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The Worst Christmas Party

A true Story

WARNING: Very coarse language used in two places in the dialog. Be warned.

 With the holidays approaching I recalled this memory and wanted to share it.

So here I am headed to a Christmas party at the house of one of the school bus drivers. Yes, I drove a school bus for one school year, and it wasn't all that bad. The high school students were great, it was the elementary school kids that were the worst, but I am getting off track.

Anyway I arrive at the party with Simone, my newest love interest at my side. I greet the hostess and all the other drivers and introduce my girlfriend to everyone. While we were standing at one of the tables pouring ourselves a libation we were approached by the host.

He was short, middle-aged gent with a stocky build, a ruddy complexion and curly blond hair.By his looks it appeared that he had been drinking for sometime. He swaggered toward us and after pouring himself a large drink he gave me a long hard look. 

"I hear you're a pretty bad motherfucker with your hands and feet," he stated.

"Not really I responded."

Now at this point in time I had studied the martial arts for a good number of years. One of the first lessons driven into your head was never to brag about your skills, and I never have. If questioned about my art I responded with pride but that was it. Someone must have told this jerk I was a martial arts student. 

So why am I calling someone I just met a jerk you ask? Shortly after we arrived I had noticed him refilling the wine glasses of his guests from the bottle in his hand. He would occasionally glance around and when he was sure no one was looking he would take a healthy swig from the bottle, he would then continue filling the glasses of his guests.

"I'm a pretty bad motherfucker myself. I was stationed in Japan when I was in the Air Force and studied while I was there," he said with an attempt to impress me.

"You don't mean you're a student of the Ching-Ling-Soo system?" I asked with a face full of wonder.

"Your gaul dammed right I am, so you better watch your ass," he responded with pride and then walked away.

"I've never heard of that discipline," Simone stated. She knew most of the major disciplines due to her time around me.

"That's because it doesn't exist. Ching-Ling-Soo was a Chinese magician in early vaudeville. This tells me that this guy is smashed, a master bullshitter and probably a trouble maker."

As we talked to the other guests as the host, hostess and a group of helpers set up the long banquet table. The host spent a great deal of time with the floral arrangement in the center of the table before he called everyone to eat. The conversation was lively as we waited our turns at the platters of food.

Gary, head mechanic suddenly caught my eye and made a gesture to me to remain silent. He then discretely pointed to the large floral arrangement. There hidden among the leaves and flowers was a miniature tape recorder, the red light indicated that it was on and recording every word that had been spoken.

We both looked around for the host. Since he was nowhere to be seen I switched off the recorder as discretely as possible while Gary kept a lookout. What kind of weirdo sets a tape recorder in the middle of a centerpiece at his own party I wondered?

 Dinner ended and the drinks and conversation flowed. It was later in the evening that there was a bet going around concerning one of the other drivers. It seems that despite his slender appearance no one could beat him at arm wrestling, I just had to try my luck.

We finally found a table where we could both sit down. It was unfortunate for us that the host was seated there talking to some guests that were on the couch.

"Do you mind if I move this?" I asked as I slid his beer closer to him so I could arm wrestle this skinny driver.

"This is my house, my table, and my beer," he slurred. He then picked up the glass that I had slid toward him and slammed it down hard splashing himself and the other guests with beer.

"I am fucking sick of you giving orders in my house," he ranted on.

I stood up took a step back as he stood up and staggered toward me. Simone appeared at my side and hovered close.

"I think you better fucking leave before you get hurt," he snarled and raised his fists.

In response to the visual threat, I felt my central nervous system go on auto pilot. Other drivers flocked to the scene and got in between us. Like the bully he was his threats got louder now that there were people between us.

"Are you fucking deaf?" I said you better leave before you get hurt," he slurred again.

I had been on my best behavior all evening and was enjoying myself until this drunk changed all that and I fought back the feeling of anger.

"I'm leaving so you don't get hurt," I hissed in response and grabbed Simone's hand.

He then pushed some people blocking him out of his way and advanced toward me again. He was attempting to move like he had some martial arts training, it was laughable at best.

Suddenly I realized that Simone and I could not back up any further as we against the wall. The survival mechanism we all have kicked into high gear, mine was augmented by my intense training that I had undertaken for a number of years.

Without anyone taking notice I took a solid stance and raised both my arms to the level of my shoulders. I extended my arms a little distance from my body with my palms open facing him. It would broadcast to those watching that I was not ready to fight but ready to ward off a blow.

In actuality this stance was the first position in the discipline I followed.The open hands and slightly extended arms I could grab, slap, or jab at a moments notice.

Now contrary to the line in a very popular karate movie that came out years later I did not look at his eyes, I looked at his chest. Doing this enables the fighter to see the movements of shoulders and arms indicating that a strike was coming.

Now I was not angry, anger makes you sloppy and distracts you from your target.

Adrenaline flooded my system and I decided that would actually let him hit me once before I countered his second blow and dropped him in his tracks. I had hit many times in class and wasn't afraid.

Based on the way he was moving and broadcasting his intentions he was going to go for a gut punch. However before anything happened a group of his friends finally grabbed him and led him away. I grabbed my coat and Simone we left.

With threat removed the adrenaline dump I experienced made me feel like I had run a marathon, plus it gave me a violent headache. On the next day that I returned to work, his wife wouldn't look or speak to me or offer an apology.

Gary informed me in private that her husband was a notorious drunk that always got stupid with one or more of the guests. Most of the others he challenged just left as they were afraid of him and his wife chose to overlook his drinking and his attitude.

He continued to inform me that one of the youngest drivers was going to jump on my back before I had been backed into the wall. It seems he liked the host and considered him a friend. Gary offered the kid fifty dollars to do it and he was confused.

"You jump on his back and he'd have broken your ribs and your jaw before he threw you across the room," Gary informed him.

The remainder of my employment there was a little tense at times. His wife and some her closest friends didn't speak to me, so I avoided the drivers break room whenever possible. When I had an accident in the Spring despite not being cited by the police the case I was dismissed.

It was one of the worst Christmas parties I ever attended.

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