From Bouncer To Boot’s Chemists

My doorman’s licence was due to expire, and I wasn’t sure weather I should stay on the door or just go. It was a matter of principal because I was too tight to pay for the licence. It just din’t make sense. Why should I pay out money for another one? I was working the doors to make money – not bloody well spend it. The problem was that I loved door-work. It was a buzz. Exiting. On the flip-side, I didn’t like the person that I was becoming. Even my own parents didn’t recognize me. It was like their son had gone, and now someone – or something else was there instead. I noticed it many a time, when I saw different looking eyes gazing back at me in the reflection of a mirror…

One of the newish lads on the doors, Adam, worked in the day as a security guard. He told me how the company was going to pay for the new SIA security licence for all it’s security staff. He gave me an application form. he put in a good word for me. I got an interview, and got the job. The problem was – I didn’t really want it. I felt like a right w@nker, walking around boot’s chemists dressed as the Big Bossman. I hated that! …but, I didn’t have much choice. I couldn’t go back on the door without my badge – so, I just had to play the waiting game and put up with it for now. The minute I had my certificate and badge – I was gonna sod right off and go back on the doors.

The job was all or nothing. Either quiet and boring, or it could be some heroin addict with HIV or hepatitis, trying to stab you with a dirty used drug needle. Rest assured, I showed those dirty, low life scrotes no quarter. I’m NOT going to lie and say that that it didn’t scare me. It did scare me. There was an element of fear when something like this happened, and being afraid does not make you a coward. It’s a natural survival instinct. Anyone who says they are not afraid in these situations is either telling a blatant lie – or a psychopath. I’d had knives pulled on me while I used to work on the doors, and knives can end your life in an instant, but for some reason the drug needles were even more frightening. Being stabbed with a used drug needle that could infect you with a STD just felt a lot more terrifying.

These drug addicts were the sort of individuals who would push someones grandmother down the stairs, beat her withing an inch of her life, and rob her of her pension money for their next fix. Most of my professional life Iv’e had to deal with a lot of really hard men, but men with some morals. Your old school hard case would never attack a woman. As violent as any of these men could be, they would be gentlemen around women and their elders. With drug addicts there is none of that old school morality. They won’t fight you one on one, and they wont fight unarmed either.

Iv’e been there. Iv’e witnessed drug addicts shaking like a leaf, and breaking out into a sweat because they are so desperate for their next fix. Withdrawal symptoms. They used to come into the store when they were on a methadone program. You see – Boot’s Chemists supply them with methadone. The addicts get it for free, all payed for by good honest, hardworking, law abiding tax payer. This is a substitute for heroin. The idea is that it’s there to get the addict off the heroin. Sound’s like a good thing, right? In reality, the addict  is substituting one addictive substance for another one. Methadone is far more addictive than heroin. That’s a fact, and if you don’t believe me – do your own research. Boot’s get payed pure money – like you would’t believe for this. Funding from the government. So, if you want to become a drug dealer and make the big money, without the risk of going to prison – get your arse off to college or university, become a pharmacy student, get a qualification that’s nothing more than a licence to sell drugs.

Another thing that was common, mums taking their teenage daughters to the counter for the “morning after pill” or some other form of contraceptive. I’m talking girls who were 13, 14 years old and so on… It’s bad shit. I just remember thinking to myself at that time, has society come to this? You would think that over time, humans would evolve. Get smarter. Not the case here. Especially with the addicts. They had all the collective intellect of a retarded egg yolk. Some of the store management weren’t much better. Oh, and “PC Police”? …Oh, no. You can’t call them drug addicts. No, no, no! You MUST call them a patient, or else you’re discriminating. …BOLLOCKS! …That’s nowt more than a load of politically correct sugar coated bullshit. If you’re a drug addict – you’re a drug addict.

Needless to say, I didn’t stay in that job. Hated it! Besides the security company were a bunch of liars! They weren’t going to pay for my licence at all. They wanted guards to pay for it themselves. It was blatant lie all along. When the time come that I had no choice but to take the licence – I buggered off and quit. I’d had enough of dealing with the dregs of society and the bureaucrats. I didn’t want to be in that environment anymore. Sod living like that for a game of soldiers. I’ve never looked back.

An Offer I CAN Refuse

Snatch On Steroids, An Offer I CAN Refuse, And The Fight That NEVER Happened.

I had been wrestling for well over a decade. I had opened my own wrestling school, and I had been promoting my own local wrestling shows for at least a good couple of years – when I was asked if I would be willing to hire my wrestling ring out for a local boxing event. This was no ordinary boxing match. It was going to be a bare knuckle gypsy boxing match/ fight featuring Bartley Gorman – The King of the Gypsies.

