Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wayne Park. Meyerholtz Park. Two places that, when mentioned to people from my demographic from my home town, conjure up many great memories. Wayne sat on top of a hill overlooking a river. Meyerholtz was across the highway right next to the river. They were places that hosted many post-school gatherings among high school kids. The gatherings were never much more than just bullshitting between friends before everyone headed home for the night. But it was always enjoyable nonetheless. I am told that kids don't really hang out at these parks anymore which is sad because I couldn't imagine my teenage years without them.
Now if you read that last paragraph carefully, you will notice that I said that, most of the time, visits to either park were social in nature. I implied that not every trip was friendly. And that is true. Why? Because a few times per year, these two parks hosted fights. Real fights. Not this bullshit UFC stuff or anything like that. They were pure teenage hate and angst on display in full glory. Was there anything better than a high school fight? I argue that there was not. There were not many things that I would have rather watched than a fight between two classmates back in my high school days. I like to think that most red-blooded Americans would agree with this. Fighting is/was awesome. But fights in high school had a ton of roadblocks and needed to be handled with care if they were going to reach their entertainment potential. And that is why today I am going to hop in the time machine and remember the greatness which was the high school fight at the state park.
Many things needed to fall in line in order to ensure a proper fight. Here is what they are:
1. The Rumor - When two people were at odds in school, word spread quickly. Once I found out about a potentially volatile issue, I had to confirm it. Normally, the angry parties were not amongst my inner circle of friends and thus confirmation of pissedoffedness between the two was needed.
2. The Combatants - Like I said, most of the time, I never even really knew who wanted to rumble. But when I did find out, I immediately became best friends with them. It was crucial to know all the facts around the skirmish (usually retarded stuff) and then to keep throwing gas on the fire. The Hottest Bartender in Columbus had a knack for buddying up with the fighters and making sure that they were even more pissed off at the guy they were fighting then than they were when the fight was initially agreed upon. Basically, if you wanted to fight somebody, I would definitely help you get to that place.
3. The Setting - If a fight happens and no one is around to see it, did it ever really happen? It must be advertised and, yes, it is very important to pick the right spot. After all, you don't want to miss a brawl because you were at the wrong park. This is where the outsiders had a chance to influence. Personally, I preferred Meyerholtz as a battle ground. There may have been only one way out of there, but the path was long and if the law showed up, you could shut things down before they got there. At Wayne, there were two entrances and the chances of the police breaking it up were great. And you were stuck...and fucked. You definitely did not want the fight happening on school grounds though. Those always get broken up before they get good.
4. The Build-Up - If ensuring a fight requires some lying, then it must be done. Nothing was out-of-bounds when it came to this. Make some shit up about how Fighter A wanted to fuck Fighter B's 15 year old sister and that you heard him say it. Who cares? Whatever pisses the guy off more. Hell, if you are building up Fighter B, you know damn well that someone is doing the same thing with Fighter A. The goal here is that both guys show up ready to rip the other's fucking head off. This also leads to "I got your back" discussions. This is the dumbest shit ever. How many fights have you seen where two guys are going at it, 50 people are watching, and some asshole jumps in and suckerpunches one of the fighters? It has never happened. I am sure of this. Yet it was always a concern which is why people used to have "back". I guarantee that I said this at least ten times in high school and never had any intention of getting my hands dirty. If someone wants to go rogue and jump in, who gives a fuck? Someone else will deal with him. Either way, more fighting for me to watch!!!
5. The Down Low - Once everything is in place, everyone needs to shut the fuck up. The worst thing that can happen is a damn teacher overhearing some idiot blabbing about the upcoming bloodbath and then you get to the scene and there are already cop cars there. That shit is fucking weak. That is why high school fights aren't for amateurs. Yes, everyone already knows what is going down later on today and if I wanted to hear your lip, I'd pull down your pants and smack your pussy. Keep a lid on it. Silence is golden, or in this case, bloody.
6. The Transportation - Obviously, the fighters need to get there at any cost. But more importantly, YOU need to get there. YOU need to be one of the first people there to get a prime spot for this poor excuse for pugilism. But you don't want to drive. Oh no. Let someone else do that. Because if shit goes south and the po-po shows their fat faces, you don't want your car to get it's plates ran. For fuck's sake, if you did all that you could to get the fight started, someone should have the courtesy to take you there anyway.
7. The Rumble - Ah yes. It has begun. Tonight we dine in Hell. High school fights usually go like this. Both people show up and they are at least 2,000 yards away from each other. At some point, both start the trek toward each other. When they get face-to-face, they are both so geeked for kicking some ass, that the last minute smack talk is barely spoken in English. It literally makes zero sense at all. Then a punch is thrown. The first punch is key. Land it solidly, you can jump on your opponent and beat him into submission. Miss wildly and you are off-balance and done. A high school fight normally lasted about 3 or 4 punches until a winner was clearly defined.
8. The Aftermath - Now it's time to get back with your buddies, review what just happened, and laugh at how stupid those two were. It's OK to forget that the fighters exist again...until the next time they get pissed.
Seriously, was there anything better than watching a fight? I still remember the best one I've seen involving a wiry Mexican kid and a black douche. It was promoted almost entirely by white guys. It was a glorious, multi-cultural event with the black dickhead winning. There were about 200 people there at Meyerholtz Park and everyone got their money's worth (nothing).
I hardly ever miss my high school days (unless the topic of extra point kicking comes up), but fist-fights always make me nostalgic toward the good old days when it was just fists. I'm at an age now where I worry about people having knives and guns and shit. Now I play the role of peacemaker. I'm not an instigator anymore...there are just too many assholes these days. Personally, I've never been in a fight. Sure, I've been jacked before, but neither time was I knocked down. It's because I'm fucking awesome and you aren't. In closing, I will share with you the story of the last time that I was decked.
I was a Senior walking down the halls in between class. Out of nowhere, someone from behind me just drills me in the jaw. I didn't go down. I turned around to see Bullock, kind of a half bully/half douchebag type creature.
G$: What the fuck?
Bullock: (very matter-of-factly) I just don't like you.
G$: Fair enough.
And we both went on our way. I could have went after him, but I would have been destroyed and I had more fights to promote. He totally could have stomped my face in. But we each got we wanted. He got to release his hate on me and I got to not get my ass kicked. And in the end, isn't that what life is really about?