July| Vol. 22 No. 8.02 | Christian's Chronicles © 2015 – All rights reserved.
In this edition of The Chronicles, we again take a look back to days of old, because that is what we must do to make the present bearable. Back to a time when I had somewhat more of youth, a great deal more of lean muscle mass, and seemingly unlimited potential. But enough of things that have withered.
This tale is the legend of Exploding Fist.
Our story begins at a place that would later be the source of much pain and misery (not to mention financial ruin), but which at the time I viewed as a sound investment. On that note, I was certainly wrong. McGeorge School of Law, my illustrious alma mater, was the single worst decision I have ever made in life. But I digress…
At the time, I was a law student. The stress of law school demands stress relief. Part of which I acquired through my continued pursuit of my ambitions in the sport of mixed-martial-arts, another part of which I received the old fashioned way through sharing libations with friends. Our tale is of a time when I participated in the latter.
Some fellow law students and I were enjoying a friendly get-together for some festive occasion or another, at a residence appropriately decorated (and supplied) for the event. On occasion, one of my trusted friends who had also competed years prior in bare knuckle shotokan fights would persuade himself that it was a good idea to punch me in the stomach. This would, of course, come with some form of fair warning, such that I was able to tighten my then somewhat more chiseled abdominal muscles, and the punches would bounce off like so many bullets off Superman’s steel torso. This would bring him some amusement, and I would also have the satisfaction and the benefit of a spontaneous ab workout plus contact-conditioning all wrapped into one. Besides, who am I to argue with a highly motivated former bare knuckle fighter? I was only ever crazy enough to fight with 4 ounce gloves.
On this particular occasion, another fellow law student who had not yet become accustomed to this somewhat routine yet perhaps odd occurrence witnessed the events unfold for the first time. He observed as I allowed my friend to punch me in the stomach repeatedly, then laugh about it.
It must have been a bit shocking, but it also evidently piqued his curiosity.
“You just let him do that?” he asked. I nodded, with a smile. “Ok, can I punch you?” he asked.
Well, this was a bit awkward. Getting punched is more of an acquired taste you generally don’t share with just any bloke. (I was just looking for a way to use the word ‘bloke’…) But then, refusing the honor might be seen as offensive. Plus, the gentleman in question seemed genuinely intrigued and excited. Perhaps the student body at an average law school does not find the experience of punching another human being quite as routine as my friend and I did.
So I acquiesced and said: “Ok.”
I then also explained to be sure to avoid the xiphoid process and to keep the punches above the belt, and finally, to give me enough warning so that I can avoid the purported fate that befell the famous Houdini, who I am told died as a result of taking a punch to the abdomen without being ready. After agreeing to the above, the excited candidate proceeded to get ready, and as I recall there was something like a countdown involved, too. As a matter of fact, I recall him purposely ‘jumping the gun’ and letting his fist fly at one count too early. Of course, there wasn’t a whole lot to anticipate since I was pretty much getting ready for him to punch me the entire time, so I thankfully was able to avoid the fate of Houdini.
The punch landed. I flexed. A look of surprise appeared on the aforementioned gentleman’s face.
“Holy crap, what do you have in there?” he exclaimed, which was met with laughter.
After a brief pause, he added “I think I got hurt.”
More laughter, as we all took this to be a joke. I was the one taking the punch, after all.
“No… no, I’m serious, I think I’m injured.” he insisted. After a little more of his persistence, I finally looked at his hand.
To my surprise, it was swollen pretty badly.
Now, I started to sweat, too. It looked like he was actually hurt. Late night, on a weekend, through a silly prank of sorts, the man who had punched me in the stomach looked to be far worse for the wear.
My friend also took a look at the gentleman’s swollen fist. We both agreed that it looked like a pretty good lump, but we tried to talk him down, insisting that it was nothing. We put some ice on it, and told him to have it looked at later.
Well, later came.
The next Monday, I bumped into the same gentleman back on campus. This time, his arm was in a sling, and his entire forearm plus two fingers were in a cast. He had broken bones in his hand, and apparently some screws had to be inserted, along with a cast that he had to wear for the requisite period to allow the damage to heal.
Kids, the moral of the story is twofold: one, do not allow dangerous pranks to get out of control, because as they say, it is all fun and games until a fist explodes. And second: someone broke their hand by punching me in the stomach.
How cool is that?