5 Nov 21 – First Fight

Hi Everyone,

I’ve had two fights in my life, I was claimed to be the victor in both, and never swung a single punch that connected.

I wasn’t an heroic Rocky-type figure tiring out my opponent’s fists with my face.

No, it was worse than that.

But while we’re on the subject of Rocky, could you get ‘Eye of the Tiger’ ready on Spotify for later. Thanks.

The first fight was in the school playground, aged 8, against Besky. Here he is:

Notice the stubble at 8 years old. The fully loaded bullet belt and AK-47 stuffed in his back pocket were mandatory at St Jose in the 70s, so don’t worry about that.

Besky was the third hardest in school and incredibly volatile. He was hassling my friend for no apparent reason, and I had a strange feeling come over me. I think it was bravery, but it could’ve been unbelievable stupidity brought on by a case of unbelievable stupidity.

‘Hey Besky,’ I yelled across the playground, ‘leave him alone.’

The playground fell silent, almost:
Besky stopped, started to foam at the mouth and u-turned towards me.  Then I remembered his fight from last week when he’d punched Jimmy Two Thumbs in the eye so many times it had given him diabetic retinopathy, or something, age-relate macular degeneration, I don’t know. It looked bad, that’s all I can remember and he was off school for a week. A week? Hang about, this might be worth it.

You may think Jimmy Two Thumbs is a rubbish nickname, since most of us have two thumbs, but he was born with two on one hand.

The extra was cut off at birth, so this sketch is a lie.

Bit of over-explaining there, back to Besky, who was about to smash my face in, and I would be forever known as Youngy Smashed In Face.

And, to make matters worse, back then (still now) my head was massive compared to my body and very difficult to miss.

Besky was 5 yards away and his hammer-like fists started swinging viciously in anticipation of connecting with the soft, sensitive, baby-like flesh of my face.

As an 8 year old, I’d fought many an imaginary fight in my living room, jumping on the sofas after watching Ron Ely as Tarzan, so maybe I could handle this. I looked up for a vine.

But I remembered my school wasn’t built in a jungle. So my backup plan of calling a herd of elephants from the savannah was also out.

It was just me and Besky.

As he charged towards me, I thought I’d better do something with my arms, preferably some sort of speedy movement based on this.

So I started swinging like Besky, more to create some sort of flappy safety zone that Besky couldn’t get into than anything else. Here’s what Besky must’ve seen.

Terrifying, I agree. But like a pro, Besky ignore all that flapping around and hammered a punch straight into my eye.

But before it got there and gave me a serious dose of glaucoma with cataracts, the fist stopped in mid-air.

You know I said Besky was the third hardest in school, well Poot and Slog were one and two and I was on the football team with them. Seconds before impact, they’d grabbed Besky and dragged him away.

If you thought Besky was foaming before, well now it looked like he’d swallowed a Bubble Bubble Toil and Trouble Bath Bomb from Lush and this is what that looks like:

Now here’s the thing, Besky was so angry that he started crying, bawling his eyes out among the froth, and for people who weren’t up close and were at the right angle, it must’ve looked like one of my, I’m going to call them punches, had connected.

Besky was crying I wasn’t

I was deemed the winner. Press play…

That was my first victory in the bag. I got too carried away with that one to tell you about my second and final punch-up, I’ll have a go at that next week. Just to keep you interested, I was 20 and on holiday with my mates and it was one of them.

That’s it once again.

Just to say, one of the best compliments I’ve ever had in my life was when I saw Slog in the pub about twenty years after the ‘fight’ with Besky.

He said to me, that him and Poot always had the impression I was ‘harder than I looked.’ I’m not sure whether this was an insult or a compliment, all I know is I’m taking it as a compliment.

Okay, that’s enough, getting carried away again.

Have a great weekend. Don’t get into any fights and enjoy the fireworks.

Take care and all the best,

5 Nov 21 – First Fight

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