The Girl in the hammock

He broke down outside the Unemployment office after the third visit. “There’s something for you just around the corner”, LaSandra told him in a very convincing voice. He would have believed it had he not heard her same the same thing to the two people before him. She meant well but that didn’t make the bullshit stink any less.

He was jovial with LaSandra, even making her laugh a couple of times before leaving. She assured him he had submitted to go jobs, that though it was very competitive, he was among the best. “It will take time, sweetie, don’t quit, okay?”, LaSandra like to say. He would respond with “the only thing I quit is cigarettes and”, the second part he changed each time, today’s quit was, “Fifty Shades”. LaSandra laughed out “Oh stop” as she removed the book from view.

Thats how he left LaSandra, with a smile on his face. He sat in his broken car, which he shared with whomever else had a Honda key in the city, and cried. A tapping on the driver side window brought him back. Great. Probably a fucking car jacker. It wasn’t. The tapper was a homeless woman. She didn’t stink. That was different than the bums he was used to in New York. Probably all the rain. 

Uncharacteristically he rolled down the window and handed her five bucks. It was the last bit of weekly allowance his wife had brilliantly set up to get them through yet another rough patch. He had planned on using it to buy lunch off the dollar. When he was working he never touched fast food. In unemployment he found himself drawn to disgusting behavior. Let the bum lady have it. If there is a God maybe he, she (?) will count it as tithing and grant me a prayer. 

The bum lady said thank you through a gapped tooth smile and then stared at him for a very long moment. Awesome. Now she’s wants to talk. This isn’t worth any prayer granting. 

Instead he told he didn’t have anything else to give. “I just don’t have anything else to give. Sorry.”

She didn’t care about more money. “Shit”, she said. “You don’t got to apologize to me, mister. You know what you look like? Like a man thats been looking backwards so long you’ve seen your asshole more than your dick. You got to turn your head around mister”.

Not wrong, he thought. Another long stare, this time he initiated it. The bum lady saw something in his stare.

“Your neck’s to crooked to look forward”, she said. Then she pulled out a little white cat made of soap and handed it to him. “Rub this on your eyes and you’ll see forward again”. He reached his right arm through the window and thanked the bum lady. But she wasn’t having it. “Don’t thank me, rub it on your eyes”, she scolded him. “Or do you like looking at your asshole all the time?”.

He looked up at the bum lady from the drivers seat, searching for a sign of lucidity. There was none to be found, and yet…ahhh what the hell.  He rubbed the cat shaped soap on his eyes, probably for the same reason he bought lotto tickets, and prayed, or pretended to smile, because he would do anything to find his place in the world, however crazy it might be.

The soap stung. By the time he wiped the tears and blurriness from his eyes the bum lady was gone and it was dark outside. What? Why is it…what the…

His broken down Honda with the peeling interior that played Motel to vagabonds and derelicts was all shiny new. Exactly as it was when he bought it his senior year of college. The cat was still in his hand. From the rear view mirror hung a plastic peace sign attached to a fake leather rope. And stuck to the glove compartment was a small, greasy calendar. All three were familiar, but he didn’t know why. He would never wear a peace sign necklace, the soap stunk like perfume, and the calendar was useless, at least for another seventeen years.

When he saw her sitting in the hammock it all came back to him. Their first date. She was waiting for him, just like all those years ago. He could see her long blonde hair falling out from under a checkered bandana. She wore the type of comfy sweater the Dude would wear. Though he couldn’t see her pants he knew them well enough. Baggy jeans she had belled out and resown with some paisley fabric and cinched at the waist with a belt made of hemp. Everything about her wardrobe hid how sexy she was. You had to talk to this one. You had to be invited in, and he had been invited. She was sitting in that hammock waiting for him.

She would have fewer crows feet at the corner of her eyes. Seeing her on that hammock again overwhelmed him with the hope and eternity of youth. He thought their children, the joys of getting lost in Rome, and all the best things of their life together. She had given him so very much. He wanted to give her something this time around. He wanted her to have the life she wanted, the life she didn’t yet know she wanted sitting there on the hammock waiting for him. The life of being at home with her children, of not penny pinching, of wine that came in bottles instead of boxes.

