“Good one. I want you to know the irony isn’t lost on me. Aka, a yolky joke. It was there all along, Mr. Tough Guy. Oh, and don’t worry, I promise I haven’t catered my moveset to take advantage of your recently healed injury.”
Not on the website at least.
“Okay, with that out of the way let’s get right down to it. The million dollar question on the minds of everyone living inside that forehead of yours. To be clear, that last comment is based on the estimation that there are more people living inside your forehead than on the planet Earth.”
How many characters does he have under his umbrella again?
“Anywho. The BIG question.”
If there were a drum laying around chances are it would be on ecstasy right about now. Alas, there is no drum, so me describing a proverbial one that’s rolling will have to do.
Why is his forehead so god damn big?
A pause for the sake of posterity, but more so suspense.
“Why does Cancer Jiles want Coral Avalon to join the eGG Bandits?”
Nerves rattling, I blot at the imaginary beads of sweat that would likely take a decade to run down Coral’s forehead but only a second or two to run down mine.
“Is it simply because I want to hide behind your forehead? Use it like a shield that’s capable of stopping a rabid russian rhinoceros? Is it because no one wants to join the IT BAND, and you’re the unlucky crumb who just so happened to bump into me? Is it because I need another set of shoulders to stand upon so I may once again reach the summit of COOLYMPUS?”
It is almost COOLOSSUS season.
“Is it that simple, Coral? Could it be… like your Mom, that easy?”
Dorothy Avalon is a saint. No epidural needed. That’s why her friends started calling her Nen later on in life. GIGANTIC vag though. You know, for obvious reasons.
Insipidly, like the prick with a tattoo across his abdomen that I am, I laugh, and I laugh. Then, slowly, the laughing comes to a halt and I begin to shake my head no.
No, because things are never that simple.
“The truth is, Coral, as to why I would want you in the eGG Bandits, and keep in mind that even if I wanted to lie I can’t because per Bandit bylaws I can not lie to someone who is currently rushing the frat, which you Coral, currently are.”
A sigh. It’s defeating. The way that I’m feeling; the shame oozing out of me like a freshly squeezed pimple on the bottom of Bobby’s buttock. I mean, sure, I’m as pro as it gets, so I remain unfazed to even the trained eye.
But it’s there.
“But, the truth is I feel sorry for you. So much so I want to help you, as odd as that sounds. Maybe it’s just me processing how much I pity you, and it’s weird for me because I’ve never taken pity on anyone before.”
Certainly not the fucking weak.
I also don’t know how the world hasn’t spun off its axis yet from all of the pity I currently have smeared across my face. I even removed my shades so I could add a pity squint to go along with my cinched up cheeks and awkwardly tilted head. Basically I look like I just turned left and got done telling a toddler that it’s going to be okay after I flushed their dead goldfish down the toilet.
Ultra Magnum Pity.
Not that I have a thing against goldfish.
The attention span of one, maybe.
“That said, allow me to explain where this pity I speak of stems from.”
A broken olive branch?
“See, after bumping into you a couple of times the thought entered my mind that maybe you could become an eGG Bandit. It’s not like we couldn’t use ya, you know? Our chips are down. Some might even say wayyyy down, and a new face could brighten things up a bit.”
Like a 60 watt lightbulb. No, not the shape of Coral’s head.
“Plus, you have spunk. You stand out for all the wrong reasons, and you’re a loser.”
A true once in a lifetime prospect.
“But, even if it was a good fit and the smart thing to do, sadly, I realized you would never join. That, not even riding Pegassus around while painting the town yellow would be enough for someone like you. Nor the PROMISE of forever wrestling on Night Two and never again wrestling on Night One.”
I pump the brakes just a touch.
“Well, sorry there. Allow me to correct myself. I knew it didn’t matter whatever the carrot may be that dangled before you; Coral Avalon would never join the eGG Bandits willingly. I knew that if I wanted to count you amongst the carton your hand would have to be forced.”
The hard boiled way.
ReVival 35 much.
