Location: Montreal

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Teddy Facepuncher

I was fourteen. All my friends were fourteen except for one who was thirteen. Teddy Facepuncher was definintley not fourteen. He was only a few grades ahead of us in school but dude looked like he was twenty. Maybe he was. Impossible to tell. Not a lot was known about Teddy but these were the facts we had:
1 - He smoked. (We smoked sometimes too, but not the way Teddy smoked. He didn't use his hands, he just put the cigarette in his mouth, lit it and devoured the fumes, exhaling usually out of his nose. It wasn't dissimilar to how Cookie Monster ate cookies.)
2 - He was never more than a few feet away from his dirtbike, which was lime green, had crappily painted black lightning bolts on each side, looked a hundred years old and was louder than Satan's lawnmower chewing marble grass at the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
3 - He was rarely at school (even though he lived exactly two blocks from the school.)
4 - He was always, always hanging out behind the corner store (which wasn't actually on a corner, but was called The Corner Store nonetheless.)
5 - He loved, loved punching people in the face.

I've personally witnessed Teddy punch seven people in the face. One was our gym teacher, who Teddy punched outside of a school dance. Most were just guys Teddy fought behind the store. One was my friend Marco, who Teddy punched for standing too close to his bike, (he cried). {Marco cried, not Teddy.} He was a bully and a villian in every sense. His games were intimidation and humiliation, and he played them with ease.

But by far the best/worst thing about Teddy was that his actual, real, honest to God last name was Facepuncher.
I shit you not.
It's in the yearbook.

This was the topic of many a weekend afternoon debate. Did he punch faces just because that was his namesake and he was trying to live up to it? Or was his ability to apply knuckles to the frontside of your head innate? Was he born punching? What if he were born Teddy Treeclimber? Or Teddy Sucksatnintendo? Or Teddy Highfives? Would that change anything?

The usual protocol for us anytime Teddy was near was to give him a wide berth. Cross the street, walk faster, keep your eyes down. It helped that you could hear his bike coming from several blocks away. I wasn't sure if I thought he was cool or scary or both or something else entirely. But that day in November, as we were leaving the store with comic books and matches and Jolt Cola, I became sure of one thing. I wanted Teddy to punch me in the face. I wanted Teddy to punch me in the face for four reasons:
1 - I'd never been punched in the face before, and figured if you're gonna go, go with the best.
2 - So I could prove to Marco that he really was a pussy for crying for so long after Teddy punched him in the face.
3 - Maybe getting punched by Teddy would transfer some of his cool scariness over to me and in turn..
4 - Impress Janine Miller/make Janine Miller feel sorry for me and let me put my hand up her shirt.

We weren't more than a few steps out of the store's entrance when we heard the familiar, mangled roar of Teddy's shitbike. I turned to Marco and asked him to hold my Jolt Cola. Why, he asked. Because I have something to say to Teddy, I replied. He gave me the same yeahwhatever look he gave me a hundred times a day, but he held my stuff for me regardless. Teddy had just zipped past us and was leaning his kickstandless bike against the front of the store. We were about ten feet away, far inside or usual sphere of Teddy avoidingness. I took a step toward him.
"Hey Teddy...", I yelled.
He turned and I assume he glared at me.
It was hard to tell through his sunglasses (that he was wearing despite it being gray and almost raining and November. He raised his arms from his sides slightly, striking a 'What the fuck, kid?' kind of pose.
I inhaled.
I exhaled.
"Eat shit, Teddy."

I couldn't see or hear Marco and the others, but i assumed they had scattered. Jumped the ditch and scrambled a few feet into the woods, where they could watch the murder from a safe distance. I couldn't turn and see for sure because my eyes were fixed on the angrt denim juggernaut barreling towards me. This was it. A few steps more and he raised his fist and I swear to Metroid the second before he launched it he was wearing the only smile I'd ever seen cross his face.

Obviously I hit the ground. Tits up on the dirty pavement. I could taste blood and everything sounded weird, noise warping around my head in some kind of arc like that time i slipped and cranked my head on the ice in the third grade. Teddy was still standing above me. His fist had landed on my left cheekbone/side of my nose. He looked down at me, taking a drag of the cigarette I hadn't even noticed until I was on the ground. Victory smoke. It was then that I realized why he'd smiled right before flattening me. Because I was giving him what he wanted most. A face to punch. I was helping him continue to be what he had always been. Teddy Facepuncher. And it was during this moment of realization that I decided to swiftly and forcefully bury my Velcro-sneakered toe into his nutsack.

Obviously he hit the ground. I hastily but shakily got to my feet and began to stagger away. My faculties slightly dulled and blood dripping from my face. I half thought about kicking his bike over but decided against it. When a warrior hucks a spear at you, do you kill his horse? When a Care Bear touches you in a weird place do you destroy it's cloud car? No. And why turn certain beatings into a death sentence. As I wobbily marched home, collecting noseblood and brainjuice on my sleeve, I knew that I had perhaps set something dreadful into motion. I'd have to be driven to and from school in an armored vehicle from now on. And my friends would probably catch some fallout beatings as well. Maybe Teddy will try to kill me in my sleep. Maybe I was dying right now. Maybe I should go back and call Janine from the payphone so I can touch a boob before I slip into a coma and rot away. Everything was a question mark now. Except for one thing. One thing that would stand as legend in this town for generations. The day the mighty Teddy Facepuncher was defeated by a brave and noble young boy. A boy named Michael Bagcrusher.


Blogger Graeme said...

One of your best so far, Spike.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Dezcab said...

I saw you the other day puking all over yourself and crying like a bitch... I neve knew, but man... you are the toughest dude I've ever met...

p.s. please don't crush my bag

10:34 AM  
Blogger chadiplax said...

I just puked on my crotch.

3:06 PM  
Blogger mike said...

my crotch just puked in my hand.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Jeff McCarron said...

It's all up to me. I question myself as I read the products of a mind I know to be awakened and chiseled with the violence of modern societal conditioning. Did my mentor simply fill in the blanks of a story he ordered on ebay? Or has he been relegated to regurgitating the rhyme and rhythm of poets gone by? The truth is that there is no such thing as an original thought anymore... Everything you ever thought and all that you ever dream in the future is all a product of what has been thought and considered throughout the ages of existence. Some see this Facepuncher story as delightful, but I see it as a temporary piece of meat for a hungry audience waiting for the real thing. I know the poet. I have lived with the writer. He is probably the most talented and modern writer that exists on earth right now. Sometimes he makes mistakes, but usually he is brilliant. Mike, please keep up the original programming, there are those of us that depend on it.

8:43 PM  
Blogger mike said...

thank you for the kind words Jeff.
i'm sending you a Christmas ham.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Mari said...

c'mon mike, ham is gay.

6:08 PM  
Anonymous agigglingthrob of veinous tissue said...

That's the point mari, ham is gay.

10:05 PM  

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