He would give that to her this time. She would have all that she ever wanted. A life near her family, with a partner that didn’t look backward so much, with one that looked at the moment to see her beauty and strength.

So he drove off. Leaving her sitting in the hammock.

Jimmie G.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Time Machine

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01

Anyone can do magic nowadays. You just have to take the time to learn the spells, and have enough money to actually buy one. The menial spells are affordable if not dull. Sure there are subsidized spells and Groupons, but if you want to get serious you need some serious cash.  Its gotten so bad a person is likely to sit on the couch trying and retrying a summoning spell rather than walk the five feet to pick up the remote.

You can do all kinds of powerful stuff with magic if you have enough funds and talent, but there’s something more powerful than any shade of magi c. Bureaucracy! There isn’t a spell thats been written yet that can make that go away. Trust me,  ever since that little black box was opened and magic came back into the world, I’ve seen them all.

Its what I did. Bureaucracy was my thing. I loved it. I worked at the Office of Spell Construction and Regulations, OSCR for short. You pronounce it just like the award. Acronyms are the second language for us Bureaucrats.

The OSCR is but one department in the massive complex known as M1, which is short for the already short title, Magic One. M1 doesn’t look magical at all, especially for a place entirely dedicated to magic. Its a massive white rectangle, with no windows, four floors and 3700 human employee, and more than six thousand Sentient Electronic Devices. Which are of course called SEDs.

On each the four massive office floors sit hundreds of Personal Office Pods, POPS. Mmmm. Acronyms are like warm cake. There is nothing Harry Potter about M1. Its more like a Terry Gilliam film really. The place is littered with outdated pieces of technology masquerading as state-of-the-art.

Its the magic you see. Everything is repurposed. Instead of filling up landfills with old or broken electronics, they’re just dusted with a magic spell to do all kinds of cool shit.

That’s how I came to be. I am an Osborne 1, a “portable” lap top. I use the quotation marks because I weigh in at a whopping 23 pounds.  I have a five inch display screen and single sided floppy drive.  My computing power is less than what you get from a Happy Meal toy. But I was magically repurposed, thats the green shade of magic. I can instantly detect irregularities, illegal phrasings, and infractions in any spell, no matter how the long. Also, I’m a SEDs. My partner for the past seventeen years calls me Osborne. I would prefer Ozzy but Darren is not the nickname type of guy.

Darren is efficient, kind, thoughtful, and an utter bore. He’s had the same routine everyday for seventeen years.  He shows up at the office no later than seven in the morning and doesn’t leave for home until its dark outside. He does this so as not to feel guilty about getting into his ‘bed pants’ as soon as he gets home and going to bed. On weekends he takes me home so he can continue working. A routine designed to keep life just out of reach. Everyday, week after week, month after month, for seventeen years the same routine.

Until just before Halloween of 2014. That morning Darren found a cookie waiting for him. A delicious double chocolate chip cookie.  Darren, whom as I have mentioned is an utter bore, is also a voracious sugar junkie.

Stiff necked, Darren’s eyes darted back and forth as if he might find who left the cookie among the stacks of spells. Then, like a six foot prairie dog, Darren stood to scan the sea of POPS. He slumped back into his chair and quite suddenly attacked the cookie, taking it down in a single bite.

The next day there was another cookie waiting. This one a perfect peanut butter cookie. And so it went everyday for a few months.  Oatmeal Raisin, Fudge Crinkles, Soft Snicker-doodle, Whipped Shortbread, Gingerbread, and on and on until one day there was no cookie waiting for him at all.

But Darren’s delectable benefactor had not abandoned him. In place of a cookie sat a cupcake under under a glass cloche. Attached to the glass dome was a sticky note that read, Take a bite and then think ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. Darren offered no darting eyes, neither did he scan the office floor prairie dog-like. He simply removed the glass cloche and enjoyed the cupcake.

He later related to me soon after the sensation of content that came over him. A feeling of absolute surety, a singularity of purpose that washed over him in a wave of ones and zeros. He told me the binary language coursed through him, whispering a single question to which he gleefully answered ’01’.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. 01. 01. 01. 01. The language he would speak for the rest of his life.

We each stepped into a world better suited to the other that day. Me into Life, and Darren into a word entirely dedicated to order and predictability. We worked together for another twenty years before I retired with to spend more time with my family.

