that’s when it hit me
(originally posted 4/23/2020)
It was a great slap. Anger transformed into a long graceful arc of her arm. Her palm catching me flush in the face. Textbook form. Despite my need to remain composed a single tear escaped my right eye and made its way down my burning cheek.
I had made a comment I shouldn’t have, but it was out before I could corral it.
She’d had a relative pass away. A relative that was “intellectually disabled.” I wanted to offer words of solace but the first thing that popped into my head was how relieved I was that, because of the self-quarantining going on, we wouldn’t have to go to the funeral. She was unamused.
Then she got really unamused when I added “What would anyone even say at the eulogy? Bring up moments when she was particularly retarded?”
I don’t know why I said it out loud. I’m a horrible person, but usually I can keep it under wraps.
Later, trying to make lemonade from lemons, I told her how impressed I was with her slap. She was a natural slapper. With some training I said that I thought she could be a champ.
Later that same day, almost on cue, I ended up reading about slap boxing, a sport where open handed slaps are used instead of fists. The article mentioned that the Russian champ Vasily Kamotskiy would be headlining an upcoming tournament only a few towns over.
Amateurs were welcome to enter and compete.
That got me to thinking…
Soon I was helping my girlfriend train. Morning, noon and night. It was right out of a Rocky movie. Raw eggs and everything. I explained that it wasn’t the size of the person slapping, it was all in the form. She is a total ‘women’s empowerment’ fan so I got her believing that she could out out-slap anyone, male or female. In fact, being a girl they would probably go easier on her and she could make them pay for such condescension.
It was all very exciting. I had made her a believer.
The day of the tournament we got up early and watched Karate Kid IV to get her in the mood. Girl power! After a healthy breakfast loaded with carbs we jumped in the car and headed over to the rec center that was holding the contest.
The parking lot was packed. I guess this Vasily Kamotskiy was a bit of a celebrity even here in the US.
What’s great about slap boxing is you don’t have to buy gear or wear anything special. Just show up and start slapping.
My girlfriend’s first match was a mountain of a man. Easily 300 lbs, arms ripped from the pages of Excessively Muscular Magazine and sporting a lumberjack beard that made him look like he had some grizzly bear DNA in him somewhere. I certainly wouldn’t have wanted to be standing in my girlfriend’s shoes.
Unfortunately the massive gentleman won the toss and would be slapping first. He reared back and let loose with a viscous blow that took my girlfriend’s head clean off.
No exaggeration. He literally slapped her head off her shoulders and it bounced into parts unknown. Blood fountained up dramatically from her shoulders and then her body collapsed into a heap.
I sprang into action and, following the trail of blood, located her head under a table. Her eyes were still twitching in their sockets. I only had a few seconds…
I picked it up by the hair so she was facing me. “You shouldn’t have slapped me!” I yelled at her head. “Violence doesn’t solve anything.”
Her lips moved ever so slightly. I could see the lights going out so I added “Who’s the retarded one now?”
Everyone was looking at me. Shocked. It was awkward. I’m a horrible person, but usually I can keep it under wraps. I handed her head to an EMT.
“Everybody understands a slap in the face.”
-Jean-Clause Van Damme