Slim Jim Dojo, Part 1

More fiction! The story about the dojo and the towel was originally told to me by my brother when he was studying Aikido. The idea came after the end of a closing-night celebration, when I did in fact have a Slim Jim in hand.

Slim Jim Dojo

At some point in his life, somebody—maybe a brother or friend or teacher—told Daniel Jacob about martial arts dojos in Japan.

Specifically, they told him how students were permitted, and even encouraged, to form groups of up to four students to gang up and attack one of the dojo’s masters at any time. The thrashings that the students inevitably received were wonderfully educational, and they probably helped to keep the students humble and docile.

The most memorable of these assaults involved a group of students who attacked their teacher while he was in the bath. Daniel thought it seemed like the best possible time to attack a vastly superior fighter; the master would be wet and soapy and slippery and nude, none of which would likely help out in a pitched battle.

The master beat up his students with a towel.

This story came back to Daniel at an inopportune time. It was 2:35 a.m. on a Saturday, and he was walking home extremely drunk after a long night at the Ox and Feather. A half a block prior he had stopped at a 7-11 to purchase a Slim Jim and a bottle of Gatorade as a hedge against the hangover that awaited in the morning.

He stumbled upon a bickering couple, and reasoning that the whiplike rope of meat in his hands would be just as mighty a weapon as a Japanese towel, decided that the female of the couple required his intoxicated saving. “Hey… Buddly,” he slurred. “Whydonu… be a bibby… rethpect!”

A disinterested observer would have seen the man roll his eyes and put his hands on the woman’s shoulder to guide her away from this appalling display. Drunk Daniel, however, realized that the man was pulling back to slug him.

Catlike, he slashed the man’s face with his Slim Jim.

“Fuck! My eye!”

And then the man was charging, one hand on his scratched eye and one in a moon-sized fist, so Daniel spun his Slim Jim in what would no doubt function as an impenetrable iron shield. Then his Gatorade was flying toward the man (rotating meat only protects from one direction) and it bopped him on the forehead. Daniel switched the rotation to a more aggressive position so that it sliced down straight in front of his body. The meat missed the man by several feet, but Daniel’s fist came down on the top of his head, knocking him senseless to the ground.

As the gallant victor, Daniel assumed that the girl was his prize. He shook his head in a gesture of suave heroism and offered her his arm.

She slapped his face with impressive force.

“Oh,” he said with a pathetic whimper. Sensing there was nothing else for him here, Daniel shambled away down the street and eventually even to his apartment, while the woman cared for her fallen boyfriend.

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