It’s not quite the cage match of the new millennium, but it will have to do. The current titleholder, Joe “The Gaffemeister” Biden, and the young challenger, Paul “Kid Wonk” Ryan, will meet in Danville, Kentucky, on Thursday night for what promises to be a grapplefest extraordinaire. A nationwide television audience will be watching as the two contestants battle for supremacy as well as the coveted Warm Bucket Of Spit — the precious trophy awarded quadrennially that reflects the truly irrelevant nature of the title they are vying for and signifies the fantastically ridiculous lengths to which political campaigns will go to attract voters.
In truth, this made-for-TV extravaganza is entirely superfluous when one considers that the heavyweight title bout between Barack “Chocolate Thunder” Obama and Mitt “Vanilla Lightning” Romney is the only contest that really counts. But “The Commission” has insisted that there be a match pitting the tag team partners of the two heavyweights, and when The Commission speaks, everyone listens. (They’re sort of like the mafia but without the New York accents or FBI wiretaps.)
The book is running heavily against Gaffemeister. He is older, not as quick on his feet as the challenger, and, despite possessing a grin compared unfavorably to the Cheshire Cat, has been known to become ill-tempered when challenged too forcefully. But with age comes experience, and the champ can be counted on to employ every trick in the book to upend his far less seasoned opponent. Rumor has it that Gaffemeister will use tricks learned from his youthful days as a mud wrestler in various clubs along the Eastern Shore — almost-illegal holds that would impress the TV audience and possibly trip up his inexperienced foe.
For his part, the Kid is good-looking and has energy, earnestness, and a certain savoir faire that will no doubt score him some points with the judges. What he lacks in wisdom gleaned from age, he makes up for with a cat-quick mind and a wealth of knowledge about the sport that will stand him well in a pinch.
But Gaffemeister has made a career out of his opponents underestimating his abilities. He is cagey, deceptive, and knows his way around the ring. The Kid must avoid the champ’s famous “sleeper hold,” which lulls opponents into somnolence — usually by employing his “regular Joe” shtick — and his “Amtrak Double Chickenwing” maneuver. Over the years, few have been able to recover after such a double whammy — or keep from throwing up.