ASP--The Concord Five--Chapter Fourteen--Mary Kathryn
I started laughing when Michael tried to hold Elizabeth in the air so she wouldn't mess him any more. Her diaper was completely loose on one side and the other side was dangling from her leg. Without being properly diapered, she had filled Michael's lap with a very smelly little present. "Mary Kathryn, having your lap full of baby shit is NOT funny!" Michael said.
"Think I was laughing at something else, Lover. You were about to suggest it would be great for us to have a baby of our own, and ten seconds later it wasn't a good idea but a nightmare. Your affections sure are fickle. I don't know whether I can depend on you or not. Maybe tomorrow you'll go running off with some blond bimbo cheer leader."
"Mary Kathryn, you know that's not true and it's not funny. How about you stop and we do something about this shitty sister of mine."
"No diapers, Michael, and no wipes. Just make sure you keep her covered so she doesn't get chilled, and put your window down."
When we pulled into the Andrews' drive, I got out of the Tracker and said, "Well come on, Michael." He got out and walked toward the house, holding Elizabeth under her arms and as far from him as possible. "Michael, you hold that baby right," I scolded him.
"Mary Kathryn, she's shitty."
"You carry her in the house like that, and that will be the least of your worries when your mom sees you." Michael was reluctant, but he cradled Elizabeth in his arms and carried her in.
When we got inside, Margaret came running to Michael, took Elizabeth from him and hugged the child to herself. Michael said, "I don't think you want to do that," but his warning was too late.
"Who in the world diapered this child?" Margaret asked.
"Michael gets credit for that job," I laughed," and I think he really wants diapering lessons so he doesn't get the same results another time."
Margaret took Elizabeth to the nursery and, as she did, called over her shoulder, "Michael, I think you are grown enough to clean yourself, but if not I'll be right up". Michael went up the stairs and reappeared fifteen minutes later. It was obvious he'd had a quick shower before changing into clean clothes.
We joined Mom and Dad and the Greywolfs sitting in the den. The TV was on, the sound turned off, and no-one was paying the slightest attention to it. "Why's the TV on and no-one watching?" I asked.
"There's supposed to be a report about the kidnapping at 6:00. It's still a few minutes before it starts."
"Dad, what's going to happen to Billie Sue?" Michael asked. "I feel very sorry for her. I know she gave us a lot of worry and all, but I still feel sorry for her."
"Michael, Billie Sue has major problems. I'm not sure what will happen to her eventually. She will spend the next ninety days in a juvenile evaluation center being tested and evaluated. At the end of the evaluation period, a determination will be made as to where she should go. I think it highly unlikely that she will be punished because I seriously doubt she knew what she was doing. She wanted a baby so badly that when hers was still-born, she went into total denial and looked for 'her baby'. But in spite of being in a fantasy world, she went about finding a baby in a very rational and methodical way. It is easy to see, for example, why she went to the hospital. After all, aren't most children told babies come from the hospital? And she was very clever in disguising herself as a doctor or surgical nurse. I was told she must have seen a surgeon or nurse toss operating room togs into the disposal bin and she used them. But I really don't think she knew what she was doing."
"I don't either. All the time we were with her, and especially while I was shopping with her, she kept talking about Jessica. I think she really believed, or had convinced herself, Elizabeth was her baby," I said. "I'm like Michael: I feel sorry for her."
"As I said, I don't know what will eventually happen to her, but I'm willing to bet she will have a better life than she has had, regardless of where she ends up," David said.
Just as David finished speaking, the 6:00 p.m. news came on and Elizabeth's kidnapping was the lead story. The anchor opened by saying, "Yesterday when a mother prepared to leave the hospital in Concord with her day-old twins, only one was found. Day-old Elizabeth Kathryn Andrews, daughter of Mr. and Dr. David Andrews, had disappeared. The baby was found late this afternoon by her brother and his girlfriend. LaTasha Jackson is standing by in Concord. LaTasha, what have you learned about the kidnapping?"
"Stu, Dr. Margaret Andrews gave birth to twins yesterday. According to hospital authorities, Dr. Andrews was at home when her labor started and her husband rushed home to discover his wife was so far along, a trip to the hospital was out of the question. Mr. Andrews is a nurse and a member of the EMS team in Concord, so he delivered his twin daughters. The twins and their mother were then transported to Concord General where all three were declared in excellent condition."
