[Editor’s note: The NorShor Theatre operated as a strip club from 2006 to 2010, and all manner of amoral activity took place there. For this week’s essay we’ve once again pulled out a relic from the archive of Slim Goodbuzz, who served as Duluth’s “booze connoisseur” from 1999 to 2009. Ten years ago he paid a visit to the NorShor to take in the rasslin’ matches.]
Lovers of the fine arts, like me, know it doesn’t get any better than strippers and midget wrestling. If you can see them both in the same building, and there’s a guy with a backpack who is graciously offering to share his hallucinogenic mushrooms with you, it’s time to chant U-S-A! U-S-A!
Yes, tonight the stars of the Micro Wrestling Federation are bringing their “MidgetPalooza 2009 World Tour” to the NorShor Experience strip club. Of course, it’s still 2008 on my calendar, but it’s probably not a mistake that the year 2009 appears on my ticket in three places. I like to think the MWF is like an auto manufacturer and releases the next year’s line of midgets early, so fans feel like they’re on the cutting edge of wrestling innovation.
There’s a full house tonight, so it takes me a while to work my way upstairs to the NorShor’s mezzanine and procure a drink. The first thing I notice on stage is a totally naked woman doing an upside-down crab-walk on her way to rub her breasts against the chest of a dude with his shirt completely unbuttoned. My view of this is cut off, however, by a guy who walks in front of me with a T-shirt bearing the slogan “I (heart) cameltoe.” There goes a man with a smiling peehole if I’ve ever seen one.
As 9 p.m. approaches, the crowd begins to move downstairs into the main theater, sometimes referred to as the Orpheum Nightclub, where a small wrestling ring has been assembled. I take a seat at a booth in the corner and, glancing down at the floor, notice a ball of what certainly appears to be pubic hair. Apparently, someone was in here doing some trimming earlier.
Right on time, the wrestling announcer takes the microphone and makes his announcement. “If you want to see six midgets kick the shit out of each other, let me hear you scream!” It’s his job, you see, to come out and whip the audience into a frenzy before informing them the show will start in 20 minutes. He encourages us to take advantage of the delay by buying more drinks, which I have to say is good advice.
Meanwhile, I notice the guy with the cameltoe shirt is now wearing a souvenir T-shirt with the MWF slogan on the back: “I support midget violence.” That’s what I love about this crowd. They aren’t single-minded. They have many interests, and want to share them.
Eventually, the show begins, with the 3-foot-7-inch Blixx taking on the 4-foot-4-inch Justice. There is no bell for the announcer to ring, so he starts the match by saying “ding ding.”
In Justice’s corner is Tiffany Payne, the self-proclaimed “biggest bitch” in the MWF. Her job is to strut around the edge of the ring, flipping off the crowd and jostling her tits around. “With these 36-double-Ds, I will take you to your knees,” she promises.
The match is refereed by Payne’s nemesis, Trixie Dynamite, who the announcer assures us will be appearing in Playboy magazine soon.
The next match features the MWF’s star attraction, “the world’s biggest midget,” who goes by the name of Meatball. His opponent is a former “dwarf cage fighting champion” and “midget Chippendale,” from the Phillipines, J-Mazing. Although Meatball is considered the heel in this match, the crowd seems to be behind him, apparently because his name is Meatball and he kind of looks like local head-shop owner Jim Carlson.
After Meatball dispenses of J-Mazing, it’s time for intermission. “All right,” the announcer says. “We need the three horniest girls in the audience to get into the ring.” Not surprisingly, drunken women start elbowing each other and shrieking to prove their horniness to the announcer. Three of them end up in the ring, where they’re informed that, because it’s Meatball’s birthday, they have to make out with the 4-foot-6-inch, 275-pound midget, and whichever one of them makes out with him best will win a prize. The prize is a free Polaroid photograph with all the midgets, which is a $10 value.
Understandably, all the girls freeze and blanche at the prospect of swapping spit with the world’s largest midget. But predictably, they slip back into competitive mode when they realize they actually have a chance to become the sluttiest girl at the NorShor Experience.
The first contestant sets the bar for the rest by grasping Meatball’s sweaty, bald head and seductively licking it before slipping him some major tongue. The second girl gives him a little motorboat action before kissing him, and the third chick puts his head between her legs and squeezes it there, then lays him down on the mat and sprawls all over him. The crowd determines it’s a draw between contestants one and three, so the first girl ups the ante with an even sluttier performance. The third girl, probably feeling a bit sickened by now, decides that making out — for the second time in five minutes — with a guy aptly named Meatball is probably going to cause her to barf, so she throws in the towel.
The announcer, at this point, starts to wrap things up, knowing that someone is going to protest the unfairness of this latest event, and that someone is the tool in the “cameltoe” T-shirt. Yes, the guys in the audience also need a shot at making out with a midget. So the announcer says that for $20, you (yes, you!) can kiss a real live midget girl in front of a roomful of witnesses. Men, mohawked lesbians, and human beings of indeterminate gender rush the stage in search of hot midget tongue for hire.
At this point I notice that I’m standing next to Justice. We start talking, and he informs me that he’s banging Tiffany Payne, but he also wouldn’t mind banging Trixie Dynamite. “If you do, they’re both gonna talk right away,” I tell him. “And then you won’t be banging anybody.”
“That’s a good point,” he says. “Besides, Trixie’s only into big guys. Hey, do you want to meet her?”
Following the midget-molesting competition, audience members are invited to come into the ring and get their photos taken with all the MWF’s stars for a $10 fee. This goes on for about 45 minutes, and seems to entertain everyone more than the wrestling did.
By the start of the third match, the announcer figures out that saying “ding-ding” to start the matches is a little cheesy, so he does the smart thing and starts the next match by shouting, “One, two, three, fuck you!”
The second half of the card features Trixie and Tiffany in a boxing match, which of course results in both of them throwing down their gloves. Then Meatball and Blixx fight to determine the championship of the night.
Sensing the show is about to end, I decide to return to the booth I was sitting at earlier. A guy has taken my place, with the toe of his left shoe dipped in pubes. As I reach past him to grab my coat, he says, “Man, the only way this could get any better is if Meatball wrestled a baboon.”
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