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A funny thing happened on the way to the corner store…

(title of post suggested by my mother)

IMG_3456I just got in a fight. More on that later….

I was a scrawny little kid growing up. Being a scrawny little kid means you get picked on from time to time. Being a scrawny little kid who is also smart makes this even worse. Being a nerdy scrawny little kid who is also kinda a smart ass pretty much seals the deal. Luckily I’m not afraid of fights. When I was in the third grade I was being picked on by two bullies, Chad and Brian (I’ll never forget their names). They beat me up as I was leaving the school. I ran away. When I got home (I only lived a block away from the school) and told my grandfather he told me that he never wanted me to run from a fight ever again. He told me that it didn’t matter if I won the fight or lost, but never run away ever again. Don’t be afraid to get hit. All that mattered is that I try my best and take down as many of them with you as you can. The next day the two kids jumped me again. Brian put me in a choke hold as Chad started punching me in the stomach. Time slowed down in my head. I kicked Chad in the nuts. He went down. Then I bit down on Brian’s arm and ripped a chunk of flesh out of it. He went down too. I kept punching him the face until my grandfather came and pulled me off of him and told me that was enough.

When my mother got home from work, my grandfather told her what happened. He told her “look, I just want you to know. But I want you to understand that Christopher (my grandfather always used the long version of my name) is not to get in trouble for this. I watch those two boys pick on him every day. They won’t do it again.” He was right. The next day, Brian came to school with a massive bandage on his arm and I don’t think either of them ever even spoke to me again. My grandfather may have been crazy, but he was brilliant. I try to live up to that every day.

The point is, I’m not afraid to take a hit.

Anyway, back to today. I was doing some cleaning and I realized I was out of Windex. I also needed cigarettes so I decided to walk up the street to the store (it’s only a block away). There were some people (a black family, two women in their 30s or 40s, a teen maybe 17-19, and a boy maybe 8) hanging out talking on the porch across the street. Apparently they were trying to get my attention and I didn’t notice at first. They yelled louder.

Teen: Hey! Don’t you hear me?

Mav: What?

Teen: I said do you have a cigarette?

Mav: Naw.

Woman 1: Yes he does, nappy headed asshole.

Mav: What?

Woman 1: You have cigarettes. You’re just being a jagoff, nappy headed asshole.

Mav: Actually I don’t. I’m going to the store to buy some. I probably would have offered you one on the way back. But now, fuck you.

Ok, for the record, if you’re ever in that situation, the smart thing to do is walk away. I don’t really do that. See, like i said,  I’m an asshole.

Anyway, I continued to the store. I bought my smokes and my windex and because I was in the mood decided to get some cookies too. It occurred to me as I was leaving the store that “I bet they’re going to try to fuck with me on the way back.” See, here I have to explain something that Cedric The Entertainer calls the “I wish they would” factor. Cedric claims that when I white person gets in a  confrontation they say stuff like “now, now… I don’t want any trouble…” but when a black person does they say stuff like “I wish nigga would try to start something…” I don’t know that I really believe that it breaks down that cleanly along racial barriers… but that said… I’m that guy.

So as I’m walking back home (making sure to be on my side of the street) and I pass their house, they start singing songs about me… in unison!

All: There goes that nappy headed nigga! Walking down the street! There he goes! The nappy headed nigga, won’t share his cigarettes!

Mav: Seriously?!?!?

(Ok… I admit, I’m kinda flattered that I was enough in their heads from the previous short exchange that they went out of their way to work out a poorly harmonized jingle. The nappy headed bit was a bit much; this is a fresh relaxer, “and don’t pretend like my hair ain’t fabulous, when you know it is!” Thanks Katt Williams.)

Teen: What’s your problem?

Mav: What’s your problem? You really have nothing better to do than make up songs about me?

Teen: Mind your own business, bitch!

Mav: You’re singing about me. You are my business.

Woman 2: Why don’t you take your half-black ass out of here.

Mav: Actually I’m completely black. Why the fuck does that matter?

Teen: You need to get out of here bitch. You don’t want none of this. What’s your problem? Mind your business.

Mav: Again, we won’t have a problem if you weren’t yelling insults at me because I wouldn’t give you a cigarette.

Woman 1: For your information the cigarette wasn’t for him. It was for me. I wanted it. See you don’t know nothing. Now get your nappy half breed ass out of here. Go home and stroke your dick!

