So ... how about the mild winter?
TOMMY DREAMER - For SLAM! Wrestling
|Tommy Dreamer on a Dragon Gate USA show on Friday night in Miami, Florida. Photo by Christine Coons
I am sure you are all feeling a little over-saturated with the professional wrestling media blitz that has taken over this week ahead of WrestleMania 28. That said, I promise to make as few wrestling plugs as I can in this week’s column.
So without mentioning that WrestleMania is Sunday, live on pay-per-view, I should be able to have a regular conversation with my readers about … umm … before it gets weird … umm … social awkwardness … umm weird reading silence … ehh like when you catch the eye of someone in an elevator … small talk … darn this is hard without wrestling … oh, I got it!
This winter was very mild here in New York. We had one snowstorm to speak of, and that was Oct. 30, which didn’t affect this hardcore —and lover of all things candy — chubby guy from trick or treating.
Springtime is here, and the weather has been crazy. High 70s one day, low 40s the next. I’ve found myself wondering — particularly on the warmer days — why I’m not seeing all the neighbourhood kids playing outside. When I was young, I would take off with my friends on our bikes — for hours. My parents never had a clue where I was, but they knew I was a good kid and wouldn’t be in trouble. I would just say “bye ma, I am going” and she would ask where. I would answer “I don’t know, out,” to which she would reply, “who are you going with?” My retort would be “my friends,” and she would come back with “be home for dinner.” And that was it. I would spend every waking hour after school outside.
As a parent now, I get the “it is a different time now” statement, but was there no crime growing up as a kid? Sure there was; we just didn’t know about it because there was nowhere near the technology or media outlets back then like we have today. I remember quite well the tale of the green van that reportedly would take children. I don’t even know whether it was true, but whenever I saw a green van, I was scared. In some ways, I think we are all scared of anyone who owns a van. I don’t mean minivans — those are different. But I digress.
Fellow Canadian WWE Superstars Edge (who will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame today) and Christian grew up together, and would ride their bikes to each other’s house long before they formed a successful tag team.
I had a conversation with fellow wrestler Rob Van Dam about bike-riding as a kid and he said in those days, he would ride from Battle Creek, Mich., to Grand Rapids, which is 80 miles (almost 130 km for my Canadian friends). He, too, would make it home in time for dinner. Nowadays it seems every kid has a cellphone, many equipped with Skype. I imagine if little RVD called momma Van Dam back then and she saw a sign that read “Welcome to Grand Rapids” on it, he would have been in serious trouble.
In those days, I would chase down the local ice cream truck guy like I was running in the Olympic trials. To this day, the ice cream truck guy stops in front of my house. Truth be told, I think I am putting his kids through college.
And as an adult, you don’t get recesses either. The moral of this tale is, if you are a child, spend time outdoors because when you get older, you are stuck in a job on far too many nice days.
Parents can go a long way toward helping with this. For instance, don’t overstimulate your kid with TV or the Internet. They also don’t need a ton of after-school activities. Last year, my kids were involved in skating, piano, swimming, gymnastics and dance. I encourage all activities, but be sure they’re something they have interest in, not just as a substitute for something to do.
I remember my mom used to ask me what I did on a certain day and my answer was nothing. But I now realize those nothing days were some of the greatest, care-free times of my life (just like when I went to the very first WrestleMania, something I will never forget). Oh, wait! I wasn’t supposed to plug WrestleMania — on April 1 — on pay-per-view.
Speaking of April 1, April Fool’s Day, allow me to share with you a prank I have pulled on my mother, numerous girlfriends and my wife, the latter of whom will be mad that I lumped her in with other women if she reads this. You can never win, huh, fellas? But I digress.
Here’s the gag. Note, this one only applies if you have a kitchen sink with a hose (you know the kind with the retractable hose that you can pull out to clean dishes, among other things).
Without the water on, take the hose and squeeze the trigger, thus opening the water line. Wrap said open trigger tightly in tape. You’ll need to aim it precisely where your intended target is, so you may have to take one for the result of the prank, but once all the stars align, you can sit back and watch the hijinks ensue. Once the victim is had, trying yelling “wet T-shirt contest!” (if it is your spouse or girlfriend). Note, there is a 50/50 chance that she will not like it, but there is a 100% chance it will make you laugh.
I got sent to my room for doing this to my mother, but I would just sit and read wrestling magazines or watch VCR tapes with the volume down during punishment.
Do not perform this prank if there is any chance your target will be holding a baby because they will use it against you (I write from experience).
Speaking of experiences, I have realized that I can’t not somehow mention wrestling in my life. It has has shaped me into the man I am today. So if you are in Miami this weekend, enjoy the beautiful weather, perhaps go for a bike ride, take a shower and enjoy WrestleMania on April 1. Did I mention it is live on pay-per-view?
If you are not there, do all of the above and have a party for the show, to split the cost, and enjoy the hard work the men and women put forth in the name of entertaining you. It changed my life. Maybe it will change yours.
Thanks for reading.
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Tommy Dreamer is a legendary and influential pro wrestler and a father and husband who has worked for World Wrestling Entertainment, Extreme Championship Wrestling and Total Nonstop Action. His column appears in the Kingston Whig-Standard and on SLAM! Wrestling. Follow him on Twitter @THETOMMYDREAMER and check out his website at thetommydreamer.com. He can be booked for live appearances through his website.