Darren is still at OSCR, checking spells. Everyday I email him a new dessert recipe. It keeps him on his keys.

Jimmie G

Writer’s Digest: The Writing Prompt Boot Camp. Two weeks of Craft, Creativity, and Discipline.

Day 3: Mystery Cookie

One Day you come into work and find a cookie mysteriously placed on your desk. Grateful to whoever left this anonymous cookie, you eat it. The next morning you come in and find another cookie. This continues for months until one Day a different object is left—and this time there’s a note.

 

A few moments of forever

Scan. Check. Scan. Scan. Check. Scan.

Thats the rhythm of my life. Scan molecular integrity and check for non-human life.  The monotony of it can dry out your eyes. I don’t look for explosives, contraband, or weapons. If I see those I flag the traveler for ISA to apprehend later. My only concern is non-humans.

Karen was a bit down the line when I first spotted her. God. It had been, I don’t know, twelve years? She looks great.

Scan. Check. Scan. Check. Scan. Check.

She was wearing red. She looks great in red. I should have forgiven her then. It seemed so silly all these years later. I remember being so mad at her, but now, God. She really does look great. I don’t know if seeing how great she looked made me smile or if seeing her smiling back did me in. But I sure was done.

Scan. Stare…stare…stare…stare…

What a great story right? Twelve years apart and then we randomly run into each other on an orbiter station. ON VALENTINES DAY! I felt like I imagined an entire life for us in the few moments it took for her to reach the scanner.  You know that point in a relationship just before you first say I love you? When you exhaust every combination of words other than I love you, but none of them are satisfying? It’s like having a name in the tip of your tongue. You know the names that are wrong, but you can’t remember the right one and its like a nail in your brain. Until finally it hits you. That relief of finding the exact right word. The comfort it offers. Thats how I felt when I saw her in the line, and the word that was the exact right word was forever. I wanted to be with her forever.

As soon as she moved behind the screen the alarms sounded.

A silhouette of her lingered after the blinding white light subsided.

I never knew she wasn’t human.

Jimmie G.

The Writer’s Digest, The Writing Prompt Boot Camp: Two weeks of Craft, Creativity, and Discipline. The PDF is free if sign up for the WD newsletter.

Day 2: The One That Got Away

You bump into an ex-lover on Valentine’s Day—the one whom you often call “The One That Got Away.” What happens?

Its not you, it me…

So long writers block. I realize its not you, it me that has been the lazy muse. Lounging about on my ideas, squishing them into the dark recesses of the sofa. I can vacuum them later, but by that time they aren’t ideas anymore, just dead pieces of inspiration.

So I bid you adieu writers block. 42 years I have stood behind you doing little more than adding graffiti to your wall.

I might not paint a mural, but I can at least do a self portrait every day. Maybe stitch together a quilt of smaller stories, if mixed metaphors can be allowed.

I’m tired of waiting for something to excite me into writing. Starting today I’m starting a month long exercise of writing myself into excitement.

Jimmie G.

This post is the first for the two week challenge designed by the crew over at The Writer’s Digest. Its called The Writing Prompt Boot Camp: Two weeks of Craft, Creativity, and Discipline. The PDF is free if sign up for the WD newsletter.

The Last Jinx.

Garrett ‘s pocket began to tickle his side, a charming spell he cast on his cell phone because he was tired of missing calls. It was his mom. Shit. She knew his schedule to well for him not to answer. “Hey mom, what’s up?” Garrett couldn’t resist the “vulgar” greeting.

Silence hung in the air. Garrett felt like shit. “Sorry mom. I know you don’t like that stuff”, Garrett offered. Fear clung to his mothers words when she finally spoke. “Its dad” she said, someone cast a spell and he’s frozen solid”.

Garrett was now the silent one, although his teeth were a symphony of cracking knuckles as his molars ground against one another. “Mom”, he asked, “is dad holding anything at all?”

“Yes, a small box with an open lid. What is it Garrett? Can you help?”, his mother asked.

I’m the only one who can help. “Yes, I can fix it. I need you to get as much of the family gathered as possible, especially the cousins. As many as possible mom. Its very important”, Garrett stressed.

