He Knows Kung Fu.

I tink it could be a really swell idea!

“Max, I’m a policeman. I have a gun.”

But doncha wanna be able to get outta a tough situation on ya own?

“I already do that! On a fairly regular basis! Besides, I don’t need martial arts to do it, I use my brain. It’s my second-best feature.”

Second?

“When I got those X-rays, for the appendectomy? I happened to notice my pancreas. It was beautiful.”

Wuz it.

“Damn, have I ever got a fine pancreas.”

Wullllll, den donchu wanna know how ta protect it?

“No.”

Why not?

“No, I meant as in ‘I don’t beleive this, this is horrible’.”

What is?

I point.

No.

Whoa.

Do you know that feeling you get, when a little kid has put up like a lemonade stand all by himself by the highway, and he’s charging a quarter a glass because he thinks that’ll get him enough for a new video game, except he’s put the stand up where there’s nowhere to park, and the only sign is drawn with magic marker and taped to the front of the table so nobody can read it anyway? Ok, now take that, and instead of a lemonade stand, make it something original and utterly deeply lame like selling pinecone bird feeders or kites cunningly arranged to appear as though they grew on trees that the kids mom and grandma probably thought was just so darling. You’re equal parts sorry for the kid and completely embarrassed that you saw this thing, and the only thing you can do is drive on and try to forget about it as soon as you can. We’ve all had that happen, right?

I ask because it’s happening to me now.

We gotta stop dis, Sly! Max is whispering from somewhere nearby.

“Can we? Is that even possible?”

Alright, uh, students! I’m Sensei Smitty, an, uh, if you train wit me, uh, you will learn self-defense techniques that, uh, I perfected after eight years of-

Everyone is gazing at him like he was a whole roast chicken in a diner: half yum, half what the hell is even doing here. Except me. I’d call the flavor of my gaze two parts ridicule to three parts disgust to seven parts stark incredulity to one part xenophobic disgust.

Max is all disgust because someone is drooling on his head.

Here at, uh, Smitty’s we use the, uh, buddy system! Your buddy is to have, uh, your back at all times-

I could bring him down. Bring him in. So easy. The line about the traditional Chinese Judo–he might as well have advertised lessons in old-style Zulu Cricket–the lie is so easy it’s embarrassing. Like the kid with the lemonade stand that hasn’t figured out yet that nobody’s coming. Do you really want to the be the one to point that out to a kid? Can I stand to be the one to break it to this guy that his hogey, pathetic, species-typical lies aren’t just unravelling, they were never raveled in the first place?

The first rule of, uh, Smitty’s Judo Academy is that you do not talk about Smitty’s Judo Academy-

Sure I can. “That’s enough, people. I’d like to see your registration as a licensed instructor of martial arts, or you’re gonna have to come with me.”

They, uh, they make you get one of those?

“Far as you know, yeah.”

Take in dat hog too, Sly! Max blusters aimlessly as the students disperse, none of them apparently disapointed or even concerned that their sensei’s off to jail, for disrespectin an officer!

“Max, if everyone who disrespected you got arrested, there’d be nowhere to put them.”

I really don’t think I need self-defense classes. I can keep them all at bay with my insults.

The Final Word.

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