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▶  More from Harm City Guest Authors Tao of Tony Rooster
A Suicide in October
The Tao of Tony Rooster

Stand up. Sit down. Stand up. Sit down. Over and over again.

One nice thing about growing up in a chaotic environment, and learning my way around this world in my own reckless way is, I haven't had to deprogram myself very much. This is maybe the third time I'd ever even been inside of a church. Catholic funerals really are a bit much.

I'm in a small town in central Oregon, population 682, paying respects to one of my only friends. I can't figure why Joey Rats would send an African priest to this tiny corner of America (he was sent here before Frankie the Foot took over). He's now telling us all how much my friend dearly loved Jesus. It's obvious he never met my friend. Now he's warning us all that we'll end up just like him if we don't start coming to church. This is nothing more than yet another opportunity to recruit new sheep to the flock, I realize.

Yesterday I walked around his house. Saw the dried, black blood on the bathroom floor. His orange "STIHL" hat, with the picture of a chainsaw on it, still sitting on the sink where he had left it. I didn't see the bullet hole anywhere in the wall or ceiling though.

This place looks like it's already haunted. Old farmhouse, no neighbors, the sky is grey and the trees in the yard look dead this fall, everything looks dead here. It was the company's house. My friend was essentially a modern day share cropper, only instead of cotton, it was wheat. Three generations of his family had lived in that house at one time or another.

The only other time I wore my suit was at his wedding. Now I was helping to carry him up a grassy hill, in the mountains far from town, in this old fashioned pine box, gripping the rope handles. More words are spoken, the bagpipe starts playing, and we're throwing dirt over him, one final passage in the story of his life, saddest chapter read last page first. I'm the only one up there not crying. I held it together by putting on my best tough guy face. It was my way of showing respect.

The wake last night was a complete fiasco. You get a group of people together who are already emotional, many of whom don't like each other, and then supply them with booze? It's a recipe for disaster.

One particular drunk ended up getting extremely out of line. He picked a fight with the owner of the house where the wake was being held. I tried to calm him down, but he was one of those crazy drunks. You know, the kind who end up in prison and can't remember why?

As I tried reasoning with him, the grieving widow walked over to ask him to leave. He side stepped me and grabbed her by the throat.....So I put him in a headlock and just held on to him for awhile. I know this guy, he's a nut, but I don't want to hurt him. He's a live one though, and after awhile I decide I need a break.

"Hey Jimmy! Hold on to this for me. I'm gonna get a drink, I'll be right back." Jimmy takes over for about 10 seconds before this crazy fuck escapes and runs over to Jimmy's old lady and tries to punch her in the face. The fact that she was wearing a leg cast and couldn't even walk made it all the more tasteless.

"Jimmy! What the fuck?!?", says I.

I'm very disappointed in him.

I never learned any real fighting technique, but in retrospect, knowing a guillotine choke would have saved everyone a lot of trouble. Live and learn.

I get him in another headlock and figure I'll just wait it out. Jimmy's old lady is tough, she ain't hurt none. I'm being calm and patient, no need for anyone to get hurt here.

This dude is like a wolverine, though. The whiskey seems to have affected him like PCP. He's crazy and just will not give it up. After awhile, I ask for a coffee break. I am a Teamster, after all.

"Jimmy! Hold this fucking guy and don't let him get away again!"

Well, guess what.....

Right around this time, the crazy fuck's girlfriend comes walking outside after hearing of the commotion. She is holding their 9 month old baby in her arms. He breaks free again and rushes her, punches her in the face, while she's holding their child.

Now I'm mad.

I run over to this piece of shit and put him in another headlock. Except this time, while he's in the headlock, I punch him 10 times in the face. I counted.

I let go of him and he falls peacefully out of my arms, bouncing his head off the parked car next to us on the way down. He's definitely catching some zzzz's.

"Oh my god! What did you do to him? He's dead! Why do you always beat up my boyfriends?!?"

Yes, it's the girl from Oklahoma.

"Fuck him. He's just knocked out. You're welcome. The only reason I didn't kill his ass is because he has a kid. Fuck you too."

Right about now I remember there's somewhere else I need to be.

"Gotta go!"

He was out cold for 2 hours, I hear. Severe concussion. Many stitches. Busted nose. Jimmy said he looks like he got hit by a truck. I reminded him it was just a driver, not the whole truck that hit him.

I also received word that he wants me to pay his medical bills. I sent word back for him to get in line.

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