8-Ball

by Jinryu

tIME: 4:05am Yesterday (June 15th)
Location: @work
bATTERIES: 80% (all systems nominal)

Morale: Neutral

Hunger Status: “Dammit!  My favorite delivery place closes at 4am on SUNDAYS, I didn’t know that!”

Time: 4:16am Today (June 16th)
Location: @work
Batteries: 40% (Didn’t sleep well during the day
Hunger Status: “Good thing I ordered earlier than 4pm today.  OMG, spinach canneloni, where have you been all my life!”
Ear Candy: “Satan is my Motor” by Cake

Morale: 🙂

I’ve noticed that just because I do most of these writeups from work, most of my posts tend to be about work as well, and mostly complaints.  We’re going to have to break that cycle I think.  I mean, call it as it happens, sure, but I’d not want to look back on this time five years from now and think that my work at the hospital was entirely a dark comedy with no actual redemptive themes, right?

I think that especialy when I’m experiencing downtime, my method of coping tends to be to go in extremes when it comes to uptimes.  That means that after working 10 out of 11 days, I do things like spendhours at Tokebi and a noraebang on a thursday night until 3AM, then overdoing it with Numac on Friday and RsM on Saturday, just because I have thurs-fri-sat off.  You know what they say about moderation.

I mean, I guess the actual amount of things I do that are fun and keep my brain feeling healthy don’t take up an unreasonably high percentage of my time per week, it’s just that the way I schedule things by necessaity it tends to be that they’re too concentrated on one end when they should be more spread out.  The lifestyle of a weekend warrior isn’t really good for the body.

I know I keep saying that, but maybe what I really need to do is decide to go to either RsM or Numac on a weekend, and not both.  Doing both really wrecks my body by sunday– but, would you hold it against me if I explained myself simply as having too much fun?

-=-=-=-=-

Random Storytelling:

Sometime in September of 2008,

in Korea,

a bunch of us were at Island bar in the Beomgye strip in Anyang-shi.  We were taking a break from our favorite dive, which was Atlanta bar, for reasons which will be discloseD in another post (that’s another story).  We didn’t like Island as much because the seating arrangements were always tighter for our North American girths, it was darker and noisier, and it didn’t have a big projection screen of featuring Michael Jackson and Abba music videos on demand, but… uh.. well, they did have these individual pint coolers built into the table.

Actually, come to think of it, Island bar sucked compared to Atlanta bar, and as I remember, I don’t think I ever went there a second time, so it was probably just to take a break from Atlanta.

To it’s credit, Island was the only bar I’d seen where there were cup chillers built into the tables.

I’m getting off track.  One of the good friends I made while in Korea was Kiwi named Kurt (a teacher).  In the Gangnam district of Seoul, the 230 pound part-time rugby player had the nickname “8-Ball,” which we found out by accident from his drunken Kiwi friend Ra (also a teacher).  There’s a story about Ra, later.

Well, the story about 8-Ball is that one night while in a hoff (sorta like a bar and grill) in Gangnam he saw an altercation between a couple of Koreans.  Kurt doesn’t understand Korean, mind you, and he was drunk, but he was sober enough to notice that the lady Korean was pregnant and that the guy Korean wasn’t being very nice to her.

“And yeah, she was pregnant– you can tell when a Korean girl in Korea is pregnant vs when it’s a Seinfeld moment where they’re not actually pregnant,” explained Ra (Ra was the one telling the story.

At some point the conversation escalates and push comes to shove between the Korean couple.  Now, I’ve never seen this kind of thing happen personally–  physical abuse, that is– but my ex, who spent a year more in Korea than I did, used to tell me that because it’s such a patriarcal society, you might see dome dudes beating on dudettes to a certain extent but you’re socially not allowed to do anything about it, because it’s not your culture.

Well, I dunno.  I mean, not that I want to play hero or something, and I’m certain that if the situation came up my response might be a bit different from Kurt’s, but here’s what he did when he saw the Korean guy kick the Korean lady in the abdomen.

He marched to the pool table they were standing next to, grabbed the 8-ball out of the closest pocket, and then slammed the guy in the face with it.

So naturally, the Korean dude lets out a yelp and starts running because Kurt’s intimidating looking enough when he’s smiling, so you really don’t want to see him when he’s glaring at you, much less when your face hurts and as your senses come to you, you realize it’s probably from the poolball in his hand.

Kurt runs after the guy and continues to beat on him with the pool ball screaming “That’s now how you treat a lady, you fucker!!  How do you like it! How do you like it!”

“And that’s why they call him 8-ball,” concluded Ra, as a matter-of-factly.  Nobody cared to ask about the consequences, they were all just shocked and impressed that Kurt, a jolly giant, was capable of such malevolence.

The group of teachers I used to hang out with though were tight.  Everyone at the table held up their mugs.

“Here’s to Kurt, the Aussie Avenger!”

“I’m from New Zealand, you fucking moron.”

“To 8-Ball!”

“Hurrah!”

Kurt’s a solid dude.  So solid in fact that he once almost broke my arm by accident, but that’s another story.

-=-=-=-=-

Kurt and Ra know eachother because they’re both from New Zealand and play on an expatriate Kiwi rugby team.  Ra has this famous story that he likes to tell when he’s drunk, which none of us have ever heard, because Kurt always stops him as soon as he recognizes the signs of the story coming up.

It usually starts with Ra, standing up in front of a table that’s about waist high, and then unbuckling his pants.

At which point, Kurt usually jumps up with wild eyes screaming and shouting “Don’t you do it, you asshole!” and he’ll be stepping on heads if that helps him get to Ra faster.

As Ra’s about to unzip his pants, or as he’s halway through doing so, this is usually about the time when Kurt tackles Ra to the ground and tells him that putting your penis on the table isn’t considered civil in Korea. Usually, insert expliatives here, that aren’t considered civil in any English speaking community.

We’ve never heard more of the story than that, because Ra says that without the introduction, the story doesn’t make any sense.

“Kurtis, you manimal, there’s plenty of this bean pole for everyone, doncha know?” Ra would say.  It’s a bit of a pun, because “Bean Pole” is actually a famous clothing brand in Korea.  “Don’t worry.  You’ll get your share later.”

Wink.

At which point, Kurt usually calls Ra a bloody faggot then slaps him in the face.

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