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8/13/21 | 30/52

Because of the delays and the staggered schedule, the winter Olympics will be here in 6 months. I'm already looking forward to it.

I'm always interested in thoughtful process and Dylan Cale Jones' Skate and Restore handmade boards and zines are a perfect example of that. Unfortunately I ride a tank of a board so I can't ride one of his creations but seeing his work sent me off in search of other small batch board makers. There's a lot of people doing interesting, lovingly obsessive, work out there. Let them inspire you as you set out to make the most of this beautiful day.


the bruiser

As I remember it, and I may be wrong, we started watching after hearing about it from a friend. After that every Sunday morning we would faithfully turn the channel knobs to 26 or 13 to locate a static-hazed wrestling broadcast. As I remember it, and I may be wrong, the ring was filmed from a far off balcony making the combatants look like tiny squirrels zig-zagging off the ropes  and launching off the turnbuckles. The announcers did most of the heavy lifting, urgently and with full voice breaking down every punishing signature maneuver. They let us know who was cheating and who deserved our respect and admiration. They were especially unkind to the hardworking referees who they seemed to believe weren't up to the job. As I remember it, and I may be wrong, all of the commercials were for a car dealer who also owned the wrestling league and the arena. The commercials featured wrestlers, sometimes feuding as they sold Buicks and Dodges, reminding you that tickets were still available for the next match and that it would featured a battle for the belt. As I remember it there was a champion named Dick the Bruiser.

Once we had observed and processed the basic moves we moved on to trying them with our friends and siblings. Beds could be made into rings. Lakes and pools were especially good for throwing and flipping and body slams, the water acting as a natural cushion. Sometimes you would catch the surface just right and your back would turn bright red as if slapped by a giant open hand. At the time I didn't know it but we were following the rules of the ring. We observed the unspoken agreement that we would play as hard and roughly as we could but no one should be hurt because if anyone really got hurt then we wouldn't be able to wrestle anymore. This agreement seemed to extend to adults and their observation and supervision of wreslting children. Later, when we had moved on to karate films, we were allowed to play with nunchucks and throwing stars and as long no bones were broken, bruises remained below the neck and eyeball still functioned, the game of death was allowed to continue.

Eventually a rocket was lit and wrestling screamed its way to the top of the charts. Hulkamania and cartoons and action figures and videogames kept the discussion loud and lively. I remember watching the first Wrestlemania at my friend Musser's house. He was put together like a stack of blocks and would go on to excel at headgear and singlet wrestling as well as football. We drank pop and ate Domino's pizza and jumped off the couch. I don't remember who won. As wrestling continued to gain popularity my interest drifted to other things. It was always easy to reflexively dismiss it as "Fake." This was also a time when wrestling was almost 100% male and for a young man who was suddenly very interested in ladies this was easy to quickly set aside.

A few years ago my friend Nick, a true blue wrestling enthusiast, took me to see a local show. This world was a complete mystery to me but I had the best time and I left laughing with a huge smile. Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of things I'd change. The chairs are uncomfortable. There are too many matches. The early matches aren't as good. But I know the wrestlers starting out need to get time out there and all of these people are really doing it for the love. It's like any show at the Empty Bottle. The headliner is going to be great. Some of the opening bands are doing some interesting stuff. One of the bands stinks and plays for too long. Once you give yourself over to the chants and the cheering and the taunts seeing a wrestling show can be an unforgettable event. You may see someone jump from a balcony or the fight might spill into the audience causing beers to spill and chairs to topple. The one thing I can guarantee you'll see a whirlwind of astoundingly risky stunts concluding with someone pinned on the mat. The referee will slap his hand down, yelling "one........." then another slap, "two................." and a kickout. The wrestler will be unpinned. The battle will resume. The fun will continue.


Friend of the Week

This week's friend was sent in by Zack who is visiting his former home state, Texas. I don't know when he comes back but hopefully soon so we can go skate. "Onyx. More energy than any other dog I know. He's a popular, fun guy. Enjoys playing with friends and rolling around in the dirt."

If you would like your best animal associate to be featured email me 3 pictures of them and I will do my best to try and capture their essence.

One afternoon during the mid-2000s fro-yo craze we were at a self-service frozen yogurt spot where you could fill up a cup with all the different flavors you wanted and then top it with heaping spoonfuls of cereal and gummi bears and chocolate chips and nuts. Once you finished putting together your perfect concoction they would weigh it, charge you appropriately and send you on your way. You would try your best to eat it before it melted into soup. While we were spooning on M & Ms and crushed peanuts a man walked in, went to the self service machine, and filled up a Nalgene bottle with frozen yogurt. Once the giant bottle was full, he spun the cap on and walked out. No one made a fuss or even tried to stop him. I was certainly too bewildered to process what was happening until moments later. The perfect crime? Sometimes I still think about what happened after he left. Did he eat all the yogurt before it melted? Did he have a special long spoon that could get to the bottom on the Nalgene container? Would he do this again? Did he do it all the time? Did he really like frozen yogurt that much?

If you ever miss an email or you see that it's Friday and no email has been delivered, you can always check out the archive link on the Serial Dispatch instagram. If you know anyone who might enjoy this weekly special delivery send them in that direction.


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