Monday, February 2, 2009

Beer - David Price


It’s a beautiful Friday in July here in San Diego. I took off work at noon and headed east on Interstate 8. I live in a little A-frame situated on a bluff in a rural community about thirty miles from the coast. It’s a small two story but there’s enough room for what I want, quiet and privacy.

I make my living pushing paper. The physical part of me needs an outlet so I feed it the rigorous workouts that are core to my peace of mind.

Many years ago I wrestled and played football. I didn’t set the world on fire but I could hold my own. I loved the challenge of man against man. Even when I lost, my opponent knew damn well he had been in a fight. And I didn’t lose many.

That was twenty some years ago. I still have the bull neck and a beauty of a cauliflower ear. I’ve trimmed down to 225 pounds on my 6 ‘1” frame. Except for the tell tale signs mentioned, I am just a white collar guy without the pencil neck.

To satisfy my aggressive side, I work out at a little dojo run by a Brazilian who specializes in jujitsu. I’ve learned a few joint locks to go with my wrestling skills. When we free style, I work hard and always choose the youngest and biggest stud in the class. He thinks he is going to have a walk over but it usually ends up that he taps out when I go for the kill. I’ve put more than a few guys out with injuries.

I’m giving you all this background so you’ll know what I bring to the table when you mess with me.

So here I am, heading home at noon looking forward to hitting the weights in my home gym. I’ve got a little Rolling Stones going on the CD and I’m feeling no pain.

In my rear view mirror I pick up a vehicle cutting across several lanes behind me. You know how you pick up something that happens at a speed faster than everything going on around you.

I check my passenger side mirror to see a Jeep in the lane next to me riding close to my blind spot. Looks like at least two people in the front seats.

I slow but the Jeep keeps pace with me, not falling back or advancing.

We go on a few miles like that and I go back to my daydreaming as I move past the densely populated community east of San Diego. The four lane freeway narrows to three.

All of a sudden the Jeep pulls alongside me. When it doesn’t move past, I look over. In the Jeep are three guys, probably in their early twenties. They are all looking at me and laughing and pointing. I stare at them and that seems to incite them more.

They’re in a Jeep with roll bars and no top, with the windows down. They’re probably heading east to the desert for some off-roading.

Then they all flip me off. They continue to pace me side by side, laughing like hyenas the whole time. They’re all drinking beers. The guy in the back seat is literally jumping up and down in his seat and waving his arms like a crazy man.

Now I’m getting pissed. The way they’re driving there’s going to be an accident and at 75 mph that will result in a multi-car pileup. They don’t even look to be wearing seat belts. If they pile up, they’re going airborne.

I try and back off the speed to get them to pass me in hopes that they’ll settle down. They pull slightly ahead. I’m still driving and keeping these fools in sight.

The guy in the back seat suddenly throws a full can of beer at my windshield. I know it’s full from the sound it makes as it misses and hits my fender with a thud. I can’t really stop as the traffic is pretty heavy and I’ll get rear-ended for sure. I slow and they pull ahead laughing and jumping around in their seats.

My heart is racing. Now I’m seeing red but I don’t have many options. My cell is in my briefcase in the trunk.

I don’t want to encourage their antics but I want their license plate number so I can call it in later.

I accelerate to try and close on them so I can get a good read of the plate. Instead of trying to outrun me, they slow.

I move up to about three car lengths of open space behind them and try to memorize the number. They slow even more and as I creep up on them, the front passenger and the guy in the rear each launch beers at me. One hits my hood and bounces over the top. The other hits the road on my right and bounces into the wind shield of the car to my right rear. I see the car swerve across my lane and go off the embankment and disappear. Then I see a plume of smoke in my rear view mirror.

These assholes have played their hand. Time for me to call. For all I know someone in that car that went off the freeway is badly injured or dead.

These fuckers are going to pay now.

I stay on their tail but back ten car lengths. Soon we come to relatively open country. The traffic has thinned considerably.

Two more beers hit the road in front of me but bounce away harmlessly. I continue to pace them for a couple more miles when they suddenly veer across the next lane and exit at an off ramp. I’m far enough back to follow their move. They pull up at the stop sign at the freeway underpass. The cross road is a rural road and there are no cars or businesses at this turnoff.

They all jump out and are laughing and staring at me as I approach.

I pull to a stop seven or eight car lengths back. They start towards me with one guy coming to my side and the other two heading to the passenger side. I open my door just enough to clear the lock but not enough for them to notice.

