For love or parking

Hollan Holm

It’s official. The match of the century will be going down this Monday at 6:30 p.m in the lobby of the Downing University Center. And no, I’m not talking about the Ali-Foreman “Rumble in the Jungle.”

This Monday, I’m going to bring down the pain on our illustrious president Gary Ransdell at the arm wrestling table.

I know what the five and a half of you that read this column regularly are wondering. Wasn’t Hollan supposed to wrestle Ransdy at the football stadium, and wasn’t that match supposed to take place 12 days from now?

Well, if you’re a math major and have a good memory, you’re right. Those were the date and place that had been offered in the past.

To offer an explanation, I’d like to say that I changed everything around because it’s getting chilly outside and Ransdell is a sissy, but I can’t. Lying is frowned upon in this office.

The change is all due to a scheduling issue. Strangely enough, university presidents – unlike columnists – work for a living. (I am scratching that off my list of career possibilities as I type.)

Last week’s fall break left me plenty of time for introspection about the match. I’ve come to the conclusion that challenging Ransdell has ended my year-and-two-month career in legitimate journalism. The only place I can go from here is replacing Barbara Walters.

But since hosting Oscar specials is not my style, I figured that I should focus on the task at hand, raining down more pain on Ransdell than Hurricane Lilly.

I’ve learned one thing from cringing at the St. Louicide of my winless Rams; talent isn’t everything. I need to train for this.

The first key to my training regiment is salad. I figure that by pairing it with a variety of health foods, such as potato chips and cheese fries, I’ll be down to a respectable weight. Getting the “free ice cream hookup” from my friend in the food service industry has helped the cause, as well.

Building up a sizable girth is nothing without a hefty wrasslin’ arm. To build this, I’ve been working my Grip-Master with religious furor. It comes along with me wherever I go, and the 15 minutes between my classes is ample time for an exhausting forearm workout.

My originally toothpick-sized left arm now resembles a pregnant popsicle stick, thanks to quality time with BEGINITALmyENDITAL Grip-Master.

I never would have thought 1,000 daily repetitions with that $10 black and red spring-loaded hand grip I bought at Wal-Mart would do so much for me.

A champion is not complete without a good education. For mine, I chose the 1985 arm wrestling movie “Over the Top,” starring ever-so-sly Sylvester Stallone.

It was a veritable gold mine of arm wrestling strategies. Apparently, in order to be the best, I must always turn a trucker-style polyester baseball cap backwards before starting a match, wear overalls, drive a big rig at high speeds and constantly lift weights. I took careful note of that last tip as I popped another Butterfinger in my mouth like a Tic-Tac.

So here I am, Ransdy; over-confident and under-prepared. I’ll see you Monday night.

Picks O’ the Week

Help some fellow WKU students out and go to the “The American Dream” sketch comedy revue tonight at the Russell Miller Theater in the fine arts center. The show, put on by a troupe of Western students and alumni, is called The Sunshine Express and starts at 8 p.m. It’ll set you back $2. (Note to readers: these guys contacted me three times on Tuesday about getting in the sacred Superpicks, so do them and me a favor and go.)

In yet another shameless stab at self-promotion, Hollan Holm will be arm-wrestling WKU President Gary Ransdell Monday night at 6:30 p.m. in the DUC lobby. If Hollan wins, he gets Ransdell’s parking spaces for one week. If he loses, Hollan must walk Randsdell’s dog Topper for a week. The cost of the event is free, but if you want to hand Hollan cash, that’s just peachy.

What’s Hollan Holm’s prediction for the fight? Prediction … PAIN!!! Why not e-mail him at [email protected]?

Sweet, sweet taste of success

President Ransdell turned down my offer of a matching $3 bright blue immitation velvet robe from the local Goodwill to wear during our Monday night showdown.

That was his second mistake.

His first mistake was saying he’d even show up.

After all, no one could beat Hollan ‘Hustlin’ Holm in a contest of pure physical prowess. Well, unless, they’re 6-foot-11 and 350-pounds.

To quote the renowned philosopher Adam Sandler, “I am the winner!”

When my opponent appeared in Downing University Center, the look on my face was considered by some spectators to be a combination of bugged eyes and a dropped jaw.

The Big G had brought his “A” game, a sling and a mountain of man.

Ransdy, sporting a red warm-up suit and a sling, tried to convince me he hurt his arm training for our showdown. his replacement – 6-foot-11, 350-pound men’s basketball center Nigel Dixon (a.k.a. Big Jelly).

Dixon, who in no way resembled the British, monocle-wearing butler image I get when I hear his first name, put his arm around me. As he popped the knuckles of his wookie paw, I frantically searched the crowd for someone big enough to take him.

The chances of finding my savior were as high as my chances of survival if Mr. Jelly flexed a bicep within three feet of my head.

After clowning our way through a pre-fight interview, Ransdy and I took our places at the top of the spiral staircases in DUC.

With “Eye of the Tiger” blaring from a swiped boom box, “Scary Gary” – surrounded by Dixon – ran through the spectators on the stairs to his corner of the round wrasslin’ table.

As for me, “The People’s Champion,” I walked down the stairs, giving high fives to dozens of spectators. I was conscious that if I tripped I might as well concede the fight from shame.

Big Red put his four fingers on Ransdy’s hand and mine. I gazed into his blank eyes, thankful that while he could swallow small children in a single gulp, his lack of vocal cords would never allow him to mention the free dry-cleaning gift certificates I slipped him before the match.

He counted to three.

The match of my lifetime began with one realization – Ransdell is not the prepubescent girl I regularly call him behind his back.

Ransdell had the match in his grasp for a fraction of a second. My hand teetered from a 90 degree angle with the table to 89.5 degrees.

He made my four-day training binge look like a freshman seminar class – useless.

I tallied the number of friends who would abandon me if I lost … all of them.

But then, I took the match over the top.

My adrenaline surging, I ground Ransdy’s arm down to the table, summoning the bad acting karma of Sylvester Stallone.

Ransdy’s bones didn’t snap on the table. His knuckles didn’t shatter. It ended like the thick lipstick and saliva kiss I get from distant relatives at family reunions. Quick and a little embarassing.

It was over. I won a roaring crowd and presidential parking spaces.

I should have paid more attention to the wager. After all, his spots are all parallel.

As I reached mid-week, I realized I never learned how to parallel park.

Picks O’ the Week

Check out the footage of the armwrestling match at www.wkuherald.com.

Be sure t-to h-haul your empty w-wallet and ear plugs to N-Nite Class to-m-m-m-morrow n-night at 9 p.m. The diction gurus of “Stutterbox” will headline with the punctuation masters of “Sin. In. Stereo” and the spelling stars of “Pronoia.” It’s free, think of all the money you’ll save and hearing you’ll lose.

Not pleased, steal $8 from an unwitting friend and head to the Cobalt Club, later that night. The $8 will get you all you care to drink. Did I mention Cobalt Club has two VIP rooms? You can hang out with all two of Bowling Green’s jet set.

It’s a Sicilian message. It means Hollan Holm sleeps with the fishes. Drop him a line at [email protected]