Tuesday, June 06, 2006

NavelGazing and ThumbSucking Begone!

This old blog is kind of a cross between a Christmas letter and Dear Diary, but so what? The life you have lived is the life you've got. I read what I wrote yesterday and I think: sad but true. So just to add some ballast -- to compensate for the list to port, as it were -- I will include a bit from an email I got from Birney Jarvis who was a reporter at the Chronicle for part of the time I was there. I won't even provide much context for this other than to say Birney remains the only journalist I know who prepped for the job by being a Hell's Angel. Sometimes some of the kids ask if the news business really was a little less inhibited in the old days, at which point I tell about Birney and the Six-Inch Punch one afternoon in the old M&M, the newspaper bar just down from the Chron.

That's context enough. In media res, people.

I only hit the man in the M&M once--and that was because he had knocked Jerry and the young lady (whose name I can't recall) backwards by his interruption. In my Hell's Angels days, things might have been different.... As to the dog, I was very lucky and, perhaps, so was the beast. I was backing away and punches lack steam when doing so. I hit the dog hard enough to snap a small bone in my hand, and in my hey-day that would not have happened because karate-ka (experts; I am a 7th Dan) "train" their hands, literally, by smashing them against makawara boards and bricks and boards, while toughening the skin by punching buckets of salt-seasoned gravel. Ah, for the Good Ol' Days.

Birney, he moved down to Alabama years and years ago where I believe his wife's people owned some property, and, you know, he says recently he joined the church and got baptized. Anyway, the dog was a pit bull belonging to a neighbor down there in Alabama that came at him. (The dog came at him. If the neighbor had come at him, I would have written "who.")

Birney turned the other cheek but that was just to line up the punch.

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