Unfortunately, he didn’t plan on me bobbing slightly to the right. As I moved, the other boy whizzed by, feet first, until gravity took over, dropping him head first onto the playground. He was knocked silly, and in a matter of seconds I dubiously earned a dangerous reputation that would carry me through elementary school.
Like I said, not much of a fighting career, although I do consider myself undefeated. But then last week came along. I was having lunch on Brand Boulevard with a friend of mine. We were looking for a place to park and not having much luck. OK. To be perfectly honest, we were lazily attempting to park as close to the restaurant as possible.
I noticed an open spot curiously guarded by an orange traffic cone. Looking around, there seemed to be no real reason for the cone’s presence. I figured it was just misplaced so . . . I got out of the car to move the cone.
No sooner did I touch the cone when I heard an angry voice yell out, “Don’t you touch that cone!”
I turned around to see a man, with no visible authority, in his mid-30s. I thought about it, then dismissed the guy, moving the cone so my friend could park her car.
I thought that would pretty much be the end of it, but I guess Cone Man had other plans. He walked quickly toward me, screaming and yelling about our car, which was now in his spot. As the guy got closer, he got a little more intimidating. His appearance, which from far away looked harmless, suddenly began to look a little more imposing.
As I began to size him up, I realized that I was about to get up close and personal with someone who wanted to fight over a parking spot. I guess his cone needed the space.