“And it would NOT be something that was over easily.”
“He brought shame to my house. He thinks he can escape me through victory. He thinks he can act like the Queen and dismiss me. He thinks wrong. I will not allow our shell to suffer the embarrassment of being told no again.” — Jiles’ Journal, September 19th, 2023.
There we were…
…inside a secret facility we definitely didn’t belong in. AKA, a conference room located inside of a Chicago hotel we weren’t staying at. It was me, Bobby, and Lazzer. We were sitting around a table discussing the up and coming Bandit Lumberjack match. We had reached out to a few of our old colleagues and the response was good. It wasn’t too hard with the temptation of a stipend, the limelight, and some food.
Plus, I can fly them all in privately.
Bobby, for some reason, I mean it was a secret meeting we were having so I guess a case could be made for him, was dressed in all black. He even had his face camouflaged with different brands of Smokey BBQ sauces.
Lunchbox blended in with the scenery like he normally does. So, he looked like wallpaper while also playing the part.
I, The Crowned King of COOL, was feeling brazen so I had on one of those Beat Cancer t-shirts that everyone likes wearing so much. I was wearing one to reverse jinx myself and change my luck. I haven’t won on PPV since last year’s UltraViolence.
“I think Cardboard Dan will be just fine.” I said to both of them. “He’s been put back together before. It’s some of these other guys that worry me. Well, just one really. Though, he’s never stabbed me in the back before.” Emphasis on me. “As for what is expected of you, well, trip Coral up. Distract him. Sit on him if I throw him outside. Definitely get your licks in. Don’t just stand there.”
At the table I had a dry erase board that I wanted to use to write the names of all the lumberjacks down, but was unable to do so because someone decided sniffing the marker it came with was a better idea. There were also some papers, folders, cartoon drawings, caricatures, different ply samples, and dossiers of Bandits from the past strewn about.
“I can’t believe he actually picked up the phone.” Laser held up a mugshot of the Bandit in question. “Who knew he’d get cell service all the way out there?”
The three of us had been at it for a while; getting the band back together and setting the stage for a spectacle PRIME has never even dreamed of.
About thirty minutes.
“I did sound the Bandit assemble alarm like you said to.” Bobby and his new red mustache chimed in. “I couldn’t find anyone to blow into my belly button so I had to improvise. Maybe he heard the call? Not the phone call. I mean the call of the wild. I’ll shut up now.”
Alas, we had done it.
“Okay boys.” Satisfied, I continued. “We got eight. Give or take. Now let’s talk about my entrance. Tendy is going to announce us on the way down to the ring. I got the perfect fucking song for it, too. The place might riot. Like, RIOT. It’s going to be madness in there. It will be a good thing we are rolling deep.”
A nervous Bobby looked over at Laser and unenthusiastically quipped, “Let me guess, it’s by Screamin’ Jay.”
We all laughed.
Bobby had made a funny. Then, maybe feeling his oats some, he added, “Not to be a Bobby Downer, but are you sure you can beat this guy? It’d be something if we all got back together and then you lost in horrifying fashion. Especially with, you know, rumors of someone being the Gee Tee in the upcoming thingy.”
It got quiet.
I stared into Bobby’s soul.
Wondering. Hating. Fuming.
“Why would you even say something like that to me?” I asked him, T-Shades completely frozen over. “Why would you invite those thoughts into our safe space? Did you NOT see what happened to Kenny Freeman? I beat on him so badly not even Ivan dared to come to his rescue.”
Agitated, I further blistered. “We’re not fawning over Coral because of his forehead, Bob.” Okay. Maybe that is part of it. Not all of it, but part of it. “I wouldn’t just invite anyone to join the Bandits.”
Yes, the forehead helps.
Bob shrugged. He was going to say something, instead I decided I would for him. “Can I beat him?” Disdain took over me. “In front of all our brothers and hopefully sisters?” As did disbelief. “What if I lost while trying to initiate a new member?” I stood from my seat. “Do you think I don’t understand what’s at stake? Is that what it sounds like to you?”
