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Lost Niagara Attraction? "Jungleland Golf"
Hey niagara! After the community's warm response to my history posts here pertaining to Clifton Hill and the amusement industry, I thought I'd come to you all with some information I unearthed about a possible attraction lost to time. I hope now maybe your memories could again help fill some gaps in Niagara's rich amusement history. I was digging around in the Canadian Trademark Database and found the name of the company that Bob Dunham operated the House of Frankenstein and Castle Dracula locations under. For a quick recap, there was chain of six of these attractions across North America, the first and flagship location of both the House of Frankenstein and Castle Dracula being the Niagara locations. The company he ran these under was called Waxattract, and Niagara artist Derek Costello provided the art, figures and animation for these attractions as well as much more. In 1979, two years after the sixth and final location in the haunted house chain opened (Castle Dracula in Lake George, NY) Waxattract filed trademarks for "Jungleland Golf" and "Monsterland Golf". Both are listed as "For proposed use in Canada." Just a few months later both trademarks were abandoned. A year after that, Waxattract filed trademarks for a Jules Verne attraction with an animated dog barbershop quartet out front as well as an Arby's franchise. A few months later these trademarks were abandoned as well. For these attractions to have had names and characters trademarked, they must have been far enough into development that art, business plans and structural drawings were likely already partially developed. That's interesting enough, but the story doesn't end there. I tried googling these attractions to find old news articles announcing upcoming attractions or building permits, but found nothing with the exception of Jungleland. In a 2002 growth plan for the City of Niagara Falls, a section discusses the construction of the parking garage for Fallsview Casino. It reads: "To accommodate parking in the event of a closure of the Allandale parking lot at the discretion of the City of Niagara Falls and/or the Jungleland parking lot." Adding fuel to the mystery, Jungleland Golf is the only of the above trademarks transferred to a new owner and renewed after being abandoned by Waxattract. Its transferred to an Herbert W. Cowan in 1980 and not inactivated until 1996. I can't find anything on Jungleland Golf on the internet. No brochures, merchandise, postcards, photos or references outside of the 2002 growth plan. It's possible for this reason that the municipal parking lot referenced in the 2002 plan was simply the land that was proposed for Jungleland once upon the time, still being referred to as such by the city despite the attraction never being built, even under the trademark's new owner. It's also possible however that this municipal lot referenced was called such by the city because it used to be the land Jungleland sat on, and that this Herbert Cowan ran the attraction from 1980 to 1996 as the records indicate. Adding merit to the theory the attraction existed is the fact that there is a municipal lot about 100ft from the Fallsview Parking garage at the corner of Main and Fallsview. That would have been directly across the street from the Boris Karloff Wax Museum, which was in the parking lot of the Oakes Hotel. This is significant because as I'm sure you guessed, The Boris Karloff Wax Museum was run by Bob Dunham/Waxattact. In fact, this too was recently unearthed due to a telegram auctioned off online. The telegram was sending condolences to Boris Karloff's wife after the actor's death in 1969 and was sent from Robert (Bob) Dunham of the Boris Karloff Wax Museum. Since the museum opened roughly a year before this, it seems like he owned it from the beginning, making it both Dunham's first attraction and likely Derek Costello's, pre-dating the House of Frankenstein by a year. If he owned an attraction directly across the street from the possible location of Jungleland, it makes sense he would develop more on empty land there after all the space on Clifton Hill was used up. After heavy digging, I found 2 aerial shots of that area from the early 90s. What's now the municipal lot indeed has a tree filled area with some small structures around it. The photos are not clear at all being taking from the Skylon tower, and one was taken in the dead of winter under a good 3 feet of snow. This makes it impossible to make out any text, logos or even evidence of a mini golf, but whatever is there looks like it couldn't be much else. Does anyone remember this? It's not to be confused with Jungle Putt on Lundy's Ln. near Typhoon Lagoon, the 80s-era mini golf/arcade/Dairy Queen that was abandoned in early 2010s and eventually burnt. Jungleland would have been near the Seagram/Minolta Tower, specifically directly across from the Oakes Hotel and there between roughly 1980-1996, if it existed. Anybody remember anything?
Angela was the coolest supervisor I’ve ever had. At the time, we were working at a little advertising startup called Digital Marketing Technologies, or just DMT. She was a graphic designer and I was hired out of College to manage Google ad accounts. But to Brad, none of that mattered. Brad was the owner and only salesman of our little startup. A balding, late thirties wannabe celebrity, he envisioned himself as the next Gary Vee. So much so that he regarded his LinkedIn self promotional videos as more important than his clients. He was a good salesman, but he had nothing even remotely approaching anything resembling knowledge on how to effectively run a business. Case in point, almost all of the staff who wasn’t strictly video, were designated as ‘graphic designers’ whether or not they actually were one. That was the bucket I currently fell in. Brad had tossed me into that position after jerking me around his company as an intern for the better part of a year, and treating me like absolute garbage. At first, I took it with a smile, figuring that’s just how it was. While I was working under Angela though, she made it abundantly clear just how fucked up Brad actually was. Being a young white man, with little experience, I didn’t see the rampant sexism, barely subdued racism and ethically dubious business practices that defined Brad. He hid it well for the most part under his fantastical razzle dazzle of technobabble and pompous self importance. He paraded around like a rock star, hosting $10,000 seminars in Toronto that no one came to, and uploading what he considered to be nuggets of marketing genius, most which were barely more than drunken ramblings. He was a sham and Angela saw right through him, and she made sure he didn’t try and fuck over his own employees. Brad’s startup was already circling the drain. His VP, Craig had quit in a rage about a month ago, followed by his assistant Janice. With the structure of his upper management compromised, he’d made the crucial mistake of bringing in Jake. Jake was Brad’s biggest fan. A mechanic by trade, who sold juice for a multi level marketing scheme on the side, his ‘job application’ had been an overlong fan letter that Janice had shared with us just before she left. While Brad didn’t openly call him Craig’s replacement, that was basically what he was.I would have felt bad for him. An inexperienced Yes Man getting put into a role he couldn’t possibly fill. Maybe I could have even related, but Jake had one fundamental flaw. He was every bit the asshole that Brad was, and something of a creep to boot. He stared at people too long, smiled too wide and acted so condescendingly friendly. He’d ask the stupidest questions in a tone that implied that YOU were the idiot who didn’t know what was going on, not the other way around. Like Brad, he fancied himself a Marketing guru. He even had his own website that was essentially a blank screen with a link to his merch store. Yes, he had a merch store. No, no one ever bought anything off of it. His one redeeming quality was that he was about as dumb as a box of rocks, and it was almost pathetically