I don’t know why, but I recently found myself at the home of Jess “Total Package” Burch, witnessing a major wrestling match in the OWF (Our Wrestling Federation). This is basically a group of high school kids who have somehow gotten it into their heads that what they should be doing with their spare time is pretending to be professional wrestlers, and I couldn’t agree more.
According to Craig “British Bulldog” Bates, who was my major source for this story because he is the only one whose phone number I had, he and several others guys have been wrestling in Jess’s living room for a couple years. They finally had to quit, though, when Joe “Nature Boy” Zupan somehow managed to pick up my brother, Jeff “The Big Guy Who Weighs, What, 260, 270 Pounds?” Snider, and then, inevitably, drop him, creating a substantial hole in the Burch family’s floor. I am guessing that this was when Jess’s mother told the boys to go play outside.
So, with a “never-say-die, the-show-must-go-on” kind of attitude, the wrestlers all teamed up and beat the holy crud out of Jeff. Ha ha! I am only kidding, of course. Actually, what they did was to go and build an actual wrestling ring in Jess’s yard. I’m serious. They somehow collected all the necessary lumber, poles, padding, and ropes and construced a fully-functional, full-sized wrestling ring. It is definitely a sight to behold, and I imagine Jess’s mother will think twice before she tells someone to go play outside again, since the last time she said that resulted in a huge wrestling ring being constructed in her front yard.
On July 31, the OWF’s new wrestling ring made its first public appearance, and about 20 spectators were on hand to watch, most of them family members of the wrestlers, but with the occasional demented groupie thrown in for good measure.
There were a total of five regular matches, including one tag team. These matches featured wrestlers with such names as Wess “Hitman” Ricke, David “Butterfly” Butterfield, Nathan “Mr. Perfect” Bunten (I would mention that as a name, “Nathan Bunten” is pretty funny in itself, without adding “Mr. Perfect,” but that would be a cheap shot), and Shane “The Fat Boy” Burch. Shane is 10 years old and weighs maybe 80 pounds. His name, “The Fat Boy,” is an example of what we in the humor business call “irony.”
Most of the wrestlers had electrical tape wrapped around their wrists. There was no obvious reason for this, but, then doing things for no apparent reason seems to be a recurring motif with these guys. (Someone told me the electrical tape was to make the wrestlers look better, and I am not one to argue, even when someone tells me something stupid like that.)
The final match was the Main Event, between Jess and Joe. This was an “Iron Man” event, meaning that it was to last 20 minutes, and whoever had the most pins in that time would win. Joe was defending his title, and he had the words “Simply Ravishing” written on the buttocks of his shorts. Again, I am not one to argue, because Joe wound up narrowly defeating Jess, four pins to three, or perhaps five to four. I neglected to write it down. Anyway, Joe won, and it was all over.
The OWF’s big Summer Slam is scheduled for August 28. If you would like more information on the OWF, or if you would just like to make anonymous, threatening phone calls to Jess Burch, call him at [his phone number appeared here, but he probably doesn’t want it plastered all over the Internet]. See you there.
(Eric D. Snider is a college student living at home in Lake Elsinore for the summer. He plans to be a professional wrestler when he graduates.)
This hearkens back to the old Lake Elsinore News days, and the Daily Herald days, when I would just write about my friends. The difference here was that for once my friends had actually done something newsworthy by constructing an actual wrestling ring and using it for purposes of wrestling.
I myself had the extreme privilege of wrestling in that ring. Just days before leaving on my mission for the LDS Church, I appeared as "Irwin R. Snider" (there was an "Irwin R. Shyster" in the WWF at that time), or "I.R.S." for short. I was dressed basically in a shirt and tie and I carried a briefcase, which I vaguely recall using to beat on my opponent, who was Joe Zupan. I think. It could have been Jess. All I remember is that we choreographed the whole thing very carefully, just like in professional wrestling, and that within about 30 seconds, I was completely out of breath and near the point of vomiting. You have to be in good physical shape to be a wrestler, and I was not.
This column contains several statements implying that I am not a very good journalist. I'm not sure how funny this is.