View Full Version : Playtime is Over.

User Poets
07-25-06, 10:03 PM
"I dunno if anyone's really noticed, but while y'all were out there mackin' to secretaries and teenaged girls in airports, Troy Windham made his presence felt. With a vengeance. While y'all were tryin' your damnedest to do... well... the only thing you know how t'do, and that's toss out some generic rhetoric that puts you in the 'Puny Human, JAY SMASH!' category... Troy Windham reminded y'all why he's the UNIFIED Champion.

"Which brings me... to me."

FADEIN: The Warsaw, a small club in Brooklyn, NY. Backstage. In the lower left - hand corner of the screen, a bunch of kids can be seen standing around, waiting for something to happen. Straight back, partially obscured, is a gigantic banner with a Pagan Crucifix painted on it, a drum kit, a station with three keyboards set up, a guitar stand with a guitar in it, a guitar stand with a bass in it, and two microphones.

Blocking the view, mostly, is former CSWA, fWo, and Asylum World Heavyweight Champion, the recently retired 'Total Elimination' Eli Flair. He's dressed in a sleeveless 'W.W.A.D.' vintage shirt, pale green cargo shorts, and had his hair behind his ears. There was air conditioning in the building, but he'd been doing manual labor and the sweat was easily picked out.

In the background, a mix of various music can be heard. The pre-gig mix is fairly eclectic; at the moment, 'Take a Look' by Sal's Birdland is playing through the system.

"I woke up this morning in my own bed for once, and took a fairly painless subway ride down here with my lovely wife and adorable daughter in order to make sure load - in for the Valerian's Garden gig went smoothly. I was looking forward to going home after the show and having some quiet time with my family. A dozen f'kin years on the road, after all... and you tend to treasure all the quiet time y'can get your hands on."

"But my plan was a good one, and it was set to go off without a hitch, until the Garden's manager and mine own, and my best friend, Ivy McGinnis, told me that she needed to talk to me about the CSWA. That's usually a bad sign. Ivy says that there's this Gold Rush match scheduled, and my second thought, just after 'What the hell is a Gold Rush match?' was 'So what?' Then she told me that the ultimate prize was Troy Windham's UNIFIED Championship belt."

"That piqued my interest."

"And, of course, she mentioned most of the jokers that've already introduced themselves. Some I'd never heard of, some I nodded at, and most I just laughed at. Then she tried to slip in the fact that she told Thomas I would be a part of it. Ivy is a silly girl sometimes, not truly comprehending the meaning of the word 'Retired'. I was serious about retiring when I wrestled my last match for the fWo, I was serious about retiring when I wrestled my last match for the CSWA. And I'm serious about NFW Season Two and the playoffs being the last run for me. I've been doing this since ninety-four, and I've had enough."

"But Troy Windham and the UNIFIED title... that's too good to pass up. Troy Windham insulted me, insulted my wife, and insulted the NFW when he stepped out, cutting my revenge short and disrespecting the ULTRATITLE. The least I can do is cause him to lose the only real thing he's got in his life anymore beyond a nasty rash."

"So... this thing is open to anyone. This thing is supposed to put the CSWA back on the map. Well, I'm not asking - I'm telling Stephen Thomas that the King of Extreme, the Original Nobody, 'Total Elimination' Eli Flair is coming home for just one more night. There's some people involved in this Gold Rush match that... just don't deserve to be in the CSWA. And since everyone is fighting with Troy, it's quite possible one or two of 'em could destroy everything the CSWA stands for. I can't let that happen."

"So, despite my better judgement, Ivy talked me into it. But then she started downloading all the promo cuts... and I mysteriously started to limp."

He laughed, picked up a bottle of water from off - camera, and took a swig.

"Eron, you should really know that age jokes were never avant garde in the CSWA, about the CSWA, or around the CSWA. It's one thing to make a joke about fortysomething Melton - until he pins your ass in the middle of the ring - but it's another to take Troy, a nineteen year old rookie in 1993, and call him old, just because he's been wrestling for thirteen years. That's not age, Relentless, that's staying power. I realize it's an alien concept to you: you've spent the past seven years jumping from promotion to promotion with the previous promotion's scandal as your only real draw. Yeah, you kicked my ass all around after I pinned you in our only match, to date... but then what? A victory over Eli Flair is a pretty major f'kin' deal, Relentless... where did you take it? I'll tell you where I went - to Creed, to Crisp, and to the fWo World Championship."