easy to slip stealth insults into casual conversation with him. So, to put a lid on it all, DMT was already a rapidly sinking dumpster fire of a company, with more problems than I have time to list. Being the ‘genius’ that he was however, Brad had a fix. Since the holidays were coming around, and I’m pretty sure it was impossible not to notice that his modest staff all hated him, Brad elected to throw the Christmas party early, and he wanted to pull out all the stops. He booked everyone individual hotel rooms in Niagara Falls for a Thursday-Friday night of partying. To Brad, that meant enough alcohol to kill most living things and gambling away that years profits. The idea was not a popular one… But, most of us stuck it out, hoping that maybe, just maybe it wouldn’t suck. It did. Angela and I had driven down together, and suffered through the disappointment together. I wouldn’t call that Thursday night much of a Christmas party, as much as a disorganized bender. We all watched Brad knock back drink after drink, getting louder and more obnoxious. Given that it was a Thursday in November, very little was open late, and the evening barely lasted until around 10 before Brad decided it was time to hit the casinos! I bowed out at that point. Gambling never interested me, and I had absolutely zero interest in watching Brad get hammered and waste more money that he probably didn’t have. He didn’t take that so well. “Come on, Greg!” he slurred, just outside the Fallsview Casino. “Okay, I’ll tell you what. I’ll stake you. If you win, it’s yours man!” “No thanks, it wouldn’t feel right to gamble with your money.” I said. “Okay well… Okay… What about a years payroll, right?” He looked around at the others with us. I saw Angela’s brow crinkle in disgust. “Let’s just pool it, and see where we get?!” No one took him up on that offer, and he waved it off, enthusiastically going to feed another of his many addictions. According to Angela when I talked to her the next morning, it had gone about as well as expected. Brad hadn’t gone broke, but he had needed Jake to carry him back to his hotel room. Angela herself had left shortly after I did and only got that information from one of the other ‘Graphic Designers’ Leanne. As soon as we had the chance to leave, Angela and I were in my car and headed back to Hamilton. “You know, you’d think he would’ve taken the hint that none of us wanted to go, but he did it, and then he wonders why no one had a good time. It’s Niagara Falls at midnight on a Thursday. Of course nothing was open!” Angela said as we drove. “Well, least we got free food.” I said, it was just about the biggest and only positive aspect of the event. Angela scoffed. “Yeah… Funny how he ran out on the bill and made Jake pay.” I hadn’t noticed that, but I still believed it. She looked down at her phone, checking a game she was playing on it, before pausing. “Oh shoot, hey, do you mind if we make a quick stop?” “Not at all, why what’s up?” “I figure we’re in wine country, right? I wanted to pick up some ice wine for my Mom, I didn’t really get the chance while we were in town.” “I don’t really see why not.” I said, “Google it, lemme know if there’s a place nearby.” She did, and sure enough there was a place a few exits ahead. “Looks like the only one open today…” She murmured, “Greystone Winerys.” She scrolled through their website for a bit, as the GPS told me where to go in a soothing British accent. The exit led me to a narrow backroad. On either side of us, all I could see was empty farmland and sparsely populated trees. No sign of anything resembling a winery. “How much further?” I asked, and she checked her phone. “Says about fifteen minutes… I dunno, it’s acting up.” I scanned the horizon for any indication of a driveway or something. But the road was just a straight unbroken line through empty lifeless land. The only sign of civilization was the phone lines on the side of the road. “Up ahead!” Angela said, just when I thought I saw something past a patch of trees. The turn she indicated led us to a worn out, empty parking lot. A skeletal gazebo sat in the middle of it, amongst patches of snow. The building in front of that gazebo was old and looked almost Victorian. Behind it, I could see what a vineyard that looked strangely empty. “This is the place.” Angela said, as I parked my car. I couldn’t help but admire that creepy parking lot. I snapped a photo of it, before following her to the building where she was trying the door. “Locked.” She said, and frowned, “Maybe they aren’t open then.” She checked her phone again, since there were no listed hours. “Google probably just lists their summer hours.” I said, “This place has to be abandoned right now.” “Yeah… Maybe I’ll stop off at a liquor store or something then. They might have some there.” Angela seemed to shrug it off, and we headed back to the car after our very brief little adventure. We were barely halfway there when I saw a familiar bright orange Corvette round the corner into the parking lot. I actually felt disappointment upon seeing it. The Corvette sped into a parking spot right beside my SUV, and Brad got out wearing the biggest grin on his face. “Hey! What are you guys doing here!” Jake got out of the passenger seat, as Brad approached us. Angela looked like she had to fight to keep from rolling her eyes and groaning in disappointment. “Keeping the party going, huh, Champ?” Brad asked playfully, and punched me on the shoulder a little too hard. “No… We were just stopping to-” “Hey, we were gonna do a wine tasting! C’mon! Join us, it’ll be fun!” That was the worst idea I had ever heard in my life, and I hated Brad even more for saying it. “I really don’t feel like it.” I said, and Jake helpfully chimed in with; “A bit of wine won’t kill you y’know, have some fun! It’ll be good for morale!” He wore the sort of smile I imagine must have physically hurt to maintain. I also felt my eyes drawn to his shirt, which naturally came from his merch store, the one that no one on the planet knew existed except for him. Shiitake Happens Real original. Brad was already pounding on the door of the winery as if the people who weren’t inside owed him money. “HEY! COME ON! WE’RE HERE FOR A WINE TASTING!” He yelled. Amazingly, no one answered! Who’d have guessed? “They’re closed.” Angela said, “We already tried.” “But Google says they’re open!” Jake chirped. “And no one’s here, so they’re closed.” Angela replied. Jake didn’t take the hint. “But Google says-” He started to repeat, but he was thankfully cut off by a gruff voice behind us. “We’re closed.” A man had come around the side of the building. He looked gruff and wore wading overalls. “Finally…” Brad murmured under his breath, “We’re here for a wine tasting!” “Those are in the summer.” The man replied, “We’re closed for the season.” “But you have wine, right?” Brad asked. The man frowned. “We do… But we’re closed.” “Well, obviously not entirely or you wouldn’t be here.” Brad said, and took out his wallet, “Look. We’re here for a wine tasting. For four…” I started to protest, but Jake had to cut me off, to avenge the stupid sentence he didn’t get to finish earlier. Angela sighed in exasperation. “Yes sir, four please!” Brad took a handful of bills I didn’t think he actually had, and offered them to the man. “Come on, it’s fine!” He assured the man. The Man just stared at him. He looked at Brad, then at Jake, then finally at Angela and I. He took the money and jammed it into one of his pockets. “Come on then… I suppose I can arrange something since you came all this way. Lemme just call Mr. Greystone.” He marched off towards the back of the building, fumbling with his cell phone and Brad followed him. “I told you it was open!” Jake said smugly, as if Brad hadn’t just begged and bribed the man to give us a wine tasting. Angela and I stayed put for a moment. “Fuck it, let’s just go.” She said. Me, misconstruing that, took a weary step forward to follow. She hesitated for a moment, before going after me. She didn’t bother correcting herself. The man led us to a long barn out behind the vineyard. Going through the empty grapevines felt a little unsettling, and as we