Friday, February 26, 2021

Andy Young: Battling injustice over February vacation

By Andy Young

Special to The Windham Eagle

Like many high school English teachers hoping to improve the quality of their students’ writing, I frequently require the youngsters in my classes to, well, actually write. This week they were asked to prepare a factual and/or fanciful account of something that occurred over their just-completed school vacation. Here’s one of those essays. 

I had hoped to relax over the break, but fate had other plans.

While walking past the skate park one afternoon, I saw a child of perhaps 10 or 11 years old talking to two large, bearded men in their early 20’s. I was enchanted by the heartwarming sight of a pair of husky individuals taking the time to encourage an aspiring skateboarder. But that idyllic outlook changed when the larger of the two leather-jacketed behemoths grabbed the lad by the front of his Red Sox hoodie, began shaking him, and bellowed, “Hand over your wallet, kid! NOW!

Martin Luther King famously said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” What I saw was clearly unjust, so I had to intervene. “Hey!” I shouted. “Leave him alone!”

“Butt out, punk,” the guy manhandling the child said to me, in an infuriatingly condescending tone. Staying cool, I repeated, “I said, put him down and leave him alone.” 

Sporting a sleeveless vest emblazoned with, “Savage Skulls M.C.” on the back, the mugger strode slowly in my direction. “Who’s gonna make me leave him alone?” he demanded.

Rising to my full 5 feet 5 inches, I looked up at him and heard myself quietly say, “Me, apparently.”

Guffawing loudly and rudely, the dull-witted bully said to his thuggish companion, “Hey Butch. Check out the tough guy here!”

Sauntering toward me, the first gorilla launched a roundhouse right in my direction, which I’m sure he later realized was an incredibly huge mistake. Ducking the punch, I grabbed his left wrist, and with a quick yank pulled his shoulder completely out of its socket. As he howled in agony I thrust my knee up into his groin. Suddenly he wasn’t a foot taller than I was anymore.

His 6’8”, 350-pound friend looked at his gasping sidekick, pulled out a pair of nunchucks, and menacingly growled, “You’re going to be very sorry you did that, Pee-Wee.” Ironically I already was sorry, since even in extreme situations like this one I detest having to visit physical pain upon another human being. But when the hulking goon with a swastika tattooed on his forehead came at me, I had no choice. Launching my 135-pound body into the air, I aimed the steel toe of my left work boot directly at his Adam’s apple, and connected with a sickening crunch. Landing on my feet after turning a full mid-air somersault, I thrust my clenched left fist directly into his sternum, which cracked like an egg. His shrieks of anguish were probably audible in New Hampshire. 

I’m not proud of what happened next. It wasn’t very good role modeling. With the tiny, wide-eyed elementary schooler looking on, I kicked that Nazi right in the face, then left him unconscious and bleeding on the sidewalk.

After making sure the pint-sized skateboarder was okay, I brushed off my jacket and resumed my nature walk.

For the rest of the vacation, I just chilled, played video games, and facetimed with my girlfriend. And on Tuesday my mom and me got takeout Chinese food. The Salmon Lo Mein was heavenly.

I’d really love to know if the events described in that essay actually happened. But more importantly, I’m wondering which local restaurant has Salmon Lo Mein on its takeout menu. <

No comments:

Post a Comment