"Earlier today, when Dr. Andrews was preparing to return to her home, only one of the twins was in the nursery. According to hospital security, a video tape revealed a person dressed in surgical garb, complete with mask, took the baby. A task force was quickly set up with the help of the FBI, but was making little progress.
According to the head of the task force, friends of the Andrews family attending college in Ohio, and a group of Independence High School students--friends of the twins' sixteen-year-old brother--started speculating about who might have taken the baby and what might have been done with her. Here's what Maxwell Jones, head of the task force, said about the students' reasoning."
"Students here and in Ohio started trying to imagine who had taken the baby and why. I won't go into their thinking, but they decided the kidnapper was a high school girl, poor and with a single parent, an abusive father. With those things in mind, they speculated that the person would need to shoplift things for the baby. Michael, the baby's brother, and his girlfriend decided to put the speculation to the test and located the girl and the baby."
"The kidnapper was also an Independence student, I understand."
"Yes, she was. She had given birth to a still-born child and took the baby from the hospital to replace it."
"Why did she go to the hospital?"
"When asked that question, she said we should know there are babies at the hospital."
"What I can't understand is how she managed to walk into a hospital, take a baby and walk out."
"It was easy enough. She dressed in surgical garb she had seen tossed in a bin for disposal, so she looked like she belonged in the hospital and, because her face was covered by a mask, no-one suspected her."
"Can you tell us what will happen to her?" The agent told the reporter what David had told us and finished by saying, "From what I have found out, just about any place would be better than her home."
"While the students were out solving the case, what were your people doing?"
The agent laughed and said, "We were following up on some of the results of the group's speculation. They had decided the kidnapper was poor and would shoplift baby supplies. When a convenience store owner caught a young girl shoplifting two cans of baby formula in the same neighborhood where the Andrews baby was found, we thought sure we had the kidnapper. Turns out we were wrong. Seems the shoplifter had a neighbor with no food for her sick baby and no money, so she went shoplifting."
"I suppose she has been jailed."
"No. The store owner refused to press charges saying it is always right to steal food for a baby if that is the only way you can get it. In fact, not only did he not press charges, but he sent a case of formula home with the girl for her neighbor's baby. We reported the case to Social Services and they have taken food to the mother and baby and will see they are cared for. All in all, it has not been a bad day for babies."
"Thank you very much, Mr. Jones. Well, Stu, it has been a good day for babies, I suppose, but a very rough one for the Andrews family."
"LaTasha, were you able to learn how the girl reacted when the Andrews baby was taken from her?"
"Actually I was, Stu. I talked with two of Concord's police officers--Officers Ramsey and Paige. When the baby was found, the two who found her--I need to check my notes here--Michael Andrews and Mary Kathryn Larsen--reported the kidnapper wanted a pretty dress and shoes for the baby. The young couple took the kidnapper to a local baby shop and allowed her to shop for half an hour or so. When she had picked out a dress and shoes, Michael got her to let him dress the baby and when the officers told her she needed to go with them, apparently she trusted Michael to keep her baby. She left without presenting any problem. Officer Ramsey said Michael had asked that she be given the pleasure of shopping before she was taken away. An amazing young man, don't you think?"
"Sounds like it, LaTasha. We, by the way, found some file footage of Mr. Andrews from an interview he did last year concerning a memorial service at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Concord. We also have some footage of Miss Larsen and Mr. Andrews when they served as docents at an exhibition there last spring." While the announcer talked, in the background was video of Michael and me. "Have you been able to talk with any of the Andrews family?"
"No, I haven't. I hope to do so before the 11:00 news."
"Thank you, LaTasha."
David clicked off the TV with the remote and said, "I don't think Miss Jackson will be interviewing this Andrews."
"You know she will try," Dad said. "I am surprised she wasn't here with a crew when Michael arrived. Or, worse, try to get close-ups of Margaret crying."
"I wish she had been here to film Michael holding Elizabeth at arm's length and calling her shitty," I laughed.
"Michael! You didn't!" Margaret exclaimed.
"Well, she was. Very definitely."
When the phone rang, David said, "That will be LaTasha. I have no intention of talking with her." "Neither have I," Margaret said. "I guess there will not be film at 11:00."
