Thursday night, we headed out to Mr. C’s Steakhouse for a tasty dinner after work. With the place set to close this fall, the opportunities to pay a visit to Karate Elvis are dwindling. Karate Elvis, for those of you who don’t know, is perhaps the finest piece of porcelain artwork ever constructed. The statue stands just under 10 inches tall, and is just one of around 100 pieces of Elvis memorabilia in a glass display case in the hallway adjacent to the bathrooms. Dressed in a sequin-and-rhinestone-studded karate uniform, wearing his early-70′s-trademark giant sunglasses, and rocking the Elvis Mullet as only Elvis could, this thing belongs in a museum based solely on its aesthetic value alone.
But one particular encounter with Karate Elvis took it from merely “great’ to “legendary”. Dick Herculanuum and Cliff Glypha were waiting for me to finish up in the bathroom, and were expressing their admiration for the Elvis memorabilia — and in particular, the statue of Elvis in a karate pose. Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a guy who sounded like Beverly-Hills-Cop-era Eddie Murphy came up behind them with a question.
“You know who taught Elvis karate?”
And before the dumdfounded duo could reply, he answered his own question.
The gentleman who had unwittingly inserted himself into the folklore of Karate Elvis then sauntered off into the night, leaving Dick and Cliff to laugh hysterically and wait with baited breath for me to come out of the facilities so they could share the story.
So last night, we went and paid our respects to Karate Elvis, as the hostesses watched with the sort of understanding acknowledgment that one only possesses when one works in the shadow of Karate Elvis for a period of years. The calm and reserved yet poised-to-kick-ass power of Karate Elvis rubs off on all who spend time around it.
I’m going to miss our semi-annual visits to Karate Elvis when that place closes. Someday, I will be awesome enough to have a — not THE, but A — Karate Elvis statue, and hope to pair it up with an Evil Knievel statue. That would be like possessing the One True Ring, like getting the Key Master and the Key Keeper in the same room, or like finding the Arc of the Covenant. A man in possession of these things would be…unstoppable.