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Grandpa's Church Key
From the Tao of Tony Rooster


The best thing about this online writing experience has been meeting through email and eventually in person, real kindred souls, fellow outcasts like Big Ron, Sea Daddy and Ishmael and a dozen others and now Tony Rooster, who, one can only hope, will keep telling his story here. Thanks, Tony.

-James

PS: Tony, being a fellow poor boy, I pay with words. If there is a book I have for sale which you can't afford to buy and would like to read, let me know and I'll send you the PDF.

I was mostly raised by my grandfather, a tough ginger from Denver who lied about his age and joined the Marine Corps at 16, fought the japs in WWII. He used to carry around a big thick church key style can opener, had a fold out corkscrew. I once used that same church key to put a thousand little holes into the head of a known child molester. But that's another story. Bottom line, when the old man died, all I wanted were his flannel shirts and that church key.

Growing up I was a fat kid and got my fair share of shit until about the second grade. My grandfather told me I needed to defend myself, there was no such thing as a fair fight, if you see a brick or a damn tree branch on the ground, use it as a weapon, whatever you have to do, just don't let yourself get hurt. He was also wise, told me I should pity the bully, his life was probably worse than mine. So the old man set me straight, I wasn't taking any more shit.

I've always been a loner, always been poor, and have had numerous fights where I was against more than one opponent. My grandfather taught me at an early age to use misdirection as an advantage.

I became adept at feigning distraction and attacking mid-sentence, using a calm tone of voice, and never really getting angry. Never formally trained in any sort of fighting arts, just sort of took to it naturally and viewed the whole thing as a chess match, time slows down in those moments of violence.

Your link to the Dana White interview last month, I think it was either you or Big Ron commented something to the effect of "don't be a loud mouthed tough guy".

I'd like to second that. What follows happened to me around October 2006 at one of the Circus Circus casino bars in Las Vegas.

I was getting good and drunk with a friend I grew up with, a half Italian, half Apache 100% lunatic. A big muscle bound chap was sitting next to us and engaged us in conversation. He told us he was some kind of 2 bit professional wrestler and was soon to be making his debut on WWE. I want to say his wrestling name was "Little Hercules". I was very drunk. He was something shorter than six foot, looked vaguely Southern Europe.

I was curious about what he was saying, asked him a few questions. At some point though, his demeanor seemed to have shifted from friendly stranger at a bar, to full on wrestling personality. I should have paid the bill and walked away.

He started telling me how bad he was gonna kick my ass, how he would break my neck without breaking a sweat, and that as soon as he finished his beer, I would be a dead man.

I couldn't let him finish that beer. We were at the bar, he was sitting next to me, on my left. As he put the beer mug to his lips, I punched it through his teeth and we both fell off our stools. He had a mouth full of broken teeth, and as I started to get myself off the carpet, my crazy half breed side kick came running around and put his steel toes to the ribs of this guy.

Security came immediately and kicked Little Hercules out, apparently, I wasn't the first person he'd threatened that night. The fact I was a guest in the motel probably helped my cause.

Moral to this story is, you never know who you're fucking with or what kind of tendencies that person may have. Don't be a loud mouthed tough guy.

Sucker Punch

I'd also like to add that I feel no shame for employing the sucker punch. My goal is to stay alive and hopefully walk away unscathed. I care not for honor, for a warrior I am not. If you're lucky, I won't put the boots to ya after you're out.

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Add Comment
BobOctober 9, 2017 11:20 PM UTC

It'd be nice if you'd recount a one-against-many incident, as this is the nightmare scenario.
BobOctober 7, 2017 10:45 PM UTC

I don't have a lot of respect for sucker punchers, but what's described here doesn't fit that. The guy had credibly threatened violence. In that sense, you merely intervened before the threat was actualized.

Interesting the mid-sentence attack. I've seen several defense strategies that seek to have the aggressor talk/respond that he may be attacked when his brain is partially distracted communicating. Open-ended nonsense questions are fine.