Monday, August 17, 2009

Elbows, Assholes and False Accusations

Let me start off by explaining that one of my pool league teammates has been pestering me for a couple years to go out golfing with him. I continue to decline his invitation on the grounds, and I’m dead serious about this, that I’m afraid I might hurt myself. Hey, at my age it doesn’t take much to throw you out of whack. It’s for pretty much the same reason that I don’t go around looking for fights. That was before Lizard came along.

Lizard plays for another team in our Monday night bar league. For most of the year, he and I have been battling for top individual honors and, though I’m ahead by about 20 points, my team has a bye-week coming up which should give him a chance to narrow the gap.

Anyway, I ran into a couple friends of mine who are on a different team on Monday nights and they told me that last time out they had played Lizard’s team. Now, I must interject here that before the current session I had never seen nor heard of this reptile. Yet, my friends tell me that Lizard swears that he has known me for years. He even relayed to them this story about how, once upon a time, we had had a heated argument over a pool game and that I had wound up sucker punching him. He subsequently, according to his tale, kicked the shit out of me. Later, I had supposedly called him and apologized and to seal the deal we had an Obamaesque confab where I bought him a few beers. Some story! Unfortunately, it’s pure, unadulterated bullshit.

There are enough true stories out there painting me in a negative light that I’ve pretty much given up on the notion of achieving sainthood. Still, the idea of someone fabricating a drama about me that includes me hitting someone with a sucker punch and then getting the shit kicked out of me, just rubbed me the wrong way.

I started telling friends about it and, as luck would have it, one of them, Big Gene we call him, remembered the incident, only it wasn’t me who sucker punched Lizard, he said, it was a guy named Abe. Now, honestly, this threw me because I couldn’t fathom someone confusing me with someone else just because our names, Ace and Abe, were somewhat alike. But, based on the info I was able to gather, that seemed to be the case.

Of course, when we had our home match with his team last week, Lizard denied there was a mix-up. It was me, he swore, who had suckered him at some little hole-in-the-wall bar that I’d never heard of.

“You’re wrong, I’m tellin’ ya,” I said to him. “I never seen your f___’in ass before we played you last time.”

“You damn sure did,” he sneered. “And I gave you what’s for.”

Exasperated, I said, “You dumb ass, no wonder you’re always getting suckered. You’re one dumb-assed motha f___ka.”

Now, Lizard didn’t especially like that characterization of his reptilian self, so, as I turned away, he jumped off his stool and came up behind me.

As I intimated earlier, I’m really careful with my body. I wouldn’t want to do something that would make playing pool difficult for me or even painful. Hitting someone with my fists would fall into the general category of activities to be avoided. My hands – I’m afraid I might break my fingers.

So, as I finished putting my cue in its case, I felt his hand on my shoulder. “Hey, mother…” he began, but got no further. I pivoted and caught the side of his jaw with my elbow and upper arm slamming him back against the wall. Then, I gave him a solid shot in the nuts. He was still doubled over when I walked past him on the way to the door. “Hey,” I taunted, “now, you’ve got a real story to tell people.”

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