Gut Rumbles

December 19, 2003

what's wrong?

Here is an interesting post, because it's one of the few things Jennifer and I ever argued about when we were married. We've feminized the public schools so much that nobody is supposed to stand up to a bully anymore. "Zero Tolerance" equals zero brains to me.

I taught Quinton to fight.

He came crying to me one day on the mini-farm because one of his "friends" punched him in the face for no good reason. I asked Quinton what he did about it. "I came and told YOU," he replied.

"You get no sympathy from me," I said. "If you let somebody punch you in the face and you go running to daddy all your life, you'd better get real tough, real fast, because a lot of people will punch you. What do you expect ME to do about it? Go punch his daddy? Go punch HIM? No, sir. Life doesn't work that way. If you can't handle this crisis, I'll tell Michael to go home and never come back again. But if I were you, I'd go out there and mop up the yard with him. I'd make him think twice before he ever punched me again."

I had to pull Quinton off of Michael a couple of minutes later. Quinton beat the boy like a drum and I was PROUD OF HIM FOR DOING IT.

Unlike Jennifer, I would rather see Quinton kicked out of school for standing up for himself than become a fucking doormat that bullies wipe their feet on because of "rules." Schools had a different philosophy when I was growing up. Administrators EXPECTED boys to get into fights (boys always have and they always will) and the administrators didn't try to deny human nature with some kind of assless, nutless "zero-tolerance" policy.

Learning to stand up for yourself is a lesson that will carry you far in life, too. Schools should teach "I Don't Have to Take This Shit- 101" instead of the crap they are spooning down children's throats today. Turn the other cheek, my ass. You hit ME and I'm going to hit you back, so fast that you won't see it coming.

My dear, departed father told me something that I still remember, and that lesson has benefited me all my life. "Son, there ain't no such thing as a fair fight, outside a boxing ring. You fight to win, and you use whatever you have to use to do it."

Teaching my boy NOT to fight is doing him no favors in this world.


Well, isn't that the truth.

I have always been smaller than average. So, getting picked on came quite easily. My parents came from the rugged Appalachian mountains of West Virginia and gave me the same line as Acidman's daddy.

It didn't take with me at first, but when I hit fourteen, something just finally broke the last straw. I'm going to go post about it on my blog.

It may take me a while, so if you don't see it up right away, there's a good reason.

Posted by: Commander Will on December 19, 2003 02:43 PM

I forgot to mention that this is one of the many reasons why you need to get your child out of that abusive system of government (a.k.a. "Public") schools.

Why would you take one of the most precious things in your life and dump it in a trash bin?

Posted by: Commander Will on December 19, 2003 02:54 PM

My mom was the pacifist in the family. As dad worked long hard hours, I was mostly raised by mom, till I was maybe ten.

I got my ass kicked on a regulart basis and was constantly coming home with torn clothes, broken glasses, etc.

When Dad confronted me, asked me why I was constantly destroying my own stuff, I explained I was being good- after all, mom told me not to fight.

Dad explained a few things to me, as you've done to your son.

I put the class bully in the hospital the very next day. I got in a lot of grief for that, but it felt good to win. Since then, I've chosen winning. I'll teach my daughter the same, when her time comes.

Posted by: mark on December 19, 2003 04:37 PM

Dear Glenn:

There are two sides to this coin, and both are fully understandable - you've made the point for the one side in your 'blog, and I fully understand it.

My father practised the other side of things.

This may sound funny, because he was a US Air Force Colonel, and had a chestfull of fruit-salad from 'mopping the yard' (figuratively speaking) with a LOT of people -- however, when I got hammered by one of our neighbor-boys, he made it VERY clear to me that if a person REALLY wanted to fight, he made it a profession -- and that losers went into boxing; winners got an education, and joined the military -- and THAT was fighting!!

He went to see the boy's father, and made it clear that future contact with me was not permitted. Period. He then came home, and told me that there were two classes of people in life - people that solved things with their fists, and people that solved things with their brains. That's why nations developed professional militaries - so that when diplomacy failed, the professionals did the fighting. Anything else was the behaviour of a decidedly lower class of person.

He never permitted me to fight. Perhaps that was elitist. Perhaps not. I look at society, and believe that, in the end, he was right.



