My apartment complex officially has a screamer. At first I thought he was just a loud grunter, but yesterday he crossed the line from “possibly acceptable but annoying grunter” to “completely inappropriate, possibly psychotic, screamer.”
If I polled 1,000 people, I bet 999 of them would say it’s perfectly acceptable for someone to make grunting noises when he or she is working out at the gym. I agree. Some grunting when you’re lifting a lot of weight and trying to push through the end of an exercise is fine (even though I still think it’s unnecessary).
But if I polled those same 1,000 people and asked if it was acceptable for someone at the gym to scream “NO PAIN, NO PAIN” during every exercise while also doing psycho runs in between sets, I hope at least 999 of them would say it’s outrageously inappropriate.
What’s a psycho run? It’s a phrase I invented yesterday to describe what I saw as I entered our apartment’s gym: a tank top-wearing bro running laps around the gym literally shadow boxing in each corner of the room. Wait, isn’t shadow boxing when someone punches the air as if they’re boxing? If that’s true, then this guy wasn’t doing that. He was real boxing: actually punching the walls, including a yoga mat he had leaned up against one wall to act as his punching bag. He then proceeded with the “NO PAIN, PUSH IT, NO PAIN, PUSH IT” screams throughout the rest of his workout (not just when he was lifting a ton of weight…he also did it when he was simply doing regular sit ups).
Just to be crystal clear in my explanation, I’m not talking about someone who’s saying motivational phrases under his breath. I’m talking about someone who was screaming so loud that I couldn’t hear what was coming out of my headphones even though the volume was maxed out and I was 20 feet away from the screamer.
Also keep in mind that this is a gym at an apartment complex. It’s a room that’s probably smaller than most peoples’ living rooms. And of course it was just the two of us at the gym. Maybe I’m overreacting a little if I’m in a big gym surrounded by lots of people. At least then it would be easier to ignore the awkwardness. But in the context of our gym, it was a shocking experience.
So, readers, what should I do to address this problem? I’ve encountered this guy in my gym three times already. How do I get it to stop?
For the second consecutive year, I watched Wrestlemania at my brother’s house with a small group: three guys, two girls. Now you may think legendary blogging skills run in my family, and I wouldn’t blame you for that. But they don’t. So when the aforementioned brother suggested we do a joint blog about the event, I was slightly hesitant. But ultimately I agreed. Throughout the telecast of Wrestlemania, I could see him taking quick notes when something interesting or funny happened. I thought to myself, “This is great…he’s gonna send me a nice short recap of the events and we can combine notes for a fantastic blog post.”
Unfortunately what I received from him on Monday was a 2,050 word stream of consciousness brain dump. It’s like, jeez, my blog is already unpopular enough…I don’t need to further alienate my readers by posting thousands of words on a subject no one wants to read about. Part of me wanted to post his exact words and just watch the tumbleweed take over. But that would be irresponsible. Instead I’ve spent my precious time combing through this bullshit trying to make it a workable blog.
The following is a recap of our Wrestlemania viewing. It is told from the perspective of my brother, but you can bet your ass all of the funny parts were written by me. Enjoy…
In March of 2011, Rmurdera and I heard that one of our favorite WWE personalities from our childhood (where childhood is equal to age 18 and up), The Rock, was making a comeback at Wrestlemania 27. We gathered a few close friends (the middle brother, my wife, Rmurdera’s girlfriend) to watch the proceedings. After four hours of fake wrestling, we decided it was probably our last Wrestlemania until one of us had an eight-year-old that was into wrestling.
Fast forward to this past Sunday. The exact same crew, thoroughly embarrassed to be doing so, gathered again to give Wrestlemania another shot. It must thrill the girls that when no real sports are happening on a Sunday, we’d rather watch fake sports than spend the day with them. Rmuderera and myself decided to keep a running diary of the events so that in March 2013 we can quickly remember why we quit Wrestlemania the previous years, and I could save myself $65. Here is what transpired over four hours of fake wrestling (where “wrestling” = 30 minutes of actual wrestling and 3 hours & 30 minutes of posing, strutting and pumping up the crowd):
Match One: Sheamus vs Daniel Bryant – Heavyweight Championship
It might seem like Heavyweight represents the most prestigious championship you can get, but it’s not. It’s the second best. Let me explain it in terms you’ll clearly understand. If wrestling was European soccer, the Heavyweight Championship would be equivalent to the Europa League, as opposed to the Champions League which would be equivalent to the WWE Championship.
More relevant than who won the match is how insanely ghost white Sheamus’ body is. Think Casper the Ghost & Powder’s love child. I think one member of our viewing party put it nicely when she asked “Did he get a reverse spray tan?”
Match Two: Kane vs Randy Orton – Grudge Match
Don’t ask for clarification on a grudge match. The WWE requires all wrestling matches have a gimmicky name, even if there is no gimmick.
