|Al's Are we There Yet-From the WWE book Are We there Yet
Marty Jannetty was a great guy to travel with.He was always up to something,so life on the road never got boring with him around.
The way we used to do some of the tours a few years ago was we would do a run in one area and stay in the same town the whole time.For example,we'd do a run through upstate New York,stay in Albany the whole time,and travel to all the bulidings from there.That would be our home base.It's never easy making a hotel your home,so we had to find ways to entertain ourselves.
There was this one time with Marty,and I forget who we were rooming with,but there were three of us staying in the room so we had a roll-away cot.I went in to take a shower and,first off,I go to tear back the shower curtain and the whole thing just rips right off.Marty had actually taken the time to unclip all the clips on the shower curtain and then place them back up so gingerly that the first touch would make the whole thing drop.
Then he'd stuffed the showerhead full of Vaseline or somethng like that so as soon as I turned on the water,I'm suddenly covered with hot water and petoleum jelly.I have no idea where he ever came up with that one:it was nothing I'd ever heard of.
Later that same day,I'm back in the bathroom and I know something was going on outside in the room.From the sounds I was able to pick up,I couldn't tell exactly what was going on, but I knew he was hatching something.Like I said,he was always up to something.
So I open the bathroom door and take a step back.Thank God I did because a half-gallon of milk comes flying past he and slams up against the wall.I'm trying to figure out how the hell he did that,because right now there was no one in the room to throw it.
I walk out of the bathroom doorway and saw that he had taken the mattress off the roll away and somehow wedged it between the door and the wall,placed the milk on top of it and fixed it so that when I moved the door it would act like a cataput.Launching the milk across the room.
He was constantly coming up with stuff.It just never ended with him.But like I said,it helped make sure life on the road never got boring
Pulling ribs is a tradition that is a rich part of my experience in the business,and I try to carry it on with the younger guys like Maven and Chris Nowinski today.Maven is already pretty good with pulling ribs.He can keep up with me sometimes,so I have to give him some credit for that.Most people assume our history with pulling ribs on each other started on Tough Enough,but it didn't really.Durning the show we had a lot of fun with the bets and games and stuff like that,but we never got to the pranks.Because of all the other stuff we did on the show I could see the beginnings of a good prankster in him.
Right before Tough Enough two,I was into locking up people's stuff without them knowing.one day I went and took a few padlocks and put them on Maven's suitcase because I knew it would be a pain in the ass to open.I was impressed with how he worked his way out of this one.
He usually borrowed the rental car at ight and that's what he used to bargain with me on this one.This particular night we were at a Marriott in Atlanta that had a huge parking lot and the hotel was packed.He had a later flight the next mornng and knew I had an early-morning one and would be taking the car to the airport.So he called me up when he got back to the hotel and said,"Okay,you can give me the keys to the padlocks and I'll give you the car keys."
We argued back and forth for a while,but we finally agreed to meet in the lobby and make the exchange.He passed me the car keys and I passed him off a pair of keys.The keys I gave him were fakes,of course.I go back to my room thinking I've got him.
He called up a few minutes later and asked where the real keys were.I tried to play off like I had no idea what he's talking about.He wasn't buying that for a second.He tells me"That's fine.I know you have an early flight so if you want to make it to the airport on time,you'll have to find your car.The car is hidden and I'm not going to tell you where it is unless you give me the real keys."I had no choice but to go and give him the real keys this time.
I gave him a lot of credit for preparing for me giving him fake keys.He was thinking ahead.He's learing from me,he's ctching on to this.
Maven,D-Von,and I were leaving a show in Halifax one night in an SUV that had running boards and a luggage rack.Now,at this building,there's one of the old security gates that they have across the garage exit.It has to be manually raised for you to get out of the building,but of cource there's no one there to open it for us when we want to leave.Maven was driving and D-Von was in the backseat,so I jump out to look for someone to raise the gate-and as soon as the door shut behind me I knew I'd made a mistake.
I find the security guard,and as I'm walking back to the car I hear"click,click."they locked me out.They start to pull away,and I jump on the running board,hold on to the luggage rack,and I'm screamng at them to stop and let me in.Now Maven's driving with me hanging off the car,flopping around on the outside,and we go out the building right past all the fans who are like,"Yeah,hey Al,how you doing?".
He keeps driving and I think,"Well,they'll stop now.They drove through all the fans,that'll be fine".
