December 2, 2010 by David Gillaspie
mmauthor series, pt 3
Mrs. Roosevelt held a blow-up of her work with the United Nations. It wasn’t a large print version for failing eyes; it was for the photograph.
“My eyes are fine, thank you,” she said when asked.
But she didn’t see Sarah Palin zeroing in.
She listened with an audience in New York while Mrs. Roosevelt spoke.
“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin? In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world.
“Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works. Such are the places where every man, woman, and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination.
“Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere. Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”
Ms Palin left with the crowd. She headed over to Jack Dempsey’s Broadway Restaurant for a few tips from the Champ.
“Jack, I need help. This Mixed Martial Author deal has me all wound up. I want a fight, you know what I mean?”
Dempsey waved to customers leaving.
“Oh, do I. They didn’t call me the Manassas Mauler because I’m nice to people. When you need to fight, you find one, though I could have done without Gene Tunney.”
“Let’s talk about me, okay champ? I need a fight.”
Jack waved to a group leaving the side door.
“Who have you fought so far? That’ll give me an idea what you’re looking for. I can tell you right now, avoid anyone with a name that sounds like The Wild Bull of The Pampas, or anyone with Wild in their name.”
“Like Wild Bill Hitchcock? I need to fight an author, not a movie director.”
“Who have you fought so far?”
Jack moved to open the door for more customers.
“I played some hard nosed basketball. That’s always a fight.”
“If I’m guessing right, Mixed Martial Authors either knock people out, or choke them out. Is that right? Who have you knocked out or choked out so far.”
“The Queen of England.”
“You fought the Queen?”
“More verbal jousting, but I won.”
“You beat the Queen of England at english? Not bad. Who have you laid hands on with intentions of harm?”
“Come on, Jack, I’m a mom. Does that answer it good enough for you? I live in Alaska. What else do you need to know. It’s a fight every day.”
“If it’s anything like Montana, I believe you. How long have you been in training camp for your fight?”
“I’m a great camper, no matter what my husband Todd says. Living in Alaska is like camping all the time. What with the bears and moose and eagles.”
“Sorry for the commotion,” he said returning. “Some guys come in to get popped so they can go home and tell their friends they fought Jack Dempsey. I won’t disappoint them.”
“It sounded like he wanted a table.”
“Either way, they get a poke in the snoot. Makes for a better story than fighting over a table with a waiter. Did you see my punch? Have you got one of those in your arsenal? Hit me on the shoulder.”
“I’ve been told I’ve got a punch like the kick of a 30-06. Are you ready? I don’t want to hurt you.”
“Give it a shot.”
She punched him with all her might.
“Are you okay?”
“That’s it? That’s your punch? Watch me again.”
Jack called over a waiter and nodded his head. The waiter braced himself. Jack gave him a straight right hand to the shoulder. The waiter fell back like he’d been shocked. The two men nodded to each other.
“That’s what I did,” Sarah said.
“Try it again.”
She raised her fist and brought it down like a badminton serve.
“It’ll work. I’m just glad you didn’t fight the Queen. She’s taken better hits from her grandkids. Who are you looking to fight now?”
“Eleanor Roosevelt. I need a high profile opponent to build my record.”
“I’d pick someone else. Mrs. Roosevelt is too strong and too smart. She’s been in fights, and she’s won. She knows how to win in the trenches. Her husband didn’t get elected four times by himself. She would have made anyone president.”
The waiter who took Dempsey’s punch walked by carrying a tray in his other hand.
“I need to fight her.”
“No, you don’t. Read this, then tell me if you change your mind.”
Jack handed Sarah Palin a copy of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. She folded it and slipped it into her pocket.
“Okay, Jack, she’s wonderful. She’s great. And I’m going to take her down. It’s time America got a new icon. Me.”
“Listen, Sarah, once you get into the ring, or the octagon, or step out on the mat, it’s not about America, or New York, or Alaska. It’s about staying alive enough to get out in one piece. You won’t take Eleanor Roosevelt down and you won’t replace her. What you might do is enhance her legend after she peppers you into submission.”
“Pepper isn’t allowed. I checked.”
“Did you? Check this while you’re here.” He waved over the waiter with the sore arm. “Nicky, when Mrs. Roosevelt came in, do you remember? She came in and challenged me to see who had the harder punch. We both punched you, and you said she hit harder. Were you lying?”
The waiter looked at Jack Dempsey and Sarah Palin.
“Mrs. Roosevelt hit harder, boss. Nearly broke my shoulder.”
“That’s right, you were out for a week.”
“It’s still not right.”
Jack slipped him a ten.
“Thanks, Nicky. Table five is waving for you. Did you hear him, Sarah? Eleanor hits harder than me, and that’s a man saying so, a man who took both our hits. Pick someone else. Get someone closer to your strength.”
Sarah Palin stood back.
“You won’t tell me I’m weak, Jack Dempsey, not you, not John McCain, not Todd. I am strong. I know I’m strong, and I’m not afraid to use it.”
“You might be as strong as bad liquor, but your punch isn’t.”
Jack pointed toward the front door.
“You don’t need a number, here she is now. Watch her move. Sometimes it looks like she’s in three places at once.”
Eleanor Roosevelt moved into Jack Dempsey’s Broadway Restaurant with the grace of a middleweight, smiling and waving, aiming straight toward Sarah Palin.
(to be continued)