A long time ago Mr. Hawkins and I were strolling along the quaint cobblestone back streets of historic Portsmouth New Hampshire with probably a 36 pack of Natural Ice in our communal stomachs. I had never been in a fight, and I was curious how it worked.
Without warning to my companion, as two strangers approached us under the cast iron street lamp, I grabbed one’s shirt with my left hand and punched his face with my right hand. Being new to the sport I landed a few blows then took off running, not at all sure what to do since the man was still standing and I had given it my best. The two gentleman were a little upset and there was Mr. Hawkins standing there by himself.
When I didn’t hear any footsteps chasing me I stopped to assess the situation. Mr. Hawkins was actually running not too far behind me with two fellows chasing him. I think all three of these men wanted to catch me and beat me at this point. When Mr. Hawkins took a quick corner around a parked car, he bumped it and hit the sidewalk.
Ask yourself what you would do in that situation. Normally you would go back and defend your fallen comrade who has no idea why you even attacked the two men in the first place. As I said, I was new to the sport and not at all confident I would be of any help to Mr. Hawkins. I was stumped. I stood my ground to consider other options.
Now the two men were up to Mr. Hawkins and taking their time kicking him on the ground.
“Help!” He cried. It was then I noticed the red fire alarm box on the telephone pole next to me.
“Help is on the way!” I yelled confidently as I pulled the white lever down and alarms rang out across the block.
I’ll always respect Mr. Hawkins for not being mad at me for all that. Yes, he mocked me many times over the years, and occasionally, when we get in a tough spot, like hitting a fire truck, and no one knows what to do, I’ll hear his voice as though he were right next to me, and he says, “You could always pull the fire alarm.”