When I told my mother that I would try to live a more peaceful existence, the usually more optimistic half of my parental unit said: “It’s hard to turn the other cheek when you have a cement neck." Not the best of her mom-isms that’s for sure, but I got the point - that taking a pass on beating someone in front of their peers and garden variety on-lookers would be a steep climb for someone like myself who lacks the walk away gene. Nevertheless, these past months I’ve had a moderate amount of success in terms of "getting my Gandhi on" so to speak. Despite the fact that I keep a mental list of people that I’ve let get away with murder as of late, the mere existence of said list would be characterized as progress in anyone’s book. Even though I miss saying quotables after conquering some drunken asshole like "Tell your friends about me!”, and standing over someone’s body like I was Captain Morgan - I recognize the benefits: No longer wondering whether or not I broke my hand is nice - avoiding jail time and the possibly of getting filled out like an application is a plus - and the fact that I’m not adding to the list of people who already want me to catch a bad one has to be nothing but a good thing. But like anyone battling a addiction of some sort, sometimes there are near relapses. Let me explain:
Last week I was hanging with my friend at a local bar, he was there getting intimately acquainted with Jose Cuervo and I was ordering some chicken wings that I had absolutely no business eating. Anyway, I didn’t have a light for a clove cigarette that I wanted to smoke, so I stopped a young man who had just walked into the bar. I said, “Hey man, you don’t happen to have a light do you?" - he immediately answered in the affirmative and handed me his lighter. To express my gratitude, right before lighting the cigarette I said, "Thank you man, you’re a Prince." He looked at me funny, stepped back and said "If I knew you were going to call me “A Prince”, I would have never given you a fucking light. I don’t fucking play that shit!" Totally bewildered to the point of giggling, I asked "Ok, what about the word “Prince” is so offensive? Talk to me brother." He then proceeded to hell me that he was from Honolulu, and calling someone "Prince" is the same as calling someone "a sissy" or "a faggot”. I took a long drag off of my cigarette, squinted at the young man and said, “Ok, can I ask you a question? Where are you now though?" He responded, "Virginia Beach”. In which prompted me to say the following:
"Right, you are in Virginia Beach. What made you think that a dude sitting in a Virginia Beach bar would know about a slang term specific to a region nearly 5000 miles away? Are you shitting me? Not for nothing, but your veiled threat is ringing in my ear right now - and my quest to lesson my violent output is the only saving your ass right now. In short, and I want you to remember these words for a very long time young man - you almost got your ass kicked over some bullshit. Choose your next words very wisely."
Well, he did indeed choose his next words wisely and we ended up peacing it out. Ladies and Gentlemen, that’s precisely how someone backs into an ass whipping. It happens that fast. Well, it almost did.