Saturday, December 9, 2006

My Saturday Morning

I competed today, in my sport. First time. I've said before what it is. Haven't you been paying attention? No, of course not. Why should you? What could I possibly have to say? Sheesh. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Sheesh.

How'd I do? Maybe I won't tell you. How'd you like that? -- since you can't even be bothered to remember the name of my sport, which is "Brazilian Jiu Jitsu."

I only found out about the competition on Tuesday. I like lots of notice. Hmm. Is that clear? I do like lots of attention, but the "notice" I meant was forewarning ... advance time-notification. Get it? Is that clear now? "Brazilian Jiu Jitsu." I don't like new things. New things are bad. Don't argue with me about this. I'm right. And even if I'm not, I'll never be convinced of it. So it wasn't enough time for me to get comfortable with the idea. I like to brood. I find it's a very healthy thing to do. And it makes people think I'm smart -- whereas in reality I'm quite shallow. But I'll never admit that, even to myself.

Not enough time, then. I'm a huge believer in preparation. Wednesday we practiced take-downs, which I virtually never do. But competitions start standing, so it's gotta be done. Very hard on the knees -- and I've got a bad knee, souvenir from highschool days. No, I'm not feeling sorry for myself. Look, pal, if you want me to get sarcastic with you, just keep it up. It can get ugly, fast -- and I was born ugly. No, wait ...

I didn't know how to eat, for a competition. My diet is really superb, but competition is something different. I ended up eating very little on Thursday, and nothing at all on Friday. You think I'm nuts? Nuts to you, buddy. I didn't say I didn't take in nutrition, I said I didn't eat. But why should you bother to notice? -- what with your being so important and busy and too important to remember petty little things like, oh say, the name "Brazilian Jiu Jitsu." I make the most nutritious berry/fruit smoothy ever -- blue and black and raspberries, cherries and strawberries, a few cranberries, mango and pineapple and kiwi -- a scoop of protein powder, a splash of flaxseed oil, some coconut oil. It is virtually perfect nutrition. No hunger at all. In almost everyone, hunger is not about calories, but about nutrients. If you've got, say, 10 extra pounds of fat? -- that's easily something between two and three weeks worth of calories stored up. Mate, trust me: you're not eating for the calories. The lipids fit into satiation receptors in the brain, so you don't (necessarily) feel hunger. I didn't. At all. The berries are nothing but little nutrient bombs. The protein powder is just a safety net, since I'm doing a lot of exercise, which creates an extraordinary stress. So I had superb nutrition, and I wasn't full of a lot of solid waste if you get my meaning. You do get my meaning, right? Sometimes I think I'm too subtle. "Brazilian Jiu Jitsu."

This morning, then, I got there early. Couldn't find a toy store (they wanted a toy -- figure it out, genius) so I had to drive all over for something that would do. Still got there on time. For the "Brazilian Jiu Jitsu," remember? None of my peeps showed up until an hour later. Sup wit' dat? To me ten o'clock means ten o'clock. Then a lot of waiting around.

Wasn't nervous at all. A little antsy to get going, but no nerves whatsoever. Loosened up, did my ridiculous rolls (they get rid of the oldman ache that I have to live with) and then just waited. You'd think I'd have some feelings. Nope. Odd. But that's how I am. Under pressure, I'm cold. My son's the same way. I think it's a good way to be.

C won both of his matches. K won all three of his -- I think it was three ... but I really only care about myself, so I can't be bothered to remember. J won one of his two -- he's a really big guy, and I don't mean tall, so we were pleased to see him pull it out.


That's about it, then.

Some of the fellas came just to watch. Give us support. That was nice. Group picture with the fellow who ran it. I hear he's famous. World class competitor. Nice guy. Brother of the head instructor at the place I train at. Cameras sure are fancy nowadays. I still have flashbulbs. Couple of the guys invited me to McDonalds. It was a joke. Guess they think they're too good for me. Drove home. Went to the Y and ran.

Yep. That's about it.

What? Oh, how'd I do? Well, I guess I did alright, considering my advanced age, and that I didn't have much prep time, and the fact that I don't do takedowns, and that I'm this freaky pale vegetarian.

