Posted Monday, March 24th, 2003
Sitting on the toilet, (terror makes me have to poo), I listen to the crowd chanting “Kill! Kill! Kill!” Phil is flexing his muscles in his Mexican wrestling mask and leotard, screaming for blood and for me to get my ass in that moonbounce. Phil yells “WHERE IS HE!?!”
Don’t they know he’s not kidding?
My friend Phil and I both have extra energy and a lot of bad ideas; so naturally, we decided to start boxing during our lunch break. At first, this was harmless fun. The weight of throwing around our one-pound gloves was as much work as getting tapped in the face or ribs. It was during this age of innocence that we decided to have a party with a moonbounce and stage a boxing match in it.
A moonbounce is one of those things that kids jump in at county fairs. It fills with air from a big compressor and is shaped like a castle or a dragon or some other cute thing. For kids, moonbounces are a good, healthy way to burn off energy. For drunken young adults, they are an accident waiting to happen, lawn darts mixed in with a trampoline. At our first moonbounce party, there was a broken finger, a hurt back, a crushed septum and countless aches and sprains. On the bright side, there weren’t any lawsuits or insurance claims, and it was fun as hell so we decided to go with moonbounce party number two, this time with boxing.
We reserved the moonbounce and margarita machine. We ordered the fog machine and kegs. We scheduled the DJ and told everyone that we were having another party. And at work, we continued to box. Of course, like kids talking on the bus or first timers at a swinger’s party, things escalated. Every day--every lunch hour--the punches got harder and harder. Less body blows, more head shots. Keeping the gloves up wasn’t the tiring part anymore. Avoiding a black eye at work was much more difficult. We weren’t getting mad, but we were definitely trying to get even.
Phil and I are different. I am crazy in the parents-like-you-because-you-are-interesting-but-not-so-crazy-that-they-are-worried-their-daughter-will-end-up-drunk-and-alone-in-Mexico, kind of way. Phil is a whole different ballgame of crazy. He is more like the climb-over-the-roof-of-a-car-going-down-the-interstate or get-drunk-and-ask-someone-to-put-out-a-lit-cigarette-on-his-arm kind of way. I am tall and thin, with a small programmer gut, Phil is shorter, but very muscular. He is much stronger then me and a former state champion wrestler. And when he drinks, he goes batshit crazy.
On the night of the party, Fight Nite, about 400 of our closest friends come over for an evening of friendly debauchery. The DJ is spinning; the moonbounce is inflated. People are jumping in it like loons. Since we live in the ghetto, there are no pesky cops around to bother us. Even with several kegs of cheap beer flowing, The Margarita Man ™ has had to come by twice to service the machine and bring more mixer. The margarita machine is strong and plentiful, but not quite strong enough and plentiful enough to keep up with the raging demand for slurpy-like alcoholic beverages. People are getting drunk. Phil is getting wasted.
After everyone is somewhat intoxicated, we set up a roster for people to sign up for boxing. Phil signs us up for fifth position. I stare at the paper, numb. I look around at everyone. They have no idea what is going to happen. They think this boxing thing is a joke. Can’t they see the wild-eyed gleam in Phil’s eyes? How the fuck did I get into this? I know. Pride. Stupid pride. I know I’m a sissy. Everyone here knows I am a sissy, just by looking at me. It’s cool if I back out. I will say I don’t feel well. I will say I won’t do it because I miss my mommy. I will just hide.
Two sets of girls fight before us. There is one match with a guy and a girl (the best fight so far) followed by one set of fellas. All the fighters are kidding around, having a good time. One of the guys pretends to be a kangaroo. There is some elementary school-style fighting where you cover your face with one hand and fight with the other hand through your arm. All in all, some friends bouncing around throwing soft punches at each other, just good clean fun. Why can’t I fight with one of them? Phil and I aren’t going to have fun. No fun at all.
