"Life sucks and then you die!"-Vince McMahon
I have seen them for quite some time, but they were always fleeting glances. Only one or two at a time would sprout up and thoroughly ruin my day. I would forget about them. I would laugh them off. I would convince myself they didn't really exist. Now, after the haircut I had this past Monday, I cannot hide the horror anymore.
I have a lot of gray fucking hairs.
To some/many of you, that may seem silly, but it is a life changing discovery. I now know that, at the age of 25, I am getting very old. I have been clinging onto my youth for a few years now, a college graduate struggling in the real world, but this forces me to take a long, hard look at my life and future.
What is to blame for my rapid descent into old age? My mother's side of the family is notorious for going gray at a very young age. I have been in a wonderful committed relationship for the past five years, but I can't deny that my fiancé (and mighty fine Podswoggle Guest Writer) has been a source of grief at times. Hell, when I started college, I was lazy and didn't shower as often as I should have; maybe some of those hairs were just naturally discolored at this point.
Alas, I truly believe that it is none of those perfectly suitable reasons. On the very day that I became aware of my pending descent into my elder years, the answer became crystal clear while watching the 998th edition of Monday Night Raw.
I was going gray because of professional wrestling.
More succinctly, I was going gray because of Hornswoggle.
The very namesake of this website that has become my second job of sorts, the diminutive grappler that bred this passion project I have poured myself into, the midget my wrestling-related online career will forever be tied to, has made me an old man.
Wrestling has aggravated me to a pretty harsh extent without Hornswoggle before. Katie Vick caused me to kick my dresser in high school. Pain shot through me for weeks. My stupid excitement/bewilderment for the announcement of the Summerslam 2003 Elimination Chamber match caused me to fumble out of Andrew Zangre's computer chair and feel numb in my right arm for several days. Maybe I punched a wall when Vince McMahon's limo blew up. The moral of this paragraph is simply this: wrestling has made me stupidly lash out physically on more than one occasion.
Hornswoggle, on the other hand, is slowly killing me.
His debut was innocent enough. Known as Little Bastard, he added some much-needed life and lightheartedness to Finlay's character. Plus, a midget can't last too long in the WWE. Just look at Dink.
Then, he started getting positive reactions from the live crowd. Finlay was still a heel, but Hornswoggle, as he was now dubbed, was getting a following.
So, he was given more to do. By more to do, I unfortunately mean that Hornswoggle was made Cruiserweight Champion (which was pretty much confirmed by John Carle on our podcast as a way to effectively kill the Cruiserweight Division forever). I gritted my teeth, shook my head and bemoaned this awful idea. In this instance, at least I had the peace of mind to know that he wasn't the WORST Cruiserweight Champion ever. Oklahoma would forever hold at distinction.
Then, in the wake of the Chris Benoit tragedy, WWE decided the best storyline for Vince McMahon wouldn't be his death, but rather his illegitimate son. Due to Ken Anderson's brain being the size of a Reese's Piece, that revelation was ultimately...you guessed it, Hornswoggle.
I yelled, I groaned, I accidentally took the tiniest chip out of one of my teeth while chugging a beer after the mystery was solved. Rich can back me up on that fact.
Looking back, I can pinpoint that moment as the first time one of my follicles betrayed me and turned to the Gray Side.
Since then, the onslaught of Hornswoggle has done nothing to preserve my coif. If I am not pulling my hair out during his appearances in the Royal Rumble, I am feeling my head overtaken by the urge to eat early bird specials. At the end of his seemingly decade-long feud with Chavo Guerrero, it was a miracle I didn't look like John Slattery or Steve Martin. Every time he is trotted out to be the terrible punchline on WWE's already awful jokes, I feel my scalp begging for a commercial featuring Emmitt Smith and Randy Johnson.
The sick truth is this: there is no end in sight. Hornswoggle can talk again. Anytime a match needs a "mascot" in the corner, rest assured that dwarf is going to waddle on out. He is apparently the answer to all of creative's unanswered mysteries now. I cannot wait for my hair to go from pepper to salt when Hornswoggle is revealed as the mastermind behind GTV, the ringleader of the Nexus, the person that raised the briefcase at the 1999 King of the Ring, the man behind the Impostor Kane mask, the culprit who collapsed the Raw set on Vince McMahon and the original Black Scorpion.
Those possibly answered questions are nothing like the questions plugging my mind. Why can't I age gracefully? Couldn't anybody else in the world be the bane of my wrestling existence? Why does a little person hold so much control over the top of my head?
The sick coincidences start coming forward around this time. Many of my friends have teased me about my patchy beard and its eerie resemblance to Hornswoggle's truly hideous facial hair. In the 2011 Royal Rumble, Matt Striker referred to Hornswoggle as a "doughy little fellow." This naturally came weeks after my fiancé jokingly referred to me as "doughy." Hell, a good friend of mine from high school recently texted me out of the blue and asked me what Hornswoggle's real name was. I still don't know why he asked, but it was probably just to keep the Earth's rotation in line by creating misery in my life via Dylan Postl.
Yes, I knew the answer off the top of my head.
As long as the PG Era chugs along, Hornswoggle is here to stay. I am not going to stop aging either. That means the next few years of my life could be very rough. Sure, we have been subjected to Hornswoggle in DX and the unsettling image of a midget jiggling in front of Brodus Clay. Just think: it could always get worse. There is no method to the madness that is WWE Creative's obsession with Hornswoggle segments.
That means two things: the true fans of professional wrestling are in for some hard times and my hair is destined to be akin to that smutty book everyone is reading.
I am not comfortable with either of those facts, but it is the way of my world. Wrestling has given me so much joy, but it has provided a lot of stupid grief along the way. That will never change, just like I will never be young again.
At least I have a scapegoat in, arguably, the worst wrestling character ever. Rest assured, though, if I ever meet that little prick, I am kicking him right in the biscuit knees.
Now, if I could only blame my sciatic problems on Vince Russo...
And, finally...this image.
Get that out of your head.