Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Alaskan Martial Arts

During a conversation about gap-year adventures, I recalled this story a relative of mine (let's call him Leeson) from Iowa told me a few years ago about his own experience travelling between school degrees. He was about 20 years old in the 80's and had randomly decided to go and work in Alaska after getting his high school diploma. So he hitch-hiked from Iowa all the way up north (don't ask me how he did that, it's several weeks of travel mind you).

When Leeson landed, with only a few bucks to his name, he took a job at a local theater (one of a handful up there). He worked the film reel in the projector room. After working there for a while, he asked management why all the movies they had were old black and white films. They told him that to request, order, and deliver any new film reels would take on average 6 months and nobody had the inclination. Leeson decided to go through that arduous ordeal to introduce some newer films to his theatre. Sure enough, in six months he received a stack of Bruce Lee films and eagerly added them to the film listings.

On the first viewing, he could tell from above in his projector's box how excited the crowd sounded during the film. He sat back, satisfied for not having to stick to the boring films he previously used to play. At the end of the film, he began to pack up but noticed that there was a commotion down below.

From the projector's box all he could see were dark shadows down at the front, underneath the screen. "The hell?" He made his way down quickly from the projector box and went into the theater, pushing his way through a throng of rowdy eskimo kids. When he made his way to the front, he saw several eskimo kids-- kicking the absolute shit out of each other while the other kids cheered on.

When martial arts meets eskimo badassery

For a few days he got reprimanded a little by the mothers in the Eskimo community, but after living and working there longer and picking up some vocabulary, one of the mothers told him that he wasn't such a bad egg after all.

I just thought it was a cute story.