headed out towards the barn, I heard the man and Brad talking. “So, where abouts are you folks from?” He asked. “Well, I’m from Texas originally, but I settled down here. Jake, you’re from… What, Oshawa? Hey Greg! What’s that town you live in again? Brantford? Our office is in Vaughan and this guy commutes from Brantford, can you believe that?” I didn’t answer, even though he got it right. Angela trailed behind us, being ignored by Brad, but I could tell she was furious to be caught up in this. “He’s supposed to be meeting with a client.” She said, once Jake and Brad were far enough ahead of us, “That’s where he said he was going this morning. Did you smell the booze on him?” I hadn’t, but it wasn’t hard to guess that Brad was drunk. “This is why he keeps losing business.” She said. We’d had conversations like this countless times before. I knew Angela had even brought it up with Brad, and he’d laughed it off. The Man opened the barn door, letting us inside. “I assume you’d like the tour first.” He said coolly. “Hell yes we want the tour!” Brad said and immediately stepped inside, followed by the rest of us. The Man followed us in, and closed the door behind us. As soon as he did, we heard another man speak. “So, you’re the ones Archie found out front?”The speaker was a younger man in similar wading overalls. He had a full beard and sparkling blue eyes. His handshake was firm. “I’m Isaac Greystone, I own the place. Archie tells me you were looking for a tour?” “That and a tasting!” Brad said, and hastily introduced myself and Jake. He didn’t even bother introducing Angela. “Well then, it’s a pleasure to meet you all. You just came at a really exciting time. We’re not open to the public right now, but I figure since you’re offering to pay for it, I might as well show you around, right?” “Damn right.” Brad said, “A man after my own heart.” Isaac tipped a thousand watt smile that almost rivaled Jakes. “Well, let’s get started… I suppose you know how ice wine is made, right? How we freeze the grapes, and press them to make sure our wine is concentrated. It takes a little longer to ferment, but the final product is so, so worth it.” He led us deeper into the barn. Massive machinery worked on the frozen grapes around us, and it was almost too loud to hear him speak clearly as he walked Brad and Jake through the process. I barely paid any attention, hoping we could just get this over with as soon as possible and looking for the earliest opportunity to make an excuse to leave. “We just finished our harvest this year!” Isaac said, “So the wine we’re making now is going to keep us stocked for the next year or so. It’s not going to be ready quite yet, but we’ve still got some samples!” “Well bring them out then!” Brad said, “Let’s taste these bad boys!” Isaacs grin never faded, and he led us to a side room. “I think you’re gonna love this.” He said, “We have a bit of a special fermenting technique, I can’t say too much about it right now. Trade secret and all, but it gives our wine just the right amount of body and personality. It’s why Greystone is one of the top selling ice wines in the world. We even have some exclusive labels, that we make special for some of our particularly discriminating clients…” Isaac went behind a small bar, and fetched a couple of bottles of the ice wines from a fridge beneath it. He set out four glasses. “So you do special blends?” Brad asked, and traded an approving look with Jake.“See that, that is branding. That’s what having a brand is all about!” Jake nodded enthusiastically in approval. “It’s amazing branding.” I was pretty sure that had very little to do with branding. “I’ve got some samples of those right here.” Isaac said, as if he hadn’t heard a word they were saying. He held up a bottle with the Greystone logo, and a stylized wolfs head on the label. “This we manufacture for one of our best private companies. You ever heard of the Tallinn Corporation?” “No, I don’t think I have, who are they?” Brad asked. “Our best customers, that’s who. They’re Estonian, but they love us. Here. Try a glass…” He filled all four glasses, and Brad immediately snatched one up. I saw Isaac set a bucket on the counter for us to spit the wine into after tasting it. I’d never been to a wine tasting before in my life, but even I knew you weren’t supposed to actually drink it. Brad drank it. He drank it all in one big embarassing gulp. Isaac looked at him with a bit of surprise, as if he hadn’t quite expected that. “Oh Jesus, that’s brisk!” Brad said, “Here, lemme have some more of that…” Jake, for all his flaws, had the decency to drink the wine slowly. Angela didn’t drink at all. He did not however, have the decency to not make weirdly sexual moans as he enjoyed the drink. I hated it when he did that. “Greg, try that!” Brad said, as Isaac filled up another glass for him. I took a sip. Never in my life had I ever had ice wine before, but it was delicious. Easily one of the sweetest things I’d ever tasted! I spit it into the bucket. “What? You don’t like it?” Brad asked. “No, it’s delicious!” I said, “I just thought…” “Well, here’s a toast then!” Brad raised his second glass, “Hey, Angela! Come on! Don’t be a spoilsport.” Angela just glared at him, as if to ask ‘Do you know what the fuck you’re even doing right now?’ She set her glass down. “No thanks.” “Alright… Fine, whatever.” Brad said, shrugging it off. He tossed back the glass, and Jake attempted to do the same. I just took another sip and swallowed it. I guessed it would’ve been a shame to let it go to waste. “That’s got kick…” Brad murmured. I watched as Angela headed towards the door. “I think I’m just gonna wait by the car.” She said, and I understood that she wanted to get out of there. I did too. “Greg, have some more!” Brad urged me. Angela was waiting by the door, before sighing and stepping out. I didn’t, and set my glass down. “I think I’m good, actually. Angela’s got an appointment and we should get going.” “Oh boo!” Brad said, “You can be a bit late, come on!” “We’re already late.” Angela said, “Thanks for everything, Brad. Really. See you on Monday.” She left abruptly and I followed. “Who the hell does he even think he is?” She growled as she stormed towards the exit to the barn. “Seriously, blowing off his meetings to go and get drunk? What an idiot!” I tried to keep up with her, but was starting to feel a little woozy. “Yeah, he’s a prick.” I murmured. Angela stopped in her tracks and looked back at me. “Hey, you alright?” “I think so.” I said. I could see the door to the barn, and the man who’d led us in, Archie, still standing out front of it. “How strong was that wine?” I asked. “It’s wine. There’s no way you’re drunk!” I took another few steps forwards before my legs gave out from under me and I hit the ground. Angela was on top of my immediately. “Whoa, whoa, whoa! Greg, Greg, are you alright?” My vision was going hazy, and the last thing I remember was seeing Archie coming up behind Angela and raising something over his head. I woke up to someone shaking me. “Greg! Wake up, Goddamn you!” I recognized the voice was Angela’s, and slowly as I came to, I could see her standing over me. “Finally… I was beginning to think you weren’t waking up.” “I’m awake…” I murmured, “What happened?” “You passed out and someone hit me.” Angela replied, “We’re in deep shit, Greg… Look!” My vision was groggy at first, but as I slowly pieced together my surroundings, I began to feel a creeping fear seep into my gut. We were in a cell, and outside of those bars, was a sight I wish I’d never seen. The machinery around us looked similar to what I’d seen before, but this was a completely different part of the factory. This looked more like a butcher shop. I could see bodies, human bodies suspended from the ceiling. Their throats had all been cut, and I watched the blood dripping into one of six swimming pool sized mixing vats full of ice wine beneath them, and I suddenly felt sick. That was what I’d been drinking with Brad and Jake… Just above the surface of the wine in each vat, a large propeller spun slowly, making sure that horrible concoction of blood and wine was evenly mixed. I patted my