A Note From A Tough Guy – I’m Gonna Pumble Your Ass

I have never been in a fistfight in my entire life.  I’m a lover, not a fighter.  So imagine my dismay when I was handed this note back in the 10th grade:

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:


Dearest Bradly,

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.


Chris Hinton


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.

Select Entries From An Eighth Grade Journal: Teen-age Life, Robbing Banks, Earth Day, Shoplifting, Babes, And More

I’ve always enjoyed writing.  The poor man’s therapy session.  It helps me to tap into my thoughts, reflect on the joys and the absurdities of life, and to shake a little bit of the madness that can build inside a creative mind if you don’t find a release.

Imagine my horror and delight when I discovered a notebook containing journal entries that I had written as part of an 8th grade English assignment.  Eighth grade. Talk about a maddening time.  I thought I would share a few entries.  They’re not all that particularly enlightening, but maybe you’ll find them to be entertaining, nonetheless.  I hope my 8th grade English teacher did as well, as she read through them and had to grade my horribly misspelled entries about robbing banks, ditching career day, shoplifting cigars, whores and sluts.  Let the madness begin.

Hectic Teen-age Life
October 23, 1992

I’ll start my entry off with last night. After supper I had to go mowing. Let’s hope this is the last time. Then I cranked some music and relaxed for a moment from my hectic teen-age life. I had good intentions for doing my homework but the t.v. and music took over my soul. That’s why I am behind in my Algebra and entries. Oh well. It’s almost the weekend. Then I entertained my baby sister. I showed her Tim’s fish and bird. She loves animals. She’s a funny child and instead of me entertaining her, it seems the other way around. Then I watched t.v. and went to bed.


Robbing Banks
October 10, 1992

I am not exactly sure what I might do this weekend.  I was thinking maybe rob a bank down in Maryland for a little extra cash.  If I did that, I’d become a fugative and be on America’s Most Wanted, so I would flee the country.  I’d rob one more bank before I left though.  So now I’m highjacking a plane to France.  This is a weekly event, so I’m getting good by now.  I’m now in France, so I’d change my identity and find a place to stay for the weekend.  I’d buy lots of gifts for everyone, especially myself and my family.  Then with the leftover money I would get a plane back to the U.S.  I would jump out on a parachute and hopefully land near my house.  Either that or I will just watch t.v. all weekend.  It’s a tough decision.


Earth Day
April 29, 1993

I would save the earth by gathering up all the heroes like Superman, Batman, Bugs Bunny and Mighty Mouse.  I would put on a cape, to help them and go around the earth gathering the trash.  I would send it to Uranus to store it there.


Ditching Career Day
March 11, 1993

Today we had a two hour delay, hooray.  I am happy, but I am also sad, because our bowling fieldtrip was canceled again.  I was going to bowl a perfect game today, too.  Oh well.  There is always tomorrow.  Next week we have a career class at Seven Springs.  Some of us guys are going to ditch the class and hit the arcade to play pool and video games.  I’ll let you know how that goes.


March 19, 1993

One time I was embarrassed when I was a little kid and I stole some cigars.  I was in a grocery store shopping with my mom when I was about five.  Suddenly I got pretty far behind my mom and I stopped a second because I thought I saw some candy.  For some odd reason I got the brilliant idea to stuff the box in my coat.  My mom never knew at the time.  When I got home I went to my bedroom and shut the door.  I opened up the box and bit into the candy only to find out that the candy wasn’t candy afterall.  I had mistaked the box of candy for some cigars.  After that the store called my mom to let her know I had shoplifted.  I was embarrassed when she caught me with the cigars that I had shoplifted and I started crying.  I didn’t even get to keep my “candy” that I so much desired.  Till this day I have never shoplifted again.


