The Life of a Rob: Part 13

Already up to part 13! Welcome back! It’s funny because as I first wrote this thing, I was having trouble remembering some details of my young life. But now I don’t know where to begin. I wonder how much stuff I will recall later after writing this? There’s still a lot to cover. Lets get to it!

So the year was 1999. I was working at Peter Piper Pizza & being a full-blown Juggalo. Back then, most of the general public didn’t know what a Juggalo was. Now the Hatchet Man logo is widely recognised as a “gang” mark. (I don’t think it should be of course.) My how far we’ve come. I assume over the years as the Juggalo army grew in size, it was only natural that they would acquire more people who were… more apt to break laws. I could be wrong & I don’t mean to talk trash about younger Jugalos, but back then the Juggalo way of life just seemed to be closer to what it preached in my opinion. It was a family. Have you ever seen anyone that was a fan of something, take someone in for the night (or much longer) just because they were a fan? This & many other Juggalo related generosities were frequent back in the day. If you were broke & hungry, another Juggalo would feed you. This was the common. You could spot a stranger, but another Juggalo on the street & instantly be friends. I don’t know of anything else like that.

It just seems like there are a lot of troublemaking ass Juggalos out there now. How did it go from family having fun, to being on the FBI gang list in the same category as Bloods & Crips? It started as a fucking fan base! It’s a fan base like nothing else before it. I saw it as being about music, freedom, & not being judged. It was a harbor for outcasts. Now its classified as a gang. What the fuck happened? I’m just saying the Juggalo crowd has changed a little. Theres more worry involved. Back then it was more care free. More inviting. More accepting. Anyway, im getting ahead of myself…

Still… 1999… It was the release of the Sega Dreamcast. I had seen pictures of the graphics in magazines. It was a huge leap in technology from the PS1 & N64. I was never a super huge Sega fan, but I was really hyped about the Dreamcast. I sold all of my games except my Playstation system to reserve it & a few games. Arcade graphics were becoming MUCH better & smoother. The Dreamcast brought them home. I had games like Soul Caliber, Resident Evil: Code Veronica, Marvel Vs Capcom 2, Sonic Adventure, Mortal Kombat Gold, Worms, Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver, House of the Dead, & the mighty Shenmu. I thought it was a great system but the game releases were a bit slow coming. I was amazed at all of these games. I still feel like Shenmu is an underrated gem. I really hope they do a remake or re-release one day. Soul Caliber was extremely good also. Mortal Kombat Gold was Mortal Kombat 4, but with extra characters & other extras. Speaking of Mortal Kombat 4, I must take another step back…

Mortal Kombat 4 was released in Arcades around 1997. I remember playing it for the first time in the Putt-Putt arcade. This was their first 3D entry. No more realistic digitized 2D graphics. Even though the graphics were really good for 3D, I instantly missed the 2D. I was also not a fan of being able to pick weapons up & move around in 3D space. I just felt like the gameplay had taken a hit. They also had less Fatalities & secrets. For the first time ever I was borderline disappointed in Mortal Kombat. I still enjoyed it to a point. I played it a ton & I bought it for Playstation & Sega Dreamcast. But overall I was a bit disappointed. I felt like the franchise that I had loved growing up was dying.

Since were on the subject of Sega & going back in time, let me speak more on my Sega systems. I didn’t get a Sega Genesis until they had released version 2 of it, which was smaller & sleeker. I loved a game called Zero Tolerence that was on Genesis. I would also play games like Beavis & Butthead, Eternal Champions, Altered Beast, Golden Axe, Streets of Rage 1 2 & 3, WWF RAW, Sonic 1 2 3 & Knuckles. I also had Sonic Spinball & others. I beat every Sonic game. My cousin played with me a lot. I later got the Sega CD system expansion attachment. It plugged into a port on the right side of the Genesis. I didn’t own many games. I rented most of them. Sega CD was a weird combo of slightly better than Genesis graphics but with good CD quality sound. It also introduced terrible quality full motion video. I remember someone referring to it as if you were watching video through a rusty screen door…

