And maybe I was.
But just barely.
WWE. Wrestlemania. Smackdown.
These words strike a fear in me that I'm not sure therapy can erase. More therapy than I could afford anyway.
(Then again, if the insurance agreed to cover it maybe I'd give therapy a go. Yeah, I totally would. If the copay was reasonable and everything, it would totally be worth some therapy to help ease the scars of Smackdown on my VERY PSYCHE!)
I'm serious. Just try to imagine it...
Let's say even though the Super Slam Rage of the Rock $49.95 extravaganza is not due to come on til, say -- 9pm -- the horror will have begun closer to five. That will be all the smackdown earlybirds, mostly white trash house wives and girlfriends who hoot and swear and "aren't even playing with you" because the check's in the mail for real and their hubby/baby/mAYun didn't even know the bill was late, and he'll go off/kick some ass/make sure she hears all the way to hell about it if he doesn't get his gawddamned RASSLIN!
By a quarter to eight it's mostly the men doing the screaming. Sometimes it's because they're unhappy with the news we'd given their wives earlier, but they usually save us the joy of explaining all over again how they haven't paid us for over sixty days, which is the point where we turn off the pay-per-view. Which is just a friendly slap on the wrist, if you think about it; we don't even turn them off until they're ninety days delinquent! None of my bills are that kind to ME! So it's pretty fucking hard to sympathize when they're up in my face like "Now lissun, I didn't get no letter! How you gonna turn somebody's movies off without sendin' no letter! I'll call them FCC and let em know you just shuttin people off without no proper procedure!"
But Wrasslin Hell will reach the zenith of its agony at about 8:30pm. Half an hour before any WWE event there will be at least 200 angry screaming rednecks on the phone waiting to talk with customer service. I am NOT exaggerating. Over 200. WITHOUT. FAIL.
At 8:45... 8:50... 9:05pm and they're still calling, still just THINKING about calling. Still squinting at the tv screen. Button-crunching the remote furiously. Turning the receiver on and off, and the TV, and even the DVD and CD players -- just for good measure. Maybe it's not til 9:15 that they dig the cordless phone out from under the cusions and call us to see why the channel what's supposed to have rasslin on it is just sayin' "Unable to purchase. Please contact customer service." And the thing is... when you've got forty-something regulars and a handful of reps who were pursuaded/blackmailed/brought in at gunpoint to work over-time... you don't get through 200 calls very quickly.
You especially don't get through the 200 calls when they're all raging hicktarded assholes who either can't pay their bill, or (more likely every moment nearer to the start time) they can NOT figure out how to work alla them buttons on that stupid goddamn motherbleepin ree-mote, which gotta be designed for rocket scientists for alla them buttons we put on the gawd-danged things!
"...KEE-rist woman, I ain't here to learn about yer gawddanged REE-mote! Just turn on m'gawdamned rasslin! Hell no you didn't, this is still some cartoons and shit. Yeah, I changed the channel! No that box always say thirty-six! Caint' you just push some cable buttons there and get it on? Alright... look, I'm pushin it. And now it's just fuckin' commercials. Naw, it says 62. Ye-- YEAH, that's what I'm pooshin but the shit's broken. It just goes-- dangit! Now it's 6602, and there's some fuzz goin' on... A'kay, there. Six-hundred. Oh, two, right. Six-oh-two. Up? Where the fuck is..? Oh. A'right. I'm just doin the up arrows. One, tw-- wait. No, that's -- there. Oh, yeah! Dang, look how long it's been playin! We ain't payin' for all this. Naw, you gimme half off this sonuvvabitch. Waitin' on the phone a goddamned hour, pushin' buttons on this stupid broken piece a'--"
So -- yeah. If you're my friend and you're reading this, please don't be one of them. They're a frightening and unsavory force I've reckoned with. Now, I understand that I have seen the very worst of them... fallen witness to their most drunken, dumb-as-a-wrench and ready to rumble moments of glory, as it were. I DO realize that a few impressive WWE fans pay their bills on time, and though it's not been confirmed they say a few are capable of wielding remotes COMPLETELY unassisted. Really. If you are out there... I commend you.
Thus, my nearest and dearest... I'm not going to stop you. It's your choice. It's your RIGHT to appreciate these sad shadows of the ancient colosseums. Our baser instincts are tame things to satisfy these days, placated without real lions or chariots or any real bloodshed at all. Yeah, w00t bloody murder and go nuts for those shaved and shiny lugs violently dry-humping in latex, throwing chairs around and screaming middle-school tough-kid insults... all for just $49.95!
It's your choice... but as someone who cares, I'd rather see you find a less disturbing way to kill off braincells and social graces. Like, you know. Get hooked on a hack-and-loot MMORPG. Spend an evening with a sack of dank or something.