Posted by: Will on December 19, 2003 04:53 PM

Amen, Acidman! My son is on the small side for his age. Being a single mom (with the dad not nearly as involved as he *should* be), I'm very careful not to be overly protective of him.

While I have a firm rule that he should *never* be the first to throw a punch, I have an equally firm rule that, should he defend himself, he will *not* receive any punishment from me - no matter *what* the moronic school rules dictate. And although I'm not a litigious person, I'd be happy to find a lawyer and sue the school for taking a position that's not even advocated in criminal court (where self-defense is a legitimate cause for using physical force).

Posted by: Kathleen on December 19, 2003 06:28 PM

The post by Will (my God, I can't believe we share the same name) explains why Nixon had to call in the Navy to do the hard work in Vietnam.

It also explains why the Marines have a policy of making all aviators go through infantry survival school and beyond. You don't just strap on and aircraft and carry out missions. Those guys on the ground are your brothers.

The Air Force doesn't have any infantry, or any other ground troups, save their special forces for rescue ops.

Besides all that, who says that real warriors don't use their brains? I have gotten out of plenty of fights using evasion and humor. But I never let my ass be wupped because I didn't have the courage or the know-how.

Experience is a great teacher.

Posted by: Commander Will on December 19, 2003 06:31 PM

Agreed. My son will learn to stand on his own two feet. The school environment is failing to prepare our kids for real life.

Posted by: "Ralphy" on December 19, 2003 06:50 PM

Buddy of mine taught self defense to battered women through a crisis center. He called his style, "beer bottle and brick". Whatever was handy. He taught the women the same thing your daddy did about fair fights.
He taught them the facts, men are usually bigger, meaner, and stronger, and to use whatever was handy as a weapon. Those women learned what a street fight was all about, and could hold their own by the time they were done.

Posted by: Wichi Dude on December 19, 2003 07:11 PM

My Daddy told me"I'll give you a whipping for two things about fighting"."If you ever start a fight or if you ever run from one".

Posted by: Airboss on December 19, 2003 08:41 PM

I learned the same lessson and it boils down to one thing: If you take a beating without fighting back, you are going to get beaten on even more.

My daughter will go to some kind of self-defense class, then she will get training from Daddy, and there are only two rules in a fight and one goal

#1 - Never throw the first punch.
#2 - Always be the one that throws the last one.

The goal: Hurt the other guy enough for him to not try f**king with you again.

If a bounce off a locker works, great! If it takes a broken arm, the moron needs to learn quicker.......


Posted by: Rick Tengdin on December 19, 2003 08:43 PM

To the Will (with the US Air Force Colonel dad). I understand what you are saying but my daughter (in the link that Acidman posted) has been putting up with these little shits since school started. She has tried "diplomacy" and teacher assistance for --ahh, lets see -- going on 5 months now. Those methods didn't work.

This is the first time that she has had to use "force" to get them to leave her alone. Sometimes, the only thing some kids understand is a swift blow to the noggin because they don't have brains to understand what diplomacy is. Nor do they have any damn manners.

Do you actually think that a 12 year old boy who says to a young girl, "Yo momma left her panties and her cell phone in my bed last night" understands diplomacy?? HA!! If he did, he would have never said something like that in the first place.

Diplomacy has its place but so do good old fashioned purse whippings. I would be inclined to say that the little shit doesn't bother her again and her actions from today have probably deterred future BS from some of the other little piss ants in her class.

Long live the purse and the quick thinking of a female (little as she may be)! HEH!!

Posted by: medicmom on December 19, 2003 09:10 PM

I remember my last confrontation with a school bully. It was the usual boyhood fare. We arranged a time and place to meet after school, and we went at it.

I lost. Big time. The kid kicked my ass clean into next week.

But you know what? He left me alone after that. Now that I'm older and wiser I realize why. Like all bullies, what he really wanted was my submission. He wanted me to become one of his band of sycophants. I think that when he realized that no matter what he did to me -- he could even kill me -- he would never get that, he gave up.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not advocating losing fights. Had this kid kept after me, I would have found a way to take him down.

But it is better to stand your ground -- even if you can't hold it -- than than to bow your head and avert your eyes.

