Saturday, 19 April 2014

The Best Of Enemies


I was standing in the drug line at Costco today and wondering what I would do if the guy approaching me came into my personal space and said “What the HELL are you looking at?” I’d probably shit my pants; because this guy was pretty mean looking. More than likely I would stammer a little and say “uhhh…nothing.” The guy would give me a prolonged stink eye and saunter off convinced of his superiority. I would feel less somehow, even though I did the rational thing.

In my fantasy world I would have said “Someone that’s going to be in the foetal position, clutching his balls and crying like a baby in about five seconds!” Perhaps I would tell him that “I’m looking at someone whose brain is smaller than his dick if that were possible.” That would never happen, because guys like that are looking for a fight and they don’t care if they win or lose, just so long as they get to fight. Sure in this case they would win.

I can remember many years ago in high school I was walking along a street with my then girl friend and a carload of drunk guys pulled up beside us and started telling her what they could do to her if she would come with them. I knew that there was a very good possibility that I would be unconscious and bleeding in seconds, but I did manage to stutter out “Why don’t you guys leave us alone?” I think there was one of them a little less drunk than the rest and he prevailed, driving off with screeching tires and cat calls.

The damage had been done; I felt less of a person than I did a few minutes earlier, but I was still upright, conscious and had all of my teeth. I don’t know if the girl thought less of me or less safe when she was with me, but sometimes you are in a no win situation. That was my personal Kobayoshi Maru long before I had heard about the Kobayashi Maru. We are all put into no win situations at some point in our lives and how we deal with the aftermath is an indication of our personal strength.

Often we don’t think of the proper response until hours afterwards when it is too late. More often than not you will hear someone say “What I should have said is YO MOMMA!” I think I have come up with snappy comebacks more than once in my life, but the one that I remember had been sitting on the edge of my tongue for many years. I had been teasing this guy that I really shouldn’t have been teasing when he came up to my and asked me “How would you like a fat lip?”

I looked right back at him and said, “Keep your fat lip; it goes good with your big mouth!” There was a longish pause while I prayed to God and then this guy started to laugh and from that moment on we were best friends. Nah, we were never friends, but we were the best of enemies.


Jim, wherever you are and whatever ill will the world has thrown in your path, I still don’t care!

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