[Author’s note: This article is better if you listen to techno while reading, particularly the tracks that I suggest.]
You walk up to the corner of Western and Wilshire and join the line forming in front of the Hollywood Video, an archaic structure that is the remnants of the new Netfl ix generation. The sign reads “Everything Must Go,” clogging up the view of the old, sun-baked DVD boxes. You join the queue and recognize the crowd almost immediately. Blonde hair extensions, huge tits, and skull T-shirts bung up your eyes. Shaved heads, carefully groomed goatees, and unreadable writing on leather jackets let you know that you are in the right place. This is an MMA awards show.
A fat, black lady scans your ticket that you printed off of mayhemmiller.com, and you proceed into the Wiltern Theater, the mid-size concert hall that is accustomed to housing acts that the MMA crowd has never heard of. At the center of the stage is a man adorned in a giant mouse helmet that has LED lighting, framing the Mickey Mouse silhouette of the black, faceless mask.
Bruce Buffer appears on the 100-foot tall video screen.
Bruce: “From deep inside the mind’s eye, WE ARE LIVVVVVE! Welcome to the 2010 Hemmys!”
The mask-adorned, techno DJ Deadmau 5 drops his beat to a group of confused MMA fans. He plays the track “C’mon” by Tiesto (start the track now).
A team of ethnic, minority workers in the blazing yellow “Security” jackets begin to usher the hodgepodge of biker-looking UFC fans, a Jewish-looking guy with glasses and a baseball cap wearing a Strikeforce T-shirt, and group of 14-year-old Bully Beatdown fans to their seats, thoroughly confused, and all a bit angry that they don’t get to pine for Rashad Evans’ autograph as he passes by, high-fiving Forrest Griffin and side-eyeing Lyoto Machida.
The opening number is a Cirque du Soleil exhibition, complete with kung fu moves from performers on the ground, female aerialists dressed like leaf-fairies who climb to the top of giant poles, and scantily clad contortionists who are putting themselves into triangle chokes. The opening number ends in a explosion of fireworks, with the houselights dropping out, and Bruce’s giant face returns to announce:“And now presenting Submission of the Year is one guy who is Always Sunny and one gal who is always smiling, Charlie Day and Vanna White!”
Charlie from Always Sunny in Philadelphia appears in an oversized tuxedo that looks like he borrowed it, across from Vanna White, who is in a sparkling evening gown, hair pulled up tight and dangling diamond earrings.
Vanna: “Tonight’s award for Submission of the Year is very important and in no way should be viewed as less important, despite the fact that it is the first one being presented.”
Charlie: “Actually, it should be looked at as most important, because it is the only Hemmy given out for something that actually happened in an MMA fight and not just some cleverly worded bull crap to express the author’s opinion, further his agenda, or stroke his own ego.”
Vanna: “The award for Submission of the Year goes to…”
Both in unison: “Fabricio Werdum over Fedor.”
Applause and cheers quickly fade when everyone looks around to see that Fabricio is not in attendance.
Charlie (reading from card): “Fabricio is not in attendance tonight due to his busy seminar schedule, but here to accept the award is, uh, Werdum black belt Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller!”
Fireworks explode from the sides of the stage, and a light show beams. My trademark dancing girls do a number, as I rapidly descend on wires from the ceiling, landing right on top of Vanna White.
Mayhem: “Ooh, I’d like to buy a bowel. ”Canned laughter fills the auditorium as the EMT’s rush Vanna out, and Charlie has a visible freak-out.
Mayhem: “It goes without saying that Fabricio’s submission over the once thought unstoppable Fedor is a landmark in the sport of mixed martial arts. Even more so, it is the end of my search in finding a BJJ coach whose seal of approval I trust enough to receive my black belt from him. But this isn’t about me. This is about Werdum’s great submission over a man who has never lost a fight, let alone been caught in a submission, and the fact that I learn my moves from him!”
Charlie shakes his head, and the audience gives its courtesy applause as I leave the stage.
Mayhem: “Screw you guys, it’s my show.” Lights drop out and Bruce Buffer’s voice booms in: “And now, a special tribute, told through the art of interpretive dance.”
The speakers start to blast “Some Chords,” the first track off the album 4×4=12 by Deadmau5. (You can stop reading and download, I’ll wait).
Six dancers, all adorned in Vietnam-era combat gear begin a synchronized routine that would put any of those MTV dance battle kids to shame. The rest of the crowd is growing more confused, but they are oddly entertained. The beats intensify, and suddenly the floor explodes into smoke and fireworks. Two figures appear in the forefront of the dance routine. One, a short, muscled man with a bandana tight around his eyes, the other, a tall, lanky fellow with a perfectly round dread-fro. Syncing with the army men, they begin high-flying break dancing, as Deadmau5 presides over the ceremonies. The lights drop out, but black lights illuminate the army men and the two leaders, who glow brightly blue. Then, the two in the center become illuminated in a spotlight as they all begin a head spin in unison. Suddenly,the black lights drop out, and the army men disappear. The two leaders of the dance drop to their knees, grab their heads, and yell out to the sky in obvious lamentation. The lights and music drop.
The crowd squirms around uncomfortably, some of them visibly confused.
Bruce: “One is a hotdog dog, the other loves bananas, give it up for Gator Hotdog Dog and Random Ringcard Girl!”
