IvyGate Gives You Free Shit: Winning It May Be A Long Shot

img-article---the-longshot-book-cover_225649208742The Daily Beast recently profiled Katie Kitamura (Princeton ’99), whose debut novel, The Long Shot, is out this month from Free Press. Although the Beast pokes fun at the “young Asian ballerina” who wrote a novel about MMA, or ultimate fighting, they can’t help but admit that the book is fantastic:

“Katie Kitamura, a Princeton-educated former ballerina, has produced a lean, taut little novel as authentic as any sport could hope to have represent it. The Long Shot, her debut effort, reads the way we imagine the best fighters to be: quiet, measured, self-assured, always thinking ahead.

This book sounded like a great end-of-summer read, so we checked it out and convinced the author to give away a personalized, signed copy to one IvyGate commenter.

That’s right! For all of the times when you’ve bashed our posts, calling us out on typos or less-than-stellar sentence structure, the tables have turned, anonymous friends.  To enter, Leave your most awesome fight story in the comments. We’ll update this post to let you know who Katie has selected as the winner on Sept 1, and you can email IvyGate to claim your prize.

So, to recap: Leave a fight story in the comments. You have until Sept 1 to make shit up recall that drunken night at 1020 where you maybe clocked your orgo TA over a wrongly-graded problem set. You can enter as many times as you’d like.

Ready? Let the commenting begin.

Edit: We have winners! Two, actually. H’?? (Gentlemen’s Death Club dude) and “Two Tooth” Tommy. Email your mailing address/instructions to personalize to robyn@ivygateblog.com. Congrats!

  • abraxas

    I fight several times every week. I measure my opponent as he (or she) walks to the strip. As my opponent prepares to spar, I mentally recall prior encounters. I strategize based upon the strong and weak points of my opponent… tall or short, clumsy or athletic, long-reach or not, slow or speedy, new uniform (inexperienced) or showing lots of wear, etc. As the bout begins, I examine the stance and mobility of my opponent. I trade a few exploratory invitations or simple attacks. If it is clear that my opponent is crafty, I continue with second or third intention attacks. Sometimes, the best strategy is to delay the encounter, hoping to find a momentary weakness in a superior opponent. After a few minutes, one of us will get the win, but both of us will have had a great work-out and a lot of fun. I often will earn an extra bruise, mostly in my arms, sometimes in my ego (How could I have lost to this !@# $%&*). Any way, this is just another day fencing Epee. What were you expecting from an IvyGate reader!

  • abraxas

    I fight several times every week. I measure my opponent as he (or she) walks to the strip. As my opponent prepares to spar, I mentally recall prior encounters. I strategize based upon the strong and weak points of my opponent… tall or short, clumsy or athletic, long-reach or not, slow or speedy, new uniform (inexperienced) or showing lots of wear, etc. As the bout begins, I examine the stance and mobility of my opponent. I trade a few exploratory invitations or simple attacks. If it is clear that my opponent is crafty, I continue with second or third intention attacks. Sometimes, the best strategy is to delay the encounter, hoping to find a momentary weakness in a superior opponent. After a few minutes, one of us will get the win, but both of us will have had a great work-out and a lot of fun. I often will earn an extra bruise, mostly in my arms, sometimes in my ego (How could I have lost to this !@# $%&*). Any way, this is just another day fencing Epee. What were you expecting from an IvyGate reader!

  • Dart

    ^ I can’t believe you just posted your (horrible) admissions essay. Stupid Cornell ’13…

  • Dart

    ^ I can’t believe you just posted your (horrible) admissions essay. Stupid Cornell ’13…

  • Cool-umbia ’08

    Dart, that may be my favorite IvyGate comment ever.

  • Cool-umbia ’08

    Dart, that may be my favorite IvyGate comment ever.

  • Never say no to a new book

    One night, Spring of 2007 I cheated on my girlfriend (I was sixteen, leave me be). I was a loaded teen and she, the strange girl in question, had a Chinese symbol, which in those days implied something other than a heightened risk of genital warts.