Garrett had jinxed his brother’s jinx. Epic fail obviously.  He had put a glamour spell on the box, making it look a small hinged box of black velvet. The kind of box one in which one might find a ring. His brother’s girlfriend was the intended target. She was meant to be frozen solid. With only one way to break the spell. Laughter.

Not just any type of laughter. Garrett had labored three months crafting this jinx. The only laughter that could melt this ice was humiliation. At least it wouldn’t take long. Garrett had plenty of that to spare.

He started by letting everyone now that dad was okay. The disappointment in the room hung in the air like a fart in a car. Its gonna be a tough room. 

Garrett readied himself as though he were inviting someone to punch him on the nose.

“Uncle Ronny is staying in the guest bedroom, where he likes to wear, well, nothing. A couple of weeks ago Beth walked into his room and saw what a prodigious man Uncle Ronny is. I tried to side track talk of how endowed he is by chastising Beth for walking in on people.  It didn’t work”.

Garrett explained how just this morning his little daughter Beth, only five years old, walked in on him peeing. She din’t offer an apology, nor did Beth hurry to leave. Instead she stood looking at her father a moment and gave him that punch to the nose by saying, “Daddy. You have a baby penis”.

Waves of laughter melted the ice in torrents. The gurgling sound of wet laughter came from his father. Beth’s laughter was like a desert sun over winter Alps.

That was Garrett’s last jinx and the last time he told the Baby Penis story. Though he would hear it for the rest of his life.

Jimmie G.

This post is in response to the Writer’s Digest Weekly Writing Prompt, Frozen Solid. The ending is recycled from my recent post Movie Night Ruined my Future Son-in-Law.

The phone rings. It’s your mother and she’s upset. “What’s wrong?” you ask. “It’s your father. A spell has been cast upon him and he’s been frozen solid.” You pause, knowing two things that your mother doesn’t: 1) This is your fault and 2) you’re the only one who can fix it. “Don’t worry, Mom. I’ll take care of it.” Write this scene.

Folios of “I’m sorry’s”

Daily Prompt: Moments to Remember

What are the three most memorable moments — good or bad, happy or sad — in your life? Go!

Marriage, and the birth of two girls born seven years and one day apart, October 1 and 2. What can I say, January is sexy time in our house.

I was married on March 17 by an Irish priest, a day of drunken revelry for many. My wife had hair down to her bum at the time. She just happened to be rooming with the Wig Master for the Asolo Theatre Company, and so had an expert to do her hair that day. It was dramatic, and beautiful, and extraordinary. All three adjectives fall short for how my wife looked that day. Like every bride I suppose, she looked exquisite and perfect. I will always remember her on that day.

What I will also remember is her stepping off the plane three months later to join me in London. I was finishing two months abroad as part of my graduate training. From London we would launch our month long honeymoon Eurailing.

After we got through customs she finally asked, “do you notice anything?”. I have never tested well, and failed this quiz like so many others. My wife had cut her bum-length hair to just above her shoulders, and I hadn’t noticed. I can only claim blind love. (?)

To compound matters, everyone of the ten other classmates with whom I studied with and roomed with, plus their significant others, all, immediately noticed the dramatic hair loss. Its a story still told by my wife.

Here’s another story told by my wife.

The birth of my first daughter. It was a Sunday when it all began. I usually work weekends and this was no exception. An old friend was in town visiting and so I scheduled a poker game for later that night. When my wife started having contractions in the early hours of Sunday morning it was clear work was not in the cards for me that day. However, I still held hopes of having the poker game that night. I also thought it was like having a day off. I could actually watch some football. I never get to watch the early games. Huzzah, I thought. I didn’t recognize what was actually happening. I was another test that I was failing.

Late in the afternoon it was time to go the hospital, baby wanted out. This was a big deal because we were living in Astoria, Queens at the time, so no car. I speed dialed a livery cab, because you can only hail Yellow Cabs, no calling. We painfully waited for the car to show up. When it arrived their were two people in the front seats. Odd since car pooling only happens during massive, eastern sea board wide, power outages. Turns out we had a new driver being broken in. The new kid got to cut her teeth on a woman writhing in pain from  full back labor and a man in full hysterics. The traffic jam on the Upper East Side didn’t help. I stepped up my game at the hospital, testing a little better. Eventually our first little girl popped out.

