January 25, 2006

Life Lesson: Fighting

I was having a conversation with some co-workers today when the subject of fighting came up. It reminded me that I have been in exactly three fights in my life – none after the eighth grade. All three fights were brief and, as best I can recall, I walked away from all three without any major injuries. The three fights are not worth going into great detail but I will say this: I was provoked in all three.

Before I dispense my vast knowledge on how best to handle a fight, I want to make it clear to both of you, TheMonk and Swee’Pea, that I will not tolerate any bullying by either of you. If I ever hear that you actually started a fight, you will spend so much time in your room that they’ll erect a plaque in your honor. Am I understood? Good.

First, the best way to handle a fight is to actually avoid the fight. When being provoked into a fight, 99% of the time you can use wit and intellect to avoid a physical fight while still standing up to the antagonist. I have found that a quick, humorous insult directed at the loser in front of you will often confuse the imbecile enough to allow you time to keep on moving (after all, these bullies always seemed to be a few cans shy of a six pack). I would refer to this method as the “jab and run” way to avoid a fight.

Speaking of running, both of you have been blessed with a genetic pool that should make you as fast as lightning (It should be noted, that while I was a pretty decent sprinter and I won my share of races, your mother is the true athletic stud in this family. After all, she was a high school state champion in the Long Jump and the 300 meter hurdles.). Therefore, I want to say to you that there is no shame in running. In fact, I am very fond of the saying, “I’m a runner, not a fighter.” (What, you’re not familiar with that saying?) So, when the opportunity presents itself to get the hell outta Dodge, do it. Sure, people might start calling you Forrest Gump, but that won’t last past high school. I promise.

Having said this, there may come a time where you are cornered and have nowhere to run. Maybe you’re in a crowded room or maybe the smart-ass comments you made earlier have only pissed off your opponent even more (sorry about that). If this happens, I have one piece of advice to give you:

Fight like you’re a frickin’ lunatic.

The one thing I have noticed is that no one really knows how to handle “crazy” when it presents them in the face. And when I say crazy I mean you have to present an arm-flailing, loud-shrieking, crazy-eyed looking, tongue-wiggling, body-hopping, leg-kicking, ankle-biting, hair-pulling, crotch-grabbing, face-scratching, eye-gouging, mouth-drooling appearance. Trust me. That person will not want anything to do with you. Besides, there are no rules when it comes to protecting yourself. Fight dirty if that’s what it takes to get out of there. And, as a bonus, word will spread pretty quickly that no one should mess with that Crazy TheMonk or the Lunatic Bri.

So, that’s it. I guess I should mention that your first thing you should do about a bully is to tell an adult. But sometimes, you gotta defend yourself. Just remember, a lot of crazy will get you home in one piece.


  1. MY boyfriend use to tease that if he were to be confronted in our old neighborhood (which wasnt so nice a place, and btw- my boyf is a BIG guy…) he would totally act crazy. He went a little off the deep end, saying he would shit himself and throw at the crazy people fixing to attack him…that’ll scare em off. :)

    Comment by Kristie — January 26, 2006 @ 6:33 am

  2. I have found that if you warn people ahead of time that you don’t fight fair people are much less interested in fighting you.

    Comment by Sarah — January 26, 2006 @ 7:28 am

  3. I was the “jab-and-run” type – I ran right to my parents when it got way beyond my control. But that’s another story. Nowadays, if someone threatened me, I’d just sic the Munchkin on them. No one does crazy like her. Some people have “assault rifles” – I have an “assault toddler.” If she’s ever dressed in black I think I need a permit to take her out of the house.

    Comment by Deanna — January 26, 2006 @ 9:50 am

  4. Good advice. Why don’t you tell the story of you and your bro in Macy’s in SF, I like that one.

    Comment by Grandmother — January 26, 2006 @ 10:53 am

  5. I remember the first time I got in a fight (yes, girls fight!). This 10 year old was picking on my 6 year old brother. I was 8 at the time. I told him to pick on someone his own size, and started walking off when he kinda shoved me in the back. First off… he’s older than me, second, he’s a boy…. you don’t shove girls when you’re a boy. I had him on the ground faster than you can blink, and my mom had to pull me off of him (I was sitting on his chest slapping him). Poor kid had the worst reputation after that because an 8 year old GIRL beat him up. THAT, was my crowing moment. Of course, my parents sat me down and had a talk about fighting, but of course… you could tell they were proud of me for fighting back :)

    Comment by Corinne — January 26, 2006 @ 11:49 am

  6. My hubby has a great story about a bully in high school who kept trying to provoke. When finally pushed into a corner my hubby (who was on the small side in high school) used some wrestling moves on the punk and it worked out that he played the game where you make the guy hit himself (like that annoying Uncle everyone has who did that when you were a kid). It’s a hilarious story. No one messed with him after that. I highly recommend some wrestling skills as future classes, for that “fight crazy” situation. You think they have a Mommy (or Daddy) & me class for these?

    Comment by mama speak — January 26, 2006 @ 11:49 am

  7. That crazy fight? Sounds a lot like a Michael Jackson video.

    Comment by MIM — January 26, 2006 @ 1:07 pm

  8. Run like the wind, little ones. Believe me, it’s much better than washing clumps of hair down the drain.

    Comment by ieatcrayonz — January 26, 2006 @ 5:27 pm

  9. Hehe. What MIM said. Excellent website, by the way. I stumbled upon it accidentally, but I was immediately charmed by the two-cute-for-words layout (pun intended) and your writing style.

    Comment by Katie — January 26, 2006 @ 10:03 pm

  10. Great advice. Love the fight like a lunatic line: what a totally great idea!

    Comment by Mary — January 29, 2006 @ 4:05 pm

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