Crossing Another Item Off The Bucket List
You ever ask someone how they’re doing, and they give you that ultra-lame response, “Just livin’ the dream…” ? Is it just me or is that one of the most annoying lines in the history of annoying lines?
But if you had asked me two weeks ago how I was doing, I would have been one of those annoying assholes and answered “Just living the dream…” Turns out one of the benefits of having the ability to entertain alcoholics with beer and dick jokes is that you get to live out your childhood fantasies from time to time.
A couple years ago, I was invited to perform at RedneckFest in Janesville, Wisconsin and part of the gig included the opportunity to participate in a demolition derby. My “Doobie-mobile” featured a 4-foot joint mounted on the roof with real smoke pouring out of it. And the next year at the same gig, I took third place driving The Bluesmobile. A replica of the famous police car featured in my favorite movie starring Jake and Elwood Blues.
As long as I can remember, I’ve always wanted to go skydiving. That dream came true in 2009 when I was invited to perform at a skydiving convention in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
And most recently, I was able to cross off one of my all time top “bucket list” items when I was given the chance to be the guest ring announcer for 3XW professional wrestling. Make fun of me all you want, but ever since I was 6-years-old and my dad took me to see All-Star Wrestling at Veterans Memorial Auditorium (now the Wells Fargo Arena) in Des Moines, I have been a huge fan of pro-wrestling.
I’ll never forget the night my uncle Russ threw a beer at one of the wrestlers and got chased out of the auditorium. And when wrestling went big-time, I was practically ostracized in junior high for wearing the T-shirts of “Macho Man” Randy Savage, Rowdy Roddy Piper, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Dusty Rhodes, and the Hart Foundation EVERY SINGLE DAY. I took a lot of ball-busting back in those days. Come to think of it, that could be one of the reasons why I became a stand-up comedian…
Anyway, several months ago, my friend and fellow comedian, Daryl “Beanbag” Moon, who along with being a great impressionist and director of the movie “Road Dogs” (a documentary I’m in), has also been the voice of 3X Wrestling– a gig that I’ve been secretly jealous of.
It turns out that Daryl’s wife was expecting a baby, and the due date was set for July 27- the same night as the 3XW 7th Anniversary event. That’s when I received the phone call offering me the chance of a lifetime. He needed someone to fill in for him and knew I was chomping at the bit for the gig. Daryl offered it to me, and I gladly accepted.
The night of July 27 rolled around, and as I hung out in the locker room, suiting up in a tuxedo, I could hardly contain my excitement. Of course, I played it cool, but I was completely beside myself. I was given the line-up of matches, met the wrestlers, and was told by the production manager that my entrance cue would be “Big Gun” by AC/DC. This was going to be awesome!! I even had my own entrance theme music!!
The music kicked in, I stepped through the curtains, walked toward the ring, and was immediately reminded of how loyal wrestling fans can be as they booed me in chorus. I guess they really liked Daryl!
So now, I’m un-officially proclaiming myself as the “bad guy” heel ring announcer. I hadn’t heard a reaction like that since the time I performed at a 50th wedding anniversary. For the record, wrestling fans don’t like their ring announcers to change, and old people don’t like jokes about blow-jobs and bong-ripping.
My wife and two sons were in the crowd (at the wrestling event, not the 50th anniversary party) and they gave me all the support I needed during the night, which went by so fast for me, I can barely remember it. Although the highlight of the night was the part where two wrestlers got suplexed onto the timekeepers table where I was seated. That was crazy as sweat and body parts were flying everywhere.
My 9-year-old son who is now just as big of a geek about wrestling as I was at that age, said I was “really brave for getting in the ring and announcing the wrestlers in front of such a huge crowd.”
And that’s another dream come true for me… being a hero to my kid.