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  December 12, 1998



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Stating his case

Wrestling with Shadows sets record straight

By BRET "THE HITMAN" HART -- For the Calgary Sun
  Amid the hustle and bustle of searching for the right Christmas presents, I ended up having a fun and fulfilling week.
 It was gratifying to be honourary chairman for the Special Olympics in Toronto and we left with the satisfaction of knowing, once again, we beat last year's total for this worthwhile cause.
 Then I was off to Hollywood for a great gala opening of Hitman Hart: Wrestling with Shadows. This was the first time the documentary was viewed by an American audience and I was more than a little curious about how they'd respond to being reminded about some of the things the Hitman said about America during his last year in the WWF.
 I was amused when the fans at the premiere told me the movie makes it very clear that I wasn't the one whose actions were anti-American.
 It's a great Christmas present for me that the documentary will debut on American TV, Dec. 20 on A&E.
 Sometimes, Americans don't understand that I know America better than most Americans do.
 I'm privileged to have been to every state, all the big cities, thousands of small towns. I've met politicians and movie stars and average Americans from all walks of life.
 The same can be said for my travels across Canada. In fact, I don't know who keeps statistics on such things but I'm definitely one of the most-travelled people in North America.
 Maybe The Guinness Book of World Records should look into it.
 I have tales to tell, things that I think you'd find interesting, hilarious, heart-warming, even scary. I've been looking forward to writing a book but until I can find the time to give that massive project the attention it deserves, I thought you, loyal readers of this column, might enjoy some never before published adventures of The Hitman.
 I've made a resolution that these columns will give you an even more up close and personal look into my mind's eye in the coming year.
 You'll have to decide for yourself if that's a threat or a promise. I've even consulted with the master storyteller of the Hart family, my father Stu, on the fine points of getting the point of a story across.
 Travelling as much as I do, I've come to appreciate the accessibility of simple things, which I've learned that luxury hotels very often don't provide.
 I don't need a shoeshine cloth for my sneakers, but a tube of toothpaste would be nice. Thank the Gideons for the Holy Bible to help me get to heaven, but I could sure use a local road map to help me get to the arena.
 When people give you directions, what do they mean when they say, 'It's just down the road a piece, just keep going ...'
 How big a piece? And how long do I keep going, a minute or a mile?
 Why are there still fine hotels which don't offer room service all night? I'll bet when they get off the late shift, they go home and raid the fridge at 2 a.m.
 What are the rest of us supposed to do? The water in the handy-bar is $3 for a tiny bottle. I'm not that thirsty.
 If you're lucky enough to get late-night room service, you lose your appetite and wonder why a burger and fries is $24.95! Fries? Not what I'd want to eat, but sometimes you take what you can get. Even the finer restaurants put restrictions on you. You can't have breakfast cause it's the lunch menu. There's breakfast, lunch, dinner and -- desperation -- Denny's and "Thank heaven for 7-Eleven."
 Did you ever ask the waitress what kind of soup they have and the reply sounds like, "chickennoodelechickenricesplitpealentilclamchowdercreamofeleryminestrone."
 I find myself saying, "I don't think I'd like them all mixed together like that."
 Besides, I like tomato. Dare I ask about vegetables?
 Jay Leno showed a satellite photo of hidden arms piles in the Middle East and they were indicated in red.
 There were lots of mysterious green dots popping up all over the map that military intelligence couldn't identify until they took close-up recon photos and they all turned out to be -- Starbucks.
 It used to be a big deal just to find a good cup of coffee. Not any more. It's no coincidence that shortly after The Hitman became a cartoon resident of Springfield, Bart Simpson was seen with Starbucks.
 I wish I could hire one of those electronics people who stuffs the guts into Walkmans and other small stuff to pack my bags. Dragging your life around in suitcases for 20 years is a drag.
 Why is the rental car place so far away that when I give back the car I have to load all my stuff onto a bus to get to the plane?
 When it's the middle of the night, why do they point out that we're flying over the Grand Canyon?
 Don't tell my trainer but I like the ice cream on the plane and honey roasted nuts aren't bad, either.
 Sometimes it feels like I'm living the movie Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, but all the minor inconveniences I've been kidding with you about are far outweighed by the fascination I have with the variety of people I meet along the way.
 I'll think that in columns to come you'll enjoy meeting the colourful cast of characters as much as I have.
 I'm looking forward to your comments about my comments so write to me C/O The Sun or HITMANclub@aol.com.

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