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"That's what happened with Irish Ironsides Murgatroyd, a paraplegic and brain-damaged war veteran. He signed a contract to take on the world middleweight champ, a Ugandan named Mooloolie who had two good arms and legs and a punch like a goddamn mule. The Kansas Boxing Commission sanctioned this farce, and Irish Ironsides appeared on every morning TV show across the country, bragging about how he was going to rip Mooloolie apart in less than three rounds. The fight got a lot of international attention and with closed-circuit and ancillary rights from straight TV, the gate for the big fight topped $34 billion--an all-time record.
"They held the fight in a big field in the middle of Kansas, because of the crowd. In fact, fifteen million ticket holders crowded onto that field to watch a fight that lasted about six seconds. It was pathetic. Irish rolled out to the center of the ring and pawed at Mooloolie's left kneecap with a right stick. Mooloolie slipped it naturally and then delivered a series of combinations that not only separated Irish from his wheelchair, but almost separated his head from his body--the coroner figure later he was dead before is head ever hit the canvas.
"The fucking crowd went nuts. Tickets prices ranged from twenty-five grand ringside down to a minimum of five-hundred bucks--those were about five miles from the ring and you had to furnish your own binoculars. The crowd tore the ring apart, killed all the judges and the referee and several guys from a television crew...Mooloolie managed to escape somehow, but don't ask me how! Several hundred spectators were trampled to death and more than a hundred thousand required medical treatment. It was really something to see!"
Tyson Tyson shook his head sadly. "You know, Tex," he continued, "normally as a promoter I'd been right there at ringside, but I had a bad feeling going into the thing, I knew something was going to go wrong. I didn't think the fight should even take place, but hell, since it was I figured I might as well make a buck or two off of it, somebody was going to. But I watched it from a chopper that day, hovering over the melee. It was a sight, Tex, you can't possibly imagine what fifteen million pissed off fight fans look like until you've seen them with your own two peepers!"
"Yeah, it must have been a mess," Tex said, fascinated by Tyson's tale. "Go on."
"Well, they finally got the riot under control by threatening to drop a hydrogen bomb right in the big middle of the crowd...flew over in choppers and warned them to disband within one hour, or it was all over but the shitting and the shouting. The rioters knew they weren't shitting and they split like the legs on a two-dollar hooker.
"Needless to say, that was the end of Wheelchair Boxing, Inc. and, sad to say, Tyson Tyson Sports, Inc. I faced four hundred lawsuits, my wife left me and my former best friends wouldn't have pissed up my ass if my guts were aflame.
"And those are the memories of my life, Tex--except I don't believe one goddamn word of it!"
Tex shrugged. "Shit, it all sounds reasonable enough to me. Why don't you believe your own mind?"
"Because I don't think it IS my mind...it's like all of a sudden I'm one person in one place and the next thing I know I'm that same person somewhere else. And yet I don't remember coming to this place. It seems like I've always been here, that the things I think are memories are not real remembrances of things that actually happened but more like something fed into my mind. Do you see what I'm getting at?"
"Yeah, no wonder Grovenor was worried about you, you ARE losing the handle."
Tyson Tyson screwed up his face in a grimace of utter disgust.
"WHAT fucking handle, huh? We're always hearing some bullshit about 'keeping the handle,' but what handle are they talking about?"
"Well shit, you know, THE handle," Tex replied.
"There AIN'T NO FUCKING HANDLE, TEX," Tyson yelled. "It's all a big game!"
"Man, you're fucking SICK! There's GOT TO BE a fucking HANDLE, because without it there's NOTHING!"
Tyson nodded and smiled, a pleased expression spreading over his pale, smooth face.
"Ah, Tex m'boy, you're beginning to get it finally," he said easily.