pockets. No sign of my wallet, keys or cell phone. Of course they’d taken those. “Angela? Greg?”Jake sounded like he was in the next cell over, and I’d never heard him so terrified in my life. “What the hell happened!” I asked. “I don’t know! We were drinking the wine, and then Brad was on the floor and… Jesus Christ, did they drug us?” That was the most logical explanation, wasn’t it? “Let’s just shut up, and figure a way out of here!” Angela said, “Jake, Brad’s in there with you, right?” “No! They took him! I don’t know where! Jesus Christ, we need to get out of here! D-do you see the vat?” Angela didn’t reply, but we’d all seen it, and we all knew that. She reached up towards her hair, taking out a hairpin. Something that whoever had emptied our pockets had missed. “I might be able to get this lock…” She murmured, and immediately set to work on it. “Are you picking it? Come on, come on, come on…” Jake groaned, “Hurryyyyy.” Angela worked diligently, before pausing suddenly, and putting her tools into her pockets. I heard the voices down the hall too. “We’ll get them processed today and have this whole thing taken care of. Later on I’ll call our usual guy to get the cars... ” I recognized the voice as Isaacs, and heard his footsteps getting closer. “Ah, you’re awake!” He said. It sounded like he’d stopped in front of Jake’s cell. “What the hell do you want from us?!” I heard Jake say, “You can’t just keep us here! Where’s Brad!?” “Well, like I said you’ve come at an interesting time…” Isaac replied. His tone was even and calm. “Usually, we buy our secret ingredient from the Tallinn Corporation. They deal in that sort of thing mostly. People go missing in the old Soviet Union all the time and no one cares. So we don’t really hurt anyone and we get a better tasting product! But, we do care a lot about quality and we’d like to keep all our ingredients locally sourced, if you catch my meaning.” “W-what the hell…?” It sounded like Jake was crying and Isaac chuckled. “You’ll see soon enough… Shock him, let’s get him processed.” I heard Jake scream as he was tased, and the sound of the cell door opening. Archie and another worker carried Jake past our cell. As they passed, Isaac stepped into our view. “Hey there.” He said smoothly, “I understand if you’re not excited to be in this position… I got the feeling you two didn’t really want to get dragged into this.” “No shit!” Angela snapped, “Where are you taking him?” “To become part of the Greystone legacy.” Isaac teased, and looked up towards the bodies hanging above the mixing vats. “It’s a slow process, but quality takes time… Anyways, I wanted to say, before you get angry, that I am sorry you got dragged into this.” He smiled, and walked away from us, following the others. Angela was silent for a bit, listening to his footsteps fade. When she was sure he was gone, she got the hair clip out of her pocket, and worked on the lock with renewed vigor. It didn’t take long until we heard the click of the lock, but Angela didn’t open it. It didn’t take me long to see why. Archie, his associate and Jake came into view again, this time on a catwalk above the nearest mixing vat. Jake was still unconscious, which made it easy to bind his ankles and place a hanging hook through the rope. “W-what…” Jake’s voice was faint and echoed from the distance, but he was starting to come to. He let out a startled yelp as the hook yanked him up just like the other bodies. “Wait, WAIT, WAITWAITWA-” He didn’t get to finish his pleasing. Archie pulled a knife from his overalls, and opened his throat. Jake squirmed and choked out his death rattle, blood pouring over his face and dripping into the vat below. Shiitake happens. The other worker took a long pole, and used it to push Jake out towards the other bodies, right over the center of the mixing vat. We watched as they prodded the others, before choosing a few to pull towards them and take down. As soon as they were gone, she opened the door to our cell. “We’re leaving.” She said curtly. I didn’t argue. For a moment, I thought about Brad, but Jake had said they’d already taken him. He was probably dead, and I could have cared less! Neither of us knew which way to go, but we opted for the way that Archie and the other worker hadn’t taken Jake. That way led to a hall that seemed impossibly long, and on either side were massive chilled vats of Ice Wine. I tried not to think about just how many people had died to fill these… But the thought still came.How many people around the world were unknowingly drinking human blood in their wine? How many people did it knowingly? Down the hall, I heard a voice, and paused.I ducked into the narrow space between one of the vats, and I saw Angela doing the same across from me. “50% in under three months, now that is unprecedented growth, but it’s doable! I’ve done it. Not everyone can, but if you’ve got the product, you’ve got the brand, and you’ve got the know how, it’s already done!” That was Brad’s voice! I had to peek out from behind my vat, and I saw him and Isaac passing through the hall in front of us, side by side like old friends. “It’s a bold claim.” Isaac said. I wasn’t sure if he was impressed or not, “But you sound like you can back it up.” “Dude, if you just let me show you my numbers, gimme a phone, something. I won’t try anything! But I’m telling you, you’re making the right call. Those other guys? Fuck ‘em. They’re disposable, I mean, hell. I was honestly looking for a chance to get rid of Angela anyways. But me, I’m the one you wanna keep. I get it, this whole operation here, it’s about adding value to your brand. What you’re doing gives the wine it's signature flavor, and it’s honestly kinda hardcore! I dig that! But you and I both know, that I can give you more value right here, like this, then I would in a bottle of wine.” Isaac and his workers were going to slaughter us for wine, and Brad was trying to fucking sell them on his service? I sincerely hoped someone would show up to drag Brad off to the same fate Jake had met, but I didn’t get that wish. “Well, if you’re half of what you claim… Maybe you’d be worth it.” Isaac said thoughtfully. He idly played with his beard. “Let’s say I kept you around, huh? I’m gonna need to make sure you don’t try anything. I’ll give you what you need to work. Just work. Nothing else. You let me down, and you’re going in with the next batch.” “Hey, that’s A-okay with me! I just want the chance!” Brad said, grinning from ear to ear, “Trust me. You and me are gonna do some amazing shit.” Isaac nodded slowly, and from my vantage point, I could see the rage on Angela’s face, but she stayed still. “HEY! CELL’S EMPTY!” Archie’s voice cut through the hall, and both Brad and Isaac looked up suddenly. “They’re out. Find them.” He said, “They can’t be far!” Isaac was coming towards us again, with Brad trailing behind him. I heard Archie coming up from the opposite direction, and I realized that sooner or later, one of them was going to see us. I think Angela knew it too. She moved suddenly, running for her life, and I did the same, but I wasn’t as fast. She slipped past Brad easily enough, but I didn’t get past Isaac. He grabbed me, and I felt Archie grabbing me too. Both of them wrestled me to the ground, and the last thing I remember was a terrible jolt of electricity before everything went black. I woke up in the hall. I don’t know how long later. Archie and another worker had me draped over their shoulders, and dragged me slowly. Ahead of me, I saw Isaac. “Shock him again.” Isaac said. I hadn’t even given any indicator that I was awake, but Archie didn’t waste any time. I didn’t pass out this time, but I wasn’t in any condition to fight. “I know you probably think this is barbaric.” Isaac said, still not looking at me, “It’s… well, an old family tradition. One gets desensitized to it. But as heinous as this all must seem, I need you to understand that this really does make it a superior product! The blood sweetens the wine, and the corpses do wonders for the vineyard. Every year, we have a bountiful harvest. It’s because of this that we’re the best, and if your friend Brad delivers on his promise, we might