David answered the phone, listened a minute, covered the mouthpiece and said, "How do you like that? It's LaTasha Jackson, of course, but she's not interested in talking with either of us. She wants to interview Michael and Mary Kathryn."
"Well, what are you going to tell her? They are underage, so she needs our permission," Margaret said.
"I don't know. Jens, Gabrielle, what do you think?"
"I say it's up to them," Gabrielle said. "I think I'm for it because most of the news about young people is bad news. Why not have a bit of good news about them? But don't you think they should be asked before we decide?"
"I guess," David said. "Michael, Mary Kathryn, what do you think?"
"Why not? Good news about kids is a good idea," Michael said.
"Then you talk to her."
Michael took the phone, listened for a few minutes and finally said, "That's fine with us, but you have to agree to show us the tape exactly as it will be aired before it is broadcast... Well, if you can't do that, I guess there's no interview... Agreed." When Michael hung up the phone he said, "We get to see the tape in exchange, if it's permitted, for a picture of Elizabeth."
"Just a picture, no long filming," Margaret said.
"Right," Michael answered.
ASP--The Concord Five--Chapter Fourteen--Michael
I had agreed to the interview because I did think it was good to have some positive news about young adults, but also because I wanted to say something about Billie Sue. Ever since I saw her sitting in that abandoned mill, holding Elizabeth, I couldn't get her and her situation out of my thoughts. LaTasha Jackson and her film crew would be at the house about nine, so there was no rush about anything.
Just as I hung up the phone, I heard a car drive up. When I looked out the window, I saw Bill's car and it was packed. People started pouring out of it, all carrying what looked like dishes. I went to the door and opened it just as Bill reached for the doorbell. "Man, that was fast," he laughed. "I didn't even hear the bell and here you are. We come, Oh Brother Michael, with food in our hands," Bill announced in the style of a southern backwoods preacher--something he did well, but had to be careful about, for most of Concord would see it as poking fun at THEIR preacher, which it was indirectly. It started when he had heard a country preacher praying over a woman in the hospital, "Oh Lord, we come to you with this dear soul's kidneys in our hands".
"Our moms got together and decided you didn't need to worry about food, so they prepared supper," Linda said. "Of course, you're supposed to invite us to eat as well."
"You're invited," I said.
Bill and the crew--under the very direct supervision of Linda--soon had food on the table. Dad said grace and everyone grabbed a plate and filled it. The adults were sitting at the dining room table, so we filled our plates and crowded around the kitchen table.
As soon as we were seated, Jacob said, "Hey, Rachel, show off the new ring and be sure and tell how you got it."
Rachel laughed and held up her hand to show off a Hopi inlay ring. "I chose one with a thunderbird because I like to drum," she said. "I called Dad and told him I needed money for a school social and academic organization. I knew he would fall for the social part. He is very keen on having me in a social whirl. He sent it at once and said he was pleased I was in with the right group. Of course he was right, but what he thought about was something like the Independence Sub-Debs."
"Somehow or other, I can't see you with the Sub-Debs," Bill said. "I get a mental image of you drumming and it just doesn't fit with the bunch who use valley girl speak--with their teeth together and a painted-on smile."
"I can't imagine myself in that situation unless it was a nightmare," Rachel laughed. "But I have a question. I have been thinking about what Roxanne did: stealing formula for that sick baby. I know she was shoplifting, but it was for a sick baby."
"We were discussing ethics in social studies last week and the question of whether or not it is ever right to steal came up. It was all very airy-fairy talk, just a brain twister," Susan said, "but it's not some mind game now. Roxanne stole food for a hungry baby. Did she do right or wrong?"
"It's easy to say it's never right to steal," I said. "That makes decision-making easy because it has already been done for you. I think most people like that--hard-and-fast rules--so they don't have to think."
"It's also easy to say it's always right to steal to feed a hungry baby. If the option is steal or go hungry, that's one thing. If the option is steal or go to work, that's quite another," Linda said.
"Well did Roxanne do what was right or wrong? I think we know most of the facts in this case. What do you think?" Rachel asked.
"I think she did right this time. She didn't, obviously, have time to earn money or get help because when she knew about the baby, it was hungry. Now if she steals next week, I think that's a whole different kettle of fish," Jacob said.
"Why?" Bill asked.
"She now knows about Social Services, she has time to earn some money. She has alternatives, acceptable alternatives to stealing," Jacob answered.
