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Defining Characteristic

Rich Cerow

I was recently asked to describe myself to someone, and it kind of depressed me. Maybe it’s just because I’m so used to them, but all my features seem decidedly average. So, I find myself saying things like “I’m kind of funny” or “I’m pretty tall,” but nothing extraordinary that would define me. So, I’ve determined that I need a strong characteristic that will automatically make me unique and intriguing. Now, the easiest way for me to do this would be to go out and get myself a limp, or a scar on my face that’s shaped like a dragon, or shot nine times (even though that one’s kind of played out). But probably even better would be to have a personality trait that I can be immediately associated with, something that sparks the interest of the ladies and lights people up right when I walk into a room. And, clearly, this trait would be: one time I beat up Jean-Claude Van Damme in a bar fight.


Now, we’ve all been to a party, and there’s always that one guy who walks in that people say, “Oh, that’s Johnny, he’s the All-Valley Karate Champ” or “Oh, man, George is here! I wonder what he’ll do next! Last party he ate four pounds of bleu cheese and puked all over Cindy!” These are the people I want to be. But better. And I can be that guy if we start spreading around the rumor that I met Jean-Claude in a bar and managed to take him in a fistfight. I mean, we don’t have to over-exaggerate. We can say he’s gotten fat and really let himself go, or that he was really drunk. I mean, I don’t feel any shame in handicapping Jean-Claude, so long as I still win.

It’ll be great when I walk in a room and people say, “Damn, that’s Rich over there. You know, he beat up Jean-Claude Van Damme one time. Also, I think he’s the handsomest boy in the world.” Well, you know, they might not necessarily throw that last part in, but it’d be nice. Of course, once strange women hear this, they’ll want to know the story behind it. But this shouldn’t be too tough. I saw JCVD drinking at the bar, went up to tell him what a fan I was, how much I loved Timecop, despite my misgivings about its “same matter can’t occupy the same space rule,” and remember Double Impact? You were so good in that, you should do more movies where you have a dual role as identical twin brothers, and he didn’t take too kindly to it, seeing how he’s all washed up now and nobody likes his movies anymore. So, heated words were exchanged, during which I may or may not have made reference to Belgians only being good for making waffles, and he threw a punch at me. But, you know, of course, I’ve got to stay humble, so I got a lucky shot in and he tripped over a stool, hit his head on the bar and the fight was over. After I helped him up and made sure he was all right, he did a full split at my request just to show his gratitude. It was totally awesome.

If we can just get this going, I know that eventually, when I die, my obituary will read “Richard Cerow, 83, once schooled Jean-Claude Van Damme at The Pickled Onion in Lansing, Michigan. Ladies loved him for it.” Help me make my dream of dying with dignity come true and spread this one around.


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