At the time production of The Smashing Machine begun, the four of us had just become neighbors. And we were ALL going through it. But…the only one that got “caught” (well, on camera at least) was Mark K. As a small example of the nearly-daily mundane, we attend a very strange after-hours party at a Laguna Beach mansion. As always, I give it my all to keep up with the big boys. X was on the menu that night and I’ve never tried it. An hour after popping my first tab, I feel nothing. I announce this aloud and Tom being Tom, i.e. the crown prince of excess (to Bas Rutten’s king), he hands me another. So down goes X-tab #2. Another hour later, when I could no longer feel my legs, “the Marks” carry me to our car, and off we go into the night. We were all at the top of our games, and we were either killing ourselves or having a little fun. Depends on how you look at it.
Soon thereafter, Kevin “The Monster” Randelmann comes to visit. We go out to play pool, terrorizing the local toughs in-between shots. In between taking shots –of the billiards and Jack Daniels variety—Kevin, whom I have just met and have never spoken a word of business with, glares at me. “If I had a manager, and he screwed me, I would murder him.” Okay Kevin, no problem, wasn’t that interested anyway. So instead of entering into a business relationship, we proceed to drink one another under the table.
Now, none of these incidents in of themselves are all that extraordinary. Therein lay the rub. To me, this –being out to all hours of the morning with some of the craziest men on the planet—was “normal.” Yet, I have a new wife at home. She never once complains; in fact, she is cool with me going out, and encourages me to live my life. In turn, I prodded her too go out on social outings independent of me, but she rarely did.
While writing these entries, I spoke with many of my old running buddies; The Hammer amongst them. Mark reminded me that one day at Extreme U, I verbally let him have it in front of everyone. I felt that his just unleashed, profanity-laced, temper tantrum was inappropriate in front of our paying members, and I went nuts on him. Out cussing him, and out, uh…out-tempering him. Mark chuckled about this while reminding me of an incident I had completely forgotten about; according to the Champ, this was the first –and last—time anyone had yelled at him in his adult life. “You always did like to live dangerously Bass” Mark said. Funny, never thought of it that way.