Saturday arvo in a small Australian coal mining town in the sixties.
Small mining towns can be a bit rough in Australia, and as a kid from the bush, I went to live in one for a while. For the most part it was a pretty rotten town and Saturday arvo could see a fight outside the picture theater or the cafe almost every week.
"Here we go again." I thought. It's
astonishing how thick the O'Malley brothers were! As usual Bob had started it. Or to be more precise I guess I started the physical fight.
As I walked around the corner of the alley-way between the toilets and the pub wall out on
to the main street on this sunny afternoon, he spotted me from the doorway of the coffee shop
and just couldn't keep his dumb arsed gob shut.Without a belly full of piss he may have been more circumvent.
“Going home to cry about not getting a fight at the tent?” he had inquired in a whining tone that instantly pissed me right off.
( I had asked the boxing tent owner for a fight with the Tasmanian on Friday night at the carnival and was told to piss off and come back when I was old enough. I was not happy about the O'Malley brothers finding out about it then putting it in my face this fine morning.)
“Not yet!” I yelled back, a nasty smirk automatically appearing on my face as I charged towards the coffee shop to give the dozy bastard a taste of my knuckles. This is the same smirk that was bolted to my face in the boxing ring and I wore it all the time as long as I was still standing, and that was ALL the time!.
Anyway, the O'Malleys are slow learners.
I walked straight in to Bob and laid him out as flat as a flounder by throwing a hook which I knew he could dodge easily. The moment of awareness came too late for Bob. I saw his eyes widen as the elbow from the hook that "missed," smashed in to his head behind his right ear, swiftly followed by a head butt that was carefully aimed at where his nose was gonna be after he met my elbow. The head butt was a classic fast nod from above, with all my weight behind it.
I knew Bob could take a fair bit of punishment and didn't
want him to get any second chances so I had started up on my toes and
drove my head in to the bridge of his nose with a lot of force. I watched his eyes roll,
the elbow had almost knocked him out before I butted him. He went down
fast. A crowd gathered almost before he got decked!
is a tough bastard though, and got back on one knee as quickly as he could. I did not wait for him to pull the other knee up before I drove a boot into his mid
section with the toe pointing much like a punt kick in Australian rules
football that was meant to go 60 yards. I thought at the time that I won't get much support from the crowd for that, but I knew what I was doing!
He went down again trying to
draw breath through lungs that were now inside a badly bruised or
broken rib cage that should be very uncomfortable by my reckoning. He
crawled up on to his hands and knees. again. Bloody hell, I thought,
what does it take to keep this bastard down? I already knew the answer
and grabbed his hair and kneed him full in the face.
That was the second time in a month I had sat him on his arse.This time I broke his nose as a bonus to myself because I just didn't like Bob. He harassed young girls and I had two sisters. I could tell you a dozen stories about the brothers, and Bob was an absolute prick as far as I was concerned.
Bob was a bit pissed off about his nose
getting splattered all over his cheeks yet again and offered me a bit
of advice as he got to his knees, the third time blood pouring down and dripping off
his chin. “Ya snaky bastard, I'll bloody kill ya on Thursday night! Not bloody likely! He was much heavier than me and I am at my fighting weight several levels lower than his heavyweight class.
I let him get to his feet this time then from an orthodox stance landed a series of fast left hand jabs to his face. He then decided I didn't have it to knock him out and decided to try and fight me as if we were starting over!
That's when I saw the chance to really lay in the "other" hand and end the fight. I switched stances and sure enough I saw the opening to hit him midships with everything from my left hand. The look on his face was priceless. He never saw the left coming, and it had not traveled far, but he would have felt it in his very soul when it hit him just at the base of his ribs. His eyes had a look I had not seen in either of the O'Malleys eyes before. He was scared.
He thought I was gonna feather him with my right hand and he could handle it then I had revealed the big left hand I never needed to use in the ring to score points in a three round game of touch and score.
From this point on I owned him and he knew it! Even as a young bloke I had enough decency to stop fighting as soon as I could do so with safety. If it had been the other way around, Bob would have probably kept going until he killed me. So I drove another one home. Now he looked bloody terrified, which suited me. I stopped. He had had enough.
He suddenly threw a rock at my head. I had not seen the rock in his hand or when he picked it up, but I knew it had to be a lump of broken concrete from the edge of the foot path. It whizzed past me smashing in to a car window breaking it. Now the rest of the street were on the footpath, including the crowd from the picture theater.
I was over Bob and decided to do whatever it takes and gave him the big left again, this time taking more time to study the effect on his staying power by checking his eyes again as I drove it very hard and fast in to his chest plate with enough thrust to rattle his very bones.
I could see his nervous system go wild as the reality of how much intent was behind the punch dawned on his alcohol soaked brain. My Dad had warned me about drunks and how hard they can be to sink, so I put it all in to that punch and made a hundred people happier I reckoned. He had enough. He looked like he had been mauled by a crocodile, with blood from head to foot and not one drop of it was mine. I even kept the skin on my knuckles for the most part.
His brother never got started really, as he had tried to lob his nasty but telegraphed loping hay maker, Peter stepped inside it, and sank a fast right hand into Alan O'Malley's solar-plexus. The other O'Malley blew out oxygen like a punctured balloon and crashed to the concrete pavement in a fetal position. “It's a bit different when you cop one without the bloody cotton wool wrapped around it” Peter said in reference to being in the ring in an amateur fight.
Alan had hit Peter with a roundhouse punch at the youth club ring about a week before which even shook peters cage a bit, he had not appreciated it as it came well after the bell. Only about 20 of us saw the fight, and Peter could have murdered him if he could hit him harder. Mr. Van Mause made sure we used the “cotton puffs” used in junior amateur boxing prescribed by the state. O'Malley's tactics were to hold in close and use his weight to pull Peter off balance. Even with the puffy gloves, peter managed to punish him for his ways every time they were made to step back. The referee copped a few as well on these occasions. Peter was no angel and spent a bit of time inside the big house before his 18th birthday.
I have never been one to start a fight, but I have made this one exception. The brothers didn't come back to the youth club for their fights, in fact I didn't see them at all for some weeks. They did come back to the youth club one night a couple of months later when we were having a dance night. Guess who was on the door that night?
The moral of this story is as old as the hills. If a bully pushes enough people around, sooner or later they are gonna run into a social reforming street fighter who will clean their clock and make a good job of it. Oh, and never assume to know an orthodox from a southpaw in a street fight. You may run in to some sneaky bastard who is nothing like expected and only fights to win, using whatever means are available and prepared to do whatever it takes!
I still don't like bullies, but I am a lot more understanding of how they got that way as I have matured, and would not resort to violence unless totally cornered.
I spent a lot of years dealing with bikers in my motorcycle shops since those days, and never felt threatened by any of them. The one or two occassions I gave one a slap for being naughty in my shop, they were not as tough as the O'Malleys, or as stupid.