Bullies of the world unite, and move to Antarctica!

by Ken Carpenter

Bullies come in all shapes and sizes. While many of them are loud and pushy, almost a cliché, more and more of them are less fond of the limelight.
They carry out their bullying in a quiet, threatening manner that draws less attention and terrorizes their victim just as effectively as the bellowing of a blowhard.
The world would be much better off if there were no bullies, for war might cease to exist. There would be a severe shortage of politicians if that were true, so us wieners would just have to learn to deal with it. I bet we would do a better job than the current crop of losers.
I may know a bit more about bullies than many folks, for I have always been a head shorter than those around me and bullies just love little guys. Makes them feel big, you see, and more likely to show their true colors.
There is a long-standing myth about dealing with bullies. It is that they are all cowards and if you punch them in the nose they will turn tail and run.
Some undoubtedly would, but most would just give you a severe thrashing and smack their lips. Punching is perhaps best left to those skilled in the art, or as a last resort when preserving a shred of dignity is more important to you than suffering bodily harm. Sometimes it is.
I know very little about the science of fisticuffs, but I do have a couple of useful tidbits to pass along.
Furiously pummeling your opponent’s fists with your nose will hardly ever tire them enough to give you the victory. Your nose is not a good weapon, take my word for it.
A sneak attack with the ears is not a good idea either. They will prove to be as inept as the nose at subduing your enemy, and they ring just as long as the nose pounds. Do not box with your ears.
That is the extent of my experience, but I think it will prove useful should the occasion arise.
Standing up to a bully is a good thing. Look them in the eyes, smile and say something witty.
They just hate that, for they are generally not a creative bunch. Chances are, they won’t pound you.
I have a short tale that shows bullies can be useful and impossible to forget.
When I was about 12 years old a boy came to stay with the neighbors during summer vacation. He sauntered over one day when we were playing baseball and asked if he could play.
Extra bodies were always welcome, even one attached to a surly attitude, so we shrugged and tossed him a glove.
He was almost as good as he thought he was, and had a major league arm that he loved to show off. The problem was, his favorite way of showing it off was cracking us in the ribs after we got a hit off of him.
We gritted our teeth and took it, content to give him a wienie-arm cracking of our own when he batted. He probably never felt it.
His name was Dave, and one of the many things he bragged about was his knowledge of karate. We kept baseball bats handy in case he grew overly enthusiastic about showing us his skills, or lack of them.
There was one hold he loved so much he couldn’t resist trying it out on us. This did not endear him to us, but it did firmly entrench him in several families’ histories.
The hold consisted of grabbing the thick gristly thing in the front of the armpit and giving it a firm wrenching. I do not think it is a karate hold, but it doesn’t feel very good anyway.
We started calling this hold, and the body part it abused, the davebone. It later became the daybone and that it remains to this day.
For some reason the daybone captured our imagination, and we gleefully used it on everyone we came in contact with.
The daybone has been the scourge of all the wives and kids in all of our families for the five decades since Dave the bully invented it.
It is primarily useful to terrorize children and mates though, and I do not recommend using it for self-defense against any bullies.
Not only is it useless for self-defense, but the bully may think you are attempting to give him a titty-twister and they will not tolerate such a thing.
So unless the bully you are confronting is eight years old, save the daybones for your family.
They love’em, I swear.

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