Ambition and imagination accomplish wonderful things. In your imagination.
Karate Kreme Puff
This weeks Monday freebie
James wanted to be a Kung Fu master. Ever since he saw Ralph Macchio doing the crane in that movie (he could never remember the name). And then he saw a Jackie Chan movie on late night cable (too many of them to remember which one) and he said, I can do that.
He jumped into the 1985 K-Car that his father gave him because it was “the only car you’re worth and you’ll never have the money to buy your own,” and drove to the Do-Rite Dojo in downtown Dime Box. He watched the intermediate class finish their session, and thought, “I can do better than those losers,” which he told the sensei after the class broke up for the evening.
“Hell,” he said, “I can have me one those black belts before I go back to school at the end of summer.”
The sensei touched his finger to James’ lips. “This is the first lesson.”
James shoved his finger in his throat and pretended to gag. “Touching your lips? I can do that now.”
James watched the intermediate class finish their session, and thought, “I can do better than those losers,” which he told the sensei after the class broke up for the evening.
“Silence. That will be your first lesson.” Then the sensei explained what it would take to earn his belt. That was before the sensei showed him all the belts he’d have to earn. He would have to master his basic forms, his strikes, his kicks, his balance, learn to maintain his stance, to focus, and James lost focus about that time thinking how cool it would be with a black belt, how many chicks would do him in a heartbeat, the millions he would make in movies.
Finally, the list ended. “And that’s just to earn your white belt. After that you must earn your yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, red, and brown belts before you qualify to train for black. For most people, that’s a five-year investment. For you, though, maybe ten.”
James climbed into his K-Car and readjusted his goals. He’d make a hell of Kung Fu film critic.
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Wry noir author Phillip T. Stephens wrote Cigerets, Guns & Beer, Raising Hell, the Indie Book Award winning Seeing Jesus, and the children’s book parody Furious George. Follow him @stephens_pt.