Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Código de Caballería

Chivalry isn't dead, so much as, mmm, adopted by punks as an excuse to punch old people. I love NY.

Sunday night I was walking E. on 2nd St. between 2nd and 1st Avenues to visit a bar I like.
I passed a stoop where three women in their thirties sat and engaged in some sort of unpleasant verbal exchange with a drunk guy in his sixties standing on the sidewalk. Like a good New Yorker, I kept on walking.
Doesn't this sound like Mickey Spillane?
I got to the bar down the block and greeted some friends smoking outside. Then the old man walks past, but a Puerto Rican with a shaved head no older than 21 comes up from behind him and gets off a bicycle yelling.
"Hey, mother-----r, whatchu ----ing problem?"
Drunk Guy: [blank stare]
Neighborhood SHPOS: You callin' those ladies words, I'm'a ----ing beatcho ass! [etc.]
DG: Hey, man...
NSHPOS walks up and throws a snappy jab-cross into DG's cheek. He does it flat-footed with no shoulder behind it, and from too far away-- DG's head doesn't even move back.
I calmly put my bag down by the building and stand off to NSHPOS's left, between the two but not in between them.
Before I get there, there's another half-assed jab, and I'm now pissed off.
I tell NSHPOS to cut it out and explain that I'm not going to let him beat an old man up in the street (I say "I'm not going to let you beat this old man up in the street."). He's smaller than me, and there are five people in the bar who'll help me stomp him, so it's not all that courageous-- I was just letting him know he couldn't go any farther. NSHPOS keeps staring down the old man, never looks me in the eyes. Which I think was smart, considering the old man was more likely to do some crazy thing than I was. And he doesn't want to provoke anyone who might actually hit him back-- 'cause I'm totally a trained ninja and whatnot.
The old man keeps staring with his hands out by his sides, slurring some comment or other, maybe another "hey, man."
NSHPOS says something about how the old man is lucky he didn't hit him harder.
I yell at the old guy to walk away. Why is he making eye contact with this kid who just wants to be provoked? I don't think he even knows someone punched him. After a few uncomfortable seconds, he walks on.
I go inside to eat my bell pepper and have a beer.

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