Don’t Tread on Me

8 Mar



I’m sitting in my apartment, listening to The Wallflowers, knowing I’m going to hit the streets around ten. Like I did when I was a Young Turk in Hoboken, hitting the bars with four dollars in my pocket.

In the karaoke bar, a guy told me he was a kung fu master and challenged me to an arm wrestling contest. Kung fu? I figured I didn’t have a chance. We got our grips on and I sunk him like he was nothing. He whined and then asked for a left-handed bout. Again – down in a flash. He knows I like Gina – he likes her, too. He blew out some bullshit about how if I were Korean I would have let him win one. I told him I was from Jersey.

A couple weeks later a drunk next to me was drumming on his beer bottle and plate with a pair of chopsticks – like some Gene Krupa straight out of Seoul. Then he played the chopsticks on my head. I made a fist and told him if he did that again I’d knock him out. Grinning, he told me he was a martial arts expert and did I want to take it outside? I got off my bar stool and said, “Let’s go.” In my mind I saw us going at it under the streetlights. He froze, sat down and shut up.

Now when anyone gets it in their mind to mess with me, I tell them, “Don’t fuck with me – I’m John Wayne.”



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