Seven years and one day later our second little girl came. The contractions started at nine pm on October first. I started timing the contractions as we both joked that the second simply could not be born on the same day as our first. By eleven pm it was time to drop our eldest off at her cousins house and head to the hospital. We had moved to Seattle by this point so the only new driver was me. I followed the traffic laws so as not to stress my wife. We were told to park out back, but there wasn’t any parking to be found. I did find an excellent spot in the front however. I rang the bell to alert the nurses of our arrival and was immediately chastised for not going to the back. I chastised the nurse for chastising me while my wife was clearly in pain. “I didn’t follow directions! Put it on my fucking report card and get down here and open the door”. I didn’t say any of those things by the way. When the nurse came down a few painfully long minutes later she got half way to the door before stopping and turning around. My wife’s teary protest prompted my arm to bang on the glass sliding doors. The nurse popped back into view pushing a wheel chair.

There was yelling and pushing and demanding of an epidural. The whole I while I stayed calm and collected and most importantly, I was supportive.

I did it right for a change. There is more of course. A few other things I did right. Many and more “I’m sorry’s” in the catalogue of me learning to do it the right way. Folios of “I’m sorry’s” really.

I’ll “I’m sorry” my way into enlightenment, or into less “I’m sorry’s”. 

I’m getting better. I’ve hardly said it at all this week.

Jimmie G.

 

Proud Daddy.

My birthday isn’t far off which means planing is at hand. Nothing elaborate. It’s really just finding a kid friendly restaurant that has a fantastic selection of beers. So the wife and I are discussing possible haunts and who should be invited. My seven year old doesn’t like the guest list. The list does include more than one of her friends, just not the one she wanted. So she asks “if anyone was going to think of me while planning daddy’s birthday?” This got both my wife and I laughing. My daughter immediately began prostituting the joke for all its worth.

I did the ole milking the cow mime, and said to my seven year daughter, “this is you milking that joke”. Without pause she retorted, “No. Its a ladder so you can get over it”.

I have never been so proud of her.

Jimmie G.

Question: How would you have worded the following question?

So she asks “if anyone was going to think of me while planning daddy’s birthday?”

This is the other way I was thinking of phrasing it.

So she asks my wife and I if we were going to think about her when planing my birthday.

Wording for these types of things often trip me up.

Taking a stand

I believe it to be true that the only ice cream flavor of relevance is Vanilla Bean. Most others are varying degrees of pretentious spectacle. I will allow that Strawberry and Chocolate are also sincere flavors, by which I mean natural in thought, almost unimaginative. How does one make Tiramisu ice cream? The process seems unintuitive, esoteric even.  Cinnamon Bun? Coffee and Cookies? RED VELVET CAKE? Can such flavors even be deconstructed without immediately slipping into impossible to pronounce chemical ingredients? Probs not.

Lets do a little SAT comparison. Vanilla Bean is to ice cream is what black pants are to a wardrobe. A classic staple that never goes out of style, unto which any accessory can be put. Chocolate sauce is equal to a white shirt and tie. Rainbow sprinkles is equal to power clashing.  Fresh fruit toppings? Dinner jacket.

I also hold to be true that more than two toppings on a pizza is too much. Too many ingredients prevents dough from becoming crust. I concede that simply staying in the oven technically converts dough to crust. However, soft dough is the fanny pack of pizza crust. Two toppings is the limit. This prevents an explosion of indistinguishable flavors. The best combo is two forms of pork. Salami is less predictable and therefore my favorite. Pepperoni is pedestrian, but can get you home.  I suggest going with a sweet meat if the first is spicy. For that whole yin and yang thing.

Lastly. Light roasted coffee. Its nasty and ironically, I find that it tastes burnt. I know that coffee snobs think dark roasted is sooooo junior varsity, unsophisticated, low brow. Well, call me a groundling, because people falling, fart jokes, and DARK ROASTED coffee gets me every time. A hot cup of dark coffee is my favorite thing about every morning. Waves of sultry steam sauntering away from a dark nectar, carrying with it the scent of toffee, the after-a-message type of lucidity, and dozens of warm kisses every time you bring the cup to your mouth.

