Saturday, May 9, 2015

Full Excerpt: Monday Nights

I released my first ebook "B-Sides: Rarities and Unreleased Works, vol. 01" back in December of 2013. For those unfamiliar, I purchased a new computer in the summer of 2013 and began going through the old one to see what pictures and stuff I wanted to save. Without realizing it, I had accumulated a lot of written content; stuff I would either not finish or stuff that I never did anything with. 

I looked around at it and realized that a lot of that stuff was better than I thought it was originally. So, like a musician going through his back catalog, I put together a book and called it my "B-Sides." There's one original piece I wrote for the book, some poetry I wrote back in high school, and a collection of other non-fiction and fiction I originally did nothing with.

Reviews have been favorable. One girl did tell me I sounded "whiney" throughout a lot of it. But, some of those stories aren't happy and didn't come from the best periods of my life. So, there's that warning about the tone. But, some of it is happy.

Below is an article that I wrote for a wrestling blog in 2011. The blog was written by my friend Phil, a reporter for the Poughkeepsie Journal. The blog hasn't been updated since the end of 2014, but at one point it was pretty big. Phil is a journalist, so he had credentials to get interviews with wrestlers and do a lot of really cool stuff.

In 2011, Phil noted that his "real job" was getting in the way of his wrestling blogging, which was really just something he did on the side. He asked for a couple contributors. I and one other girl began writing for him. I would review WWE Monday Night Raw and occasionally write some other features. Here's a sampling of some of my work:

Top 10 Royal Rumbles

Looking at Kevin Nash's WWE run

Looking at the new WWE YouTube channel

I did stuff like that and also reviewed Monday Night Raw. Around that time, I got a new job. I had worked at Pizza Hut for years and was a member of management; I was "part of the team," so to speak. So, that's why it really shocked a lot of people when I put in my notice and left. It wasn't fun anymore, so I got out. 

I found a new job and things were going well. With one small problem... I had to work on Monday night! I couldn't review the wrestling show. So, I instead decided to write an article about how weird it is being a wrestling fan and "outing yourself" to those around you.

It was cool; I liked it. Then I got fired from that job before I could submit the article. I was sad about losing my job and I felt weird about submitting an article that mentioned a job I didn't have anymore. So, I didn't turn it in. It sat on my computer for nearly two years until I decided to put it in my book.

Here it is below. It's written to a wrestling audience, so some might not understand the joke at the end. But, the rest of the article should be readable to a non-wrestling fan; it's about how awkward I feel when telling people I like wrestling.

* * * 

Monday Nights, 2011

I started a new job recently. After working at the previous one for nearly six years, I felt like it was time for a change. The new job is fun; a pretty relaxed atmosphere. There's just one small problem… 

I had to work Monday night! 

It wasn't originally like that, and I felt like I was getting pretty lucky in having my wrestling-viewing schedule mesh well with my work schedule. But, I felt a sense of dread when my boss said to me, "I had to change the schedule around. Take a look at it." I walked over and checked it out. Yep. Working Monday night. 

Most people in my situation simply grow up and grow out of wrestling. For them, it's time to get a job and you don’t have time for that wrestling show you watched as a kid. Of course, that wasn't the case for me, as I'm presently going on 20-plus years of wrestling fandom. Ever since I saw Undertaker lock the Ultimate Warrior in a casket, I was hooked. 

With my previous job, working at the same place for a long time, you have a little bit more pull in certain areas. Back in 2006, I was asked if I had any days that I didn't want to work. I thought about it briefly and hoped I wouldn't be asked to explain myself as I said, "I like to have my Monday nights free." 

I wasn't asked to explain, and thus began my multi-year streak of not working on Mondays. 

If you stay at any place long enough, you eventually become friends with your coworkers. That was the case with me. One day a friend was looking at the schedule and he asked me why I never worked on Mondays. I thought about it for a second, wondering how to address this. I decided to go for it and be honest. 

"I asked for Mondays off so I can watch wrestling."

He looks at me blankly for a second. 


I'm getting a little nervous. 

"Yeah, wrestling. Monday Night Raw. WWE."  

My friend looks over at another group of people. 

"Did you hear this? Chris asks for Monday off so he can watch wrestling!"

And that's the story of how I became "that wrestling guy" at work. Some people who used to be wrestling fans began asking me about the current state of WWE, and also questions about the past. It was at this point that they realized I was pretty much a walking encyclopedia on wrestling information. Then I became the equivalent of a party game for my friends. "Ask him anything about wrestling! He knows everything!" 

I feel like I'm getting fairly acclimated into my new workplace and my new responsibilities. We're getting close to the point in time when I can look at my boss and meekly say to her, "You know, if it’s not too big of an issue, I would prefer if it would be possible to be able to have Mondays off. If it's not too big of a deal."

You know, stand up to her. Like a man (a Real Man’s Man, like William Regal). Hopefully she doesn't ask me why I need that day off...

* * *

And, there's that. Nothing special, but I think it's kind of cute and makes fun of myself a little bit without making fun of wrestling itself. 

Volume 02 of "B-Sides" is chugging along. I'll update everybody about that as soon as I have some new information (aka I'm lazy).


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