I write a column for a local paper, and I thought people at the HTF might get a kick out of my latest. Enjoy! LIQUID MEAT by Jeremy L. Anderson Shaolin Sucker In the wake of the Kill Bill movies, I found myself obsessed with martial arts flicks. I went back and watched the standards: Shaolin Master Killer (a.k.a. The 36th Chamber), Enter The Dragon, Once Upon A Time In China 1-3, and pretty much any movie with Sonny Chiba, Jet Li, Donnie Yen or Gordon Liu that I could get my hands on. Naturally, extended exposure to these movies gave me Rocky Syndrome. By this, I mean that it had the same effect on me that the movie Rocky had on every white guy: it made them want to fight. After bombarding my senses with Hong Kong cinema for several weeks, I decided I was going to learn karate. Why? Because I want to kick ass! We’re talking blood spurting, eye gouging, ripping out the kidneys and rubbing them in the faces of my enemies. HI-YA! The first step was finding a worthy sensei. After extensive research (otherwise known as randomly flipping through the phone book), I found the perfect school. Alas, everyone at the school declined to sign a release so I could mention it by name, so we’ll call it Master Woo’s Shaolin Temple of Ass-Kickitude. Master Woo, as I’ll be calling him, was a very small man. Not quite unicycle-riding circus midget small, but incredibly diminutive nonetheless. Naturally, given my inability to keep smart-assed comments to myself, I mentioned his size. Okay, my exact words were “Jesus Christ, Wang, you’re like Hobbit small!” Master Woo’s response to this was to hit me... hard... in the throat... with one finger. After I regained consciousness, Master Woo accepted my apology and agreed to take me on as a student. In the first day alone, I learned several important lessons from Master Woo: 1. There are certain pressure points on the body that can make a man involuntarily urinate. This is a handy thing to know in a fight, as you can use it to embarrass your opponent... as Master Woo did to me. 2. You know that sound effect they play in movies when someone breaks an arm? Well, it is surprisingly accurate and not exaggerated at all! In fact, as I sit here unable to type with my wiping arm, that sound is just about the only thing I can hear over my own sobbing. 3. When collected into a large puddle, human blood isn’t really the color they make it look on television. It’s more brown than you’d expect... though it turns a lovely color of purple right before you pass out. 4. After about an hour or so of extended crying, your tear ducts can actually stop working altogether, which hurts even worse. Of course, this may have been due to dehydration from all of the accompanying peeing and bleeding, but I think it’s a good thing to know. Despite all of these painful lessons, I did manage to learn several basic kung-fu moves: 1. Don’t get hit. To do this, you must focus your chi and move in the opposite direction of your opponent’s blow. If he swings left, you move right. If he charges, you retreat. 2. Use the “play dead” stance. This move is implemented after combat begins and your attempt at not getting hit has failed miserably. To properly take this stance, one must focus all of their energies into the stomach area... and then curl up into the fetal position on the ground. 3. Beg. Beg for your life. Beg your opponent repeatedly not to permanently cripple you or mar your appearance in any way with his fists, feet, or various pointy martial arts weapons. For maximum effectiveness, this move must be used in conjunction with the “play dead” stance. 4. Block kicks with your testicles. I’m not entirely sure of the value of this move, but Master Woo was insistent upon showing it to me over and over again until I completely understood it. 5. Run! Now, at first, this seems a lot like the not getting hit move. The primary difference is that you’re quickly increasing your distance from your opponent, which does give you the added bonus of not getting hit. If, however, your opponent can run faster than you can then you should take the “play dead” stance, start begging, and hope you don’t have to block any kicks with your testicles. Ultimately, it only took that one lesson for me to decide that the martial arts were not for me. That being said, my visit to Master Woo’s Shaolin Temple of Ass-Kickitude did result in one very positive thing: I decided to take up ballet. Why? Because it’s graceful like karate, but without all of that damned pain, bleeding, and peeing on myself. And I feel really sexy in the tights... but I digress.