A short career in mud wrestling

Published 10:16 pm Wednesday, July 31, 2013

By Frank Roberts

I once wrestled in gobs of black, cold, gooey, sticky, yucky-tasting mud.

Well, it was for a good cause. It was ‘99 and a crowd of about 1,000 Peanut Festers gathered ‘round, cheering us on, but to no avail.

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We lost every match to the professional Chicago Knockers, attractive, husky women who travel the country to entertain and beat up the dumb locals. By the way, their name means they are from Illinois, and they knock you around.

I was teamed with ‘Shy’ Glenn Martin, who was all over the tube selling his wares, his head constantly covered by a paper bag. My manager, Paula Tabor, decided I should go by the very inappropriate name, The Suffolk Hunk.

The other rasslers were Jamie “Backyard Dog” Brown and ‘Howlin’ Herman Bunch, who incurred some injuries. I didn’t stay in the ring long enough to “incur.”

During halftime, the shortest Knocker whispered a wise suggestion, that I should “retire” before I really got bounced.

Bravely, the sufferin’ Suffolkians fought on. We had high hopes for the shy one, since he had wrestled in college. He wound up as battered as the rest of us. He did manage to put one of the Chicago chicks in an airplane spin, but she did not take kindly to that and, later, got him in something like a triple airplane spin.

I was asked if I would wrestle again in this day and age. Only if I could use my cane as a weapon or if they came in the ring bandaged from head to toe.

My personal opponent, a busty blonde who busted my head, literally knocked my poor, wretched, aching body for a loop when she jumped on me.

Before the mismatched match, we had to sign waivers noting that if we were hospitalized it was our own doggone fault for being stupid.

One thing was nice — I had my own groupies. Honest!

One old lady sashayed up front and, prior to the match, whispered to me, “I hope they don’t hurt you.”

I was hoping the same thing. It was a lost hope.

And, that is this week’s ‘dirty’ story. A final note on this: In my youth, I lived three blocks from the Sunnyside Gardens, then one of the country’s foremost wrestling arenas.

___

A little reminiscing. My mom used to drive all over the country, and I was remembering those small, red Burma Shave signs spaced at hundred-yard intervals down the road, six of them, some advertising the product, some with fortune cookie-type sayings. They rhymed, of course, the last one with the name of the cream.

Race little roadsters — fairly fly — you’ll be — used parts — by and by; Hairpin turn — hotrod ditched — lost control — his whiskers — itched; Passed on a hill — lived through — Korea — met a guy — with the same idea — Burma Shave.

During a 60-year career spanning newspapers, radio and television, Frank Roberts has been there and done that. Today, he’s doing it in retirement from North Carolina, but he continues to keep an eye set on Suffolk and an ear cocked on country music. Email him at froberts73@embarqmail.com.