Saturday, September 08, 2007

Anarchy in Angus

It all started with getting gas.

We were parked at the station and Joe was in paying. I was looking at posters stuck up in the window of the gas station and noticed one that announced that Anarchy in Angus 2 was finally here. On the poster were four guys making 'angry he-man' faces, fists up. When Joe got in the car I pointed the picture out to him and said, "Let's go!" He looked at me and said, "You are kidding, right?" I told him that we were in a rut, we should do something different than we'd ever done before and that wrestling fit that description. In a second, Joe as into the spirit of the thing and we bought tickets right then.

The doors opened at 6 and we were there shortly after. I wasn't sure what they'd do for wheelchair seating and I wanted to be able to be up close. This, I was absolutely certain, would be the only time I would ever go to wrestling so I wanted to actually experience it close up. Wheeling in, I noticed something odd, people quietly and without fuss made room for the chair and absolutely no fuss was made about getting seats. The ring was in the center of the gym and movable chairs were set up on it's four sides. "Push aside any seat you want," was the instruction given.

As the crowd arrived they were clearly in the mood for a good time and people were grabbing places to sit and, true to advertising, there was a fair degree of orderly anarchy in Angus. Rows grew and shrunk as chairs were grabbed and moved. For a while I had two people in front of me, then four, then one as people got settled in.

When the wrestling started, I was impressed with the showmanship and with how hard the guys and gals worked to give the crowd a fun time. The kids were in heaven. One boy in front of me said to his friend after a spectacular lift and drop (do not expect me to know wrestling terms) "It just doesn't get better than this."

And for awhile for me, it didn't, as far as anyone was concerned I could have been sitting in a regular chair. No stares, no pointing, no notice, nothing. Everyone was fixed on having a good time and it was an egalitarian evening.

Last week we went to a play, we saw, Pump Boys and Dinettes, and though the staff at the theatre were nice, several people made a big deal about stepping around the chair, about the fact that I sit tall in my chair, about having to wait for me to push into the theatre. People who would sneer down their noses at a wrestling crowd did the same to me.

But not here.

As costumed men and wild women slammed each other down on the mat I was just part of the crowd.

Before going that evening I had made a joke, a few times, about what I expected. "I'm more afraid," I said, "about the people attending than I am of the guys wrestling."

That was a snobbish thing to say.

I was wrong.

I apologize.


Anonymous said...

Its so nice when things unexpectedly turn out really well!

gettingthere said...

Aha! Never judge a book by its cover. Common courtesy is rare and found in uncommon places. Glad you had really good time.

Jeff said...


I find your post interesting because it backs up an interesting theory I have had for years. If I look back over the years before and since Nash was born I find it interesting that most of our highly educated somewhat snobbish friends we had before Nash was born are long gone. Most have been replaced by our friends from the Down syndrome world. But our true friends, those regular every day working folks that I can't tell you whether they have an 8th grade education or an MBA with a JD are still around.

I hate to say it but it seems the higher the education level the less excepting people are of others...unless they have the expereince of a family member...then it all changes.

Don't like to make blanket statements but this has been my experience.

Unknown said...

First..i so appreciate the time you post. I'm with ya!

*raising cup of coffee to another early riser*

And i LOVE the way you speak what's on my mind!

I had to have my truck worked on. The mechanic is located about 20 blocks from where i work. Dropped it off in the morning on the way in, and was assured that it would be ready by lunch.

I thought it unnecessary to bum a ride, or call a cab thinking that a one hour lunch would be plenty of time to walk over there to pick it up.

The area i had to walk through had no sidewalks as it's mostly industrial/commercial....pedestrians are a RARE sight...yet people i KNEW drove right by me. (I work in the largest pharmacy in a medium sized EVERYONE knows me).

I did get several offers for rides, and honestly, they were from people that at first seemed a little scary to me.

As i got to the mechanics, it did occur to me, that the ONLY offers i got, were from those people.

Maybe they understood what it was like to walk in the Missouri heat when your car breaks down.

Maybe they are just decent people...and I needed a little wake-up call.


Belinda said...

I heard the astoundingly gifted Luciano Pavarotti described today as a "big man, with a big personality and a big voice." He certainly was.

I thought the description could also apply to you, Dave.

Perhaps in the wrestling world of big men with big personalities and big voices--you fit in seamlessly!:)

Andrea Shettle, MSW said...


I suspect that the key issue is not education level--at least, not per se. I suspect that the key issue is that there are certain people who meet the following two criteria:

1. They put high value on things like intelligence, education, acquisition of high-level academic skills, degrees, employment in white-collar professions, etc.

2. They put low value on anything (or at least, on many things) that does not really require anything that fits into #1 above.

People who can be described AT LEAST by #1, and ESPECIALLY if they ALSO can be described by #2, tend to be more highly motivated to pursue an education, at least if they are fortunate enough to be able to afford one. So people who hold these values are inherently going to be far more strongly represented among people who happen to have a lot of education. In other words, I think people with an education are actually a mix of open minded people and snobs--and this seems to be reflected at least in my own personal experience. Snobs, on the other hand, are more likely to be highly educated.

--Andrea (Blog on Disability and poverty) (Blog primarily on the ADA Restoration Act)

Ettina said...

I heard of twins with Williams Syndrome (rare condition causing developmental delays and hypersociability) who befriended a biker. He asked them to speak at a biker's meeting about WS and they did and were given a lot of sympathy regarding social rejection and treated quite respectfully.