even be the biggest.” Up ahead, I saw the hanging bodies… But now they were much closer to eye level. “I wouldn’t take it personally.” Isaac said, and stopped, letting us pass him. “Make it quick for this one!” He ordered, “Suffering taints the wine.” With that, I heard him walking away. We were at one of the vats, and Archie shocked me one last time. I felt his associate starting to tie my legs together. Archie pulled the knife from his overalls. “It’s never personal, kid.” He said gruffly. I looked at the knife, my heart racing as I waited for what was coming. Then I heard the worker behind me scream, along with a dull thud. Archie looked up, and I caught a glimpse of Angela behind us. She was holding a shovel, and swung it ruthlessly at Archie’s head. It bounced off his shoulder and he grunted in pain. I didn’t have much time to react, but by God I made the most of it! I grabbed him by the wrist, and jerked his arm towards me, then I sank my teeth into the skin. His grip on the knife loosened, and I tore it out of his hands. Archie kicked out blindly at Angela when she tried to hit him with the shovel again. He uselessly slapped at me to try and keep me away from him, but I had the knife now, and I put it in his throat. It was very personal. Archie twitched, eyes looking up at me in surprise, but as the blood trickled out of his throat, his body went limp. I was panting heavily, and looked over at Angela. The worker she’d hit lay on the ground, unconscious or dead. I didn’t care which. “Are you alright?” She asked, and I absentmindedly nodded, before backing away from Archie’s body. “I just killed this guy…” “Yeah. I guess you did…” Angela replied, “Take the knife, we need to go and…” She swallowed, “We might need it.” I didn’t want to touch that knife. I didn’t even want to look at Archie. I wanted to scream and cry and lose my shit, but I did what she said. It came out easier than I expected. Angela started down the hall again, and I followed, still a little shell shocked from committing a murder! “After I split off from you, I found what I’m pretty sure was Isaacs office.” Angela said, “Here, we needed these.” I saw her reaching into her pocket for my car keys and wallet. “Our phones were missing. Probably broken.” “Shit… We can’t call for help then?” “Which is why we need to focus on getting the hell out of here.” Angela replied, We moved silently. For the time being, there was no sign of any other employees, but we didn’t want to risk it. We both knew there was more than Archie and his associate lurking around. In a few moments, we’d made it back to the lower level of the mixer room. “I think the door to the main factory is down that way.” Angela said, “We just need to find it, and-” A gunshot cut her off. She ducked, and looked around for the source. I saw it before she did, and pulled her towards one of the vats. We ducked beneath it to avoid another shot. “Found you!” Brad cried, “Ah shit… I guess you picked up Greg too, huh?” He held the gun professionally as he crept towards the vat we cowered behind. “Well, I’ve got enough ammo to do you both. I hope you know it’s nothing personal! But it’s honestly just me or you, and even with the… well, unusual recipe, this is still a big client! Do you have any idea what this is gonna do for DMT? Isaac gets me, man!” He was drawing nearer, but even when he had us cornered, Brad was still an idiot. The second he got close to our hiding spot, I was ready. He came into view slowly, and I lunged at him when he did, catching him off guard. The knife went into his shoulder, and I caught the gun across my face. Angela was on him next, tearing at the knife and trying to rip it out of him. Brad struggled against her, and frantically brought the butt of his gun down on her head, over and over again. He shoved Angela off of him, and she hit the ground holding the handle of the knife. The blade poked out of Brads shoulder.He grinned through gritted teeth as we took aim at her, but he wasn’t watching me. I was on my feet again and I grabbed his arm, forcing it upwards. He fired off a stray bullet, but it went harmlessly into the ceiling. Brad may have had a gun, but I was bigger than him. Angela recovered and went with the age old trick of going straight for the groin. I went for the stomach. Brads grip on his gun loosened. I watched as Angela tried to rip it from his hand. But Brad saw that coming. With a jerk of his arm, he sent the gun flying across the factory floor. I didn’t see where it landed. His elbow caught me in the face, and I barely had time to see him drive his fist into Angela’s jaw. He grabbed her by the throat, and got ready to punch again. I grabbed him from behind and tried to drag him off of her. Brad flailed helplessly, and I almost got him there, before his head slammed into my face. The first time just stunned me. The third time, I had to let go. Brad glared hatefully at us once he was free. “I shouldn’t be surprised you two are the ones I have to deal with right now. You’ve always been a poison to MY company, Angela. Since I hired you you’ve been trying to cripple MY success!” His eyes shifted to me. “And you? You’re just dead weight! I am DONE with you people! I am DONE with your disrespect!” He probably had more to say, but Angela didn’t give him the chance. She’d noticed something that Brad hadn’t. He was standing right in front of a vat. As he opened his mouth to speak again, she lunged for him, pushing him back towards it. I caught on quickly and went to help her. Between the two of us, we were able to press him right up against the vat. Angela and I traded a brief look, before I ducked down, grabbing Brad by the legs. She pushed him by the shoulders. Brad struggled, but he went into that vat of blood and wine. The mixers arm was coming around again. I know Brad saw it in the moment before it struck him over the head. I don’t know if it killed him, but the force of it pulled him into the vat entirely. Given how little of a struggle there was, I’d have guessed it just knocked him unconscious. The arm dragged him around the vat slowly, his head submerged in that disgusting mixture of blood and wine he’d been willing to murder us over. We didn’t stick around to see if he was ever going to wake up, and as far as I’m concerned, he drowned in that vat. I wish I'd said 'Cheers'. The next room was more familiar territory. This was part of what Isaac had shown us, and we sprinted for the door, and through the empty vineyard. It was starting to get dark. Halfway through it, I let myself look back. I could see people coming out of that long barn, and I didn’t wait for them to start running after me.The gazebo was up ahead, along with my car and Brad’s ugly orange coupe. I didn’t waste any time getting inside my car, and as soon as Angela and I had our doors closed, we were speeding off down our driveway, as fast as we could go. We drove until the next town over, and made it to the police station looking like hell. I’m pretty sure my statement came out as a rambling incoherent mess, but I didn’t care. I told them just about everything… except the part where I murdered Archie and helped drown Brad. If the Police believed my statement… I never found out. I heard talk of an investigation, but from what I understood, they found nothing. Not even Brad’s ugly orange coupe. DMT dissolved quickly without him. He and Jake were just considered to have disappeared. Brads so called ‘fans’ barely seemed to notice his absence.Our story never got out. I still talk with Angela on occasion, but we don’t talk about Niagara. The unspoken agreement is that we did what we had to do, to survive. We both know that, and we don’t need to remember. I almost wish we could talk about it though… I wish I could talk to her about the nightmares I’ve had of drowning in a vat of freezing cold wine. I wish I could talk to her about the anxiety I have whenever I’m alone. I wish I could tell her that I received a bottle of ice wine from Greystones Winery in the mail the other day. Because I don’t know who else to tell. I wish I knew if Isaac is congratulating me on my escape, mocking me for my inability to stop him… or warning me...