    In retaliation my girlfriend and her click of battery-powered friends forbid me from sitting with them at lunch. My locker, to which she knew the combination, was trashed, and each morning for a week there was a fresh load of Jack Russell feces at my door. But that wasn’t enough. Two weeks later I was shoved (by a 5″1′ girl with glasses) and challenged to an after school fistfight. Not with her brother, father or uncle, but with her. She would, as she put it so well, “publicly kick my cheating ass”.

    We met after school as per the “challenge”. The end result was two bitch slaps, a surprisingly strong fist to the face and a random kick from her fat friend standing in the sideline (Vicky, you bloated mare; I sincerely hope you die in a car crash by age 26). I did not raise my hands once. Surprisingly, the next day saw my return to everyone’s good graces….I’m still not quite sure how.

  • Never say no to a new book

    One night, Spring of 2007 I cheated on my girlfriend (I was sixteen, leave me be). I was a loaded teen and she, the strange girl in question, had a Chinese symbol, which in those days implied something other than a heightened risk of genital warts.

    In retaliation my girlfriend and her click of battery-powered friends forbid me from sitting with them at lunch. My locker, to which she knew the combination, was trashed, and each morning for a week there was a fresh load of Jack Russell feces at my door. But that wasn’t enough. Two weeks later I was shoved (by a 5″1′ girl with glasses) and challenged to an after school fistfight. Not with her brother, father or uncle, but with her. She would, as she put it so well, “publicly kick my cheating ass”.

    We met after school as per the “challenge”. The end result was two bitch slaps, a surprisingly strong fist to the face and a random kick from her fat friend standing in the sideline (Vicky, you bloated mare; I sincerely hope you die in a car crash by age 26). I did not raise my hands once. Surprisingly, the next day saw my return to everyone’s good graces….I’m still not quite sure how.

  • Abhishek

    While riding me reverse cowgirl, Megan Fox had just begun begging me to finish her off missionary when I heard the distinct barking of a rottweiler. I laughed that the universe was signaling us to do it doggy style instead, but we were interrupted by a drunk dragon that crashed through the yacht and breathed fire at us. I pulled out of Ms. Fox just in time to shoot my load into the fire so forcefully that the pressure waves were felt in the scrotums of every seafarer within a nano-light day, extinguishing the dragon’s ethanol flame and eventually transforming the beast into three skittles and a Jim Croce lullaby.
    Then I woke up from my daydream. Angry that I never got to eat the skittles, I yanked the hair of the first person I saw, which happened to be the dean’s daughter. And that is the true story of how I got expelled from Tyler Knight Elementary School.

  • Abhishek

    While riding me reverse cowgirl, Megan Fox had just begun begging me to finish her off missionary when I heard the distinct barking of a rottweiler. I laughed that the universe was signaling us to do it doggy style instead, but we were interrupted by a drunk dragon that crashed through the yacht and breathed fire at us. I pulled out of Ms. Fox just in time to shoot my load into the fire so forcefully that the pressure waves were felt in the scrotums of every seafarer within a nano-light day, extinguishing the dragon’s ethanol flame and eventually transforming the beast into three skittles and a Jim Croce lullaby.
    Then I woke up from my daydream. Angry that I never got to eat the skittles, I yanked the hair of the first person I saw, which happened to be the dean’s daughter. And that is the true story of how I got expelled from Tyler Knight Elementary School.

  • threefish

    I hated my freshman year roommate. I hated the way he’d bang on his desk lamp while listening to Rush, oblivious to me working at the desk next to him. I hated the way he’d ask us what we had put down for answers the minute we walked out of a midterm and then tell us which ones he thought we had gotten wrong. I hated that he blew his nose into my buddy’s harmonica to make noise and didn’t realize how disgustingly irreversible that was.

    I should have known that it was a mistake when he tried to convince me that we didn’t need to bring a final gift on the last day of secret santa but I, in my cheapness, agreed. When I showed up and saw everyone else exchanging I felt like such a dick. As I rushed back out to hit the Square and get something he ran up beside me, imploring me that if we both stood together that it’d be ok that we didn’t bring anything.

    As I sped up, so did he. Right as we hit Johnston Gate, I suddenly stopped and simply threw my elbow back. Momentum did the rest.

    More than 20 years later, we’re still not friends. But I don’t regret a thing.