"Ok, so you are saying there is not a hard-and-fast rule about stealing," I said.
"Right. I'd say that about everything," Jacob said.
"Then there is no standard, no way of determining right and wrong. I'm very uneasy with that, but I'm also very uneasy with hard-and-fast rules," Mary Kathryn said. "There has to be something in-between."
"Last summer, while I was at the monastery, Father Abbot and I got into a similar discussion," I said. "He finally said that most such discussions weren't helpful because they were all theory. 'It's easy to think up situations which make for interesting discussions, but people are never theoretical and the situations in which they live are never simple,' he said. I guess I look at the world and at a situation and ask one question, "Does the anticipated action show love for your neighbors?".
"I can't argue with that, but what do you mean by showing love to the neighbor? And what if there are two neighbors and to help one you hurt the other. I mean the convenience store owner was hurt so the baby could be helped."
"The problem, since we live in a complex world and have to make messy decisions because life is messy, is how do you increase love in the world. We just have to decide whether action or inaction increases love among neighbors. If it does, it's a responsible and moral action. Only problem is almost always we have to decide between wrong and wrong or right and right. Seldom are we given the luxury of choosing between right and wrong. I have given a lot of thought to that and it's not an easy way to live, because you're always making decisions, but I think it's the only way to really live. End of sermon," I said.
"Gee, pretty heavy stuff, Michael," Rachel said. "So, was stealing the formula a responsible action and therefore a right action or not? Roxanne chose between stealing--a wrong--and allowing a baby to go hungry--a wrong. But was it responsible? It was a choice between a thing--formula--and a person--the baby. I say it was right."
There was general agreement that Roxanne had been responsible, and this was no theoretical situation. Having started a discussion of right and wrong, naturally the situations brought up became more and more outlandish, but fun.
We had finished eating, putting the food away and the dishes in the dishwasher when the doorbell rang. "I'll get it," I said, "It's almost 9:00 so I bet it's LaTasha Jackson."
When I opened the door, LaTasha Jackson was standing outside with a couple of others.
"I'm LaTasha Jackson," she said, "and you are Michael Andrews."
"Yes, come on in."
When we got inside, LaTasha introduced the cameraman and lighting tech as George and Alfred. "Where would you like for us to set up?" she asked.
"We are all sitting around the kitchen table involved in a great discussion of ethics. You can set up there or here in the living room," I said.
"Who is in the kitchen?" she asked.
"The Fellowship, our high school group."
"The ones who helped locate your sister?"
"Why don't we set up in the kitchen then, so all of you can be involved."
While the lighting tech was setting up the lights and the cameraman was looking at camera angles, LaTasha joined the group at the kitchen table. I introduced everyone after LaTasha had seated herself.
"Michael called you the Fellowship. What's that all about?"
Linda told how the Fellowship had started and how we lost members to college...
"I assume the college students in Ohio, mentioned as helping locate Elizabeth, are the members you lost?" LaTasha asked.
"Yes," Bill answered, "and Rachel, Keith, Jack, Susan and Chris are the new members."
"So you call yourselves the Fellowship?"
"The Fellowship of the Rings," Rachel added. When LaTasha asked, Rachel told her why the rings and showed her new one.
"I think it would be great to open with a shot of the rings. George, could you get an overhead shot of their hands?" George nodded and LaTasha said, "Put your hands together in a circle and George will shoot your hands from overhead".
When the hand shot was finished, the interview began. The group explained the logic we used to try to determine how and where Elizabeth had been taken. When we finished that, LaTasha said, "Michael said all of you were engaged in a great ethical discussion? About what?"
Mary Kathryn told how we were discussing whether or not what Roxanne had done was ethical.
"What did you conclude? And how about what Billie Sue did?"
"That Roxanne's was a responsible, and therefore ethical, action," Linda said. But we hadn't discussed what Billie Sue did."
That provoked a lively discussion in which the general consensus was that Billie Sue's was an irresponsible action. "I take exception to that," Michael said. "Actually I don't think Billie Sue was responsible for her actions at all. I think Billie Sue was living in an illusion. I am convinced she thought she had her own baby, I don't think she was aware she had taken Elizabeth."
"Ok, does that mean you can do anything you want when you are living in an illusion?" Bill asked. "Does that mean that if I am convinced I am hot stuff..."