These are strong and controversial opinions. I understand this. Many are Blue state vs Red state type arguments. But its time somebody took a stand.

Who will stand with me?

jimmie g.

Daily Prompt: I Believe

by Krista on March 16, 2014

For today’s prompt, tell us three things that you believe in your heart to be true. Tell us three things you believe in your heart to be false.

What’s in your lexicon?

I love movies for many of the same reasons others do. On the practical side I love the spectacle and simple mindedness of summer action flicks. I like the violent ballet of Jason Bourne. The absurd Sci-fi Terry Gilliam paints, or the drop dead funny written for us groundlings. High brow has its place, but near the back. People falling gets me every time. Good stories told with compelling narrative and a strong point of view will, for better or worse, allow me to hear my own voice, or find a new one. And I hardly ever want to see such movies twice. The movies I do see over and over always have one thing in common. Shorthand. A line that can cut through paragraphs of explanation to illuminate a situation in the best of all ways, with brevity. Some movies are rife with shorthand. It depends on your circle really. For me The Big Lebowski has the best batting average. Ask me if I’ll be attending a function of any sort and you’re likely to hear “I’ll be there man”. If I know I’m wrong about something yet I don’t want to admit, lets say for instance I upset my seven year old enough to send her to her room crying, which isn’t saying much since we are both very dramatic, and lets also assume my wife says “You need to apologize”, to which I respond, “I’m finishing my chicken”. This bit of shorthand also alludes to the Dude. Actually to Walter who says “I’m finishing my coffee” in response to making a First Amendment thing out of cursing in a family restaurant. The shorthand offered by a myriad of films provides us with a lexicon. A faster, and better penned way of getting to the point. This ability to help me communicate so efficiently deepens my fondness of the film. Sometimes it is the sole reason for appreciating the film. There Will Be Blood, is my least favorite PTA film, yet if I’m explaining consequences, or proposing an easy to make dinner that has been made too often recently, I will end with “Is that alright with you?”. If you haven’t whipped out any sort of object, and dropped the line “Say hello to my little friend” then you just haven’t lived. The lexicon of shorthand is what I love most about movies. It is what I am most thankful for. So thank you you writers for filling my coffers and helping me to better communicate. Its too bad that doing the same thing in writing is called plagiarism. What’s in your lexicon? jimmie G

70. Best Movie Fistfights. The Lazy Muses Podcast

The Lazy Muses Podcast is a weekly discussion about Beer, TV, and Film.

What you looking at? You want a piece of this ‘cast? Huh? This week we talk about the Best Movie Fistfights. No feet, no head butting, just fists.

Send comments to feedback@thelazymuse.com, leave some on facebook or direct message via twitter. Jimmie can be found @thejimmieg and Erik’s handle is @TotallyKidding.

Check out thelazymuse.com for past episodes, show notes and the full list of our weekly beers. If you dig our show please show some love by liking us on FB and leaving a review on iTunes.

Thanks for listening to The Lazy Muses Podcast. We’ll type at you later.

I got pretty far into my list and realized there were no picks that involved CGI, so I decided to not allow fistfights with special effects, excluding The Matrix and Terminator 2. I’m fine with that.

Jimmie G.

Fistfights List Rules

No martial arts. None. These are fistfights. Exception for semi-martial arts. No Van Damme or Karate Kid or Segal or Bruce Lee. Swayze is accepted. Other exceptions case-by-case.

  • Extra points for realism. Ugliness is rewarded.
  • Fists over feet. Too much feet is too few fists.
  • No James Bond.

Erik Gratton

 Other Muses picks.

Ted Welch: Bloodsport, Lionheart, Best of the Best-Eric Roberts, James Earl Jones, Sally Kirkland. This movie has one of the most overwrought, my best-friend is dead, so cue inspirational I’m going to dish up some comeuppance montage. There are Eric Roberts tears and his patented, I’m sad voice. Its awesome. Its also NOT on my list.

James Weber “They Live” with Rowdy Roddy Piper and Keith David. Epic. Longest fight ever, that is both absurd and fantastic!

Gregory HarrisThe Rundown (2003) A Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson joint with Seann William Scott and Christopher Walken. Would You Green light This? A tough aspiring chef is hired to bring home a mobster’s son from the Amazon but becomes involved in the fight against an oppressive town operator and the search for a legendary treasure.

