"It was just like a Chuck Norris movie," said the guy in the back of the train. He was wearing a mesh New York Giants jersey with the sleeves cut off. The girl next to him was staring at him open-mouthed, saying "Wow" every two or three seconds.
"You can't tell anybody about this, 'cause I don't want to get busted." He was in his late teens with a rather sparse mustache, and he was telling secrets loud enough for everyone in the car to hear.
"So I went to this deli, this Korean deli, and I ordered a sub. Turkey, salami, lettuce, mayo, everything. The dude started making the sandwich, and he put only like two slices of salami on it. I said, 'Yo. Guy. Can I get a couple more slices?' And the guy says, 'No.' So I said, 'Come on. Just a couple more slices of salami.' He says 'No.' I say, 'Look, I'll pay extra. I just want a couple more slices of salami.' And he still says 'No.' I was getting pissed because he was being totally bogus. I was getting ready to clock this guy. I was real drunk, too. I mean, it wasn't like I was about to take guff from this guy."
"I'm like 'Look, you're being bogus.' And he's got this big-ass cleaver behind the counter because he thinks there's gonna be trouble. I'm like 'What the hell you doin' with the knife? I just want salami--that's it.' He comes at me with the knife sayin' some Korean bullshit. Couldn't understand him. I take the guy's hand and I bite the hell out of it. He drops the knife, and I get the hell out of there. I run the hell out of there."
"There's more. Guy keeps on following me. I turn around and say, 'Hey! You followin' me?' Guy laughs. He's got the knife. And I just came back from hockey practice, so I had my skates and my stick. And I was all set to clock him with the stick if he got any closer. Guy comes closer and closer with the knife. Just like the guy in the Jackie Chan movie. I'm like 'I gotta do something.' So I take the hockey stick and I clock him on the side of the face with it and hit the bastard over the head. Boom. He's out.
"Now, I'm all set to get the fuck out and go home. But one of his Korean buddies is there, and he's got one of those Korean headbands and he's running after me with this dumb-ass look on his face. Gook's got buckteeth. And he stops right by me and he starts doing all this 'Hi-ya' judo shit with his hands and everything. So--you're gonna love this part--I take one look at him and say 'Hey, you know judo? Great. I know tae kwon do.' Bam. I do a kick to his stomach, then one to his head. And I whale on this dude.
"I knew I should get out then. But I was pissed, so I went back to the deli. No one was there, so I took my stick and started breaking shit. Bottles of soda. Threw all the boxes of cereal off the shelves."
"Broke the windows, the glass on the freezer, everything. Totally trashed the place. It looked like a bomb hit it. Looked like somebody nuked the place. Koreans deserved it though. That's the best thing I've done in a long time. You know what the real drag of it was though?"
The other passengers on the train fidget, pretending not to hear. Some bury their heads in books and newspapers while cocking their ears toward the storyteller.
"What?" the girl asked in awe.
"I never got my sandwich. I went home and I was totally starved."
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/Bruce Powell.