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Disclaimer : This isn't an orignal work. It was lifted entirely from a Middleeasy article. I just put it in text format because, if you click the link, you'll realise that it's completely messed up. The headliners & the text following them are a mismatch. Also, some links are broken. Just wanted to make it easier for the readers. Somewhere deep within an ashram in Tibet, a corner of a room has been sectioned off to pay homage to a handful of truly unique MMA fighters. We’re not talking about the obvious here. Guys like Anderson Silva, BJ Penn, Georges St. Pierre and Fedor already have their respective cult following. They no longer need our spiritual guidance. This section of the room in this undisclosed ashram is dedicated to a group of guys (and girls) that took the MMA world by the scrotum, gave it a firm yank and then raided our fridge as we all rolled around our living room floor in excruciating pain. Only a select few deserve their own effigy constructed out of spare plywood, leftover Christmas decorations and half-empty cans of spray paint. I present to you ‘The Top Ten MMA Fighters You Should Build A Shrine To’ only at MiddleEasy.com – Because MMA is everything. Michelle Waterson Whatever you do, try not to let your girlfriend know Michelle Waterson exists. If you have bikini photos of her, don’t hide them in a folder on your desktop called ‘Work’. If you do have a potpourri of Michelle Waterson pics under a folder on your desktop called ‘Work’, don’t hand over your laptop to your girlfriend and disclose your Windows login password. If your girlfriend finds these photos, she will threaten to smash your laptop against a hampster cage and kick you out of her apartment. You will then have to hop on the nearest train and book a hotel for the rest of the night (everything about that story is true). We can all agree that Michelle Waterson is beyond hot. That’s already an established fact humanity has come to accept like…the Lakers are the most dominate team in the NBA history or Kimbo Slice is already a UFC champion. It’s not even debatable. The only thing the world needs to see is more of Michelle ‘The Karate Hottie (that’s her real nickname)’ Waterson. She holds a record of 6-3 and she trains out of Greg Jackson’s camp, the same guy responsible for the equally hot Julie Kedzie (yum) and Georges St. Pierre (hot only if you’re a chick…or a Mets fan). Her last fight, she chalked up an ‘L’ to Elena Reid last April which inevitably turned out to be the hottest fight in MMA history. Before that, Waterson grabbed a ‘W’ against Tyra Parker (she’s cute too, they’re all cute). I woke up in a frenzy this morning thinking about Michelle Waterson. If aliens landed on the White House lawn right now it still wouldn’t be as exciting as knowing that Michelle Waterson mounts other chicks in the cage…with hot pants on. If you’re still not convinced that you should raid your local Home Depot to build a shrine to Waterson, just Google her and make sure your girlfriend isn’t standing over your shoulder (double check just to make sure, trust me). Here’s a little blueprint to get your shrine started. No, that wasn’t some sexual innuendo. Beau Taylor Ah man, the story of OMA. If you were alive on July 21st 2009, you probably remember waking up to the news that Kimo Leopaldo died of a heart attack in Costa Rica. TMZ picked up on the report and the New York Post quickly followed. Within a couple of hours, the entire MMA world gave their condolences to the Leopaldo family in a variety of blog posts, news articles and guys that still proclaim if Royce Gracie fought Kimo again, Royce would lose. It took Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports several tries to eventually get a hold of Kimo Leopaldo on the phone in which he replied with:
‘I knew I wasn’t dead, so when I was reading this I wondered if I was jinxed or something was going to happen ‘It was really strange. I was surprised at how nasty it was. I guess it wasn’t a good thing. I’ve always had strange things written about me but nothing this bizarre. I couldn’t believe it when I searched for my name and I wrote in ‘Kimo Leopoldo’ and it added the word ‘death.’’
His publicist press released a statement that Kimo was in fact not dead, but just sleeping. The next day, dude even held his very own ‘Look people, I’m alive’ press conference. And the guy behind it? Undefeated mixed martial artist Beau ‘One Man Army ™’ Taylor. Hold up, it gets even more bizarre. Shortly after the incident happened, Beau Taylor spoke with TheSmokingGun.com about how he duped the entire MMA world. Everyone needs to read this TSG report in its entirety because it will be the funniest thing you will read today (regardless of current time or location).
JULY 22–The fabricated claim yesterday about the purported death of a former Ultimate Fighting Championship star was the handiwork of a self-described “Internet troll” with a “weird mind.” Beau Taylor, a 31-year-old Oklahoma man, created a thread on a popular mixed martial arts (MMA) web site reporting that Kimo Leopoldo had died in Costa Rica of a heart attack. Taylor told TSG that he selected Leopoldo as the subject of the hoax in light of the fighter’s arrest earlier this year on drug charges. “I thought it would be a good fit,” said Taylor. The fabricated account of Leopoldo’s death leapt beyond MMA web sites and bulletin boards when TMZ.com reported yesterday afternoon that it had “confirmed” the 41-year-old athlete’s demise (this confirmation was presumably delivered by one of the gossip site’s paid sources). The erroneous story was later yanked from the site, which is now batting .500 on recent death exclusives. For his part, Taylor’s eventful week has also included a public intoxication arrest. He was busted early Sunday morning after security officers at a shopping center found him passed out in his car with the engine running, with “an open container of beer in the center console,” according to a Tulsa Police Department report. Cops noted that Taylor reeked of alcohol and had difficulty standing. “Taylor said that he had left his house intoxicated in order to buy cigarettes,” noted cops, who reported that Taylor said he had consumed three glasses of wine and six beers. Asked about his beaming mug shot, seen below, Taylor spoke of trying to strike the right booking photo balance: “You know, I didn’t want to look like Nick Nolte,” he said. “Or that I was too happy to be arrested.”
For his antics, Beau Taylor was banned from The UG (the forum in which he created the hoax) but his account was later reinstated just for the sheer rawesomeness of his trolling ability. OMA even created a parody of Kimo Leopaldo’s press conference where he claimed Kimo was still deceased and the previous Kimo press conference was just a hoax. Besides becoming an internet legend over night, OMA also claims he is the World Champion of the American Southwest (dude does have a belt) and is currently recovering from an injury that has sidelined him for much of 2009. You can find Oma/Beau Taylor still doing his thing on The UG to this day. Have fun with that. Din Thomas Raise your hand if you’ve operated an unsanctioned, underground fight club entirely in your gym in Palm Springs, Florida. If your name isn’t Din Thomas then you should slap yourself in the face and give me everything in your kitchen (including that six-pack you bought for this weekend). Din Thomas is the friggin man. I know that expression is used more than ‘Machida is elusive’, but it’s true. Din Thomas is the friggin man. Who else has a DVD where they teach you 1,001 submissions in a 52 volume set. I bet you didn’t even know the human body was capable of 1,001 submissions (it’s cool, I didn’t either). When Chris Brown was accused of assaulting Rhianna earlier this year, Din Thomas got on the mic after his win over Gabe Lemey and called out Chris Brown. Dude announced in front of an audience of drunk fans that it was wrong to beat chicks and if Rhianna ever needed his assistance, he would readily be available. See, I told you Din Thomas is truly the friggin man. We ran into Din when we covered The Ultimate Chaos, we even took pictures of him in his undies. His opponent was supposed to be Javier Vasquez but due to some incompetent confusion, he wasn’t allowed to fight (matter of fact, no one really knows exactly what happened). But let’s get back to the underground fight club Din Thomas operated in his gym in Florida… Din Thomas constructed a full size UFC octagon at his American Top Team gym and charged admission to a crowd of over 150 heads. Din Thomas was later arrested and managed to post a $10,000 bail to be released from prison. Shine Fights has signed Din Thomas to an exclusive contract along with the former WBC and WBA welterweight champion, Ricardo Mayorga. When Din got word of Mayorga’s signing he issued the following statement:
”Ricardo Mayorga just signed to fight in Shine. I think he is afraid of me. If he does accept the fight I will put him into retirement and send him back to his fruit stand in Nicaragua. He will be wearing a straw hat, smoking cigarettes, and selling bananas once and for all. This is MMA and I will beat him standing or on the ground. I will let him pick how he wants to lose his first MMA fight.”
