Parents are known to viciously protect their children. You hear tales of parents jumping into burning buildings, mothers lifting large suvs with one hand and fathers snapping the neck of bears to keep their kids safe. Well I exaggerated a little on that last one but you get the point.
Everyone who played street hockey remembers the days of getting the nets and sliding them to one side of the street so cars can get through. My neighborhood in Broomall was no different except my street growing up was a cut through between two semi important roads. People would cut through Boxwood Drive because we didn’t have any stop signs. They’d fly through and many people didn’t care that kids were playing street hockey and needed to get out of the way first. Seeing this my dad started playing with us kids when he wasn’t working. Still, even with him out there these assholes would just go around the nets between the net and the corner and almost take 3 kids out because they were in too much of a rush.
My dad had an idea. It was the same culprits day after day so why not teach them a lesson. So he bought two extra hockey balls to keep in his jacket pockets. It didn’t take long before one of these assholes came steaming through. Howard(my dad) on queue rifles a laser beam at their back windshield. Car stops and asshole gets out.
Actual Asshole: “Why the fuck did you do that for asshole?”
Howard: “Watch your language in front of kids pal. Sorry kid hit a slap shot. We just kept playing because you couldn’t wait for us to get out of the way.”
Asshole: **Mutters Incoherently and Gets back in their car**
We all started laughing. This became a daily occurrence. 5-6 times a day my dad was whipping hockey balls at the backs of cars, assholes were getting out and assholes were getting back in frustrated. I don’t even think we liked street hockey that much, I think we all played to watch my dad whip balls at cars. Hell we even tried it when he wasn’t home but that’s a story for another day.
So where does this go? Well two events that if I can remember correctly happened in the same week. Howard did this for months and I swear people took alternative routes to avoid getting smacked with Hockey balls. One day a little red convertible couldn’t wait and almost hit my little brother. My dad whipped both balls he had one right through the back vinyl windshield and the other off the back bumper. Dude was pissed. Got out of the car screaming and Howard and him had a screaming battle right there. Dude starts throwing around that he’s a political figure and who the fuck does my dad think he is? My dad with no hesitation: I think maybe your constituents would love to know what kind of asshole they’re voting for. It gets calm and they start talking. Dude agrees he was wrong and offered to help my dad work on getting a stop sign for our street. My dad did get us that stop sign, but unfortunately for my dad that wasn’t fast enough to stop the next occurrence.
If memory serves me correct it was a Friday in the spring. We’re all out playing and a red Chevy blazer with the tire on the back comes barreling through our game of street hockey. Lady guns it so fast she clips me with her mirror. My dad launches the ball at her back windshield and she gets out. My dad let her have it lacing words together I didn’t know then and rarely say now. I only had scraped knees and a bump on the head so she goes on her way and he doesn’t call the cops. We all clean up and go home. Next day my dad convinces my buddies and I that we should just play basketball on the driveway until he’s done cleaning the yard. I remember so clearly seeing this 6’4″ 250lb monster wearing glasses walking up our street with the blazer lady jumping up and down and egging him from behind him. Howard at that time was 5’6″ maybe 140lbs soaking wet. Our neighbor was a Greek guy who ran a breakfast only lunch cart. He was cleaning up from his morning and he knew there was trouble. The guy starts yelling for my dad to come face him like a man. I turn around and all I see is:
Big Guy. Greek Guy. My Dad
Both guys are talking shit and my neighbor is in the middle. I run for my mom. I scream through the door, “Mom dads about to get his ass kicked call 911 this whacko is coming to beat him up. I grabbed my Louisville slugger and ran for my dad. He sees me coming and tells me to get that thing away from this fight. As he’s saying it a fist lands on the top of my dad’s Head from right over top of my neighbor. Ass first my dad hit the ground. He bounces up. He throws my Greek neighbor away and tackles the big guy. Big guy throws him off, lands a punch. At this point my mom is now outside screaming at the lady who hit me with her car mirror. In full Delco mode my mom goes running after the complete asshole who starts high tailing it back to her house in heels. It’s complete white trash warfare. Neighbors are spilling out their front doors to watch, sirens are blaring and clearly getting closer. The big guy at this point bear hugs my dad and lands squarely on top of him. I can hear my dad in pain and I start running to help him. As I do I hear the most unforgettable scream I have ever heard. The big guy writhing in pain rolls to his back and my dad goes full rocky on his ass punching him in the face. At this point every cop car in Marple Township has arrived. My dad stands up ready to be arrested looking unscathed outside bloody hands. The big guy’s face is all jacked up. Blood everywhere. His glasses are laying by the fire hydrant right next to the curb. They separate them and ask the neighbors some questions and promptly put the big guy in cuffs. They leave my dad be and he comes walking over to us kids. I wanted to know. Needed to know. “Dad how did you get him off of you?”
“I grabbed him by the Nuts and squeezed until he got off of me.”
Cops start rolling laughing. They were even busting the big guy’s balls for a little guy kicking his ass. My dad turned to us and said there’s no shame in that. You’re in a fight for your life you do whatever it takes to win.