Fighting Words

By: Neil Pasricha

I will have no problem doing it. I will have no problem taking Tyson Dale’s face in my palm like a bowling ball, my four fingers lodged hard and firm into the upper cavity of his throat, my thumb screwed tightly into the damp recesses of his nose, holding him tightly in my unrelenting power grip of pain and pressure. I will probably squeeze my entire hand together a few times, both to show the onlookers my rippled biceps and to let Tyson Dale know that I am the boss and that I will make his eyes droop awkwardly and his face look funny if I want to. I will squeeze my hand and it will look like he is yawning and getting ready for bed. “I am tired,” it will look like he is saying, my hand forcing his eyes back into their sockets as he swipes weakly at my arm. “Sing me a lullaby.” It will be funny for me to see him like that. To know that he is actually furious at his predicament but at the same time looking up at me like he is tired and looking to take a quick nap. I am going to have to remember not to picture him in pajamas or I will laugh.

I am planning on using my teeth. I read in a men’s magazine that human teeth are one of our best defenses but most people do not usually think of using them when they are in a fight. The article that mentioned this was well laid out and was called “That’s a crock!” It was about an American tourist who barely survived a fight with an Indian crocodile while on an ecotourist getaway. He bit the crocodile’s eye out in a desperate attempt to disable the reptile and ended up sending him rolling down the sandy river bank into the Ganges. The picture beside the article had the tanned bare-chested tourist smiling in some blue swimming trunks while holding the crocodile eye in front of his own. I saw it in a men’s magazine and I intend to use it. I will see if I can get my own picture with Tyson Dale’s eye. I will see if I can fight Tyson Dale near a sandy river bank in order to send him rolling down it.

Tyson Dale thinks that it’s funny to steal my Ventolin inhaler and pump it out into the classroom. He thinks it’s funny to waste my expensive prescription medication. He took my Ventolin from my pencil case when I went to bathroom on Thursday and pumped it out. I knew that he did it because I could smell the Ventolin in the air when I got back. I looked at my pencil case and it had “Do Not Open: Fart Enclosed!” written on it. I looked at Tyson Dale and he just smiled at me. For a second I thought he had actually enclosed a fart in my pencil case and I did not want to open it. Then I realized that it would be too logistically complex to inconspicuously fart into a pencil case during class. I realized that, instead, he just stole and wasted my medicine. He stole something that I need to live. My breathing gun, is what my mom and I call it. He stole my breathing gun. “Where’s your breathing gun?” she’ll call out as I grab my lunch and head out the door. “I got it mom,” I’ll yell back. “I have my gun.”

That is why I think stealing Tyson Dale’s eye will be fair revenge. I had to go to the office to call my mom so she could bring me another breathing gun when I finished the rest of mine. Tyson Dale does not even need to call his mom to bring him another eye. He can start using his good eye right away. He might have to turn his head a bit to see all the homework on the blackboard, but he definitely won’t have to embarrass himself by asking the school secretary if he can use the phone.

“That’s a crock!” also had sidebar with shorter stories about other people who have lived to tell of heroic fights with animals. A businessman visiting Ethiopia went on a guided tour of a lake to see flamingos, but ended up getting his motor boat attacked by a hippo. The animal bit into his boat and his tour guide fell backwards into the water. Just as the hippo was swimming around the boat towards the guide the businessman took off his Tilley Hat and wedged it down the animal’s throat, causing it to gag and swim away. He helped the guide back into the boat and they continued on their trip. The businessman said it wasn’t worth going to see flamingos in the wild anyway, since they are not even pink because there is not much shrimp for them to eat in Ethiopia. He recommended just going to the zoo. I think that is a good recommendation. I also think it is a good recommendation to always wear a Tilley Hat to a fight in case you need to wedge it down the throat of your opponent. I am planning on wearing one to the fight, in case I need to wedge it down Tyson Dale’s throat.

I have found that the top of a shot glass is a pretty good double for an eye cavity because it is about the same size, it is hard and circular, and has a deep space in the middle. What I do is I put a spoon of honey in the shot glass and then a peeled grape on top of that. The honey keeps the grape from wobbling about and it gives it a thick cushion so you can push it around a bit without knocking it out. It is not far from a real eye. With some practice I am able to suck the grape out of the shot glass in under ten seconds with my hands behind my back. When Tyson Dale and I crash to the ground in a kicking and punching mess of snot, denim and hair, I will focus on getting him into my unrelenting power grip of pain and pressure and then I will aim my mouth right at his eye. I will picture the shot glass, with his cold and beady grape daring me and challenging me to toss one back.

And then, when I’m ready, I will toss one back.

And that will be the end of Tyson Dale.


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