Jack Delaney on the Rocks

By George Thomas Clark on November 27, 2013
Jack Delaney on the Rocks
His eyes are bright and gorgeous. His nose is classic and still straight. His mouth is sexy.


I don’t like boxing and neither do my lady friends but we love Jack Delaney who’s about the handsomest man in the world. His thick brown hair is perfect. His eyes are bright and gorgeous. His nose is classic and still straight. His mouth is sexy. His body’s lean and muscular. We love gathering at his fights, with thousands of other ladies, and cheering our romantic hero. The New York press calls us Jack Delaney’s Screaming Mamies. 

All of us dream about him. Imagine being married to a man who moves around the ring like a dancer, jabbing and hooking to confuse opponents before knocking them out with smooth right crosses. Once in a while Jack loses but almost always wins and even becomes light heavyweight champion in 1927. I decide I’ve got to try to meet him. I call around and find out where he’s training for his next fight. I’d thought he trained in New York or maybe Bridgeport where he lives but find out he’s training way out in the country.

I take a bus there and am so excited. There he is, gorgeous brown and boxing outdoors, and he smiles and winks at me, and when he’s finished sparring says, I’m tired of camp, like jail around here. 

His manager and trainer frown and say, beat it, but Jack tells me where to wait and I do and that afternoon we jump in his car and drive to a train station where he buys two tickets for New York City. In the dining car we have a drink and Jack finishes his in about a minute and orders another and we’re having a great time though he worries me drinking so much and talking louder and drinking even faster. I swear he has at least ten drinks the first hour and tells the waiter to keep them coming for me too. I say, no thanks, and he replies, that’s okay, I’ll drink yours too. The waiter tells him, slow down, and Jack says, hurry up. Two porters come back with the waiter and Jack stands and knocks one down with a right cross and the other two men jump on him and he pushes the waiter off and wrestles the porter down the aisle, and the man keeps his head tucked into Jack’s stomach until Jack pushes him against the wall and fires a right the porter ducks, and Jack shouts, oh, Jesus, and strokes his right hand with his left.

In New York the police threaten to arrest Jack but he says, my damn hand’s broken and I’ve got another big fight.

Then you better head back to camp, says an officer.

Jack puts his left arm around me and says, let’s do the town tonight. No thanks, I say, but give him my telephone number.

I hope he’ll call and pray those rumors aren’t true he does this all the time. I wait a long time for a call then decide I better not go to any more fights. I’m really glad I miss his 1928 match with Jack Sharkey. Our Jack Delaney, according to the ladies, shows up flabby and in a daze and after opening bell doesn’t throw a single punch and just lets Sharkey knock him to the canvas where he crawls around maybe looking for the next drink. 

George Thomas Clark is the author of Uppercuts, a collection of boxing stories available as an eBook at Amazon.com and other Digital Stores. His short story collection, The Bold Investor, is also available. See the author’s website at www.GeorgeThomasClark.com.

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