How BILLY JACK, saved my life.
I had moved to Los Angeles from New York and I’d been living in LA for a couple of months. Lucky for me that a re-run of the movie, BILLY JACK, was on and I had watched it again for probably the 10th time. I always enjoyed these movies with Tom Laughlin… BORN LOSERS, BILLY JACK, THE TRIAL OF BILLY JACK & BILLY JACK GOES TO WASHINGTON. Me and my friend JD where on our way to the China Trader in Toluca Lake, to meet our friend Gary. The place isn’t there anymore, it’s now Garry Marshall’s, Falcon Theatre. When JD and I walked into the bar, we quickly spotted Gary out on the dance floor, dancing alone… we thought. As we made our way to him, it turned out that he was in a sea of Little People. There was some movie being filmed at Warner Brothers and they all came over after their shoot. Gary was about 6′ 2″, so it was a bit surreal watching him out there on the dance floor. He saw us, smiled and walked over to us and we grabbed a table. He introduced us to the girl he had been dancing with.
There was an episode of, THE ODD COUPLE with Tony Randall and Jack Klugman that came rushing into my head, where Tony had to take pictures of these Little People, where Jack told him to not say ‘midget’. Tony gets them to pose and instead of saying. “Cheese,” to get them to smile, he screams out, “Midget!” This was the last thing I wanted to be thinking of. One of the girls came over to JD and asked him if he wanted to dance, and he did. Another girl came over to me and asked me to dance, and I told her, no thank-you. I didn’t want her to feel bad, so I told her that I don’t dance, that I don’t like to dance… with anybody. I didn’t like how that came out and I excused myself to get a beer. As I walked up to the bar, I looked back and JD and Gary out on the dance floor with big smiles on their faces dancing the night away.
The place was beginning to get crowded now, as I made my way to the bar and ordered a beer. Right as I went to take a sip, I was bunked hard from behind spilling some beer on my hand and the bar. I looked to my left and saw the guy as he was in the process of sitting at the bar, with his girlfriend. He knew that he bunked into me and he didn’t say anything. “You could’a said, ‘Excuse me.'” I said to him. “Fuck you,” he said. “Fuck me! Fuck you,” I said. He looked at me and said, “You wanna take it outside, New York?” “Yeah, I’ll take it outside,” I said. He then began to stand up and I saw that he stood about 6’3″. Shit, I thought. The guy’s girlfriend tried to get the guy to forget about it, but he mumbled something about this New Yorker needing to be taught a lesson. I looked for help from Gary and JD, but they were too busy on the dance floor and had no idea what was going on.
As I walked outside, I knew this guy was going to kill me and then… I thought of Billy Jack. I had nothing to lose. As I walked I started taking off my shoes. “What are you doing?,” the Big Guy said. I turned to him and said, “Okay, I’m only gonna tell you this once, because I have to by law. I am a 4th Degree Black Belt, in Okinawa Cocho and I’m gonna to take my right foot and put it on the right side of your face and break your fuckin’ jaw and there’s not a fuckin’ thing you can do about it.” I then proceeded to get into this half-assed stance (that was more of a ‘get the fuck outta here’ stance). “What did you just say?,” the Big Guy asked me. “Don’t act like you didn’t hear me! I’m a 4th Degree Black Belt in Okinawa Cocho and I’m gonna take my right foot and put it on right side of your face and break your fuckin’ jaw and there’s not a fuckin’ thing you can do about it,” I said. “Okay, but let’s not fight right here. It’s too close to the entrance, someone will see us. Let’s fight in the back of the parking lot,” the Big Guy said. These were not exactly the words I was hoping to hear. “Whatever you wanna do is fine with me,” I said. And so I headed to the back of the parking lot, debating what my next move would be. As I was walking, to myself I was going, “Ouch.. ooh,” because the pebbles were hurting my bare feet. But I never showed pain.
As we got to the back, I saw the guy’s Girlfriend headed towards us with 2 other guys. Now I am really fucked, I thought. I had one chance. “You gotta be fuckin’ kiddin’ me. Three of you? This is going to be fun. But the first thing that I’m gonna do, is take my right foot and put it on the right side of your face and break your fuckin’ jaw and there’s not a fuckin’ thing you can do about it.”, I said, as I took my stance which was looking more and more like a ‘get the fuck outta here,’ stance. The Big Guy’s girlfriend was pulling on his arm, trying to convince him to just go, that it wasn’t worth it, which was advice I was hoping he would take.
Just as she was addressing him, 3 bouncers from the China Trader came over to us. The Lead Bouncer said, “Okay, what’s going on here?” The Big Guy said, “This punk from New York, wants to start a fight.” “Oh yeah? Well I’m a punk from New York and it looks to me like it’s 3 against one.,” the lead bouncer said. “Come on. Let’s just go,” the Big Guy’s girlfriend said as she pulled on his arm. “Yeah, fuck it! Let’s just go,” said the Big Guy and off they went. As they walked in one direction, I took a sigh of relief and went to retrieve my shoes. “Ouch…ohh,” I said to myself, as I went back for my shoes.
The other bouncers walked back to the club and the Lead Bouncer walked with me. “I overheard you talking to the idiot… I study Martial Arts… What kind of Martial Arts do you know?,” the Lead Bouncer asked me. I told him the truth, that I made it up and that I didn’t know any martial arts. I explained that I had been watching Billy Jack that week. He thought that it was the coolest thing he’d ever heard. He ended up treating me to dinner and drinks, knick-named me “Killer,” and from that day forward, I never had to pay to get into the China Trader again and he always bought me my first drink. If it wasn’t for Billy Jack, I wouldn’t be here right now, sharing this story.