Honest Abe, Pro Wrestler

Abraham Lincoln was born on May 6, 1954, to a poor family of Central California date farmers. Baby Abraham came out bald as a spoon except for a full beard. His first photographs, grainy black-and-whites, show tiny Abe with a bristly chin line and earnest profile. It was in his mid teens that the family realized Abe had a medical condition. A country doctor diagnosed Abe with a rare form of gigantism. Abe's rioting pituitary squeezed abnormally large globs of growth hormone into his bloodstream and the effect was elongated limbs and orangutan strength. Picking dates, hauling baskets, transporting ladders, and splitting kindling were all easy and natural to Abraham Lincoln. He was a great help around the farm.

At 17, Abe desired to leave the small date farm and enter Professional Wrestling College in Ventura Beach. You can understand his father's reluctance to let Abe go; he was not only losing a farmhand but also a son. Jebediah, Abe's father, knew that Abe would eventually resent staying on the farm. And Jebediah was nothing if not a reasonable man -- his name around town was "Reasonable Jebediah Lincoln" -- so he blessed Abe's wish to leave.

Before hopping aboard the flatbed truck of migrant workers heading for the village bus station, Reasonable Jebediah took Abraham by the jacket lapel and said, "Son, remember to always be upstanding, forthright, and honest." And Jebediah placed his own stovepipe top hat on his towering son Abraham's head. Jebediah said, "There, that top hat should keep the bird crap off your ears."

It was his father's memory and tall black hat that forged the "Honest Abe" persona outside of the wrestling ring. The fans adored it. But, inside the ring, Abe was a frightening terror. A wild beast of gnashing teeth, sinewy arms, and a ramrod-strong back that hoisted his opponents to the sky and flung them into the audience one by one. Honest Abe Lincoln was undefeated in all the land, and townships heralded the arrival of his trademark black tights and suspenders, jaw-line whiskers, and tall hat. Abraham Lincoln retired as the greatest professional wrestler of all time and became the first inductee into the National Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame in Ventura Beach, a hundred miles or so from a small Central California date farm.

Thursday, December 20 San Diego Living
FOX 9:00 a.m.

There's a Yorkie dog that lives in a palm tree above a yellow taco shop on my block. If someone drops a glob of saucy burrito to the concrete, the Yorkie dog swoops down from its perch and gobbles the discarded slop. He has a little red cape and mask to protect his identity. The flying burrito-snatching Yorkie could be any Yorkie you encounter during the day and you'd never know it. Damn, that dog loves burritos.

College Basketball
ESPN 6:30 p.m.

As part of your nutritional breakfast, I now come fortified with iron, B vitamins, and a lack of dignity. Former sports stars with broken knees and Percocet habits enjoy me with juice, toast, and a longing for misspent youth and forgotten greatness. I smell of cornmeal and shame, and from my soggy position in their bowl, I look up at them and secretly pity.

Friday, December 21
ABC 8:00 p.m.

Secretly Pity was the name of my all-female pop group in the '90s. We were like overweight Spice Girls. My name was Chain-Lube Pity and I was romantically linked to a roadie who'd had the "shame" center of his brain shot out during Desert Storm One. It was my bitter rivalry with Sunblock-or-Spit-in-a-Pinch Pity that rent our megagroup asunder.

Saturday, December 22
Final Destination
USA 10:00 a.m.

Ike Turner done got called up to the big stage. With the death of James Brown last year and Evel Kneivel last week, we're getting dangerously close to counting the number of people who wore sequined jumpsuits for a living, sadly, at zero. Perhaps it is me who should take up the roomy-around-the-calf-but-oddly-tight-in-the-mid-torso-region, spangled-and-unzipped-to-the-bellybutton look. Perhaps it is me.

American Idol Rewind
CW 8:00 p.m.

It only now occurred to me that between the three of the prodigious stars listed above there are about 295 children. I'm guessing there's a link between fertility and the clingy support of a stretchy, multicolored onesie. The crotch region is what I'm talking about. Yes, James Brown's, Evel Kneivel's, and Ike Turner's well-wrapped "middle" areas are what is being discussed here. The "bundles of star power," one might say. It's worth considering; these fine men's cupped and swathed "charisma," as it were. Let's get it out in the open. Let's talk about it.

Sunday, December 23
So You Made a Movie
CASD4 7:30 p.m.

Since my girlfriend left me last month, my laundry has backed up and I only wear tighty whities, smudges of grime, and desperation. On my way to the store last week, I was stopped by a camera crew and the director asked, "Hey, did you just get dumped?" and I answered, yes, I had. He said, "Great! We're shooting a documentary entitled American Loser and the location is: you. Ha ha ha ha!" I glared at him, but he and his friends were already gone. Wow, that guy's cool. He's a movie director and he has friends. Sigh.

Monday, December 24
BBC World News PBS 6:00 p.m.
My next language campaign is to de-vilify the terms "he who smelt it dealt it" and "sloppy seconds." These are perfectly good phrases that carry with them the stigma of being foul. I'm going to see if I can club Hillary Clinton's speechwriter on the head, nab his three-by-five cards, and begin my project of reclamation. I'm thinking the "Yucca Mountain nuclear waste" issue is a good jumping-off point for both.

Tuesday, December 25 (Ho! Ho! Sweet stinkin' ho!)
USA 7:00 p.m.

Pinch my nipples and run around the yard. Yee haw! It's Christmas. Pass me glittery boxes of light-up Wham-O-Dyne Wonder and then gently color my surroundings rose and the photographs of today sepia. It's Christmas! Bark at the mailman if he brings the wrong packages. I'm going to get so drunk!

Wednesday, December 26
Crowned: The Mother of All Pageants
CW 8:00 p.m.

Lump my compassion into the dirty snow banks and heaps of discarded pine trees. Tinsel hangs around my ears and I weep. Ring that bell in my face once more and I'll sock you in the beak. Is there anything as sad as the day after Christmas? A whole year left. A whole year. I'm going to get drunk.

Thursday, December 27
The Office
NBC 9:00 p.m.

Now what do we do? Hold our breath until New Year's Eve, I guess. Go into work, but don't really work . See who can eat the most cookies or watch a full DVD of The Family Guy on his desktop computer without getting caught by middle management. Start a betting pool on when the big girl going through a divorce is going to lock herself in a storage closet with a bottle of vodka and cry herself to sleep. You know, fun things.

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