"Don't think you want to go there on camera, Billy Boy," Linda said. Bill blushed.
"What I am saying is that if you are mentally incapable of making a decision, you can't be held responsible. Maybe you need to be placed somewhere for treatment or to prevent you from hurting someone or yourself, but you can't be held responsible," Michael replied. "That's the reason I sure hope Billie Sue gets treatment, not punishment."
"I feel the same way," Mary Kathryn said. "I know she thought she was shopping for her baby at Bundle of Joy."
We talked on about that a bit and, finally, LaTasha said, "Well, I think I have more than enough film. Anything you don't want shown? Otherwise I'll upload it so the film can be edited for the 11:00 news which is just an hour away."
We all decided she could use any of it. Then she asked for a picture of Elizabeth. Mary Kathryn and I went to the den and asked Mom about getting the twins.
"They are both awake, but no long filming," she answered.
Mary Kathryn and I held the two, and LaTasha got film, thanked us and left.
Monday, just after lunch, I was walking down the hall toward my next class with Mary Kathryn when we approached Phillip Curran, who was holding court with his buddies. "Yea, I knocked Billie Sue up. Since I was a football star and had money, she fell all over herself when I asked her for a date. She was a good piece of ass until I knocked her up. The stupid little bitch wouldn't get an abortion. She said she was going to keep the baby. I told her she was stupid, but she actually thought I would marry her or at least support her bastard."
That was as far as he got. I walked up to him and said, "Phillip, you are a no-good son of a bitch for treating that poor girl like you did."
"You better get moving, scarface, or I'll kick your butt good. She wanted to fuck, so I fucked her. If she was going to fuck around, she should have been on the pill. Not my fault that she was knocked up. Fortunately, the bastard died when it was born. Now move on or else."
"Or else what?"
"Or else, like I said, I'll kick your god-damn ass."
"Just try it, Asshole."
"Michael, let it go. He's not worth the effort," Mary Kathryn said.
I paid no attention to what Mary Kathryn said and she left, walking down the hall.
Phillip got in my space, grabbed the front of my shirt and pulled me toward himself until he was really in my face, his nose practically touching mine. "Who are you calling asshole, Asshole?" he demanded.
"You're the only asshole I see," I replied.
"What I did with Billie Sue is none of your fucking business," Phillip said as he shoved me.
"Phillip, you hurt Billie Sue and, because of what you did, you hurt my family."
"Tough titty, Faggot."
"Not a nice word, Phillip, and wrong in any case. Now shut up bad-mouthing Billie Sue. You took advantage of a lonely and confused young woman. You may think you are a man and a stud, but you're just a little boy trying to play manly games, Shithead."
"All I did was fuck her brains out and knock her up. No big deal, Chickenshit."
"A very big deal, Asshole."
"I warned you, Andrews." Phillip pulled his fist back, but I was quicker, landing one right on his chin, cold-cocking him. He fell to the floor like the bag of shit he was. His buddies were so surprised that they didn't react for a minute, then they were ready to gang up on me when the guys of the Fellowship ran up and grabbed them.
"That's enough," Bill said. "You all know about fighting in school. Michael, to the office." Keith got a cup of water from the fountain and splashed Phillip in the face. Phillip came around and, as he did, he jumped to his feet, his fist pulled back. Keith grabbed him, twisted his arm behind his back and stopped him from throwing a punch.
"To the office with you too, Phillip," he said. "If the rest of you want to go to the office as witnesses, come along, but there will be no more fighting."
When we got to the office, Phillip and I told Ms. Jones what had happened and both were truthful. "Michael, you hit Phillip and you know the student rule around here, 'You throw, you go'. You can have a trial or you can plead guilty and take your three-day suspension. Phillip, I can't do anything about the disrespect you showed, and the hurt you caused Billie Sue out of school, but you will have to stand trial for using derogatory language about her and Michael leading to this fight or you can save all of us time and plead guilty."
"I'm not guilty of anything except telling my buddies about Billie Sue," Phillip said. "I'll take my chances."
"Then you need to get your witnesses together for a trial Wednesday after school. You can go on back to class. Michael, what about you?"
"No use holding a trial, I cold-cocked Phillip and don't regret it. Well, I regret fighting, but not letting him know what a jerk he is."