October 1, 1992

Another week of school is almost over.  How time flies.  I did my basic morning, pre-school routine.  Then off to school I go.  Today didn’t bother me because, it’s a Thursday, and Thursday means close to the weekend.  I guess you kind of know by now what I think of school, but I’m beggining to think I might exaggerate a bit.  Oh well.  Anyway, I went to school (all fine and dandy), and went to my morning classes.  It went swell.  Now its time for M.D.I.S.  I played Jason a game of chess.  He deprived me of my goals, dreams, and pride to become the best player ever.  In other words, he beat me.  My afternoon classes went good.  I went to the soccer game at Somerset.  It was cold, but enjoyable at the same time.  Lots of my friends were there.  That then leads me to the future, your present (and mine, but till you read it, it will be your present, my past).  Whatever.


The Voucher System (Clinton’s Education Plan)
November 10, 1992

I’d choose the vochure system and get the … heck out of this place.  Thank the Lord.  I’d go to Germany for a bit and visit this babe that I know.  Then I’d move to maybe France.  Then I could learn to ski.  I guess you’d have to have some money to do this, so I’d better start saving my cash.  Hopefully my parents will let me.  This is the only good thing about Clinton.  I can see it know.  Me, skiing down the slopes, going to a cool school with lots of female genders.  Sounds cool, but its a fantasy I guess.


Bratty Cousin
November 6, 1992

This weekend will be a hectic Saturday, because I have to babysit my bratty cousin for my Aunt.  He’s ten years old, but acts about three.  He is hyper-active and I will have to babysit him all day long, until late at night.  If you don’t see me Monday in school, you’ll know I’m in the mental hospital.  On Sunday I will try and recover.  I will go to church and when I get home, I will eat.  Then I will watch the Steelers play the Bills.  Then, if Tim doesn’t work to late, I will go out to Somerset, and raise cane.  Other then that, I am not sure what will happen.  Maybe my friend Michael Jordan will pay me a visit.  If he’s lucky, I might help him practice his skills.  He needs a few pointers.


Whore’s And Sluts
November 11, 1992

With all the problems of today, it’s hard to think of one single problem to address.  I think a good start would be to get rid of all the A.I.D.S. and let people live a more cleaner life.  People now-a days don’t care who their mate is, they’re just a bunch of whore’s and sluts.  This is with both males + females.  So I would wish the people would be more careful and care more about one another.


How To Increase School Spirit
February 25, 1993

It is hard to get the schools spirit up by just a simple pep ralley.  I think a good way is to have a big bonfire with the band playing or different activities to do at night.  Give everybody a lighter like in concerts or a candle and sing songs while holding up the lighters.  Another way is to invite a star athlete or a famous band and have a concert.  U2 would increase my school spirit majorily.


Recent Exciting Events
February 2, 1993

Alot has happened since last time I have written.  For example, report cards came out.  I received straight “A’s”.  I have also grown three inches.  Just kidding.  Recently, I went to an overnight party at Jared’s house on Friday.  Matt, Ryan, Jeff and Andy were there also.  We played alot of pool and drank alot of soda and ate lots of food.  Also, recently I got to smell and see Mrs. Keeley’s new Jeep.  There have been many recent exciting events in my life.


Honesty Is The Best Policy
October 2, 1992

Through the years, I have told my share of lies.  I have been told that I am a good lier and can always keep a straight face.  I am not proud of this feat but its too irresitable.  Lying has gotten me through a lot of problems, but I can say it has also gotten me in trouble.  Like the one time mom, dad, and all the little kids were on vacation.  Mike + Joe threw a big booze party.  We cleaned the house beofre the parents came home of corse, but luckily there was no damage.  It was an outdoor party on the deck and I learned honesty was the best policy, except I chose to lie.  How can you tell on your big brothers when you should stick up for them, and how do you tell your parents when they were gone, you threw a big party with half naked chicks everywhere.  It just so happened that a guy from my church flew over the roof and told my parents he saw a bunch of cars in our driveway.  They found out, but fornately Mike and Joe were the only ones who got in trouble, but after that my parents never left the house alone while Mike and Joe were home.  So I guess honesty isn’t so bad after all, just as long as I don’t get in too bad of trouble, then I’ll just stick to lying.