At least Kane’s entrance gets the girls excited for the first time tonight. His long hair is a comfortable topic that they can spend hours on. It’s unanimous that Kane’s long greasy hair is embarrassing enough that he chooses to wear a mask at all times. He was also voted “grossest wrestler” by two people who have probably seen a total of six wrestlers in their lifetime.
**Before we start the next match, I have my “this is the most embarrassing thing I’ve ever watched on TV” moment when three grown men spend five minutes smashing plates of crab legs while wearing sock puppets.**
Match Three: Cody Rhodes vs The Big Show – Intercontinental Championship
Sorry, I don’t have a confusing soccer analogy to explain the significance of this championship to you. But I will give you the tale of the tape and let you decide who should win this match:
Though I know wrestling is fake, and I should be prepared for any amount of ridiculous things to happen, I do appreciate that sometimes they allow the outcome to be the obvious one. Like an actual giant beating a guy who wouldn’t stand out physically in a group of sixth graders.
*Through 45 minutes, the highlight of the night is the ad for the official Wrestlemania chair. I can promise the WWE that four orders have been placed from the San Francisco Bay Area.
Match Four: Maria Menounos and some woman vs Two other women – Diva Match
This is the obligatory women’s match where one of them has to be a non-wrestler C-list celebrity who learns one wrestling move to showcase but otherwise stands on the sidelines. Maria Menounos has apparently jumped to C-list level recently. The only memorable moment came when Maria pulled out the traditional wrestling move of rubbing her ass all over a lady’s face. Unfortunately the lady’s face was caked with makeup, and Maria ended up with a big brownish-colored makeup stain on her ass. This set us up nicely for a quick maturity test. When one of us called her “Poop Stain Maria” and the rest of us burst into laughter, we knew we had failed.
Match Five: Undertaker vs HHH (read as: triple H) – Hell in a Cell Match, End of an Era Match
They really outgimmicked themselves this time. This match could have stood alone without gimmick because the two wrestlers involved are WWE icons. Two of the best of this generation facing off in a ring should be good enough. But we get a Hell in a Cell Match, a cute name for a cage match. We get the End of an Era storyline, Undertaker rumored to be retiring after this match no matter what. There’s Undertaker putting his 19-0 Wrestlemania record on the line. And we even have a guest referree: Shawn Michaels, who is apparently best friends with HHH. That alone brings the legitimacy of this match into question. Add to it the fact that Undertaker is the one who ended Shawn Michaels’ wrestling career….see how easy it is to get sucked into the soap opera story lines?
The Undertaker wins the match, but I’d rather talk about the fans. If there’s one thing I know about wrestling fans, it’s that they are level-headed. They’re not ones to exaggerate or overreact. So when I check twitter after this match and see people tweeting things like, “I just stood up and clapped in my living room, most amazing match ever,” or, “tonight might be the most important night in sports history,” I realize I must be watching something special, even if I can’t see it myself.
**To waste time in between matches, we all give serious thought to what style of uniform you’d wear to wrestle in (a full spandex suit, the one-piece overall spandex, or the Andre the Giant single shoulder strap look). If you don’t immediately choose Andre the Giant, Rmurdera doesn’t want you reading his blog anymore.
Match 6: CM Punk vs Chris Jericho – WWE Title
Things we learn during this match:
-The “CM” in CM Punk stands for Cookie Master because as the man himself puts it, “I was a fat little kid that always ate cookies.” (Rmurdera wanted to chime in on this one: “So? You don’t see me calling myself CME Murdera do you? The “CME” stands for Cadbury Mini-Eggs because I’m a fat adult that always eats mini-eggs.”)
-Andy Garcia is the type of celebrity that sits front row at a wrestling event
-CM Punk is straight edge
-He can have caffeine
-But he can’t have casual sex
-My brother thinks this means he’s only allowed to have sex with a Tuxedo on
Match 7: The Rock vs John Cena – No Gimmick!
Oh, I see. The gimmick is that we have to sit through P Diddy introducing some band who then plays music for six minutes before the wrestlers are actually announced. The girls’ wish doesn’t come true when it turns out P Diddy is not at Wrestlemania to introduce Adele, but his appearance legitimizes the entire event in their minds.
While wrestling fans have to constantly endure the lengthy introductions and long, slow walks to the ring by the wrestlers, The Rock has taken this to a new level. Apparently he thinks the longer it takes him to enter, the more time his face will be the main thing we see on TV. And maybe seeing his face will condition us to want to go see Tooth Fairy 2: The Girl Who Extracted Her Own Wisdom Teeth.
It’s not important who won the match; it’s just important that this travesty of a sporting event is over. Two years in a row now I’ve said I’m not ordering this event again. But I’ll let one of the guys from “the most important wrestling match in the history of the world” decide my fate. If Undertaker comes back to defend his 20-0 record, I’ll pay to see it. Maybe Rmurdera & I will even pay to attend the event live (Editor’s note: trust me, we won’t).