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Dodgin’ and Weavin’
Joe ripped off Curtis and Bryan for an extra $10,000 each, and was a pain in a lot of ways. But he was funny as hell and genuinely brought a lot of cheer to the school. It was often at his expense, but not always. But with Bryan around…
“That was bullshit, tell me it isn’t fixed.”
The Evander Holyfield - Lennox Lewis fight had just finished to a chorus of boos from the crowd. If you watch the fight, you’ll see it’s clearly a fix or the judges have been bought off.
“Well, it was still impressive. They are pretty good athletes.”
“Bullshit, I could go 5 round with either of those guys. It’s a work!” Bryan’s ears perked up.
“Joe, do you really think you could fight Evander Holyfield for 5 rounds and not get knocked out?”
“No problem. I know how to cover. I’d put up my hands and let him go to town.”
“Yeah, but he’s the heavyweight champion of the world. He would knock you out in thirty seconds.”
“Bullshit, I’d just cover and stand there and take it.”
“You’d still be exhausted. Wait, do you mean now, or back in your day?”
“Now! Those guys aren’t anything!” Shouted Joe. Jer had the wisdom to just roll his eyes.
“Joe, have you ever even boxed? It’s tough.” I had to pipe in.
“I’m fuckin’ tougher than you” volleyed Joe.
“That’s not the question; the question is have you ever even boxed?” asked Bryan.
“Look, guys, there’s nothing to it. I’d block my face and he wouldn’t be able to do anything. Like this.” Joe nimbly covered his face with his hands, putting up his dukes and readying to face Holyfield, the best boxer in the world.
“Uhhh, Joe, wouldn’t he just punch you in the gut, and when your hands dropped, punch you in the face?”
“That’s a lot of padding,” said Terry, “I don’t think it would have an effect.”
The bullshitters had multiplied.
“Joe, you couldn’t last 5 rounds with me. Come on, you can’t be serious.”
“Ben, are you a boxer?”
“I’ve done boxing, lots of rounds hitting my heavy bag. It’d be pretty much the same as hitting you.”
“Let’s get in the ring then. You get the first shot. I’ll close my eyes, you can square off and hit me, and then I’ll return the favour.”
Full-on clocking someone in the face with no real provocation isn’t something I’m comfortable with. However, I debated. Now, for Bryan and Curtis, I would probably hit him and not stop for their $20,000 and Ronny’s $30,000 +.
“Joe, you’d never have a chance. Holyfield would knock you down in 30 seconds” ruled Bryan.
“I’d get up.”
“Before you said you’d never get knocked down.”
“I never said that, I said he’d never knock me out.”
“You think that Evander Holyfield hitting you full in the face wouldn’t knock you out?”
“It’s not like he’s Tyson.”
“He beat Tyson!” I shouted.
“You get the gloves, and I’ll do the fight.”
We laughed, Joe cursed, left, then came back in.
“Just you wait, I’m keeping track of who’s laughing. You’ll see, boys, you’ll see. Just wait till I get Johnny Canine in here and then we’ll see.”
Johnny Canine was a legitimately tough, burly man who had wrestled in Japan and the WWE. He was about 6 foot 2, 280 pounds, and would be tough to knock out with a baseball bat, let alone fists. He also had made it clear that, while he worked with Joe, he would happily knock out anyone who mocked him, Joe included.
“Oooh, ooh, can I be the first to knock him out after you knock him out Joe?”
“You can take Holyfield, so I’ll tell Johnny Canine you said you could knock him out no problem!” Bryan laughed. He was nutty and fearless enough to actually tell Canine this. Joe knew this as well as we did.
“I never said I’d fight Johnny Canine…”
“Well, it won’t be a problem if you do.”
“Ha ha, Bryan,” said a shaken Joe.
Bryan winked at me; Joe was on the ropes and ready to dive outta there. One more shot was all he needed.
“Don’t forget to say your prayers, train, and take your vitamins!”
“Who are you, Hulk Hogan? Fuckin’ pork farmers.”
With that, Joe wandered out the door to his private bathroom. If I said anything like what Bryan said, I would have had to legitimately fight Joe or gotten into a yelling match. For Bryan? Nothing. He was master of calling bullshit without calling the actual bullshit, bullshit. The only person who tolerated bullshit less was Curtis, Bryan’s brother. He arrived a few weeks later, and he and Bryan fought like brothers, but if someone else interfered, they honed in on the new target quickly. And they found plenty of targets at the school.