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]