The Summer Of The Fist

One summer some years ago, my friends and I lived by a simple creed. It was a way of life that kept men honest, righted misunderstandings, built camaraderie and provided plenty of entertainment. 

This newfound way of life during that long, hot summer, came to life any time one of my band of misfits uttered the following four words: 

Get the boxing gloves. 

You’re running a platinum mouth, knowing you’ve got a gold heart? 

Get the boxing gloves. 

Someone threw out the obligatory promiscuous mom joke, when another someone wasn’t in the mood for that noise? 

Get the boxing gloves. 

The origin of the boxing gloves, like that of Spiderman, teaches that with great power, comes great responsibility. You see, we were all friends and family, so we had no interest in truly harming each other, but sometimes, when words and reason don’t work, the almighty gloves were summoned to set the nature of the animal kingdom back on track. 

The man who wields the gloves must do so with integrity. 

We started using the gloves when two of my friends were getting into an argument about some girl that they both knew. One friend was G-Checking the other, basically saying that he was letting this girl, who he had no attachment to, run him around in circles. The other friend took issue to the claims of simpdom and the jokes were starting to hit a little too close to home. 

So after driving around aimlessly for hours, because that’s a good time if you’re under age growing up in the Denbigh area of Newport News, Va., one of us got the idea to they settle this with the fisticuffs. 

Since we were all friends, we decided that the best way to go about it is to get a set of boxing gloves. So some time after midnight, we made a trip to Super K-Mart and bought the gloves. 

They did battle, if you could call it that. Neither friend had any training and never really played organized sports, so it basically boiled down to wild head hunting until they got too tired to remember why they were mad in the first place. 

But like Pops said in Friday—you win some, you lose some, but you live, son. You live to fight another day. 

After that night, getting the boxing gloves became the go-to move to settle any disputes. So when you have too much testosterone, mixed with too much heat, you’re going to get a lot of those moments. 

I had to put the gloves on after using a few too many adjectives to describe my friend’s magically delicious sister. The boxing gloves were summoned a few times over money disputes. My little brother even got in on it when a cousin came to town for a visit. He scored a first round TKO after I told him that the right hook would be open when he ducks under my cousin’s wild haymakers. 

Through the bruised egos and hurt feelings rose a unique brotherhood, weaved together under the respect of manhood and executed through the power of the gloves. 


The Limp Handshake Haiku

Shoulda came with it

Your hand almost snapped in half

Serves you right. Ha-Ha!


When Keeping It Married Goes Wrong

I had to check my sweet Mrs. Graham the other day. 

I hadn't spoiled her in a while, so I decided to use a gift card and take her to this fine dining establishment in my hometown called Applebee's. Not sure if they have one of these in your town, but if they do, you should definitely check it out. Top notch stuff.

Anyway, it was the day before we were set to fly back out to SoCal, so we were talking about things we wanted to do once we got back to life. 

That's when it happened. 

She told me to remember to clear my colon since we had a long flight in front of us.  

I clenched my paper Applebee's napkin in my hands, composing myself, so that I wouldn't snap. We've been leveling up in our relationship lately, so I guess she forgot that we were 28 and not 68. I had to let her know we'd probably have a good 30 years of those kinds of conversations, so for now, refrain from getting familiar with the happenings of my large intestine. 

Once we're in the adult diaper demographic, then maybe It'll be time to seek her guidance on such matters. But that day is not today. In terms of being married and bored, I'd much rather talk about routes to work:



When Your People Ain't Your People: Another Entry Into The Book Of Friend Zone


In my next offering into the Book of Friend Zone, I take you back to my young whippersnapper days, when I was in the 7th grade. 

I had been friending my way into the attention of this girl who I had a bunch of classes with, including band. She was in all of my home room classes throughout middle school. 

Anyway, we were on this end of the year band trip to Busch Gardens, which is foreshadowing for why I was initially going to title this blog post “F-ck Tea Cups”. 

As referenced in another offering into the Book of the Friend Zone, this particular young lass had a strange way of becoming a horrible human being to me when an older, more sophisticated, more well traveled man, usually an 8th grader, happened to come along. And a young Lerone, not quite sure of himself enough yet to adopt the Rone G moniker, had an uncanny appetite for such punishment. 

