Monday, June 18, 2007

Living Like Millionaires

So we had this sort of employee appreciation thingamajig at work last week. I usually skip those sorts of things, because I'm horribly antisocial and laden down with depression, but at this particular event, there was free barbecue, so I went to get a takeout plate. While I was there trying to figure out how to get my free food, I filled out a little ticket for door prizes. I never win anything, but what the hey, right? So I get my meal and depart.

Later, back at work, the Town Attorney shows up with a box and informs me that I was a winner--of some mangy-looking plants. Woohah. So I quickly give them away to people who will not kill them with neglect, as I would. Then they inform me that there were wrestling tickets as one of the prizes, but that I didn't win them, Gordon the British Guy From Planning did. Well, that's cool. I'm not too big on going to WWE shows anyway.

Ten minutes later, Gordon calls me up, says he has no idea what pro wrestling is all about, and asks if I would accompany him to the show and explain what's going on. Cool, I'm always up for a free show and camaraderie as long as I don't have to navigate the parking lot of the RBC Center. So on Sunday, off we go to see a house show of WWE Raw. Well, when we get there, we discover that we don't just have free tickets, no, we have our own luxury suite. A lovely young woman in a red jacket leads us past all the dregs of society in their rasslin t-shirts and their beer guts, and ushers into our private box with leather chairs and our own bathroom. We feel like kings.

Then while we're there, my phone buzzes, and it's a message from Matt Hardy letting me know that he's left two ringside tickets for us at Guest Services. So we let our lovely red-jacketed hostess know that we've decided to take different accomodations for our sporting enjoyment, and move down to front-row center at ringside. Matt and Jeff's father, Gilbert, is there, and people are recognizing him from a recent newspaper article and taking pictures with him, which I found hilarious. I walked over and sat in the seat next to him, and he turned to look at me as if I were another autograph seeker, then jumped and smiled when he realized it was me. I've always gotten along well with Gilbert, and soon he was rattling off dirty jokes as quick as he could.

Back in my seat, I was explaining how the sport works to my friend Gordon and pointing out the different wrestlers and what they were doing. A little while into the show, this big guy comes along with his stripper girlfriend and plops down into a seat next to me, taking up more room than he really should to show off how tough he was. I didn't know who he was, but recognized from his body type and the way he moved that he was a wrestler. So all night, he's jostling for space and acting tough, and we never spoke. Then after Matt and Jeff's match, they run around the ring slapping hands with everybody, including him. When they see me, they give me a big hug and we exchange a few words. After that, the tough wrestler guy says, "Hey! How do you know the Hardys?" I explain I worked with them for about six or seven years as an announcer, commentator, costume maker, publicist, etc, etc. in the early days. Heh. He gave me more room after that. My friend Gordon was amused.

Here's the view from our luxury suite. (click to enlarge)
WWE Raw - A view from luxury
Gordon sitting in our leather luxury seats:
WWE Raw - Gordon in luxury
This is how much closer we got with the seats Matt got us:
WWE Raw - We got a little closer
Looking back at our box seats. (If you click on the picture, you can see the suite outlined).
WWE Raw - Looking back at luxury

All in all, Gordon and I were pretty amused at the chain of events of the evening.

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