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  October 21, 2000



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Future's in limbo after WCW firing


By BRET "The Hitman" HART -- For The Calgary Sun



 "The only way to find out about your life is to try a lot of different things and fail at some of them."

 -- Bono, U2

 Guess what. I got fired yesterday.

 It's not the first time I've been fired and I think it happens to everybody at some time or another.

 I've been thinking about the jobs I've had since the ripe old age of 4 1/2.

 I sold wrestling programs for my dad for which I got paid three cents each. I actually made more than the big kids because it would be like, 'honey, buy it from the little fella.'

 In high school, I was the doorman/bouncer at the matches. I probably learned to fight more at that job than anywhere else.

 My brother Wayne and I were also bouncers at a cowboy bar during the Stampede called the Silver Slipper. We usually didn't have any trouble on our shift. I guess no one wanted to fight with a couple of wrestlers.

 The other bouncers always had black eyes and broken bones, bragging to us, 'yeah we had a big one last night boy, the fists they were flyin' '

 Wayne and I always got a kick out of it because we never had a mark on us.

 Totally opposite of that was my stint as a bartender in the banquet room at the Palliser.

 They required you to wear black shoes and I couldn't afford them, so my brother Smith came to the rescue -- sort of. He let me wear his shoes, but didn't bother to tell me that the sole on one of them was flopping around.

 I had to walk funny to keep my shoe in one piece so no one would notice. I got away with it for a while until my boss asked me to help him move cartons of liquor. He wanted me to follow him and said, 'walk this way'. I shuffled along behind him and he thought I was mimicking the scene out of Young Frankenstein and fired me for it.

 The first summer after high school, I worked at Russell Steel, bending rebar.

 I worked there at the same time that one of the suits from the office decided to give his kid a job. The foreman was trying to suck up to the big wig, so he didn't ask the kid to do anything and instead told me to do the job of two people.

 The foreman himself goofed off a lot and wasn't the brightest guy in the world, either.

 He untied a big pile of steel pipes, which came rolling down behind me, konking me on the head really hard and knocking me down.

 Thank God I was wearing a hard hat or I wouldn't be here now. I jumped up, slid one of the pipes across hitting him in the chest and slamming him up against a wall. The next day I was unceremoniously discharged.

 One of my favourite job memories happened when I worked in Balzac, just outside of Calgary.

 Norm Ramsey was a rough, tough cowboy who used to buy programs from me when I was a kid. He was a huge wrestling fan and I remember his big hat and big hands looked gigantic to me.

 When I was 17, Norm got me a good job at the Occidental Petroleum plant. A buddy from work, Don Ring, really went out of his way to drive me to work every day for about three months, until I could get a car.

 I was assigned to the electricians department, where Al, the supervisor, told me they had absolutely nothing for me to do. Al explained that I'd been hired too soon and that for the next few weeks, they'd have to find things to keep me busy.

 Next thing I know, my boss is pointing way, way up, at the Balzac towers -- the big ones you see on the right when you drive to Airdrie.

 He's saying, 'Ya see that light bulb way up there? You go and change it.' Well, I'm terrified of heights.

 I'd stuff a light bulb into my overalls, and climb up high, clinging tight with my chest to the girders with every single slow step.

 They ended up transferring me to maintenance, where there was plenty of work for me to do -- digging ditches and hauling trash.

 As for wrestling jobs -- a lot of people dream of punching their low-life boss in the mouth -- but I actually got to do it.

  So, this morning the FedEx guy shows up with a letter from WCW.

 "Based on your ongoing incapacity -- post concussion syndrome -- WCW is exercising its right under paragraph 8(e) to terminate your Independent Contractor agreement effective Friday, October 20, 2000.

 "Your contributions to the wrestling business are highly regarded and we wish you only the best in the future."

 Yeah, right.

 It's not the first time I'm standing at the crossroads.

 I know a lot of you want to know how I feel about this and what I'm going to do.

 I'm going to take some time to think everything over and I'll let you know next week.

 'There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That'll be the beginning.'

 -- Louis L'Amour

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