April 8, 1993

Easter is coming up soon, so I thought it would be an appropriate topic to write about.  In our family, we dye eggs, have easter egg hunts, and other joyous events.  It is fun to watch the kids find the easter eggs, which are hid around our front yard.  The eggs are filled with candy and money.  Sometimes, the kids get a little wild and slap the other kids if they find all the eggs.  I love to decorate eggs and eat them.  Easter is fun.  Hoorah.


Commercials Are Useless 
October 14, 1992

T.V commercials are sometimes annoying when you are watching a good show.  Some commercials vary from commical to boring.  Commercials are almost useless in every way. I’d rather gouge my eyes with a number two pencil then watch a commercial about some guy with athlete’s foot.


Spring Break
February 19, 1993

If I was in charge of creating spring brake for Somerset county, I would make it a week long.  I would plan a vacation with some friends to go on a road trip.  The first stop would be to Florida.  Maybe hit Disney World.  Next stop is California.  Just enjoy a day or two at the beach.  After that hot brake we would need to cool down, so Colorado sounds good.  Next I would hit Los Vegas to see if it is all it is cracked up to be.


The Dark Side Of The Moon
October 9, 1992

Today I woke up and was my usual, tired self.  I’m not a morning person.  I got a shower and got dressed for school.  I ate, then brushed my teeth.  Then I preceeded off to school. Nothing special happened in my morning classes, except learning some new Spanish words and having a big History test on the ammendments.  So now I’ll mentally take you to my M.D.I.S period.  I played Ryan a game of chess.  I’ll leave the results of the match to ponder in your head.  Next is lunch.  Very normal.  Now I’ll take you to my afternoon classes.  They were the same as my morning classes.  No really big, important news.  School is now over.  I ate supper and went to church.  It was O.K.  Then I bought a new Pink Floyd tape called “The Dark Side of The Moon.”  It is pretty cool and very rare, which is what I like.  That leads us to now.  I am finishing my journal entry, while listening to my Floyd tape, and chewing gum all at the same time.  Oh, what talent.  Thank you, God bless America, and goodnight to all.


The Meaning Of Christmas
December 18, 1992

As you know Christmas is nearing.  Before you know it, it will be over.  In our family, Christmas is very special.  It is a time of grouping and togetherness, which is pretty fun.  Giving and recieving is also a big part of our Christmas day.  It’s very exciting seeing all the gifts piled high around the tree, hunting for your gifts.  It is also sad thinking of all the people who don’t recieve any gifts.  Sometimes people can get very greedy and selfish, and I’ll admit, I get that way sometimes too.  Most people would rather recieve than give and I think that is wrong.  This is the way our world lives now, in this century.  Sometimes I’d just like to live in the 1800’s for a week.  I’m sure they resemble the real Christmas meaning.


Christmas Vacation
January 4, 1993

I suppose I am going to write about my vacation.  First I got presents from Santa, because I was a good boy.  Then I played with my presents.  Next, I don’t remember what order.  All I know is I went to Seven Springs a couple days with Joe and Jimmy to get babes.  Then, before I knew it, it was New Years Even and now it’s January 4th.


Us Teens
January 7, 1993

Us teens don’t get much respect.  Most adults view us as punks that go out and destruct everything in sight.  Even the cops harass us teens and ruin all our fun.  I don’t think we are that bad.  Adults seem to forget when they were our age.  I’m sure alot of them acted the same, or even worse then us.  Maybe thats why they treat us the way the do, because they remember how they acted as a kid.  Adults just don’t have the same views as us.  Even when I walk in a store, you’ll see a couple employees follow you around to make sure your not stealing.  It’s gross to be treated like that.  We just live a normal life like them, only we like to not take life as serious and we like to have fun.  For all I care, the adults can just bug off.