Saturday, June 14, 2008


Rastis Toughman was feeling frisky.
He strutted everywhere.
All "respected" him.
None were bold enough to challenge him, he could do as he wished.

The Pugilist's Arms was home of what at the time was the premier nightspot in town, the Fisticuff Room.

A couple of nights previously Rastis had been to the Fisticuff Room and switched out the lights of one of the bouncers, putting him in hospital.

The owners of the Pugilist's Arms, Mahmood Al-Revenge and his son, were not the sort of people Mine Host would cross. Rastis clearly did not share this apprehension.

"This blighter needs taking down a peg or two" mused Mine Host to the Coca-Cola delivery lad.
"It won't happen!" corrected the delivery boy, himself no stranger to street-level methods of settling a score. "He's too tough, flogged six shades of manure out of a bouncer, nobody'll be game to touch him. Especially as he has lots of cousins in this town, haha, who'd be silly enough to cross him?"

Indeed, Rastis himself was of this belief, strutting tall, showing deference to none and consideration to nobody.

Mannerless at the best of times, Rastis was now exhibiting human nature at its very worst. Cravenly, many of his ilk sought to ingratiate themselves with him, hoping by demonstrating servility they would escape the random thrashings Rastis was dishing out, much as lesser men scratched an itch.

He was an exemplary physical specimen, a showpiece of hybrid vigour . The specifics of his paternal genes were unknown, but originated somewhere in the forward pack of the Rugby League premiers of the year prior to his birth.

Being sired by competitive genes meant Rastis sought to establish physical supremacy over all (Rastis was bred from the best of a large natural selection pool, seed from every team member was given equal opportunity to fertilise the egg which 9 months after end-of-season became Rastis)

Rastis and several Rugby League players were cavorting in the public bar of the Wayside Tavern.

Further down the bar, facing away from Rastis & crew, stood a quiet and inoffensive patron, Mr. Polite Son, a worker at the timber company. Never one to draw attention to himself, Mr. Son was a good 20 years older than Rastis (aged 19 and at his peak)

In the mood for sport, Rastis advanced toward Mr. Polite Son, eyeing him in a predatory manner, he drew back his fist to strike.

Mr. Son was leaning on the bar with his left elbow, his right hand holding a glass of beer, about to be caught unawares on a quiet Monday night.

Rastis coiled like a cobra, then struck swiftly and savagely with his best King Hit.

The half dozen or so football players accompanying Rastis, big boys all of them, advanced behind Rastis, to prevent him from doing too much damage to the unsuspecting Mr. Son. Their faces a smirk, they anticipated a front row seat to what was to them humorous sport, the unprovoked beating of an "old codger".

Before Rastis could land the second punch of his planned lightning combination, Mr. Polite Son pivoted anti-clockwise, smoothly putting down his glass and, as he came to facing Rastis, made a short jab with his left.

As if his legs had been swept from under him, Rastis dropped bodily to the floor. The landing on the tiles was hard and not one Mine Host would care to emulate.

Mr. Polite Son stood over Rastis. Callouses, wrinkles and smattering of grey hair contrasting with the smooth complexion and youthful full mane.

Rastis was out like a light.

His friends took a step backward, followed by another. Nobody wanted to be the next man down.
Mr. Polite Son eyed Rastis' group malevolently. None met his gaze.

Mr. Polite Son then turned to the bar, quaffed his glass and apologised profusely to Mine Host. Sponsored by the XXXX brewery to compete nationally and overseas in woodchopping, Mr Son explained that it was a condition of his sponsorship that he not be involved in "trouble in a pub", thus much as he would have liked to "teach the bugger a lesson" by "making it last and cutting him up a bit", he unfortunately had been obliged to "end it straightaway".

Putting down his empty glass Mr. Polite Son quickly exited the pub and went home, as his mother would have dinner cooked by now anyway.

Rastis lay unmoving, only the whites of his eyes showing, the pupils rolled back into the socket.

Rastis' friends still had not moved. Eventually they took him by the ankles and shoulders, carried him out into the street. They got him awake enough to groggily stand between two of them, and slowly tottered out of sight.