I was unsure how to respond to the note. The penmanship was nice and all, but it’s not everyday that someone threatens to pumble your ass.
I wasn’t a complete stranger to the threat of ass pummelings. My brothers and I were threatened with beatings at high school parties before. We made friends with neighboring schools, and when we started getting a little too cozy with the girls, some of the guys from the other schools didn’t take too kindly to us encroaching on their territory.
Somehow, I always managed to talk my way out of the beatings. It’s not too hard when the ringleader of the lynch mob’s nickname was “Meatball.” Meatball would get drunk and threaten my brothers and I in front of all the other partygoers. I would calmly reply, “Go ahead. If it makes you feel any better, kick my ass. I’m not gonna’ stop you.”
Poor Meatball was put in a tough situation. I had waved the white flag. I was playing possum. If he proceeded with the beatings, he was going to look like a punk in front of everyone for beating up a helpless, scrawny kid, but if he didn’t hand out the beatings, he was going to look like a punk for backing down. I had him either way. And I knew it. I blew Meatball a kiss and waited for him to make his decision.
Meatball made the wise choice, and backed down from the fight. Everyone went back to doing keg stands, chugging beer bongs, and lived happily ever after that night.
I don’t get it. Anyone can throw a punch or take a punch. I never saw the thrill in that. Two guys puffing out their chests and beating each other senseless, is well, utterly senseless. I always found the bigger challenge and the greatest thrill when I was able to get inside one of these tough guy’s heads, and make them feel foolish for wanting to pick a fight in the first place. A little Psychology 101.
The challenge was on with Bradly. I decided to draft my own letter in response. I don’t have the original letter that I wrote, because Bradly decided to crinkle it up, shove it in his mouth, and swallow it for an afternoon snack. But here is my best recollection of the letter that I had penned to Bradly during my study hall that day:
May I call you, Brad?
I’m not sure what brought on this desire for a “pumble” in regards to my ass. Perhaps it’s because you’re still angry that you were held back a grade, or perhaps it’s due in part to insecurities about your extremely small penis. I can’t blame you. I’ve snuck a peek in the showers after hearing the rumors, and well, I would be outraged, too. But don’t be angry with me. If anything, be angry with your father. Be angry with your Anglo-Saxon heritage. But I am not to blame, and will have to cordially decline your offer for an ass pummeling. I hope you understand.
If you should not accept this peace offering, than I guess we can settle this with ass pummelings as per your request. However, I would like to make a suggestion that we move the fight off of school property, and move it to a more neutral sight as to further avoid ramifications after we beat each other to bloody pulps.
A week from today after school lets out, drive to Reel’s Corner and park your car in the pull-off just across the way. There you will find a trial head that cuts through the woods. Make sure to bring proper foot attire. The trail can get rather rocky in places, and it’s important to allow for ample ankle support when navigating such difficult terrain. Also, bring a compass, shovel and a pickaxe.
Follow the trail back approximately 2.6 miles until it comes to a dead end. Position your self due North, and take 200 paces straight ahead. There you will find a stump. Stand in the center of the stump, and position yourself due West. Take fifty paces straight ahead. Find the “X” marked in the dirt. Begin digging. Once you uncover the treasure chest that I have buried in the dirt, you will need to punch these numbers into the combination lock: 38, 3, 22. Inside the treasure chest you will find a set of your next and final instructions that will lead you straight to my location.
I sincerely look forward to your reply. Whichever decision you may choose, choose it wisely, Bradly. I trust that you will.
All the best.
Bradly and I never did end up fighting. I find that people begin to bore with the idea, or they move onto the next fight if you can wait them out long enough.
It’s not that I’m afraid to get in a fistfight. I actually think I’d be a great fighter. I have excellent balance, good quickness, and just the right amount of shear insanity that it takes to be a great fighter. Maybe that’s why Bradly and Meatball never followed through with it. They didn’t sense any fear in me, and that’s exactly what dogs like them seem to thrive on the most. Shivering, quaking, trembling fear.
Bradly was a pitbull, or at least he thought he was. I wasn’t afraid. Dogs are a man’s best friend, after all. The puppy dog tucked his tail back in between his legs, and left me alone for the most part. I had won the fight without ever having to lift a finger, and that was more than victory enough for me.
Tough Guys = 0
Nerds = 2
Nerds for the win.