Jim stopped at the red light just down the street from his office. There had been some construction going on for the last few weeks, so this area was very slow moving and there was a lot of noise. It added fifteen minutes and a lot of frustration to his commute. So Jim turned the music up and looked around for any type of distraction from the time that was being wasted.
He looked to his right and noticed two male workers with braided ponytails. It’s hilarious when you see one, Jim thought, but two? That’s like seeing two midgets. He laughed out loud and stared at them for a few seconds. He wondered whether these were technically ponytails or pigtails, or maybe just braids. That’s what they were, braids. But ponytails nonetheless. The technicalities hardly mattered. For Jim had an idea.
Knowing that, because of the construction, he wouldn’t make the next green light, Jim grabbed a pair of scissors he kept in the glove compartment. He had taken to cutting things while driving to work – coupons, pennies, his hair. Now he was glad he had them. When the light turned red, Jim put his Nissan Centra in park and got out of the car, still brandishing the scissors. He snuck up behind the two men, opening and closing the sheers like Harpo Marx, and then quickly snipped the braids from their heads. He stepped back and posed as if to say, “Walla! Look what I have done!”
The workers grabbed at the backs of their heads and turned around to see Jim, who stood in front of both men, twirling a braid in each hand like a ninja with nunchucks. They heard laughter from some of their fellow workers.
“You motherfucker,” said the first worker.
“Oh, you’ve got an ass whoopin’ comin’ your way, boy,” promised the second.
They went after Jim, but he expertly avoided them, leaping this way and that while still getting good shots at them with his braided weapons, leaving them confused and staggered. He hit one man in the stomach, then slapped the other with both braids repeatedly like the Three Stooges. There was more laughter from the rest of the workers, and cars on the street honked at the action they were witnessing. It made for such a pleasant drive-to-work show; far better than any morning zoo.
“Well, goddamnit,” the first worker said, staggering. “We’ve got Bruce Lee on our hands.”
“Bullshit,” said the second as he went on the attack once again.
Jim swept him off his feet with his own braid. When the second worker recovered, both men went after Jim, but he moved out of the way, causing the workers to run right into each other. Even Jim himself was amazed at how he was handling himself. As the two workers sat on the grass, shaking the cobwebs out of their heads, Jim stood in front of them twirling the ponytails in apparent victory.
“You listen here, fella…” the second worker started.
“Wait, wait, wait,” the first one interrupted. “Okay, you’ve impressed us, hot shot. Now give us our goddamned braids or we will beat you senseless.”
Jim turned around to see the light had turned green. “No time,” he said after turning back to the men, but they came after him anyway. Jim struck one of them in the testicles with one braid and blindfolded the other with the second braid, raking it across his forehead. Suddenly, like a cat, Jim began to race back to his car, but stopped and turned around.
“We’ll meet again,” he said. “Formerly pony-tailed construction workers.” He proceeded back to his car and drove the half-mile to his job as the two embarrassed workers could only shake their fists at him in anger.
Jim entered the office, still holding the two ponytails. He swung one of them at a co-worker, knocking the cup of coffee out of his hand.
“Jim,” the co-worker said. “What the hell?”
“Hey, man,” Jim answered. “It’s ponytail nunchucks.”
“Well, knock it off.”
“Okay,” Jim said. He threw the two hairy weapons into a trashcan and proceeded to his cubicle to begin his workday.
Michael Frissore’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Monkeybicycle, Gold Dust‘s Solid Gold Anthology, Is This Reality?, Sein Und Werden, The Oddville Press, The Externalist, Literary Chaos, decomP and elsewhere. He has also written for The Tucson Citizen, Flak, Slurve, and other publications. His first book, “Poetry is Dead,” is being published by Coatlism Press. Mike grew up in Massachusetts and now lives in Oro Valley, Arizona with his wife and son.
© 2009, Metazen.