Monday, June 8, 2009
Cheeseboy's Seven Life Changing Moment #2: 7th Grade Beatdown
In my youth, my family was constantly moving. By the time I was 13, my mom was ready to stay in one place for a little while. That place was Fresno, California.
Being the new guy in school was real rough. When Elizabeth Shue goes to your school, suddenly you are not so important. What made the transition excruciating was a group of kids at the local karate dojo kept kicking me in the gut. In fact, one Halloween night I was dressed up as a shower - the perfect costume - when I was chased down and beaten by a group of karate snobs from a place called Cobra Ki. I could feel myself dying... when I was unexpectedly rescued by an elderly man from Okinawa.
This kindhearted fellow trained me in the ancient art of karate. He used unorthodox methods such as having me stand on a post and painting his fence using an up down method. Whatever it was he did, it worked and I was ready to face my demons and enter the "All Valley Karate Tournament". In spite of having my leg swept by Johny and almost put in a body bag, I won the tournament and Elizabeth Shue finally made out with me.
By the time I reached Hillside Junior High, I had probably watched The Karate Kid over 50 times. I had played out ever scene, every fight, every punch on the concrete slab in my backyard. My crane kick was so impeccable that a trained crane could not have out craned me.
In Junior High, I was without a doubt, a geek. I know what you are thinking: Everyone was a geek in Junior High! Yes, maybe. But I truly was a geek. I had zits growing out of my zits. I carried Oxyclean around in my front pocket. My favorite class was "Library Aide " and the person that spoke to me most at school was a boy from Vietnam that spoke very little English named "Sye". You can only imagine what breaking my both my legs at the the same time did for my social life.
Despite my social shortcomings, I felt pretty comfortable with my karate skills. After all, I was also a dancer and I knew that dancing increased my dexterity and overall bendiness. What I was not prepared for was what happened in "C" hall that ominous day.
English ended, the bell rang, and I was eager to head for my next class. I was first out the door that day and I opened it with reckless abandon. As I bulldozed the door open, I felt the pine slam and a body fall. I looked around the corner of the door and there was a giant sized Polynesian boy lying flat on his back, holding his nose.
My apologies were so profuse that they spilled out of me like the urine on my pants. I thought about running but my legs had buckled into inhuman shapes. I simply stood, waiting. I didn't have to wait long because the man sized pitbull stood up, picked me off the ground and pinned me against the wall. He then proceeded to give me three swift but powerful punches to the stomach.
I immediately folded over on the floor, unable to catch the wind that had been knocked so far out of me that it had become one with the air conditioning. The boy then left me and walked down the hall without looking back. And I was left kneeling on the floor, gasping for any inch of air.
My karate training had failed me.
I promised myself right then and there that I would never allow anything like this ever happen again.
It never did. I am proud to announce that this was the one and only time that I have been beaten up in my life. From that life changing moment on, I ran - and the crazy thing is Mr. Miaggi never once taught me this skill.
Lesson #1 - The art of the dance. Lesson #2- Run like the wind.