  • threefish

    I hated my freshman year roommate. I hated the way he’d bang on his desk lamp while listening to Rush, oblivious to me working at the desk next to him. I hated the way he’d ask us what we had put down for answers the minute we walked out of a midterm and then tell us which ones he thought we had gotten wrong. I hated that he blew his nose into my buddy’s harmonica to make noise and didn’t realize how disgustingly irreversible that was.

    I should have known that it was a mistake when he tried to convince me that we didn’t need to bring a final gift on the last day of secret santa but I, in my cheapness, agreed. When I showed up and saw everyone else exchanging I felt like such a dick. As I rushed back out to hit the Square and get something he ran up beside me, imploring me that if we both stood together that it’d be ok that we didn’t bring anything.

    As I sped up, so did he. Right as we hit Johnston Gate, I suddenly stopped and simply threw my elbow back. Momentum did the rest.

    More than 20 years later, we’re still not friends. But I don’t regret a thing.

  • abraxas

    Very wrong assumptions, Dart. … a tenured faculty.

  • abraxas

    Very wrong assumptions, Dart. … a tenured faculty.

  • really?

    What tenured faculty member not only reads IvyGate, but enters a commenting contest?

  • really?

    What tenured faculty member not only reads IvyGate, but enters a commenting contest?

  • D’12

    Probably the same type that posts how much he/she hates her students/jobs on facebook.

    Can IvyGate keep linking back to this? This could be pretty funny if more people did it.

  • D’12

    Probably the same type that posts how much he/she hates her students/jobs on facebook.

    Can IvyGate keep linking back to this? This could be pretty funny if more people did it.

  • H’??

    Years ago, I organized a fight club within the Harvard campus. It was colloquially referred to as the Gentlemen’s Death Club, and was quite popular. I would like to first say that this formed well before Palahniuk and his book, before the cult classic film, and way before the many imitation clubs which followed. Anyways, we fought on Monday and Thursday nights, 11pm-2am. Our group originally consisted of freshman and sophomores who lived on or close to campus, mostly athletes and bigger guys. On a typical night you would see a few football players, guys from the lacrosse team, some casual weight lifters and the like. I’ve even fought heavy and lightweight coxswains and the rowers from their crews. After the first few months, undergraduates of all sizes were showing up.

    Eventually, Harvard employees and faculty found out about it and joined in. I remember the first non-student I fought was a custodian who worked in the JFK School of Government. I’ve fought groundsman, electricians, painters, custodians from all over the campus, a carpenter, a plumber, truck drivers, a phone technician, many security guards/night watchmen, private bodyguards, a police Lieutenant, two sergeants, and countless officers, a museum curator, cooks, all of the fleet mechanics at least once, a cost accountant, mail clerks, a bartender, librarians and bookbinders, a campus planner, a sanitation engineer, faculty support staff, executive assistants, a social worker, a nurse practitioner, a surgeon, a publicist, an ombudsman, an animal technician, and numerous other university staff I can’t immediately recall.

    In addition, tenured faculty, visiting professors, teaching assistants, and graduate students frequented fights, eventually outnumbering the staff. Let’s get one thing straight: Harvard academics were prolific fighters. They quickly found their place in the club as formidable opponents–completely hardened after a few months. Personally, I’ve fought physicists, chemists, mathematicians, medical students, lawyers, architects, city planners, visiting heads of state, botanists, poets, authors, a pastor, rabbis, two Nobel Laureates, Fulbright scholars, computer programmers, political scientists, cultural anthropologists, and sociologists. I can say with 100% certainty that I’ve fought with academics from all colleges, and probably most departments.

    You know, it was my dream once to fight with all of the deans, the provost, and the president. Sadly, this was never realized. In six years at Harvard, I sparred with four deans (who shall remain nameless as they would categorically deny involvement if I revealed their names anyways). I’ve since dreamed of reliving those years at my beloved university, working again toward this goal. I believe it would make me the most legendary student to have ever attended Harvard. That’s not to say the others I fought were lesser men. In fact, the hundreds who have met my fists are the greatest men I’ve ever known.

    Truth be told, multiple years have passed since graduation. I’m a working professional now. I’ve visited Cambridge a few times to see if any of my old contacts had any Death Club news. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t exist anymore. I sure hope I am wrong.

