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Cooking Up an Asswhoopin'

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Moving day. As is a Worcester ritual at the end of every May, apartments get cleaned out, students move into and out of new housing, and piles of various sundries appear magically on the sidewalk, to disappear to whomever may make better use of them.

After four years in my previous apartment, I moved a block down the road in order to save on rent (the price of my old apartment went up significantly- I had been expecting that for years as it was a steal at the price I was getting it.) I only know one of the three people moving into the new apartment. We shall call him VagLips.

I met VagLips on Wednesday, and within seconds I thought he was a douchebag. Do you know those people you dislike right away, but can't quite put your finger on it? It came to me after all of the forthcoming events were over; he only talks to you because he wants something from you. He walks up to me with a big "Hi, I'm the new tenant!", and a proffered handshake. "So, are you going to be moved out soon? I'd like to move my stuff in today."

It is important to note that my lease ran until May 31st, a Sunday. My having the lease is important to this story.

I work two jobs, so I had to do a lot of moving and cleaning between the times when I was working, and tbh, I didn't move enough stuff at the beginning of the month. Ah well. I got the stuff out just fine and had the place looking spotless, so it worked out. *Anyways*, VagLips starts hanging out outside the apartment. I figure he must have been doing that, because when I went over there both Thursday and Friday, he had been waiting outside. "Are you moved out yet? Do you want me to help you move out?" I explain, again, and again, that I am quite fine, that a lot of what I had to do was sort through 4 years of old roommates crap which I had to throw away or fine homes for, and that I would be out by the end of my lease.

You can only explain something to someone so many times. Bear in mind I don't know this guy from Adam.

Saturday rolls along. I had the morning to move the last of the stuff (mostly stuff for the various curbside sundry piles) out before I went to work, and as I'm doing this, a car pulls into the driveway and shortly VagLips walks into the house. The routine begins again.

I like to think that I have a lot of patience.

VagLips is here to move some of his stuff into his new bedroom, which I had given my consent for (and had no problem with). This time, his questions all center around "I want you to leave your key on the counter today", without actually trying to tell me that.

You know the type. They push your buttons until you lash back, and then it's "hey, no reason to get upset!"

I bring an armload of old, crappy pots and pans out to the street, and VagLips asks, again, if I was going to leave my keys there that day. The volcano that had been brewing since Wednesday erupted.

"No. I'm going to hold onto the key and break into your apartment randomly after I move out. What the fuck do you think I'm going to do when I'm done with my lease?"

I turn and walk away, to the "Hey, it was just a question! Why are you so upset!" routine we've all seen from every douchebag who likes to think they aren't a douchebag. This is my logical response when I sense a physical confrontation in the makings. I'd be out of there when I was supposed to be; my business was squared away. No point arguing with some preppy daddy's boy twat.

"Yeah, you better walk away, you fucking pussy!"

What? I stutter-step. At this point I'm halfway across the neighbor's lawn, and I figured I *must* have misheard that. Not in the tough-guy sense, but in the literal, I didn't think he actually said that. I couldn't believe that not only would someone escalate a situation that quickly, but they'd wait until I was a good distance away to do it. I figured that there was no way I heard him correctly and kept walking without ever turning my face back.

"You keep walking, you fucking pussy!"

OK, he definitely wanted me to hear that. I look back incredulously, and reply, in what assuredly was a surprised sounding voice,

"Buddy, the only reason you're yelling that shit is because I'm all the way over here now."

"Well c'mere then!"

Fuck logic.

Folks, as far as I'm concerned, the Marquis of Queensbury is some mincing hairdresser. I drop everything in my hands except a cheap saucepan I thought would swing the best and make a run at him. I put my head down as I turned to run, and probably got about five feet before I picked it up to look at my target. Hence, I did not get to see him crap his pants in surprise. I did get to the look of genuine terror on his face as he turned and ran. He sprinted into the driveway. We ran around a parked car, and then he ran for the car he came in. At this point the upstairs neighbor and another guy- who I mistook for the painter- run in between us.

The only reason I didn't brain the guy who looked like the painter was, well, because I thought he was the painter. I have a shitty facial memory, I had met the painter a few days ago (who, by the by, also shared my exact opinion on how much of a prick this kid was) and he was an alright guy. It takes me a couple of seconds to realize it was *not* the painter, and by then, it's all over. Turns out the guy who looks like the painter was with VagLips.

Anyone who's seen a fight that doesn't really get going knows what happens next. The people in between appeal for calm; if it was an even fight without a clear winner, where someone doesn't crap their pants and flee, the two parties might gesticulate at each other in order to try to convince people around them who's tougher without actually fighting. For me, it was over over- calm had been restored to Claudland, and if there was any doubts about me before, well, the whole neighborhood, from the landscaper, to the mail lady, to the hippies next door and the vietnamese family on the left, they had all just watched me chase a guy around the house with a saucepan. Thank his lucky stars that was the most dangerous thing I happened to be carrying at the time, because until that moment, I didn't think I was capable of such a thing. You usually read about that kind of thing in the court logs and wonder "wow, there must be a good story behind 'Assault with a Deadly Weapon (washbasket)'." Claud turns and goes to pick up the pile of stuff he had dropped.

"You aren't nothing, you little bitch!"

I turn- and in the calm voice now- with actual calm, I reply:

"The only reason you say that now is because you think you are safe behind two people. Now that you're running your mouth again, are they still willing to get cracked in the face for you?"

I look VagLips in the eyes, and he quickly looks away. There is no subsequent challenge, and I go about my business.

Unbelievably, he's not done.

Now, he calls the landlord. When I get back to get another armload of stuff, he starts demanding that the landlord tell me to give him his key then. In the landlord's calm voice, he tells VagLips that this is not his apartment yet, and that his stuff is there out of my good graces. He does the diplomatic thing; I'm moving out, VagLips is moving in, and my landlord knows how his bread is buttered. Me and the landlord make plans to meet up at his office shortly after to do the last of our financial business.

I'm going to miss that landlord. Good landlords are few and far between, and as people who have read the Unabridged Claud know, I've seen a string of shitty landlords. Because when I got to that office, the first thing he said to me was:

"Claud, he said there was a guy in a ponytail threatening him, and I hadn't seen you with your hair out. I thought someone was breaking into the apartment, which is why I hurried over. Because if I had known that was you chasing that little fucking punk around with a frying pan, I would have laughed and hoped he gave you another reason."

So kids- and most importantly, young college age males- let's review the lessons here.

1) If you aren't a fighter, don't talk like you are.
2) If you challenge someone to a fight, they might want to fight.
3) Don't challenge someone while they're carrying an armload of blunt objects.
4) Not all crazy people are in jail. Some of us don't even have records.




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