"Your path, the one you bragged to Ivy about... didn't lead much of anywhere, did it? If you were truly a professional, you'd know that the measure of a man isn't the individual match, but where that match takes you. I know, you think you're above this whole UNIFIED title thing, but trust me... your bragging slapped against your production leaves you in a position with a lotta s*** to prove."

"Xias, anything I say to you is just Eron mark 2. The only difference is that you have victories over me that you didn't do anything with. Your chances in this match are none and less than none. Your only chance is to be in a different starting ring than mine. You might take down all the losers and the shrikes you're initially stuck with, but once we hit the center ring, first Troy is eliminated, then all the pretenders to the throne, starting with you and Relentless. When I first heard of you, Xias, I thought, this guy has a reputation, he's gotta have something to've earned it. But then you started to wrestle in front of me on a regular basis, and that's where you lost me."

"The truth is that the emperor has no clothes, and the bill'a goods that Xias wants you to buy is a K-Mart discount version of what Keith Scott Zimmerman is sellin'... only without a money back guarantee. What's the train of thought, Xias, that leads you from the wrestling promotion with the biggest market share in the world, to a promotion whose only fans are the ones who are actually too square for a Star Trek convention, to claims of being the most controversial wrestler in history? After Craig Miles, Eddie Mayfield, Troy himself, the DRS, Poopman Bob Praxis, GUNS, Dr. Silver, Felix Red, Michael Manson, and Jim Williams... you don't even place in the top ten. If that's your only claim to fame you'd better get to the historical revisionsim, post- haste, because you're gonna look mighty silly at ANNIVERSARY with a blank piece'a paper and an empty cup."

"K-9... ... ... ... ... you've picked a helluva time t'try and make a comeback. Just sit down, shut up, and watch how the professionals do it. You'll have a chance at immortality someday, when the real heavyweight players of the day are out of it."

"Joey, stop with the old-man pose. I know you're insecure over the fact that your chick is a World Champion while you're in the middle of a mid - life crisis, but you're still better at this sport than ninety percent of the participants. In fact, if you don't make it to the final ring I'm going to personally break at least one of your bones over in the Ultratitle playoffs. And it's nothing personal with you, Joey, or you, Lindsay... I've got no problems with either of you and nothing beyond professional competition with you, Joey... but this is something I have to do. Unfortunately, you're both indirectly in my way."

"Much the same is Mr. Daniel Ryan. We've spoken, Ryan... and we've circled around each other on more than one occasion, but it never translated into an actual match. I hope - nay, demand - that this GOLD RUSH changes things. For a match - for five minutes, I want the chance to lock up with the Ego Buster on neutral ground and see what he's got t'offer. I wanna be able to say 'This kid's got it... we can step away now and know that the CSWA is gunna have a decent future.' I think I'll be able to say that, Danny... but I wanna be able to say it."

Of course, the UNIFIED title isn't the only belt on the line. Every CSWA title is on the line in this match, and the Greensboro is the only one I haven't held before. But, since this is a one shot deal for me, winning a lesser title doesn't do any good for me, the CSWA, or the people I'm going to beat. Therefore... I'm claiming the fourth ring as my own. After all, isn't the chance for a victory over Eli Flair just as good as a title belt? Disregard Xias, a professional with talent can take the victory and do something with it. A professional with talent can get beat by Eli Flair and do something with it. I'm not asking, Stephen... I'm telling you where I'm gonna be in this one. Try and tell me otherwise, I dare ya."

As 'California Love' by Tupac starts to play on the system, and the lights start to dim, Eli moves the camera over a bit to get out of the band's way. This is always the last song on the mix before the band hits the stage.

"Ivy has a legitimate grievance, Troy... to walk out of this GOLD RUSH match with the UNIFIED title over your shoulder would truly paint you as possibly the greatest UNIFIED Champion of all time. Despite the skills of the other wrestlers in this match, to walk in against more than twenty opponents and walk out with the same belt over your shoulder is a feat that I don't think can be duplicated. And Ivy has told me, point blank, she can't deal with a CSWA where Troy Windham is the greatest champion in the company's history. This puts me in a bit of a unique situation."

"I'd love to be the UNIFIED Champion, Troy... but all I care about is hurting you. All I care about is f**kin' with you. So, win or lose, all I care about is making sure you don't walk out of the GOLD RUSH with the UNIFIED title over your shoulder. No matter who takes it, you lose it."