  • H’??

    Years ago, I organized a fight club within the Harvard campus. It was colloquially referred to as the Gentlemen’s Death Club, and was quite popular. I would like to first say that this formed well before Palahniuk and his book, before the cult classic film, and way before the many imitation clubs which followed. Anyways, we fought on Monday and Thursday nights, 11pm-2am. Our group originally consisted of freshman and sophomores who lived on or close to campus, mostly athletes and bigger guys. On a typical night you would see a few football players, guys from the lacrosse team, some casual weight lifters and the like. I’ve even fought heavy and lightweight coxswains and the rowers from their crews. After the first few months, undergraduates of all sizes were showing up.

    Eventually, Harvard employees and faculty found out about it and joined in. I remember the first non-student I fought was a custodian who worked in the JFK School of Government. I’ve fought groundsman, electricians, painters, custodians from all over the campus, a carpenter, a plumber, truck drivers, a phone technician, many security guards/night watchmen, private bodyguards, a police Lieutenant, two sergeants, and countless officers, a museum curator, cooks, all of the fleet mechanics at least once, a cost accountant, mail clerks, a bartender, librarians and bookbinders, a campus planner, a sanitation engineer, faculty support staff, executive assistants, a social worker, a nurse practitioner, a surgeon, a publicist, an ombudsman, an animal technician, and numerous other university staff I can’t immediately recall.

    In addition, tenured faculty, visiting professors, teaching assistants, and graduate students frequented fights, eventually outnumbering the staff. Let’s get one thing straight: Harvard academics were prolific fighters. They quickly found their place in the club as formidable opponents–completely hardened after a few months. Personally, I’ve fought physicists, chemists, mathematicians, medical students, lawyers, architects, city planners, visiting heads of state, botanists, poets, authors, a pastor, rabbis, two Nobel Laureates, Fulbright scholars, computer programmers, political scientists, cultural anthropologists, and sociologists. I can say with 100% certainty that I’ve fought with academics from all colleges, and probably most departments.

    You know, it was my dream once to fight with all of the deans, the provost, and the president. Sadly, this was never realized. In six years at Harvard, I sparred with four deans (who shall remain nameless as they would categorically deny involvement if I revealed their names anyways). I’ve since dreamed of reliving those years at my beloved university, working again toward this goal. I believe it would make me the most legendary student to have ever attended Harvard. That’s not to say the others I fought were lesser men. In fact, the hundreds who have met my fists are the greatest men I’ve ever known.

    Truth be told, multiple years have passed since graduation. I’m a working professional now. I’ve visited Cambridge a few times to see if any of my old contacts had any Death Club news. As far as I can tell, it doesn’t exist anymore. I sure hope I am wrong.

  • anonymous

    @ abhishek hahahaha

  • anonymous

    @ abhishek hahahaha

  • @ H’??

    Bullshit.

  • @ H’??

    Bullshit.

  • pee

    Outrageous Lies and Half-Truths | IvyGate – Mozilla Firefox

  • pee

    Outrageous Lies and Half-Truths | IvyGate – Mozilla Firefox

  • KEGGY

    Last Monday, I wore my Dartmouth Indians shirt to Tri-Kap and some of the offended brothers charged me. Luckily, I had the support of the Black Tri-Kaps, so it was all good. Then we played pong. The end.

  • KEGGY

    Last Monday, I wore my Dartmouth Indians shirt to Tri-Kap and some of the offended brothers charged me. Luckily, I had the support of the Black Tri-Kaps, so it was all good. Then we played pong. The end.

  • Trip Down Memory Lane

    Reasonable people can disagree as to whether the Ivy League is resident to more or less than its share of attractive women. Due to the sheer serendipity of college life, I had the good fortune to date two spectacularly beautiful women. This is the story of how the arc of our three lives unexpectedly converged one night my junior year, culminating in a fight — or at least an approximation of one.

    The first woman was working in the language lab one evening at the very end of my freshman year when I saw her and summoned the courage to ask her out. I readily concede that calling our relationship “dating” generously stretches the definition of the term because we only went on one actual date before she graduated that spring. But I’m going to grade myself on a lenient curve here simply because it took every ounce of bravery in a skinny, gangly freshman to approach a beautiful senior who was way out of his league. Let’s call her Former Date.

