It doesn’t matter what decade you come from – growing up is a challenge. As young boys we were lectured by every commercial, pop song, teacher, each telling us the most important lesson in life – it’s time to be a man.
We read coming-of-age novels until I was Holden Caulfield and you were Brian Robeson. When that didn’t work, we turned to music and learned that we “gotta have faith”, despite the fact that “every rose has its thorns.”
[pullquote quote=”I’ve been everywhere from soaring with the eagles to slithering with the snakes.” credit=”Macho Man”]
And too many people continued to tell us who and what to be. And we tried desperately to find the way to these fantasy lands undiscovered. And we were lost in a sea of reactionaries.
Luckily, as a child of the 80’s, we had a secret weapon: television. It was our guide, mentor, reporter, but most importantly, our teleporter.
And on our journey, there was no better captain than Macho Man Randy Savage.
May 20, 2011
“Macho Man Randy Savage, one of the greatest wrestlers of all-time, died today in a car accident in Tampa, Florida… the wrestling legend suffered a heart attack while he was behind the wheel around 10 AM … and lost control of his vehicle.
Savage was driving his 2009 Jeep Wrangler when he veered across a concrete median … through oncoming traffic … and “collided head-on with a tree.”
Savage was transported to Largo Medical center, where he died from his injuries.
Savage’s wife, Lynn, survived the collision with “minor injuries.” Cops say alcohol was NOT a factor. Randy and Lynn were both wearing their seatbelts at the time of the accident.
Remember those Wrestling Buddies?
They were the best. As a kid, I had two – Macho Man Randy Savage and Hulk Hogan. On any summer day, I’d tear down last night’s fort in order to rebuild the couch cushions as a wrestling ring. I don’t remember who won those wrestling matches, but I do remember telling my little brother he wasn’t big enough to play.
Hindsight’s 20/20, and I was being unfair. After all, I had two wrestling buddies and my brother had none. But it didn’t matter – wrestling was for men, not little babies. If he wanted to get in the ring, he had to find his own pillowy substitute.
One day, my little brother burst into my room and challenged me to Wrestlemania’s Main Event. How, in just one afternoon spent at Toys R Us, was this boy ready to brawl Macho Man and me?
As I grabbed my buddy and rushed to the ring, my mind raced. Who will Dougie choose? ULTIMATE WARRIOR? JAKE THE SNAKE? The incredibly rare HOLLYWOOD HULK?
No, he chose this guy. I stopped. It was obvious he didn’t understand the gravity of a no-holds-barred match. I mean, a caveman?! I knew I had to beat him to prove he wasn’t man enough to participate in grownup affairs.
Then at that moment, I realized my little brother didn’t need to understand. He was just a kid and didn’t need the pressures of adulthood. I suppose I could let my prejudice slide for one night.
We had a great battle that pitted Macho Man’s madness against the madness of a man who did not understand madness. It was an epic battle. Blow for blow, my little brother held his ground. The match stretched on into the night until, in one final punch, Dougie’s doppelgänger pinned Macho Man for the count.
Against all odds, Caveman Carl won the belt. My little brother tasted victory, and for just one moment he knew what it was like to be man. By that time, dinner was ready and we had to wash up.
I went back upstairs and dropped Macho Man back into my toy chest. Before sealing him away for the evening, I thanked him for marking the beginning of my little brother’s journey into manhood.