Original Post Date: 8/8/2011 10:16:04 AM (BEFORE Yahoo blew up my blog)
The thing I hate most in life are bullies. I grew up in a family with a few bullies, and learnt from a young age how to stand up to them: Don’t back down, or things will only get worse. One good example of this occurred to me at the age of about six or seven years old. At that age, I was barely three feet tall, maybe even smaller. My older brother by comparison was about five and a half feet tall, and also eight years older than me.
One day he kept picking me up and turning me upside down. This I did not like at all. Finally fed up, I warned him, “Pick me up one more time, and I’ll bite you”. Not believing I would carry through with my threat, my brother scooped me up one more time, and before he could me flip me over, I did the deed and bit him pretty hard on the upper chest. At which point, he let go of me, and went bawling to my dad, spilling the beans on my dastardly deed.
Dad of course, being used to the fact that a few of my older brothers liked to make their youngest brother (me) cry, looked at my brother and said, “Oh? He bit you? So, why did he bite you? What were you doing to him before he bit you?” My brother did not elaborate any further, and went away, to sulk and pout that he did not get his way. The judge had spoken, case closed. All’s fair in such a lopsided fight, and the little guy won the day.
Flash forward another three or four years. I’m recuperating from hip surgery in the hospital. I had already had a few run-ins with a fellow “inmate” who was a few older years than me. We’ll call him Tim. Tim was about 16 years old, and much bigger than me. Our first encounter happened when I was still bedridden, and he stole my hot-wheel collection. To add insult to injury, none of the nurses believed me, even after my mother told them all the cars looked like the ones she gave me as a birthday present.
Our second encounter was the same night of his hot-wheels thievery. I was in a cast at the time, and had to be tied down, because I had the nasty habit of trying to scratch my dry skin underneath the cast, using an ingenious system of straws inserted into one another to make a nice “leg scratcher”.So, that is the scenario: I’m in a cast from hip to toe, and, my upper body is tied down, so I won’t scratch myself, and up walks Tim.
He’s none too happy that I ratted on him, and not shy about telling me what will happen if I try to rat him out again. To punctuate his warning, he starts to give me repeated charlie-horses on my shoulder, daring me to rat him out again, and trying his best to make me cry.
Having suffered the charlie-horses from my older brothers before, I told Tim, “You’ll have to hit harder if you’re trying to make me cry”. Tim kept going, until he accidentally smacked his fist on the metal side-bars on the bed. I snickered to myself as Tim went back to his bed.
From that point on, with Timmy, I kept a low profile, vowing that someday he would get his just deserts. Jump forward a few weeks, and I’ve been released from my plaster prison, and am finally up and about, walking with my aluminum crutches, the kind that go up just below the elbow, with a handle and a clamp for the forearm.
Tim is now picking on another victim, a little boy in a wheelchair. Even though Tim can walk, he is speeding around the corridors in a “borrowed” wheelchair, terrorizing the little boy by ramming their wheelchairs together. Tim rams him, and backs up a good distance to gain some momentum for another attack. I’m sitting by the wayside watching all of this go down, and getting angrier by the moment when I make my decision.
As Tim starts his charge, I grab my aluminum crutch like it is a javelin. Tim speeds past me, as the little boy starts to cry. My heart is beating hard and fast from my anger, and I throw the crutch. My makeshift javelin sails through the air, and goes through the spokes of the wheel on Tim’s wheelchair.The end result was better than I could have hoped for.
Tim’s wheelchair instantly stops with a loud clatter of metal on metal, as my crutch locks up the left wheel of Tim’s wheelchair. Tim is instantly ejected, and flops to the ground with a loud thud. The now Tim-less wheelchair continues with its own momentum, and does a complete 360 degree turn. Tim then gathers himself up next to his now defunct “terror mobile”, crutch jutting out from the wheel. He sees me with my other crutch, and knows I was the cause of his embarrassing crash.
Tim starts to walk up to me, with his fist raised, and I lift my other crutch in response, as I deliver this warning: “Touch me, and I smash this crutch into your face”. Tim is much larger than me, but still, he hesitates, and finally backs down, now looking a little smaller and less intimidating.
From then on, Tim never bothered another soul while he was in our ward, perhaps knowing that I was on guard, armed with my two aluminum “bully busters” and my feisty attitude. Now, I don’t believe in violence of any kind as a first option. I always prefer to use humor or logic to defuse potentially violent situations. But, from a young age, I obviously believed that if someone helpless is under attack, and you can do something, anything, to help them, you should stand up and defend them. It is the only right thing to do.
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