Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Macho Man" Randy Savage in a Waffle House is Better Than Anything I've Ever Written

I've got this long complicated post brewing in my head about the roles of storytelling and narrative in explaining and conveying past history or present news, and about the perceived sin in both fields of -- as Jack Granatstein once famously accused Pierre Berton ("famously" at least in terms of Canadian literary history, which is to say "completely not famously") -- consciously being too interesting. But if it'll be long and complicated by my standards you know it's probably going to be a doozy, so that obviously won't be our post for tonight.

So to fill that time, in the interim, I want to direct you to something amazing for your trouble. Something so great that I actively think less of myself for not seeing it when it originally came out, instead having only come across it a few days ago.

Following the death of legendary professional wrestler and major crossover superstar "Macho Man" Randy Savage on May 20th -- which, and I will phrase this in the interests of classical objectivity, may or may not have prevented the Rapture that was popularly expected the next day -- the entire internet seemed to come forward at once with stories and expressions of everything they'd loved about Savage's long and diverse career. But the absolute best reminiscence, and one that flew under the radar in the clamor, was this blog post by his coworker and friend 'Dirty' Dutch Mantel. The first part of the post is eaten up with a plug for his book, so scroll down until you reach the Randy Savage tribute and then get ready for what has to be -- I refuse to believe that this could be anything but -- the single greatest Randy Savage story ever told.

Truth, as they say, is stranger than fiction, and life, as they say, imitates art. They warn you nowadays on the various wrestling (well, "sports entertainment", but let's not get into that) programs that you should absolutely not try anything you see therein at home, and people assume those warnings are in there so children won't kill each other with tombstone piledrivers. But it is very good advice, and you will realize why while reading that story: two Nashville police officers in the late 1970s attempted the classic wrestling staple of "one guy holds a wrestler while the other guy tries to hit the wrestler with a foreign object" -- as if completely unaware of what the inevitable result has to be -- and the inevitable result happened when Randy Savage slipped the cop's grasp at the last possible moment and the other cop blasted his partner square in the face with a can's worth of mace. This actually happened. In real life.

I could turn this computer off right now and just walk away from it forever, because nothing I write in my lifetime will ever be as perfect as knowing that, for one brief shining second, the real world operated entirely on professional wrestling laws and principles. It would be like reading that a man tried to kill a real-life roadrunner with dynamite, the dynamite failed to detonate when the roadrunner stood by it, and then when the man went over to investigate the dynamite it exploded in his grasp. It would be like reading that real-life extraterrestrials touched down near an isolated farmhouse, attempted to start a conversation with a telephone they found, went "yip yip yip yip yip yip" to each other, danced for the crowd, and then beamed back up again. You know what I mean? Sometimes the worldview you cultivated through an entire wasted childhood just gets massively vindicated, and that Randy Savage recollection above is absolutely one of those times.

I would attempt to tie this back into my earlier mention of storytelling and narrative, but nah, let's not overthink this. It's just a really, really, really entertaining read. And as for my originally intended post, ahhh, I'll try again tomorrow.

1 comment:

One Man Committee said...

Wow, you're right, that is quite an entertaining read. Yet somehow the chain of events seems completely likely given that Randy Savage was involved. The man didn't seem like the kind to ever just blend into the background unnoticed!