I tore through them like a wolf through sheep.



Jack H said...

No, of course I didn't. They were tough guys, and worthy of respect. I managed to win, but that's no slight to them.

I just couldn't resist the line. Was that wrong?

N said...

great job on the competition domination.
btw, we didn't think you'd have much fun watching us stuff ourselves with bacon and sausages(which we actually did)... thus, the mcdonald's joke/invite. as for takedowns,i believe eddie bravo once said, "take downs are for fools who don't have guards." funny, mostly wrong, but a little true, i think.

Jack H said...

I would have thought of it as pornography. Weirdly facinating, but something I wouldn't want to participate in.

I mean the McDonalds.

I got through much of the '70s living on bacon and English muffins.

And by the way, it's *me* who's too good for *you*.


n said...

our quest for perfect nutrition led us to coco's where pornographic amounts of applewood smoked bacon and sausage links are served with buttermilk pancakes. of course, such meals would not be emotionally complete without an ill-advised (yet generous) helping of a perfectly spiced pumpkin pie topped with a very sensible layer of velvety pumpkin chiffon and finished with fresh whipped cream. these coco's signature harvest pies, i'm fairly certain, are absolute "nutrient bombs."

Jack H said...

You interest me strangely. I feel a disturbing disquiet, as of some dim sacral instinct stirring, pulling from below my viscera, urging me to I know not what. But tell me, N, these "signature harvest pies" as you term them -- they are commercially available? Not that *I* would ever so indulge mind you. Why, it would be unthinkable. I scoff at the very idea. It's laughable, that's all. Just laughable. But, um, like I was saying, just anyone could go into one of these "coco's restaurants" and purchase them? There's no membership or anything? And maybe someone could buy some of these "pies" and take them home and eat them in private so that no one would see? Maybe they'd come in an unmarked box or something, or in a plain brown bag, so that no one could ever guess. And I'd relish each delectable bite, it's tang tickling my tongue like butterflies knocking against orchids, the sweet tart paste trailing down my throat like an amber serpent of delight. Mmmm. And the sausages, oh the sausages, their salt and savor suffusing my every sense, a riot of sweetbreads and organ flesh and offals, snouts and ears and exquisite anuses minced and braised and spiced, thick with grease, transporting me sensuous and writhing, my thick fast tongue flicking over my heavy lips, lips, my lips, my tongue lapping up the hot wet fluids, the juices, the bile and gall pouring and squirting between my grinding teeth, every sensation exploding like a bomb, hot and hard and soft and cool, a searing flash of fats and nitrates and no not nutrition not at all but oh I feel so dirty and so vile and so free!


Not that I have any interest in such things, mind you. No, not I. I wasn't serious, you know, just now. You know me. I'm a kidder. Crazy ol' Jack, heh heh, that's me.

So. So, um ... like, uh, so what were you wearing?


n said...

participating coco's locations should offer tasty no-sugar-added apple pies made from flavorful pippin apples, tossed with delightful cinnamon and zesty spices for amazing natural sweetness. actually, they might suck. i really don't know, but maybe these pies won't conflict with your healthful/spartan diet.

as for the sausages, jeez.... dood... ummm, coco's is a family restaurant. perhaps i should take back the "pornographic" remark, and i will. they're more like pg-13 sausage links well within the family dining category.

Jack H said...

