The one where I’m better than Rocky

I starred in a movie about a complicated yet beautiful young woman that gets caught up in the ugly world of underground dance fighting.  Battle Dance Underground Adrenaline Rush didn’t get screwed up in editing, it was just terrible from the word jump.  I wore a leotard and a leather jacket in almost every scene.  A leotard with a boob window.  It was that kind of movie.   

The stunt/fight coordinator that I worked with for the sexy dance fighting movie was a legit guy.  He had worked on a bunch of martial arts and action films that actually made money and he knew what he was doing.  I don’t know if he was paying alimony to three ex-wives and just needed money or started hitting the sauce or if he was in trouble with the union like Martialla always was or why he was working on that crappy movie but there he was.  Hollywood is (was) an interesting place.  Competent people would turn up in the strangest places.   Incompetent people were everywhere, that wasn’t unexpected.

DeVries was his name (first or last?  I never found out) and he initiated me into the mysterious secrets of the ancient art of sexy dance fighting.  He was pretty nimble for a guy approaching sixty, I think he missed his calling, he should have been one of those guys dancing in the background of old musicals in where sailors are singing a song about how great it is that there’s no dames around out at sea.  He was a little handsy but everyone was in those days.  I don’t think he meant anything by it. 

What’s silly is how useful that fake ass bullshit he taught me has ended up being in real fights.  I’m still alive because of that old dude.  It may shock you to find out that movies are a visual medium.  Everything has to be bigger, more exaggerated, more obvious than it would be in real life.  In a movie fight scene when someone avoids a kick they do a backflip or a cartwheel or Matrix-whacky waving arm inflatable tube man full body wiggle.  Because you have to make the audience see how agile the character doing it. 

Try doing a handstand next time you get in a bar fight and see how that works out for you.  What you want to do in a real situation is slip and roll.  You don’t have to move much to avoid a damaging blow.  Think about someone trying to punch you in the nose.  How wide is your face?  Eight inches?  Maybe ten if you’re a moon-faced freak like Martialla.  Move your head six inches to the side and that punch misses.  Or it’s a glancing blow.   

Bend your knee slightly and drop like a hinge with your hip. Hinging from your hip, instead of from the spine, allows you to keep your eyes on your opponent and your body in strong position. Slip with your legs. 

The other thing he taught me, which is more important maybe, is not to be afraid of getting hit.  People have this crazy thing where they don’t like to feel pain, I mean except the people at that one club on Wilshire, but you know what I mean.  Getting knocked around a time or two makes you get over that fear.  Which is helpful because being afraid of getting smacked is counterproductive when you want to avoid getting smacked.  Irony?   

Before I outsourced my pain to Martialla I did my own stunt work because I worked on movies that couldn’t afford to hire anyone else to do it.  After the first few times you get banged around you realize that pain ain’t the end of the world.  It’s like losing your virginity.   

I’ve heard that when you’re trying to teach snot-nosed little brats the finer points of the world’s most boring sport, baseball, the first thing you need to do is help them get over their fear of the ball.  I guess kids have this thing where if you hurl a baseball at their head they want to duck like stupid babies.  I assume the way you deal with that is to bean them right off the bat (pun!) so they can cry and get over it or quit so you don’t have to deal with them.  Getting punched is like that. 

This long preamble is all to say that I won the fight against Lady Rocktits.  I swear to God there has to be something wrong with her because her breasts felt like concrete.  I usually go for a boob-punch when I can but I think I broke three knuckles trying that against her.   

It wasn’t much of a fight, there aren’t many that are from what I’ve seen, she came at me with her knife and I trapped her arm – she did stab me in the armpit some – and that was pretty much it.  I had her locked up and after realizing that her tits were unbreakable I tossed her her down and then kicked her in the chest.  The noise of her ribcage collapsing threw me back to apocalypse day 3 when that ball-less guy with the Shar Pei face and a crossbow tried steal the car that Martialla and I didn’t have and I kicked him in the chest.   

It was the exact same noise as when I caved in his chest.  I even heard Martialla carping at me about just like she was there.  I wonder what happened to that guy after we left him there.  He died probably.  Or maybe not, people of this time seem to have traded strength for durability.  Maybe evolution is on a bend don’t break experiment with humanity.  I suppose that makes sense, if you’re putting all your DNA energy into surviving in these shitty conditions there’s not much left for muscle mass.  Plus diet plays a part in that right?   

“Remind me not to piss you off” Dirt Tooth said massaging my shoulders while watching my fallen opponent roll in the dirt coughing and spitting blood and pieces of organs. 

“Too late” I grunted sourly. 

His hands flew off my shoulders “What did I do?!” 

“Nothing” I admitted “I just hate fighting.  I hate it so much.  I just HATE it.” 

Grease Gut handed me an earthenware cup of something “For someone who hates fighting you seem to be pretty good at it.” 

I tsked in derision “Only because everyone here is so small and their bones are made of toothpicks.” I took a drink of whatever fermented animal slurry booze I had been handed and almost gagged “That is vile!” GG made a move to take it away and I pulled the cup back “I didn’t say I didn’t want it!  What am I going to do, face another day in this shithole fully sober?”  I held the cup up like Hamlet gazing at a skull “I tell you this, one thing I’d like more than any other is to drink out of a cup isn’t made of mud.” 

“Do you always complain this much?” DT asked apprehensively “I only bring it up because Greasy wants to know.” 

I sighed “Pretty much yeah.” 

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