"Andrea, you gotta talk nicer than that if wanna man," my mother interrupted. My mom, Zacharena Brocolij Wocolij - Zach for short - is an eternal advice giver. "Lemme see that newspaper," she said, grabbing across the red vinyl tablecloth.
I threw the newspaper onto the table and bolted up from my chair, tipping it over, but deftly catching it with one hand - just like I do that midget I sometimes work with.
"You are just like your damn little sisters, Andrea. Too smart-mouthed and strong-minded and strong-bodied for your own damn good. They are going to grow up to be OLD and ALONE like you are - a big ugly bitter old maid. I only hope they take up something nice like nursing old people like me or teaching suburban kindergarteners. And stay away from pro wrestling. It'll ruin their lives like it has ruined yours. But why should I worry? You never spend any time around them anyway."
"Oh, I never minded the maggots much," I said. "Just because I wasn't hanging around them all the time. Besides, I was already off on the federation tour by the time they were old enough to talk."
"That's not true," said my mother, "Delilah was five when you went off for the first time."
"Yeah, yeah, yeah, mom. I know, I know," I said, as I turned to head out the kitchen door to go to the gym, "We got any grape pop left?"
"Grape pop? NO! We don't have any grape pop! You know that grape pop company, Thigh-Hi, is the holding company for a bunch of Japanese fisheries who still kill whales! You know that! Now get to the gym. And it wouldn't hurt if you put on a little lipstick before you went either. It looks better than that grape stain that says 'death and indifference to the whales' to anyone who knows what's going on."
"Mom, you are a cruel and malevolent person who only loves whales! You don't love me! You never did! You don't accept who or what I am! The only reason you married Dad is because he had the same name as you! How freakish is that? And you say I am a freak for being so tall and being a wrestler!" I yelled and stomped out to my jeep. I love my jeep - I'm shorter sitting down and with the top down - I don't bang my head. It's not so easy being eight feet tall and single and smart.
Racing to the gym for training, I thought about the upcoming tour to Europe. Our first stop was going to be Paris. If the U.S. press couldn't even get my name right, what hope did I have of gaining any fame in France? Maybe the trip would give me a chance to do some work looking for my father - Zach Gryohyro. The last we heard of him placed him in Paris after he left my mother before the last little maggot was born. I pulled my jeep into a parking space at the Brawny Boy Gym. Not such a bad place - mostly overly buffed, overly tan gay guys and the occasional large mouthy woman. I was walking into the locker room when my name was paged.
"Ms. Andrea Gryohryo, call on 5. Andrea Gyrohyro, line 5."
I picked up the nearest courtesy phone.
"Baby, it's me."
"Don't call me 'Baby,' sugar pie honey bunch sexist bastard. My name ain't 'Baby.' Now what do you want?" It was my agent. An old timer in the pro wrestling circuit - I had signed with him for career purposes only. He was a salty old SOB, but deep down, he was okay. He at least gave me some respect for being a good wrestler. And put up with my mouth.
"You are fucking piece of female work, you know that! NOW. You wanna hear what I have to tell you or you wanna read me summore of that German Gear lady author crap?"
I snorted, "Nope, no German Gear. And yes, I'll listen. What do you want?" I held back tears of laughter from my eyes.
"You leave for Paris today."
"TUHDAY! I don't have SHIT ready! No costumes! No moves! No music! No squat!"
"I ain't inarested in discussin' it with you, BABY, I'm only inarested in tellin' ya that ya gotta have your eight-foot tall bod on the plane to gay paree today at 10:36 a.m."
And then the bastard hung up on me.
So that's how I ended up in Paris, hunting for a costume that fit AND flattered my eight-foot frame. I was desperate. I ended up at a costume shop in Montparnasse. They specialized in old circus costumes. The proprietor stood dumbfounded behind the counter.
"I haf nevar see such big, booteeful woman!"
"Yeah, yeah, okay. Do have anything that will fit me? I'm thinking something with feathers. Sequins. Velcro. But you know, still tasteful," I said.
"Andre will heelp you find zee costume, not to worry, Mademoiselle," he said as he rushed from behind the counter to a rack of costumes at the back of the store. "I have zee perfectemont costume for you!" he said.
He held up a red sequined gown with pink feather trim.
"See? See? Zee skirt has zee velcro! You whip it off and voila! Body suit! Oh so beautiful! And it used to be worn by zee giantess in zee Ringling! Oh so beautiful!"
"Your name is Andre?" I said, a bit taken aback. "My name is Andrea! And by the way, I LIKE that gown. I'll take it. Now what can you show me in midget sizes that won't clash?"
Needless to say, I bought the costume, Andre fitted it, and then tried to fit me, if you know what I'm saying, and it took all my inner bitch and womanly wrestler strength to keep him at bay. I mean, I needed a costume, not some French circus reject control freak. And besides, I like a little romance before I get in the sack. Pushy just pisses me off.
A week later, I was ready to perform. But even with the Belgian Midget that my agent hired (whom Andre outfitted in the greatest light blue sequined tuxedo), I felt like something was missing from the act. And I had just another few days to think it up.
Andre and I were pondering the problem, when he turned to me and said, "Zee giantess. She tame lion. Maybe you and Jacques the Belgian Midget tame zee lion? Or wrestle zee lion? I know just zee lion! She beautiful big huntress lion. But tame. Like you need to be tamed!" He grabbed at me again and I pushed him away.
