Ready for Action
Look, I’m a nice, regular average guy, you get me? I’m not looking for trouble. I’m not spoiling for a dust-up or a scuffle, I categorically deny that I am overtly seeking intense moments of pugilistic conflict, but let me be clear: I am ready for action when the time comes, dig?
Like, just last week I was driving to the store for more cake, when this Burgundy Grand Am comes up from behind, and starts tailgating me, weaving back and forth, I swear, like 3 feet from my rear bumper.
In the rearview mirror I can see that he has something in one hand. He pulls into the oncoming traffic lane and goes to pass me- and as he passes I glance over and see the that he’s holding a gun.
This is how it comes to pass- My enemies have found me, blithely driving to pick up some tasty pastries, and they’ve seized upon this unguarded moment to finally finish me off by hiring some cheap gunsel.
And so I clench my teeth and I think, OK, here’s the plan.
I will viciously sideswipe his Grand Am in the rear quarterpanel, sending his car spinning helplessly clockwise down center of the boulevard, and as he struggles to regain control I will cut hard to the right, over the curb, I’m pretty sure that fire hydrant will be collateral damage, but my front bumper is an I-Beam that I welded on in case of just such a contingency, I will barrel through 2 backyards, 1 white picket fence, 1 line of laundry (nightgowns, pillowcases, socks, long underwear) 1 doghouse (no dog) 1 chicken coop (6 chickens) then across that attractive brick patio to launch my Honda off the landscaped berm, dropping my car 47 feet directly smash upon the canopy of the still-spinning Grand Am and crushing its hapless armed driver.
And then I notice that it’s not a gun in his hand, but a small zither. It’s not really safe to be driving and zithering at the same time, but I’ll give it a pass.
The plan was off. He soon turned away down a side street.
So, sure, in the end, I didn’t have to kill him, but I was ready, you know what I’m saying?
The, recently, I was at the farmers’ market with my beautiful wife and children, and we were seated outside eating raw oysters and bul-go-gi hoagies, and that’s when I saw three moustached black vinyl motorcycle dudes, sunglasses, bald, and they’re looking around and I realize they’ve been sent to kill me.
Silently, I gave the signal to My wife & kids to prepare for furious mayhem!
The razorsharp oystershells would be thrown like deadly shuriken to find targets in throats. My son, I knew, would leave no kneecap as he had found it.
My daughter would surreptitiously tie their bootlaces together.
My wife and I would spring seven feet straight up in the air, making use of centrifugal force to join together briefly in a vortex of increasing speed then hurl each other simultaneously into the fray, defying nine basic laws of physics.
Though armed only with the first asparagus of the season we would rend those killers limb from limb, transforming the quaint farmers’ market into an abattoir of righteous violence!
But then it turned out that the Motorcycle dudes were just some dentists and hairdressers who were looking to buy a small basil plant for the windowbox in their condo.
Also, I guess my wife & kids had no idea what my obscure gesticulations were meant to signify. Doesn’t matter.
I could absolutely have taken those 3 guys all by myself, anyway.
If it had been necessary, which, I guess, it wasn’t.
But if it had been, then I would have, because that is how I roll, dog.
Or last night, I was fitfully tossing in bed, unable to sleep because of the inevitability of random violent acts being perpetrated against myself and my poor, helpless family by the kind of senselessly evil people I’ve seen on television and movies a lot recently. Those guys are ubiquitous! Suddenly, my fabulously acute hearing alerted me to a soft footfall in the hall outside my bedroom, and I know what’s happened: A seven-foot assassin has lasered a perfect circle from the glass pane in the picture window that overlooks the gently forested ravine behind my house, he has removed the section of glass with the suction cup on a plumber’s helper that he carries in a sheath on his back for that purpose mostly, although, also handy for plunging blocked toilets, and even as I lie here, innocently unaware of impending doom- or so he thinks!- he is preparing a variety of small horrible dissection knives and unspeakable implements on an engraved silver tray. I look at my wife, angelic in sleep, blissfully oblivious that we’re about to become next week’s poster family for the National Rifle Association, and I swear: not this time, Bubbala. (I always refer to antagonists with yiddish terms of endearment, as I feel it diminishes their threat level).
I oozed from the bed like some weird protoplasmic creature and hit the button concealed in the bust of Millard Fillmore on my credenza. The secret door hissed pneumatically open, and quickly I armed myself with my bazooka hat, my armor-piercing rocket pistol, fringed kevlar chaps and opera gloves, a brace of napalm grenades, and a six-foot razor-sharp Scottish claymore. I eased the bedroom door open and leapt into the hall, screaming, “PREPARE TO TASTE YOUR OWN KIDNEYS RIPPED FROM WHEREVER YOU’VE BEEN KEEPING THEM BOYCHIK!!!”
My cat was nonplussed. He hissed at me a little. I guess it was just the cat, not an assassin. My wife was sitting up in bed. She said, “Every goddamn night, really?”
She’ll appreciate me when the assassins come for real, I bet.
Like just this morning I got here to the office to work, and I see: Hershel looks a little hungover, and I realized, oh, Christ, his wife’s left him and that’s it, it’s too much, he’s going to kill us all, especially because of the Finkelstein Memo. He’s wearing his argyle sweater, which affords sufficient room to conceal a small sawed-off shotgun.
And I figure my only chance will be to sacrifice poor Sandra by diving behind her ample person when the shooting starts, while I quickly fashion a zip-gun out of a lighter and a teapot, which will be able to fire just one mere paperclip projectile. I will aim and shoot with precision from under poor sacrificed Sandra’s desk directly into his hamstring, hobbling him and bringing him down, whereupon I will pounce like the jungle jaguar, jamming an aluminum trashcan over his balding head while jackhammering him with punishing blows to the solar plexus.
He will deperately pull his switchblade and perforate my cardigan (I might have to endure a small flesh wound).
I will staple him repeatedly in the jugular and feed his tie into the papershredder, then finish him off with poor Sandra’s potted fern.
So bring it, Hershel. I’m ready for you.
For I am always exquisitely poised upon the very lip of havoc.
Every morning I get up before the dawn to go through a grueling regimen of kung-fu isometric flexing exercises. To the casual observer I may appear to be just sitting on the couch, holding my head and making whimpering noises, but I’m actually toning and honing my dynamic and powerful physique.
My ears are trained to hear the crackle of a pine needle folding below the padded foot of the killer; my talented nose would detect the fragrance of the Cornpone ‘n’ Shirred Egg Skillet they had for breakfast before they could approach closer than a league. I can catch crossbow arrows with my eyebrows, my abdominal muscles are so hard and flexible that I can seize and crush my opponents’ fist with my stomach, each one of my toes knows how to kill a man in fourteen different ways, I can just look at somebody so fiercely that their nose gets sunburned, and they begin to go blind.
It now appears as though Hershel just has a migraine, and is going home early.
Why is it so darn hard to find opportunities for supreme righteous vengeance?
Not that I’m anxious to have to resort to it, but I am ready, you hear what I’m saying?