All of which means I am intimately, uncomfortably familiar with every aspect of the WWE experience: The themed costumes. The thundering entrance music. The cartoonish hypermasculinity. The drama-queen histrionics. The preening peacockery. The adult men rolling around together in oversized underpants. The midget in the shiny leprechaun outfit.
I hate to break it to those of you who see the WWE as the final word in red-blooded, woman-lovin' manliness, but that entire last paragraph could easily describe an average night in a gay bar. Or a circuit party. Or a gay cruise. Or my living room on a Tuesday evening. Except for the oversized underpants. In our house, it's low-waisted or the highway. (Sted.)
To its credit, though, WWE offers a slight measure of balance. For every five pompadoured cretins in capri clown pants the WWE puts in its ring, it trots out the likes of John Cena and Randy Orton in all their oily muscled glory. They're like a beefcake sorbet ... a ruggedly handsome intermezzo to cleanse the palate between pompadours.
And following in the spirit of the WWE, I'm trotting out these demigods here to balance out the five cretinous paragraphs in capri clown pants I've made you read so far. Behold:
I'm embarrassed to report that I often put down whatever I'm doing so I can watch these two whenever they're on our TV. But can you blame me? I'm also embarrassed that I can identify them by name. But can you blame me? And I figure if I'm ever going to get the chance to wear large underpants and roll around all sweaty and oily with these guys (and, really, can you blame me?), I'm going to have to come up with my own WWE persona.
As you probably know, the right WWE name is the most important first step. My WWE name reflects the defining components of my unique wrestling personality. It strikes fear and admiration into everyone who hears it yelled into a microphone by a woman wearing plastic heels and a cheap bikini. It says "Jake, you truly are a paragon of masculinity in those high-waisted underpants." Which is why I have chosen the name THE CONJUGATOR. It sounds scary and intimidating but it still shows I'm good with verbs. (If THE CONJUGATOR is already taken, my backup name is THE MODULATOR. Which sounds a little less scary and intimidating, but it shows that I can transpose music up or down a half step as I sight-read it ... a skill that has been proven through the ages to give countless musical prodigies the upper hand in playground scuffles.)
Then there's my entrance music. I know from endless painful nights with the damn WWE blaring throughout our house that all the obvious songs are taken: Orff's O Fortuna, Strauss' Also sprach Zarathustra, Brooks & Dunn's Boot-Scootin' Boogie. Which leaves me to choose among the lesser-known canon of bad-ass classics. Like the dominant theme of the third movement of Saint-Saëns' Third Symphony. Which—though it was clearly the inspiration for the overture to The Little Mermaid—still has an intimidating quality to it. If you play it really loud.
So if you'll excuse me, I have some music to blare, some muscles to oil and some large underpants to don. (Don Underpants. I wonder if that name's taken.) And John and Randy: You and your large oily underpants have violated the sanctity of my living room way too often. Now you're going to have to deal with ME. (I hope.)