Wrong.They kept on going right out of the building,down the corner,turned at the light,down the next street.Now we've probably gone about three or four miles with me screaming on the outside of the truck when I get smart and yell,"Help! Police! Two black men are stealing my car!"After one or two times,they finally stop the car and let me in.
A rookie of the road wars might have just panicked the whole time or jumped off right away.As a veteran of this stuff I was able to take my time,relax,and figure out how to get out of the situation.
I thought to myself,"Okay,there's two black guys driving a brand-new SUV through Halifax with a white guy hanging off the luggage rack screaming.What might this look like to the police if I just yelled?
One of the more interesting characters I drove with back in the day was a guy named Sandy Scott.When we went into restaurants he would act like he had Tourette's Syndrome.We'd take turns doing it,but it didn't work as well when I tried because I was younger and still learing.
When he would do it,I had to keep a stright face,otherwise I'd stooge him off.It was tough not to laugh at him,but I had to play along,ask him if he took his medication,if he's feeling okay.We'd be sitting there eating and he's barking off stuff like,"Eat your popcorn,damn it!"and throwing his food all over the place.Now,he's gotta act like this and yell and scream the entire time we're there because once you start something like that you can't stop.you have to keep it up.
The different reations you get from everyone in the place are funny.Some people just stare at you the whole time,some go out of their way not to look at all.And I'd just be sitting there asking him"Are you all right? Where are your pills?"
When you do things like that to entertain yourself,you're not doing it just to get a reaction or be obnoxious,but to see if you could actually pull it off.To see if you could work people and make them belive things like Sandy actually having Tourette's.As entertainers we make our living by having people belive we are something we are not.What better way to perfect this than by never shutting that off?
Early on in my career I rode with the guy who trained me,Jim Lancaster.I always had to be on my toes for pranks with hm.I think that's why I'm able to pull them off now.You just never knew whn he was going to do something,and he was a quick-thinker.
One time he wanted to emphasize the "Don't fall asleep in the car"rule,which you never do because you're at the mercy of the person driving the car.Well,we're on a long drive home to Ohio,back from St.Louis.During the drives,we used to sit there and talk for hours and book territories.I learned so much just sitting in the car with him.
Well,this one time I started falling asleep and the next thing I know I hear ths noise-WHAM!-and the car swerves.It wakes me up right away and Jim starts getting upset.I look in the rearview mirror and see that there's a car on the side of the road behind us,right where we swerved.I didn't see anything else,just the emergency flashers.
And Jim says,"Oh my God.I hit somebody,I hit somebody!"I asked him if he hit the car,but he said,"No,no I hit a person.They were standing alongside the car."He was so covincing.For the next two hours he kept it up and had me beliving that we actually struck somebody.had hit a human being.I am all scared and panicked,pleading with him to go back and explain to the cops that he didn't see anybody standing there.He's absolutely refusing,"No way,I gotta just keep driving.We can't go back now."
After he has his fun for a few hours he finally told me that all he did was slam his hand against the dashboard and swerve the car.There was never anyone near the car,it was just abandoned on the side of the road and he thought it would be a funny way to teach me a lesson.But that's how fast he could come up with ideas to get you.He saw that car and thought of this whole thing right away.And I'll tell you,I never fell asleep in his car again.
When we get out of show's it's sometimes tough to find a place to eat.Most of the time we're forced to stop at drive-through of a fast-food place in the middle of nowhere.An interesting thing about these places at that time of night is that they don't actually expect too many customers,so they'll stick just about anyone in that window.And for some reason,these people are always more fun to mess around with.
One night I was riding with two other Superstars,one a man and one woman.As we drove up to the place,we thought of a great practical joke to pull on the drive-through attendent.We got some rope,duct tape,and a blanket and stuck the chick in the backseat.We put the rope around her,the duct tape on her mouth,and the blanket on top.
We go to the microphone and order the food like normal.When we pull up to pay and pick up the food,the guy's looking out the window and sees something stuggling in the backseat.All of a sudden the blanket comes off and there's a woman all tied up in the backseat with duct tape on her mouth.
I immediately turn around and yell at her,"Stop moving! I told you next time you'll be in the trunk!"Then I looked at the attendant and told him,"You didn't see anything,all right?"
We drove off real fast and didn't even wait to see if the cops came afer us.We went right to the hotel.The guy in the counter was speechless,stunned."Uhhh.....Uhhhhh."It was great.