    The second woman was my girlfriend for all of my junior year (yes, more than one date). After we had become very close, she confided to me that, the previous year, a senior whom she briefly dated (yes, it may have been only once) had forced himself upon her. This disturbing revelation made quite an impact upon me and, knowing this guy’s name, I made a note to myself that, if I were ever to meet him, I would slug him. This was not much of a commitment on my part since The Perpetrator had graduated already and was then working in New York. Furthermore, I had no idea what he looked like. What were the chances that our paths would ever cross?

    Fast forward a few months. During a boisterous party, I was milling about aimlessly when, lo and behold, whom should I see — a vision as radiantly resplendent as the day I met her two years prior? Former Date greeted me enthusiastically and then introduced me to the guy standing next to her, “I want you to meet [The Perpetrator].” I immediately recognized his name. Jesus, I thought, here he is, standing right in front of me! What are the odds? It’s a sign from God. What should I do?!

    Ominously, this guy was much better built than me. If I took a swing at him, there was every likelihood that he would punch my lights out. After making forced polite conversation with them for several minutes, I stepped away to gather my swirling thoughts. Finally, I decided that, if I passed on this opportunity after previously vowing to avenge what he had done to Current Girlfriend, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself afterward. I would have to risk getting beaten to a pulp.

    But first I hedged my downside slightly. I found my friend Rich and told him, “I’m going to start a fight with a guy who’s bigger than I am. If he starts beating the s–t out of me, step in and break us up, okay?” Rich was not exactly built like Mike Tyson, either. He nodded grimly, then reluctantly but earnestly followed me across the room.

    As I worked my way back to The Perpetrator, I could see that Former Date was no longer in the area. Good, I didn’t want her to see what he might do to me. Adrenaline was pumping so furiously that I could barely breathe, let alone think straight. How should I do this? Am I going to die?

    After a moment’s thought which seemed to take hours, I strode up to The Perpetrator. The conversational noise around us was loud so I leaned in close to him and stated matter-of-factly, “I’m a friend of [Current Girlfriend] and I know what you did to her last year.” He looked at me blankly but I thought that I had better do something before he came to a conclusion and struck first. I drew back my right fist and punched him as hard as I could in the abdomen, just below his rib cage.

    I wasn’t sure if I had done any damage but he buckled and staggered backwards. Just like in the movies, the crowd around us suddenly parted and it was just the two of us. He looked up at me with a confused expression on his face and, still faltering, fell onto his back. I stepped forward, unsure of how to proceed. My longtime plan to punch The Perpetrator didn’t have a Step B. I stared at him with frightened anticipation and, for a moment, his eyes rolled up in his head. I immediately thought, okay, that’s enough. Let’s get out of here before he gets up and answers the bell for round two. I turned and walked away. I went right upstairs and stayed there for over an hour, hoping that The Perpetrator wouldn’t wait for me.

    When I finally came back downstairs, the manager saw me and loudly reprimanded, “What the hell were you thinking?” I asked about what happened and he explained, “That guy you hit passed out. We sent him to the hospital in an ambulance.” I felt some satisfaction that I had had an effect.

    When I got back to my dorm, I was surprised that Current Girlfriend became furious upon learning that I had taken matters into my own hands. “You had no right to do that!” I guess my idea of chivalry isn’t universally held but I still think that I did the right thing. I would do it again. [Rich, if you’re reading this, thanks again.]

  • Trip Down Memory Lane

    Reasonable people can disagree as to whether the Ivy League is resident to more or less than its share of attractive women. Due to the sheer serendipity of college life, I had the good fortune to date two spectacularly beautiful women. This is the story of how the arc of our three lives unexpectedly converged one night my junior year, culminating in a fight — or at least an approximation of one.

    The first woman was working in the language lab one evening at the very end of my freshman year when I saw her and summoned the courage to ask her out. I readily concede that calling our relationship “dating” generously stretches the definition of the term because we only went on one actual date before she graduated that spring. But I’m going to grade myself on a lenient curve here simply because it took every ounce of bravery in a skinny, gangly freshman to approach a beautiful senior who was way out of his league. Let’s call her Former Date.

