I am going back a bit this week, for Throwback Thursday. This photo would have been snapped in 1987. This was a throwaway moment during a photoshoot while I was at college. I was playing hobo living under the Bendigo underpass. Most of the shots were dark and deliberately underexposed to give them a grainy dirty look – very little shadow or highlight. What you can’t see is that my face was smeared with dirt and all the empty beer and spirit bottles at my feet. If I remember correctly, Marcel was behind the camera on that day. I am an absolutely dreadful actor and the assignment was a bit of a flop.
This month’s Fight Card release comes from Nathan Walpow, author of the popular Joe Portugal mystery series (www.walpow.com). Fight Card: Push takes us behind the scenes and behind the hoopla of the world of professional wrestling. Here’s the promo spiel.
You’re a ‘jobber’. You make your living by losing in the wrestling ring. You’re a good wrestler, but promoters don’t think you have what it takes to become a superstar. Then Thumper shows up. Big and strong, with a bunny-rabbit gimmick and fans eating out of his hand. His finishing move is called The Thump, and most guys don’t get up from it on their own.
One night, Thumper puts his opponent in the hospital. Not a big deal. Sure, the outcome of a wrestling match is fake. But the ‘bumps’ in the ring can be all too real. Sometimes you get hurt. Part of the territory.
Then it happens again. Only this time, the guy who got ‘thumped’ is tossed into a car like a sack of potatoes. Lou Boone, the promoter who runs Central States Wrestling with an iron fist, knows you saw something and offers you a ‘push’ if you keep your mouth shut.
A push. Every jobber’s dream. To get to win some matches, to get to be on the big cards in the big arenas. You want it more than anything. You begin thinking you imagined the sack-of-potatoes guy – until it happens again.
Now, you have to choose between wrestling fame and doing the right thing. Before this is over, someone else will be dead. And you don’t want it to be you…
Fight Card: Push is based on the short story “Push Comes to Shove,” selected by Lawrence Block for the Best American Mystery Stories series.
I am running a little behind in sharing this – however it’s still worth shouting about. The second Fight Card charity anthology, Fight Card Presents: Battling Mahoney & Other Stories is available from Amazon as an e-book for $2.99 with 100% of the proceeds going to help the family of the late Jory Sherman. A paperback version will follow shortly.
Inside its pages, you’ll find my short story, ‘Abbott & Costello Meet the Brown Bomber’ – a piece of speculative fiction about the famous comedy duo meeting boxing great Joe Louis (as Lou gets ready to film his fight scenes – as Lou the Looper – in Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man).
Battling Mahoney and Other Stories is the second in a series of charity anthologies from the Fight Card authors’ cooperative – a writers’ community featuring many of today’s finest fictioneers – features fifteen rounds of fight fiction from authors James Reasoner, Loren D. Estleman, Len Levinson, Mark Finn, Jeremy L. C. Jones, Michael Zimmer, Marc Cameron, Nik Morton, Marsha Ward, Clay More, Chuck Tyrell, Bowie V. Ibarra, Art Bowshier, and featuring an extensive essay, On Boxing, by Willis Gordon.
Compiled by Paul Bishop and Jeremy L. C. Jones, 100% of the proceeds from these anthologies go directly to an author-in-need or a literacy charity. Words on paper are the life blood of a writer. The writers in this volume were willing to bleed in order to give a transfusion to one of their own – and then continue to bleed to give a transfusion to literacy charities in support of that most precious of commodities…readers. They are true fighters, every one…
I hope everybody is having a good week. This is my last working day for this week, then I am off for another three days – off to watch Lee Van Cleef westerns (naturally). So, for Throwback Thursday, here I am trying to avoid paparazzi. You believe me don’t you? Looks like this shoes had had their day. Didn’t have a car back then (don’t have one now, actually) and did a lot of walking.
But still livin’ the high life.
Thursday again! Sheesh. Where is the year going to? Anyway, what can I tell you about this photo. Of course it is me, trying to look windswept and exotic as I manfully stare out at the river. It was taken in 1995, by the bank of the Murray River, in the town of Echuca in the state’s north (Northern Victoria). At one time, the city was the biggest inland port in the world (we’re talking 1880s). For those interested in that time period, you can check out the TV series ‘All the Rivers Run’, which starred John Waters and Sigrid Thorton. I have seen it since the 1980s, so i don’t know how it holds up. I think there was a sequel too – but I never saw that.
Well, last Monday I kickstarted the week with Tom Waits, and everything went down hill from there. This week I think I won’t so much ‘Kickstart the Week’, but try to sneak into the week sight unseen. Anyway, what have I got for you? GRINDERMAN! Palaces of Montezuma. From Later, with Jules Holland. Enjoy.
Have a good week everybody.