The Night the Karate Kid Dissed Me and Then Did Right in the End

Daniel Larusso and I were supposed to have a dudes’ night out, just him and me.  And we got maybe an hour in before he bailed.

The plan was to meet at the Golf n’ Stuff family entertainment center at 8:30.  Just a couple of bros hitting the air hockey table, maybe the front nine of the miniature golf course.  Who knows, things get crazy, me and Danny-boy might even hit the waterslides a little later; I told him to bring his suit.

8:55 Daniel shows up (no swimming trunks). He said he was helping a friend out and lost track of the time.  I knew he was talking about that little old Chinese guy, but I don’t press the issue.

9:12 We’re finishing up a couple a slices, a couple a root beers, no big deal.  Daniel starts bragging on his air hockey skills.  “Is that a challenge?” I ask with a raised eyebrow, standing from my seat with my arms out at full wingspan.  “You want some of this, Larusso?”  Daniel looks around nervously and tells me to keep my voice down.

9:16 Butcher: 5, Laurusso: 1.  I’m like Ovechkin on the air hockey table.  Suddenly, I hear Daniel’s gay, Peter Cetera ring tone go off and he calls time out.  I’m like, “Time out?  This is air hockey.”  But he takes the call.  He’s doing a lot more listening than talking.  When he finally gets off, I ask, “Who was that?”

“Just a friend,” he says.

9:19 Game, set, match, bitch.  Butcher 11, Larusso 3.

9:20 We pass a photo booth.  “Hey, man, what do you say?  My treat?”  I say, gesturing towards the photo-op behind the curtain.  He gives me a look like, “are you for real?”  Oh, I’m for real, Karate Kid.  I’m so for real.

9:24 I bet Daniel that, in four turns, he can’t pull a plush M&M doll from the claw-crane machine.  He’s all, “you know I caught a fly with some chopsticks, right?”  and takes the bet.  “They’re having a beach party later tonight.  You wanna check it out,” I ask him.  He suddenly starts getting all squirrelly on me.  “I might have something else to do.”

9:26 Daniel hands me a yellow M&M doll and says, “You lose.”  But I just got a yellow plush M&M doll for fifty cents.  I’d say that’s a WIN if ever there was one.

9:28 So, I’m feeling like it’s time to get our putt-putt on.  But when I bring it up, Daniel-son says,  “I got this thing…”  What?  “Dude, this was supposed to be Bros’ Night Out.”  He corrects me, saying it’s called “Dudes’ night out.”  Fine.  “Bro, this was supposed to be Dude’s Night Out, now you’re dissing me?  It’s that Mr. Miyajji, isn’t it?”   “Miya-gi,” he says, “and maybe.  What’s it to you?”

Killin' the Skee Ball

9:34 Daniel and I hit the skee ball machine.  After about six games, neither of us talking to each other, Daniel says, “I might take off in a bit.”  “ I roll my eyes.  “Do you want my tickets,” he asks.  Of course I do.  Daniel walks away.

9:37 Lonely and tired, I do a lap around the arcade.  Then I realize, “what law says I can’t go on the water slide… by myself.”

9:39 I’m heading for the exit when I hear, “On second thought, how about those pictures.”

He left right after we took the photos.  It was the shortest Dudes’ Night Out on record.  But, as time passes, and that strip of photos becomes clearer than my memory, I think back fondly on that special night at Golf n’ Stuff.

Earl, with an L

So, You Want to be a Black Belt?

AFI recently named Karate Kid to its Top Ten Sports Movies of All Time. I love the movie too, but the journey to greatness has a few loopholes as loose as the brick on Ali’s front porch.

Tue, Nov. 1, 1983 Approx 10:15 a.m. Miyagi and Daniel Enter Cobra Kai Dojo

Bonzai, Bitches

Bonzai, Bitches

We know the night before was Halloween (or as the Cobra Kai boys will forever call it, Pearl Harbor 2). Bidding farewell that night, Daniel says “Tomorrow morning? “ Miyagi replies “10:00.” Cut to: Daniel Son: “Good morning, Mr. Miyagi.”

Yes, I know, you’re like, “But Daniel, why aren’t you in school? And Mr. Miyagi, why aren’t you fixing shit?”

Let’s say it takes them 15 min to get to the dojo. Again, don’t ask why there’s a full sparring session well in progress at 10:15 on a school day. Logic does not exist in this dojo, does it? NO SENSEI!

My point is Miyagi convinces Sensei John Creece to prohibit his students from beating Daniel up between now and the tournament, or for one month and sixteen days. Plenty of time for:

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Daniel To Achieve Black Belt Status In One Month, Two Weeks, and Two Days

Minus “Karate from book” and a few lessons at the Y, Daniel has no formal karate training. But over the course of the month and a half he:

– Waxes on and off four cars

You're a Pushy Little Bastard, Aren't Ya?

You're a Pushy Little Bastard, Aren't Ya?

– Paints a fence and a house
– Sands a floor
– And spends one ridiculous session at the beach playing in the ocean and staring in awe/lust at Miyagi’s crane-kicking silhouette.

All told, he really only spent four days training and achieved black belt status. He should be more than ready for:

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The 18th All Valley Karate Championships

Bangs are for the Weak

Bangs are for the Weak

December 19, 1983 is the date. For those of you keeping score, it was a Monday. Again, no school, no work for the sold-out crowd on hand at the Matadome. One quick fact about the Metadome:

It’s record attendance: 3, 106 to watch US/Japan international exhibition men’s volleyball match. It wouldn’t be the last time the US/Japan connection came through…Aye, Daniel-Son.

3,106 people show up to the junior co-ed district karate championships? The Montreal Expos pulled in 3,780 against the Rockies in May of ’02. Six hundred more people at a MLB game… right.

The rest, of course, is history. A montage set to Joe Esposito’s You’re the Best gets Daniel through five rounds. Another two, and he’s hoisting the trophy above his head.

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Do I suspend disbelief for the sake of a great movie? Yes. Are these moments the least believable in the movie? No.

But if you don’t buy in from the beginning, you’re only gonna feel Rick-Rolled in the end.

Catch Something Else With Chopstick

Catch Something Else With Chopstick