Sitting in this dressing room, getting ready for the final match of my career, I’m thinking about everything; hell, everyone who got me here. Friends, family, the ones I lost and made along the way. The girls I hurt – not that I hit them or nothing, I ain’t like that. They just got hurt ‘cause it always came first. Priority numero uno. That’s what coach says anyway. The fact that he’s my dad adds a little more weight to it, but you know what I’m saying. Man, those long hours training, sleeping on the road, getting bused from town to town. It ain’t an easy life. I don’t wish it on nobody. But still, to hear that crowd go wild when I step out’ta the gate, I’m telling you – there ain’t nothing like it.
You know, if it hadn’t been for Jenkin’s pier, I prob’ly never would of started. That’s where my brother first showed me the ropes, taught me how to hit. That’s where my first match took place. Thinking about it now, maybe it wasn’t such a good thing after all. All the abuse this body’s taken over the years; the pounding on my joints, the stress on my knees and elbows, the multiple surgeries on my wrists alone, not to mention that damned right ankle that keeps giving out on me… Yeah, this is gonna be my last bout for sure, I promised her this was gonna be it anyway. Sophia, that’s my wife, she worries, she has every right to. I got a family I gotta look out for, and she needs me around. Last thing she needs is a hospital bill crippling her as bad as this sport is crippling me. Nah, I can’t do that to her, wouldn’t be right. This one’s it – finito, done, over. The doc told me to quite a year ago… but it gets in your blood, ya know? The glory, the fame, and I ain’t proud to admit this, but even the violence. It starts out as good clean fun, but then you start to get the itch, and once that itch sets in – there’s no escaping it. It’s like try’na shake a monkey off your back.
Anyway, tonight is it for me. The last go ‘round. She ain’t here, stayed home with the kids. Somehow that seems right. I don’t really want her seeing me go at it one last time. I wanna give it everything I got, bring home that prize money, make her proud – then I can hang ‘em up with no regrets. I know she’ll be watching on TV. Hell, if I know her, she prob’ly bought a ticket for the doc and paid him to sit out there with everybody else, just in case… you know. Aiet, enough stalling, I better get geared up and get out there.
Oh, man – looking at my gear hanging in that locker, I can’t help feeling a little… what’s that word? Nostalgic. Yeah, I’m feeling a little nostalgic as I get dressed one last time. Coach, he pokes his head in and asks if I’m ready to get this show going or what. Man, I tell you, anyone else would of at least looked a little sad, but not him. He’s as eager as our first time out. Laughing, I grab him in a bear hug, give him a fake pop on the head Zilla style, and tell him I’m ready. Let’s do this!
“Folks, I think I can just make him out… Yup, I can see his coach on the right, and his brother flanking him on the left. Here he comes! There’s no mistaking that get-up for anyone other than the champ himself. Will you get a load of those fierce yellow eyes, that green scaly skull-cap, and that ridge of spikes running down his back! This kid is on FIRE!”
On the canvas, the announcer bellows into the mic, “Returning home to ‘Jersey for his final bout in the ring-ging-ging-ging-ging… Let’s give it up for Jaaaaaaake Zzzziii-laahhhh! The Whack-A-Mole Chaaaaaaaampionnnn of the World!”
© Copyright 2013 Nina D’Arcangela. All Rights Reserved.
I’m doing the 2013 Blogging from A to Z Challenge! Pop back everyday but Sunday through the month of April for a new letter prompt to spawn my deranged ramblings! ;}
April 30th, 2013 at 9:34 am
lmao This is hilarious, Nina!! Such a good story…and the more I think of it, the more I believe there should be a Whack-a-Mole Championship (it’d be far more exciting than golf)!!!
The clincher is the garb the champion comes out wearing…right away I flashed back to my glorious youth of watching professional wrestling & all the outrageous costumes…
“Zilla” is a killa!!!! Great story, Nina!! 🙂
April 30th, 2013 at 9:14 pm
LOL – thanks, Joe! Your enthusiasm is great!! I love Godzilla, and am a big boxing and muay thai fan; put them together along with an array of Whack-a-Mole machines, and I think we’ve got ourselves a winner! 😉
April 30th, 2013 at 1:25 pm
I’m waiting for the twist on this thing. funny aren’t you???
Way to end the A to Z whacking moles
someone has to go down fighting
April 30th, 2013 at 9:16 pm
LOL – You know by now that I can never just be ‘ordinary’, that’s too easy 😉 I say we rally the troops and have a Whack-a-Mole Pen of the Damned smack-off! Are you in? Meet ya at Jenkins Peer in Point Pleasant!
May 3rd, 2013 at 6:29 pm
got my mole bait ready…
May 3rd, 2013 at 9:13 pm
Mole bait… I think you’re onto something rather horrific there! 😉
May 3rd, 2013 at 6:30 pm
hope you enjoyed the A to Z challenge. It was great to read you every day – something that we all would enjoy.(hint hint)
May 3rd, 2013 at 9:12 pm
Grant me 3 more hours of daylight (plus an extra two to sleep) and I’m all yours, everyday! LOL 😉
April 30th, 2013 at 1:58 pm
Okay – I knew there was gonna be a twist, just wasn’t sure what it was – Whack a mole – oh excellent
I shall return!
April 30th, 2013 at 9:17 pm
What’s more fun than a good fast game of Whack-a-Mole? LOL 🙂
April 30th, 2013 at 7:00 pm
Oh what a humorous ending to this…Rocky meets the moles…perfect!
April 30th, 2013 at 9:20 pm
Yup, he’s hanging up his whacking sticks for the love of a good woman! LOL 🙂
May 19th, 2013 at 3:36 pm
Hey Nina! I nominated you for The Very Inspiring Blogger award! http://bev-thebevelededge.blogspot.com/2013/05/the-very-inspiring-blogger-award.html#links I hope you’ll accept it and spread the love!
May 20th, 2013 at 11:23 am
Thank you, Beverly! I am shamefully behind on my award posts, but I promise to get to it eventually.
I’m honored, thank you again!! 🙂
May 20th, 2013 at 11:06 am
Hilarious! Totally didn’t see that one coming. I really enjoyed your A-Z short stories. I’m impressed you made it all the way. 🙂
May 20th, 2013 at 11:20 am
Thank you, Jaimie!! Believe it or not, this is based on a friends 12 year old son, and his possible future… They are huge Godzilla fans, thus ‘Zilla’. It was fun to write, and who wouldn’t want to be Whack-A-Mole Champion of the World! LOL 🙂
Getting through 26 pieces of differing creative writing was tough, next year, I think I might cheat and write some of them early!
Thanks again, doll! 😀