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Dancing With the Brick Mouse
Man Weekend 2022: 6/10-11/2022
© 2022 James LaFond
Written from memory on 6/16/2022
The Brick Mouse contacted me through The Myth of the 20th Century podcast in May 2018. In June, 2018, just as I became homeless and return from a vacation with two lusty ladies, I was fat and bloated and agreed to train this man and some of his fellows.
Four years later three remain, of the ten, and they came to fight in Tennessee, which is what young bucks among seasoned bulls must do. This was the least experienced fighting contingent. While the more experienced fighters came mostly to socialize around the fighting, these guys came to fight.
They broke out the boxing gloves on the gravel driveway and sparred as soon as they got into out-of-town on Friday evening. I think that God put us all together for this one, that men from three generations, with fight and combat training experience ranting from 48 years down to a year, gathered to bring in knew fighters to the knucklehead fraternity of tried chins.
I had sparred with all three. The Brick Mouse had much improved in our training this spring, but I had not spared with Mister Tony or Black Metal for almost a year. After the gun range and the stick training, I spoke with the heavy hitters, the four guys I could not deal with in the ring if they really turned up the hat, and let them know what was needed, that these Maryland men were in over their head on a great adventure and needed to get punched in the face and keep coming until they clicked into knucklehead gear.
The three acquitted themselves well and The Brick Mouse dropped a goon with a sneaky off-beat right cross. After the fight he said to me, “Was I off base there? Did I take advantage of him?”
“Bro, you’re the twerp here. Your job is to be Little Evil and pester the hell out of the rest of us. You are supposed to take advantage of us—especially the big ones!”
“Okay, but what about our stick fight. I sprained my instep and need to wear shoes.”
“Tell Sean. When we fight I’m not going to try and break your leg like I did in 2019 to horrify that karate class and see what you were made of. That is done. This is going to be a high speed technical bout. We will hit as fast as we can, but will not be looking for maximum power. We don’t need this to be a test of who has thicker forearms, but who moves better, who would win with a cutlass.”
The man I originally called Bad Smitten, because he leaps like Peter Pan with a taser to hand and has applied his racket [can’t spell the French version] sport mechanics to stick work is quicker, taller, lunges better, and is a lefty. I have better offbeat timing, footwork, am a whole lot tougher and a little heavier. By taking power out of it and not just wading in and trading, this becomes a pick-em fight.
First, he tries to smash my big toe [I’m barefoot] and gets a piece of it—argh—and its on!
This was such a quick fight and he was so fast, that I can’t remember the sequence. But at one point, after some trading, which he got the best of with inside and outside strokes, I felt the spring go from my legs and backed against the wall and told him to finish it. He doesn’t have a killer instinct yet, and that is what he needs. This is not a work, but a fight that I want to be decided on technical terms, not based on me taking and delivering harder strokes and having a killer instinct while he is still a thinker.
The term of the fight was that it was to be technical—a test of applied skill. He did not know I was slipping. So I let him know that it was time to go for the kill. In this way, the fencing mask permits the more experienced fighter to be an opponent and a corner man, since you can talk behind the mask without getting your jaw broken. [1]
He then pestered my with whipping shots, cavorting like a demon at the brink of the Abyss, to the point where I charged him and he caught both of my wrists with strokes [2] and knocked my stick free—which he went for as I tackled him and he rolled me over into a reversal as time was called—a savage minute of which he was victor, with more strokes scored, a disarm scored and a take-down reversed. I would have scored that fight 10-8 on boxing’s 10-points must system.
Up at the house, The Brick Mouse, and Black Metal were discussing improvements to the gym with Sean and how they could help with their trade skills. The subject came up of forced vaϲϲination in trade unions. I will paraphrase the Brick Mouse’s dissident comedy heroics below, trying to recall his monologue.
“James told me that Big Tony in Portland had gotten a homeless man to take his vaϲϲine shot. I wanted to avail myself of this, because I absolutely know that this MR&A stuff is experimental at best and possibly a bio-weapon. Unfortunately, I’m in my late twenties, and look like I’m in my early twenties, and homeless people, well, to be charitable, they age quickly.
“I find this one guy, and he’s in his sixties and looks old as dirt. Also, I’m not paying $20 for my guy like in Portland where there is an army of homeless. I’m paying Baltimore rates based on scarcity of the homeless supply and have to give this guy a hundred! And of course, I’m not a big gorilla that can just drag a guy around.
“The first place I take my homeless guy to, I’m standing back there and he has my I.D. and takes it to this no-nonsense female clerk who says, ‘Sir, it says here that you are 29?’
“The guy does not miss a beat, ‘Well, hun, you know, I’m from Middle River—and life’s been hard!’
[We were laughing so hard I forgot if this bum got the shot or they beat a retreat, I think the latter.]
“So, I get this other homeless guy, younger, less worn down by the years and living conditions, and a good deal more savvy. My guy is 40 but looks 50, so I’m sweating it. Again, he has my I.D. he quickly gets the read of the place and sees that there are two parallel intake lines. One is being processed by a no-nonsense Asia Woman. The other line is being processed by this very young person with the shaved side of the head and the mop-headed do, and he takes that line.
“My guy gets up to the counter, and minds you he looks twice as old as I look and he’s significantly taller, and the kid behind the counter looks at him, and at the I.D. and then back at him, and openly laughs—and passes him right through...did not give a shit!”
“I must say, that I am worried about getting my booster—an increase in the homeless supply would be helpful.”
Even when Mother Civilization does Her best to wax ugly, she wanes beautiful... even atimes in the folds of Her most graceless crows feet.
Well done, Young Sir!
-1. The full beard helps keep the fencing mask stable, cushions chin shock and reduces spinning of the mask and protects the throat with extra padding. I had to do this [tell him to come in and finish] with Portland Joe in March as well. This is an important developmental hurdle for the technical fighter, to begin developing instinctive aggression.
-2. Bruising the left flexor tendon of my checking hand and somehow knocking my stick from my hand, perhaps through pressure on the nerve behind the thumb, as the base of my thumb is still a bit numb, though there was never a bruise, arguing that he might have hit my stick while in an umbrella block or used a pen block beat to catch the butt of my stick and eject it. It will be interesting to see the video.
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