"That's a goal that'll be really f**k easy to reach. I can use as many of these losers as I want t'accomplish this goal, and I don't care if you're able to cry foul over multiple opponents costing you the belt. I don't care if it takes everyone in this match to take the belt from you. The important thing is to take it."

"But you'll know... without a glimmer of doubt... that you lost that belt because of Eli Flair. And I give you exactly two choices, Troy. Either stop me, or shut the f**k up." I don't believe you'll do the one, but you'll have to earn the other."

"And you know, statistically... the odds are against you on that."


07-26-06, 02:13 AM
Just as feed cut off from a repeat showing of Eli Flair’s “heartfelt” speech about what is important in his life, his decision to post pone his retirement to stop Troy Windham, and his comments on some of the professional wrestlers he has crossed paths with in the past, the feed soon clicked into a new feed, containing Eron the Relentless, sitting outside of Papa Cheney’s in Windsor, Ontario. Behind him was a well painted picture of Jimmy Hendrix riffing on his guitar circa Woodstock. Wearing a sleeveless white t-shirt with the initials, “WDICAEF?”, and underneath it reading, “Why do I care about Eli Flair?” and a pair of dark denim stonewash jeans, Eron the Relentless sat on a plain chair, eyes relaxed, almost tired.

If I cared one iota about the self amatorious ramblings that come from your lips, I would beat you uglier than what you and your whore call a daughter. Yet, you know what? I don’t. I think I’ll rather enjoy seeing the CSWA Unified Champion give a **** about you. He seems like the type of person to waste his time on you. Cut.

And just like that… he’s gone.

ride the access
07-26-06, 02:30 AM
A hotel balcony. Back here again. Only this time, Xias wasn't holding a Metropolitian.

He was holding a videotape.

"You know, Eli, there's a lot I could say to you. I could waste my time ranting and raving about how wrong you are about just about everything. But anyone with an internet browser and 10 minutes of time could figure that out themselves already. Time is money, Eli. I have a few more promos left in me, and I'm not gonna waste them on you. Instead, how about we just gooooo to the videotape? I always wanted to say that."

Into the picture came Xias' business manager, pushing a television on one of those rolling carts.

"I still can't believe you needed a VCR for this." he muttered. "It's 2006, and you asked me to find a VCR in Los Angeles. That's like trying to find wrestling talent on a CSWA show, or sense in a Lindsay Troy promo."

"Just turn the damn thing on and shut up." Xias replied. "Trust me, this is worth it."

Xias handed his tape to the stocky lawyer who inserted it with one hand while he turned the TV on with the other.

"Let me have the pleasure of introducing this clip." Xias began with a huge smirk on his face. "I'm sure even you must know where I'm going with this, Eli. This would be from fWo Monday Night....****, you introduce it Bryan, I'm not saying that stupid-ass name out loud."

"Aww, do I have to?"

"Either that or I start talking about Eron."

"Augh, fine. It's from the July 5th, 2004 edition of fWo Monday Night Ruahh~!, the last time the two of you stepped into the ring together."

"From Disney World's Sports Complex or something, because I guess taping at MGM Studios would have been too much like WCW. And we all know if there's one thing fWo never resembled at all, it's WCW. I mean, one's still around, and the other one.....oh, nevermind, just roll the clip."

The challenger set the Champ up once more, for his devastating Exploder Suplex, as the fans continued to cheer! He got ready--- Eli blocked it! Again! Shove backwards, and Eli Flair's massive right hand wrapped around Xias' throat! The fans booed, the referee warned, but Eli continued to squeeze! He stopped for a moment and braced himself... HOISTED HIM UP! He held Xias up in the air for a good fifteen seconds before he spiked him on the mat with a hard one handed chokeslam! The King of Extreme shook his head and drew his hand across his throat. There wouldn't be a chance for Xias to turn the tables again. No mistakes.

Hooked his head.


The cover was just a formality. ONE... TWO... THREE.

Eli stood and raised his hand, but the referee threw it back down. Confusion all around the arena, until they all saw what the referee saw.

What Eli saw.

Xias' foot, draped across the bottom rope. Eli kicked the middle rope on another side of the ring, and went back to work. He dragged Xias to his feet and whipped him into the ropes... spinebuster! Scoop, and backed him into the corner! Eli with a pair of crossfaces, and a cross corner whip! Xias hit hard, Eli followed with a clothesline----XIAS DROPPED TO HIS KNEES AND SCOOPED ELI UP AND OVER! THE FANS SHRIEKED IN SHOCK AS ELI'S HEAD SAILED OVER THE TURNBUCKLE PAD AND CRASHED AGAINST THE
RINGPOST! He fell backwards on unsteady legs and nearly fell over! Xias looked back at him, and made a decision. Hooked his waist, hooked a leg, and pulled.


