Moe was older, lanky thin, and not very smart. His brother Joey was one year younger, lanky thin, and not very smart, too. They were often dirty, often badly clothed, and they gaped in dim wonder at the schooling process. One day, Mrs. Gilbert asked Joey to conjugate the verb ‘Go’. Joey looked first trapped, then worried, then irritated.
“Go,” he said. Mrs. Gilbert nodded, encouraging. ” … go …” he said. He scowled. Finally he could delay no longer, and shouted, “Go, go, go!“
This was not the correct answer, but it gives you an idea about Moe and Joey. But I digress. What I wanted to tell you about was the fight.
Moe and Joey lived a few blocks away. My friend Donny and I steered clear of them, because they were quick to fight. Luckily for us, they mostly fought with each other.
One day Donny and I came upon Moe and Joey in a wild fist-fight and wrestling match. They were mostly silent, raining blows upon each other, then grappling and rolling in the sand beside the road. Occasional mutters and curses popped from the boys as they rolled wildly, turning over and over, one on top, then the other, and finally they wrapped themselves into a complex knot that only advanced yogis and young boys could manage.
Joey had grabbed a foot, and gave it a forceful twist, at the same time calling out in pain and anger. He was so angry that he twisted the foot even harder, immediately yelling again, in rage and pain.
Of course, in the excitement and the twisting and turning, the fool had grabbed his own foot, and was too stupid to realize it. Again and again he’d beat upon his brother, rolling and twisting, be beaten in turn, and he’d grab that foot, and then yelp as he gave it a vicious, painful twist.
Donny looked at me. I looked at Donny.
We left the two of them scrabbling in the dirt, and we walked home quietly, wondering what life would be like when we grew up.