By Matthew Hendley
By Monica Alonzo
By Monica Alonzo
By Monica Alonzo
By Stephen Lemons
By Jason P. Woodbury
By Dulce Paloma Baltazar Pedraza
By Ray Stern
The Drifter staggers around clutching his shoulder, then TT grabs him, thrusts his head over the fence, and Rainbow slams a trash-can lid down on his skull. Actual dust billows into the air from the impact.
The crowd is, as they say, going wild.
Then the Traveler has the Drifter against the fence, he's over the fence, he's on the floor! And there's the bell, but what the heck is going on here?! The crowd is happy; the crowd is mad--who knows?
Drifter is in bad shape, but he gets back into the ring!! The two are grappling and suddenly the Drifter is on top of the Time Traveler, sitting on his chest, slamming his head on the floor, smashing him repeatedly in the forehead with his fist--but get this: It almost looks like the Drifter is hitting his own hand instead of actually making contact with the wretched head of the Traveler. It can't be, of course. It must be the view from where I'm standing.
It doesn't end there. The Traveler hits the Drifter in the nuts, Drifter writhes in agony, the ref pulls off the Traveler, then the Drifter summons his strength and takes on the ref! Some other guy jumps into the ring; it's a four-way brawl! It's insane! Total chaos! Where is the Commissioner with his baseball bat?
A guy up in front starts chanting, "Anarchy! Anarchy! Anarchy!" fist spiking the air with index finger and pinkie sticking out, just like Beavis and Butt-head do when they're really into something!
I order another O'Doul's as the announcer reveals "the winner of the match by disqualification--the Drifter!!"
WHAT DO I OWE YOU FOR THE O'DOUL'S??!!
Wait a second. What happened to the Drifter? He's not in the ring anymore, and no one seems to know what happened to him. He has drifted away, apparently. But the Time Traveler refuses to disappear. He grabs a stack of three white plastic lawn chairs and heaves it at a ref. He starts threatening the ref--"I'll take you apart!!"--and while the enraged Traveler stalks around the floor with a look on his face that is part feral death-beast, part constipation, various crowd members are giggling, screaming, hooting, cussing, grinning, downing the nonalcoholic brewski.
There's a woman sitting with a little kid, her face flushed with the undeniable passion of the moment. Her name is Christine Johnson, and here is what she says when I ask her who won:
At this moment, the Traveler passes us in his march around the ring, his orbit of seething hatred. Christine points to TT.
"'Cause he's a fag bag. Look at his diaper; look, he has shit in it! Look at it! He's living in the fuckin' Sixties!" Christine is more than just an opinionated fan. I find out that her husband is Road Boss Don, one of the brave men in the black-and-white-striped shirts, one of the refs.
Someone--I think his name is Big Daddy--gets on the mike and starts yelling a bunch of stuff. I think he is trying to restore some sense of order. Or maybe he isn't. Anyway, his little speech ends with the word "tampon," prompting Christine to forage in her purse. Just look what she comes out with--sure enough, it's a tampon, the size of an infected appendix.
"Hey, I got one, you want one?!!"
We talk about the match.
"This is the best one yet," Christine says. "It gets better each show, 'cause it builds more ... class up, or something."
Does anyone ever get hurt?
"Yeah! Section 8 got a cracked head, AWOL Daddy's ribs been broke. He ain't fighting tonight."
A woman next to Christine offers that "a referee got messed up!" This woman is "Susan, I'm Section 8's girlfriend. This is his son." The little kid squeezed between the two women is Section 8 junior! Miles, actually, and he's clutching a wrestler action figure.
But hang on a second--over there, emerging from the Mental Ward--it's the Drifter! Let's grab a couple words from him before he drifts away again!
How did you feel about the match?
"I feel good. I'm in the Main Event, too."
Are you psyched?
"Oh, yeah, I'm into it!"
Before the Drifter has a chance to articulate his feelings beyond these simple thoughts, the Time Traveler, that low-down bastard, comes up and shovR>es the Drifter in the chest, says the "F" word, tries to get an out-of-ring donnybrook going. What a show!
"Jump back," responds the Drifter, as he jumps back into the Ward. Now I am alone with the Time Traveler.
Hey, Time Traveler, what do you think of the Drifter?
"What do I think of the Drifter? F-O-U-R, FA-R-M!!"
This may not seem to make sense, but you have to understand the fierce, dynamic level of energy and unbridled chaos here that makes even statements such as "four farm" rife with meaning and innuendo. Then the Traveler walks back to the end of the hall and picks up a big metal screen, raises it above his head and advances. Toward me. So I leave the hallway.