Break Time

I don't like to complain about what's happening in my off-blog world. Years and years ago, when I was still young and green, a GI chum advised me never to tell folks my troubles "because 80 percent of them don't care and the other 20 percent think you're getting exactly what you deserve." For decades I have tried to take those words to heart. But I will just say just this much, that I feel like I've been bodyslammed, repeatedly, this week, and it ain't over yet, since, among other things, I'm looking at a stack of 70 freshman essays I need to grade and have hardly made a dent in, working at full throttle yesterday and today. A few that I have already graded have nearly made me despair of ever deciding to teach writing.

Anyway, I'm never too busy to pay attention to wrestling, at least for a little bit each day, though not always on this blog and not always keeping up with what's the latest. I have some wrestling videos that have stayed in their shrink wrap for the past couple of weeks, lacking energy or time to dip into them. I may have to catch up on things over Thanksgiving the way things are shaping up. I'm slugging away, though, and as another bit of self-destructive wisdom puts it, "If you want something done, give it to a busy man." (Help.)

Today I squeezed in some "me" time with Thunder's Arena's Mat Rats 21, featuring new hires Austin Wolf and Hooper. It's a big-versus-little match, not typically my cup of tea, but the two fighters won me over with an energetic but decidedly unequal debut match. I look forward to seeing more of them in the future. Six-foot-four Austin is a ruggedly handsome guy, who's going to be hard to match size-wise on the underground wrestling scene. Still, Thunder's has, more than most wrestling sites, specialized in big wrestlers, and I look forward to seeing Wolf face off against somebody like CRUSH or Luger, even Impact, a guy appropriately awe-inspiring, if not as tall as Austin. And five-foot-eight Hooper shows a lot of drive and determination, making me hope he will soon wrestle another newcomer I like, Archer.

The top pictures do not give you a sense of perspective, making both wrestlers look more or less the same size, but Austin looms over Hooper, lifting him as easily as you or I might lift a cat. Those of you who like squash jobs will get more stoked over this than I do, but for me the good news is that these two like to play rough. Austin twists Hooper in several directions at once, delivering a drubbing on top of the rubber-band stretch-out, but Hooper's the kind of guy who says, all matter-of-fact, even in the thick of it, "I can take more," just like he's Oliver fucking Twist asking for seconds. And no matter how hopeless the situation turns, little Hooper keeps punching, hoping against hope that he can take down this pylon and confute the laws of physics. What heart!

Anyway, it's time for me to pick up my red pen again and, given my crabby frame of mind this afternoon, take a couple of hours to make five or six more unsuspecting students rue the day they ever signed up for freshman composition with me.


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