Yeah I know, it's hard to believe - I don't know kung fu. People both young and old often see me in the street and comment "oh, look at that guy, doesn't he look like he knows kung fu!" To which I usually shrug off, pretend I didn't hear and then allow the masquerade to continue unabated. Yes, even in neighbouring towns there are whispers of how I do indeed look like a finely tuned instrument of aggressive resistance, or so I am told.
Several years ago I was presented an opportunity, where I was asked if I might like to be taught one of the more destructive and potent strains of kung fu. A strain so deadly that to even type its name here will lead to the deaths of several starving children in Africa. The gentleman who had offered me this chance was a master. I don't know if he was a master of a martial arts or not, but given his peculiar appearance and lifestyle I am quite certain that he had mastered something.
We arranged for my first lesson and we met at his house, shrouded in mysterious mists in the foothills of the mountain range near my town. I was shown how to fall. I was also shown how not to fall. Both were very important lessons, which I grappled with and failed to conquer in any meaningful sense. I now fall like an expert in not falling, which makes me one of the worlds most accomplished standers. My method of falling, once coerced to do so, is akin to a gazelle that has been shot in the flank whilst bounding across the Serengeti, with the moon high in the background as birds flock and twitter in the hardiest of trees (setting the scene is important).
I learnt very little, despite being taught very much. The one hand clapping, the take this pebble from my hand, and the can you pat your head and rub your tummy all featured heavily, at least now in the way I choose to recall this not so pivotal event in a stretch of several forgettable weeks.
I must admit that pain played a part in my choosing not to continue with the lessons. I recall that after my first lesson my arse hurt a great deal. I don't think there was any blood, but I assure you the pain was not from what you are thinking. No, to my knowledge there was no sex, only pain, stone grabbing and various tidbits of philosophy which I believe were taken from works of the ancient master David Carradine.
Some of what I've just written is true.
What is also true is that when the dude started eating and offering me weeds from my own front lawn where dogs often urinate I knew that my kung fu days were over.