Monday Ramble # 41 “Friday Night Fights”Posted: May 20, 2011
I am posting this on a Friday because I didn’t post it on Monday. If you need a real reason, I can get one to you at a later date when I have a good one. Thank you for asking.
Anyway…when was the last time you had a fight?
If you have to think about it, that’s good. After you hit a certain age, fighting is pretty senseless unless it’s for your life or someone skips you on line at the supermarket…or calls you a vagina on reality TV…or somebody calls your child ugly…or tries to put something in your anus when you’re not looking, then it’s ok.
I was playing basketball last Friday at Georgia Tech. And no I didn’t get into a fight but there was a crew of three dudes that had on durags, ripped up ball gear and they spoke with a midwestern twang that had me on guard.
One of these dudes was slightly extra as he slung elbows around and took wild shots that sometimes went in. It was only a matter of time before he ran into the wrong individual and a “Shut the fuck up” was met with a “Who the fuck you talking to?”
And a “Let’s go outside.”
Surprisingly the man that was to be his competitor in the ring wasn’t as hype. He was actually calm, confident and eager to take the bout outdoors. Of course we all attempted to break it up as Midwest guy yelled out, “I’mma show y’all how we do it in Detroit!”
Ahh his place of origin had been revealed. But as he and the other possible combatant got closer, his foe’s strong accent and broken English seemed to cause some hesitation.
Detroit dude must have noticed what we all noticed. The Akon-resembling dark brother he was about to square off with wasn’t African-American…he was African.
Now I know Detroit is rough, there’s a lot of murders and ignorance and they like guns. But I’ve been to Africa, and I hate to be stereotypical but there’s just something about the mother continent that tells any American that a physical confrontation with someone from there may not be the smartest thing. I watched this Michigan youngster yell, make threats, ball his fist, ask someone else to “check” him, and beg not to be held back, but as soon as he got a quiet request to go outside, he said, “Let’s play ball.”
“Let’s go outside motherfucker” in a Michael Blackson voice would have been enough to make me think twice. Then the crew of African cohorts that began to swarm around quietly waiting for something to happen added more suspense.
All I envisioned was their dexterity with spears or some acrobatic martial art skill used for fighting lions and tigers. What was I thinking? I am a prejudice bastard. I assumed because someone speaks like Prince Akeem that they must know how to kill an elephant with their bare hands.
Yet I was not alone. We all had some jokes about the Motor City vs. The Motherland. We also peeped that no matter how much bumping and shoulder touching they did, dude with the durag kept saying, “Don’t touch me” as he got touched.
Which reminds me of the time I got fouled by some short, stocky gentleman on the court a few years ago and I returned the favor. He shed blood, he asked me to apologize, I declined, he got upset, someone held him back, I said let him go, I didn’t mean it, he calmed down, we ended up on the same team later that day, he gave me a ‘good pass’ nod, we won, after the games he gave me a pound. All good right?
Well yes but any of those instances could have taken a different turn, and I realized I had dodged a bullet when we were all preparing to leave the park and someone congratulated him on his last match. Match? Tennis? He doesn’t look like a tennis player. Wait a minute…he boxes? Oh well, luckily I didn’t take it there, wouldn’t want to box a boxer.
Then I began to size him up, I thought that since I made him bleed when I fouled him, maybe I’m stronger than I think and then…that’s when he picked up a bag that had the UFC logo on it. No way, he must have bought that in a store.
Later I found out he didn’t buy the bag at a store, he wasn’t a pro fighter but he was on his way. I dodged a silver bullet, thanked baby Jesus and never raised my voice on a basketball court again.
Go ahead call me a punk, puss, whatever you like. Fighting is fun when the consequence is losing.
Fighting isn’t fun when someone is going to their trunk afterwards or friends are jumping in or you have to stretch first…or you’re not playing hockey…or you tweet about it beforehand and ask your followers if you should go through with it…or if the footage goes up on Youtube…or if you have to set ground rules with your fight partner like ‘no kicking yo’…or you find out you were fighting a semi-professional fighter…then most likely your sparring days have expired. And that’s fine.
You know what you never hear before a fight? Honesty. No one ever says, “You would probably bust my ass but I ain’t trying to look like a bitch out here so I’mma say I’ll eff you up and hope that you believe that or you’re just unsure if I know a martial art or something and just back down.”
Instead you scream out, “What nucca? What? It’s whatever!”
Whatever is very broad. I would never tell someone it’s whatever. That covers everything: knives, guns, nooses, chainsaws, car keys. I need barriers.
I got out of fights with pure honesty. “You’re gonna fight me? Really? You got me by 40lbs my nig. Fuck it, if that’s how you feeling. Bet! (voice raises) I don’t fight people I respect, and I respect you. But let’s do it. I’m just saying, I ain’t box in a minute, expect some rust. Might be a little dancing around the first few rounds just to get my bearings but if this is what you need to happen fam, I’m good. Let’s get it poppin'”
By that time her rationale has usually kicked in and she doesn’t want to fight anymore. It works every time.