I’m a guy who likes to be prepared. I don’t carry a knife or a gun but I keep two items in the car in case I’m ever jumped or followed.

Behind the passenger seat I keep an old fashioned anti theft device that is no longer popular. It’s a two parter. A metal sleeve with a cane-type hook to loop under the brake pedal and another hook that loops over the low point of the steering wheel. One goes into the other and locks at the tightest point. I never use the lock but it’s the best way to carry a two foot metal rod with a curved handle that can’t be labeled a Billy club.

Also behind the seat I keep a pair of one pound hands weights, the kind that are used by walkers for some aerobic arm work. These are iron covered by some kind of sprayed on rubberized coating for grip ability. The beauty of these is that there is a metal piece in a half circle from end to end. I guess that’s supposed to make them easier to hold onto. I’ve never used them, ever. I’m no walker. They are, however, a legal pair of brass knuckles that are about to get their first workout.

I reach back and pull one piece of my lock and one hand weight onto the front passenger seat.

Then I power down my window as if I’m going to talk to the guy approaching my door.

Man, my heart is racing and my adrenaline is pumping. I feel like its kickoff time and I’m about to run downfield and break the wedge.

It’s all I can do to control myself. I’m almost laughing, I feel so good. I just sit there and wait for them to close. Come on, chumps. Come up to the window. I wait.

The driver approaches on my side and bends down to talk some shit. Soon as he lowers his head, I use my arm to flip the door open. The top of the door hits him right in the eyebrow. It splits open real good.

I use all my weight to open the door wide. It becomes my flipper and he’s my pinball. He flies back a couple of feet. His eyebrow is gushing. I slide out quick with the club in my left hand and the knuckles in my right.

The other two come racing around the car after they see their buddy get hit by the door.

The guy holding his eye yells, “Get him.”

For his kind words, I snap kick him right to his chin. Never hang your tongue out when you are in a fight. He’ll learn this as he bites half way through his and his mouth fills with blood.

The guy coming around the back of my car gets a hard backhand with the steel club right to his larynx. Now I’ve been hit in the old Adam’s apple and it hurts like hell. It can debilitate you as you choke and gasp for breath. You feel like you are drowning. I get him good. He doubles over and falls to his knees.

The guy coming around the front sees all this and his eyes tell me he wishes to hell that he was somewhere else. But it’s too late. His forward momentum is bringing him right to me.

I face him with both tools at the ready. He tries a roundhouse right that I block with the club. I punch straight and hard with a twelve to sixteen inch punch to his center face with the knuckles. It’s a punch like when you push the button on those battling robot toys. No wasted effort, just a straight piston shot.

They say Jack Dempsey’s best punch was a straight right hand and he didn’t wear an iron glove. I can hear the guys teeth snap off and his nasal septum collapses. He screams and grabs his face.

Now they are all incapacitated but it ain’t over for me. They’re going to remember this, forever.

I go back to the first guy and swing my club on his shin and it cracks. He falls face first as I come around and hammer fist him in his kidneys with three hard shots breaking a couple of ribs in the process.

The choking guy can barely move and just waves his hands to me in a, “no mas” gesture.

You should have thought of that before you started this shit. I kick him hard in the nuts. He’ll be walking cowboy style for at least a month.

The last guy with the broken teeth is trying to run back to the Jeep. I sprint to him with ease and swing my club in a sweeping arc to the side of his head. He never saw it coming.

He goes down hard. That metal plate he’ll soon be sporting will be setting off metal detectors at airports for the rest of his life.

He was the asshole in the back seat doing most of the throwing. I drag him to the curb and place his throwing hand on the edge. Then I mash his fingers with repeated heel strikes. That should put an end to his throwing days for a long time.

I walk over to the Jeep and look inside. I see the open cooler of ice with one can of beer left. I reach in, grab it and pop the top.

There’s nothing quite like a cold beer on a hot afternoon to welcome the weekend.

Bio: David Price is an ex college jock and retired probation officer residing in California. Writing is a recent hobby in his retirement. His efforts can be seen at Thuglit #28, A Twist of Noir 016 and The Flash Fiction Offensive at Out of the Gutter.


Paul Brazill said...

Ill drink to that! Top story!

Joe4473 said...

Great story, I am glad to see Dave is keeping busy. Having worked for him, his old Probation Department is in dire need of people like him to run it again.