As a kid my brother had a cherubic face and following puberty this became horrifically deceiving because right below it was a muscular physique with considerable upper body strength and a ‘take no shit from anybody’ attitude.
He has become a wonderful family man who has cut all ties with his past and prefers it be forgotten. I respect his wishes, but only to a certain extent. Meaning, I’ll still tell the story but change the name.
I considered referring to him as Hercules after the handsome and powerful ancient god but having seen an episode of How I Meet Your Mother, I decided to go with the more accurate title of “Beercules”
Here’s an example of how pretty my brother was. One evening me and Beercules were sitting in a park in the Bronx and this guy comes up and tries to sell me some new product that had just come out. I let him do his spiel but in the end decided to pass. The guy, like any good salesman, gave it one last try but I again said I wasn’t interested. Now here’s where it gets interesting. At that point the salesman tilts his head to my brother who’s sitting on the bench and says…
“Perhaps your lovely girlfriend would like one.”
Now, in the salesman’s defense this was during the mid seventies and both my brother and I had long hair but damn, I looked like a guy with long hair, my brother looked like Lindsey Lohan before the drugs!
Now imagine the surprise on this guys face when Lindsey Lohan bolts from the bench with clenched fists and in a very deep and masculine growling voice turns to me and says “Did this (F-word) just call me your (f-word +ing) girlfriend!!?”
I did the only thing I could do. I smiled at my brother with a ‘don’t be silly’ smirk and when I saw he wasn’t buying it, I turned to the Salesman and shouted, “Run! Get the (f-word) out of here. I’ll try and hold him back!”
I jumped on my brother and wrapped my arms and legs around his chest. Not that it mattered, he still charged at the guy, swinging like I wasn’t even there.
Fortunately, the guy took off and managed to hop a fence, and with me slowing my brother down, he got away.
Now that’s a funny story. Here’s one that’s not so funny.
Beercules is sitting in a Bronx playground with a bunch of friends drinking beers and stuff when two guys enter, walk over and announce that this is a robbery. At which point one of the robbers opens his coat, pulls out a sawed-off shot-gun, points it at them and tells them to empty their pockets.
My brother stands up, walks up to the guy with the shotgun and says, “How do we know you got bullets in that thing?”
So the guys pushes my brother back, the grabs the pump under the barrel, holds the shotgun vertically and does the trademark ‘cha-chick’ which loads a bullet into the chamber. With the gun no longer pointed at him my brother lunges, yanks the shotgun out of the guy’s hand and like a baseball player swinging for the fences, bashes the guy’s skull in.
As the would-be robber falls unconscious on the ground, his friend, now unprotected, is set upon by the friends. Screams bring police cars and ambulances.
Here’s another Beercules adventure. We’re at a party with my soon-to-be brother–in-law, Kenny. Everyone is having a good time but Beercules has clearly overstayed his welcome at the keg. So me and Kenny try to persuade him to take a nap on the couch. But he ‘Don’t wanna!’ But we insist. He still ‘Don’t wanna.’ So we decided that we will each grab an arm and shove his drunken ass down.
Despite his condition and despite the fact that Kenny and I have him bent backward, Beercules has a sudden burst of clarity, stares at both of us and yells, “Cut it out!” I shake my head and say, “You need to sleep it off,” he replies “DON”T WANNA!” then reached down and with each hand grabs me and Kenny’s belt buckles and lifts us both off the ground. True, me and Kenny were in our mid twenties and neither was over 140 pounds but still!
In mid air I turn to Kenny and say, “I’m beginning to see the flaw in our plan.”
He looks back and says, “Really? Just now, huh?”
The years go by and I move my family from New York City to the North Country. Because of the distance and conflicting schedules it become difficult to visit. Finally, he comes up during the Christmas holidays; we go to dinner and stop off on the way home for some beer.
Now here’s the damndest thing. In the 25 years I’ve lived in the North Country I’ve never had a problem with troublemakers. Never once, except for that one time during Beercules visit.
As mentioned in earlier posts when you’re from the Bronx you learn early to always be aware of your surroundings and to note the position of anyone who could potentially harm you.
As we’re heading back to my house I notice a car following me. Since I live in a rural area, it’s winter and there is rarely any traffic at this time of day, I decide to make a few odd turns just to see if I’m just being paranoid.
The car continues to follow.
I head toward my house which is on a small cul-de-sac. I turn onto my street then do a complete u-turn so my car is now facing theirs. I get out and the guy in the other cars opens his window and calls out. “Do you have the time?”
I know the game and I’m not going to play. I say, “No, I don’t have a watch.”
To which he replies, “What did you do, stick it up your ass?”
I’m close enough now to see there are 4 of them. Younger, drunk and obviously looking to start something.
At this point Beercules, who has heard the exchange steps out of my car, puts his beer can on the roof and shouts, “Friction? Do we have friction!?”
He strides past me and waves for them to approach. They don’t and eye each other instead. “What are you a tough guy?” one calls out.
Beercules grins, makes a fist and says in a truly malevolent voice as he continues toward them, “Why don’t you get out of the car and find out?!”
Ahhh, crap I say to myself as I trot up alongside my brother. Looks like I’m going to spend the holidays with a black eye and a fat lip.
I can see Beercules is now miffed. He has yanked off his coat, pulled up his sleeves and is shouting, “I said get out of the (f-word+ing) car!
They obviously ‘Don’t wanna.’ As the car is thrown in reverse and hurriedly backs up, Beercules chases after them. “Get out of the (f-word+ing) car, you fairies!” he bellows. They can’t complete the u-turn before Beercules shatters the driver’s side window with his elbow. As he reaches in, the driver floors it and speeds away.
Looks like they figured out what time it was. It was exactly 10 seconds to an ass kicking of the clock.
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