Saturday, August 31, 2013

Breaking Up is Hard to Do

"It's too tough boss," my prized fighter said.
"You've almost got this," I said massaging his shoulders.
"I'm not as good as I thought I was."
"Don't let it mess with your head."
"I'm tired."
"You can do this!" 

With some fights all you have to do is enter the ring and your opponent topples to the ground like a fallen oak tree. Other fights are battles with an enemy who won't stop fighting, won't stop attacking, won't stop being an aggressive jerk. Unfortunately, the fight at hand was not the former type. If it had been, this story would over by now. Nope, this fight belonged to the latter category, the hard, fight-to-the-death one. The only unknown was: who was going to die first? 

The fighters in the ring were formidable. In my corner was my protege and fighter--Mr. Wonderful--the best all-around Mixed Martial Artist, DIY destroyer. And I, I, was his manager, trainer and biggest fan. In the opposite corner was his formidable foe--The Slab. 

After breaking down the concrete and the sarcophagus walls, all that was left to destroy was The Slab. 

"I've got this," Mr. Wonderful said bouncing on the balls of his feet hungry to enter the ring.
"Thor's hammer will take care of The Slab," I said confidently passing the tool to my fighter. "In my day I used this to knock down the sarcophagus walls." Mr. Wonderful nodded, then putting his trust in me started swinging. He swung that hammer left, right and six times to Sunday but nothing worked. The Slab reflected each battering ram as if it had been a feather brushing against Half Dome.

The bell rang and Mr. Wonderful darted to his corner and hollered.
"It's not working!"
"I see that," I said because I had witnessed every deflection of The Slab's formidable nature.
"Now what?" my prized fighter shouted from the ring.
"The drill."
"I don't have a drill bit that big!"
"Size," I said wiping my fighter's face, "Is irrelevant. All that matters is what you do with the drill. Harness its power!" I said handing him the tool.

After finding a drill bit the size of the Statue of Liberty, Mr. Wonderful rammed the drill into The Slab. He brrr'ed, whrr'ed and qzvrr'ed throwing his muscular, massaged shoulders into this attack. His efforts were impressive, his strength was massive but there was one problem.


"It's not breaking!" Mr. Wonderful said when the bell rang. 
"I see that," I said because my eyesight was 20/20. Indeed, The Slab was a very worthy foe. "It's a lot stronger that the worst enemy I ever faced in the ring," I said reminiscing on the previous day when I single-handedly broke up the sarcophagus walls. Ah! The good old days. So much could change in a day!
"Now what?" my fighter said his words tinged with fear. I felt the fear too, a growing realization that after all we'd done to clean the clock of this opponent we'd still have to admit defeat. But as they say in MMA demolition: It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings and… we had't heard the aria yet.
"Use the jackhammer."
"The 25 pounder?" 
"The 75-pound jackhammer!" I said as Mr. Wonderful sagged against the ring's ropes. 
"That's a lot of jackhammer." 

Never was there a truer sentence. I'd discovered how heavy the tool was when I rented the thing from the home improvement store. I couldn't lift it into my car alone. In fact, I needed eight pudgy 20-Somethings to get it into my vehicle.

Ringside once again, I helped lower the 75 pounder to my fighter. 
"If this doesn't work," I said "Nothing will." I watched him hoist the blade between his feet while standing atop The Slab.
"So," he said wilting under the weight of the machine. "This is your last idea?"
"That's right, kid. Make it worth it. Or you'll end up on you tail back in Topeka, Kansas."
He nodded. I handed him earplugs. I pushed the power cord into the electrical socket. He squeezed the handles. The machine blasted, belting out a tune every fat lady loved. Using all his weight, Mr. Wonderful steered it into The Slab. The jackhammer's blade sunk into the concrete. It worked! Then it stopped.

"Keep going! It's working!" I said jumping up and down.
"It's heavy."
"I know. Exactly 75 pounds heavy." I saw the exhaustion in his body and face. "Show this opponent who's boss and make that machine sing," I said handing my fighter a glass of water. He guzzled it down, nodded and promptly made confetti of The Slab.


How the fat lady sang! There's nothing as beautiful as a fat lady singing. Except perhaps a pit in your backyard that is concrete-slab free.



"You beat The Slab!" I said dancing around Mr. Wonderful. My champ nodded then collapsed on the sofa. Tomorrow he'll tell this tale of how he beat The Slab but until then, I'll leave him be so he can hear the fat lady belting out that beautiful aria in his dreams.