As friends and family gather around the table this year to give thanks, why not avoid the rancor and discord that usually erupts when discussing hot button issues like immigration, impeachment and Joe Biden’s IQ. Instead, work off your pumpkin pie and six liters of stress-related cortisol by engaging in top professional wrestling moves customized for these trying times.
Single-Handed Choke Slam: Like the last six Thanksgivings when the gleam in your sister-in-law’s eyes indicates she’s sauced on her third Lemon Drop and ready to lean into the “Irish were slaves too” theory, change up the vibe with a choke slam where a wrestler grasps an opponent’s neck, lifts them up and slams them to the mat. According to Wikipedia, the move looks dangerous but is “relatively safe.” Imagine the impact this move will have on disrupting conversations in which the year slavery ended is offered up as the absolute end of racism. Did you know that the choke slam dates back to the 19th Century and was actually used by Abraham Lincoln who was once a young wrestler? Mere coincidence? Hmmm?
The Piledriver: Although this move has been officially banned by the WWE because it can break your opponent’s neck, it might be just what’s needed when a discussion of the 2020 reelection rears its ugly head over coffee and pecan pie. With the Piledriver, you turn your opponent upside down, drop into a kneeling or seated position and drive your opponent’s head into the mat. If you can’t turn around your cousin’s opinion with irrefutable facts about the Ukraine phone conversation, why not try something that will call upon an EMT to sort things out.
Arm Twist Ropewalk Chop: It’s halftime during the big game and your dad’s best friend cozies up to you with a “hilarious” joke that involves Hilary Clinton and AOC in a hot tub. You’re just about to go into a deeply felt explanation about respecting women when you realize that the Arm Twist Ropewalk Chop might work just as well. All you need to do is take hold of his wrists, wrench his arm, then climb up on a rope, jump off and chop his shoulders and neck. In what would otherwise take up to twenty minutes detailing feminist theory and unpacking men’s fear and revulsion of female power, you have managed to work get in a high intensity work out just in time for the second half.
Molly Go-Round: Your brother starts pretend gagging when he sees two men kissing during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. No need to fret over how you could possibly share so much DNA with this person. No need to remind him that we are twenty years into the 21st Century. You can relive childhood rough housing with the Molly Go-Round by flipping forward on a raised platform onto the shoulders of your standing brother and then forcing him into a pinning position on the ground. It’s up to you whether you make him shout “uncle” or “I Love Daniel Levy” in order to release him.
Reverse Frankensteiner: Dishes are done, table’s cleared and there’s a nip in the air as you stand around the outdoor chiminea with mulled wine next to your stepdad’s biological son. “Climate change? I’m freezing my balls off out here,” he says. “That bullshit mental case Greta Thunberg’s trying to scare the shit out of idiots like you for no reason.” Your choice is clear in this instance. You could point out that weather and climate are two entirely different things and that the disastrous effects of climate change are already taking place around the world or you could pull out a Reverse Frankensteiner. First you scissor your leg around your opponent’s head, then backflip to swing through your opponent’s legs dragging him into a forced somersault. There are confirmed instances in which the Reverse Frankensteiner has caused individuals to change their mind about the possibility of a breakdown of the food supply due to higher nighttime temperatures resulting in premature budding. But, it’s a pretty rare occurrence. In most cases, the Reverse Frankensteiner just puts an end to the conversation and allows you to gaze at the glowing embers of the chiminea in peace and quiet.
Cross Face Chicken Wing: As you make your way to the driveway, thoroughly exhausted from all of your wrestling moves, you notice a bumper sticker on your grandmother’s car: “Pence 2024.” You really don’t want to hurt your granny. She’s a nice lady who just slipped $50 in your purse before you left. She probably won’t even be alive in 2024. Still, why not try the relatively civilized Cross Face Chicken Wing in which you hold one arm behind her back while wrenching her jaw in the opposite direction. It probably won’t do much harm and you can say you’re sorry afterward. She’ll understand. It’s been a long day.