Mav: I really don’t care. I just want to be able to walk down the street without a bunch of ignorant niggas having nothing to do but insult me from across the street.

Woman 1: See, that’s your problem. You’re tainted!

Mav: What?

Woman 1: You’re tainted! You’re tainting your people!

Mav: Uhhh… do you even know what that means?

Teen: Get out of here you bitch?

Mav: Ok, really, is that all you have? This is getting boring.

Woman 2: That’s what we have. Get out of here, mother fucker, you know you can’t beat him. He’ll take your ass down.

Mav: I’m really not trying to.

Teen: Yeah, get the fuck out of here, bitch!

Mav: I’m trying to. But you really have nothing better to do then yell insults at me and I don’t see why I shouldn’t insult you back.

Woman 1: That’s right. Get out of here before he fucks you up. You know you can’t take him.

Mav: Look, I honestly don’t give a fuck. But you guys do. So I’m going home.

Teen: Yeah, that’s right. Get the fuck out of here bitch. You don’t want none of this.

Mav: Look, I’m leaving. But if you want to do this more. I live right over there. Fuck you niggas.

And then I walk away. I get maybe 10 feet and I feel him club me in the back of the head. He pushes me into a telephone pole and grabs me around the throat. And starts punching me in the side of the head. I reach back and squeeze his throat. I think that startles him, so he drags us both down to the ground. And then continues to punch me on the right side of the head. Honestly, I thought his punches would be much worse than that. He doesn’t seem to really know how to throw one. Jake Garett used to hit me WAY harder on like a monthly basis back when I was wrestling and like… he actually likes me! The kid does have a pretty good choke on me, and he has maybe 3 inches and 20lbs or so on me, so I don’t have a good angle to pry him off. So instead I fall backwards, back headbutt him to create a little separation, rake his eyes and grab for his throat again. That makes him stop punching me for a second to try and tighten the choke so I grabbed his wrist and cheese grated his knuckles across the concrete. The nice thing about both wrestling and martial arts is that they teach you to sort of remain calm and think about what’s going on when someone is punching you in the face (so, by the way, thank you Meron, Doe, Hentai and Glenn). Anyway, the knuckle scraping was completely intentional. I wanted a nice identifying injury on him for when the cops showed up in case he ran. Then I kept twisting his arm and tried to go for an arm bar. Finally Woman 1 (who I think was his mother) pulled him off of me. I let go and she shooed him back towards they house and then started yelling at me.

Woman 1: That’s what you get for charging my son!

Mav: What are you talking about? I haven’t left this side of the street!

Woman 1: You did it before with your car!

Mav: Lady, I have no idea what the fuck you are talking about.

Woman 1: Leave us alone or next time we’re calling the cops!

Mav: I’m calling them right now.

Woman 1: Good!

They all run back in the house. Now, it’s worth mentioning that I obviously dropped my bag after the first hit. I left it right where it was because I wanted to mark the spot of the attack. See, I watch a lot of Law and Order. I also made sure not to move too far. The entire ordeal from the second he hit me to where she pulled him off of me took place over four sidewalk squares. Like I said, I was thinking through this pretty clearly. The cops, to their credit got here in about two minutes. In fact, I was still on the phone with 911 explaining the story as they showed up. I gave the story to the cops…. They went to the house where the women claimed that there was no teen there and that I was fighting with their 8 year old son (remember, I mentioned him in the beginning of the story). They didn’t seem to buy that and so they started interviewing other witnesses and the old lady who lives across the street from me corroborated my story, giving the same description of the teen that I did. The women continued their claim that there was no such person in the house and they didn’t know what I was talking about. The cops didn’t believe that I was in a fight with an eight year old and that somehow he bruised my eye and scraped up my knee without me doing any damage to him, but since there was no immediate threat and the women said no, they said they couldn’t really search the house without a warrant, but he expects that the teen probably ran out the back door and the women are covering for them.

So that’s tonight’s adventure. Yes, I am fine. There will probably be a bit of black eye tomorrow, but not much of one… he really is not a good puncher. He did rip the sleeve of a really nice T-shirt that I kinda love (Jack Bauer for President) so that will probably become a tank top now, and even worse he tore a hole in the knee of one of my nicest pair of jeans. That’s the part I’m maddest about. But yes, again… I am fine. And no, I don’t recommend letting things escalate the way I did.

But really, I don’t run from fights. Thanks Lonzo!

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