Bryn Boice Road House has ballet fistfights of doom–

Anthony Howe Any fight scene in Ip Man

Mike Cobb Left turn, Clyde.

Benjamin Pulanco Every which way but loose.

Chris Collision: They Live. Second place: Hooper. Third place: everything else.

Dan Schultz TV, but Dan’s fight with the Colonel in Deadwood. Eye-gougingly perfect.

Rich Fromm It’s not much of a fistfight but more of a beating. Goodfellas. Pesce’s foot to Billy Batt’s face.I agree with the Harrison Ford comment above. He had some good ones. Especially against the Nazis. I would say that the Truck Sequence in Raiders counts as a fistfight and I would put that in the top 3. Easily.

Showdowns-Erik Gratton

  • Road House: For a good BUICK…
  • They Live: Everyone’s favorite. For good reason.
  • Every Which Way But Loose: Butt loose?
  • Any Which Way You Can: Second best Orangutan movie on the list.
  • Nothing to Lose: I used this movie to teach a class. At a college. I was an educator.
  • The Big Country: Maybe my favorite.
  • Shane: Wouldn’t be the movie it is without this fight.
  • A Soldier’s Story: Adolph Caesar and Denzel Washington, wow.
  • Lethal Weapon: Best front-lawn Christmas-time Busey brawl in film history.
  • Popeye: Matthew Hancock points out the Bluto fight. Classic. Baaaad movie, though.
  • Batman: Hancock rightly suggests the final bell-tower battle.

One-punch classics-Erik Gratton

  • Crocodile Dundee: In the restaurant. Will Mick ever get the hang of city living?!
  • Back to the Future: “Hey you, get your damn hands off h–oh, Biff.”
  • Groundhog Day: “Phil?” “NED?!”
  • Die Hard: Bonnie Bedelia does what we all wanted to do to William Atherton in the 80s.
  • Snatch: Brad Pitt’s shrug is priceless.
  • The French Connection: “Where do you want it?”

Grab Bag: Erik Gratton

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark: The fight under the airplane.
  • Bourne Ultimatum: Better than the magazine fight from Supremacy, the chase leading into the fight is also special.
  • Raising Arizona: Tons of good low-budget action, here. The fight I’m highlighting is in the double-wide.
  • Romancing the Stone: The climactic fight on the parapet. Joan Wilder using her hands and a cigar to great effect.
  • Vision Quest: The final wrestling match is the best among many.
  • Elf: “He’s an angry elf.” Brilliant.
  • Fight Club: Best fight among many is Ed Norton by himself.
  • Transporter 3: Only slightly joking, here. In the garage, Statham vs 10 or so interchangeable henchmen. Fun.

Brawls: Erik Gratton

  • West Side Story: Dancy, brilliant, racially tinged and more suspenseful than should be possible in a Big Hollywood Musical.
  • Slap Shot: Don’t look sideways at a Hanson brother. Seriously.
  • Trainspotting: Begby is no joke.
  • Hooper (h/t collision): Funny, strange, weirdly slow bar brawl. Fantastic.
  • Cannonball Run: Definitely not on Hooper’s level. Feels like a huge cream pie brawl without any pastries.

Jimmie’s Boring List

1. Bourne Ultimatumn

The fight in Tangiers. Beautifully violent and brilliantly choreographed. This is one of the best fight scenes in an action movie. There is almost no dialogue during the fight which actually makes the choreography more violent. Often times fight scenes can diminish the ugliness of violence with pithy dialogue, making it less dangerous. The grunts, the focus and difficulty of beating another person to death is gruesome. Matt Damon choking Édgar Ramírez brings you as close as you’re going to get murder outside of a snuff film.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLt7lXDCHQ0

2. The Karate Kid

The Fight- ”Sweep the leg scene” this introduced us to the crane kick, “you begniner luck” and this song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMH_P2oVzDI John Esposito’s ‘You’re the best around’.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMH_P2oVzDI

3. Fight Club

The Fight: “I wanted to destroy something beautiful scene” Ed Norton takes on Oscar winner Jared Ledo. Jared was a pretty boy in this flick but not after Ed destroys it. Toothless, swollen and bloody mouthed, Angel Face is too far gone to even tap out.