Dude got his wish. Shine Fights has slated Ricardo Mayorga’s first MMA bout to be against the same guy who defeated Clay Guida, Matt Serra, Rich Clementi and Jens Pulver. Good luck Ricardo. Koji Oishi Out of the many people that have crossed Nick Diaz’s path (in or out of a hospital in Las Vegas), Koji Oishi definitely gets the award for being the most desperately inventive. Dude had a plan unlike any MMA fighter out there. He was a visionary. Koji Oishi was ahead of his time. If we went back 300 million years, Koji Oishi would be that one fish who tried to walk on the beach but failed miserably and died of suffocation. Charles Darwin would have been proud of Koji Oishi. To avoid getting punched in the face, most MMA fighters would either dodge or block with their forearms. Not Koji Oishi. In fact, if Oishi got a hold of your gameplan he would urinate on it and right hook it into the ground. Koji Oishi gave the saying ‘a good defense is a strong offensive’ an entirely new meaning. On June 4th 2005, Oishi’s trainer convinced him to execute the most awkward and impossible defense in UFC history. Instead of blocking and dodging strikes, Koji Oishi was instructed to intercept Nick Diaz’s fist with his own. Koji Oishi believed that if he were to punch Nick Diaz’s fist as Diaz threw a strike at him, he would create enough force to break Diaz’s hand. We’re serious. Bobby Green On January 24th 2009, the world was introduced to a guy from Riverside Submission Camacho MMA team that had an impressive record of 7-1 (with all eight fights occurring in 2008). On two weeks notice he made his PPV debut on one the biggest cards of 2009: ‘Affliction: Day of Reckoning” (RIP). While you were contracting a staph infection from training your Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Bobby Green was busy thwarting gang turf wars with his fighting style. The fact that Bobby Green’s fighting style is categorized as: “Hood” should be enough for you to sacrifice a few goats in his honor. Just before Bobby Green walked out to the ring, dude was so preoccupied with jumping in the stands and dancing amongst the crowd that he missed his walk-out cue. Affliction ended up announcing his name before his intro video was shown on the monitors at the Honda Center in Anaheim, California. Bobby hopped down from the stands, ran back-stage to redo his entrance but it was too late. Everyone was going nuts and Bobby Green had already premature ejaculated his entrance. It’s ok, we’ve all done it before. Once Bobby Green’s bout with Dan Lauzon ensued, we all realized what fighting style: ‘Hood’ entailed. Essentially it meant kicking a guy in the testicles three times in the first round. Big John wasn’t officiating the fight but he said the first groin shot didn’t even land but the other two were fair game. After the first testicle punt, Bobby Green rested on the ropes, looked at the crowd and the camera caught Green saying ‘Oh sh__ it’s Oscar De La Hoya…and Donald Trump’. Unfortunately ‘Hood’ couldn’t keep Bobby from being submitted by Joe Lauzon’s brother. With five seconds left in the first round, Bobby was caught with a rear-naked-choke that forced him to tapout. Bummer. Dude still pocketed a cool $4,000 which he probably used to further improve his ‘hood technique’ (compared to Andrei Arlovski who made $1,500,000 for not listening to Freddie Roach’s gameplan). Charles 'Krazy Horse' Bennett Krazy Horse is better than your favorite MMA fighter. Alright, maybe not better but astronomically more entertaining. If the entire MMA world were condensed to Marvel comic cliches, dude would undoubtedly be Deadpool. Damn, that was pretty friggin nerdy. I hope that chick I met at [insert name of Gentleman’s club I was too drunk too remember] didn’t just read that. If a place is called a ‘Gentleman’s Club’, it really just means that you’re going to be searched at the door and charged $15 for a Bud Light. Watching Krazy Horse’s old Pride Bushido fights is stuff of legends. Dude plays to the camera, loves his audience and is known to never train prior to any MMA match. 21 of his 40 fights have occurred at King of the Cage so it’s safe to say he’s like a demigod over there. His knockout of KJ Noons (and subsequent freakishly high back-flip) at EliteXC earned him a spot on CagePotato’s Eight Most Insane Victory Celebrations of All Time. In an interview with MMAJunkie (via Fightlinker), Krazy Horse says that he had to change his name to ‘Kid Khaos’ in order to calm his image and be a role model.
Long known as one of the more unusual – and, at times, skilled – fighters in MMA, Bennett is looking to reinvent his character. He’s a father now, he says, so he needs to be a role model. He’s training, committing himself to the sport, cleaning up his image and hopefully heading into the best part of his career….That includes a move from Krazy Horse (and all that character entails) to Kid Khaos, who, despite the name, is meant to be calmer and more controlled than his former incarnation.
Yeah, we didn’t think it made sense either which, of course, makes it exponentially better. If Krazy Horse isn’t one of your favorite fighters, then you’re just lying to yourself. Looking up Krazy Horse’s arrest record is like opening up one of those little Russian Matryoshka dolls. Every account of Krazy Horse being arrested usually has ‘again’ in the title. As of June 27th 2007, Krazy Horse has amassed a collection of twenty separate mugshots. We’re not sure whether Krazy Horse immediately stopped doing illegal activity in 2007 or perhaps he just stopped getting caught. Maybe this Kid Khaos transformation is working after all. But before you start building your shrine to Krazy Horse, you need to check out this video of him rushing Cristiano Marcello, a member of the Chutebox Academy, after an entire evening of ragging on Wanderlei Silva. Dude gets some good blows in but Marcello eventually triangle chokes Krazy Horse into the next dimension. Harold Howard Harold Howard lived in a different time. If this were the 1400s, dude would be pillaging villages and sloppily drinking wine from the skulls of lions. The general population just couldn’t fully understand Harold Howard. He was too raw for his own good. On December 22th 2009, Harold Howard intentionally drove his flatbed truck directly through the entrance of the Fallsview Casino in Niagara Falls, Canada. Police have now charged Harold with two counts of attempted murder, two counts of assault with a weapon, attempted break and enter, fail to remain, flight from police, dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, mischief and two counts of breach of recognizance. Dude racked up 11 charges in one nutty vehicular escapade (luckily nobody was severely injured or killed). People shouldn’t be surprised at this behavior. Back in 1994, Harold Howard issued a general warning to anyone that dare venture in his vicinity: ‘If you’re coming on, then come on!