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Can’t We All Get Along?…

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I took Jackson (my son, not Phil) to the park yesterday, and it brought up a couple of memories.

This is one.  There was one kid several years older than rest.  He was aggressive, and he threw the playground wood chips in the faces of some of the kids, mine included.   Of course, without regard to how big the father may be or where the mom was in her cycle, I yelled out “Hey, you!  Don’t do that.”  He didn’t.

On March 29, a Massachusetts prosecutor charged nine teens in the suicide death of a 15-year-old girl, who was the alleged victim of months of abuse at their hands and tongues of the accused.  It’s been such a problem, that the Dept. of Health and Human Services has championed a Stop Bullying Now campaign.

I don’t know the origins of the conflict with my bully, but I do remember repeatedly being chased on my bike while he sped by in his Ford Bronco,  screaming taunts, and re-routing my way home.  I can imagine how he reveled when he saw me in the streets, with his four wheels against my two, his eight cylinders versus my two ventricles.  The bullying was without consequence; I never mentioned it to anyone, and no physical harm ever came to me.

Several years later, I was at a high-school house party where I saw the antagonist in question.  By this time, I had four wheels too; his advantage had been squelched.  I approached him in what I thought was a non-confrontational manner. The conversation went something like this:

Me: “Dude, you used to torture me.”

Dude: “So, what about it?”

Me: “Nothing, really.”

Dude: “So, do you want to take care of this now?”

Me: “Not really.”

Dude: “Come on, let’s do this?”

Me: “I really don’t want to, but… alright”

So after said egging on, we proceeded to the front yard and squared off.  In a matter of seconds, I slammed the The Bully to the ground, pinned him in a flower bed with his head up against a stucco wall.  M left forearm restrained both of his arms and was at the precipice of his wind pipe.  My right arm was free to inflict whatever facial damage I saw fit.  With fist raised at the apex of punch, I compelled him to acquiesce.

Me: “you give?”

Dude: “yep”

With that, I got up, and several of the party-goers said  “you should have pounded him.”

Perhaps I should have; I didn’t, and this is not something I regret.  I’ve got an Italian temper that courses my veins, and it’s a good thing I’ve also got my Father’s calm compassion to temper (verb) that temper (noun).  Chris Rock has a bit, funny albeit misogynistic, where he says “I don’t condone hitting a woman… I understand it…”  Which is to say, we all have tempers, and that fundamental element that separates humans from animals (and criminals) is the ability to control our impulses.

I hope this restraint is a trait I’ll pass on to my son.  I think I have.  He has a sweet nature, and doesn’t really have a killer instinct (see Easter post), but I doubt he’ll be the subject of a bully.  Bully’s usually pick on the weak or insecure, and Jack isn’t either of those things.

The other story… that will have to come in a later post.  I’m afraid of what the new bully in my life (my wife) might think of it.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. 04/26/2010 12:56 pm

    This is A+ blogging. So touching and relevant. Plus it had a happy, albeit restrained, happy ending.

    Bullys are the idiots of our world.

  2. Michelle permalink
    04/28/2010 6:43 pm

    Well told! Btw, why does the house party/fight sound oh-so-familiar?

  3. 04/28/2010 7:23 pm

    Hey Bush, that was well told and you are a good man for letting your bully up when he agreed to quit. I only hope he learned from that, however, bullies usually need “Tune Ups”! When I was younger and in school, everyone was unified when a true Bully needed a Bully Beat down. If someone was being bullied everyone wanted to see the “good guy” take care of it. If the bullying continued, so would the need for the “good guy” to handle it. No one ever coward down or changed their minds. I for one have never changed my mind, and in the words of another Bush, George W., “The evil ones have roused a mighty nation, a mighty land. And for however long it takes, I am determined that we will prevail. And prevail we must, because we fight for one thing, and that is the freedom of our people, and the freedom of people everywhere.” Wow, I guess I got way off course.


  1. In “Park” « The Bush Report
  2. Bullies get bullied | OC Family Blogs

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