Face or Gut?


Suggested Audio Candy:


[1] Public Enemy “Fight The Power”

[2] LL Cool J “Mama Said Knock You Out”



I’ve never really been much of a fighter. While others at school were battling daily for top dog supremacy; I was too busy keeping my head down to care. Please allow me to elaborate further. I wasn’t working, I was feigning dropping my pencil under the desk in order to catch a glimpse of any cotton white panties on parade. So I guess that makes me more of a lover right? Wrong again; I was one of those awkward teens who was still trying to find a way of growing into his skin. In my mind I was Don Juan DeMarco but, in harsh reality, I was more Don Rickles.


Only on a couple of occasions have I ever been required to butter up those knuckle sandwiches and I’m mighty proud of that statistic. I do, however, vividly recall the first time I was involved in an actual scrap. It was at boy scouts and their was a lad there who looked mighty similar to Ratman, you know, the Critter from the Shitter. I can’t remember exactly how he rubbed me up the wrong way but heated words were exchanged and it culminated in us planning a showdown to decide who was the man and who was the mouse.


As soon as I agreed to the face-off, I regretted my actions. You see, my father had planned to teach me how to throw a punch but it’s just one of the things he never got around to once his Multiple Sclerosis took hold. I didn’t have the vaguest idea how to even form a fist, let alone throw one, and it appeared that I was about to receive something of a baptism of fire. On the sole plus side, my opponent was also of the lightweight division and looked just as mortified by the plan as I. This was my moment to prove myself a man even though I was still awaiting the overdue arrival of that first pubic hair.

boxing gloves

As we vacated the scout hut, and I prayed that all the other kids had forgotten our planned rumble in the jungle, I was horrified to learn that it was still the major topic of discussion. The other boys huddled around us and began chanting “Fight…Fight!” whilst hedging bets on the victor and humming the Rocky theme tune, just for that added authenticity. It was then that I cursed not watching Enter The Dragon like other lads my age and perfecting the one-inch punch. My misspent youth had consisted of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre but I was sure that tenderizing him with a claw hammer and hanging him via meat hook in my slaughterhouse wasn’t acceptable practise so I decided instead to go in blind.


Neither of us looked like we relished the bout but it was already far too late to back out as failure to supply a satisfying spectacle would invariably bring great ridicule to us both. Reluctantly, we squared up, and it was my aggressor who threw the first punch. His clenched fist made clean contact with my starboard eye socket and caused a brief shell-shock effect as the flowing of ruptured cranial fluids inside my skull became the only discernible audio. Once I had refocused I was very much aware that another such like punch would be served up soon. My lanky adversary had already assembled a bunch of fours and the final digit was just about to click into place so I had to act fast. Still unsure on the science of street-fighting I unlocked my special move.


Keeper’s headlock. This little baby got me out of many tight squeezes during my adolescence and I spent hours each day after school perfecting it in my boudoir. I lunged towards my opposite number, grabbing his throat, and reeling him in for the all-important choke hold. Then something happened which I hadn’t prepared for. I heard Kill Bill sirens and saw red before slamming his head repeatedly against the nearest hard surface, in this case, the side of the building. The reverberations must’ve alerted the troop leader who ran outside and promptly gave me my marching orders. I took one look at my fallen opponent and another at the crowd, waiting to have my fist raised aloft and be crowned champion of the bout.

(c) National Galleries of Scotland; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

To my abject horror, they were all looking away in disgust and whispering of broken rules and disqualification. At that point I threw down my woggle, saluted the entire crowd with the third of my five digits, and wandered off home ranting to myself incoherently. Nobody had mentioned guidelines; as far as I had been concerned the last man standing won the belt. While I still hadn’t a clue how to form a fist, and was set to become an overnight pariah for my questionable fighting style, I had begun to master that choke hold and, in my mind, there had been only one winner to our skirmish.


There were one or two other bouts during my secondary scholarship but they turned out to be bland stalemates which left the baying crowd up in arms, as they were broken up before either party really got to grips with the other. Then, towards the end of my secondary school tenure, I received my first one-way hiding, and deserved it frankly. I decided to honk the left bosom of one of the more illustrious girls in class during an art lecture and knew from the very moment I cradled her breast in my hand that I was in for a sound pummeling. Said femme fatale was none other than the main squeeze of my nemesis, a heartless bully who had become better known under his battle pseudonym, The Pelican.


While the name suggested a gregarious water bird with an elongated bill and therefore nothing to fret about, I knew better as he had a win-loss record of 12-0 and each bout had ended in TKO. I waited anxiously for any repercussions and, when they weren’t forthcoming, felt more than a little relieved. Eventually my defenses dropped and it was then that the Big Boss began his Game of Death. Pulled aside in cafeteria and pinned by his a gaggle of his heavies, he delivered some uninspired verbal diarrhea about teaching me a lesson before dispatching his Fist of Fury. I guess that’s just the Way of the Dragon or, in this case, Pelican.


After a few blows to the cranium, his cronies unhanded me and my aggressor strolled off all alpha male while I clutched my face, secretly considering his punches to be relatively powder puff but making damned sure I didn’t vocalize said relief. Instead, I kept my thoughts to myself, picked up my tray of cafeteria slop, and sat back down at my lowly table while the whispering inaugurated. It had been worth the puny thwack as I had officially copped my first feel and earned myself a little adulation from the dweebs in the process. Oh yeah, that’s right…Keeper was King of the Dweebs.


