Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Continuing the proud legacy of Maurice Clarett

Weird story from the boxing world: Undisputed cruiser weight champion O'Neil Bell has been arrested for assaulting his sparring partner Larry Slayton with a hatchet during a training jog.

You may be wondering why a boxer would take a hatchet running with him.

To protect him from bears of course.

And why not? They were jogging through the woods in a Southern California resort area called Big Bear Lake. Sure there hasn't been a bear spotted in Big Bear since 1906, but try explaining that to a man who's spent most of his life getting punched in the face.

I once had a humorous/scary experience with a hatchet. A few summers ago I was staying at my parent's house in the country. A kooky and often drunk acquaintance of my folks had guilted them into letting him stay in the tiny cabin next door. I was trying my best to avoid the crazy old man, but one afternoon there was a knock on the front door and there he was, holding a hatchet and sporting a substantial gash on his forehead.

I was startled.

When I got over that, and realized he wasn't about to lunge at me, I recognized the hatchet. For as long as I could remember it had been decorating the tiny cabin's mantelpiece.

"I was chopping wood," he told me.

The hatchet in question wasn't sharp enough to chop snow. And his head wound must have been born from the dull hatchet, too much alcohol and a frustrated back swing.

But the old drunk seemed to have no clue what he had done to himself.

"Do you have anything to sharpen this with?" He nonchalantly asked, blood dripping from his chin to his shirt.

"No" I said, without thinking about whether or not that was true.

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