Like most people I know, I lack discipline. And patience. And skills.
None of these attributes help when you find yourself in that situation where you really, really wish you could drop a bomb of utter bad-assedness in a completely surprising way. Here’s an example: you’re leaving a restaurant with a bunch of friends, having just enjoyed a fine meal, great conversation, what have you. As you cross the parking lot, some filthy sleazebag walks up with a knife/gun/machete in his hands, a wild look in his eyes and immediately demands that you hand over all your wallets. Unbeknownst to your friends, you’ve been quietly practicing various forms of martial-arts in your limited free time, and with little more than a sigh and rolling of your eyes, you completely incapacitate the bastard in three moves; you then act like it was no more than pushing a crosswalk signal button. Your friends stare in complete disbelief as the would-be mugger moans with multiple fractures and a crushed spleen, and there you are, nonchalant as a cup of black coffee, and you calmly state “….and you were saying?”
Who DOESN’T want that capability?
But, as stated earlier, I’m too fundamentally lazy to master a martial art in my spare time. I would be utterly incapable of keeping my mouth shut if I had reached master-level status of any sort of kick-ass skills. I’d threaten anyone who looked at me wrong, be they little old ladies walking with a stoop or my own children. These threats would be my undoing because, really, who goes around threatening their children with throat chops and shin kicks? People who get reported to the authorities, that’s who.
Nonetheless, I’d like to be able to quote the Bible in Hebrew, Aramaic & Greek, so that when arguing with someone about the sin of Harry Potter or those crazy people who find love with someone of the same sex, I could trounce their ass with informed debate. I wish I knew enough about Middle Eastern cultures that it made sense to me when shiites and sunnis go at it like maniacs. I’d like to be able to open a conversation with “so I was machining the new flywheel on my lathe when…..”. When hostage negotiations begin, I’d like to receive a call from The Mayor as the last, best hope. When the St. Louis Blues Hockey Club makes a pitch for me to play starting defense next season, I’d like to be able to politely decline, citing the rigors of life on the road and my responsibilities as a parent. I’d like my opinions to be the source of debate on talk radio, with hosts crying and screaming at the thought of logical, rational thought taking over partisan bullshit. I’d like to go to some random holiday party, find an unused piano lolling about in the living room and strike up a rendition of Piano Man that gets the party-goers into some sort of karaoke-frenzy.
All of the aforementioned attributes would have to be the result of years of study and an exercise in mastery of skill sets. I have no such capabilities nor time to devote to mastery beyond the characters in Transformers, if only so that I can keep up with the conversations of The Heathens. One must know his Transformers, and so I do. That, and random pop culture trivia minutiae that allows me to compete from the firehouse on such shows as “Celebrity Jeopardy” (“this day comes after Thursday and before Saturday”) and Cash Cab (“in what city is The Statue of Liberty?”).
I’m just waiting for the day I get called to compete on Non-Celebrity Jeopardy and get the opportunity to showcase my ability to recall worthless facts about bands from the 80’s. How I’m gonna showcase my hidden martial-arts skills while on the set is still up for debate.