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Sunday, 26 April 2015

Crooked Mick fails to fight

I never got around to mentioning this, but Crooked Mick came down to the Big Smoke once.  He wasn't there long, though, before he got himself into trouble.  There was this bloke in town, claimed to be the world heavyweight champion of the world.  Well as you might guess, with two big men in the same town, the inevitable happened, and Mick wandered into a room in a fancy hotel, where this champion was holding court and showing off.  Mick just stood there quietly, watching while the champion bent a steel bar into a U-shape.  It was quite a thick bar, and the champion made quite a fuss about how hard the job was.

Then to prove how strong he was, he bent two more, even thicker, bars in the same way, and passed them around.  Two men took hold of the thinnest bar and tried to straighten it again, but they couldn't.  Then while everybody was still crowding around to look at the bars, the bloke moved over to two huge iron barbells, and a pile of spare weights.  Calling for their attention, he lifted first one weight, and then the other.  He was about to start adding extra weights, but he stopped, because there was a fuss going on in the background, and nobody seemed to be paying him much attention.

What had happened was that Crooked Mick had been looking at the three iron bars on the floor, and being a tidy sort of bloke, he picked them up to put them on a table.  Before he put them down, and without really thinking about it, he had bent them all straight again.  That would have been acceptable, but Mick had straightened all three at the one time, and the heavyweight champion of the world got really mad about this.  You could see he was really seething with anger, under the surface, and he was muttering something real nasty.

Anyhow, he tried not to let it show that he was angry, but I was there, and he said, all sarcastic like, "I suppose you'd like to try lifting these weights as well?".

Well Mick said nothing but walked over, and looked at the two barbells on the floor.  Everybody crowded around, and Mick looked at the weights, then says, "Most of you couldn't see me here, so hang on, and I'll move over near the door."

And with that, he picks up one barbell, tucks it under his arm, then slips his little finger around the second one, getting the balance just right and then scoops up all but one of the spare weights in his other hand, and starts to saunter across to a better spot.  "I'll come back for the other one," he says, "it's better not to strain yourself with stuff like this!"

Now I can see what you must be thinking: them weights were fakes, but it wasn't so: they were the real thing all right, because when he stopped in one place, the floor collapsed under Crooked Mick.  He plummeted down three floors, we found out later, but before we could all race out to see what had happened to him, he comes back up the stairs, still carrying the weights and the barbells.

Well that was too much for the champion.  He grabs a white glove from his pocket and steps forward, slapping Mick on the face with it.  "We will fight a duel!" he shouts.  "You will choose the weapons!"

Flash Jack was there, and so he takes Mick to one side and explains to him about the etiquette of duelling, and how the challenged person has choice of weapons, and how you always fight at dawn.  Crooked Mick stood there thinking for a moment, then says, "Righto.  I choose to fight with axes."

"I don't have an axe!" says the champion, starting to look worried.

"No worries, sport!" says Mick.  "I use two most of the time, so I'll bring 'em both, one for each of us.  See yer tomorrow!"

We never did though, even though we turned up at the park on time, with the axes.  In fact, we never saw the heavyweight champion of the world at all after that, and Mick went back to the Speewah the very next day, mumbling something about city folk being too rough for the likes of him.

In spite of what some people say, he was a very gentle bloke at heart, and I don't know what he would've done if the heavyweight champion of the world had tried to take him on.  As far as I know, Mick only ever fought one fight, and he lost that.

So when you hear people saying Mick'd rather have a fight than a feed, I reckon they're having a lend of you.

* * * * *

Note: there is a whole book of these stories, which I have more or less given up on pitching to publishers, so they will probably appear in an e-book.

There will be quite a number of these on the blog, all with the tags Speewah and Crooked Mick.

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