Punch ’em in the Mouth

glovesThere are certain childhood memories that you just don’t forget, this is one of them… It’s all true to the best of my recollection.

I once had a great friend that we’ll call Mike (real friend, fake name).  Mike had a great green truck and acted as my ride for a long time.  Because I started school when I was 5 (I went to the school and registered myself without my parents knowing, just a block from my grandmothers) that meant that when all my friends were driving I was only 15.

Thus, Mike became my driver.  We were the best of friends. Now back in the 70’s we use to cruise the Atlanta Highway in Montgomery (think American Graffiti) where I grew up.  A ton of people cruised a loop between Bama Lanes Bowling and Skatehaven Skate Center.

It was getting late on a Friday night as I recall and we were tired of cruising.  So we decided to go over to another friends house not far from where we lived (driving distance).  We will call him Tom (real friend, fake name – starting to catch on?).

While sitting outside and talking, Mike notices that Tom has a couple of sets of boxing gloves.  Never a good thing to have laying around with bored teenagers late on Friday night.  So Mike starts mouthing off about how he can whoop me.  I thought he was joking around as I had no desire to get punched in the face for fun.  But he just kept on and on and somehow, mysteriously, in the blink of an eye, I had these red boxing gloves on as did Mike?  What?

Tom became the self proclaimed referee and before I knew it I’m a boxer!  The night had started out so tame.  Now I find myself in a friend’s front yard late at night about to “get it on!”  I still wasn’t sure if we were just goofing around or not.  Mike caught me with the first punch and I realized he was serious.  What?  How had things come to this?  He hit me a few more times and I was done with this mess.  He swung once more, then, seriously, maybe a lucky shot, but I cracked him!  He goes down hard to the ground.

Now Mike is really MAD.  He’s yelling at me let’s go again.  I say no way.  I mean I don’t want to get punched in the face.  So he begins to chase me all over the yard.  I’ve already taken off the gloves.  I had nothing to gain by going another round.  I mean I had already dropped him.  But he wouldn’t quit chasing me so, in a moment of weakness I agreed to go one more round.

Did I mention that he’s really, really mad now?  So I put the gloves back on, not really wanting to, this was my friend.  But then again, he started it, and at the moment he didn’t sound like my friend.  So Tom gets between us again as the referee for the late night backyard brawl boxing association (the un-sanctioned LNBBBA) starts another round.  Mike gets a few good ones in on me, by the way he’s still really, really mad!  Then I get tired of this whole charade, hit him with a few good ones then….  I punch ’em in the mouth and he goes down to one knee.  OK, officially you’re not supposed to hit a man while he’s on a knee.  Now he’s really, really, really mad.  So I figure I don’t have anything to lose so I jack him a couple of more times while he’s on a knee.  That pretty much did it.  He was finished.  Game over.

He threw off the gloves, got into his truck and left me at Tom’s house, which meant I had to walk home – a long ways by foot!

Moral of the story?  Don’t punch a friend in the mouth and expect a ride home.

Disclaimer: Don’t try this at home.