"The Rubber Duck".
Long before his inevitable fall from grace, Hulk Hogan had captured the hearts of an entire nation. Well maybe not the entire nation, but he certainly reigned supreme in my house where both my cousin and I idolized him. We were obsessed. More than obsessed. We wanted to be Hulk Hogan and for a few years we even tried to chase that dream any way we could, starting with the Hulkamania workout set.
To two scrawny pasty suburban kids this was our ticket to bulging muscles, and enough power to tear even the most stubborn tank top right off our hairless chests. All we would have to do is follow the workout poster that came included in our kit. Easy peasy. Now if that wasn’t enough, our new home gym also included a cassette tape of Hulk Hogan himself offering to train us.
What more could any nine year old Hulkamaniac ask for, but to have their idol workout alongside them. Also included were a pair of blood red sweatbands, a Hulkamania headband, one hand gripper, and a jump rope. With this kind of equipment we were sure to become the next great WWF champions. So began our training which, if I am not mistaken, lasted only long enough for my cousin to get a hand cramp. Still we believed it was enough to see serious results. When sadly in the morning we woke up to find we were not ripped, we decided we needed to try something new. What could we have possibly missed? Vitamins. That was where we failed. Had we thought to take Hulk vitamins prior to training with our Hulkamania workout kit we would have lasted for the duration.
It was decided that we needed to get our parents to agree to buy us Hulk’s new line of kids vitamins. They had to go for it, they were vitamins. Sadly they did not, but they did agree to purchasing Flintstone chewables. OK so not the Hulk per say, but Fred was pretty beefy too. This could work. Having now downed two man sized Dino vitamins we were ready to face off against the Hulk once more. In our defense we did do better than we had the last time, but sadly after getting tied up in my jump rope, we were still miles away from our dream bodies. Back to the drawing board we went. What were we doing wrong? We had vitamins, the audio cassette Hulk ready to offer guidance, an incredibly elaborate workout kit, and the sheer willpower of a thousand Rudys, but yet there was still something missing. What could we have missed? Breakfast. We missed breakfast, and as anyone will tell you, that is the most important meal of the day. Back to our parents we went, this time begging for Hulk cereal. Much to our dismay, it seemed whereas every other celebrity had jumped on the cereal band wagon, Hulk Hogan did not have his own. He did however appear in a Honey Nut Cheerio commercial which was enough for us.
Now armed with vitamins, Honey Nut Cheerios, and pure determination, my cousin and I faced off once again in our ongoing struggle for the perfect body. Now I am not sure what went wrong this time, but it did go wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong. This is sadly the point in our story where both my cousin and I gave up our brief dreams of becoming world famous wrestlers, opting instead to keep eating Honey Nut Cheerios in front of the TV watching Hulk Hogan’s new Saturday morning cartoon, which is frankly what we should have been doing from the beginning.