A Bully Beat Down
Dec 10th 2011
One afternoon, I was picking my daughter up from school and our conversation turned to bullying. As you know, bullying is a big problem in our schools. My daughter said that her teacher told her that, “Violence is never the answer.” Me being the dad that I am had to disagree. Sometimes, violence is the only answer. It took violence to stop Adolf Hitler from taking over the world. It took violence to stop the Japanese after they attacked Pearl Harbor, it took violence to fight alkida after 9-11 and it takes violence to stop a bully on the playground.
I know the teachers tout zero tolerance and they say for your child to tell the teacher when a bully is picking on them, but that rarely works. What works, is when your child musters up his courage and punches the bully in the nose. When I was in school, after you gave a bully a good beat down, he usually wanted to be your friend. The thing is, that bullies in the schoolyard grow up, turn into adults and sometimes, they don’t grow out of their childish ways. They’re still bullies; only as adults, they usually use words instead of fists.
The main character in my science fiction novel, Tale Spinner is a timid young New York Accountant who likes to read. The office bully picks him on at work, but Brandon’s life takes a weird twist when he is teleported into the world of the Western novel he is reading at the time. Brandon finds himself, in Greedy Gulch, an 1880s boomtown. Brandon must learn to survive in a savage new land. The novel’s main character, a cowboy known as The Mojave Kid, takes Brandon under his wing and teaches him how to ride a horse, how to fight and how to shoot. In Greedy Gulch, the town bully won’t leave Brandon alone and Brandon has to give him a Bully Beat Down. Below is an excerpt from Tale Spinner.
At six PM, half drunk, I stumbled my way across the street and pushed my way through the batwing doors of the Last Chance Saloon. I pulled my coat up close trying to hold off the evening chill. A full moon lit the street, and Inside the Last Chance Saloon the air felt much warmer. McCoy had the wood stove going. The usual smells of tobacco smoke, stale alcohol and vomit drifted to me from across the room. Standing in the center of the barroom, I let my eyes grow accustomed to the dim light. Finally, I staggered to the bar.
“What’ll it be my lad?” Standing behind the bar, McCoy gave me a friendly smile.
“Make it a beer,” I said ignoring the cowboys lining the bar and the other patrons sitting at tables through out the room. Molly Brown sashayed up to me, and I caught a trace of her perfume. A sense of arousal penetrated the alcohol haze inside my brain. Molly rubbed my back with the palm of her hand. The touch of her soft hands sent chills down my spine. Something started to rise in my britches.
“You want to go upstairs, lover?” Taking a pull from the beer bottle, I slipped my arm around her.
“Maybe in a little while. I think I’ll have a few beers first.”
“Merryweather!” the bombing voice of Craig Barlow came from down the bar. “You little tin horn I thought I told you to stay away from my gal!”
“You don’t have to fight him,” Molly whispered. She leaned close to me. and her right breast touched my left bicep. Molly tried to hold me back. “He’ll only hurt you bad like the last time.”
“I’ve got it to do,” I said pulling away from Molly’s grasp. Sliding the barstool back, I rose to my feet and turned around. Barlow stood facing me.
“Get ‘em Craig!” one of Barlow’s buddies yelled.
“You don’t have the Kid here to protect you now, Tin Horn! Get your yellow ass out of here and stop bothering my gal!” Barlow stepped forward poking his finger into my chest.
“I’ll be your huckleberry,” I said bringing up my fist. Barlow threw a wild haymaker at my head. I blocked it with my left hand and hit him with a hard jab to his face. It snapped his head back. Barlow lunged forward trying to pin me against the bar. Taking a boxer’s stance, I hit him with a left and a right to his wind. Barlow let out a few startled grunts. His body rose up into the air when I hammered him with my fist. Next, I went to work on his kidneys and then hit him hard in the chest. My fist sank in with every blow. I followed up with a quick uppercut and polished off the three-punch combination ending with a left hook. Barlow hit the floor. Silence whispered through the saloon. Everyone stared in awe.
“Get up you mangy dog!” I yelled with my fist raised. Barlow stumbled to his feet. Hammering him with sledgehammer hard blows, I drove him across the saloon. Barlow threw a punch that grazed the side of my head and I hit him with a straight right that splattered his nose against his face. Blood hit the front of my shirt and Barlow flew through the air landing on a table, splintering it to match wood. The cowboys sitting at the table dived for cover. “Get up you coward!”
Barlow staggered to his feet. Oblivious to the saloon’s patrons watching the battle, I pressed the attack forward. My vision narrowed to a dark tunnel with Craig Barlow at the center. Barlow flew backward toward the batwing doors and I hammered him with punches all the way. At the doorway to the saloon, I hit him with a hard right hand fist. Barlow flew through the batwing doors and landed on his face in the street. He tried to rise to his knees, but I hammered him with blow after blow, beating him down in the dirt. Grabbing Barlow by the back of his shirt, I drug him to the horse trough. My breathing came out in wheezy huffs and puffs. I pushed his head under the water and held him there for a few seconds. When I let him up, Barlow sputtered, coughing up water and rose to a sitting position. Blood dripped from his nose.
“If you ever bother me, or call me a tin horn one more time, I’ll kill you!”
Barlow raised his hands into the air. “I won’t. Please don’t hit me no more, Mr. Merryweather.”
Turning on my heels, I stumbled across the boardwalk making my way through the crowd.
So when your child comes home from school and tells you about the playground bully, maybe it’s time for a Bully Beat Down. As always, I welcome everyone’s opinions and comments. If you’d like to read Tale Spinner click on the link below.
Until next time,