Underground Fight Club

I don’t know about anyone else’s family, but in ours we’ve always preached to the kids they can’t get away with anything. We adults are all-knowing. We have eyes in the back of our heads. Our ears are tuned to pick up conspiratory whispers. Our noses can detect trace amounts of alcohol or boomalatchie at fifty paces. We can feel ‘guilt’ vibrations in the very air. So—(pinning them with a hard stare)— don’t even try it!

It’s all hooey. But it’s imperative the bluff continue, because though we hate to admit it, scary things go on with teens we know nothing about.

In the town where my fifteen year old grandson goes to school—and in towns all over we learned after digging into it—there’s a phenomena on the rise. The kids have set up underground fight clubs. It can be anything from boxing, to no holds barred street fighting. And the considerable amount of money that can be made on the side bets make them nearly irresistible.

These fights are held behind local Winn-Dixies (Winn Dixie is not involved–that just happens to be the store they used in this particular town), at the local harbor, in the back lot of a restaurant. Anywhere there’s room to fight with an exit strategy for the spectators to get the hell out of Dodge if the cops get word and show up.

They’re well-organized, filmed with cell phones, and the results end up on YouTube. Fights are announced days ahead of the match. The location is kept secret until 15-20 minutes prior to the fight, then texted and phoned out with the effectiveness of a nuclear powered PTO phone tree. When I sat my grandson down later to get to the bottom of things I went cold. Seems one of the fighters has developed a move that is a strike to the throat of his opponent to get him to drop his guard. A slight tap can cause you to choke, but you can recover from it. Similar to getting the breath knocked out of you.  Makes it easy to deliver that final knock out punch with the other guy hacking and gagging for air.

None of the kids consider just a bit more force and the trachea is damaged, possibly crushed. No adults are present. If a fighter has his throat crushed he sure can’t count on a bunch of teenagers suddenly concerned with getting away to provide aid. Or if any of them would know how to render aid once panic at watching someone die sets in.

One of my grandsons got involved in such a club. He’s our wild child, big for his age, and we’re really working hard to keep him between the ditches until his emotional growth catches up with the physical part. Sure hope we all survive. He’d watched the current champ fight and had a system figured out to take him. He could see the title and the couple hundred bucks he’d win.

Praying hard has its benefits. Sometimes a cosmic gift gets dropped in your lap.  This one was pure chance, but none of us adults will ever admit to that. I’ll lie that we can’t be fooled, lied to or out smarted, and the rest of them will swear to it! This time we lucked out with information.

I have a sister, Rebekah, the same age as one of my younger children. (Yeah, it’s confusing. Mom and I ended up pregnant at the same time. See previous week’s post. Imagine her shock as a grandmother!) Rebekah was out and about when she overheard excited whispering between some random teens about a fight happening later that night. She really started listening when she heard my grandson’s, her great-nephew’s, name as being pitted against Big-Nose-I’ll-leave-the-rest-of-his-name-out, the throat puncher.

I am so thankful she had the presence of mind to listen for critical detail before jumping in. After she heard enough to be convincing she slid right on into their conversation like she was all up in the loop.  She looks younger than her age, and those kids gave up the location of the fight all on her being able to talk enthusiastic smack about Big Nose being undefeated, and how he’d taken the last fight in the second round. Neither realized their own words were being embroidered and parroted back at them. Things happened so fast she didn’t even have time to call us for back-up. She went in on her own.

Grandson told me he already had the gloves on and was warming up when he recognized the voice screeching “Hunter! Hunter! Boy, don’t you even try to hide from me! I know you’re here!” Said he prayed it would go away. It just got closer. Rebekah is short so he couldn’t see her until she jumped up to get a bearing on the fight ring, and then it was only her head. Said it was like watching a renegade Whack-A-Mole on the loose.  Even when she wasn’t jumping he could still locate her position by the startled expressions along a ripple of movement in the thick of the crowd. Short she may be, but she’s hell with those elbows. And she was steadily working her way through about fifty or sixty packed kids.

I should probably mention here that the men in our family are pretty formidable. And I’ve seen said men climb a piano and try to scale the wall to avoid the smallest of our women. The myth of our righteous temper has been perpetuated for generations. When a guy dating one of my girls remarked he wasn’t pissing off her Dad because he looked freakin’ scary, daughter said, “The one you really need to worry about is my red-headed Mama!”

That fear must be ingrained in our male DNA, because Hunter said he literally started using his teeth to get the laces undone and the gloves off. Managed it just in time to light out down the back side of the building, tear all the way around it and pretend to come up from the front side. Said he could hear Rebekah yelling the entire time.

Got there to see Big Nose was going rounds—in reverse, Rebekah nearly treading on his toes while alternating between lecturing and demanding to know where Hunter was.

Rebekah said Hunter was sweaty and out of breath, embarrassed as hell. She dragged him out anyway, a dinghy towing an ocean liner.

Once home Aunt Rachel, Great-aunt Rebekah and Mawmaw ringed him with stern faces and arms folded across our chests. He gulped, looked down at us and asked, awed, “How did you find out?”  We lied, but we sure were convincing.

“Son, we know everybody and everything.” Pinned under the smirking concentration of laser-hard glares we assured him, “Told you there’s nothing you can get away with. So don’t even try!”

9 Responses

  1. Haa! That’s awesome! Growing up I was convinced my parents knew everything I was into. Sometimes I think they still do 🙂

  2. Runere, I swear we must be part of your family somehow because that sounds exactly like the group of hooligans I call kin. Mom told me all through Jr. High and High School that she knew people, but I didn’t believe her until she found me out about going to Bourbon Street when I was 17. Er…awkward much? Plus the women outnumber the men in my family and while they’re all big, they try not to get in our way. We’re a very, very female dominated family and we don’t take prisoners. Meh. Glad you caught him though. It makes me want to paddle my nephew’s butts just hearing about it because there is NO WAY I’d let my boys get involved in that crap.

    • The men outnumber the women in our family, so maybe that accounts for the female volatility gene becoming dominant when the guys are doing something incredibly stupid! lol You know, to compensate for the guys demonstrating a lack of a sufficient survival gene. (Hmm. Could that work as a good legal defense, do you think?)

      At any rate, we’ve waded in on more than one occasion to save them from their idiocy, to the entertainment of onlookers.

  3. I can picture this… all of it. I can see Hunter’s face as well when he heard Rebekah’s voice. Love ya girlie.. I think.. you should write funny stories, not romance. YOUR A COMEDIAN in your own right

    • Hey, I’m just glad Rebekah was in the right place at the right time! Definitely said a thank-you prayer for it. And that although she’s a lady, there’s nothing timid about her!

  4. Another great post but scary as hell. So glad that catastrophe was avoided.

    I, too, know everything my boys do- and they know it because I know people all over town and I’ll come home and ask about an incident and they would ask- how’d you know that? They quit asking years ago- they just know I’ll find out so they better behave

    • Sigh. It’s probably karmic payback for worrying my parents with my street racing, but so many of the things they get involved in are potentially lethal.

      Just so we keep finding out BEFORE hand, in time to interfere!

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