During the fourth match, I retire to the restroom to hide and “collect my thoughts.” 100 people are in line behind me, waiting to pee. BANG BANG BANG “IS ANYONE IN THERE?” 299 people are around the moonbounce, banging pots and pans and chanting “Kill” over and over again. Finally, there is Phil, drunk Phil, crazy Phil. He is getting more and more hyped on the crowd. He is wearing a Mexican wrestling mask and tights. (Where did he get tights?) He is standing in the moonbounce, flexing his muscles and screaming “WHERE IS HE!?! BRING HIM TO ME!” Currently, I am indisposed because my quivering bowels are releasing in some kind of awful fight or flight response.
I do my business and walk outside to the moonbounce. The crowd goes wild with Phil’s taunts and jeers. I keep thinking to myself that they have no idea...
I enter the "Thunderdome", and put on my gloves as Phil takes off his mask. People are shaking the walls, screaming, banging the pots and pans like enraged toddlers. They simply can't imagine what is about to take place. The fight format is three rounds, 1 1/2 minutes each. I think I can last that long. If I can live 4 1/2 more minutes, odds are I will live another fifty years.
Round one: Now, yes, I am a weak person. I am not what you would call coordinated or quick or even athletic. Phil is stronger, has experience fighting, and is probably smarter then me. But I am a southpaw, and Phil doesn’t guard his left at all. That, plus my longer reach, is what keeps me alive during the first round. Phil comes in close and tries to clock me with one of his quick jabs, and I back up and beat his head as hard as I can and attempt to drive him off. And as we are repeating this awful scene, again and again, I notice, there is no more screaming. No banging of pots and pans. The crowd is dead silent, and there is a look of horror and revulsion on each and every one of their drunken faces.
Now they know.
As I am half-checking out the crowd, Phil throws a roundhouse and hits me square on the side of the head. Up until this point I thought the term “Seeing Stars” was just a cartoon invention. As I stagger around the ring, I see huge flashes of light, like flashbulbs going off as Mr. T does down for the last time in Rocky II, or was it III? Oh God, let it be over. Just fall down and give up. Take a dive. DING! DING! End of round one. Shit.
Round two: My head mostly settled, I go in again with that left hook right to his face. This time however, I hear a satisfying crunch as I connect with his nose. Now Phil may be smarter/stronger/quicker/meaner then me, but he’s a bleeder. He gets bloody noses all the time. Today is no exception. As I keep aiming for his nose, the blood gets worse and worse. All down his face and shirt. The moonbounce gets slippery with sweat and blood. In a drunken rage, Phil actually roars and blows blood on the crowd. My first thought is, “That is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen.” My second thought is, “Wait a minute--this is perfect.”
“Time out! Time out! Phil is hurt.” Phil looks around with drunken, animal confusion. ME? HURT? WHO’S HURT? THIS IS JUST GETTING GOOD. However, the crowd is on my side. Within seconds, the crowd calls the fight, probably to stop Phil from blowing blood on them anymore. I would have if I were them. Everyone (but Phil) has had enough. We find the people who were scheduled to fight next hiding in the bushes. “We don’t wanna’ fight,” they bleat. So much for moonbounce boxing.
Phil and I leave the ring. Phil goes immediately to his room to fix his face. I go to back to the restroom again (a victory poo?). When I come out, Phil is standing there, cotton gauze stuffed all the way up both nostrils, his face still bloody. “Billy, they think you won! I get nosebleeds all the time! This just happens to me.”
“Yeah Phil, it’s alright. Next time,” I console.
I knew there would never be a next time. Things couldn’t have ended any better. I can never fight Phil again as long as I live, yet I still get to make fun of him every time I see him. “Hey Phil, see that rotten tomato in the compost? Kinda’ looks like your nose that time I kicked your ass.”
Comments [post a comment]
Posted by Lela Schneidman on Monday, March 24th, 2003 at 10:13 PM
you kick so much ass i can hardly believe it sometimes. billy hunt, ninja warrior prince master of the world! xo
Posted by Terrence Templeton on Tuesday, March 25th, 2003 at 8:48 AM
I'm intrigued by the connection between terror and poo. Tell me, Mr. Hunt, do you find that the frequency of your bowel movements corresponds at all to the Homeland Security alert status?
Posted by Amanda French [ email@example.com.
] on Saturday, April 5th, 2003 at 2:19 PM
Now, see, that's why I sometimes wish I were a man. A man like Billy, who understands that the Macho is as appealing as it is ridiculous.