From: Barry Peterson, President, North Suttonville Amateur Boxing League
To: Shang Tsung, Fighter Manager and Sorcerer
Subject: The 2008 North Suttonville Amateur Boxing Tournament
I’m not quite sure how to go about bringing all of this to the table, Mr. Tsung. You see, on the one hand, there have been some issues surrounding the fights that your boys have been involved in – the kind of issues that have, in the past, led to fighters being disqualified from competing in the North Suttonville Amateur Boxing Tournament, or, indeed, barred from entering into any national Amateur Boxing Classification at all.
On the other hand, you have let it be known around our little town that you will personally ‘suck the soul’ out of anyone who trifles with you, and, given your glowing green eyes and your ability to conjure giant snakes made out of fire from, seemingly, nowhere, we’re inclined to let you have your own way in a number of things.
Especially after that YouTube footage surfaced of you killing a man by hurling a flaming skull directly into his face – we can only assume that you must have some highly-placed connections within the Justice Department in order to have escaped prosecution for both murder and grave robbery.
But the rules are the rules, and I’d be a disgrace to my Presidential boots if I was to just sit by and let things stand as they are – so I’m going to give you a chance. And may I point out that this is more of a chance than we’d be giving anyone else in your shoes.
Yes, because other men’s shoes aren’t made from human flesh, it’s true.
I would also like to take this opportunity to mention that I personally didn’t want to write this letter. It was the Board. The Board are the real villains here, Mr. Tsung – villains or ‘bosses’. Between you and I, I think they might be more than a little prejudiced against people from Asia. And prejudiced souls are, I hear, highly prized bartering chips in the infernal games of Pai Gow that you and your sorcerer buddies like to play. Please think about that before reading the rest of the letter, and remember also that I have children. Children need a father with a fully-functioning soul if they are to grow into well-rounded and productive members of society.
Mr. Tsung, ‘we’ (not me. The Board) here at the North Suttonville Amateur Boxing Tournament Management Association are going to have to go ahead and ask you to please either withdraw your fighters from the Boxing Tournament this year or else we’ll need you to… explain… some of the irregularities that have been surrounding the fights that your guys have been rostered into so far. I think that you know what it is I’m talking about. We haven’t really encountered an operation like yours before in all the years that the tournament has been running, and maybe this is the way they ‘roll’ where you come from. We, and especially I, respect cultural differences here in North Suttonville. Why, I eat Chinese take-out at least twice a week! More so lately. I don’t like fortune cookies though – that’s why I’ve enclosed a couple dozen boxes of them with this letter. And not because I’ve heard that you’re partial to them.
The thing of it is that you’ve gone and taken a fairly light-hearted athletic competition that everyone in the district enjoys and turned it, well, evil – not to put to fine a point on it. Both of your fighters seem to take the whole thing pretty seriously, and while I’m on the topic, it’s not the WCW or anything. We don’t really go in for those crazy names.
Most of the guys who fight know each other from down at the car plant, and a lot of the time they only have a bit of a good-humoured poke at each other and try to see if maybe they can land the other guy with a few bruises that they can laugh at the next day at work It’s a good way for the office staff to come down and have a few beers with the line workers while they wait for the next bout. The only time we’ve seen anything like what we’re seeing this time around is when one of the plant managers entered himself, and it was right after there had been some cutbacks, and, to tell you the truth, tempers were running high. I don’t even really like to talk about it except to say that Zeke Bauford has a surprising amount of anatomical knowledge for a man who puts windows on car doors all day. Some say that on quiet nights, you can still here the echoes whispering around the town gym – ‘Kind of hard to fire a man with a split fibula majora and a shattered coccyx, isn’t it, Mr. Chambers?’
What I’m trying to say is that it’s normally a fun, participation-friendly event, or at least it has been for the last fifteen years. The prevailing mood on the ground right now is more like ‘Fuck getting in the ring with those guys.’
Your man Sub-Zero? For a start, he’s kicking the shit out of guys out there. Literally. I don’t know if you actually knew this, but in a normal boxing match, it’s punches only. That means no spinning aerial back kicks, no elbows, no flips over people’s heads, and, I will stress this last one, no freezing people alive. What the heck is that all about? Jeff Thompson, who happens to be a very good friend of mine, had to be put under observation in the hospital to make sure that he doesn’t develop gangrene. Muhammad Ali wouldn’t put up with this shit, pardon my French, and neither will we.
As much as we don’t like Sub Zero, he’s far and away a preferable candidate to your other guy. Scorpion freaks us the fuck out. He never says anything, he smells terrible, and we’ve caught him hanging around out the front of the women’s dressing rooms looking shifty more than once. But as much as people are hankering for revenge on your two boys, no one wants to get in the ring with him because fairly strong rumour has it that if Scorpion’s beaten, he’ll explode in a ball of hellfire that will incinerate everyone and everything within a five foot radius. I can tell you now, however, that certain parties have made it clear that if he shoots that harpoon thing out of his hand and drags someone across the room again, a very large number of people will be getting together and taking some back-alley action.
Which brings us to you, Mr. Tsung. Unhappy rumblings have reached my ears about your performance in this debacle, and, on this point at least, I am one hundred percent in agreement. No-one has been particularly impressed with your habit of standing up in the rafters and shouting out ‘It has begun!’ at the start of every round. It’s disconcerting, and we have a good old-fashioned bell for such moments.
Likewise, calling out to your fighters ‘Finish him!’ when their opponent is on the ropes. These men have families, Mr. Tsung, families who can and frequently do attend the matches, and nobody’s wife likes to see some old guy screaming out for their husband to be beaten into a pulp.
We’re also not sure where you got the idea from that your victory in the tournament would lead to the ‘downfall of mankind and an everlasting night for all those who do not bow down to me’ but since the tournament’s inception the prize has been a hundred dollars and an all-you-can-eat voucher at Maurie’s Steak House out on Main Street. Although with the feelings in this town right now, I’d avoid eating anything prepared by locals if I were you. If you get my drift. You may be able to travel back and forth between worlds as you see fit, but Maurie’s Secret Recipe Hot Sauce will cover the taste of most anything until it’s too late.
We said you could enter the tournament because you were new in town and we wanted to extend the hand of friendship. But enough’s enough, and if you don’t resign voluntarily, we’ll (the Board again) be revoking your fight card.
Please don’t hurt me. They made me write this.
President, North Suttonville Amateur Boxing League.