The Best Punch I Ever Threw: Part 10

Posted: March 17, 2011 in Nonfiction

The guy tried to get up and fell back on his ass. He was still woozy from getting hit in the head.

He tried again with more success. He steadied himself and tried for a step towards the door but I blocked him off.

“I thought my wife was in there.” He said, still glancing between the photos and me.

“Well she’s not.” I said. “Get the fuck out of here.”

His confusion was all he had and I gave him nothing else. I just stood there. And fumed.

He looked at the headshots again, curious as to just who the hell I was. I don’t look like a comic, I’m a burly guy with a caveman forehead that can make me look dumb or mean, probably more so, if I’m barreling down on you with a coffeepot I plan on using as a weapon.

He shook his head and shuffled off to his truck. I stood in the doorway glaring until he left and I couldn’t see his taillights.

I turned back into the room. I put the coffee pot back on it’s warmer and I realized that the entire room had been put away. Mike had packed and sorted everything. Even my stuff was back in my suitcase and zipped up neatly. Near the table, right next to Malone’s bag and a stack of pornos he intended on keeping.

He was already in his coat and hat. 

“Let’s get the fuck out of here.” He said with his eyes big like exit wounds.

I put on my coat and lugged my suitcase to the car. Mike threw his in too. I tossed the room key on the bed and closed the door. It still worked.

We headed out.

On the way home Mike and I laughed a lot. We were high on exhaustion and adrenaline.

“You crushed that guy’s face,” Mike kept saying to nobody in particular as he pantomimed a slow motion punch and the guy’s reaction.

“Yeah,” I said and smiled awkwardly.

Mike laughed and made spectacular sound effects…

I didn’t say anything.

He kept going on. But I didn’t really hear him, I had a lot of noise going on in my head.

I kept thinking about the stories I’d heard where people got conked on the head and died a day later. I kept worrying about cop cars coming up from behind us and telling me they were keeping us there for a couple days. I constructed an elaborate scenario where that guy’s brother was a local sheriff who was going to pull us out of the car and show me just how much force it took to break something over a man’s face.

I kept thinking about Shauna, and about drunk John. About those two little girls and the ugly people fucking in the hotel next to us.

I thought about getting paid to tell jokes nobody wanted to hear, and leaving a town under the cover of darkness.

I thought about how many times in my life I’d have to punch somebody, and if I’d always be able to.

I thought about how stupid it was to feel proud about this. All I’d done was sucker punch a Redneck. Rednecks get hit all the time. There’s one getting knocked out in your hometown right now.

I took a huge risk, and I wasn’t even trying to be a hero, just an interesting protagonist. 

This was a terrible experience… but a damn good story.

I wondered how long that would be a justifiable exchange.

We drove all the way home and we took turns sleeping.

The End.

So there it is. the longest thing I’ve ever written. It’s not perfect, and I’m sure I’ll poke at it awhile before I’m happy, but, you guys have really made this fun for me. There’s some stuff I can’t wait to write real soon; some rants, a couple stories, and there’s a fight this weekend. But… This was really special. Thanks.
Oh Yeah, I think I might call it.  And We Took Turns Sleeping. (I swear to god I didn’t think of that line until tonight)




  1. nerdface curry says:

    u are the shit dj keep writing and ill keep reading! love it!!

  2. Lindsay says:


  3. Paul White says:

    DJ, This is the first time I’ve read a story in reverse but I enjoyed your story and style very much. It reminded me of the books by Mickey Spillane written many years ago. Keep up the good work.
    Paul White (Jason White’s dad).

    • DJ Dangler says:

      I’m so glad you dug the story. I didn’t mean for the story to be read in reverse. It’s just that the blog posts each thing I write on top of the other. I think it’s cool that you did though. I wonder how it affected the experience. I hope I was still good. Anyway, I hope you’re great sir.

  4. I’ve heard (and read) this story before, but never quite like this:

    Oh, and this is the video they took before the crazy shit went down:

    Fun Facts about that town from Wikipedia:,_Michigan

    It’s 1.9 square miles, or about the size of Chicago’s Lincoln Park.

    As of the 2000 census, it’s home to 1,105 people. Its racial breakdown is as follows: 98.64% white, 0.09% black, 0.18% Native American, 0.09% Asian, 0.09% from “other races.” Let me do that math for you: one black guy, two Indians, one Asian, and one guy they just don’t know.

    “There were 411 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.3% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present.” So, you know, you could have had a shot with a single mom who was really single.

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