How can they do this?
How the hell can these folks eliminate one of the few activities in which every human being and many in our animal kingdom joyfully partake?
I'm not kidding here; if somehow I were able to list each person I either currently know or with whom I've been even faintly familiar throughout my fifty-year run, I would feel cockily confident in jotting a solid check mark next to each moniker with a fragrant black Sharpie.
Because everyone has done this.
Before delving much further, let me clarify a bit. This activity does not derive its inspiration from the smudged pages of Titanic Teats Monthly or the 2007 Shirtless Sheriffs of Shreveport Fundraising Calendar. I'm also not referring to any act which demands that your free hand choose either the mouse or keyboard.
So, yeah, shuffle on out of that dark theater in your mind and wipe away those filthy thoughts with a moist, flushable towelette, mmkay there, PeeWee?
Because I'm talking about wrestling. It's been nixed from the 2020 Olympic Games by the International Olympic Committee. Can you freaking believe this?
Holy ears of cauliflower, how can the most fundamental contest of physical domination be so callously hurled onto the Olympic scrap heap, joining croquet, tug-of-war, some game called mushu and, get this—solo synchronized swimming.
Solo synchronized swimming? Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't you consider anything you do alone synchronized?
From the moment that fleshy cord is cut and the post partum goo is squeegeed from our pink little bodies, our wrestling days commence. Our mothers and fathers bury their faces in our warm, soft bellies, inciting cackles and coos.
Everyone grapples, from humans to rodents to single-celled protoplasma. So why would a cold cadre of silver haired killjoys slam down the kibosh on such a universal practice?
Of all the accolades bestowed upon our planet's athletes, I can think of none more coveted than winning an Olympic Gold Medal in Wrestling, an opportunity to stand atop the winner's podium, squinting tearfully as our national anthem belts out its familiar refrains, flush with the knowledge that I can drive the scapulae of any bastard who comes my way into the MRSA-soaked mat.
It would heal so many wounds, so very many.
As a child, I wrestled involuntarily. It's not like my big brother ever requested my presence on the mats for a fair and square scrap. Nope, by the time he'd thrown me down and pinned my arms to the floor with his knees, I usually had it figured out. Until I witnessed more organized meets, I'd always believed that painful tickling, poking, slapping and hovering stringy globs of saliva just above my sun-bleached donkey teeth were rules sanctioned by wrestling's official governing body.
After a substantial growth spurt, I joined the wrestling team in the eighth grade. I actually hated it. It was a rough, stinky sport, one in which I was pinned by every opponent.
On one rare occasion against a guy from Meeker Junior High, however, I was doing well and victory actually seemed within reach.
And reach I did. I shot my open hand between my adversary's legs and filled my palm with nothing but his delicately forming scrotum and testicles. He got sort of angry at that point.
I felt like I'd just taken part in the Scared Straight-San Quentin Shower Day unit. All energy instantly leeched out of my grasp and my opponent soon pressed my back to the mat like he'd narrowly escaped being shanked by the new transfer.
Fortunately, accidental twig and berry palpation aside, I learned some wonderful and highly painful joint manipulation skills to exact the revenge on my brother I'd been longing for with a Charles-Bronson-like passion.
I patiently awaited his preemptive strike, which I knew he'd attempt when I was most vulnerable. He attacked me right in the middle of The Bob Newhart Show one Saturday night, but I know he immediately regretted it when I flipped him, grating his elbow in the shallow pile of our shag carpet.
Within seconds, my sibling lay prone with his pristine underbelly and face exposed. At that point, his only defenses were impotent head butts and name calling.
Ah, the sweet nectar of a lifelong foe forever vanquished.
Most of us just love wrestling with each other, men and women alike. Just to to make sure the fairer sex are also on board, however, I'm going to see what I can find on Youtube in a second.
I hope it's not too late to reverse this ridiculous and rash decision by the International Olympic Committee. You guys had better be careful.
The Pope has already resigned in protest.
- Seattle, Washington,
- August 28
- I'm a middle-aged dad, clinging to my daughters' waning youth and my sanity.
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