Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Unconventional Strategy

I first read about this ploy in Walter Mosley's "Devil in a Blue Dress", but recently came across an account of it being used in reality rather than fiction.

The fictional account concerns Mouse, Eazy Rawlins' psychopathic friend (and an excellent character in his own right) and his killing of his step-brother, Navrochet. Figuring that he had come in the bar looking to kill him, Mouse had taken note of Navrochet's expensive boots and already opened his fly. When he was taken outside, and a gun put against his head, he played scared and then urinated on his step-brother's boots. Not surprisingly, but unwisely, Navrochet jumped back and was dead before he hit the ground, bullets courtesy of Mouse.

I came across the real-life incident in the memoirs of Fukuzawa Yukichi, the founder of Keio University, and whose face graces the 10,000 yen bill. Not a fighter himself, one of his colleagues in the early days of the Meiji Restoration, Wada Yoshiro, was an expert in jujitsu, and well able to take on several men by himself. Like Fukuzawa, he thought wearing swords in those 'modern' times was outdated. One night, walking home with a group of friends, their way was blocked by a band of local toughs wearing swords and swaggering along the street towards them. Wada strode along the middle of the street towards them, starting to piss as he walked along. Although the situation was tense, the toughs moved out of his way and trouble was averted.

Portrait of Fukuzawa Yukichi by Matsumaro Kikutaro Keio Daigaku

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