I’m a longtime fan of action movies. Some people like action movies for the explosions or the tension, or the unbelievability of it all. While those are all good things, especially the unbelievability of them, it’s the individual fight scenes between two fairly even opponents that fascinates me. That is what most action movies seem to forget. Fans like me want to be able to see a significant fight between the protagonist and the antagonist. There have been a few standouts in action movie history in my mind. There was John McClane vs. Karl. While Hans Gruber was the main nemesis, it was Karl who physically gave John McClane a run for his money. Then there was the mathematically equal match of Neo and Agent Smith in the Matrix. There was Sean Archer and Castor Troy in Face/Off.
I’ve been teaching my son to fight since he was little (or more accurately he begs me to wrestle with him all the time) so I have done much to train him in his quest to be the world’s greatest wrestler/ninja/street brawler/karate champ/fight club champion/gun slinger/action hero star. While my real world knowledge of fighting (a 0 out of 1 record involving one sucker punch) is severely lacking, I have extensive action movie knowledge to draw from so I can teach him how to fight. Things I have taught him are: Punch/counter punch, defense creates offense, stay low, gain the higher ground. I’ve taught him how to block and fake punch. However, my best advice by far is that anything can be a weapon. I’ve been teaching him that lately. So for instance, if you lose your sword, grab anything in room that is available. If it is sand, throw it in their eyes. The other day, when we were tromping around the house, I found an empty bread bag, and started swinging it at him. While it wouldn’t have taken him down against a sword, I could have distracted him enough for me to get a bread kneader or a plate to throw at him.
It all came to a head yesterday, when remote control of the house was at stake. As you have probably heard, the remote control hierarchy at my house is Mom, Son, Daughter, visitors, neighbors, hamster, then me. But when mom is gone all bets are off. She left for a while so the epic struggle for the remote was at hand. Normally I relent because I usually watch the same cartoons as they do, but today was NBA tip-off and the Spurs were on. I would not be denied. However, the Cartoon Network was calling sonny boy, so we fought. I reached for the remote, but he grabbed it before me. I got in my ninja stance and we did the remote control face off.
I lunged for the remote, he blocked with his left hand. I did a twisty 360 followed by a “Ha!” He reached out with his other hand a grabbed a Minecraft Sword, while I reached for cardboard tube. We clanged swords in an intricate dance of cardboard on foam. Eventually the soft rubber spikes overtook plain cardboard of my old wrapping paper roll and he descends on me. While I flail on the ground, I grab some dirty clothes and fling them at him and cause his to drop his sword, and the remote. When I reach for the remote, he puts his foot down and grabs a Nerf gun and shoots a dart, but misses and he has no spares. He jumps back to get more ammo, while I grab a basket. He shoots his ammo at me, but I block with the Longaberger basket, though with the hole in the bottom of the basket, one dart gets stuck just 3 mm from my face. I do a backwards somersault and throw the basket to the side. He abandons the gun and I chase him to the kitchen.
He grabs a freshly washed knife from the dishwasher, while I grab a dirty fork from the sink. We knife/fork fight for a while until he backs me up against the refrigerator. Just as he is about to swing the fatal blow, I open the fridge door to block him and the knife knocks down all the drawings on the fridge and it makes him slip. I finally get ahold of the remote and start switching the channel, but the button is stuck. So I have to change the channel one at a time. This gives the boy time to get up and he tries to wrestle me to the ground while I am furiously trying to get the channel switched to TNT. Just as I get to Channel 645(one channel above TNT) he pulls his Nerf Gun up, with one remaining dart and says, “Not one more channel. Drop the remote, or I make the last dart count!”
I slowly drop the remote, he grabs it, sits down on the comfy La-Z-Boy, one hand on the remote, and one with his Nerf Gun. He changes the channel to Cartoon Network. I sit down exhausted, defeated, and without hope. I sit in the uncomfortable chair, my back still killing me, out of breath. Then it occurs to me. Anything can be a weapon. “Buddy, give me the remote, or you’ll have a time out.” He whines, protests, but eventually puts his gun down, hands over the remote, and I get to watch the game…until Mom walks in the door and the remote goes back to where it belonged in the first place. With mom.
Bitter Remote Control Loser Ben