I’d be hanging out in the locker room for a very long time, that’s what is at stake. Ala Hanlon vs Youngblood. Hopefully the pipes are shitty in Chicago just in case.
“Let me be crystal clear, so we can all be on the same page come Lumberjack time. I am going up against the most determined version of Coral Avalon that there is. I know that he does not want to be in our little group. We aren’t good enough for him. Therefore, he’ll be fighting to save the pitiful existence he so woefully desires. It will not be easy prying his fingers from it; hence why I’m stacking the deck in our favor.”
Bob threw his hands up, as if to concede and apologize for bringing me down. It did not matter. What was done was done. I further pressed him, “You fucking crumb. After we just got done sitting here and getting everything in order. You go and bring something like that up. Not to be a Bobby Downer-– I should egg you on the spot for saying something like that.”
Bob and his shriveled penis wanted to say something again. I knew what it was, so, again I spoke before he could. This time a little bit more loudly, and with a little bit more adamance.
“No fucking shit, Bob! I know you wouldn’t care because you’re fucking hungry!”
I bet Coral can’t wait to join the Bandits.
“I will break him. Then, I will reach down and lift him up so that he knows what it feels like to be fulfilled.” — Jiles’ Journal, September 20th, 2023.
This is it.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for.
The culmination of two months of forehead jokes, and the end of the pity parade all rolled into one.
“However, Coral, my pity towards you doesn’t stem from the fact you face certain eggsecution.”
Oh look, a Red Herring.
“If anything, that’s your blessing. Your suffering expunges your hubris so that you may walk among your brothers in the valley of the eGG unblemished.”
It truly is a beautiful valley. Lint rolling around everywhere. Sticky messes as far as the eye can see. Sun’s always shining, but it’s never too hot. Just a lovely spot.
“Rather, the reason for all this pity is because you are so dumb, so Ripley’s Believe It or Not Cro Magnon exhibit, that you and your misguided forehead actually said no to joining the Bandits.”
Of course I would want what I could not have.
“Like, who doesn’t want to eggsperience a career renaissance? Who doesn’t want to say goodbye to Matt Mills, and hello to a more regimented lifestyle alongside General Fame, Master Recognition, and Private Jet?”
The simple life. The Bandit Life. Rules? Zero. Infamy? Infinite.
“You, Coral, that is who. You, who would rather ask for permission than ask for forgiveness.”
Baffled, from pity of course and not the Army Dad joke that came out of my mouth a few sentences ago, I contine.
“And for what? So you can hopefully be the oldest guy sitting at the kids table?”
Irony at its finest.
“I know you’re not some snot nosed bat boy who jerked off into a sock and became Universal Champion one fateful evening. I know you aren’t trying to figure out which forklift to buy for your significant mannequin’s birthday. I even know you had to make it off of your own name, every time, all the time, and not off of Daddy’s.”
Indulged, I snort.
“But for some reason, Coral, you don’t.”
“You think you belong with the likes of them. The tight jean doofuses. You don’t. You belong with the likes of the Bandits. We don’t read their magazines. We don’t subscribe to their YouTube channel. We are not hip. If anything, we should be taking better care of our hips so we don’t wind up like Crumblood a few years from now.”
And yes, I know we’re hip.
So much for the bylaws.
“But fear not. There is good news. Nay, great news. Once my pity runs out, and it will at UltraViolence, I’ll feel a different way about you. I will no longer think of you as the fool who said no to the opportunity of a lifetime. You will no longer be known as the punished. Instead, you will be known as the protected, and you’ll be looked at as not a fool, but as a brother. As someone I’m proud to stand alongside of, because by the end of the night I’ll have known first hand what you had to go through to get there.”
Manufactured of course.
“This is going to be the best thing that has ever happened to you, Coral, you just don’t know it yet. I look forward to when the day comes where you thank me for making all of it possible. Luckily, I won’t have to wait very long for the opportunity to do so. See you soon, my future brother of yolk.”