Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Re-emergence of Ironfinger

Back in the days of the MWF (Martin Wrestling Federation) Ironfinger was a figure of legend. The tell tale sound (it’s really hard to describe but "Schpee" comes as close as the human tongue can manage) was often enough to send an opponent scurrying in the opposite direction.

Some background is required:

The MWF grew out of a childhood of watching wrestling. Figures like Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant were our heroes, while King Kong Bundy and Big John Studd were our nemeses. In order to copy what we saw on TV we had to develop our own federation and so we did (interestingly enough they now have warnings on shows like this saying you’re not to try this at home furthering my suspicions that my generation was a "test generation.")

For a time the MWF even had its own belt and there were some historic battles; for instance the time I nailed my brother with a guitar case, the time my brother inadvertently submitted to a toe hold and the penultimate flashback to my brother’s Rambo like emergence from a sleeping bag to unsuspectingly hit me with a "steel chair" (that is to say a pillow).

"Fabulous" Francois Martin, Robber Martin, Billy the Butcher, Gentleman William Martin – these were the cloaks we put on in childhood and walked across the grandest of stages – our living room. We flew like Newfie luchadores.

But the MWF, like many grass roots federations, folded. Some say it became too commercial with the emergence of "The Timbits." Others say it folded when one of the partners moved off to university.

For a time The Ironfinger was the finishing hold of Billy the Butcher (who then refined his act to become "The Gentleman" William Martin). The opponent knew he was in trouble when that tell tale sound "Schpee" was heard and if he wasn’t fast enough the Ironfinger would find its mark (often the soft point just behind the arm pit). It was also a great way to get out of the opponents finishing submission holds.

But as art imitates life and history is doomed to repeat itself; that which has gone has come round again.

While playing football a couple of weeks ago the ball bobbed off the ground at break finger speeds and hit my right index finger. I felt no pain but one of the other players said: "Dude, your finger doesn’t look right!" and sure enough the top third of my finger was pointing northwest while the rest was pointing north.

I popped it back into place and am in the process of finding out what happened to it (me thinks it was dislocated). But between then and the time I find out I have been wearing a splint… one that could be made of … iron? (it's probably not, it's really too light, but apply some imagination.

Fabulous Francois shows up on Thursday. The Ironfinger is already here.

The MWF will be back.

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