4. Rocky I & II

The Fights: Apollo Creed final fights. Both fight scenes are intense and thrilling. I have seen both fights a dozen times and yet each time I get caught up in cheering out loud “Go Rock, go”. Also, we continue to find ways of sneaking in Sly.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HSK-Iv3gh9I

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LEGY_fLBCsQ

5. Enter the Dragon

The Fight: Every fight in this movie is great but number one is Bruce Lee taking down Bolo Yueng, who would later gain fame as JVD’s nemesis in Blood Sport. Bruce finishing Bolo off by jumping on his chest and turning right and then left. You don’t see Bolo’s chest splattered on the ground but you get the point. You kill a friend of Dragon and you get dead.

6. True Romance

The Fight: Alabama vs. Virgil. Patricia Arquette and James Gandolfini in the hotel room. Virgil beats the shit out of Alabama and then monologues, which we all know will cost the villain everything. Alabama gets her guy with a corkscrew.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_pbN8BmWk0

7. Road House (1989)

The FIght: The Swayze (Dalton) vs Marshall Teague (Jimmy) we just talked about this movies last week, and in other episodes. The scene begins with the Swayze saving his bff from a burning home then flying through the air to knock the bad guy off of a dirt bike. This scene also gives us the eminently quotable “I use to fuck guys like you in prison”. Also when Baddie McBaderson takes out the gun and threatens to kill the Swayze “the old fashion way” the Swayze kicks the gun out of his hand, rips out his throat and roundhouses hum into the lake. This is the fight equivalent of dropping the mic and walking away.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E4GEUkgq1U#t=72

8. Lethal Weapon (1987)

The Fight: Mel vs Busey in loco y loco beatdown.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnSHQHXvaTU

9. Bloodsport (1988)

The Fight: JVD had to make the list, and in every fight movie he does there is something awesome, but this is the one that started it all. This film introduced us to the herculean hammies that allow this man to suspend via splits between two moving trucks. The fight against none other than Bolo Yeung for Enter the Dragon. Bolo, afraid of losing, blinds JVD with some kind of powder, the blind JVD reaches deep and gives us some of the best pain faces in movie history.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0YDuSLXcX8

10. They Live (1988)

The Fight: Roddy Piper vs Keith David all because Keith’s character won’t put on the special sun glasses that will allow him to see the aliens.

11. Snatch

The Fight: Brad Pitt is suppose to throw one last fight…he doesn’t.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kT_pS_4OO7E#t=146

12. Ip Man (2008)

The Fight: The ten black belts fight. Simultaneous but plausible due to beautiful, ballet like fight choreography.

http://www.ign.com/videos/2013/01/30/ip-man-10-man-fight

13. Grosse Pointe Blank

The Fight: Ballpoint pen to the neck in the high school hallway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0ScNLt2zNc

14. Way of the Dragon (1972)

The Fight: This is all about the names on the fight card. Bruce Lee vs furry, Ewok on the shoulders Chuck Norris.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Isnu0wtZHGc

Boxing: Erik Gratton

  • Rocky: Not pretty or realistic, but great storytelling.
  • Tough Enough: Dennis Quaid in the fight that inspired the King Hippo character in Mike Tyson’s Punch Out.
  • Bad Santa: Everyone gets punched in the bards.
  • The Hammer: Adam Carolla in a really good boxing movie.
  • Diggstown: All of the Louis Gosstt, Jr, please.
  • Snatch: The boxing stuff is all really well-done.
  • Blood Sport: Donald Gibb/Bolo Yeung featuring way too much gloating by a good guy before the bell rings.
  • Triumph of the Spirit: Your basic Auschwitz Boxing Movie. Willem Dafoe and Edward James Olmos.

Erik’s Bag of Crap List

  • Far and Away: “Toe the Line, Gentlemen!!”
  • Godfather: Oh, the trashcan.

Thats the list. Next up is Best Restaurant or Kitchen Scene.

Want to throw your two cents in? You can. Find The Lazy Muses Podcast on Skype. All you need is a mic so you don’t sound like you’re in a tun can. We hope to hear that bloopy-watery sound Skype makes.

Until then…We’ll type at you later.