Look out Beaumont! Clash of the Little People

An odd-but-colorful flyer hung from the driver’s window on my work car, catching my eye, yesterday. On occasion an area strip club, or perhaps “fabric-free entertainment” to be more politically correct, is found on car windows in our parking lot. However, this was a bit too odd for me, especially after only one cup of coffee.

The ad said: “Hulk Hogan’s Live Midget Wrestling.” Think about that for a minute. The event is scheduled for Friday at Jaguars, a site on Fannett Road here in Beaumont which during better days (my better days specifically speaking) was known as “Lady Long Legs.” LLL was a country-western joint that came around during the “Urban Cowboy” days of the late 70s and early 80s. It was a place I visited when I came to town, a good place to find some young cowgirls, who I must admit looked pretty good in their tight jeans and whatever else it was they were wearing.

The long and short of it. Wrestler Hulk Hogan brings dwarfs to late night match in Beaumont "gentleman's club.'
The long and short of it. Wrestler Hulk Hogan brings dwarfs to late night match in Beaumont “gentleman’s club.’

Today, Jaguars is one a number of Fabric Free places owned by the publicly traded RCI Holdings, parent company of Rick’s Cabaret. And it must be a place that does some good bidness, as they say here in Texas, especially considering some kind of weirdness as the “Hulkster” is bringing for $20 pre-sale and $25 at the door. The event starts at 11 p.m., by which time I hope to be knocking out the Zzzzzzzs.

Now, I probably heard at one time or the other of such a fine “sport” as midget wrestling. The term brings to mind those times when I once was going strong around closing time after a night full of longneck bottles of beer with a few shots of “tee-kill-ya” in between. Otherwise I don’t think I ever heard of midget wrestling. I do remember hearing of midget tossing, which consisted of tossing a little person wearing little Velco suits up against a Velcro wall. For more reasons than one, it is a targeted activity of dwarf advocacy groups. More on midget v. dwarf shortly.

The activity scheduled in our fair town this Friday is an event of the MCW which stands for “Micro Championship Wrestling,” an organization former World Wrestling Entertainment’s Hogan promotes.

An advocacy group called Little People of America does not care¬† for midget wrestling. The group doesn’t even like the word “midget.” Midget is the “M-word” to the African American’s “N-word.” The organization explains:

“In some circles, a midget is the term used for a proportionate dwarf. However, the term has fallen into disfavor and is considered offensive by most people of short stature. The term dates back to 1865, the height of the “freak show” era, and was generally applied only to short-statured persons who were displayed for public amusement, which is why it is considered so unacceptable today.

¬†“Such terms as dwarf, little person, LP, and person of short stature are all acceptable, but most people would rather be referred to by their name than by a label.”

Some folks get right upset when they are faced with what they consider political correctness. Most of the same crowd are unaware of the hurt a name, even one as common as a dwarf or “retard,” can cause.

I never really though about some of the terms used being slurs to some while not to others. I would say I probably grew up hearing somewhat more the word “midget” to “dwarf.” Although, thanks to Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” dwarf is hardly an alien word. And in certain contexts, both words seem ill-fitting. How would “Snow White and the Seven Midgets” sound? Or how about a “dwarf submarine?”

Apparently, the men and women who — I suppose — travel around with Hulk Hogan to do some midget wrestling are not all that put off by the M-word. But could you just imagine how offensive the concept of “retarded wrestling” would sound?

There are plenty of reasons why I don’t plan to attend the match of the “vertically challenged” — I wonder why that term isn’t used? The time is too late. I feel kind of creepy, a 59-year-old guy going to a strip club. I didn’t when I was younger though. Twenty-five dollars or even $20 is way too much for me to pay to watch something stupid. I can watch the Fox News for free.

And I suppose it is exploitative watching an event that is primarily based on the person’s genetic markers that make him or her a certain size. Although, one sees this genetic reality in other sports, such as those who are college and NBA hoops stars.

It is an odd world in which we live. Thankfully, we don’t always have to pay to see its oddities. We also, less and less, think what was once odd is not so much these days.

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