Monday, May 19, 2014

The Barleycorn Fight (1971, Vietnam)

There are no rules in fighting, although all the guys bigger than I, whom I fought felt I violated some made up rule of theirs.
       In Vietnam, I had a fight with a sergeant in our company quarters one evening, we all called him Crusher, after the infamous, wrestler, and madman, “The Crusher,” he was per near six foot tall, blond short hair, and muscular, looked like a gorilla, as did the sergeant, they could have been twin brothers, except for the age difference; perhaps of Polish or Irish stock. We both had enough malt produced barleycorn in us, this one evening, both half drunk, thereabouts. He told his friend I used a trick when we fought one another in tearing off my opponents face with my long fingernails, his face.
       I had blocked his big burley muscular fists, and forearms, and at each thrust, I had moved quick enough to out maneuver him: I tried blow after blow to his face, and torso, but they bounced off him, like rubber, as if he was a danseur, nor did my elbows into his ribs move him one bit, and a good solid kick to the groin did little to nothing, he had a cast iron, whatever. And so I came to the conclusion, I couldn’t beat him any other way, and thus, I was limited to my selection of attacks, I had used them all up, so I warped my body likened to wringing a wet rag dry, to gain momentum, jumped up about five inches into the air, and on my way down like a cat  with his talon sticking out of his paws, my thorn like fingernails multitudinously swept across his face, like hard nails scratching through sandpaper, and he yelled bloody murder, and fell back a foot! His face was damaged. And the fight was over, and the fight was a draw.
       It was no trick, not really, that was the purpose for the long nails and the jump, and two years of karate practice; and if it was a trick, it was a learned one for just that occasion, because I never had to reuse this so called ‘trick’; a strategy I prefer to call it. And I consider that trick as legal as any kick in the groin, or punch to the face or ribs, although sober I might not have used that so called ‘trick’ I might not have thought of it. And here he was sixty-pounds heavier than me, and three inches to four inches taller than me, which was to his advantage—what did he expect—that was his trick, he thought he could bully?
       Well, trick or not, I had the satisfaction of seeing him look like the loser, even if he wasn’t.

No: 1064 (5-18-2014)