    The second woman was my girlfriend for all of my junior year (yes, more than one date). After we had become very close, she confided to me that, the previous year, a senior whom she briefly dated (yes, it may have been only once) had forced himself upon her. This disturbing revelation made quite an impact upon me and, knowing this guy’s name, I made a note to myself that, if I were ever to meet him, I would slug him. This was not much of a commitment on my part since The Perpetrator had graduated already and was then working in New York. Furthermore, I had no idea what he looked like. What were the chances that our paths would ever cross?

    Fast forward a few months. During a boisterous party, I was milling about aimlessly when, lo and behold, whom should I see — a vision as radiantly resplendent as the day I met her two years prior? Former Date greeted me enthusiastically and then introduced me to the guy standing next to her, “I want you to meet [The Perpetrator].” I immediately recognized his name. Jesus, I thought, here he is, standing right in front of me! What are the odds? It’s a sign from God. What should I do?!

    Ominously, this guy was much better built than me. If I took a swing at him, there was every likelihood that he would punch my lights out. After making forced polite conversation with them for several minutes, I stepped away to gather my swirling thoughts. Finally, I decided that, if I passed on this opportunity after previously vowing to avenge what he had done to Current Girlfriend, I wouldn’t be able to live with myself afterward. I would have to risk getting beaten to a pulp.

    But first I hedged my downside slightly. I found my friend Rich and told him, “I’m going to start a fight with a guy who’s bigger than I am. If he starts beating the s–t out of me, step in and break us up, okay?” Rich was not exactly built like Mike Tyson, either. He nodded grimly, then reluctantly but earnestly followed me across the room.

    As I worked my way back to The Perpetrator, I could see that Former Date was no longer in the area. Good, I didn’t want her to see what he might do to me. Adrenaline was pumping so furiously that I could barely breathe, let alone think straight. How should I do this? Am I going to die?

    After a moment’s thought which seemed to take hours, I strode up to The Perpetrator. The conversational noise around us was loud so I leaned in close to him and stated matter-of-factly, “I’m a friend of [Current Girlfriend] and I know what you did to her last year.” He looked at me blankly but I thought that I had better do something before he came to a conclusion and struck first. I drew back my right fist and punched him as hard as I could in the abdomen, just below his rib cage.

    I wasn’t sure if I had done any damage but he buckled and staggered backwards. Just like in the movies, the crowd around us suddenly parted and it was just the two of us. He looked up at me with a confused expression on his face and, still faltering, fell onto his back. I stepped forward, unsure of how to proceed. My longtime plan to punch The Perpetrator didn’t have a Step B. I stared at him with frightened anticipation and, for a moment, his eyes rolled up in his head. I immediately thought, okay, that’s enough. Let’s get out of here before he gets up and answers the bell for round two. I turned and walked away. I went right upstairs and stayed there for over an hour, hoping that The Perpetrator wouldn’t wait for me.

    When I finally came back downstairs, the manager saw me and loudly reprimanded, “What the hell were you thinking?” I asked about what happened and he explained, “That guy you hit passed out. We sent him to the hospital in an ambulance.” I felt some satisfaction that I had had an effect.

    When I got back to my dorm, I was surprised that Current Girlfriend became furious upon learning that I had taken matters into my own hands. “You had no right to do that!” I guess my idea of chivalry isn’t universally held but I still think that I did the right thing. I would do it again. [Rich, if you’re reading this, thanks again.]

  • “Two Tooth” Tommy

    _It’s a Hobo Christmas_

    I’ll never forget the Christmas of ’84. It was the worse Hobo Christmas ever. I’ll recount it here as I have for the pigeons each year since.

    I was feeling miserable – really down in the gutter. And not just because I was sleeping in a gutter but for reasons far more complicated and painful to relive here. I was out of hashish and missing a shoe, there I said it! As I stood alone on a snow covered bridge contemplating the icy embrace of the Charles I looked to heaven and cursed the day I was born. That’s when an angel appeared before me and told me to be careful for what I wish, for it might come true. I don’t usually hallucinate before 3 o’clock so I knew something was amiss. My new friend promised to show a world without me – a world void of “Two Tooth” Tommy. And show me he did!

