Thursday, July 13, 2006

Blog Slogging On The Double

Earlier this week, I posted a humorous story written by a blogger I found while wading through the depths of bloggerville with my "next blog" button tapping away like a feed button in a chicken lab excercise. The blog is to be found here--

Here is the second story I found to be well written and humorous. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did...


Upon the plains of hesitation, lie bleached the bones of millions who, on the threshold of victory, sat to wait, and waiting, they died. – Anonymous

The sweat pouring down my forehead was burning my eyes, making me blink rapidly. I felt nauseous. I hate nausea. The short, black, muscular stranger standing over me was screaming in my face.

"When you can't take any more, instead of giving up, just wait five seconds. Five seconds man. I promise you five seconds after you feel like giving up, he's going to give up first."

Who is this guy in my face? Why is there three of him? Let me start from the beginning.

I was 20. I lived in Miami. My friends decided that this Thursday night we were going to go to an amateur boxing club. Sounded like fun to me. Atlantis, at one point, was a mix between a nightclub and a boxing gym. On certain nights, they had the deejay spinning the records and the people dancing, while two punks fought it out in the ring placed smack in the center of the dance floor. My buddy Rimon had boxed there three times before and on the ride over he recounted his glory.

"Easy victories."

Hell, the way he made it sound, it was kind of like one of those punching machines in the video-arcades: You get up, punch a couple times, and then go back to drinking and chilling. We were going to have a blast.I was more concerned with something else. Rimon's sister was with us.


Maybe I'd talk to her for a few minutes tonight. We were going to have a blast.

I wish they had told me before they picked me up that we were going boxing. I had on my usual steel-toe four-pounds-each boots. Between that and smoking like a chimney, I probably couldn’t even outrun a house. But hey, I was going to punch, not to run. So we get there and the place is pretty empty. Maybe thirty or forty people milling about, enjoying the end of another workweek. Four of us, Rimon, his younger beast-sized brother Goel, My cousin and I, all fill out release forms for the boxing; basically if we got our necks snapped the club wasn’t responsible. Also, if we won, we get a video of the fight and 50 dollar bar tab.

The first glimmer of doubt sets in.

"I'm definitely not going first," I say.

"You go whenever they call you up," Rimon says.

Now my heart was racing a little bit, but nothing too serious. I mean, worst comes to worst I get beat. Big deal. My ego can handle that. Maybe. So we go about doing the usual club thing as they wait for the club to fill up before the boxing begins. The club fills up. The boxing begins.The first person called up was Goel, Rimon's brother. Let me describe Goel. He's two years younger than me, but about three inches taller (and I'm 6-2) and much broader. He's a big guy and appears to be a powerful man. I never tangled with him so I can't vouch for his strength, but he seemed strong.This guy knocked the crap out of him.The announcer, trying to keep the fight interesting, was shouting slogans for the crowd during the fight.

"He takes a licking and keeps on ticking."

This because Goel kept getting knocked down but kept getting back up. I shall clarify. If you have that image of Rocky Balboa in your head, of that noble boxer being out-skilled, but with a heart of a champion, you have the wrong picture. This kid was bloody and black and blue and just so disoriented he didn’t even know he was in a boxing match anymore. He was getting up because he thought everyone was laughing at him for being drunk and he was just trying to get on his feet to leave the ring. But every time he did, WHOMP. (Afterwards he explained the mixture of alcohol and other stuff made him black out for the whole fight.) Goel looked like his head had been put through a meat grinder by the time they stopped the fight.

I didn't really feel like boxing anymore.

Next up they called Rimon. Surely Rimon will re-encourage me. After all, he is 3 and 0 thus far. 3 wins, no losses. And they announce it as such while he waves his hands in the air. I can't imagine waving my hands in the air after my brother got the life beaten out of him, but to each our own. Anyway.

"Watch me," he said. "I'll show you how a Ducky boy fights." (His little Jewish gang = the Ducky boys.)

The ref stops the fight in the second round. Apparently Ducky boys fight with their hands too low and their legs too slow. His right cheek was all puffy and he couldn’t really stand straight. 3 wins, 1 loss.There's no effin way I'm getting in that ring. The big guy and the pro both have been destroyed, and I'm gonna go in there? I'm smarter than that. Next they call up my cousin, but wait. Before he makes it to the ring they announce his opponent. The club's favorite son. I don't remember his name, but I do his record. 11 wins, no losses. He is about 5-11, muscular, and tattooed. My cousin sides over to me and says he isn’t boxing. No way, no how. See? My blood is smart. We know better than that. After calling my cousin's name three or four times to no response, the announcer calls mine instead. At this point everyone's watching. The best boxer is in the ring and some other dude just chickened out. This is drama.