Earlier in the year, I had offered up a most embarrassing moment to this young lass via AIM chat, because that’s what you do when you’re in middle school. You bond over secrets, so in my young friend zone mind, I figured that if I open up, I’ll be in there like swim wear. 

For the purpose of this Busch Gardens story (and for the sake of continuity throughout this blog), we’ll again refer to my middle school crush as Becky. 

So on AIM chat, Becky and I were sharing most embarrassing moments. I don’t remember hers, so it was probably lame, but I decided to go hard or go home with mine. I went hard, by telling her about the time I slow danced with the big booty Puerto Rican girl in my neighborhood and how excited it made me. 

Now J-Lo probably didn’t even notice my excitement, because school dances were tame back then and we had to have been entire arm lengths apart. 

But as a young’un, I think my voice probably changed immediately after having my hands on those hips for 3-and-a-half minutes. 

So Becky was nonchalant on AIM when I told her this deep, dark, dastardly secret. Little did I know that she was keeping it in the chamber for the next time she needed to put me out of my Friend Zone misery, as she upgraded to the next 8th grader she “like liked” in that moment. 

Imagine my surprise when, on the bus ride to Busch Gardens, the 8th grade dude that Becky had googly eyes for, brought up the topics of most embarrassing moments. So not only was he stealing my game, he was about to use it on my woman. 

I saw Becky’s eyes light up and knew that she was about to switch sides on me in a moment that would forever live in infamy. … Like when Hulk Hogan joined the nWo. Or Lebron joined the Heat

My throat tightened when I saw her giggling, as she leaned into the Dickhead 8th grader’s ear. His facial expression changed gradually as his brain processed what she was whispering. 

“He told you that?!” the dude asked, incredulously. 

The moment that followed put into perspective just how young middle school actually is. Back then, I distinctly remember feeling like me and my peers were coming into our own as grown ups. There were relationships, MTV Video Music Awards, people trying out for JV sports, listening to DMX and Wu-Tang—it felt like we were adults. 

But when nobody would get into the teacups at Busch Gardens with me because they were supposedly scared I might get hard, it let me know just how young those early teen years are.

So I’m sitting in a giant tea cup by myself, already pretty old to be in them in the first place—but spinning in circles felt even dumber when every few rotations you see people pointing and laughing.


I endured this dumb ride and watched as my woman cuddled up with another dude at my expense. Similar to that moment with the big booty Puerto Rican girl, I grew up a little in this moment, but for very different reasons this time. It’s like this was the 7th grade version of coming home and finding your wife in bed with another man. 

That’s why I’m like, f-ck teacups. 

I took a few lessons from this Friend Zone mishap. One, it’s on you to change your environment and the people you allow in it. This wasn’t the first time Becky switched sides on me and wouldn’t be the last, so it was my fault for allowing her to keep doing it, in the hopes that things would magically go my way and get better some day. 

Two, things that you think are catastrophes become laughable once you actually get through them. In my mind and I guess in their minds, there was something drastically wrong or embarrassing about the way my body responded to J-Lo. If I could have fast-forwarded mentally just 3 years or so, I would have known to hit them with the stale face and call them lame for being dumb enough to think it was “icky”. A world where my equipment doesn’t respond to having a big booty Puerto Rican girl in my clutches is not a world that I want to be apart of. 

I guess there’s a third lesson in this also. Uhhh, let’s see. Don’t respect women so much? I’m a gentleman to my core, but I had to learn that there is a time and place for putting my jacket over the puddle. 

I was always taught to take no nonsense from dudes, but I guess me liking Becky made me give her waaaay too much leeway. I’m sure if she was a dude, even back then, I woulda just told her to shut up. Actually, wrestling was at its peak back then, so I would have told Becky and her merry group of co-signers that “I’ve got two words for ya … suck it!”

Putting up with more nonsense from the opposite sex is the same thing that keeps women with black eyes “because he loves me”, so learning this lesson kept me from a life of having my testicles removed, I guess.

I think I’m about to go watch the Wonder Years and have a good cry.



You Wanna Play Rough?! OK!: A Cartoon On Life