Why you should care
Because it’s a jungle of cheek-pinching relatives out there.
Sometimes the key to having a great holiday is making it through it alive. Forthwith, an OZY guide to keeping your dukes up.
Olympic wrestling gold medalists and brothers, Mark and Dave Schultz, had a rivalry so intense that after losing a scuffle on the lawn of their Palo Alto home as kids, Mark slept in the car for a week rather than have to face his brother. Flash forward to Dave’s untimely death in 1996 at the hands of an unbalanced multi-millionaire, and today, a Hollywood blockbuster in the making with Channing Tatum as the still-thriving Mark Schultz, and you end up with survival strategies galore. For the holidays. And stuff.
As it comes to the conclusion of the rollicking ride that it’s been, TV’s The Ultimate Fighter shows Ronda Rousey with one more fight ahead of her in 2013. Scheduled for December 28th in Las Vegas, Rousey is aiming to do what she’s always done: defeat her eighth opponent the exact same way she’s defeated the prior seven. By armbar. Not exactly the most polite way to get the potatoes passed, but it’ll work just fine in a pinch.
Some houses have some holiday traditions involving TV. Usually football. Possibly film. If the latter we’d suggest swapping out our all-time favorite for holiday viewing, King Kong, which typically left all kids under 8 in tears, and replacing it with a film about boxing a brother, a first wife, opponents and anyone else close to his swinging fists, all while crying and gaining tons of weight. The film? Only the best one of the 1980s, Raging Bull. And yes, only after der kinder have toddled off to sleep.
There’s something super-wonderful about watching unbridled arrogance on display. We’d even call it transcendent when that arrogance is backed up by great performance. And in the late martial art great, Jim Kelly, you had both. Crazy skill, a willingness to trumpet that crazy skill in a Muhammed Ali-esque breakout performance in Bruce Lee’s Enter the Dragon, and a look that killed. This is a perfect analog for getting through Thanksgiving Dinner. Show up looking great, do some dangerous and daring stuff and leave before anyone knows what hit them.
And when all else fails? Pull a page from the life of MMA fighter Joe Kavey whose 0-24 record is a living testament to the indomitability of the human spirit. For those unsure of what those numbers mean, they mean he’s not won a single one of the 24 cage fights he’s fought. Not an ounce of quit in the man – he’s an example of how to keep keeping on even when everything else seems to suggest you shouldn’t. Like coming back to the family fray that is the average Thanksgiving dinner. Again.