Sunday, May 13, 2007


Looking back, I had a lot of fistfights in school, starting with the third grade, having had a scary episode with the “beast within” that I described earlier.

David was the first guy I met in Harriman that junior year that I felt deserved to have his head taken off. I do not know why he first rubbed me raw and instilled such a dislike for him, but it happened.

The first fight episode ended with the principal getting in the last and more memorable licks!

Purely by accident, because I am not normally a bully, my foot hit some books hanging out of David’s desk and they went sprawling out on the floor. “Don’t do that again,” he said before I could excuse myself!

I looked up surprised and caught the eye of two other fellow students with that “Go on! Do it again and see what happens,” look in their eyes.

So, I nudged the books out again and again David warned me, “Do it again and I’ll beat the crap out’ta you!

There were those looks again – straight from the devil and prodding me on. This time I kicked the books so hard they shot out the other side, and before I could look up for the rewarding look from my fans, David was on his feet laying blow after blow on my head! “Gees, I guess he wasn’t kiddin’,” I thought!

Somehow I avoided a killer blow and managed to loose myself from the desk swinging around my waist, and pushed David back enough to allow me to recoil into my fighter pose.

David had stepped around between another row of students and desks, and like in your favorite western I flung myself across them, knocking the cards, chips, and whiskey bottles off (just made that up – it was test tubes that were breaking), and grabbed David around the waist and wrestled him to the floor between screaming girls and “get’em!” yelling boys.

Before David and I could finish one another off, Mr. White, our chemistry teacher, reentered the classroom and started yelling at everyone to “get back” and “Mushy (not his real name) and David! Stop dat right now,” he said with his German accented American lisp!

Holding each of us by a shoulder, and with his special sounding lisp, “Wee Willie” said, “Daveed and Musee (not his real name), u two r vaweey vaweey wooed” and lead us out the door!

Later, as we sat snickering in the principal’s office awaiting our sentence, we realized we had just committed a grand act. The significance of the “cowboy fight” seemed to wash over us at the same moment. We were legends – we had destroyed the chemistry lab (well, turned over several desks, broke several test tubes, and flasks) and disrupted “Wee Willie’s” chemistry class! We would be famous! “Now these towns, they all know our names…”

Principal Crowel walked in and handed down his decision…ten licks each, from his wooden paddle with the holes drilled in it! Believe me, there were tears in our eyes by the time the corporal punishment ended, but the thought of what we had done carried us through.

For days after that, guys would try to get David and me into another fight, telling first one then the other what was being said about the other. David and I kept our cool, though we still did not like each other very much, and talked when away from school. We finally came to the decision of putting on fake fights after school! Stupid? Yes!

However, that is just what we did, well, about five times that year. We would begin by barking slurs at the other and talking up what would seem to be the worst fight ever.

After school, behind the Gulf Station, a crowd of a dozen or more would gather and the name calling and posturing would begin. Soon David and I would be exchanging blows – real blows, with bloody noses, black eyes, and torn shirts! We were really fighting and for nothing more than the attention!

Seriously, for those that have never had fist fight, after the first good stinging punch that numbs your nose, cheek, or ear, you hardly feel a thing until several hours later. The only bravery comes in standing your ground long enough to get that first blow over – then adrenalin and the taste of blood protect you from any follow up.

The only real benefit from all the fisticuffs was that none of the senior bullies, actually no one, ever bothered us in school. They figured we were crazy and experienced and that it was best to leave us to kill each other.

For David and me…we chalked up one of the greatest “school daze” stories ever to come out of SHHS! We had torn up the chemistry lab! As I look back on it I now realize that I love David for being part of my life – part of my youth!

We have seen each other several times since and we have great respect for each other and behind each smile are the memories of the “fight club” – and its two youthful members. David and I have been friends ever since.

My days in the fight club finally ended my junior year, same year I joined, out behind the Gulf Station, in one final exhibition “cowboy fight” for schoolmates, with my “fight partner” David. It ended like the first, with someone else getting in the last licks - my dad for getting mud and grass stains on a new pair of “white” jeans.

It was the final showdown, because we finally became “seniors” – time to act like men.


Fathairybastard said...

I was always too scared to fight. Always felt outnumbered. Everyone eventually figured out that they could do whatever they wanted. Wish I'd had some sort of experience like this, to learn how to defend myself, or thaty it wasn't fatal to get hit in the mouth. A few things would've been different after that.

Mushy said...

I learned because of that very reason...never had my back covered, but never was in a situation where I ganged up on either.

Oh, there were usually people rootin' for my adversary, but they really didn't care if he got his butt kicked!

Alex said...

I used to get in a lot of bar fights. Mainly cause I'm a big guy, and there's always someone who thinks they have something to prove. But sometimes I actually deserve it, as I am a total smartass.

I didn't fight much in school, though.

Ron Southern said...


I got pressured by one bully into one fight only in school, which I proceeded to win by bashing his head on the concrete floor in the boys' locker and forcing him to give up before the coach could come in and separate us. I hated that shit, though, and it didn't make me "safe" from any future bullies. Most bullies have no fucking sense, but it's interesting to know that some of them are just a big show.

BRUNO said...

Yeah, it just ain't as much fun when ya' get old and dry-skinned.(Now I don't feel nearly so bad about greasin' the pads on that other old-farts' walker at the hospital this week!)

Miss Trashahassee said...

...flung myself across them, knocking the cards, chips, and whiskey bottles off....

I fell outta my seat when I read that an' my son hadda come runnin' to see what I was howlin' so loud at. When he seen I was jus' laughin', he rolled his eyes an' said, "One day you're gonna be hollerin' but I'm jus' gonna think you're laughin' and let you holler until it's too late to save yore butt an' then you'll be dead 'cause I thought you was laughin'."

Then we laughed and laughed some more 'cause we both knowed that by the time somethin' like that happened he'd be outta high school an' done moved outta the house an' I'd have one of them "Life Alert" thingies hangin' around my neck.

As always, Mushy, love your posts!

Miss T

Jose said...

I decided at a young age that I hated pain, but know this I have a very high tolerance for pain. I had a couple of fights as a kid but with no major consequence. I was jumped once when I used to live in L.A. back in the 70s and pretty much that is it. I have been lucky to have a peacful life to date, and I love it. However if need be I know I can throw as well.

Suldog said...

Had a few, won some, lost some. None since my early twenties, though - and I'm glad.

Shrink wrapped scream said...

Boys, boys, boys, why can't ya' all just play nice with each other? Girlies never mark the body, just the soul.. it's far more lasting, and much more evil!

David Sullivan said...

I grew up in Boston and either beat somebody up or got beat up on a weekly basis. It didn't help that I had a big mouth. I know what you mean about that first punch...adreniline takes over and you don't feel most of the pain until the next day!

Sheae said...

After fighting, everything else in your life got the volume turned down. You could deal with anything. ~ Fight Club