Home Columns Long Story Shortt: Carving Your Own Traditions
Monkey Knife Fight UFC 269

Long Story Shortt: Carving Your Own Traditions

by Michael Shortt

Everyone has certain things they look forward to for each holiday. Thanksgiving has never been one I look forward to. Forced social interaction isn’t exactly my thing and those interactions being with family or extended family doesn’t make it any better for me. 

If given the option between forced social interaction or repeated strikes from Mike Tyson for an hour, give me the beating. If you expect me to talk about the weather for an hour you would actually be doing me a favor by punching me in the face first. 

Trying to look back on what I remember from my childhood there are a few salvageable traditions and lessons. 

My family was drawn to drama and never shied away from a confrontation that would inevitably steal the day for themselves. We didn’t need a TV at the kids’ table with a live taping of “Maury” right before our eyes every Thanksgiving. We experienced fistfights, fires and blacked-out drunk adults before the second round of football games even started. There was one thing that everyone came together for, though, and that was my grandmother’s lasagna. 

That’s right. Lasagna for Thanksgiving. Everyone fought over it and she served as a peacekeeper in many aspects. Although I didn’t steal her recipe and carry on that tradition in my house, I did decide to break the social norms of having the same standard food each year. Instead, we focus on foods we love as a family and food we want to eat. We don’t stress about preparing the perfect turkey for a group of people who don’t want it in the first place. 

On my mother’s side, things were a lot more peaceful and joyous. There was still the occasional family drama but overall I always have great memories on that side. I was lucky to have a mixed family that consisted of a grandmother from Burma, now Myanmar. Although I was a picky eater that didn’t even like condiments other than ketchup or toppings outside of lettuce and tomato, I occasionally explored the foods they prepared for Thanksgiving and I consider that the reason I’m an adventurous eater today.

The culture stuck with me as well. Does grandma need $500 worth of free landscaping done today? Well there’s a healthy group of kids who can get to work. There was a large extended family that flew from all over the world to attend these holiday gatherings and it was a level of commitment to family I had never experienced. So, about 2 years ago we made no excuses about driving the entire family over 13 hours to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with my brother-in-law.

Not being tied down to one particular place for Thanksgiving or committed to one meticulously planned meal each year has lifted a weight off of my shoulders. I hope we are also teaching our kids to forge their own traditions and values along the way. 

With family in Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, California and Washington, it’s not realistic to try to relive the same experience every year down to the perfect details that will inevitably fall apart. I enjoy not knowing where I may be next Thanksgiving and living in my fantasy world where every time someone asks me about the weather, Mike Tyson is waiting around the corner. 

UFC 269: Charles Oliveira vs. Dustin Poirier

After a very rocky start to his career, Charles Oliveira has experienced a resurgence with a seven-fight win streak (eight of them coming by finish) and most recently winning the Lightweight Championship. On Dec. 11, he will have to defend that championship against the 26-8-0 Dustin Poirier. These two fighters rarely fight to a decision, so when the Monkey Knife Fight (MKF) Knockout Kings and More/Less picks are released, this is a fight I will be targeting for low-volume and a Knockout (KO). 

I am leaning towards Poirier winning this fight. Not to take away from Oliveira’s recent win streak, but Poirier has faced tougher competition to this point. He has finished a lot of top-level fighters to get this title shot. 

UFC 269 Co-Main Event: Amanda Nunes vs. Julianna Peña

Any fighter has a chance any given night. Just when it looked like Ronda Rousey was unstoppable she found this out the hard way. I’m sure Amanda Nunes will see that day but I don’t believe it will be against Julianna Peña. 

Nunes has nearly cleared out the entire division and is now facing a fighter who has lost two of her last four fights just to complete the list. This fight seems like a safe bet for Knockout Kings and taking the under for any More/Less in strikes. Nunes rarely needs more than a round or two to finish and this fight should be the same. 

“Now the night is coming to an end … The sun will rise and we will try again.” – Twenty One Pilots

Thank you for allowing me to share this. @3rdandShortt

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