The Prater's Creek Gazette
" THE UPSTATE'S SHINING COMMUNITY "
12th Issue Winter 2006
The Hillbilly Doppler reports: Partly rowdy with a 100% chance of Raisin Cain.
Deck The Halls With Holy Headlocks and Half Nelsons and Mistletoe Midget Mat Madness
By Irving O. Tarbox
SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE
As a lifelong sports fan, and as editor of this newspaper, I have attended thousands of sporting events. I was down in Columbia, SC, at the Clemson-USC football game, in November of 1977, to see Jerry Butler make “The Catch”. I have participated in, and reported on, hundreds of horseshoe and fishing tournaments. I witnessed a Conclave consisting of log rolling and speed wood chopping. I have covered 14 Prater’s Creek Cow Patty Throwing contests. I have witnessed many beer drinking contests. But I have never seen any sporting event like the First Annual Pickens County Christmas Wrestling Package.
After Col. Bob Clearmountain‘s letter to the editor in the last issue of the Gazette, Col. Bob invited me to the wrestling matches held over in Easley at the high school gym. Now personally, I don’t think professional wrestling is a real sport, or it hasn’t been since the days of Black Jack Mulligan and Ric Flair’s legendary partnership. But, in the spirit of fair journalism, I took Col. Bob up on his offer and attended.
I settled into my ringside seat, with a giant Coke and some boiled peanuts, to watch the evening’s first bout. There were 25 midgets, dressed like elves, in the ring in a “Battle Midget Royale”. They fought, kicked and gouged until only one midget was left standing. “Mike the Mighty Mite” took home the spoils, a large stocking stuffed with toys. “Mike the Mighty Mite” then angrily stomped the contents of the stocking to bits. Even the Choo-Choo train.
Then, after a short intermission, the main match was began. A male and female wrestler, dressed like Mary and Joseph, entered the gym riding a camel. On another camel were the three Wise Men. The crowd was going wild, cheering their heroes on, when, suddenly, the cheers turned to boos as their opponents entered the ring to the sounds of ud, danoon, nay, and tablah driven Iraqi folk music. There was a wrestler in an Osama Bin Laden mask waving a book. But it wasn’t the Koran, it was a bootleg copy of “If I Did It”. Next in the ring was Donald Rumsfeld, or it could have been a wrestler in a Rumsfeld mask, I’m not sure. He was yelling “We can’t cut and run! We can’t cut and run!” Then came fallen House of Representative member Mark Foley into the ring waving at a troop of Boy Scouts in the audience. Joining them was a lawyer from the ACLU shouting, “Happy Holidays everybody!!
During the intermission between the midget match and the main event, I had stepped outside the gymnasium to get some fresh air and a smoke. There were a few local men passing a Mason jar around and I poured a bit, well a good bit, into what was left of my soft drink. So the rest of the night is a bit blurry to me, but I do remember one of the Wise Men throwing a handful of myrrh into Bin Laden’s face, temporarily blinding the turbaned piece of crap, and then Joseph pinning the scoundrel for the victory.
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