"You lunge at me again like that and I'll whip your hide, buddy. Got that straight? I don't want to have sex with you! Clear enough? But that lion thing - that is something to think about."
Yes. The lion was it. This is what we needed for the show. Me, the midget and a lion. Rolling around and screaming at eachother and throwing each other from one end of the ring to the other. I would enter, all red-sequined eight feet of me, in a circus parade of sorts into the ring....This was going to be fabulous. And in wrestling, it needs to be fabulous. I mean, people want fabulous. If they wanted wrestling, they'd go watch the zitty high school boys in black leotards, right?
I spent the next few days getting my publicity shots ready and sending out photos and releases to the local papers. The federation featured me and Andre and Delilah and the Jacques the Belgian midget on the publicity posters. I decided to name the lioness Delilah after my kid sister. She and Mom were supposed to come over for the opening.
And opening night arrived.
Amidst the sparkle of flash bulbs and blaring music (I picked Pinball Wizard as my entrance anthem), I walked in with Delilah at my side. And posed for the crowd as I waited in my corner of the rink for the midget to enter.
We were all in great form and the act went flawlessly, like it had a life of its own.
Delilah was great - perfectly trained, beautiful, muscular, exotic. And she loved me. She loved me like I was the head of her pride. I didn't even need a leash or a whip. I just looked at her and she knew what to do - gently pick up Jacques the Belgian Midget and run toward me and toss him up until he disappeared into the bright lights overhead and then I would catch him. Or place her mammoth jaws around my throat and pretend to drag me around the ring while the midget climbed on my back.
The peak of the show was the finale, when Jacques and I got these large silver eggs that we balanced, spinning, on sticks, which we in turn balanced on our foreheads. After one last big surge in the music, we tossed the eggs up in the air and caught them in our teeth. With sinister grins upon our faces, me, my mom Zach (who joined us on stage for the finale) and Delilah the lion were delighted to see each one hatch, right there in front of them, a gold sparkling chicken bursting out of each one. Andre had thought it would be funny to then pretend to butcher the chickens, but I put my size 12 foot down. And trust me, size 12 in silver platform is nothing to scoff at.
Just as we were about to take our final bows, I heard a commotion from outside the ring. Andre came rushing down the aisle, tripped, got up and hopped over the ropes and into the ring.
"Let's kill zee chickens! Kill zee chickens!" he demanded. I could tell he had been drinking those horrible french concoctions that taste like cranberry juice and Lime-Away. He had the cleaver with him that he had wanted to use to butcher the fake gold chickens.
"Andre!" I hissed. "What the FUCK are you doing?"
"I kill zee chickens! I kill zee lion! I KILL YOU! But first, I RAPE YOU BIG UGLY WOMAN WHO DOESN"T WANT ME! I RAPE YOU!""
And the drunk sonofabitch lunged at me with the cleaver. Well, I don't wrestle for nothing. I picked him up and threw him SMACK! Hard right onto the small of his slimey little back. I think I heard the tailbone crunch. I didn't fucking care. "Don't threaten ME YOU FUCKER!" I scream at him as I bent over his quivering face.
Just then another man rushed up into the ring.
"Don't let him kill you! He is a convicted murderer and RAPIST! He was going to rape you!"
I turned and looked at the man. Some dim light bulb went off, but I didn't know from what.
"I won't let him kill me! And I sure as fuck won't let him rape me!" I said as I planted my silver platform shoe into his gut, right below the rib cage and gave it good stomp. I ground my foot slowly into the broken ribs as I continued my conversation. The midget grabbed the cleaver and put it on the judge's table.
"Do I know you?" I said to the guy.
"I'm your father! I am your father! Oh my little girl! I mean, Oh my big girl! Oh my big beautiful daughter!"
The light bulb went fully off and I took my foot off the squirming Andre and hugged my Dad. "How did you know? How did you get here? Where have you been? Oh DAD! DAD!"
Cursing in French, Andre snatched the cleaver from the table and sprinted out of the open door.
"SHIT! He got away! He got away!"
After him, before I could stop her, bolted Delilah the huntress.
The crowd freaked out and jammed into the aisles.
My Dad shouted at me, "We ran off to join the army together! He freaked out in Nam though, and started raping women up and down Southeast Asia! He said I did it all, and I had no proof, so I changed my identity and became a soldier of fortune and that why I could never come home to you and Zach and the maggots! And then I saw the publicity stuff in the newspaper and I knew I had to save you! So I got the first boat I could get from Sarawak."
I could only imagine my Dad, who used to get seasick giving me a bath, on some junker of a ship racing through the Pacific. The up-and-down movement making him nauseous, but clinging to the railing and managing to hold on.
We ran, breathless, to the back of the arena to the dressing room. We stopped short as we reached my dressing room and saw Delilah slowly licking her chops, sitting contentedly in front of my costume trunk. I ran into the room.
"Delilah! Where's Andre?" I stroked her lovely head.
My Dad Zach approached the trunk. Zach dropped to the ground as he realized that the stinking heap of blood and bones in the trunk was his friend Andre.
"It is a fitting end to a rapist," he said.
My mom and little sister Delilah ran into the dressing room. My mom was in tears.
My Dad threw his arms around her, and pulled Delilah in close too. Exhausted, I threw myself into the reunion hug too. And Deliliah the lion even placed a gentle paw on my back.
So that's how we ended up - Zach, Zach, Delilah, Delilah, Andrea and dead Andre. A big ball of furs, sequins, tears, and running mascara.Back to the Bizarre Writers' Guild.