The Trailer Park Sure Is Quiet Tonight

by

If you were watching the Sci-Fi channel Tuesday night, you may have seen me.  I was the guy in an arena full of America’s Saddest Losers.  Look for me behind the pathetic sign-holding tool whose only hope for moving out of mom’s basement is somehow getting on television with his Sharpie and poster board masterpiece.

We went to the WWE Smackdown/ECW Crap-fest at the Gaylord Hockeytarium.  Against my will and better judgement, I might add.   

Having wrestling on Sci-Fi is not as dissonant as one might imagine.  Going to see professional wrestling must be similar to going to a Star Trek convention.  The people watching is amazing, for one thing.   The well-dressed Green Hills moms tend not to blend in to the crowd like, say,  the three pounds away from needing a scooter from Medical Mobility Greenbrier moms.  Let me tell you, there were plenty of folks from Greenbrier.  Morbidly obese folks who won’t live to see their next birthday.  And that’s just the kids.

Another similarity between the Sci-Fi types and the wrestling fans is a tenous grip on reality.  Or what constitutes everyday reality.  

Both groups spend crazy cash on trinkets and totems of their favorite characters, and can obsessively recite the backstories and character profiles of their respective heroes.  Combine those with an unbelievable story arc and acting styles that remind me of a Sci-Fi original production filmed in Bulgaria, and the two genres  suddenly become very compatible.

In an unexpected development, it struck me how polite and relatively well-mannered people were.  Even the drunk 45-year old man running around wearing an ECW belt.  When he wasn’t hurling profanities at the ring, he was making sure the losers in front of us were keeping their signs down so people could see.

In addition to the usual batch of carnies, shut-ins and ex-cons, there were a lot of families with young children.  Nothing warms the heart like watching an eight year old scream, "Chavo sucks!" at the top of his lungs.

Speaking of carnies, the wrestler’s lingo shares a lot in common with  carnival argot.  As pro-wrestling has roots in the traveling carnival, this isn’t much of a shock.  Words like:

Kayfabe
Smarks
Tweener
Shoots and Worked Shoots

The disturbing thing is when you put all of these elements together, whaddya got?  Science fiction/wrestling fans, carnival workers and children collide for the perfect storm that is Jeremy Duffer.  Only a wrestling story line could come up with Comic Book Guy molesting children at The Android’s Dungeon and skipping bail to run off to the carnival.  Luckily, the cops caught him and he is back in the crowbar motel.  But I digress.

Tune in Friday night to watch Smackdown on the UPN channel.  Whichever one that is.  You might see me.  I’ll be the one with the two children next to me screaming, "Chavo sucks!", all the while keeping a sharp eye on the losers holding up signs in front of us.

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9 Responses to “The Trailer Park Sure Is Quiet Tonight”

  1. Exador Says:

    I didn’t know you had an ECW belt.Also note that the wrestling demographic blends seamlessly with the abducted-by-aliens crowd.

  2. Aunt B. Says:

    I think he and the Big Show are the only two people to hold a WWE, WCW, and ECW belt in their careers.

  3. bridgett Says:

    Slow down, there, Disneyland. You’ve taken the boys to the Reds, out for ice cream, and to the WWE/ECW in a week — breaking out the BIG FUN. You’re either enjoying the hell out of fatherhood or you’re having trouble figuring out what to do with kids during unprogrammed downtime. Or maybe both. Still, it’s a rookie mistake.

  4. Sarcastro Says:

    The only thing in that schedule that was my idea, was the unscheduled stop at the Dairy Dip.The other events were promises that Sugar Momma made to the kids that their steel trap memories held her to.Funny how kids can’t remember to put their wet swim suits in the laundry room thirty seconds after you tell them, but can remember some shit you said, thinking you were safe to make an empty promise about two years ago, "Well, next time WWE comes back to town, we’ll go…"Who knew those fuckers would come back, much less still be in business?The Reds game is more of the same type of promise, that the kids would get to go to a different major league park each summer.Most of the unprogrammed downtime with me consists of cartoons from before they were born and swimming until Mom gets home.

  5. Aunt B. Says:

    I just can’t believe you’re dissing wrestling! That’s good family fun.

  6. Gandalf Mantooth Says:

    I remember when I first heard abt Sci-Fi going after the wrestling demographic. I’m afraid I still don’t see the logic. Yes, there’s a subset of sci-fi fans who are also wrestling fans, but why are they going to go to the sci-fi channel for their rasslin fix?Totally unrelated unwarrented trivia. I mentioned Ric Flair on DN and well, there were some great friends of mine from the dorm days (super nerds all of them/us) and we called ourselves the four horsemen. This was us trying to be "ironic." I did not ask to be, but was oft referred to as the Nature Boy.

  7. Gandalf Mantooth Says:

    unwarranted. or something

  8. Sarcastro Says:

    I’m not saying that the fans overlap in Venn Diagram form, per se. But both sub-cultures have a lot in common.Suppose I said I watched a show with cheesy acting, stunt fighting, bad costumes, romantic subplots, all with the basic theme of good vs. evil. What show did I watch? Star Trek or WWE?If I said that the poorly socialized fans of the above show appeared to identify with their favorite characters to a monomaniacal degree, they are versed in the complete history and biography of said stars both on and off the show, that they will pay money to go convention centers to see the stars of the show live, and will buy any trinket, t-shirt or collectible related to the show, am I talking about Star Trek or WWE?

  9. peptodismal Says:

    Out behind the Hippodrome (long defunct Nashville skating rink and wrestling venue), I got to see Jackie Fargo (pectorial bluebirds) and Tojo Yamamoto (Japanese Claw) leaning against the tailfins of a huge pink Cadillac and sharing a quart of Sterling. I decided not to try for an autograph as there were several empties on the ground at their feet, and just possibly they had seen me booing them before. Next time take the kids around back for contining education in hero worship.

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