diary of a professional antagonist
How Not To Fight for Your Life
I recently participated in a fight-to-the-death styled competition. With the rent looming and an ever increasing debt the only two things to my name that anyone really cared about, I figured I had nothing to lose. Besides, when that’s all you’ve got you’re in pretty decent shape to knock ten colors of shit out of anyone. Thing is I’ve never been much of a fighter. Sure, I’d been in a few scrapes and predatorily attacked some homeless men for kicks, but as I committed my John Hancock to the flimsy looking contract I realized that in a fight-to-the-death competition the opposition are likely well equipped for battle, and also have just as much to lose. Fuck it, I thought, you only live once and it’s good to try new things.
This post has been two weeks or so in the writing, simply because my hands are fucked beyond belief and half of the time the damage done to my brain sends signals to the wrong nerves, and so, for example, the desire to press the ‘A’ button can very easily result in my doctor getting a kick in the balls as he checks my chart. I’ve managed to land more shots and do more injury to the hospital staff since I was admitted than I did in the entire tournament, which had a particular bent to it that I wasn’t entirely aware of at the time of signing up.
I was brought to a house in the hills, blindfolded and led down a corridor with a selection of doors. I was then told that an opponent was behind each one and I would have to ‘do battle’ against three to be awarded the title ‘he who shall continue living his shitty life’ and get the $200 prize money. $200? Something was off. The poster outside the 7-11 had clearly stated a $50 entry fee and a winner takes all $1,000 grand prize. I queried this and was told that overheads, admin costs, charitable donations and the cleaning bill had to be factored in. The logic was sound on their part and I started to do the math on how far two hundred bucks was going to carry me.
Opponent one revealed the particular twist that this tournament boasted. I entered the room only to be faced with a chair made out of teak wood. The red L.E.D. of an old fashioned CCTV camera was blinking high up in one corner of the room and a voice blaring through a cacophony of feedback on the busted, old intercom said that in no more than two strikes was I to render the object before me useless or I would be beaten with it until a member of their staff called ‘the score settler’ had achieved the same result. I asked how that qualified this as a fight-to-the-death tournament. All the cunt on the intercom said back to me was that the printer had made a mistake and the wrong posters were put up – it was in actuality a fight-to-stay-alive tournament, which to me still sounded like the potential for death was there, except the odds were now totally loaded against me. Bad enough the prize money was down, it suddenly had become clear that I wasn’t even going to get a chance to beat the piss out of some stranger – I was the stranger.
The teak chair didn’t give at all, not even a creak out of it. I might as well have been trying to break water; not like a pregnant woman fit to burst, I mean literally ‘break’ water. Then some big, masked fucker trudged in, who I pegged as the score settler, and, panting, out of breath from my feeble effort, I watched as he picked up the chair and hit me so hard that I was momentarily transported to a tunnel of white light where all of my ancestors and dead relatives were standing looking at me, shaking their heads and chanting, “seriously, you stupid fuck?” Someone then turned out the white light and I was back scrambling about in my own blood and knew I was probably in trouble.
As you’ve correctly guessed by now, the other two rooms were no different and it seemed my desperation to cause harm to someone else, just so I could feel good about myself, had backfired and brought me considerable pain. Words cannot describe the pain and violence which followed, so I’ll spare you, and my struggling fingers, the attempt. All I’ll say is I don’t believe in karma or that ‘do unto others’ lark, but for some reason that’s all that was bouncing between the two neurons that were still operational as I came to. Through the blood in my ears I could hear what sounded like a bunch of frat boys watching repeat footage of my endurance test, at which point the penny dropped and the legitimacy of said tournament became clear. I probably should have seen it coming.
After feeling made its unwelcome return in the form of agonizing pain I was forced to look on the bright side and told myself, so what if those bastards laughed and chugged beers and so what if they go on to upload that shit to the internet and make a bunch of money off it? That doesn’t count for shit long term because I know that I showed those fuckers what a real man was made of, and I know that I was the only man who could hold his head up high as he dragged himself out of there with $200 of their hard earned cash in his back pocket. Remember, having paid fifty bucks to enter I left there having quadrupled my money! I guess there are some men you just can’t keep down, and now I’m one of them, even if I’m pissing blood and look like a fucking microwaved jellyfish. Renewed and replenished with this new confidence, and a justified sense of manliness, I’m hell bent on returning for revenge some day, but for now I’ve a colostomy bag that needs emptying.