I'll come up with something in a minute.

The neck and the groin.

The neck and the groin.
The neck and the groin.
It doesn’t matter how big the fucker is,
They’ve all got a neck and a groin.

–Dylan Moran’s Grandmother (allegedly)

A lot of things have been said on the subject of bullying the last few days, and I would like to throw my own rather battered hat into the ring. There are many ways to end bullying, and one important way is to beat the living shit out of bullies. No, I’m not joking. Why do people keep asking me that when I make this suggestion? Even if you have to take an ass kicking, it’ll only hurt for so long. Prove you’re willing to bite, claw out eyes, go for the neck, kick someone in the balls until they can’t walk… people will back off. There is no sport if you’re fighting someone who is willing to go all Jason Bourne on their asses, stabbing them with pens, and smacking them with books or rolled up magazines. What about fighting fair? Fuck fair! Is it fair for six people to stand around while one of them beats up a kid half their size? Fuck it, take an ear home with you and watch as tormentors figure out that there are easier people to pick on. All you need to do is tell people who are trying to hurt you “This will not be tolerated.”

Get a gang together if you must, or if you don’t have a gang, a sock filled with loose change will suffice. Trust me on this one, or try it yourself. Get a heavy-duty sock, put five dollars in nickels in the sock, swing it around, smack the fucker in the jaw. This will dissuade 98% of all bullies from fucking with you any longer. However, you needn’t go to such extreme lengths, a simple slap across the mouth with the back of your hand will do nicely most the time. The key is to deliver a single stern message in the same way you would a dog. “This will not be tolerated.” The message should be clear, constant, and if possible, come from a variety of sources. Any and all allies you might have, should be called upon.

The attack needn’t even be physical. There are instances where looking the person dead in the eye and saying “If you don’t back the fuck off, we’re going to have trouble, you and I.” will suffice fully and completely. Quite frankly, this is usually where shit stops if you don’t let it start. Again, allies are important here and you should never feel bad about getting help. A stern word will quite often do the trick. The point is though, you must give the clear message…“This will not be tolerated.” If everyone follows this script, the bullshit will stop. It really doesn’t matter who it’s coming from, fellow students, teachers, administrators, priests, gods… you can stop it by explaining that you are not to be fucked with. I don’t put police in there because, despite their reputation, cops are usually looking to give you a fair shake. There are a few bad ones in there, but let’s be honest, most the times you been pulled over in your life, you were doing something wrong.

I advise going on the offensive for two reasons. One, ignoring the issue simply eggs your average bully on, quite frankly. They know they’re getting to you if you don’t react. Two, if you prove that you’re not an easy target, and that you’ll retaliate, they will move off quite quickly. This is even truer when there is a group of tormenters. If you go up to the biggest and strongest in their group, and land a good sharp kick to their crotch before landing a sock of change upside their head, you will find the rest of your tormentors will quickly back the fuck off. No one wants to be the next person to have to explain that a kid half their size smacked the shit out of them. I don’t advocate starting fights, but you can cause them to throw the first punch and then go for their neck, eyes, ears, crotch, or other soft bits, word will get around.

Allow me to demonstrate with a tale of my own life. There was a time when I wore a fedora a lot. Some people, thinking the hat was a bit odd, decided to mess with me. One individual once decided to snatch it off my head, probably with the aim of throwing it or running with it. What this person did not expect was that I would spin around, grab him under his jaw and with one hand slam his head into a nearby table. I then held him there, again with only three fingers active, and explained my point of view to him. “You don’t ever touch my hat.” I said, keeping my tone calm, but firm. “Oww, fuck, my fucking neck man!” he suggested. “You don’t ever touch my hat. Do you understand?” I asked. “Oww, f-word, complaints about unfairness!” he babbled. So, I laid a few extra ounces of pressure into his neck. “Do you understand?” I asked again, calmly. “Yes! I’m sorry!” He shrieked, probably louder than he had intended. “Good.” I told him taking my hat out of his hand and letting go of his neck. “I’m glad we’ve had this conversation.” I turned and noticed that there was a hall monitor standing not three feet behind me that whole time. I popped my hat back on my head, gave her a wide smile and walked off without another word.

And that dear friends, was the last time anyone at CVHS ever fucked with me about the hat. This vignette, taking place in a heavily traveled area, made the story spread sort of quickly. This leads me to another piece of advice. Take Judo classes. Judo is awesome. Judo is great because it’s all about twisting people’s arms, hitting their pressure points and taking them down, but not actually hurting them in any permanent way. Breaking someone’s arm is actionable, dislocating their jaw is actionable, and killing them is certainly actionable. However, pressing their head against your arms until it feels to them like their neck might break, while actually doing them no real harm is not actionable if done in self-defense. Remember, we want to smack the bad dog on the nose with the rolled-up newspaper, not shoot it in the head with a .45 automatic. They can learn. These aren’t starving wolves running you down out of hunger, these are bored dogs hunting for sport. Once you prove to be bad sport, they will find easier prey.

Then, there can be a fun little game, which you can play with the next person they decide to look upon as prey. Have you ever asked yourself what would happen if all the deer in the forest decided to turn around and face down the wolves together? Yes, I am advocating that you go find the other people that bullies are bullying and present a unified front. Go make friends with those people, and anyone else you can find. Friends are always useful. Go find other geeks, parents, teachers, administrators, big burly punk rockers, pimply AV geeks, that skinny kid everyone thinks is queer (weather that kid is queer or not, hardly matters in this context) and stand together as one. Allow me to tell you something, this actually works! It has worked in the past and it will work in the future. All you need to do is remind the bullies, over and over again, “This will not be tolerated.”

You might have to find yourself saying it over and over again, and yes, you might find yourself in a few scrapes, but those tend to go away after a while. Once people find that under normal circumstances, you’re a sweet darling person with a kind and generous heart (You might want to develop a kind and generous heart BTW) they’ll start to join up on your side when people give you shit. Quite frankly, in real life, people prefer a friend who will listen to their woes over an asshole who likes to make others feel small. A kind heart and a friendly disposition, backed up with the phrase “This will not be tolerated.” can get you fairly far in life.

October 4, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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