A Wrestling Tale 8.19.01: They Sat In Silence

“Hey, Tim?”

“Yeah Bruce?”

“What’s an 8-letter word for mad? Starts with an M? Ends with an A L?”

“Maniacal.”

“Thanks. Yes! I finished my book of crossword puzzles!”

“All by yourself, right Bruce?”

“All by myself.”

“You should be very proud.”

“Well I am.”

They sat in silence.

“Hey, Tim?”

“Yeah Bruce?”

“You think I should get another book of crossword puzzles?”

“I don’t see why not.”

“Well maybe I will. After the matches of course.”

“Of course. There may be a change on the card. They might need us tonight.”

“Anything’s possible!”

“Anything’s possible in the World Wrestling Federation.”

They sat in silence.

“Hey, Tim?”

“Yeah Bruce?”

“Do you think they could be doing more with us then they are?”

“What more could they be doing with us? We were the tag team champions.”

“Yeah, but that was eight months ago. I don’t mean to sound like a whiner, but we haven’t been on television except for Jakked in three months. And we haven’t been on Jakked in a month. I miss being on Jakked.”

“I miss being on Jakked too, Bruce.”

“So, maybe they could be doing more with us. The crowd pops when we come out.”

“The crowd popped when we came out. They don’t really pop for us anymore.”

“Well, they would if we had some more television time.”

“Probably. I have faith that if we continue waiting we’ll be put on television again.”

They sat in silence.

“Hey, Tim?”

“Yeah Bruce?”

“Who exactly are we waiting for?”

“We’re waiting for Vince.”

“Oh. I saw him when I came in. I talked to Vince.”

“You didn’t ask him why we’re not on television, did you?”

“Well ”

“Because if you asked him why we’re not on television, we won’t be on television for another month.”

“Well ”

“If there is an ounce of intelligence in you, you will tell me right now that you did not ask Vince why we’re not on television.”

“I did not ask Vince why we’re not on television.”

“Thank you.”

They sat in silence.

“Hey, Tim?”

“Yeah Bruce?”

“I asked Vince why we’re not on television.”

“You idiot!”

“I asked him in a good way.”

“There is no good way to ask Vince why we’re not on television! We look like whiners!”

“No we don’t. I said to him, ‘Vince. I think that Tim and myself have a lot to contribute to the company. We contributed once, and I feel, and I speak for both myself and Tim, we feel that we’re both ready to contribute again.”

“You said that you spoke for me?”

“Well, are you ready to contribute again?”

“Of course I’m ready to contribute again! I’m not ready to tell that to Vince!”

“I’m sorry. A month just seems like a long time to not be on Jakked.”

“It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been waiting to get on Jakked! You do not tell Vince that you speak for me when whining about us not being on television. We’re going to be released now. You know that, right?”

They sat in silence.

“Hey, Tim?”

“What Bruce?”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay Bruce.”

“Thanks Tim.”

“What did he say, Bruce?”

“Huh?”

“What did Vince say when you whined to him about not being on television?”

“Well, I’d hardly call it whining. I spoke with confidence.”

“I’m sure you did. What did Vince say?”

“He looked down at his watch and told me he’d get back to me later.”

“Did he?”

“No.”

They sat in silence.

“Hey, Tim?”

“Yeah Bruce?”

“You don’t really think they’ll release us because I said that we’re ready to contribute, do you?”

“I don’t know, Bruce. We’ll just have to wait and see.”

“I don’t mean to sound negative or whiny, but I’m tired of waiting.”

“You need a new book of crossword puzzles. There’s a Barnes and Noble across the street in that shopping center.”

“It’ll be closed by the time the matches are over.”

“Maybe you should go now?”

“Are you kidding me? At any minute Vince might come through that door and tell us that there’s been a change and we’re on next. It’s happened before!”

“Has it ever happened to us?

“Well, no.”

“It’s across the street. You’d be back in twenty minutes.”

“Would you come with me?”

“Are you kidding? Leave a show in the middle of the matches? Vince might come back here and say that he needs us.”

“That’s what I just said, Tim!”

“I know.”

“But you just told me that I should go across the street!”

