Arts, Martial and Otherwise

My crazy family is at it again. Last time they got it in their heads to do something, they all voted Republican, a sure sign of congenital insanity that—due to either recessive genes or strategic adoption—I was thankfully spared.

The time before that, my father got stung by a scorpion.

Now they’ve gotten themselves involved in a zany Israeli martial art called Krav Maga. Krav Maga (pronounced KRAHV maGAH)* is not a beautiful and graceful skill like the Asian martial arts; it’s quick, brutal, and no-nonsense, like the Israeli agencies that employ it. My father is negotiating with the Krav Maga organization to be their representative in the Baltimore area and is offering private lessons to our family to practice teaching it.

Frankly, I don’t know which is sillier: the bizarre Republican idea that people like my father have, that they’re going to be pulled by Islamist terrorists from the Lexus SUVs in their gated communities and forced to defend themselves in hand-to-hand combat . . . or my bizarre notion to go along with it and take these lessons. I, at least, live in the inner city and will probably, sooner rather than later, have to protect myself from Christianist hordes stirred up by the right-wing hatemongers, or from the growing masses of the disenfranchised who have no place in Bush’s America.

Well, the first class was last night, and I must admit to finding it emotionally satisfying. I realized after a couple of punches that I had never before in my life hit anything as hard as I could, and while I’m generally a pacifist, I can’t deny the exaltation of doing so (even though I tried not to imagine the weighted torso dummy I almost knocked over was Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice).

A newly minted killing machine, I rushed after class to JoAnn Fabrics to purchase yarn and knitting needles. Donna Beth Joy Shapiro is going to give me private knitting lessons! Knitting, I understand, is the new yoga. I was never so hot at the old yoga, but I figured I’d give this a shot. It’s a skill I hope to get a lot more use out of than Krav Maga.

Scarves for everyone!

* If you pronouce it KRAVE MAGga, you will get hit.**

** You will probably get hit anyway.

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