The Masked Man's Christmas, Part 1

[Note: It's a Dinosaur Training tradition to give
you a special Christmas story in daily installments.
Here's part one of this year's Christmas story. I hope
you enjoy it!]

The Masked Man's Christmas (Part 1)

The crowd roared with anger as the hulking masked man
stomped mercilessly on his opponent.

The referee pushed him away, waving his finger in a
stern warning.

"Clean it up, buddy!" he said. "Clean it up and start

The masked man gazed back impassively. All you could
see were his eyes. They were dark, deep and hard, like
twin chunks of obsidian.

The referee glanced behind him. The other wrestler was
still down, lying flat on the canvas. He hadn't so much
as moved after the masked man had delivered a crushing
body slam.

The referee didn't know if he was playing possum or if
he'd really had the wind knocked out of him. It happened
sometimes. The men knew how to fall, but sometimes they
hit harder than expected.

The referee knew his job. He decided to give the fallen
man more time to recover.

He waved his finger at the masked man.

"Stay here!" he ordered.

He stepped back to the fallen man and began a long, slow
count, waving his arms to punctuate each tick of the


No response from the fallen wrestler.


Still no response.


Nothing. Maybe he was really hurt. Maybe it would be
better to slow the count down.

He swept his hands wide and low, leaning over the fallen


Not even a twitch!

Meanwhile, the fans were going wild, shouting and screaming,
begging and pleading, imploring their favorite to get up.

An elderly woman walked to the side of the ring, held onto
the lowest ring rope, and screamed in the fallen man's ear.


The crowd took up the chant.

"Kill him! Murder the bum!"

The referee bit his lip to keep from laughing out loud. With
Christmas a mere five days away, the crowd was hardly in a
Holiday mood.


The fallen man moved his left foot.


The fallen man groaned.


The fallen man rolled to his side.


The fallen man pushed himself to his knees.


The masked wrestler bulled forward, grabbed his opponent
by the ears, yanked him to his feet, picked him up, held
him high -- and then slammed him to the mat.

He hit the canvas with a bone-crushing thud, bounced, and
lay still.

The referee knew he could count to a 100 this time. It
wouldn't make any difference.

He had to sell it. The match couldn't end with a knockout.
That would make it three in a row for the masked giant.

He turned to the time-keeper at the side of the ring.

"Ring the bell!" he said. "Ring the bell!"

He turned to the masked man.


The dark eyes flickered -- and suddenly, without conscious
thought, the referee was out of the ring, down the aisle
and running for his life.

The masked man turned to his fallen opponent and pointed.

He held up his other hand, three fingers spread wide apart.

The meaning was unmistakable.

Three matches. Three knockouts!

And that's when the crowd went totally, utterly berserk. The fans
stormed the ring, swinging and kicking and clawing. They threw
eggs, fruit, cups, bottles, cigars, cigarettes, rocks and bricks.

It took four tries and half a dozen broken heads before the squad
of six burly policemen could get the architect of the insanity
out of the ring, through the crowd and back into the dressing
room. They shoved the door open, pushed him inside and stood
outside while he showered and dressed.

The sergeant eyed the crowd uneasily. It was more of a mob than
anything else. He'd never seen anything like it.

He turned to one of his men.

"Step inside and tell him to hurry up," he said. "I don't like the
looks of this."

The officer stepped into the dressing room.

Thirty seconds later he stepped back out.

"He's gone!" he said.


"Gone! The back window's open. He must have crawled out and
climbed down."

"Let me see!"

The sergeant stepped into the room and looked it over -- and
saw something that made him stop dead in his tracks, his
eyes wide with surprise.

Six bottles of liquid refreshment stood on a small table next
to a cracked mirror. Each bottle stood on a five dollar bill.

A note lay next to the bottles.

"Thanks, Pete -- and Merry Christmas to you and the men!"

The sergeant pushed his cap back and ran his thick hand through
his dark hair.

"How in the heck did he know my name?" he asked.


P.S. If you're still doing your Christmas shopping, head over
to Dinosaur Headquarters and do it the easy way: