Three Ways To Win A Fight

Sometimes a mug of beer is all that is needed.
Sometimes a mug of beer is all that is needed.

Daily Prompt: History of Language

Write a piece of fiction describing the incident that gave rise to the phrase, “third time’s the charm.”

“There are three ways I can win this fight,” I said  just above a whisper to my barracks buddy, Woody.

We were far from home burr-headed recruits sitting at a table in a noisy smoke filled beer hall that was saturated with the stench of cheap booze.

“I don’t think so.” He sized up the brawny Marine decked in dress khakis at the bar. “I don’t think we could take him together.” His eyes searched for the nearest exit and nodded toward one. “Let’s sneak out,” he whispered.

“He’s got his eye on every exit,” I said. “If we make a move for one of them he’ll nail me.”

“Go over and say something to the MP,” Woody suggested.

“What am I going to say, ‘That big bad Marine is going to whip my butt?’ To which he will reply, ‘Ya mind if I watch sweetie pie?’ No thanks. I’ll take the beatin’.”

“What did you say to him?” Woody asked nervously looking around.

“When you went to take a leak he told me to get up. He had thee buddies that were coming and they wanted a table. I told him to get lost.”

“Why didn’t you just let him have it?”

“Didn’t think he would take it so personal.”

The Marine held a bottle of beer in his hand as he pushed his way through a crowded floor of recruits back to our table. Woody whispered, “What are the three ways?”

There was no time to answer. The Marine sat across the table from me. “Well let’s finish our beers and take it outside. My buddies will be here before long and I want a table for them,” he said coldly.

“Look, man, can’t we just forget this,” Woody said smiling anxiously trying to be reasonable. “Are you sure we just can’t all sit together.”

The Marine motioned with his head toward Woody, smiled, and said to me, “Do ya powder his behind before ya lay him down for beddy bye?” He said it as if reciting a line of poetry. He tilted the bottle in his lips and drank without taking his eyes off me.

He looked over at Woody and ordered, “Hold the table for me and my buddies while me and this soldier step outside.”

While Woody was affirming the command, the final gulp of beer from my mug was now past my throat. I squeezed the handle of the mug as if I was trying to choke the life out of a snake. With a swing I drove the bottom of the mug squarely against the jutted jaw of the Marine. There was a loud crack like a bat hitting a baseball. The Marine fell to the floor and his chair squirted across the room. Everyone expectantly rose to their feet.

“He passed out,” I said helplessly to the audience of recruits.

I looked at Woody whose eyes where bulging. “That’s the third way. I thought there was no way I’d survive the first two.”

There is a moral to this near true life experience; Just because the third time is a charm, one need not waste needless experimentation on the first two.

Once, Twice, Three Times a Blogger:

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  1. I bought a set of chair and tables with matching pitchers and beer mugs just like that in Fort Belvoir Va. . Those Marines seemed to ask for that whipping don’t they? The fight only cost me 200.00 dollars, but they threw in the jukebox for free!

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