«everybody was Kung Fu fighting
those cats were fast as lightning
in fact it was a little bit fright’ning
but they fought with expert timing»

The windows of my apartment’s living room open to the humbling vista of historic Fenway park, long may it’s majestic JumboTron glow. But in the valley that exists between the mighty walls of the Green Monster and my fourth floor apartment, a stalwart McDonald’s Hamburgers serves up all the saturated fats, sugar and salt that the good people of Boston, in any state of inebriation, might desire. It isn’t solely for the Fenway freaks liquored up on dearly bought baseball booze that McDonald’s opens its doors, but also for Landsdown street lollygaggers and Ramrod rawhides who maintain a presence in the area all year round. Also, local winos are welcome. There’s a place for everybody at the table of Ronald.

In the eigth years that I’ve lived at my home, the parking lot of this Micky D’s as been the stage upon which the small dramas of daily life have played. For instance during home games, McDonald’s will allow non-patrons to park in their lot for a mere $25-$30 dollars. To organize this task, they contract the surliest, most ill-tempered man that can be allowed legally to interact unsupervised with the public to direct game spectators into parking spaces that are hardly wide enough for their SUVs, minivans and Crown Victorias, let alone their outsized asses. The Miatas and their owners do fine. Like a sinewy R. Lee Ermey, the parking lot attentent bruskly orders the previously happy tourists into their assigned places. Also like a drill instructor, he has little patience for incompetence. A lot of yelling emanates from the lot on game days. It’s like road rage, but with only one car and no road. He has come very close to fisticuffs with a number of his “customers” and I am certain that I will see the day that he gets clocked in the back of his gray, wizened head.

Besides the seasonal delight of the Last Angry Parking Attendent, there are isolated events that make this bit of asphalt worth watching. For instance on warm weekend nights, male and female discotequers can be easily viewed from my place “making water.” The wood picket fence that walls the back of the parking lot (which is closest to me) has been attacked with bare hands on two occasions by young men who apparently enjoyed largish doses of metamphetamine. During the All Star game of 1999, a young (I’m guessing) North Shore woman spent the evening drinking low-rent beer in the packed parking lot and occasionally flashing her (regrettably) still-brassiered breasts in the direction of my building. On yet another occasion a minivan that had moments before delieved a group of smartly dressed black church-goers to the McDonalds, burst into flames without warning. Moments later, there was a small but unexpected explosion that was the gas tank igniting (which, due to the size of the blast, must have been mostly empty). The smell of burnt rubber and other chemicals was dangerously present in my apartment while I spied the bewildered family impotently watching their car be consumed by fire. Out my window, motorcycles have been clipped and throttled, automobiles have frequently collided, sidewalks have been violated by cars, and Gay Pride day has been paraded. Perhaps I should fix a web cam on the lot.

Last night, another installment of McDonald’s Parking Lot Theatre started without warning. At the time, I was watching the very excellent Samurai Jack. At some point, I decided that the dulcet strains of heated words coming from the rear of the Golden Arches merited some investigation. Often, I find that the raised voices are really those of joy or a good natured row. Sometimes the argument is real but too brief to be entertaining. On a rare occasion, you can see some shoving. Once, I saw a teenager shoved nearly through the glass door of Ronnie’s hizzle. It’s the greatest show on Boylston street.

On this occasion, two twenty-something caucasians were in each other’s faces. By channeling Rainman, I can report the weather that night was about 39 °F with a 10 mph wind. Besides being a great narrative detail, the weather also supports my supposition that these guys specifically wanted to beat the crap out of each other. You see, neither had on a jacket or anything heavier than a thin shirt. One them, let’s call him “Tipplin’ Shawn,” had on only a white tank-top of the variety precociously nicknamed “the wifebeater.” The other, hereafter referred to as “Ernest,” wore a baseball cap. Backwards.

Those readers of my blog who have lived any length of time in Massachusetts should now be able to finish the story.

For the rest of you, the facts simply stated are these. Good ol’ Tipplin’ apparently has or had a tricked out car that he, Ernest and “some bitches” were cruising in earlier that evening. But, you know Tipplin’! He had a little too much drinky, drinky and started driving on, get this, the wrong side of the road. Not only were “the bitches” perturbed by this, but so was Ernest! Something then happened (an accident or the police — I didn’t hear), that really underscored Ernest’s concerns about Tipplin’s driving on the wrong side of the road so that when I observed the two, neither the car nor “the bitches” were to be seen. Which may help to explain the very pointed shouting and loudly prosecuted recriminations. In particular, Ernest felt that Tipplin’ really ought not to have driven on the wrong side of the road (as mentioned earlier), despite how cool it made them look and how excited it seemed to make “the bitches.” For his part, Tipplin’ implored Ernest to “get off his back” and wondered if this was “friggin’ Russia?” Ernest claimed that if Tipplin’ was looking for a fight, he was willing to obilige him.
Tipplin’ slurred something that didn’t quiet reach my ears, but it might have been a not at all complimentary insinuation about the sexual habits of Ernest’s mother. At that point, Ernest started bouncing on his feet “like a boxer,” and proceeded to slap the living crap out of Tipplin’ Shawn, who for his part went straight down to the soggy, filthy snow of the McDonald’s parking lot and curled up into the classic defensive posture of a fetal position and began to weep softly. Ernest threw a few more short jabs at Tipplin’s head and body while admonishing his stricken friend to “listen to me next time!” After conceding that Ernest’s position had some merit, Tipplin’ was helped to his feet by his attacker/friend. The wifebeater in tatters, Tipplin’ pulled off what was left of his tank-top and slowly walked out of the parking lot following Ernest. He was beaten and dirty, but perhaps wiser for the smackdown.

Fifteen to twenty minutes after the fight, a police cruiser entered the parking lot with lights rolling but the show had long since moved on.

(Thanks to petdance for the correcting the lyrics at the top.)

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