Posted by: HH in Hollywood on December 19, 2003 09:34 PM

I didn't do much about self-defense and my son (not that he needed it). I figured his daddy would take him in hand.

OTOH, my little baby girl was something else. I didn't want her the victim of a jealous boyfriend or victimized by some random asshole off the street. I know that there is a school of thought about women being passive and quiescent and *maybe* they would just be raped by the perp and not murdered. There's a lot of them women bein' pulled out of ditches and shallow graves around here. I personally prefer to go down fighting and wanted my daughter to have the option.

We started on how to throw a punch with a big ol' punching bag when she was a tot. I taught her her eyeball gouges (if they can't see you, makes it harder for them to catch you), how to pop eardrums, how to punch in the hollow of the throat, how to kick knees backwards. How to NEVER hit with an open hand. How to never just use a fist when you have a club handy. (Hurt them, not you.) Never go for the jaw, you might hurt your hand. Go for the nose. Go for soft spots. How to break chokeholds. How to USE chokeholds. How if you are attacked, you NEVER fight fair.

Whichi dude is right. Pound for pound, men are *usually* stronger than women. You have to do some serious damage first to even the odds.

Note....she didn't ever actually have to use this in school, and knew not to actually try and kill some kid that was pickin' on her. But she had to bounce a few high school football players off the hallway walls, and they generally left her alone.

And I told both the kids that I'd be all over them if they started a fight, but if they finished a fight that somebody else started, I'd be right behind 'em.

Posted by: SwampWoman on December 19, 2003 09:57 PM

My father taught me the same.

I was 7 years old, and an older kid pushed me down, took my sled, then chased me down the street. I just barely made it into the house and was relieved to see my father in the hall. I was crying like a baby, and the other kid was still outside screaming at the house.

My father asked me what happened, and I struggled to sob out the story. He cut me off.

"Did you run away?" he asked.

I tried to continue my explanation.

He asked me again. Before I could even finish the "yes" I was booted outside into the waiting fists of a kid twice my size. Having no other choice, I fought like a bastard. I'm sure I didn't hurt him at all, but he walloped me good.

My father pulled me inside when it was over. I'll never forget what he said.

"Geoffrey, he's a bully. Bullies pick on people smaller than them because it makes them feel tougher. If you run from them, then you'll have to run every time you see them. Just remember there's a reason they are bullies. They are scared. They pick easy fights. Do you think this fight was easy for him? If you stand up for yourself, you'll never have to be scared, and when they see that, they'll leave you alone".

That kid only bothered me once more after that . I lost that fight, too, but I guess he figured he'd move on to easier prey. I don't recall ever running from another fight since then.

Posted by: Geoffrey on December 19, 2003 10:38 PM

Maybe that trick works in hillbilly world, but doubt if you'd see retirement on Billy Gates planet.

I don't care who wants to be the tallest dog, I try to teach mine, the game is stacked.

When I see situations like Columbine, I doubt the biggest bully wins, The smallest punk can do more damage.

This time I'll say get off your rocking chair, and teach your child values that mean he'll see his 15th birthday.

Posted by: SASSY on December 20, 2003 01:20 AM

Oh hell yeah that works in the real world! I got some calls from one of the other members on the board of directors this morning. They'd (other board of director members) been getting harrassing phone calls from some folks that wanted their money NOW. This woman that called was really catching hell, getting phone calls about every 5 minutes. (The organization was standing in as a middle man in a deal, and hadn't received the funds yet and could not disburse the funds. How FREAKING hard is that to understand? ) She told me that one man (board of directors) was in tears, and that others were very upset. How was I handling it?

I hadn't gotten the first phone call because I wasn't sufficiently compassionate and caring and would've handed 'em their ass on a platter. And the folks involved knew that so they didn't bother me. They targeted the weak. I had to go without harassing phone calls all week long.

I can live with that. But now that I know what's goin' down, I'm primed. I'm ready. I have the flu and PMS. PLEASE call me!

Posted by: SwampWoman on December 20, 2003 12:23 PM

Daddy tought all of us not to throw the first punch, but after the first punch was thrown, we were cleared to clean the other kids clock.

It was good to have that support - Daddy came from hardscrabble Depression era north Florida. His daddy solved all his problem with his fists. My daddy was trying to civilize the family code by teaching us to wait until the other kid hit first.

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