    I awoke to the stinging of snowflakes settling gently against my weathered brow. I stood up and pushed my way back into town only to be greeted by faces that didn’t recognize me, strangers who wouldn’t acknowledge me, and old friends who looked the other way. It was just like every other day of my life so I bought a Colt-45, punched out the angel and took a nap.

    The next day I decided to take advantage of this godsend and took to the streets snatching the wallets of the very people who were ignoring me. But good fortune never lasts for too long; the Lord giveth and taketh away. Within hours I was surrounded by hordes of angry citizens, backing me into a corner and demanding their money. I responded swiftly, “Why, I don’t have your money,” I exclaimed, “Jim has your money, and… and Frank, and Sally, and Roger—when he added that new extension to his garage…he has your money!” Here I pointed to a particularly “Roger” looking guy. The townspeople looked at each other befuddled. That’s when I splashed hot coffee in “Roger’s” face and ran like hell. You’re probably wandering if I was ever caught, but I know enough about storytelling to preserve a little mystery. Let’s just say I was beaten senseless that day by a thousand strangers. Maybe it was the angry mob and maybe it was an unrelated thing. Whoever they were they stole my wallets, my clothes; my one good boot. They robbed me of my dignity and left me lying in a pool of my own urine (it’s a defense mechanism). Despite all they did to me there was one thing they couldn’t take: my gold tooth, which I later sold for crack.

    I learned a valuable lesson that year. Always keep a back-up wallet in your underpants. And that’s the story of how I saved Christmas. No, wait… That’s the story of how I got the nickname “Crackpipe Cringle.” And to this day I don’t know what a cringle has to do with Christmas.

  • “Two Tooth” Tommy

    _It’s a Hobo Christmas_

    I’ll never forget the Christmas of ’84. It was the worse Hobo Christmas ever. I’ll recount it here as I have for the pigeons each year since.

    I was feeling miserable – really down in the gutter. And not just because I was sleeping in a gutter but for reasons far more complicated and painful to relive here. I was out of hashish and missing a shoe, there I said it! As I stood alone on a snow covered bridge contemplating the icy embrace of the Charles I looked to heaven and cursed the day I was born. That’s when an angel appeared before me and told me to be careful for what I wish, for it might come true. I don’t usually hallucinate before 3 o’clock so I knew something was amiss. My new friend promised to show a world without me – a world void of “Two Tooth” Tommy. And show me he did!

    I awoke to the stinging of snowflakes settling gently against my weathered brow. I stood up and pushed my way back into town only to be greeted by faces that didn’t recognize me, strangers who wouldn’t acknowledge me, and old friends who looked the other way. It was just like every other day of my life so I bought a Colt-45, punched out the angel and took a nap.

    The next day I decided to take advantage of this godsend and took to the streets snatching the wallets of the very people who were ignoring me. But good fortune never lasts for too long; the Lord giveth and taketh away. Within hours I was surrounded by hordes of angry citizens, backing me into a corner and demanding their money. I responded swiftly, “Why, I don’t have your money,” I exclaimed, “Jim has your money, and… and Frank, and Sally, and Roger—when he added that new extension to his garage…he has your money!” Here I pointed to a particularly “Roger” looking guy. The townspeople looked at each other befuddled. That’s when I splashed hot coffee in “Roger’s” face and ran like hell. You’re probably wandering if I was ever caught, but I know enough about storytelling to preserve a little mystery. Let’s just say I was beaten senseless that day by a thousand strangers. Maybe it was the angry mob and maybe it was an unrelated thing. Whoever they were they stole my wallets, my clothes; my one good boot. They robbed me of my dignity and left me lying in a pool of my own urine (it’s a defense mechanism). Despite all they did to me there was one thing they couldn’t take: my gold tooth, which I later sold for crack.

    I learned a valuable lesson that year. Always keep a back-up wallet in your underpants. And that’s the story of how I saved Christmas. No, wait… That’s the story of how I got the nickname “Crackpipe Cringle.” And to this day I don’t know what a cringle has to do with Christmas.