‘ (but be sure to take off your sunglasses before you do). But let’s get to the meat of exactly why Harold Howard is ranked number four on our Top Ten MMA Fighters You Should Build A Shrine To. It’s not his 2-3 career MMA record and it’s not the fact that he was ‘technically’ the first person to beat Royce Gracie. It’s because of the friggin scissor kick that refuses to go away after over 15 years of endlessly being replayed. In the UFC 3 finals, a fresh Steve Jennum replaced the worn and highly discouraged Ken Shamrock. Apparently Ken wanted to avenge his UFC 1 loss to Royce but upon hearing the news that Royce’s corner actually threw in the towel at the beginning of his Harold Howard bout (due to exhaustion from fighting Kimo Leopaldo), Ken Shamrock decided to drop out of the UFC 3 tournament. To open up his final UFC 3 match against Scott Jennum, Harold decided to do something that has still puzzled virtually everyone who has ever watched the footage. In short, Harold does a scissor kick that completely misses his opponent. Realistically, if he would have landed the kick, the damage would have been minimal and left Howard vulnerable on his back. Maybe he was just in the moment or just ecstatic that he made it so far in the tournament. Whatever inspired Harold to execute this infamous scissor kick has inspired a new generation to basically bite and perfect Harold’s style. And of course Tom Lawlor’s UFC Fight Night 20 weigh-in entrance where he pulled off the scissor kick garbed in authentic Harold Howard regalia. Lee Murray Jason Statham is like a substitute teacher version of Lightning Lee Murray. In 2006, dude kidnapped a bank manager and forced his way into what was supposed to be a high-security bank. Not like Bank of America or Well’s Fargo…we’re talking about the ones that have red lasers everywhere and can only be penetrated by Catherine Zeta Jones doing backflips in tight spandex. This bank was like one of those you would see in a cartoon with a 600lb diamond guarded by Elmer Fudd. Apparently, they hired Warner Bros security because Murray, along with a few of his buds robbed the bank of $96,000,000.00. $96,000,000.00! The dude must have been drinking whatever Bernard Madoff had that morning. It was the biggest bank heist in history. After knocking off the bank, the dude fled to Morocco and claimed citizenship because his father was born there. Authorities couldn’t do a single thing about it. Dude just masterminded and got away with just about enough money to satisfy my ex-girlfriend. He was enjoying a ballerish lifestyle until the police arrested him for having bricks of cocaine in his pad which (probably) broke local laws. Note to anyone stealing $96,000,000.00…try not to give a reason for the police to arrest you and take your loot. Don’t trespass, look both ways when you cross the street and try not to litter. The cops recovered all but $50,000,000.00 of his bank heist profits (which is practically like not recovering any) and threw him in jail. Lee Murray was somehow was released from prison on the claims that he was ‘a citizen of Morrocco’. What? That makes about as much sense as Clay Guida pretending to be human. We’re assuming the dude threw some cash their way and, as you read this, he’s sipping dirty martinis on a bear skin rug in his villa. War Lee Murary. Now the director of Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain and The Wrestler is slated to direct a movie based on Lee Murray’s life. Besides the above mentioned rawesomeness, Murrary also had open heart surgery that took seven hours to complete. Dude had no heart for seven hours. Of course this was due to a knife puncturing his left lung, coming out the other side and lodging right into his heart. Oh, and on top of all that…he was knifed twice in the head on a separate incident and survived. Breaking news, the role of Lee Murray is going to be played by Shia Labeouf. Just kidding, let’s not let ‘suck’ enter this movie. Walid Ismail You can’t call yourself a true MMA fan if you’re not familiar with Wallid Ismail and his beef with Ryan Gracie which has perhaps given the MMA world the greatest sound bite ever. In a time when the Gracies were running things in the jiu-jitsu game, Wallid Ismail stepped up and defeated Royce Gracie, Ralph Gracie and Renzo Gracie. Then in 1999, the feud began. In November of 1999, Ryan Gracie agreed to fight Wallid Ismail in WEC on Janurary 2000 so he moved to New York to train with Renzo Gracie. Wallid Ismail had to pull out of the fight because he was on the verge of signing off on another fight with Pride FC sometime early in 2000. The Pride FC contract fell through and Wallid signed on to the WEC fight with only six weeks notice but Ryan Gracie suddenly dropped out of their bout. In December of 1999, both fighters unexpectedly met at PePe beach and nearly scrapped on the sand and a few days later Ryan came to Wallid Ismail’s gym to confront him. Dude constantly reached into his fanny pack (yeah, 10 years ago people still rocked fanny packs) and threatened to pull a gun on Wallid (later it was discovered dude didn’t have a gun in his fanny pack). Wallid Ismail backed down and Ryan Gracie eventually left the gym. On October 2000, Wallid Ismail and Ryan Gracie crossed paths at the after party for the Bad Boy fashion show in Brazil. The reports are a little cloudy, but the general consensus is that Ryan Gracie and a few dudes snuck up on Wallid Ismail and caught him off guard. Wallid’s boys eventually jumped in and the fight ended with Wallid Ismail guillotine choking Ryan Gracie. The next year, Wallid Ismail and Ryan Gracie agreed to fight on a WEC card that was planned for April 2001. Everything was good until Ryan Gracie was arrested after stabbing a man in a bar fight in February, needless to say…he dropped out again from the Wallid Ismail fight. Unfortunately, Ryan Gracie died in a jail cell in Brazil from an apparent overdose so the MMA world will never get to see an official Wallid Ismail vs. Ryan Gracie showdown (one that didn’t happen in a bar at least). However, we are blessed with two of the greatest interviews of all time…both of which belong to Wallid Ismail. If you’re drinking milk, be warned that it will immediately eject out of your nose after listening to these interviews. If your neck hasn’t exploded in laughter at the previous interview, check out Stephen Quadros bringing up the one name that is guaranteed to get Ismail heated. Got to love it. Genki Sudo However cool you think you are, Genki Sudo has exceeded everything you’ve ever accomplished in your life and he did it with a synchronized team of Japanese dancers riding shotgun. Genki Sudo is the living embodiment of everything you’ve ever wanted to accomplish in your life manifested in the body of a 16-4-1 fighter. Genki has only been stopped once in his career and it was by the stand-up of Kid Yamamoto. That was back when Kid was pound for pound the best in MMA, since he left his wife…dude can’t get a win. Genki Sudo retired at the age of twenty-seven solely because he wanted to transition to the 4th dimension. Genki said that he was finished fighting in the 3rd dimension and his next ‘fight’ would take place on a mental/spiritual plane in the 4th dimension. However, Genki stated that he would have to reside in the 3.5th dimension in order to effectively get his message across. His message is simply: We are all one. It’s actually not as simple as you may think. In his documentary, Genki Sudo breaks down his message and says that we all exist in exactly the same moment. The perception of past and future is merely an illusion. If one makes too many plans in the future, a portion of their present ‘self’ is lost in an unobtainable moment. Of course, if one chooses to focus on their past ‘self’, their present ‘self’ will never be fully realized. Genki stresses living in the moment and to rely as little as possible on material objects. In fact, the physical world prevents Genki Sudo from fully transitioning into the 4th dimension. Genki has said his greatest accomplishment in MMA was his K-1 – Premium Dynamite!! submission of Butterbean back in 2003. Despite being outweighed by 260lbs, Genki managed to dive in Butterbean’s general direction and grab a heel hook only forty-one seconds in the second round. Call him the ‘Neo-Samurai’ or the the ‘Transforming Trickster’, Genki Sudo is by far the most shrine worthy person who has ever graced the MMA world. He’s the author of eight philosophy books and even manages his own amateur baseball league for players over thirty. Genki Sudo also has a role in the pseudo sci-fi film entitled ‘The R246 Story‘ and that is why you should raid your garage for spare materials to construct a shrine for Genki Sudo. Check out the first part of Genki Sudo’s documentary just because I love all of you so much. We are truly one.
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