by Joseph Peeler & Ryan Carmody
WGA Registration #: 1269327
Once a year, a small fishing-centric town holds an annual wrestling competition they call “Alperman Grapplefest.” The grapplers battle one another at the local rodeo arena in hopes of winning the key to the city, which is also a stringer of golden fish. Or, apparently, a stringer of wooden fish painted very nicely. Spectators annually fill the stands with numbers far too small to meet capacity. Nevertheless, their pep is unfading. When a Polish grappler named Martin Rescke comes to town in search of the golden fish, the townspeople must question their alliances while Adam Carr, the reigning champion, has to be at the peak of his ability.
The annual amateur theme song competition kicks off Grapplefest. This year, a young musician has won over the crowd by playing a blues guitar riff with harmonica, then screaming violently and scraping his guitar against the microphone. Linda seems to be the only one who doesn’t enjoy the hard rock sound. Linda is the nerve-wracked mother of Adam Carr. One would have a hard time missing this fact, since she wears a shirt with his face on it.
Adam is the Alperman champ three years running and has been embraced by all as town hero. This year, it seems, he has decided to let himself go. As each grappler trains in the horse pens (which have been converted to grappler holding pens), Adam merely sleeps drunkenly, clothed only in his briefs and wrestling harness.
The preliminary grapple-battle draws only three fans, but for the victor, Clarvoyant Jones, it is the biggest day of her life. Clarvoyant got her name because she is so fast she seems to read minds, and her speed is no match for Surly Bill Blimdon.
At dusk, the Grapplefest begins. A number of Alpermen are released into the rodeo arena via cattle launcher, and wrestle en masse. After this, only the final four remain: Martin, Adam, Breadshop (Martin’s local acquaintance) and a Wildcard grappler. Martin defeats Breadshop, and the Wildcard devastates Adam. The audience is up in arms, and Linda is fraught with anxiety. The entire town is antagonized by a small group of Polish supporters. The Wildcard defeats Martin with his patented mystery-move, “The Parakeet in the Coalmine,” and chaos erupts in the audience.
Grapplefest ends up compromised and obviously rigged. The judges disqualify Martin and the Wildcard on grounds of wardrobe deficiency. They bestow the coveted golden fish to Adam, even though Adam wears only underwear and a harness. The audience is at each other’s throats. Linda finally snaps when Martin accosts the under-dressed Adam. She sprints down the stands and leaps over the railing to protect her son. This year’s Grapplefest culminates with the entire town, frantic and confused, flooding into the arena and wrestling one another.