They tried to incorporate this terrible video into gameplay various ways. It made for… interesting… games. My cousin & I have fond memories of playing Sewer Shark, which came with the system. It was a terrible game, but it was so terrible that it was hilarious. Combine this with me & my cousin’s humor & it was good times. Sonic CD was a good game. There was a game called Rise of the Dragon that I loved. I also played Sega CD games like C & C Music Factory, Ground Zero Texas, Ecco: Tides of Time, Chuck Rock 2, Sol-Feace, Corpse Killer, & Tomcat Alley. The game list for Sega CD was short. I wouldn’t discover Eternal Champions on Sega CD until many years later. It a shame because it was a great fighting game. the Sega 32X was later released. It plugged into where the Genesis cartridges went. So essentially the Genesis had to system expansions for it. Sega loved their expansions peripherals…

I have never owned a 32X even to this day, but I did rent one once. With it, I rented Doom. It was a good port of Doom. The first time that I owned Doom was on Atari Jaguar. There was a short era where I owned an Atari Jaguar. I bought it just for Doom & Alien Vs Predator. I later had Kasumi Ninja. I loved all 3 games, but there wasnt much more that I was interested in on the system. It boasted 64 bit graphics! SNES & Genesis was only 16 bit graphics. The Jaguar had a funky controller with lots of buttons. The graphics were good for the time but were quickly surpassed by the PS1. Speaking of obscure systems. Jason once borrowed (or bought?) a Panasonic 3DO system from one of his friends that I didn’t know.

Jason had games like Need for Speed, Alone in the Dark, & Way of the Warrior. Jason also let me borrow it for a while. I loved it. Alone in the Dark was the first survival horror type game that I played. Despite its funky graphics, it was actually scary in parts. I really got into Way of the Warrior though. The soundtrack was basically White Zombies La Sexorcisto. It was a gory fighting game, but it had extremely choppy animation. If it wasnt for the terrible animation, that sucker would’ve been a legend of a fighting game. It had very elaborate Fatalities & a bad ass soundtrack. Lots of attitude. However the 3D0 was short-lived.

While were getting random systems out-of-the-way ill speak on a few handhelds. I had an old Game Boy at one point. I’m talking old spinach colored screen, no backlight, bleepy sounding, classic beige Game Boy. But despite it being ancient tech, I enjoyed it. I beat Zelda Links Awakening. I also had Castlevania, Wario, some Mario games, Killer Instinct, Tetris, & lets not forget Pokemon. I played Pokemon Yellow before I even knew about the cartoon. I don’t think there was a cartoon then. I loved it. I would play the Game Boy a lot when I was in the car. But Zelda & Pokemon also sucked up a lot of time at home. I had some light & magnifying glass attachment so you could play in the dark & see the screen better. I also had a Sega Game Gear for a short time. I played Sonic & Riddick Bowes Boxing on that sucker. I later had a Sega Nomad which was a blocky portable Sega Genesis that sucked down the batteries.

I’ve been a fairly hardcore gamer for many years. I used to be able to comment on every single game that was released. Its way out of control today though. Theres way too many games, especially digitally & on mobile devices. In 2016, the world-wide video game industry hit $91 billion in revenue. In comparison, global music revenue was $16 billion. I’m so curious as to where video games will be in 30 years. They were thought to be a children’s toy when I was younger & now they’re a global sensation for all ages. In 2013 the world-wide video game industry made literally twice as much in revenue than the world-wide film/box office industry. Ok, let’s get away from games for a bit…

At the turn of the century there was some hoopla about Y2K. It never scared me a bit. I figured it was BS & that’s what it ended up being. From what I remember there was some scare because a lot of computers internal clocks were not designed to handle going past 1999. Ok… I remember dressing as The Crow for Halloween at Peter Piper Pizza & everyone somehow thought I was Neo from the Matrix. Ironically, I later got so sick of Crow cosplayers… Speaking of, after I got a job & had a little spending money, we went to the Hulen Mall one day. There was a leather clothing store. I decided it would be a good idea to blow over $400 on a leather overcoat & leather pants. I later cut the pants into shorts. Man, I caught Hell for years for wearing them Leather pants. Id be chilling & out of no where, I would just hear… “Llllleeeeeatha pants!”

I also mentioned a few of our other friends. Let me talk about them a min. First there was Adrian. From what I remember, I first met Adrian at Jason’s house. At first I was cautious of Adrian, because he was claiming the bloods gang at the time. I wasn’t into gangs. I always tried to steer clear from gangs when I could. I’ve seen too much trouble & drama come out of them. I knew people that were in various Fort Worth gangs. But turns out Adrian was really cool. A charasmatic Mexican that was funny as Hell. He didn’t give us any problems at all. He remains our friend to this very day.

Then there was Damien. Damien was half white, half black. He was around quite a bit those days. He was in better shape than the rest of us. He was into Martial arts. Actually had some muscle tone & what not. Damien was funny & cool at the time, but that sucker like to leach stuff off of ya. He’d borrow stuff without asking & things like that. It was usually little stuff & kinda funny looking back though. Damien had a brother named Eric. We didn’t know him real good at first of course, but Eric was also into Martial Arts. My Leather overcoat came up missing one day & I thought Eric was the one who stole it. I didn’t have proof though. I saw him at the Mall once & he was wearing a leather overcoat. Well, we were about to box in the music store but Jason & Damien held us back. He denied that it was my coat to the end. Well, I ended up just letting it go & we became friends. He was Damien’s brother & I wasnt even sure if it was my coat.  

Before we get into the year 2000, I need to go back once again. I’m finding much more to write about in these later years. Lets go back to about 1997… I mentioned that we were all getting into wrestling. We would record wrestling on TV on VHS tapes. Well in about 1997, Jason & his cousin Bubba decided to try doing pro wrestling in their backyard, just messing around. They started recording themselves on a huge ancient VHS camcorder. This thing was huge & sat on your shoulder. The video quality was terrible & would cut off at random, but it was still fancy in a way to me. The first time that I tried it, they had a small wooden platform in the backyard. Me & Bubba first tried practicing moves & then had a very quick match. Jason recorded. The very first time that I tried a Tombstone Piledriver on Bubba, I thought I broke his back…

I was wore out just from practicing a bit & doing a very quick match. We didn’t know that Backyard Wrestling was even a thing at the time. Well our backyard wrestling became more frequent & I was actually tying to get in shape. I would do push ups & exercises, every day on top of the Wrestling. I gained a little muscle tone but not as much as Damien & Bubba. Jason’s was mostly hidden under his thick skin. (lol) We all got in the best shape of our lives around that time. I wish I had all of the recordings that we did. Only a very few survived to this day. As time went by the VCR tapes got lost or destroyed.

Jason & Bubba even built a full size ring out of tarp, wood, & tires that they had in their big backyard. Later they bought plastic chains to use as ropes. It was a usable full size ring. Well you couldn’t stand on the ropes or bounce of them much, but it was otherwise like a real ring. It was impressive. Me, Jason, Bubba, Damien, Adrian, & more would wrestle often. Jason & Bubba did it the most, with me coming in 3rd because I didn’t live there. But we wrestled for many days over the next 3 years. We came up with our own storylines & gimmicks. We would use an old CD player for our entrance music. At one point I made us custom entrance music on the MTV Music Generator game for PS1. We would usually blast metal songs while wrestling.

