The Epic Old Guy, or, Life Ain't No Game

Today I was going to write about Epic Beard Man* but I feel horribly behind on the topic. I just learned about it yesterday. From Seany Hi-Def, thanks. It's 2010 and "so last week" may as well be some nuance from a reenactment of the battle of Gettysburg...eleven years Canada. It would be like writing about Stuff White People Like or LOLCats or some shit today, February 18, in the year of the lord, two-thousand ten. Old. Like 67 years-old.

But I still have something to say on the topic because I know that the obvious is sometimes missed. Not snap-judgment here, don. Here's what I need to say here: Life sometimes gives you clues, follow them.

You do not fuck with a guy who says to you in perfect U.S. American English words the following five things:
  1. "You ain't scarin' this white boy" - Okay, Thomas Bruso sets the stage clearly. Mr. Bruso is communicating that contrary to popular culture mythology, he is actually not only unafraid, but is physiologically preparing for battle. Even watching on the world wide, it is clear through the sights and sounds that Vietnam Tom is actually not bluffing about not being afraid. Decision: Leave him alone.
  2. "I'm 67 years-old" - This is not a please-leave-me-alone-I'm-an-old-man plea for mercy. This is the hint that he has survived this long for a good reason, he is a motherfucker. This is a warning. Decision: Leave the man be.
  3. "You won't do nothing to me" - Again, do not misinterpret this statement as a weakness. This is not a nambly-pambly retreat. This is the guarantee that comes with the warning. This is the voice of knowledge. Decision: Drop the beef, look for escape route.
  4. "I see 'tough guys' like you and I slap the shit out of 'em" - I don't know if I pity the poor kid who stepped into this hornet's nest of sidewalk dogshit, but Jesus, man...heed the warnings. Mr. Bruso is laying it all out for you. Yes, kid, not only has he delivered beat-downs in his life, but he's been beat-down. Epic Beard Man has already assessed the opponent. The game was over before it began. Decision: Retreat.
  5. "Don't fuck with me" - This post-ass kicking statement is not a warning to the victim. The victim is already defeated. This recapitulation serves a dual purpose (none of it taunting or boasting). Mr. Bruso is instructing others not to get involved. Additionally, he is showing a degree of sympathy. He just easily laid this kid out (he knew that would be the result). What this post-fists-of-fury statement says, "You didn't listen to me. I tried to help you, son. Learn to trust people and observe clues." Decision: "Bring the amber lamps."
These are clues. Clues to living. Clues for survival. For Buddha sake, the man is wearing a red flag of a clue t-shirt that states all one ever needed to know about the situation, "I AM A MOTHERFUCKER."

When life gives you clues, follow them. I can't decide if Charles Darwin would cry or celebrate.

I invite you to weigh in.

* If you don't know the context, catch up a bit: