My first time on Dexter Manley's TV show
I can't say I've had many life experiences odder than sitting on a Nerf-orange couch, surrounded by lava lamps and stuffed animals decorated by ball gags, as Dexter Manley choked me. That's him, above, getting ready to apply the choke.
See, this week I was invited to be a guest on Episode 2 of Dexter's Rush Hour, the variety show hosted by Mr. Manley from a truly amazing set in Clarendon. (You can watch the whole episode here; it's pretty trippy.) During my first appearance, Dexter insisted that I get down in a center's stance and snap him a football, shook my hand several hands while imploding at least nine of my knuckles, and -- when I asked him about the violence in his sport -- lunged at my neck and said something about killing me. He was joking.
"I just wanted to be a monster and a killer," he said, as he demonstrated on my neck. "But here's the thing: when you have a lot of tumultuous experiences in your life, you need to draw the line in the sand. You've got to have a power greater than you to sort of guide you and sort of put you down the right path, and that has taken place in my life."
Which maybe helps explain why this has been the Month of Dexter. He was named the honorary captain for the Redskins' home opener, leading a parade of alumni and cheerleaders through the FedEx Field parking early Sunday afternoon. He was honored with a two-hour luncheon by ESPN 980 last week. And he launched his TV show -- catchphrase: "I'm never late, I'm right on time" -- which he said would one day rival the Ellen and Oprah shows, or at least Washington Post Live.
In the first episode -- which for now, is web-only -- Dexter offered some tasty tips on beating Dallas.
"You must be willing to run over your grandmother, your mother, your sister, and your little sister, and all your other sisters out there," he noted. "[If] you got a lot of illegitimate kids, run over them. Run over dogs, cats, whatever it is you run over them to beat the Dallas Cowboys."
So I sort of knew what to expect when I showed up on his set, which he described as "like the junkyard" from Sanford and Son. As his 1980s-era action figures and puppets and a talking Master P doll and lamps decorated with horses stared at me, I pointed out that he had the firmest handshake I'd ever experienced.
"I've been doing this since high school, the hand shake. I don't know, it's just like a YMCA handshake," he told me. "Some guys sued me a couple times from Texas and one up here, said I broke his hand, but the judge threw it out."
I said I figured he could break my hand if he wanted.
"If I wanted to, yeah, I could break your hand," he agreed. "I could probably break your penis, yeah. Let me know what you'd rather, me break your hand or your penis."
He also asked me if I have any illegitimate children, claimed never to have heard of Alex Ovechkin, said he once bedded 10 women the night before a Redskins game and requested I define the term "bonkers," but it's kind of hard to tell what's real and what's part of the show. Because when I told Dexter I heard he had cried during Sunday's alumni parade, suddenly he wasn't talking about private parts any more.
"It was so emotional, it just sort of reminded me of back in the day," he said. "Sort of how you stand strong, you stand up, you fall, you get up, and people still embrace you. I've had a lot of tumultuous experiences in my life, and I think that's what makes America so great. It's not what government do for people, it's what we do for each other that makes us strong."
That was before he told me about how he sometimes eats breakfast naked.
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