“And you should. Vince won’t need us.”

“But you won’t go with me because Vince might need us?”

“Yes.”

“You seem to have accepted the inevitable conclusion that you will be sitting on that chair from now until 11:30, yet you refuse to move from it because you believe that there is a chance that your inevitable conclusion is not so inevitable after all?”

“How many times did you use the word inevitable in that sentence?”

“I don’t remember. I think three times.”

“You should be very proud. Those crossword puzzle books are expanding your lexicon.”

“What’s a lexicon?”

They sat in silence.

“Hey, Tim?”

“Yeah Bruce?”

“What’s a lexicon?”

“It means the same thing as vocabulary.”

“Oh.”

They sat in silence.

“Hey, Tim?”

“Yeah Bruce?”

“I’ve been thinking.”

“I’m shocked, Bruce.”

“This is very boring, just waiting and waiting. Maybe we should go get that book.”

“I’m not going. You do whatever you want.”

“I’m not going to go if you’re not going to go.”

“Then don’t go.”

“But Vince isn’t going to need us?”

“No. Vince isn’t going to need us.”

“Then why won’t you come with me?”

“Because Vince might need us.”

“But Vince isn’t going to need us.”

“I know.”

“Then come with me.”

“No!”

“Why not?”

“Because Vince might need us.”

“But you just said Vince isn’t going to need us!”

“I know!”

“Then come with me!”

“No!”

The door opened and there stood Vince.

“Have you guys seen Dwayne?”

“No, he hasn’t come in here.”

“Oh.”

The door closed and Vince disappeared.

They sat in silence.

“Hey, Tim?”

“Yeah Bruce?”

“I think that’s the last time we’re going to see Vince tonight.”

“I agree, Bruce.”

“I want to go get the book. I’d prefer it if you came with me.”

“I know, Bruce. I’m thinking about it.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

They sat in silence.

“Hey, Tim?”

“Yeah Bruce?”

“You’re my best friend.”

“You’re my best friend too Bruce.”

“You don’t sound too happy about that.”

“I’m thrilled to death about it.”

“That sounded very sarcastic!”

“I swear, I’m doing cartwheels. I’m jumping up in joy. I feel like my body might spontaneously combust because I’m so damned happy to have you as my best friend. Not just my best friend. My tag team partner. My running buddy. The guy who’s always been there to speak for me to Vince. I am ecstatic! I am about to sprout wings and take flight any second! I feel like singing and crying and ripping off my leg and beating myself in the head with it! I am that overjoyed knowing that you are my best friend! I feel like getting naked and jumping into a pool of lime Jello I’m that excited! I feel like running around in a circle and screaming ‘Woo Woo Woo Woo!’ I want to rub my penis against a fur-covered cloth so that it’s covered in static electricity and make people’s hair rise with it! I’m so happy I feel like doing three lines of coke and farting on my own face! I am thrilled! I feel rapturous! I am ELATED! I AM E GOOD AND GODDAMNED LATED!”

They sat in silence.

“Hey, Tim?”

“Yeah Bruce?”

“That sounded very sarcastic.”

“It was, Bruce.”

“But I am your best friend, right Tim?”

“Yes Bruce. You are my best friend. For better or worse.”

“I guess so.”

“I’m sorry I screamed at you.”

“That’s okay.”

“Good.”

They sat in silence.

“Hey, Tim?”

“Yeah Bruce?”

“Do you blame me for not being on television anymore?”

“A little. It’s me too. Our act got stale.”

“Yeah. Maybe we should be pirates.”

“Pirates?”

“Yeah. Nobody’s done the pirate gimmick in a while.”

“Pirates?”

“Yeah. Pirates. Argh! Let me hear you say it once.”

“Pirates?”

“No, let me hear you say argh! Not pirates. Say argh!”

“I changed my mind. You’re not my best friend for better or worse. You’re my best friend for worse.”

“We wouldn’t just be ordinary pirates or anything. We’d be the fiercest pirates on the Atlantic. All seamen would know of us and shudder when our names were spoken. I’d be Captain Brucebeard, and you’d be First Mate Tim the Terrible! We’d have tee shirts that would say ‘ARGH!’ And on the back it would say, ‘Me Matey.'”

