Hardcore Legend


“And Foley puts Konkle through the Spanish Announce table with a Double Arm DDT!” I heard JR’s play-by-play of the wrestling match that I was sure to have with Mick Foley after our show at the Improv.  “For most people, he’ll take a picture. But if I do really well tonight,” I thought.  “Maybe he’ll break out the bag of thumbtacks.”

My car had drifted onto the shoulder of the highway and the rumble strips on 376 woke me from my day dreams.  I had been inside and outside my head all day.  The Wednesday night show had been sold out for the better part of a month.  This was my WrestleMania.  The Grand Daddy of them all.

Mick Foley is one of those people who is so engrained in the fabric of my childhood, that when I saw him in person, I thought I would swoon.  My brain wouldn’t be able to conjugate the TV personality with the living human.  My left hand would reach up to my forehead, palm out.  My other hand would drop a lacy kerchief as I collapsed to the floor.  Deep breaths, Jeff.

I arrived at the Improv and was greeted by Dom, who runs the sound and lighting.

“Is he back there?” I asked, pointing to the tiny green room.

“Oh yeah,” he said with a smirk.  He could see me hyperventilating.

I walked through the packed house to the green room door and gave a mousey knock before entering.  And there in his stained sweatpants and Santa Claus shirt, was the hardcore legend.  I introduced myself and like any MC asked for how he’d like to be brought up to the stage.

“Just say that I was the 3 time WWE World Heavyweight Champion, I’m in the WWE Hall of Fame…and I think that’s it,” he said. Simple enough.  I started to close the door.  The show was starting in 5 minutes.

“Wait, actually do you want a cheap pop  from the crowd?” he asked.  I don’t know much but when Mick Foley sees an opportunity for a pop, I’ll take it.

“You can say that I learned how to wrestle here in Pittsburgh.  And they’ll go nuts.”

“Ok, sweet!” I started to close the door.

“Wait, wait.  Instead of saying ‘here in Pittsburgh’ say ‘here (pause) right here in Pittsburgh!’  That will get them going.”

“‘Here…right here in Pittsburgh.’  Got it,” I said as I turned to start the show.

“Wait, wait, wait.  Let’s strategize here.  What if I bring you back up on stage and we play it off like I’m mad at you for stealing my cheap pop?  Then I can dress you down and they’ll love it.  That will get us some heat.”

I started realizing what was happening.  I was about to job to Mick Foley in order to get him over with the crowd.  And that’s basically all I could ask for out of life.  I know I’m breaking kayfabe right now, but it’s too good not to mention.*

I went up and did my set, which went well and brought Mick up the way we discussed.  I handed the microphone to him and he was already grumbling at me.  I played it off like I was confused and sorry.  He started his set and called me back onto stage.

“The one thing you’ll need to learn from working with me is that you never, ever steal my cheap pop,” he said.  The crowd was bought into the work.  Some people were concerned that I was about to get reamed out.  “What’s your name again?” he asked.

“It’s Je–“

“It doesn’t matter what your name is!” he yelled and the place went bananas.  “Well, I’ll say this.  The undercard isn’t supposed to upstage the main event.  But you set the tone and you did a nice job.”

I walked off stage and people were high-fiving me.  I was high-fiving myself.  That moment was one of the highlights of my comedy career.  One of my childhood idols paid me a very sincere compliment.  He likes me!

Now where are those thumbtacks?

* That sentence might not make any sense for normal, functioning non-obsessive wrestling fans.

A Day in the Life: Brad Pitt


“I know it’s in here somewhere.”  Brad Pitt rummaged around in the center console of his Hybrind Lincoln Navigator.  His fingers weaved through tangled GPS cords, a baggie filled with quarters, and container of Maalox.  The cashier at the window chewed her gum impatiently and looked at the growing line of cars.

The Academy-Award winning actor could not see into the deep cavern of the console.  He leaned over to get a better angle of attack.  “Damn seatbelt,” he muttered to himself.

“Sir, do you have any change that you could maybe use?” the cashier asked.  “It’s only $1.79.”

“No, I have it here, just hold on a sec.”  Everyone is always in some damn big rush,  he thought.  His fingers formed a pincer and probed around the outer-edges.  He felt a stiff, flat object pressed against the side.  He picked it cleanly off of the wall and pulled it out of the darkness.

“Gift card!” he exclaimed, handing it over to the girl.  She gave him his small, regular coffee and swiped the card through the register.

“You have $1.42 on the card.  Do you have $.37?”

“Abso-tutely,” the 50-year old humanitarian replied.  He reached in his toll baggie and produced two shiny quarters. Ooh, he thought.  Maine!  I might not have that one.

At the detriment to his collection, he handed the girl the $.50.

“$.13 is your change.  Have a great day.”

Brad Pitt pulled away from the window and into an open parking space at the McDonald’s.  He liked to take a few sips before getting on the highway.

Pens Announce Off-Season Goal: Find Suitable Center for Jussi Jokinen

(Pittsburgh, PA)  In the wake of last night’s series loss to the New York Rangers, the Pittsburgh Penguins are already in re-building mode.   The topic in team meetings early this morning was how to obtain a remotely competent Centerman for team MVP, Jussi Jokinen.  Jokinen, who was traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins from Carolina in exchange for a conditional 6th or 7th round pick, led the team in Playoff point production with 7 goals and 3 assists.  Easily the team’s best player and most important asset, the Penguins have not only committed to keeping the Finnish winger but to find him a Center that can actually do something with the puck.

During the meeting, discussions were also had on potentially making Brian Gibbons the new General Manager.

A Metaphor for the Hospital Billing Process

I enter a local Burger King with pangs of hunger stabbing my stomach.  Someone told me that I just had to go here.  I wait in line.  A cashier speaks, “Can I help you?”

“Yes,” I answer.  “By God, I’m here for help.  I’m very hungry.”  I scan the register for a menu.  “I’m not sure what to order.”

“You don’t know what you want.  We’ll take care of that,” says the cashier.  “We’re going to give you a Whopper.  That will probably do the trick.”

“How much does a Whopper cost?”

“Hard to say really.  We really think you need it though.”

There are stabs in my stomach.  They make a Whopper for me and I eat it.  The pangs of hunger slide away.

Two months and seven days later I get a letter from Burger King.  Enclosed is an invoice for $292.38.  Subtitle – Whopper.

I call Burger King.  “Yes, hello.  You cared for me recently.  I see there is a large amount of money I owe you?”

“Yes that’s right,” says the voice.  “You consumed our product.”

“But if I knew the price, I would have never eaten it.”

“We have prices available.  But we prefer not to share them with you.”

“I’m not paying that much for a Whopper.  It’s just a hunk of meat.”

“Sir, the prices for meat are not set by Burger King.  You’ll need to call the person in charge of meat and talk to them.”

“What is their number?”

“No one knows.  There is no number.”

“How can I call an entity that does not exist?”

“You cannot do that.  It is impossible.”

“I see.”

“Unfortunately, the product has already been consumed,” the voice says.  “Unless you’d like to file bankruptcy?”

“No,” I reply.  “I don’t think that will be necessary.  I’ll just give you the money because I am hopeless and alone.”

“Thank you.  Your next scheduled visit to Burger King is in 2 months.  We will give you French Fries then.”

“I would like to cancel that appointment.”

“We need 7 months notice.  By cancelling now you will incur a fee of $412.31.”

“Very well.”