A robot-looking blonde—one of the Strikeforce ring card girls—with huge knockers, who is wearing a dress cut down to a V by her navel, is joined by a wiener dog in an Armani suit. The wiener dog addresses the crowd.
Gator: “I know what you are thinking.”
Robot: “That I look excellent standing next to a wiener?”
Gator: “No, that this award show goes on in the mind and all we can afford is this bitch.”
Huge guffaws from the audience, as a concerned mother covers the ears of a Bully fan.”
Robot (reading from a piece of paper, blank-faced): “Our next award is one of the most prestigious of the night: the award for Getting Famous on the Internet. As most of you know, our founder, the illuminant Mayhem Miller, first built his following in the hallowed halls of Kinko’s, at a time when the Internet was free, as long as you brought your own laptop.”
Gator: “In honor of the employees who did not throw my master out after five hours of posting on Myspace and message boards, we present this year’s award to…”
Robot: “Hehe, I can’t get the envelope open.”
Gator: “God, give me the damn thing. You can’t read from the teleprompter, can’t use your opposable thumbs, I have to do everything, arrrrrrr arrrrrrr.”
His head shakes from side to side, flinging the card
free from its packaging. Blondie scoops up the card and reads it aloud, emphasizing the wrong word.
Gator: “Ugh, FANboys
Multimedia package starts: 2010 May well have been called the year of the Fanboy, where every numbskull with a video camera and a 56k connection has suddenly become a journalist. The power of Twitter, along with a very unstable job market has made many a normal fan into an exclusive insider. Who needs a writing background like Ben Fowlkes or the journalistic integrity of Ariel Helwani or the artistic expression of allelbows.com when you are FRIENDS with, like, literally FOUR fighters that live in your slum of a town. They are on TV sometimes, so that kind of makes you famous by association! FANboys! Come on dowwwwn!
Assorted riffraff funnel down the aisles, mostly from behind your seat. One especially chubby man jumps from the opera box, landing flat on top of MC Hammer, who got seated back a bit this year. The dork procession sprints to the front, some, ghastly out of breath, Hotdog hightails it out of there, and Robo-tits get shoved out of the way. The group of nerds surrounds the podium in a huddled mass of happiness, all vying to get on the mic, one smashing the other, until just a lone, lazily unshaven face sticks out of the dog pile to exclaim, “Thank you, Internet! We couldn’t have done this without you!” The crowd groans and claps, and a crew of Mexican stagehands pulls the tangled mass offstage on a pallet-jack.
Houselights down, and your host appears in a full tuxedo, slicked back hair, and hands on his cummerbund.
Mayhem: “Our final award of the night goes to a very special someone.”
Deadmau5 starts “Moar Ghost’s n Stuff,” and Gator appears stage left, wearing a ballerina outfit.
Gator: “This is what you are doing? This is how you are getting out of this month’s article? You’re going to give three awards away and have me dance the night away in a tutu? That’s entertainment?”
Mayhem: “Stick to the prompter, Hotdog.”
Gator: “No, I can’t stick to the prompter. All of the great things that happened in MMA this year: the WEC getting absorbed into the UFC so that lightweights could be desegregated; Strikeforce had the Knockouts of the Year card, where every bout ended in a brutal, spine-curling KO; and you saw the hottest fight of the year live, Brock vs. Cain. It was legendary, and you came home with misty eyes. I saw it from under the couch. And let’s not forget that this is the year of the ‘Epic Nicktuck,’ from that guy who changed his mind about fighting middleweight. Instead of giving credit where credit is due, you harangue the MMA community for not being forward thinking enough, bash some bloggers for trying to live the dream, and show your contempt for them because they still wear skulls and chains and flames on their T-shirts, as if we are all simple minded, OOOOH is that a red ball?”
Your host throws the red ball off the stage, and Hotdog vanishes behind the curtain. The music plays on.
Mayhem: “The final Hemmy Award goes to a recipient who deserves the utmost respect and never gets proper recognition. This person puts in the work every month that borders on having a creepy relationship with me, but I’m perfectly OK with that, despite the fact that you are most likely a dude.”
Spotlights start to race all over the arena, the beat intensifies, and suddenly the Cirque du Soleil performers are all on giant poles around your host, staring into your face with large painted eyes.
Mayhem: “This year’s award goes to someone who might just casually pick this magazine up in the gym, near the toilet, may not even buy the damn thing at all, and just prefers to read it in Barnes and Noble while cruising for chicks, or hiding from his wife and enjoying the ramblings of a madman while squeezing a deuce. This year’s Hemmy for Excellence goes to YOU, FIGHT! Magazine reader. Month in and month out, you grab this mag and read it, and for that, we commend you. By we, I mean myself.”
Gator: “And me. Without you guys, I would only be able to Twitter and talk through telekinesis.”
Bruce Buffer’s 100-foot face: “FIGHT! reader, come to the podium.”
Techno blasts your eardrums, and suddenly, the leaf-dancer Cirque du Soleil hot Asian girls are corralling you to the stage, spotlights pointed all over you, and flashbulbs firing in all direction. I shake your hand, turnover the Hemmy Award, a large platinum Oscar covered in jewels and blinking LEDs, and the stage is yours. Thanks for reading.