Too late. Far too late, for any backing away now. I've fallen, you see. Forsaken every claim to decency. Even sanity eludes me now and madness snaps at my heels like hellish hounds. But you must have known. Don’t pretend. It’s the least that you owe me, being as you are the instrument of my destruction. All last night it tormented me, and I was up with the cocks to find myself panting and gasping outside a nearby Denny’s. Yes, if you seek after my virtue, you’ll find it congealing in a gelid puddle in the gutter by a shabby local mid-priced eatery. And I, my face slathered with confectioners sugar and animal fats that drip from my slack lips like so much candle wax -- ironic commemoration of the guttered flame of my virtue -- well ... I ought never have eaten fruitcake, because of the rum, and one little bite turns a man to a bum. Oh can you imagine a sadder disgrace? -- than a man in the sewer with crumbs on his face? Away! Away with all pastries and every tart! Away with all manner of processed meats! But, alas, it is too late, and no tentative resolve can call me back. So ends my innocence. Thus begins my ragged descent into the desperate, the wretched condition I know awaits me. There is no hope, there can be no redemption, oh feckless thought, for one who has fallen so far. It is over. I can’t go on. Life, if it be called life, is fruitless, and no choc-van parfaits, no fraise-mousse, no myrtille crème anglaise nor bouchette delice nor briouche freuiteage aux sucre can redeem that which has been irriductibly lost. Yes, I could speak of some fruitless, feckless quest for redemption ... of endless gray days, of the eternally impersonal stars that glance like light caught in corpses' eyes, too remote to know even indifference, let alone contempt. I could speak, could so speak, I could. But why? You will see it in my scars.

But the sausages. The sausages.


n said...

welcome to the dark side.... er, to denny's. no, i kid. denny's, i gather, is a fine dining establishment. as the largest full-service family restaurant chain in the country with approximately 1,600 restaurants, they also provide jobs for 27,000 workers.

it is with a heavy heart, however, that i receive news of your fall. it was rather quick, though, wasn't it? i thought you would have taken more time to lugubriously brood on the matter. the grave subject of eggs, bacon strips, sausage links, hash browns, buttermilk pancakes with your choice of cinnamon-apple, blueberry, strawberry or cherry toppings merits, conceivably, more time-consuming contemplation than one, albeit tormenting, night. perhaps that is the nature of some temptation, striking quickly like a really funky soft chicken taco from taco bell. as for the desserts, the hot fudge brownie a la mode, caramel apple crisp, creamy cheesecake, milk shakes, oreo blender blaster, sundaes, banana split, apple pie, chocolate peanut butter pie, carrot cake, floats... on second thought, let us not even talk about them.

let us, instead, focus our collective gaze upon nutrient rich, natural foods. let us find redemption in beans, lentils, berries, citrus fruit, cruciferous veggies, green leafy veggies, nuts, oats, soy, orange veggies, sea veggies, wholegrains, concord grapes, pomegranates, vitamins, essential fatty acids... can't you feel the cleansing already?

take heart and have faith in redemption. there is no bacon greasy enough, no carrot cake sugary enough for a healthy diet not to embrace you back. that may sound impossible, but it is true. no matter what you have consumed or how low you have fallen, you can always begin anew. let us go back to a variety of delicious, nutritious superfoods. we must, after all, eat super in order to feel super. i shall randomly pray for your redemption.

damn, these flamin' hot cheetos are kickass... blazin' and dangerously cheesy...

Jack H said...

Jack was a dear man. We loved him, each of us, after our fashion. That he was weak, for all that his steely gaze and thrusting jaw denied it, can come as no surprise. Of such stuff is every man made. But we had no idea how perilously close to the precipice he so madly danced, and when he fell, the falling was a terror to behold and all the world gasped in wonderment.

Let us not grieve his loss as a tragedy, however. Tragedies have something of the inevitable about them, and while our dear lost Jack most certainly did seal his fate with his willful denial of the frailty of human nature, we shan’t grieve for him in this. Rather, let us celebrate the flickering mote of brilliance that twisted among us for a time and then flitted away to we know not where. Let us resolve ourselves to remember him with a gentle smile, and put out of our mind’s eye the ugliness and horror of his final hours.

Medical science had thought it impossible to gain such a mass of otiose flesh in such a brief time. It seems that Jack, consumed by some perverse and alien spirit, had resolved to turn his own liver into pate de foie gras ... in any event, he gorged himself so monstrously with confections and pressed meats that he caused his inward parts to go necrotic and actually explode out of his abdomen. How it was that he was able to continue functioning for so many nightmarish hours afterward, trailing sundry innards like holiday festoons … well, it is mute and sanguine testament to the salubrity of his previous lifestyle.

Any final thoughts? Only this: We loved him as a fierce and gentle soul, flawed and noble. He flew too high, however, and sought to caress the sun. It can be no wonder that he fell to earth, broken and burned. No man can own sunlight.

Jack (the brother of Jack)