Monday, November 5, 2007

Chop Suey, Part 2

Enter the Dragon.

Some of you may know Chop Suey, Part 1: A reluctant woman, a couple months ago, is arguing with some guy outside an embassy a few blocks from my apartment building. He is sort of tugging on her arm and she is resisting, and while she knows this dude is a tool, she also knows that, in all likelihood, she'll probably go with him anyway. But the situation is not an assault or anything like that. Nevertheless, a middle-aged man with a conservative haircut jumps -- literally -- out of nowhere, out of two big white doors, onto the sidewalk, into a martial arts fighting stance (see Bruce Lee, above), with a grimace on his face, and yells, in my opinion, "Chop Suey." I mean, did he say "Chop Suey?" That's what I heard: "Chop Suey." Which brings us to this past weekend. Another man and woman are standing -- not necessarily arguing -- but not at ease, either -- outside the same embassy, when here comes our champion, once again, through the white double doors. No, he did not leap, he did not make a martial arts fighting stance, but he was not at ease, either. He looked like this: "Don't push me, or you'll get the Chop Suey. You don't want the Chop Suey." He paced around with a mean face (apparently his embassy's liaison for domestic disputes) until the second couple, as did the first, dissipated. In particular, the guys, in both cases, relented. Clearly they did not want the Chop Suey.

My karate instructor, Neil, apparently met Bruce Lee, who came to the University of Maryland a few decades ago, to give a demonstration. My instructor was called upon to assist. He was not my instructor then. Just Neil. Bruce Lee told him to stand a few feet away, and put a quarter in Neil's open palm. "When you see my hand move," said Bruce Lee, "close your palm." Several dozen people looked on, a balmy day, on the University of Maryland Quad, while my instructor stood there, facing Bruce Lee. Well, Bruce Lee's hand moved and my instructor closed his own hand into a fist, and, well, he still felt the cold metal of a coin in his palm. He opened his fist and what did he see? Not the quarter, but a nickel, there, where the quarter had been. No Way. Bruce Lee had thrown a nickel into my instructor's palm and taken the quarter. Was he that fast? Yes. He was so fast that, a week later, after the demonstration was over and Bruce Lee had gone home, my instructor, Neil, heard Bruce Lee say "Br├Ątwurst" -- his hands quicker than the speed of sound, by a week. "Mit sauerkraut und potato." Bruce Lee, apparently, had some German ancestry.

Enter the Dragon is arguably the best martial arts movie ever made. When Bruce Lee kills the dude who'd, essentially, killed his (fictional) sister, midway through, in part with that brutal sidekick -- oh, man, that is The Bomb. I know it was acting but that sidekick had to hurt in real life. Neil made us try all kinds of things in our karate studio. We had to extinguish candles with the speed of our fists and chase flies around and step on each other's stomachs and break boards in the middle of the air and learn to exhale and attend Christmas parties. The studio ended up across the street from The California Bar -- which was not in California but Laurel, Md. The drunks would stagger across the street and say "hi-YAH" and chop the air, laughing so hard they fell over, some clipping sideview mirrors on parked cars, on their ways down. It wouldn't hurt them, the fall, until the next day, or the next week, clearly their mouths quicker than their bodies. Were he still alive, we could use a little more Bruce Lee in the world, the way I see it: Moving quickly can make you a quarter for every nickel, at the very least. Eh?


Michael said...

What Dan is really trying to say is that he's really a huge fan of "Big Trouble in Little China."



Dan / Daniel Gutstein said...

There should be a post on O'Tasty when the time comes. Irish/Chinese cuisine. I saw that move with what's his name. Terrible! Really terrible! He played Snake Pliskin in Escape from New York. That guy. BA

Michael said...

O'Tasty: only place in town that has deals on St. Paddy's Day AND Chinese New Year.

O'Tasty: was born in the year of the leprechaun, bejeesus...


PS: We still haven't discussed Sgt. Kabukiman in New York. I'm sure guys like the The Goose know abt. that shit. Fitz, too, prob'ly...those guys def. have to know this friggin' movie:

Anonymous said...

I don't know 'bout no Sgt. Kabukiman, but it sure looks beautiful. Is that the word I'm looking for? I think so.

What I DO know is that both Escape from New York and its sequel, Escape from LA, are a lot of fun to watch after about 12 beers. Kinda like O'Tasty.

mannequin_voyeur said...

I've oft warned the world of the perils of otasty's well as kurt russel movies. No one listens to me.
"What are your qualifications?" They ask.

29000 frequent flyer miles, and unlimited trips to the salad bar, my friends.

Dan / Daniel Gutstein said...

There is a future post coming together. If I am a real poet, i.e., all my poems are in prose, I will figure it out, by use of the following: Snake Pliskin, O'Tasty, and Salad Bars (w/sneeze guard). The challenge has been made! BA

Michael said...

Well...said new poem should also involve Spinal Tap and end with "it was a german shepherd."

We await.


Dan / Daniel Gutstein said...

As do I, await. I am an "artist," man -- I await my inspiration. That is, my fermented beverage. BA