The Funny/Not-Funny Curse of a Martial Artist

“Oh, you’re a martial artist?”

“Yeah, long time.”

“Cool.  What would you do if I did this?” 

And they proceed to do all kinds of crazy physical attacks on you.  They grab you, punch at you, choke you, and kick you.  “Hey, check this out.  Let me get you in a headlock …”

Mmm.  No.

“What if; okay, say this is a gun.”  And they grab the closest thing, pointing a corded telephone receiver in your face, because its 1989.

You don’t see this with any other endeavor:

Like, “Oh, you’re an EMT?  What would you do if I did this?”  And they stab themselves in the chest with a pie knife. 

Or, “You play basketball?  What would you do if I did this?”  And they charge you in the paint, eh … kitchen, which makes you fall backwards into the oven.  Good thing the turkey’s done.

“I heard you do yoga.”  And it’s like that, right?  You “do” yoga.  “What would you think if I did this?”  And they attempt a headstand in the corner of your living room, smashing their head on the tile.  You know, because they’ve never attempted anything athletic in their life. 

“Ah, Jim told me you’re a seamstress.  That’s exciting, right?  Hey, what would you do if I did this?”  And they go all Hulk Hogan, right there in your dining room; shirt shredded.  “Watcha gonna do now, brother!”

Uh … I’m gonna go get Jim. “Hey, Jim?  I think Carol needs a glass of wine.  And … a shirt.”

No, this doesn’t happen, except with martial arts.  It’s like bumping into Dennis Hopper in Speed: “Pop quiz, hotshot!  What do you do?  What do you do!?” 

And here’s how it goes: you kindly deflect and they keep pressuring:  “No, come on.  If I just grabbed you here, by the collar and …” 

And you have to shut it down quickly, because you give them one answer and they come at you with three more versions and what about this or that.  Do not engage!

Meanwhile, you’re brain is like Walter Mitty, daydreaming of ripping his throat out, Roadhouse style.    

And you know what comes next.  That train is never late!  “I know a guy who could do a backflip and kick the backboard of a basketball court.”  Some guy who could out Bruce Lee, Bruce Lee.  They can’t remember his name, but dude, he’s a killer!  They always know a guy.

But, getting back to the question; “What would you do if …”

The answer is … there is no answer.  Unless its real, with all of the things reality brings with it.

Photo by Man Chung on Unsplash

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