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  • Paul Davidson

I Would So Handle Mr. Miyagi So Much Better Than Ralph Macchio

First things first: when a guy tells you to paint the fence, you question the guy who’s telling you to paint the fence. This goes for sanding the floor, waxing the car, and standing like a stork on some wood log in the middle of the beach. You question and you question until you get down to the bottom of it all.

These things, I know.

I would so handle Mr. Miyagi so much better than Ralph Macchio did when he starred as Daniel in the movie The Karate Kid. My years of questioning people around this great continent would have prepared me for my moment in the sun. I would have posed a series of questions to Mr. Miyagi that fateful evening he saved me from those hoodlums in skeleton costumes on bikes. And as he nursed my wounds back to health I would initially ask the guy who he was, how he got so damn strong, and sure — could he help me get Johnny, Tommy, Bobby, Dutch and Jimmy off my back long enough to woo that pretty blonde girl, Ali.

These things, I would ask.

But the minute that crazy tree-cutting fool told me to paint the fence, you’d better believe I’d ask him all the pertinent questions.

1. Why do you want me to paint the fence? 2. Why have you left this fence unpainted for so long? 3. How long, exactly, has this fence gone unpainted? 4. Wouldn’t you rather hire someone who paints fences for a living? 5. Shouldn’t we prime this fence before we paint it? 6. Looking around at this whole dojo, I think the minamalist nature of leaving the fence unpainted might go well with the rest of your whole theme here – don’t you think? 7. If I paint the fence, will you be paying me by the hour for it? 8. Will you be paying for the supplies I will be using to paint the fence? 9. Will this painting of the fence end up turning out to be some kind of lesson that I will eventually realize wasn’t about painting the fence at all but it was more about feeding my soul or some kind of crap like that? 10. Why again did you want me to paint the fence?

These questions, of course, would cause Mr. Miyagi to stop and think about his decision. He might even turn around and decide that, in fact, the fence didn’t need to be painted in the first place at which point he might ask me to sand the floor instead.

1. That floor is pretty damn smooth already, don’t you think? 2. There are really great electric sanders you can buy at K-Mart where you bought your black belt, did you know that? 3. Sanding the floor? Really, seriously? By hand?

Before long, Mr. Miyagi would decide that all the stupid manual labor projects he was asking me to do were, in fact, a waste of my time. Instead, he might turn around and just show me the karate moves — which would, in turn, shorten the movie itself but give us more time for the final fight sequence in which I would kick Johnny’s ass all because I learned karate quicker and never had to waste my time waxing this or sanding that.

Man, if only I could turn back the hands of time. I could have so done it better.

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