Looking back it was pretty dangerous. It could be the reason for some of our health issues today. We would get online & learn about executing the moves properly. We would also of course study the real show pretty hard. We did pretty good for not being professionally trained. Well, until Bubba was professionally trained. Bubba had started a job at a feed store. From what I remember, it payed pretty good. So he ended up going to the NWA Southwest Pro Wrestling school. Me & Jason were jealous. We couldn’t afford it. But Bubba would teach us what he had learned, so that was something. We later bought the somewhat expensive wrestling title belt replicas. We discovered that other kids across the Nation were doing the same thing & calling it backyard wrestling. There was even an add that ran during the pro wrestling tv shows for anti-backyard wrestling. Kids all over were having terrible accidents such as paralysis & even death.

Sometimes we would get pretty beat up. I don’t remember anything major being done to me that I couldn’t heal from in a few days. I hurt a few people on accident because of stupid moves that I did to them. I busted Jason’s ear up pretty bad with a stop sign once. I also kicked a metal trashcan into a kids face. Both were really stupid moves that I regretted. Bills brother Daniel & his friend Chris started wrestling with us. They were both good. I would go get them pretty often so they could wrestle. The whole thing grew & grew. Our dream at the time was to save up & go to the WCW Power Plant Pro Wrestling school, but that never happened. We filled up tons of VCR tapes that would be lost in time.

I had 2 main gimmicks. The main one was a character that I called Impious. The definition of Impious is, “Not showing respect or reverence, especially to a God”. It was a vampire character along the lines of my idol The Undertaker. Later the WWF introduced a vampire gimmick named Gangrel & it pissed me off because I thought of it first. At first I wore fake vampire teeth but they later became a pain to wrestle in. I had the cheap plastic Halloween teeth at first & then I bought the more professional ones later at Hot Topic. Later, I also bought vampiric red eye contact lenses at Wal-Mart. Them suckers were uncomfortable. I could perpetually see a red ring in my peripheral vision. I wore them a lot though.

I remember a video clip that we laughed hard about, of me grabbing a chicken in Jason’s yard during a match & acting like I was biting it. I rose up into the camera, holding the sacrificial chicken. I then hissed all corny like. Suddenly my cheap teeth fell crooked in my mouth right in full view of the camera. I tried to play it off quickly by “biting” the chicken. You just had to have seen it. It was hilarious. This is also when that black makeup that I had bought came into play. I would use the black lipstick & draw a single line down my chin from my lips. (But don’t tell anyone)

My 2nd character, which honestly, I like it better now a days… was a gimmick I called Morphix. I can’t remember if I bought it or if Jason did, but I had a gas mask that we bought from an Army Surplus store. I wore a gas mask & I had a black shirt that we had spray painted a silver “M” on it. Morphix was some insane guy that thought he was from the future. He would ramble funny nonsensical things. Things such as rambling about the bugs invading. I would later use this gimmick in various video games whenever I could create my own character in a game. I even remember drawing a type of comic about his back story. I got the name from merging Morpheus from the Matrix & something else that I can’t remember. I wrestled more as Impious, but little do people know, Morphix was my personal favorite.

We would later have boxing sparring matches with gloves & everything. We would sometimes practice real wrestling moves. Sometimes we would get a submission hold on each other just to see how long we could hold out before tapping out. We would roughhouse & almost be fighting, but we were playing for the most part. Sometimes it would get a little heated though. But we wouldn’t get fully serious. We didn’t try to kill each other. We were just being rough teenage boys. I loved the arm bar personally. I would use the arm bar a lot when we were rough housing & in wrestling. In the future if we did get into real fights, we usually incorporated the things we’ve learned. I remember hearing about Bubba DDT’ing a kid in school & almost knocking him out from out.

In North Richland Hills at NWA South West, they would hold a wrestling show on the weekends. We would go on occasion. It was pretty cool because it would actually air late Saturday nights on a local TV channel. I recorded us in the crowd several times. We went so much that the promoter & wrestlers got to know us a little & would let us interact with them a little more than the rest of the crowd. The heels (bad guys) would seriously get in our faces, but it was for show. One day, Jason spotted a kid wearing a ICP shirt. WE noticed that there was another group of juggalos there too. Well we got to talking to them & they told us that they had a backyard wrestling promotion too! This was the beginning of a new era… 

      

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