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Don't Mess With the Ballpoint Pen
Steve Rushin
March 15, 2004
In the 25 years since I first saw Adrian Adonis struck, as he entered the ring, by a potato thrown from the upper bowl of the St. Paul Civic Center, I've had the same high regard for professional wrestlers (who put up with pain and indignity with equal aplomb) as I have for my brother Tom (who can still throw an uncooked potato 300 feet on the fly).
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March 15, 2004

Don't Mess With The Ballpoint Pen

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In professional wrestling the space just offstage—behind a curtain, at the top of a steel ramp—is called Gorilla Position, in homage to grand-entrance-making Gorilla Monsoon. A wrestler in Gorilla Position, like a skier in the chute at Kitzb�hel, is uneasily awaiting his cue before being belched out into a raging arena. "When you hear that music," says Chris (Y2J) Jericho, the son of former New York Ranger Ted Irvine, "you know it's time to make the donuts."

At the moment Vince McMahon is in Gorilla Position. When he enters the arena, 10,000 voices chant a seven-letter word that sounds vaguely like casserole. "You call this Southern hospitality?" McMahon says to his paying customers. "You people are vile."

For an instant I'm allowed to stand in Gorilla Position and entertain the notion of wrestling as the Ballpoint. I briefly envision tag-teaming with my brother, who has become, in my reverie, an Irish heel called Potatoes O'Gratin.

Through the curtain the crowd is baying. "We get all kinds," says Triple H, who has met the Sultan of Brunei and the Saudi royal family. "Those who've dined with kings and queens and those who dine on pork and beans." It's intoxicating, standing in Gorilla Position, with Ric Flair and Sgt. Slaughter waiting in the wings. "Cue the music!" I want to shout. "It's time to make the donuts!" Instead, I take a seat in the stands. It's time, I've decided, to eat the donuts.

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