This time, the referee called for the bell. He handed Xias the Internet Title belt as the new champion left the ring, exhausted. The fans cheered all around as he held the belt high above his head, just as Eli rolled to his knees and forced his eyes to focus.

Eli saw him with the belt. He heard the music. He looked at the referee and held up three fingers. The referee nodded. Eli stood up and immediately fell back down. A nasty bruise had already formed on his forehead, and he still couldn't stand very well.

One of the shortest title reigns in fWo history... would certainly have another chapter to it.

"So THAT'S all it took to beat Eli Flair? You threw him into the freaking post and pinned him?!"

"Uh-huh. It's not one of my all-time classics, to be sure, but then again this was fWo 2004 so it looked like Tiger Mask vs. Dynamite Kid by comparison. And by the way, I'm pretty sure I got my shoulder up on that Fallen One."

Bryan rewound the tape and looked at the screen closely.

"Hey, you're right, you definitely did!"

"Nice of the announcers to mention it, huh? Gotta keep that glass ceiling alive."

Xias and his short, stocky lawyer friend shared a laugh over that before he hit the stop button and ejected the tape, handing it back to Xias.

"So basically, Eli, two years ago- TWO YEARS AGO- I beat you without even trying. Two years later, I'm still young, and you're still old. And here you are trying to warn me not to find myself in the same ring as you. Ooooh, I'm shakin' in my boots! Grandfather Time's comin' to get me! As long as the ring we're both in has a post I can re-introduce your head to, old man, I think I'll be just fine. Now, about that Eron promo...."

"Oh, god, cut that camera!" Bryan screamed.

And the cameraman did just that.

07-26-06, 07:25 AM
(CUT TO: Troy Windham, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, kahki shorts, sandals, holding his CSWA Unified Championship belt, lounging in a chair in the front of Duke's Bar and Grille, right on the beach at Waikiki. A big Margarita sits on his table, and a table of young 20-somethings stare at Troy in disbelief.)

TROY: (Takes a sip of his Margarita) Well... Eli Flair, my old friend. I knew that you were going to toss your name into this hat. I can't say that I'm exactly to THRILLED about that. My wars with you have been exactly that -- the hardest battles I've ever had in this sport. All the matches with the Playboys versus The Claimstakers. Our first Cage Match, where I flew off a balcony, where I fell through a cage... and (Troy cackles and sips on his Margarita) where I pinned you. Our SECOND cage match, which I still wrestled in despite my various neck injuries. I postponed my multiple surgeries JUST to get in the ring with you. And you spent one whole hour trying to physically destroy me. My neck, even more damaged. My left hand and arm, broken in 11 different spots and made virtually worthless. But, Eli Flair, what happened in that match? All you had to do was make me say I Quit... and that is something that did NOT happen. I had four neck surgeries in five months. I had seven surgeries on my left hand and arm. All at YOUR hands... You took me through hell. The two most physical, violent confrontations in the HISTORY of this promotion... after years of other battles which resulted in nothing but carnage.

Am I mad about that? (Troy smirks.) No. Because, Eli... those matches MADE MY CAREER. Before that, I still carried the reputation of The Slacker. Mark Windham's punk kid... a talented punk kid, but one, despite his multiple title reigns and main event status, one who would fold under pressure. But Eli... those matches took me to a WHOLE new level. Anyone who saw them -- two of the most-watched matches in American wrestling history -- left there saying one thing. That Troy Windham is the TOUGHEST mother****er to ever step foot in a wrestling ring. And that's what hurts YOU the most. That's the title you held most dear -- not some piece of gold, not some trophy. But the respect given to you, the New York street trash who took his personal war to the wrestling ring. AND I TOOK THAT FROM YOU.

That's why, Eli Flair, in the CHAPTER UPON CHAPTER written about me in the History of Professional Wrestling that will be written one day... you will be nothing more than a footnote. A fact students will glance over, knowing that you're insignificant enough to not even warrant a question on the mid-term exam.

(Troy takes another sip of his margarita. Then he looks at the Big Gold again.)