“You actually believe that this could work? Something in your brain is telling you that this is a good idea?”

“ARGH! Man the sails! Walk the plank! Swab the bastoon!”

“What the hell is a bastoon?”

“Hoist the mast! Shiver smee timbers! Get your hands off me pot o gold!”

“THAT’S A LEPRECHAUN!”

“Oh. Right.”

They sat in silence.

“Hey, Tim?”

“What Bruce?”

“Leprechauns. Not a bad idea.”

“Oh my God.”

“We could feud with so many teams! They’d steal our pot of gold and we’d fight to get it back.”

“Oh my God.”

“It would be like the Undertaker and his urn. Remember how many times they were able to do that angle? It would be the same thing only with a pot of gold!”

“Please stop.”

“Listen to my leprechaun laugh. Tee hehehehehehehe! You try it.”

“No Bruce.”

“Oh, come on! Give me one leprechaun laugh!”

“I don’t want to Bruce.”

“If you give me one and don’t like doing it I’ll drop the issue all together.”

“You’ll drop the entire issue?”

“I promise.”

“Fine. He he he he he he.”

“You weren’t trying!”

“I was too trying.”

“You weren’t even trying a little. Give me one leprechaun evil laugh with effort!”

“Fine! You want an evil leprechaun laugh? TEE HEHEHEHEHEhehehehehehehe.”

They sat in silence.

“Hey, Tim?”

“Yeah Bruce?”

“That was a really good evil leprechaun laugh.”

“I know Bruce.”

“Maybe we could make it work.”

“It wouldn’t work if we were actually leprechauns. You know what would make it work though? If we knew how lame our leprechaun gimmick was and the audience knew that we knew that our gimmick was lame. We would play leprechauns to the best of our ability, but every now and then we gave the audience a look that said, ‘Yeah. We’re leprechauns. We know it sucks. We feel your pain. Just bear with us, okay?’ We could change stupid gimmicks every week and do the same thing! One day we’d be leprechauns. The next day pirates. The next day army commandos! The whole thing would be so damned stupid that the audience just might like it!”

“That would be okay.”

“What? You sound disappointed.”

“I don’t know. I thought it would be fun to play a pirate or a leprechaun.”

“You know, if we were in Of Mice and Men I’d tell you all about the farm we were going to have and then shoot you in the back of the head.”

“You’d shoot me? What’s Of Mice and Men?”

They sat in silence.

“Hey, Tim?”

“Yeah Bruce?”

“Really, what’s Of Mice and Men?”

“It’s a book, Bruce. John Steinbeck.”

“Oh yeah!”

“You have no idea who John Steinbeck is, do you?”

“Not a clue.”

“I tell you what. It’s a short book. Let’s go get it.”

“Now?”

“Right now.”

“You want to go to Barnes and Noble with me?”

“Anything would be better then staying here and discussing wrestling gimmicks with you.”

“I can get my crossword puzzle book also!”

“You sure can.”

“Should we leave someone a note?”

“Here’s the thing. If we just disappear, well, maybe we went to the bathroom or it was something incredibly important that we left the matches for. If we write a note and they need us but we’re at the bookstore, we’ll be in more trouble. Understand?”

“No.”

They sat in silence.

“Hey, Tim?”

“Yeah Bruce?”

“I understand. I get it now.”

“Then let’s go.”

And so they did. Of course, three minutes after they left Jeff tripped backstage and hurt his ankle. Not too bad, but bad enough that he shouldn’t wrestle that night. Vince went looking for Tim and Bruce and couldn’t find them. They didn’t tell anyone where they were going. They simply disappeared. If they had told anyone where they were going they wouldn’t have gotten in trouble. That kid Bruce had shown some real balls coming up to Vince today and telling him they were ready to contribute, and Vince had wanted to get them back on television. Instead they disappeared when they were needed and the spot went to the two Japanese guys. The next day Vince signed the papers and Tim and Bruce were sent to Puerto Rico.

Epilogue on the Plane to Puerto Rico

“Hey, Tim?”

“Shut up Bruce.”

They sat in silence.