"Then get your things and leave campus at once. You are suspended for three days, including today."
I went to my locker and got my books. The guys of the Fellowship and Mary Kathryn had gone to the office with me, so they knew I was suspended and would get my assignments. My teachers might or might not accept assignments I did while home because I was suspended. As I headed home, I wondered what Mom and Dad would say and do.
As I walked in the front door, Mom said, "Michael, what in the world are you doing home. School's not out for two and a half or three hours."
"Mom, I got suspended for three days."
"You got suspended? Suspended? Michael Andrews, you got suspended from school? For three days? What in the world for?"
"I cold-cocked Phillip Curran."
"You were fighting? I hope you have a good explanation for that," Mom said. I could see she was not at all happy.
I told Mom what had happened. "When he started talking about that poor girl, I just lost it. He caused her no end of grief and us as well. And he was bragging about it. After some name-calling, he got right in my face and drew back a fist and I let him have it. He went down and out like a light. The guys of the Fellowship kept Phillip's friends from jumping me and Bill escorted us to the office. I knew the punishment, so I just entered a guilty plea and got suspended for three days, counting today."
"Michael Andrews! You have been suspended from school for fighting. I know you were upset by what Phillip Curran said. I can understand that, but fighting? There was no need for violence. You know that."
"Mom, I really do feel bad about what I did--not about taking Phillip on for what he was saying, but about fighting. But, Mom, you should have heard how he talked about that poor girl. I just let my temper get the better of me."
"Michael, I hope you have learned a lesson about letting your temper run away with you. We'll talk to your father about this situation but, off-hand, I think you should not only be suspended for the three days but also grounded--no phone, no going anywhere, no e-mail. But we'll talk to your dad before any final decision is made. Until then, you are grounded."
I would have liked to argue with mom, but I saw the look in her eye which said I better not. I went to my room, got out my books, put on a CD--I turned the volume down because I was afraid Mom would hear it and add no music to my punishment--and started working on assignments. I was caught up, but had an essay for Yong Jin due before Thanksgiving holidays and an AP American history project I hadn't started which was also due before Thanksgiving.
The essay topic was our choice of any issue and was to be persuasive. I did some free writing and found, after I had written for a while, I was focusing on the situation with Billie Sue and Roxanne. I wanted to write an argument involving an ethical issue, but couldn't decide exactly what. I wrote some about both situations--just phrases, words, that sort of thing--for a while, then looked at what I had written. I saw that there was no way I could justify what Billie Sue had done. If she knew what she was doing, her act was irresponsible. But if she didn't really know what she was doing--and I was sure she didn't--she wasn't responsible: not irresponsible, but not responsible.
Seeing that I would get nowhere with Billie Sue, I focused on Roxanne stealing the baby formula. I worked for a good hour and had an essay ready for a final edit. It was pretty easy to write, especially since the Fellowship had discussed it at length. I took a bathroom break, stretched, and went back to my computer and did a final draft. I printed it out and would give it to Mary Kathryn when she brought my assignments.
I tackled the AP American history project. I had chosen to do a Powerpoint presentation on the causes of the war of 1812. I started by outlining my material and then did a story board. It took me until I heard Dad come in to get the story board done. When I heard Dad come in, I reluctantly dragged myself downstairs.
"I guess this is the part following 'Just wait until your daddy gets home,' isn't it? OK, Dad, I have been suspended..."
"You have been WHAT? Did you say you have been suspended?"
This was going worse than I thought, so I responded, "Yes, sir, I have been suspended for three days."
"Michael, WHY? Suspended for three days! Young man, I hope you have a good reason for being suspended--not that I think there is a good reason." It was obvious Dad was steaming. I couldn't think of any way around telling him what happened.
When I finished telling Dad about slugging Phillip and getting suspended, he said, "It seems to me, young man, you need to learn to control your hot temper. Suspended for three days for fighting. I can't believe it!"
"Seems to me the father might need to learn to control a hot temper as well," Mom said very quietly.
I expected Dad to really explode then, and he definitely started to, caught himself, and a slow smile spread across his face. "I did pretty much make a spectacle of myself, didn't I?" he asked sheepishly. "Sorry, Son. I guess I let my temper run away with me. Now that I'm rational, tell me again what happened."
I again told Dad what had prompted me to challenge Phillip Curran, and that I slugged him because he was about to slug me.