TROY: I've seen the promos and read the essay. In the past few days, you and your oh-so great best friend, Poison Ivy have become my little Teenage Fan Club. You two touting what everyone with a clue can already see -- that, so far, in this Gold Rush, my campaign to keep my title has been nothing short of BRILLIANCE and PERFECTION. I have managed to make this upcoming event about ONE THING ONLY -- is anyone man enough to step foot in the ring and TAKE THIS FROM ME. (Troy taps The Big Gold) I have spent a career virulently disagreeing with everything you have said. But we all agree on one thing... that my eventual victory in this thing WILL CEMENT ME as the greatest champion who has EVER stepped foot in a wrestling ring. THAT IS WHAT THIS EVENT IS ABOUT. It's not about whether Dan Ryan can finally beat me... or if my lovely wife will get her comeuppance... or if any of the no-names I've been toying with this week can do the unthinkable and walk out of here with the championship. The Gold Rush is all about one thing, the thing I told the world I was going to do when I was a 19-year-old rookie, interested only in his fame and getting laid. Everyone laughed at me -- from my brother, to Hornet, to you and Ivy. But I said that one day, I would be universally hailed as THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME.

(Troy finishes his margarita.)

TROY: Eli... you and I both know that won't happen... unless I beat your ass in the middle of the ring, on the biggest stage in CSWA history... on the biggest stage in PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING HISTORY... one last time.

(Troy tosses a $100 bill and leaves it on the table. He takes his title and walks past the girls.)

BLONDE GIRL: Hey, Troy... you looking to party?

(Troy smirks.)

TROY: Not today... because I'm about to become the greatest wrestler who has EVER lived.

(Troy walks away as the girls sit there, stunned that the legendary ladies killer has snubbed them. FTB)

User Poets
07-26-06, 03:10 PM
"Talking to you guys is like punching out an eight year old. Fun and satisfying, yes... but nothing t'make a career on."

"What was the point of that, Xias? Yeah, you beat me. Big f**k deal. A lotta people've beaten me. Doesn't make ya special. Like I said, y'beat me and did f**k all with the momentum. Case in point - that was one of three pinfall victories you had over me, and y'still couldn't get over. Glass ceiling? Is that really my fault? That's not quite as pathetic as the TWO TIME World Champion blaming the fact that he wasn't over on the FORMER Hardcore Champion, but it's close."

"What was I s'posed to do, Xias? Get on the stick with mic skills you never developed and say to the fans, 'No, no - you have to cheer for Xias! Buy his merch, petition the office to push him to the moon at the expense of the wrestlers who've proven themselves as draws and are looking to the good of the company before themselves!' You were one'a the best denial guys, Xias... but the reason you were never World Champion in the fWo wasn't because of some imagined glass ceiling, or because of any kind'a office politics."

"You were never good enough. More than just myself broke our backs tryin' t'get you over in the ring, but when it comes down to it, the only person that could make or break your career is you. It ain't my fault you peaked already. It ain't my fault you couldn't handle your business, kid. Take some responsibility."

"Look at your boy Eron. He isn't puttin' the blame for his stunted career on anyone else's head. He knows his limits. He knows people tried t'put him over, but his cheap heat skills on the stick can only get him so far. He knows his only hope of gettin' any notice past initial recognition is to call my wife a whore, and he's milkin' it. Of course, if he really didn't care he would've ignored me completely."

"Ego is a predictable force, Relentless... and it's gonna be quite a challenge tryin' to put a finger on which one of the wrestlers in this match takes you down."

"Of course, you can't talk ego without talking Troy. I think you prefer this to a one - on - one match with your brother, or with Ryan, or a three - way match, Troy. Instead of bein' the center of attention of a single match, you're stirrin' the pot of bein' the center of attention for two dozen wrestlers spread out across five rings, not to mention all the other CSWA titleholders."

"Five wars behind us, Troy... I'm not so arrogant to guarantee victory for myself. But I will guarantee one thing... in the past nine years, you've torn my knee to s***, you've taken my dignity and put me through the tops of steel cages. I've broken your bones and, finally, made you tap. There's nothing, physically, that we can threaten that hasn't already happened."

"That leaves just one more avenue for me. You're not leaving with the UNIFIED Title."

"Consider it a guarantee."


measuring stick
07-26-06, 04:09 PM
FADE IN: Lance Spencer.

SPENCER: I don't care about your fWo biing matches.

I don't care about who you self proclaimed legends beat.

Xias, go back to Japan where somebody just might give a damn.

