Some news stories hit their peak in the top line. For example: David Bentley was punched in the face by a fellow patron while dining with his girlfriend at a restaurant on Saturday night.
The simplicity, the "lightning sanity" as Fitzgerald would say, of a fist gone square to the mouth is beautiful in its way. When that mouth belongs to an individual with Bentley's personal reputation, there is comedy galore. Some of those funny things... and some less so, after the hop.
The plan was to select certain details from an assortment of British tabloids and then mash them together like some linear Rashomon (Norwichomon!!), with the end product a definitively nonsensical account of the incident. Alas, this is a blog. And I just got an iPhone. So now, here in list form are the details of the shot heard 'round Hertfordshire.
Funny: "David is pretty shaken. He was in the restaurant with his best friend and their respective partners. A guy walked over and started talking gibberish to him, then he just took a swing and punched him," Bentley's agent tells The Mirror.
-- Bentley shouldn't have been taken completely off-guard as he did play for Juande Ramos for three months. Ramos literally spoke gibberish (that's before AND after translation) and figuratively decked Bentley in the face, with his career fulfilling the face's place in the metaphor.
Not Funny: England football star David Bentley was punched in the face as he sat in a restaurant with his heavily pregnant fiancée. Lede from UK tab.
-- You can't be cold-cocking a guy in the presence of a "heavily" pregnant woman, especially if she's his girlfriend. Glass could go flying... she goes into labor, etc. Not cool.
Funny: Waiters immediately called the police and Bentley, who was said to be "badly shaken", is keen to press charges. -The Mirror
-- Shocker here. Where was the emotional fortitude he displayed at Wembley during PKs with Man U? And this excitement to press charges... I'm not saying he should or shouldn't. But you know guys like this: Talks a lot, spends a lot, then take one in the kisser and all of sudden he's wailing for the bobbies.
Not quite as Funny, but Funny: from The Mirror again-- Bentley's agent Robert Segal said the attacker's table had paid their bill and had taxis waiting outside in readiness for their escape.
-- Premeditated, then? Imagine if this had happened to Michael Jackson. Larry King would be having a special tonight, Bentley's father and sister would be alleging a conspiracy, and Jackson/Bentley would no longer have even the rumor of a nose.
Super Funny: "I am just pleased that the guy did run away, because if David hit him back he would be sitting in a police cell now." -Robert Segal, the agent.
-- "Someone hold me back! Hold me back!" Yea right. Bentley is indeed lucky the guy ran away as, had the aggressor stayed, our pretty young lad would be looking like Edward Norton after the "make me ugly" scene in 25th Hour.
Not Funny At All: David Bentley joined Tottenham Hotspur in July 2008 from Blackburn Rovers after agreeing a six-year contract. The deal was worth an initial fee of £15 million with a further £2 million payable on future performances. -espn.com bio
-- To Villa!