I think I was a pretty nice kid. Growing up with one younger sister in a neighborhood filled with other nice kids helped. We played and ran and rode bikes and caught fireflies and drove our parents crazy as much as possible. They were mostly nice parents so for the most part life was pretty good.
There was one family, yes THAT family, that didn’t seem to fit that description. And within that family there seemed to be one kid who was, shall we say, less nice than all the other members of his seemingly not so nice family. We referred to DB as a bully and avoided him at all costs. He didn’t play with us, never joined our games but never extorted money for walking past his house. He wasn’t bigger or more clever in any way but he had a smart mouth.
We avoided him at all costs.
I wish we hadn’t.
I wish someone in our group would have invited him to join our games, just as Rudolph was eventually invited to join the other reindeer. It probably would have made a difference.
One weekend our parents went on a golf outing. One of our Grandmas was enlisted to ride herd on Kar and myself. The usual band of suspects were out running and playing outside.
DB walked by and made a disparaging remark to my sister. Ok. He called her a name. I don’t remember the name but it set me off. I chased him.
And caught him. (Either of those would have been surprising but the combination was truly remarkable).
I got him down on the ground and started beating him up. When I say beating him up it is unlikely that I even landed a punch or did any harm. I remember being ringed by loyal supporters cheering me on to victory. There was no mob mentality. No one else joined the fracas. I believe I yelled at him and told him that we were all sick of his being a bully and he wasn’t going to do that any more.
There was an incredulous look on his face and I’m sure on mine as well. The hullabaloo got the attention of Grandma, who rushed out of the house and advised me that I was to get off of DB. Immediately. She probably saved me from imminent danger as he had now recovered from the shock of my bravado. The melee was over. And, surprisingly, the bullying on his part came to a halt.
I am not condoning violence.
The surprise factor has it’s merits. So does having a Grandma come to the rescue when one has done something without considering the potential for disaster.
Scare ’em, don’t scar ’em.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is my one and only involvement in a physical altercation.