Allow me to explain.

It was May (perhaps it was June?), a beautiful, sunny Saturday afternoon. My roommate at the time wasn’t home, so it was just me. Cold beer in hand, I was studying the finer points of close-up magic and enjoying some introvert time when, sans warning, there came a knock at the door.

The smell of gin greeted me before Steve (not his real name) did. He had been hanging out with some friends earlier in the day and, apparently, they had been watching Fight Club. The requests to punch him in the face began before he even got inside.

i want you hit me as hard as you can

I’d never been in a fight, nor had I ever punched anybody in the face — or anywhere — in my life. Indeed, my education when it comes to fighting has been the result, not of any formal education or training, but rather from TV and movies. And, from what he was saying, Steve’s too.

“Please punch me in the face!”

No, Steve, I’m not going to punch you in the face.

“Come on! I’ve never been in a fight, you’ve never been in a fight. It’ll be great!”

(Yes, he still smelled like gin.)

No, Steve, I’m not going to punch you in the face. At least one of us will get hurt, probably you, and I do NOT want to get punched in the face.

“I promise, you can hit me as hard as you want, and I won’t retaliate. If nothing else, it will make a great story.”

Just as an aside, I should note Steve and my relative sizes. He’s six feet tall, thin. He’s an artist and musician, which should say a lot about his physique. At the time, he was pale and skinny. Not a lot of bulk.

Me? I’m a little different. I’m 5’7″, about 170lbs. I enjoy archery, rock climbing, and I know a trade. I’m strong, although not athletic. I’m not a body builder, I don’t go to the gym. I do, however, have power.

Fine, I tell him. Here it comes. I cocked my right arm back, made a fist, and swung in a 180 degree arc, connecting with the left side of his jaw. The sound of my fist connecting was not unlike the sound of a wooden mallet tenderising steak. His head whipped to the side, a low “uggh” coming from his lungs.

He didn’t react for what felt like an eternity. After a moment, he turned his head to face me, his lips sealed. I could see his jaw lower, his tongue searching around for something. He then raise his right hand to his mouth, palm up, and spat out what I thought to be a Chicklet.

chicletsIn case you aren’t familiar, Chiclets are a brand of gum. They’re small, rectangular, about the size of your thumb nail. They come in all flavours — orange, cherry, grape — and colours — orange, red, purple. And, of course, peppermint. Those are white.

Great joke, right? Hide a white, tooth shaped piece of candy in your mouth, get a buddy to hit you in the face, then spit it out! Obviously, this is what he did. This was his plan all along, so I did what anyone would do in my situation.

I laughed.

As it turns out, that is NOT what he did. Apparently, I had struck him so hard that I cracked one of his molars in half. This revelation left me… well, stunned, because I had just hurt one of my best friends. On purpose. I was stunned, frozen, processing what happened… which meant I didn’t anticipate the return punch. You know, the one he promised not to deliver?

It connected right between my eyes, on the bridge of my nose, and hurt. A lot. Significantly more than I would have expected. I was not happy. I became very, very angry.  I nearly threw him out of my house. After several minutes, however, I calmed down because something occurred to me: Steve’s tooth was cracked in half. Shouldn’t he be in pain? Should we get him to a dentist?

He wasn’t in pain because he was drunk (remember the gin?). However, it was later in the afternoon by now (5pm), so I gave him some T3s, we ate dinner, and he crashed on my couch.

He woke up several times during the night for more T3s because, you know, the nerve of his molar was exposed. For those of you who have experienced this, no explanation is necessary. For those who haven’t, no explanation will suffice. Needless to say, he was in pain. A lot of it.

The next day he went to the dentist. They were able to fix his tooth (although he had no dental insurance, so he paid out of pocket), and gave him more T3s for the pain. However, they also gave him Novocaine while doing the work… which he is, apparently, allergic to.

He threw up all over himself when he was leaving.

Twice.

He was right about one thing: it did make a good story.

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