One of the most bizarre events of my life took place yesterday afternoon (possibly an indication of how dull my existence really is).
I was accosted in the street by a kung-fu scouser.
I’m telling you, all she needed was her voice dubbed by Jack Black. I really thought I was about to be taken out Panda-style. Thankfully it wasn’t a physical mugging but an ideological one.
She was kung-fu proselytizing. She was fast as lightning. In fact it was a little bit frightening...
She barred my way and suggested very strongly that I might benefit from a little bit of Wing Tsun. Before I could tell her that I preferred Sweet & Sour Chicken she launched into her hard-sell routine of first lesson free, all the health and spiritual benefits, the possibility of taking out knife-wielding scum with the flick of an inscrutable wrist and the fact they’d opened a brand new studio at the bottom of town and were plainly desperate to fill it.
I wasn’t interested. It was obvious that Wing Tsun represented an investment of money, time and energy that I can ill afford to make at present. But I could tell she wasn’t going to take my first no lying down. I was in for a fight. A fight to the death. Like two warring dragons of kung-fu creation. And that put me in mind of my childhood hero, Bruce Lee and his martial arts teaching. One must become like water. People think water is weak but it can flow around and, given time, through all obstacles. It can wear down mountains and wash away entire cities.
Yes. I could hear a huge gong being sounded in my head and reverberating over the paddy fields of my imagination. I must become like water. I could do that. It was in my power. People often tell me I am the biggest drip that they have ever met.
I politely but resolutely explained to her that I was simply too busy; work commitments, on call 24/7, etc.
She kicked back with an offer to take my phone number down right here and now and to call me once I’d had time to reconsider my position. She narrowed her eyes at me. Was there an implicit threat in that statement? I wasn’t sure. I barely saw her hands move but suddenly there was a flier in my hand. Her pen was poised to strike. Crouching ballpoint, hidden signature.
No. I had to be strong. Remember Bruce Lee. Remember to look at the moon and all that heavenly glory and not the pointing forefinger.
I didn’t give her my phone number. I crisply folded up the flier and resisted the urge to glance at the nearby rubbish bin. I would go home and think about it and contact them when I was ready. I nodded once sagely. Take that, evil kung-fu sorceress!
She seemed momentarily winded by the exchange. She grimaced but I could see acceptance of her inevitable defeat in her eyes. She bowed her head, said she looked forward to hearing from me and then quickly retreated without once turning her back.
Very, very wise of her.
For I am a dragon when I am riled and there is no saying what I might have done.
Ah so. Listen well, my students. You all have permission to call me ‘Master’.