My next scuffle was also warranted as I whisked a rather easy on the eye alley cat from under the nose of her corrupt cop beau, recently having surrendered his badge of honor and teeth already grinding. He was purely folklore as our courtship commenced and they had already gone their separate ways so I figured no harm, no foul right? Harm! Foul! Me and a handful of friends foolishly took up her invitation to a house party celebrating her birthday. Like lambs to the slaughter we took the bait and turned up in our finest pleated trousers, primed to engage in some serious pelvic mingling. Then, as I bumped and ground my sexy little kitten, I noticed a 6″3 man sitting in the corner percolating and cracking all ten of his knuckles.It just had to be him and, moreover, there was more than one chip on his shoulder. I counted a whole bag and it was also evident that his right eye was twitching uncontrollably; I presumed this to be rage. Dishearteningly, my presumptions were spot-on.


A short chase ensued, you know one of those start by walking and, as the footsteps grow progressively louder, shift up three gears kind of strolls. My buddies would have my back right? Wrong, they cowered like the yellow roosters they were while the heavy mob cornered me in a nearby garden. This was it. I was about to become the recipient of my first ever absolute shit kicking. There were three of them, five years my senior and just one of little old me, which meant that the odds were perilously stacked out of favor. I had to think lightning fast as I was evidently not getting away with a wag of the finger this time. So, when the first cuff landed, I assumed fetal positioning and feigned a whimper to ward them off. I received a few kickers to the rib cage but, once their appetites for destruction were sated, I grinned inside my fortified shell. Hardly a scratch, loss of dignity I could live with, but I had been expectant of rather more pain than they distributed. Chump change the lot of ’em. Hope they’re not reading this.


I only once initiated one-way carnage and felt godawful when I did. It was during my time running a retail outlet in a heaving shopping center and, in truth, had been building for some time. One of my co-workers was a young man who possessed precious little social acumen and a face contorted enough to give toddlers night terrors. We’re talking hooked nose and beady little eyes like soulless sequins. His lips were chapped and covered in cold-sores, while his frame bore uncanny resemblance to Abe from Oddworld. This gangly Gollum possessed arms and legs which were precisely the same width from top to bottom and he had been callously passed over when body proportion was dished out.


However, he did have something of a heart of gold and would do anything to help you out especially if that meant gaining bragging rights. Alas, smugness was his downfall, and he used information as ammunition for shooting others down as it appeared the only way for him to get ahead. One day he pushed me too far; spoiling the ending to Halloween Resurrection when I had specifically pleaded with him not to every day for three months. He just couldn’t hold it in any longer as he’d watched the film on pirate long before I could get to the cinema for its legitimate screening and it proved too much of a burning secret for him to hold onto any longer. Cue Kill Bill sirens.


With eyes uncharacteristically awash with deep red, I upraised the first environmental weapon I could get my hands on, in this case a half-depleted toilet roll, and commenced to bludgeon him upside his scaly cranium. Then I grabbed him in the famous Keeper headlock and dragged this charlatan outside by his turkey neck to make an example of him. I marched my tame victim about twenty yards through the bustling centre and flung him like a chewed-up cassette onto the marble flooring. For a moment I felt like the shit and stood over my quarry like a proud lion. After milking the adulation of my audience, of which I’m reasonably assured was disgust, for a few drawn-out moments, I took a slow deliberate stroll back to my corner to further scoff at his pathetic capitulation.


Moments later, as I sat in my throne receiving shoulder rubs from my colleagues, he waddled back inside with his head hung low and uttered the solitary word “sorry” in his typically snivelling tone, at which point I felt like Bastard of The Year. If I felt like a thug then it was only about to get worse as he pulled up his sweatshirt to reveal a gargantuan contusion right up one side of his ribs. I had now fast-tracked to Prick of the Decade. Needless to say, I made it up to him, bought him some lip balm, and listened to more of his incessant babbling about megawatts and gigabytes, even though dying inside. It seemed the least I could do and, of all my lifetime’s indiscretion, this ranks pretty high in the shame stakes. Should he be reading this now then I would like to thank him for spoiling the end of Halloween Resurrection and only ask that next time he simply tell me it sucks assholes as he could have saved me 94 minutes of infuriation.

Drunk Punches


punch drunk love_640


Lower your guard please reveal me that chin
I promise to play by the rules
The last man standing will pocket the win
there are judges on-hand for close calls


I regard myself more of a giver than taker
thus I shall supply our first flurry
fret not I’m incapable of the haymaker
I really don’t wish you to worry


The one tool I possess is a choke hold no less
I use it in extreme frustration
should things be one-sided I may then grow stressed
and thus opt for asphyxiation


Please try to stay calm there’s no need for alarm
I’m a lover no wish to be fighter
all things considered I mean you no harm
I’m too much of a lovable blighter



That’s about it with regards to melee. There have been a couple of other tussles but nothing of any great note and I’ve been surprisingly fortunate with my lack of beatings, both supplied and demanded. No broken bones or ruptured spleens to report although I did once chip a tooth biting one adversary’s hand as he attempted to relinquish himself from…you guessed it…the Keeper headlock. All these years later, I would never dream of raising a hand in anger, and I’m more than happy for my lean spell to continue, as it really is far more fun being a lover. Plus I like my teeth in my face. Unwarranted violence sickens me to my core and, while nothing cheers my soul more than watching a group of co-eds decimated by a juggernaut, in reality I’m as docile as they come. So…face or gut? Just go ahead and plant one in my kidney as I guess I’ve got that coming. Hey! I distinctly recall saying kidney.








  1. Keeper, I much prefer lovers over fighters! Too much testosterone makes one treat us ladies as their little women! Go fix me something to eat while ur barefoot and preggers he says!!! Sorry, just my bad experiences I guess! Haha!
    I would love to learn the keeper’s Holy Headlock, might come in handy! Xoxo

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