had spent the day wandering through the countryside looking for
squirrels to shoot when he returned home to his Uncle Elmer waiting on
the garbage-clad porch with a letter in his hand. Jim looked at him
with wonder. Elmer spend most of his days inside trying to keep cool
from the fierce Kentucky heat.
you will never believe what this letter says. It’s from Connecticut!”
Elmer says, as if Connecticut was a far off land full of mystery.
“Uncle, tell me what the letter says,” Jim demanded.
“It is from Vince McMahon. He wants you to come train with Hulk Hogan and become a wrestler!”
I’ll be! I’m happier than a hog in mud. The Hulkster...” Jim had
been a fan of professional wrestling since he was a child. He had
attended numerous exhibition matches at the local arena, but never
thought of himself in the ring delivering clotheslines to the likes of
King Kong Bundy or Big John Studd.
leave in a week, boy. You better go tell your cousins Luke and Junior
what’s going on. They’re going to be excited and want to throw a going
away hoe down.”
hoe down! That sounds mighty pleasant. I’ll go tell them right now,
Uncle Elmer.” Jim’s body was filled with electricity, his spirits were
higher than that time he found the cracked toilet down by the creek a
mile away from his house. Elmer had put it in the middle of the yard
for all to see, and it impressed many of their neighbors.
hearing the news, Luke and Junior delivered many words of
congratulations and hard slaps on the back to their cousin Jim. They
always expected Jim to do great things. He could throw bales of hay
faster and farther than anybody in all of Mudlick, and a person like
that doesn’t waste their time around those parts.
demanded Jim give a pop to the nose of Nikolai Volkoff because he hates
communists. “That red jerk has it coming to him,” Luke explained.
I will sure do my best. If I get in the ring with that boy he won’t
know what hit him.” Jim was already getting the talk down.
the week many of the residents of Mudlick approached Jim with well
wishes and slaps on the back. Jim felt like a real star already. He
knew that he was going to dominate the WWF with his brand of fighting
and fun. With Hulk Hogan as his trainer, he knew that he was going to
be a big deal.
last night in Mudlick was joyous, but bittersweet. The hoedown that
cousin Luke and cousin Junior through him was “rootin’ tootin’” to
borrow a phrase from Yosemite Sam. Jim promenaded and dosey doed with
every female in Mudlick, including the lovely Virginia. Jim had eyes
for Virginia, as did nearly every man in Mudlick.
the hoedown ended, Jim went home and packed his bags. He couldn’t
sleep. All he could think about was punching King Kong Bundy in his
face and dancing up a storm in the WWF ring.
cock a doodle dooed to announce the rising of the sun and Jim jumped
out of bed. He did his chores and took a last walk by his favorite
fishing hole. When he arrived back at Uncle Elmer’s home, Elmer already
had his jalopy read and packed. Elmer drove Jim to the bus station in
silence. When they reached the station he wished Jim good luck and gave
him a hug.
“Never forget where you came from, boy,” Elmer warned Jim.
boarded the bus and looked out the window. As Mudlick passed out of
his sights, he turned his head inside the bus and set his sights on
something bigger, the stiff competition of the WWF.