Like TNT knows drama.

People are interested. He calls out Fisch. I ain't answering. He calls my name again.Rimon's sister waves.

Oh, g-d.

I walk up to the ring and step in. The ref comes over to me, asks if I have a corner-man. A what?

"You know, the guy in the corner who helps you out."

"Uhh, no. I didn’t bring my corner man with me today."

My cousin comes over to my corner. He is grinning ear to ear.

"Yeahhh. Fishbo. Gonna box. Wooooo."

I wish I could share his enthusiasm. Right before the fight starts a rough-looking, pumped up black man (I point out his color because we were all a bunch of sheet-white kids) comes over to my corner.

"I'll be your corner-man."

"Uh. Okay. Thanks that would be great. Can you teach me how to box real quickly?"(When I get nervous I can't stop with the one-liners, always a surefire sign that I'm a mess inside.)

The fight begins and I have no idea what the hell I'm doing.

"Move your legs, don't stand still," my new trainer screams at me.

Hah. Easy for him to say, he's wearing sneakers. Me in boots. Thud. Thud.The tattooed boxer approaches towards me and I didn’t wait. I didn’t do it like on television. I jumped forward into him with my fist extended and it landed on his jaw. I jumped backwards and then did it again. Maybe he thought he was going to fight a boxer. Heh. Poor guy. I was jumping up and down and doing swings that they don't have names for. You know. That stuff you grow up doing with your brothers but no real boxer ever does: fake twice to the right of his head, feint to the left then just slam him in the stomach and the back at the same time.

Apparently I had him outreached. My wingspan is pretty long and it was hard for him to get at me. Round 1 ends and I'm still alive. A problem though. I can't breathe. After three minutes of jumping and running, I'm so out of breath, damn cigarettes, that the whole break I'm just trying to catch my breath. But I also start to notice something. People are cheering. For me? I don't know. But they're cheering and I like it. Round 2 went his way. In a big way. His professionalism overcame my wildness and he waited me out, seeing that I was tiring, and just danced around me and delivered some pretty big hits. One was to the back of my head. One to my eye. One to my gut. He was tearing me apart. I did land one monster blow though, right before the bell at the end of round 2. One of those uppercuts that misses 9 out of 10 times. Right up on the bottom of his chin. It felt good. Lucky for me though the bell came when it did, because I was going to collapse.This is where we started.

"Just five seconds longer, man, from when you're about to give up. He looks strong but you hurt him. He's scared of you."

I doubt he was scared of me. He was the scary one in the ring. But my corner-man had planted an idea in my head. Fear. What if I made him think I was crazy? I mean, I was standing there in big black boots and an undershirt. I definitely looked the part. I only had x amount of energy left at this point, negative x more like it, and if I used everything I had left to psyche him out, and it didn’t work, I was screwed. It was my best shot though, and I was going to give it a try.When round 3 started, instead of slumping out to the middle of the ring like I felt, I started dancing. Up and down again, doing my best imitation of what I'd seen on TV. All over the place. Raising my hands in the air. Who's tired now, boy? Huh? I'm just getting started. I smacked my gloves against the side of my head and started to move in.

I knew right when I saw the look in his eyes, it was my fight. It worked. I totally psyched him out. His hands went up but his face said he was done with this fight. He made some half-hearted jab at me and then I connected on the side of his face and he went down. He got back up again, but about 20 seconds later I knocked him down again (on an incredibly lucky swing). He refused to fight any more.The ref called it.It was over. I raised my hands in glory. I walked out of the ring. I collapsed on the floor. Twenty minutes later, still on the floor, can't see straight.

Ambulance. Hospital. Emergency room. Diagnosis: Concussion. Bleeding of the brain. He knocked my skull one way, and my brain swam the other and splat.

My cousin, grrrr, called my parents, for whom at that point it was routine to be woken in the middle of the night by Fisch-emergencies. I'm glad they came though. My cousin also thanked me the next day for the 50 dollar bar tab. He figured I wouldn’t be needing it. (He totally redeemed himself though by also picking up for me the video of this fight.) My dad's synagogue's dinner was the next night and I couldn’t stand. Every time I tried, the whole room swam away from me and I had to throw up. I had headaches for another two or three months.

But, I tell ya, I learned something that night. It sure feels good to win.


kris, seattle said...

Great find Scott. I laughed my ass off.

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed a lot! »