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  May 19, 2001



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I'm not missing it ... yet


By BRET HART -- SLAM! Wrestling
 I'm having my morning coffee fix, leafing through the Sun, when I came upon a story about the Deputy Prime Minister of Britain, John Prescott, who was hit in the face with an egg -- and he socked the guy right back! Bravo! Good for him!

 Sometimes being a public figure has its downside. I know what it's like to be spat on, hit with eggs, rotten fruit, coins, beer (that wasn't so bad) lady's underwear (that wasn't so bad either), but really, getting pelted by hard, rapidly flying projectiles hurts. I don't blame Prescott one bit for fighting back.

 It made me think of how people ask me all the time, every day, wherever I go, "Do you miss wrestling ..."

 Do ya really wanna know?

 Maybe I'll wake up one day and like so many other former champions say, God I really miss it. But it hasn't happened yet.

 I don't mean to sound ungrateful. I went further in wrestling than I ever dreamed I would. But after 23 years in the ring, do ya really think I miss being slammed, kicked, dropped, stomped, flipped, slapped, punched ... want me to keep going? I've just stopped being sore all over.

 Then there's those dressing rooms. The first ones that come to mind that I don't miss were the ones in the ice rinks in Ontario and Manitoba -- where I never could figure out why there were no doors on the bathroom stalls. It was just too casual and vivid for me.

 And the bathrooms at the big TV tapings weren't much better. I never met more grown people who couldn't figure out how to put the seat down.

 The showers were worse. If you're lucky, you get to rinse off with a trickle of scalding hot water dripping from a rusty pipe hanging out of the wall. And if you're not lucky and you're the main event at the end of the show, which I often was, there's often no more hot water left. At times there was no water at all.

 Of course, many people don't realize, there were other guys in the shower with me -- and I don't miss that, either.

 And there's nothing better than a drug test, urinating in a little bottle in front of gawking strangers.

 And what I really, really crave is the unique cuisine served up by the caterers at the big shows. Elastic spaghetti. Rubbery egg whites to go with the cement chicken breasts. And marvellous mystery meat, blackened beyond recognition. Not to forget the slimy lettuce salad that the hockey players left over three days before. If I had the power, I'd line the caterers all up and make them eat their own so-called food. That would be punishment enough. When I was lucky, there was Denny's -- and that's saying something.

 But being recognized and having people stare at every chew and swallow reminded me of the people I saw at the zoo the other day watching a gorilla chow down.

 Oh yeah, and I can't live without the unmistakable aroma of eau de locker ... travelling around with a wrestling troupe every day ... from the plane to the hotel to the locker room to the hotel to the airport ... it's like travelling in a chain gang ... the exotic variety of odors that permeated my daily existence... some pleasant ... and some .... not so pleasant.

 Oh ... and I miss the hotels ... don't get me started. By the time you'd get there after the matches, the restaurant was usually closed. If you were lucky, in a matter of speaking, you could get the same-as-everywhere-else loathed black room service hamburger (for $24.95) with supposed clam chowder. After awhile, I came to believe it was some sort of a conspiracy that all the international hotels served clam chowder. There aren't that many clams in the world.

 In the room, no matter how I stacked those pillows my head always ended up flat and I couldn't sleep. But when I could ... it's always a wonderful way to start your day, jolted awake by pounding on your door and a whiny voice yelling, "maid service" in a tone so annoying that I finally figured out that it's intended to be as irritating as possible to get you to wake up!

 What I really miss is getting on a plane every single day, nine years of which was in coach -- usually with some strange fat guy snoring on my shoulder.

 Another thing I yearn for is dragging my life around in heavy bags everywhere I went. I suppose that was better than all the times the airlines lost them.

 Yeah, and for 23 years I actually had a riot missing all the sitcoms ... I'd hear people talking about Taxi and Cheers and Seinfeld. I missed more big sporting events than you can imagine. Not to mention missing all the holidays, my family, my friends.

 People ask me, "Don't you miss wrestling ..."

 I think about all the fun I've been having since I've been home and the answer is I miss my fans, I miss my wrestler friends -- but, nope -- I don't miss wrestling one bit. Yet?

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