Eron, retire. Nobody cares.

And Flair, you are the original nobody, nice to see some things never change.


User Poets
07-26-06, 06:11 PM
FADE IN: Lance Spencer.

SPENCER: I don't care about your fWo biing matches.

I don't care about who you self proclaimed legends beat.

Xias, go back to Japan where somebody just might give a damn.

Eron, retire. Nobody cares.

And Flair, you are the original nobody, nice to see some things never change.


FADE IN: Flair, outside the club.

"If you don't care, Standard Man, then why'd you jump in, headfirst?"

"Stay in the kiddie pool, or you're liable to drown."


measuring stick
07-26-06, 10:28 PM
FADE IN: Lance Spencer, clad in his black "Weighed, Measured, Found Unworthy" T-shirt, khaki shorts, and white Arizona Cardinals ballcap. Fresh off his recent promo.

SPENCER: Funny you should use references to pools Flair.

Considering your career is about to take a major dive off the deep end.

Read the shirt Flair.

You have been weighed.

You have been measured.

And like so many other times, you've been found unworthy.

Good talk old timer, see you at Gold Rush.


User Poets
07-26-06, 10:37 PM
FADE IN: Lance Spencer, clad in his black "Weighed, Measured, Found Unworthy" T-shirt, khaki shorts, and white Arizona Cardinals ballcap. Fresh off his recent promo.

SPENCER: Funny you should use references to pools Flair.

Considering your career is about to take a major dive off the deep end.

Read the shirt Flair.

You have been weighed.

You have been measured.

And like so many other times, you've been found unworthy.

Good talk old timer, see you at Gold Rush.


"Because if it's on a T-shirt, it's gotta be true."

"I'm six feet, nine inches tall and was three bills,even, last time I checked. So yeah, I've been weighed and measured. Happens a lot in this business."

"But what am I unworthy of? Alice Cooper, you're not. Wrestling in the CSWA, witty barb aside I think my career from 1995 to 2005 pretty much nulls that unworthy definition."

"Or is it one of those abstract T-shirts that makes us think? Like Or Else! Tell me what I'm unworthy of... or else!"

"This is the CSWA, Spence... the CSWA doesn't even have a generic third - string color guy. As a rookie to the company, ain't no way you can get away with a generic threat like that."

"Unless, of course... that's all you got."

measuring stick
07-26-06, 11:01 PM
"And I'm six foot six, two hundred seventy-nine pounds, congratulations Eli."


"Oh forgive me Eli, I didn't realize because you've been around the block more than Kathleen, sorry Jay Smash, that you being generic can be overlooked, but I shall be damned for it."

"You sure nailed Alice Cooper, it makes sense though. The last time anybody really cared about Eli Flair, Alice Cooper was still selling records."

"You know Total Elimination, I expected more from you. I expect Troy Windham to try and use sarcastic remarks to outdo me, but not you. And judging by how this is going for you, I think you should quit. I'm sure you're bright enough to figure out that all this trash is thrown out the window the second we step into the ring. Nobody remembers what dumb thing Jay Smash said, how badly I made you look on national TV, none of it. It is about the wrestling. It's about the blood, sweat, and tears that each man has put into this sport. And oh yes I know, you've been beaten, you have been down, but you have always come back for more. That's good, I want to be the man that sends "Total Elimination" Eli Flair with his tail between his legs back to the showers."

"This is 2006. This is my time."

User Poets
07-27-06, 08:35 AM
FADEIN: Eli Flair at the club.

"So...... lemmee see if I get this. Troy built his rep on being a cocky SOB so sarcasm is okay for him, but because I'm big 'n pale with a black leather trenchcoat when it's not so bleedin' hot out, I'm not allowed?"

"That's no fun, Spence. You need to loosen up. It's the guys like you, so damned intense you're on the verge of spraining something every time you flex, that don't get remembered. Take a little joy in your job, you'll find it's a lot easier to take the aches, pains, and stitches that way."

"But what do I know? I'm an old man at thirty-four. I haven't been relevant since 1858. Lance Spencer's T-shirt said so. Maybe I'm too stubborn to know when I've been verbally shellacked, although I'm sure I'd recognize it if it happened."

"You'll keep comin' back, though. It's like a virus. I talk, you react. I can keep on doin' this until ANNIVERSARY, Spence... without breakin' a sweat. And while I think it's important that everyone have a dream... you might wanna aim for something you can actually obtain to start with. Or at least something you've got some control over."