I think we can all agree there’s not enough identical triplets fist fighting these days. I know I feel that way. It has to be twenty years since I saw my last identical triplet fist fight and what an identical triplet fist fight it was. In fact, I say without fear on contradiction, it was the best identical triplet fist fight I ever saw.
The triplets were known as the Gearman brothers, which was not all that strange given the fact their last name was Gearman and they were brothers. What was strange was just about everything else about them.
First of all, the Gearmans were a little on the crazy side. Okay, maybe they weren’t exactly crazy, but they weren’t really all that not crazy, either. Let’s just say they were all a little left of center. I guess it was a behavior thing.
For instance, they grinned constantly. It was this kind of odd, mad-scientist kind of grin. It gave you the impression they knew something you didn’t know and what you didn’t know was a bad thing that was about to happen to you.
They weren’t the manliest crowd around, either. They pouted a lot when they didn’t get their way. I once saw one them cry when someone stole his Altoids breathe mints. He whined about it so much, me and a guy named Frank bought him some new Altoids.
Then there was their appearance. They each had those kind of vacant, scary, thousand-yard-stare-type eyes usually associated with serial killers or people who sell Amway products. It sort of gave you the willies looking at them. It didn’t help that they magnified those eyes behind a pair of thick, square framed glasses – identical thick, square framed glasses I might add, which reminds me of another thing I found odd about them: They never tried to distinguish themselves from one another. Every day they each wore the same white shirt, solid red tie, tan pants and brown shoes. All three sported the same, semi-Albert Einsteinish, hair style that they somehow parted on the left although by all indications they didn’t own a comb between them. What hair that wasn’t sticking out at random angles on their head was growing in thick, bushy caterpillar-looking mustaches across their lips. Groucho Marks had nothing on them in the mustache and, come to think of it, the bushy eyebrow department.
No kidding, all three of them once showed up to work without a tie, which was absolutely against the dress code of where we worked.
“What’s up with your ties?” I asked Mike, who sat behind me.
“We wrecked our car,” he told me, like that explained it.
“What does that have to do with your tie?”
“We only have one tie each and all our ties are in the car.”
That was surprising even for them. We worked at the same place so I knew they all made a pretty good living. They could afford things, yet they owned one car and one tie each.
“I wondered if they only own one toothbrush?” one of my co-workers wanted to know.
Another said, “I’m just glad their pants weren’t in that car.”
I rarely saw the Gearmans walking together, but, believe me, it was a sight to see. They had this shambling, stiff legged kind of walking motion, like they were practicing to be extras in a zombie movie. You could imagine them groaning “Brains. Brains.” To add to it, they bent slightly forward as they walked and their heads continually moved forward and back, forward and back. It made you think of some kind of odd, earthbound flock of birds were walking past. Half human. Half chicken.
Sounds silly, but another disconcerting thing about how they walked was they dangled their arms straight down from their shoulders and their hands faced back toward the direction they came from. Three identical looking oddballs, three identical thousand yard stares, three head bobbing, zombie walking whatever they were moving along as a pack – you couldn’t take your eyes off them.
It gave you the feeling that, if the apocalypse hadn’t come, it was just around the corner.
They argued a lot when they were around each other. It was the norm. They argued but it never turned physical. When it did get physical, it was stellar.
We were at work at the time. People were all around us at their desks. It was near about lunch time and the Gearmans apparently had some task outside the office that required them all.
They had gathered in Mike’s cube, who sat behind me. They were in no hurry and we got to talking a bit. The subject turned to their mother having to raise three triplets alone, because their dad was in the military and was oftentimes deployed away from home.
I swear I am not making this up. The fist fight was over an argument regarding which one of them used to be left-handed.
“And you want to hear something weird,” Mike said to me. “Mom said, I used to be left-handed as a baby.”
“That was me,” Eric said, instantly. “Mom said I was born left-handed then grew out of it as I got older.”
“That was me!” Mike shouted at his brother.
It started with yelling. It escalated to pushing, then Whammo! The fists were flying. Even the fists of Patrick, who was not even involved in the argument.
And, when I say fist fight, I mean an absolute knockdown, drag out fist to face punching battle right there in the middle of a cube farm. It was savage.
A lot of experts in the psychological fields are divided on this issue, but most recommend that, when identical triplets fist fight, rather than try to break them up, it is best to simply stand aside and enjoy the show. That is what I did as well as the cadre of people who came out of their cubes at the sound of the ruckus. Who were we to argue with the experts?
Take my word for it, an identical triplet fist fight is hard thing to watch, mainly because you can’t tell who was winning what with them all looking alike. Turns out, there apparently was no winner. As easily as the fight erupted, it was over. I got the distinct impression this type of thing was fairly routine for them.
They all marched off without a word to me or anyone else. Later that day, Mike came back from their lunch trip. He had a slight whelp on his cheek. He went to his cube and never spoke to anyone the rest of the day.
He was back to his old, slightly creepy self the next day.
I never brought up the fight and neither did he. One day at lunch a few months later, we were eating in the cafeteria with a group of co-workers talking about I don’t remember what, when Mike said to us all, “You know, I used to me left-handed.”
I wasn’t about to argue with him.