Literate, greasy ladies throw down on the Eastside

Dancer Kerry Taylor multitasks
Dancer Kerry Taylor multitasks (Photo By Roxanne Jo Mitchell)

Hard to sum up, exactly, this event that started with a hifalutin conversation about French theorists, reality television, and the debatably revolutionary qualities of MySpace and ended with a glorious pile of oiled, sweaty ladies (and one presumably happy young man), spent but still locked in furious battle over some nonexistent buckle or crown. Author Bett Williams (Girl Walking Backwards, The Wrestling Party) came out of wrasslin' retirement Friday night to throw down an event-filled carnival of womanist delights at Cafe Mundi, starting with a reading of her always disarming, riveting prose. With that the evening became a study in vulnerability, tinged with goofball logistics and altogether impressive ferocity, not the least of which was evidenced in Kerry Taylor's lyrical, moving dance performance that took her mother as its theme. Next up was the main event: the wrestling party. Grubby futons, cadged from here and yon, were tenuously covered with black plastic sheeting; following (her own) established protocol, Williams politely inquired if she could wrestle young novice Cat; both were doused with "more oil than I've ever seen used in my life," according to Williams, and it was on. The Wrestling Party tape mix ("Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'," "One Way or Another," "Smack My Bitch Up") rang out through the chill and escalated the rumpus, on and off the mats. Chronicle editor and erstwhile Battle of the Bulls officiant Kate Messer gallantly stepped forward to referee, a role that consisted mainly of overseeing the reuniting of gap-tending futons, as it was quickly apparent there were no rules, and everyone was a winner. Locals Loco Nanner and Henry the Horrible stepped up for a grudge match over the Glen Campbell: That Christmas Feeling album, but both were eventually taken down by the pile of volunteer combatants (and, possibly, a ringer in Sugar Daddy boxers), most of whom no doubt woke up that morning with no idea they'd end the day coated in Wesson and grappling for their lives.

Bett Williams, startin' somethin'
photo by Roxanne Jo Mitchell

Before all hell broke loose: Kerry Taylor's pre-bout dance performance
photo by Roxanne Jo Mitchell

The authorial Williams
photo by Roxanne Jo Mitchell

Henry the Horrible gives 110% for the Glen Campbell Christmas album
photo by Roxanne Jo Mitchell

Been oiled so long, it looks like up to me
photo by Roxanne Jo Mitchell

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Bett Williams, Kerry Taylor, Henry the Horrible, Cafe Mundi, Girl Walking Backwards, The Wrestling Party, Loco Nanner

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