After the Fight

By George Thomas Clark on June 19, 2014
After the Fight
Don’t think me a braggart. I know it was luck. It had never happened and hasn't since.

I pulled back curtains to behold two young ladies, a blonde and a redhead, each clad in delightfully inadequate hot pants…

I recently confessed, in an article about the fighter formerly known as Dwight Braxton, that in the summer or 1982 I was indigent and without cable TV and therefore desperate to find a place to watch the aforementioned light heavyweight champion fight Matthew Saad Muhammad, the man he’d recently pummeled to take the title. After trying many restaurants and bars and even the recreation room of an apartment complex, I desperately dashed into a flophouse, hoping I hadn’t missed any bloodletting, and for five dollars rented a room for up to fifteen rounds. A perceptive reader, dissatisfied by my account of only a prizefight, demanded: “But what happened after the fight?”

At first, compelled by modesty, I replied with this post: “Wish I could tell you a wild party followed but I just went home to a studio-sized dump.” 

That is not what happened, and I’ll tell you what did. Please don’t think me a braggart. I know it was luck. It had never happened and hasn’t since. But even in north Sacramento and other forlorn communities, a few people hit the jackpot.

I’d just turned off the TV and was preparing to leave the steamy room when a knock startled me and I pulled back curtains to behold two young ladies, a blonde and a redhead, each clad in hot pants and delightfully inadequate blouses. At once I opened the door and said, “Hi.”

“Your time’s up,” said Red. “Goodbye.”

“Okay, sure. What’s in the bag?”

“Rum and coke,” said Blonde. 

“Can I have a drink, please?”

“How much money you got?” she asked.

“Two dollars.”

They laughed as if I were witty as young sensation Eddie Murphy.

“These drinks are for our dates,” said Red.

“What time are you going you out?”

“We’re not going anywhere,” she said. “Our dates come to us.”

“I don’t use professionals, but I’m curious. How much do you charge?”

“Twenty and up. Goodbye.”

“Fine.” I reached for the door but stopped as the phone rang. Blonde answered and listened awhile before saying, “Oh, shit. Jimmy’s in jail. When’s he getting out?” 

She hung up. “What’re we going to do?” 

“You guys should go into a better kind of work,” I said.

“So we can be rich like you,” said Red.

Forget those who say it’s easy to keep your confidence when you’re broke. I didn’t debate. I asked for a drink and said, “I’ll pay both of you next payday.”

“When’s that?”

“Next Friday.”

“Okay,” said Blonde. “But don’t run up too big a tab or Jimmy’ll bust you when he’s out.”

George Thomas Clark is the author of several books, most recently Death in the Ring, a collection of boxing stories, and The Bold Investor, a short story collection. See the author’s website at www.GeorgeThomasClark.com.

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  1. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 02:55pm, 06/19/2014

    George Thomas Clark-I read about the incident (probably the same one) some time ago…. my recall is not as sharp as yours….in fact….my memory is shorter than my putz these days.

  2. Fred Sanford 02:15pm, 06/19/2014

    Eddie Murphy = poor man’s Richard Pryor.

  3. George Thomas Clark 01:00pm, 06/19/2014

    Evidently, the Beverly Hills Hotel regularly made Eddie Murphy behaved arrogantly.  About a decade ago I saw a TV interview with the recently-retired manager of the hotel, or the pool area, and he said he said hello to Murphy who disdainfully looked at him and said, “I don’t believe I spoke to you.”

  4. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 11:56am, 06/19/2014

    Eddie Murphy was at his absolute apex as Buckwheat on SNL….it was all downhill from there….to the point that he demanded that the guy who cleaned the pool at the Beverly Hills Hotel address him as Mr. Murphy when the guy innocently and very much in the fan mode said, ” Hi Eddie!”

  5. Irish Frankie Crawford Beat Saijo aka Gimpel 11:43am, 06/19/2014

    George Thomas Clark-Now you’re cookin’ with gas….which reminds me….not a trace of Miles Swarthout in Tommy Lee Jones’ adaptation of his Dad’s fine novel “The Homesman”....very odd indeed.

  6. Eric 06:01am, 06/19/2014

    “Twenty and up.” Can’t beat the ‘80’s. Wonder if they would take travelers checks?

  7. Clarence George 05:39am, 06/19/2014

    Had a similar experience in Fort Jefferson back in ‘03.  Or was it Port Jefferson?  Well, either way.  Didn’t have to pay them, though…they paid me.  Of course, I was in my teens then.

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