The King of the Gypsies was a title reserved for the so-called “World Champion” of the nomadic gypsy tribes of Great Britain and Ireland. Bare knuckle fighting was (and still is) highly illegal in the UK. It’s also very underground and secretive, not to mention lucrative. Despite the risks involved there was huge money to be made. I had to give the matter some serious though and consideration before I agreed to do anything…

The event was planned to take place in a scrapyard, in Sutherland Road, Stoke-on-Trent. It was been organised by two businessmen. They were dodgy used car salesmen. Arthur Daley type characters. They approached me one afternoon when I was building the wrestling ring, just before a live event. Their car auction and scrapyard was just next door to the venue that I was using at the time. One problem was that the fight would be taking place just a few hundred yards away from the local police station, and carloads, and van-loads of travelers would have stood out like a spare penis at a wedding.

I was tempted. Very tempted. However, this venture was high-risk. What if the police found out and raided the venue? People can scatter and make a run for it, and that’s all fine and dandy for them …but, I can hardly pick up a wrestling ring, tuck it under my coat, and walk off into the sunset – can I? For all I knew the police may have had the powers to seize the ring, or even destroy it …and that’s my biggest asset gone forever. I don’t mind taking a naughty risk here and there, but they have to be very calculated risks. So, I told the guys that I would have to give the matter some thought and get back to them with my answer.

What happened next made my mind up for me. An individual who worked as a handyman and a salmonella burger flipper at the venue came rushing over to me like there was no tomorrow and he said “Are you doing that ring hire job for the bare knuckle fight?” I just walked away from him and went straight up to the “promoters” and told them that the deal was off. There was no way I could justify taking the risk. You see this individual called Jim was a gossip, and he couldn’t keep his fat mouth shut to save his life.

He used to wind me up and make my blood boil something chronic within ten seconds of listening to his drivel. Every time I’d build the wrestling ring up, he was there telling ME how it should be done! He was one of these characters that I’d label as a “know-it-all” and a “billy bullshitter”. To hear him talk you’d think he’s done everything under the sun except for being a brain surgeon or an astronaut. He was a bragger, an exaggerator, and above all – a pain in the fu##ing arse! …and he used to delight in picking the the slightest fault in the design of the wrestling ring. Now, the one thing I will NOT allow is being told what to do by someone who has less knowledge, skill, or experience than myself. …BUT his load mouth compromised the whole venture as far as I was concerned. …but, there you go, that’s how one rotten apple can spoil it for the whole bunch. Idiot!

Initiations: Bonded By Blood

Just like a fraternal order, or a so-called “secret society” – professional wrestling in Great Britain had it’s own so-called initiations. Just like becoming a “made man” in La Costra Nostra, or let’s say becoming one of the hierarchy in a motorcycle gang – there was one thing we all shared in common. It was like a “blood in – blood out” kind of thing. It didn’t make the slightest bit of difference how many matches you’d had under your belt. As far as Max Crabtree was concerned, you were not entitled to call yourself a professional until you had spilled your own blood. You had to bleed. It was the only way to be accepted into that community…

Catching up with my old wrestling coach/ teacher/ mentor: Mike Weaver. Reminiscing about the good old days. Talking about scurfing, shooting, and stiffing people over a few pints.
Catching up with my old wrestling coach/ teacher/ mentor: Mike Weaver. Reminiscing about the good old days. Talking about scurfing, shooting, and stiffing people over a few pints.

I started out the old school way. I worked as a jobber. Took beatings every night, and I never complained. Eventually I started to gain a little respect, and that’s when I think things started to change for the better…

This was a way of paying your dues. Earning respect. A way to prove that you were made of the right stuff. I never complained about it. I just took it on the chin – like a man. Always returned to the dressing room, shake my opponents hand, and say “thank you for the wrestling lesson”. It was the correct way of doing things. Some people have come through the back door – so to speak, but not on Mike Weavers watch!

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People at my day job – or at my local pub would ask me if I had to take an oath on the bible, like it was like becoming a Freemason or something like that. I’d just laugh it off. In reality it was nothing like that, but what happened on the road stayed on the road. I’d always protect the secrets of the game. I’d do this a lot with TV and Radio presenters – who’d ask me if the game was fixed. I’d give them a gentle demonstration by applying grovits, double wrist locks, chicken wings. They were all very painful catch wrestling holds, and very effective.

Sadly the whole veil of secrecy has been lifted away from the business. A pity really, because the mystery and the mystique of the business has gone away with it. They were special days. 😀