So began one of the weirdest episodes in what has been one of the weirdest years in politics, well, ever.
The author of those words was none other than Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who was responding to a tweet from actor Ron Perlman (aka "Hellboy" from the 2004 film of the same name and its 2008 sequel) bashing Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan for his looks.
Cruz, who apparently had nothing better to do, decided to wade into the Twitter scrap.
"Listen Hellboy," Cruz wrote. "You talk good game when you've got Hollywood makeup & stuntmen. But I'll bet $10k—to the nonpolitical charity of your choice—that you couldn't last 5 min in the wrestling ring w/ @Jim_Jordan w/o getting pinned. You up for it? Or does your publicist say too risky?"
Like I said, weird. For a lot of reasons.
Yes, Jordan was a collegiate wrestler and coached wrestling at Ohio State University for almost a decade in the late 1980s and 1990s. He has also been accused by six former OSU wrestlers of being aware of sexual misconduct complaints made against the team's doctor. Jordan has denied knowing of any allegations.
So I can't imagine Jordan was thrilled that Cruz re-opened that can of worms. And Perlman took the bait, responding to Cruz this way:
"I tell you what teddy boy, since mentioning jim jordan and wrestling is... problematic, why don't we ... just make it you & me. I'll give 50k to Black Lives Matter and you can keep all the tax payer money you were thinking of spending."
Which was, mercifully, the end of this whole odd caper. Wait, what's that? Cruz responded AGAIN???
Yes he did!
"I get it, you're rich," the senator wrote. "But, apparently, soft. You sure seem scared to wrestle Jordan (whom you keep insulting). Can't take the heat? Need to get a manicure?"
To which Perlman, again, responded:
"Ya know ted, I've been giving this some thought- leave @Jim_Jordan home and give me 10 minutes with you and Mitch McConnell. ... All we need's a time, place, and a few EMTs standing by. LMK."
And that, as of 7:28 p.m. Monday night, was the final word. For now.
This is all colossally stupid. Which may be an understatement, actually.
But it does raise a somewhat important question: Why the hell is Ted Cruz, a sitting US senator, wasting his time engaging in this? Does Cruz really think Perlman -- or Jordan -- will agree to wrestle one another? And even if they did, what would it prove exactly? And why is Cruz the self-appointed Don King of this match?
As you may have noticed, there are some big things happening in the country. A pandemic that is now projected to take 200,000 American lives by the fall. A national debate about race and policing where the Senate stands at the center of attempted legislative action. Record-setting unemployment. Massive companies teetering on the edge of bankruptcy.
Plenty of things for Cruz to focus on that aren't working as a promoter for a chest-thumping fantasy wrestling match between an actor and a member of Congress.
Serious times demand serious men and women to deal with them. Fighting with Hellboy on Twitter doesn’t fit the bill.