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Tutu Terror Cancels Aikido Finals

MUDCAT FALLS -- Porky Chumwater's Hard to Kill Martial Arts Dojo is quiet today after a shocking episode of terror at the opening night competition of the Mudcat Falls Regional Junior Aikido Championships. The only action now is the slow animation of shadows, as the day wears on, from the tossed and toppled folding chairs intended to hold the expected standing room only crowd for the final round of matches, which has been postponed indefinitely.

"They suddenly just seemed to appear out of nowhere," said the clearly flustered O Sensi, Bix Winkle, shaking visibly as an emergency room nurse sutured a nasty gash over his left eye. "It was like a tornado of whirling dervishes cutting an ugly pastel swathe right through my students as if they were a cheap trailer park. Then . . . then . . . I don't know, then pandemonium just broke out everywhere."

According to eyewitness accounts, a troupe of students from the neighboring Gamflugel Studio of Ballet and Dancing Arts crashed the sporting event in a blur of balancoires, brises and battus, bloodying noses and soiling hakamas as they performed aggressive excerpts from Igor Stravinski's controversial Le Sacre du Printemps(The Rite of Spring), the primal rhythms of which pounded out loudly from a battery operated boombox. The young ballerinas seemed to purposely time their leaps and pirouettes to impact the young martial artists, who were gathered in preparation for putting their skills on display for proud parents and family friends. Within moments, all discipline within the dojo had broken down completely as competitors and spectators alike stampeded for the exits in advance of the inhospitable hoofers. Twelve Aikido students and four parents were treated and released for minor injuries at Calabash County General Hospital Emergency Room.

Although in Japanese 'aikido' means "the way of harmony," relations between Chumwater's dojo and Gambflugel's studio have been anything but harmonious as each owner coveted the other's storefront to help expand their respective businesses. What started as a series of neighborly pranks -- the ballerinas turning their Tchaikovsky up a little too loud, while the white belts stomped the floor a little harder to make the phonograph needle skip -- soon spiralled out of control to involve verbal and physical harassment between students at school, an escalating pattern of reciprocal residential vandalism and, recently, the issuance of numerous Temporary Restraining Orders.

"All the girls just practiced their little hearts out on their parts of the program. I'm so proud of them all," said ballerina mom, Mandy Marquardt.. "I guess my little Missy won't be bothered on the school bus any more by those nasty little kung fu hooligans. And we owe it all to Bimini."

Dance studio proprietrix, Bimini Gamflugel, smiled coyly as she politely refused to comment when asked for her version of events.

"I spent three thousand dollars to make my boy a kick-ass ninja fighter and a bunch of ballet dancers open a big old can of whoop ass on him and send him home crying for his mama?" exclaimed Art Batch incredulously. His son Axel had recently been awarded his Aikido Green Belt. "What the hell kind of pansie-ass karate school is that? I want my damn money back."

In a related development, area sports legend, three-time national champion bassmaster and local entrepreneur, Porky Chumwater, received a registered letter Thursday from Steven Seagal Enterprises, Inc., legally notifying him that his Hard to Kill Martial Arts Dojo franchise rights have been revoked, effective immediately.

"We have certain standards that we expect all franchisees to adhere to," said company spokesman Gilbert Geck. "Obviously, this recent incident is an unfortunate public relations fiasco that is cause for termination according to all of our rights as enumerated in Mr. Chumwater's contract. Mr. Seagal has a certain public reputation and image he has worked very hard to establish, maintain and protect, which is clearly not promoted when a dojo full of our students is bested by a troupe of ballerinas."

The star of Under Siege and Under Siege 2: Dark Territory was unavailable for comment.

A press release received from the Gambflugel Studio of Ballet and Dancing Arts the next day announced that an agreement with her landlord has paved the way for a long planned expansion at their present location.

2003 MFTHPPPGT




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