Sunday, April 19, 2015

At work I deal with a myriad

 of different people and the other day I was listening to a small town guy in his early twenties. He was talking about some bar fight that he was in a few weeks ago. Apparently he thinks if is some kind of sport to go out and get tanked up and fight someone  behind the tavern.

I imagine it's some kind of Har-De-Har Har Chuckleheaded Yuk Yuk Yuk roadhouse out in some inbred hillbilly county where most of the residents have family trees that resemble flagpoles.

The point is that I simply don't get it. Years ago Petersburg, Alaska was like that. There were a lot of people there that liked to fight and it made no sense to me.

I got caught up in a brawl in Petersburg once. It was a scary experience. My traveling partner of saved my ass in that one. He wasn't much of a boxer or brawler as his training had been to disable, cripple or even kill his opponent as quickly as possible. He was also a bull.

It was and remains the only time I have ever seen a human being pick up another human and throw him at a third. He severely injured a couple of people in an instant and we fled immediately. 

The reason we fled was that my partner, a very likable smiling and happy guy that was usually followed everywhere by kids and dogs was likely to not like getting roughly handled by the Petersburg authorities. 

While he was the kindest and one of the gentlest people I have ever met that would shine on any slight, you didn't do anything physical to him. A tactful policeman could hand him the cuffs and he'd likely cuff himself and go along with the officer to jail with not so much as a complaint.

On the other hand, if a poorly trained small town cop that was used to dealing with Bubbas and Jimbos tried to handle him roughly he'd likely find himself thrown through a closed door. Better to leave town most riki-tik than wind up where massive violence was likely to erupt.

The other reason we fled is because in a lot of small towns being right has nothing to do with anything. You have wounded a local and the town wants you to pay. It matters little who started it or that it was a clear cut case of self-defense. Some shiftless drifter type put poor ol Jimbo in the hospital and must pay. Sure ol Jimbo started it and tried to cripple someone but he really didn't mean nothin' by it. Why, that Jimbo, he a good old boy!

Actually this business of making excuses for someone's illegal behavior isn't limited to small towns. You hear it in cities all the time, often after someone gets shot while commiting a crime. One of the common lines heard is something like, "But little Jimmy was coming around!"

Yeah, right. If he was coming around, then why was he robbing a liquor store.

Generally one heard this after poor, innocent little Jimmy got shot in a shoot out after he robbed a liquor store and killed the clerk in the process of the stickup.

I don't consider fighting like that to be a sport or anything I want any part of. First of all, it's dangerous. People gripe about the dangers of guns but fail to realize that more killings are attributed to fists than guns.

There's nothing manly about it and it is just plain stupid. I want nothing to do with it whatsoever. I don't consider it a sport and starting one is nothing less than a case of assault.

The truth is that starting one is an invitation to whatever happens to you. I had a friend in Kodiak that used to occasionally box behind the bar every once in a while and I will admit that it was fine by me. Both were in agreement. It was straight boxing and if they wanted to then it was no concern of anyone else's.

On the other hand, starting a fight with someone that doesn't want to be involved is a horse of a different color. It is nothing less than a criminal assault and should be dealt with as such. It is no joke.

This is a case where boys WON'T be boys. It is serious business and should be treated that way. Anyone that starts something and winds up in the hospital or the morgue gets exactly what they deserve. I couldn't care less.

The small handful of scuffles I have been in during my life, none of which I have started, were pretty ugly events. The most recent was back when I defended Tokie, a cat I used to serve, from a tormentor.

I told him that if he wanted to torment my cat he would have to get through me first. He decided to assalt me.

I cheated. I used one of the weapons I had at hand and disabled my opponent as fast as I could with no regard whatsoever for his safety and total regard for mine. It was a very serious affair. Short, sharp and ugly.

I simply blinded my assailant and tagged him with a roll of quarters in my fist and left him on the ground stunned temporarily blind and broken. It really wasn't very difficult. He was just a big, stupid kid. I guess he found out how fragile the human body really is. I took no joy in it as such but do remember the wild, cruel joy of relief for coming out unscathed.

I was about fifty at the time and that was a borderline situation legally. The kid was about seventeen and most likely had I stuck around and been arrested it likely would have gone on trial. They would have put the kid in a nice Buster Brown suit and made him look like the All-American boy and I may have played hell winning in court. I very well may have lost.

It took several shots of brandy to quell the after-action shakes on that one and I had to have someone else drive me home.

The kid must be in his early thirties now and hopefully wiser from his experience. At least I hope so. He got what he deserved at the time and I bear no ill will toward him now.

My state has a disparity in force law which means I was legally limited in the amount of force I could use in defense. I was actually carrying a pistol at the time. I elected not to use it because of the disparity of force laws. I'm glad I didn't shoot the little whelp in the leg.

However, fifteen years later I probably wouldn't opted for that route. I'm too old and tired to play that game.  

As I write this I have to give myself some serious credit for discipline. It would have been a whole lot easier just to pull an Indiana Jones vs. the swordsman and drop the little thug. I certainly had the means and what I would consider a valid reason.

Then again, what I consider a valid reason doesn't mean a whole  lot. A jury of my peers might think otherwise and hand me the Go to jail Monopoly card.

In the earlier part of the 20th century an awful lot of men carried pocket pistols. It is often referred to as the era of good manners. Shootings were not commonplace and of the shootings that did take place they were judged on the merits of simple self-defense. Self-defense was a simple right and was treated as such. 

Most of these self-defense shootings never saw a court room. The assailant started it, the victim defended himself and finished it and that was simply that. It makes sense when you think about it. Back then justice was more clear cut. People worried about the victims and their rights instead of the rights of the criminal.

I guess it was generally accepted that the criminal lost his rights when he committed the crime. Fair enough.

I'm in my sixties now and certainly in no shape to go a few rounds with some young thug. I have changed my lifestyle accordingly and the list of places I won't go for safety reasons has grown. I rarely go where alcohol is served for example. I'm a lot more careful not and less inclined to say much of anything or do anything that might start something.

One of my codes in life is to try to do no unnecessary harm and I hope I can make it stay that way until the end.

To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY

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