Tuesday, October 22, 2013

And Now, The Big Reveal!

I have a secret.

When people ask what I do for fun, or what my hobbies are, they are likely to hear the response, "Well, honestly, I'm a pretty boring individual. I read a lot." However, I have been known to reply, "Well, I drink heavily," "I stand on my head in a bucket of paint -- It's sort of performance art," "I answer personal questions," and, "I'm a brain in a jar! How many hobby options are available to me, do you think?"

Last night, I told the inquiring party, "You know, you almost never hear 'housework' as a response to the question."

"So you like to do housework?"

"No. I just said it was a rarely-heard response to that question." (And I wonder why I don't get on socially.)

I actually DO have another hobby. A secret one. But since we are unlikely to meet, I figure I can share this.

My hobby is wrestling -- or, more accurately -- "wrasslin' ": Professional wrestling, not Olympic. I love the theatricality of it. The borderline cheesiness of cartoonish masculinity combined with the serious physicality touches me deeply. More specifically, I love luchadores. (Yes, that WAS a 1950s sitcom! Thanks for noticing! Little-known fact: Desi Arnaz worked as a luchador on nights his band didn't have gigs.) The trademark colorful masks and high-flying acrobatics make me inexplicably happy.

But lots of guys watch sports for fun. There's even a huge fanbase for Lucha Libre. That's not much of a secret. However, the hobby part goes a bit deeper.

I. Am. A. Luchador.

I'm a very pale Anglo-Saxon guy who moonlights as a Mexican wrestler. In a culture that greatly values Latino heritage, however, I found the loophole. I discovered a way to overcome the ethnicity issue.

I wrestle in a chicken suit.

I fight under the name of Marco Pollo.

Sure, much of my time in the ring is spent as comic relief in warm-up matches. After all, you'd figure a wrestler named Marco Pollo wouldn't fight. Y'know, because he's a chicken. Instead, Marco runs away, flapping and clucking loudly. He leaps from turnbuckles, somersaulting over his foe. Occasionally, he dead-faints, only to get up and flee the ring before the count is up. Imagine a team mascot vs a big, scary guy in spandex, and you get the picture pretty well.

When you think about it, though, a wrestling chicken makes perfect sense. Ever hear of cockfights? So, sometimes Marco fights back -- and wins. Always against "bad guy" wrestlers.  He pumps his chicken-wing fists in the air like a winning prizefighter. He throws his head back and utters his mighty chicken battle cry, "Bawk! B'gawk-B'gawk-B'gaaaaawk!" He races around the ring, springing from the ropes at his opponent, flailing and flapping wildly. And the crowd goes nuts. "Marco! Marco! Marco!"  The kids love it, especially. I mean, how often in this life do you get to see a hulking, muscular man get beat up by a chicken?

Not. Often. Enough.

So there it is. The chicken is out of the bag, as it were.

Next time someone asks me what I do for fun, I'll tell them.

"I like to cook."

The preceding article has been fact-checked by Snopes.com & other independent fact-checking sources.
It has received a rating of 97% unreliable and fictitious.

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