A closed fist always seemed to do the trick for me.
I know this isn’t going to go over well with milquetoast hand wringers who feel violence never solved anything. My experience says otherwise. I’ve had my fair share of punch ups with bullies of various stripes and I have yet to go on a shooting spree.
Growing up I was always the new kid in school. With all the moving around we did I must have changed schools eight or nine times. It was good training.
On the subject of fighting at school my dad always told me if I were protecting myself or sticking up for someone else it was forgivable. He would go to the mat with anyone who said otherwise. On the other hand, if I were the one picking on other kids he would grind my bones for his bread. My father was pretty convincing.
In sixth grade I attended a Catholic school in up state
. It was the kind of institution where all the boys had to wear ties. To this day I hate wearing a shirt and tie. The playground was a large dirt lot in back of the school surrounded by a chain link fence. Sounds like prison doesn’t it? I’m sure Catholic school grads will sympathize. New York
I have never been accused of being a large person (save from the neck up). There was one kid who towered over the rest of us by a solid mile. Passing clouds would get hung up around his ears and in the spring you could still see a little snow on the top of his head. He introduced the new kid to the dynamics of the schoolyard by spitting on me. You hear a lot about walking away from trouble but sometimes trouble won’t let you be and follows you across the playground spitting the whole way.
Finally having had enough, I reached down and grabbed a fist full of dirt and hurled it into my assailants face. He sputtered and swore rubbing his face trying to clear his vision. Had I just escalated the situation? Certainly. Was this going to end in a fight? You bet.
I figured this was a beating I was going to have to take. I braced myself as a freight train of 11 year old fury crashed into and over me. After the dust up he lectured me saying it was what I got for throwing dirt in people’s faces. Ah, sweet irony.
My detractors will point out I not only was spit on but got my tail kicked too. Both of these facts are true as well as this: no one ever spat on me again either. Go figure.
Taking action on your own behalf always seems a better course of action than sitting around waiting for someone to do it for you. Here’s an example of what I mean.