I have to be honest with you and tell you why I didn’t want to stand on the block with BAR-KIM. It wasn’t because I watched him serve crills to my Little League coach. It wasn’t because the money wasn’t good either because as a 15year old kid, $100 could get me 2 pairs of sneakers. The real reason that THUNDERCRACKER and I couldn’t stand on the block was MIKE COMBS.
MIKE COMBS was the baddest motherfucker from our side of the neighborhood. MIKE had been an all-world athlete who went into the Marines Corp. When he came back to his folks house around the way, he joined the police force. Even without a gun MIKE was the ultimate badass. If every neighborhood had a MIKE COMBS, there would be worldwide shortage of bullshit bullies.
When I was just a little shorty riding around on my Ross Apollo bike, I watched MIKE destroy this dude from the other side of the neighborhood so badly, I thought he killed him. I can’t even remember the kid’s name, only that he was one of the teenagers from the rough side of Corona that terrorized us kids from the quiet side. They would steal our bikes and our candy money. When I say ‘our,’ it is in the general sense of the word since I was lucky enough never to lose anything to the bullies. The closest I came was when I was 8yrs. old and some dude was going to take my bike but MIKE COMBS just happened to be coming out of his house.
I remember how MIKE jumped on the dude like an animal. When I say that MIKE administered a ‘surgical’ beatdown upon this kid, I am not using hyperbole. He punched him in his stomach and then uppercut the kid in the mouth so hard I can still remember the sound of that kid’s teeth cracking and smashing as they clicked together. The illest part was when MIKE picked the kid up in the air and slammed him down on the park bench so hard that he broke some of the wood slats. Try to imagine a whole bunch of people making that “ooooooooooooh” sound. MIKE then yelled at me to pick up my bike and go back home, which I did immediately. I don’t remember EVER having a problem in my neighborhood after that day.
So, you can imagine my suprise when, as I stood right off Northern Boulevard on a slower than usual Saturday night, I saw MIKE come up the block in his T-top Corvette. He was driving pretty fast but when he saw T. C. and me, he screeched to a stop. He yelled out my name, but I was already walking in the opposite direction. He yelled at me again and began to back his car down the block. First off, MIKE was a crazy motherfucker. I am not sure if he took steroids or not but he was brawlick like some backwoods country ‘Bama negro. You know the ones with no neck and three ft. wide shoulders. I realized that I had better stop and face him because if I made him chase me, there was no way to call it when he finally caught me. And he would catch me. I walked over to his car. MIKE had one of those Angry Black Guy looks on his face, with his eyebrows furrowed and his eyes bulging out.
“What the fuck are you doing on the block?!?” MIKE asked me.
“nuthin’, I was go-,” my meek response was cut short.
“I said what the fuck are you doing up here?!?”, MIKE demanded.
“I am going home,” I replied as I straightened up my posture.
“If I see you on this block again I will personally kick your ass and then I will take you to your house and help your father kick your ass!”
MIKE put his car in gear and screeched up the block.
T.C. looked at me and I looked right back at him and then without saying a word to each other or any of the other kids standing out there, we turned and started walking home.
The truth is that I wasn’t afraid of anyone in the neighborhood except for MIKE and my dad. I once witnessed my dad serving up this dope fiend who was breaking into cars on our block one summer night. The dope fiend tried to hit my dad with a tire iron, but my dad caught it mid-air on some crazy television fight scene shit and then proceeded to give the dope fiend the most hilarious ass kicking. My dad actually kicked that dude in the ass. Everybody watching the scene was talking about it all summer. It also allowed my friends to have a true sense of pity for me when they knew I was going to get in trouble for some dumb shit I did. I will tell y’all that my dad did beat my ass, but at least he never kicked it.
So when MIKE threatened to tell my dad you can guess I was pretty shook. The last people that you want to piss off are ex-Marines. They are already slightly touched. The last thing you want is for them to have a combat flashback on your azz.