Queue announcer:

Innnn this corner, weighing in at 8 pounds and 3 ounces, we have the “infiltrator.” Yes, live direct from the neighboring forest, wearing his nature patented black coat with white stripe down the back, attracted to the ring by the smell of garbage, please give a round of applause for Samuel Skunk!!!

Annnnd: in this corner, we have the “homeowner.” Weighing in at a svelte 190 pounds – although his wife informs us that he could stand to lose a few pounds around the midriff – wearing his patent green plaid housecoat, please welcome Nick Nack!!!

Tonight’s format is a huge twenty-foot square garage where our combatants will bear their wills for mastership of this domain. Strewn about the fighting arena are a vast array of hazards including six fallen bicycles because their kickstands are impervious to children’s feet, the wheelbarrow, the fertilizer spreader, the snow blower, the stack of random lumber pieces piled against the back wall for the unlikely eventuality that they will someday prove useful, the beer fridge, the skateboards, and the infamous clawed garden rake.

Let the fight begin…

Samuel makes a surprise entry into the ring, making a beeline for the unprotected garbage bag left carelessly on the floor. Nick is still in the warm up room watching the Stanley Cup finals on the telly. Nick gets up from the warm up couch and strides towards the ring to fetch a beer. Nick enters the ring and immediately becomes alarmed that the fight is already afoot as he observes the trail of broccoli stalks and chicken bones leading away from the torn up bag of garbage. Nick spies his opponent making an artful dodge around the wheelbarrow heading for the shadows of the lumber pile.

Nick decides to use an unconventional counter-move by circumnavigating the ring to make an approach from the outside of the garage doors. Nick puts on his slippers! He ventures out into the rainy night and squelches his way through the soggy garden to the garage doors. He notices that one of the garage doors has not been closed all the way down and makes a mental note to have a chat with his children in the morning. Nick carefully bends down; his housecoat fluttering in the rain, and gently raises the door to the ring.

Samuel, having ventured out to continue his foraging, sees Nick making an unexpected entry into the ring and retreats back into the lumber pile.

Nick enters the ring cautiously, surveying the damage caused by Samuel. Bravely ignoring the rustling behind the lumber pile, he stoops to pick up the garbage. He carefully picks up all garbage attractions and places them outside the ring in the homeowner’s laundry room.

While Nick’s back is turned, Samuel makes a dash through the fallen bicycles for the opening in the garage doors. Startled, Nick takes a step back onto one of the skateboards and takes a comical ride, arms flailing, across the floor of the ring deftly cutting off Samuel’s escape route. Samuel retreats back into the lumber pile as Nick comes to an abrupt stop when one of the snow blower handles spears him in the gut. Due to the proficiency of Nick’s gut, he absorbs the blow with little harm done.

The opponents square off against each other. Samuel pokes his nose out from the lumber pile to assess the situation. Nick takes a step back and plants the heel of his foot on the upturned prongs of the garden rake. Sensing imminent disaster, Nick fakes left avoiding the upswing of the wooden rake handle. On it’s way up, the handle picks up a bicycle safety helmet from the handlebars of one of the prostrate bikes and launches it into the corner of the lumber pile.

The missile crashes into the lumber pile forcing Samuel to leave his corner and scurry along the wall, his tail twitching in agitation. Sensing even greater imminent disaster, Nick pushes the fertilizer spreader across the ring in a panic-filled attempt to flee the ring. The spreader crashes into the wall behind Samuel, spurring him on towards the exit at even greater speed. Nick lunges through the door into the laundry room and gracelessly becomes entangled in all the garbage. Samuel makes his escape unscathed while Nick grapples with the garbage. The crickets in the garage behind the fridge go wild!

Two hours later, the fight fast becoming a distant memory, a freshly showered Nick picks himself up off the couch to go to the garage for a beer. Ralph Raccoon who is up to his haunches into the garbage greets Nick at the door.

Round Two…

Nick Burn is a freelance writer, husband, father of three, engineer, teacher, and webmaster for the Canadian Catholic Information Network. In his spare time (hah!), he enjoys camping, skiing and reading.

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