Ed. note - If you’re like me, you want to read Tank Abbott’s debut novel — the succinctly-titled Befor There Were Rules, A Trilogy By #1 MMA Cagefighting Legend David “Tank” Abbott, Book One, Bar Brawler, A Novel — but you don’t want to have to, uh, you know, actually read it.
Thankfully for us, Jessica Hudnall of Leg Kick TKO was nice enough to order a copy of the book and review it for us, SparkNotes-style. You’re going to read some ridiculous shit in here, but please keep in mind that we aren’t making it up for laughs, and that Jessica has a for-real hard copy of the book. I thought it was a figment of my imagination for like a week and a half.
Be sure you’ve read part 1 of her review before you read this one. It covers the forward, prologue and first chapter, and if you don’t read it, you won’t know the “right combination” to Walter’s “throw-down vault”.
Chapter Two – Heading South:
Walter’s done remembering the time last night he bashed another man’s skull to bits and it is time to get up and head to class. He roars down the traffic jammed freeway at well over 90 miles per hour on his Interceptor 700 and makes it to class on time. Walter’s still hung over and some of the lectures are boring, so he drifts in and out, preferring to watch the pretty ladies outside the windows.
His school day finally over, Walter heads home (At a more normal speed) and is greeted by his best friend, an 80-pound pit bull named Adolf. Walter lets us know that the dog is “named after a famous Colorado beer brewer whose products I quite admire”. A friend advises him that such a name would have unfortunate skinhead-related connotations, but you NEVER tell Walter Foxx he can’t do something (Because he is a true, real warrior). Foxx grills up some cheeseburgers for him and Adolf, takes a quick nap, and then it’s time to go to work.
Instead of the motorcycle, Foxx heads to work in his “mostly silver” Chevy Sprint, which has no keys, only two toggle switches, a cassette player plugged into the cigarette lighter for music (The only music is a looping The Smiths tape), and it might be a piece of crap, but “it has sheepskin seat covers so that makes it cool”. He gets to Sea Lion Beach Liquor and tries to catch up on his history reading while serving the various “surf and skate punks” all night. Walter drinks several Coors during work, then grabs a few cases on his way out (He puts it down in the ledger, he’s no thief!) because tonight he’s headed to Mexico with some buddies.
On his way home, Foxx drives past a guy slapping a woman (Walter informs us that this is not cool). She makes a break for it, and the guy gives chase, forcing Walter to slam on the brakes to avoid hitting him (Walter takes this opportunity to secure the bottle of Coors he’s been drinking between the seat and emergency brake). The guy doesn’t appreciate almost being ran over, so he screams at Walter and flips him off, continuing even after Walter starts to drive away.
Walter turns his Sprint around and tries to figure out what the guy’s problem is. The “high school quarterback type” wants to kick Walter’s fat ass, and that’s enough to goad Foxx into a fight (Do not call Walter Foxx fat, he will be unable to accept it and be forced to punch you). Foxx lunges for the guy, but the QB runs towards a parked car, keeping it between himself and Walter. Walter realizes the guy is a poser and heads back to his car, but the QB keeps taunting him about his fat ass. Walter lets the guy get close and then turns and charges.
Walter catches the quarterback and at first is just intent on scaring the guy, possibly sitting on his chest for a little bit to cut his air (Which to me sounds like a fat ass move), but before Foxx can “give him a little fright” the guy punches him in the head. Foxx drops the guy with a left hook, and as he’s about to tell off the quarterback, Walter gets punched twice more. Foxx is livid, so he hits the guy with a right, then finishes him off with his patented head slam.
The fight is over, and a random hippie appears to preach peace, while the unconscious guy’s girlfriend (The one he was slapping earlier) shows up, screaming for help. Foxx makes a hasty retreat, noting that even though he’s in the right, it’s best if he’s gone before the cops show up (It doesn’t help that he challenged the hippie to a fight, unprovoked). Foxx gets back home and he’s ready to head to Mexico with his six buddies, Dick, Tom, Grant, Mikey, Skip and Phil. (Adolf will have to stay home).
• Did Walter fight? Yes
• Walter’s opponent – High school quarterback-type, 5’11”, 190 pounds
• Did Walter get hit? Yes, 1 standing arm strike, 2 ground arm strikes
• Walter’s Compu-Strike Numbers – 1 standing arm strike (KD), 1 ground arm strike, 1 head-pound (KO)
Key lines: “Is there ever going to be a fighting sport that is authentic, with real fighting like last night?”
Oh, just you wait, Walter Foxx! Some cool Brazilians are going to be coming along real soon!
“When class ends I head to an identical building across a twenty-yard-wide grassy knoll that could have come straight out of Dallas, Texas. When you’re a History major you tend to make those connections.”
Walter Foxx is the smartest man alive. I’m a dumb accounting major and could never make a connection like that.
“I push the clutch in and hit the brakes, watching this guy in my rearview mirror standing in the intersection where our lives have crossed.”
Wow, check out that metaphor! The intersection of two streets also represents the intersection of two lives when you almost ran someone over because you weren’t paying attention to the road and were focused on securing your beer!
“Now it’s time for the jackal to pay full price for his sins.”
Jackals do a lot of sinning that is never paid for in full.