Friday, September 14, 2007

The Hardass Punches A Man

It was a dark night. It was one of those nights where the sun just seems to disappear, and the only illumination comes from sodium-vapor lights spaced evenly along the glistening surface of downtown's asphalt labyrinth.

The Hardass fired his flinty glare into the sable heavens like twin mortar shells tipped with granite.

"Damn," he said.

His gravelly voice was filled with emotion. This emotion was anger. The sun would pay for deserting him yet again. No matter how often he threatened it, no matter how many times he emptied his .45 Magnum's magazine in its general direction, no matter how many times he informed it in that dangerously quiet way of his that it really didn't want to have him as an enemy, it persisted in its disagreeable habit of going away every 12 hours or so.

"I need a smoke," The Hardass muttered. He was not the type of man who smoked those pansy sticks that pass for "cigarettes," like a lot of those fairies on the Force. He reached into the inner pocket of his overcoat and pulled out a pine cone. This he dusted with rat poison, sprayed with Mace and lit with a blowtorch.

He puffed contentedly, and blew a smoke dagger into the damp night air.

The Hardass pummeled the air with his body as he moved through it. He forced it to split as he passed, and graciously allowed it to come together again behind him. This was something he only permitted when he was in a decent mood, and his purchase of a rocket launcher that very afternoon lifted his spirits considerably. He imagined the smug look on the sun's face as it sneaked above the horizon this morning. He imagined the look faltering, then crashing as he taught the bastard a concise lesson in respect with a high-caliber tactical guided explosive.

"Heh heh," he grunted in turgid satisfaction. He flicked the smoldering butt of his pinecone through the window of a black limousine. The crunch of breaking safety glass filled him with hairy glee as he passed on.

"You, my friend, have just made a terrible, terrible mistake."

The Hardass turned to find a peeved looking man stepping out of the limo, brushing little glass cubes from his pinstripe suitcoat and trousers.

"Fork you," ground out The Hardass.

"Oh! Fork me? ME? Do you have any idea who I am?"

"Some prick with a giant car with weak windows who just happened to be parked where I was throwing my done smoke. Is that about right?"

The man's face darkened to the point where the amber glare of the streetlamps just seemed to fall into it. "You're wrong in just about every way possible, bucko. Say hi to the Devil for me, willya?" With liquid speed, the man drew a chrome 9mm pistol and fired three rounds into The Hardass. One slug caught him in the shoulder, one in the chest, and the other pinged off his teeth with a whine and a brief shower of sparks.

"Not your smartest move," The Hardass growled, advancing.

"Mother of Bob," muttered the pinstriped man. His pistol clattered to the street as his hand relaxed. He backed slowly into the side of his car as The Hardass closed the distance.

"God, I'm so going to punch you now." The Hardass pulled the bullet out of his shoulder with his teeth and chewed it up. He left the one in his chest with the eight others for now.

"You'd be signing your own death warrant! I'm Joseph Biscotti, pal, the Joseph Biscotti! If you kill me, my boss replaces me with five other men, and they hunt down your family, your friends, your employers and your dry cleaners and send 'em all to hell before they even draw up plans to come after your sorry ass!"

"Biscotti, huh? Ain't that like that bread stuff you get at fancy restaurants?" The Hardass pulled his dented and toothmarked badge.

"Shut yer facehole," Biscotti hissed.

"If you're the guy I think you are, then you're wanted by sixteen states. And that ain't the worst of it. You know what the worst of it is, Biscotti?" The Hardass growled conversationally.

"Fork you."

"The worst of it," he continued, "Is that you was rude to me. I've already had the sun pull some crazy stunt on me today, and now you float over here and put a couple holes in this jacket of mine. I made it myself, you know, out of sharks and alligators I caught with my own teeth. That makes me angry."

"I said, fork--"

The Hardass punched Joseph Biscotti in the head. He sailed across the street and made a noisy landing against a parking meter. The Hardass stomped casually over.

"I heard you the first time," he said, taking a bite out of the meter. Nickels were his favorite, and he popped them like Skittles as he phoned HQ.

"Yep. Corner of Fulton and Monroe. Gave me some lip, so I punched him and ate his gun. That's right, Jack. I'm gonna go get me a glass of Diesel and Coke and relax now. Got a date with a star in the morning."

The Hardass allowed a smile to tenuously chisel his crags.


Anonymous said...

Great stuff. I hope TSB notices the running gag based on his original pine cone.

If you read Biscotti's part as Tex Avery's Droopy Dog, it's funny in a completely different (but not better) way.

Jacob Nordby said...

Hardass is one hell of a good guy.

You know this by his generosity with the air that he split. I mean, he even let it heal itself behind him!

This is a ripping good post.

I watched Live Free or Die Hard last night and Bruce's character does almost all the things that HardAss does. They could be the same guy.

From a more pedantic stance, I also enjoyed HardAss's intense bepeevement with the solar orb. Hard to make that come across rationally, but HardAss ain't worried. And, HardAss ain't skeered neither.

Ripping good post--oh, I said that already.

Pick Almighty

Anonymous said...

Hey, I spotted a stone mercury-vapor lamp in that photo, man.