It was a muddy spring day just like today. And it was a fight like one you’d never seen before. I’m almost 100% certain of that.
I was always a quiet kid in junior high. Everyone was trying to be more grown up by using a much wider vocabulary of swear words and doing so as much as humanly possible no matter what the situation. That and smoking. I was scared of principal’s offices and going to hell, so I avoided both of these things. My friend Matt and I were oddballs in that way so we palled around and try to fly under the radar. I was happy pretending to be invisible with Matt, but it had its drawbacks. For starters, when you’re quiet and not in on the scene, it’s easy to be labeled geeky. So, no girls were checking me out. Plus, when you’re withdrawn it can be interpreted by your peers as unassuming and/or weak. It was this very thing that led to my only fight in junior high.
A guy in my grade (let’s call him Donald) was a loudmouth. He was often bragging about things that most of us didn’t believe, frequently calling people names—especially the girls-–and always talking. Loudly. He wasn’t big, and I was sure I could take him, but I didn’t want to fight anyone. I was not only scared of hell, I was scared of getting punched in the mouth: I wore braces at the time! Getting slugged would be no picnic, but I promise you it’s a whole new ball game with braces. It’s like comparing chapped lips to being skinned alive.
This desire to stay away from fighting, however, was tested one day when Donald came up behind me and put me in a headlock. He had been taunting me to fight him for weeks now. I couldn’t get out of his hold and he howled about it constantly. “Come on Troy! You afraid to fight me? Couldn’t even get out of my headlock! HA! HA! HA!” I would hear this each and every day for at least two months in the winter of of my eighth grade year.
I can’t remember what went through my mind before agreeing to fight him. All I can remember is thinking, “What’s wrong with me? Donald is smaller than I am. Fighting him would be a cake walk. He’d never even get close to my braces.” I knew I could handle Donald in a physical fight, and he was talking trash mercilessly. Why not take him up on his offer?
Then we did what every kid did who wants to have a fight at Forest Glen Junior High (now Middle School) in 1986. We walked to the field. We turned to face each other.
He reached up to grab me by the collar and cocked his other arm back for a punch. But before he knew it I’d picked him up and put him on his back. Then I did what I thought was smart. You may or may not agree, but since I didn’t want to fight and since I didn’t want to get bothered by Donald again, I did what I thought would kill both birds with one stone. Was it smart? You be the judge.
I held Donald down on his back, sitting on his chest with my knees pinning his shoulders down on the soggy ground and I said to him, “Say uncle.”
“What? That’s &%$@# stupid. I’m not &%$@# saying that.”
“Fine, I’ll just stay here.”
People had gathered around us wanting to see a fight. They were walking away now. Some I could hear muttering, “Well, that was a waste,” and “Worst fight ever.” But I wasn’t moving. The bell rang. If he didn’t say it we would be left in the field alone, sure to be caught by the teacher on duty. “All I have is time Donald. Suit yourself.” Knowing there was no way out, he said it. Donald said uncle. I got off of him. Out of embarrassment and frustration he pushed me when I turned around. I gave him the mock “I’m coming at you!” and made him flinch. And that was that.
I remember feeling a little embarrassed as my classmates didn’t hold back on how lame they thought my fight was. I didn’t feel like a superhero. But I felt good that I avoided punching someone in the face. I didn’t like Donald, but I disliked the idea of me hitting someone like that even more. It also felt good to know that I managed to embarrass Donald. He didn’t bother me ever again.
Congratulations Superman (1978). This is your week.
Best Actor: Christopher Reeve in Superman. I do agree with my friend Jerry, though. Cavill could very well be the best Superman yet.
Best Actress: Amy Adams as Lois Lane in Man of Steel (2013).
Best Quote: “Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight?… I always ask that of all my prey. I just like the sound of it.” — Jack Nicholson as Joker in Batman (1989).
Now I have to say, Superman does NOT have the worst disguise of all super heroes. I realize all he does is put on glasses and comb his hair another way, but consider this: He-Man! How dumb were the people of Eternia? Come on Teela… Prince Adam looks JUST LIKE He-Man, with the exception that one always wears a white skin-tight shirt with a pink vest and the other bear-skin underwear. They both have the same bulging muscles, the same bowl cut blonde hair (complete with a prohibition-era dancing girl bob), and… THE SAME FACE! Not to mention they both have a green tiger with orange stripes. Bit of a coincidence don’t you think? I mean, are they really telling themselves that He-Man’s cat is different because it wears headgear, a saddle, and is named Battle Cat and not Cringer? And what’s with Prince Adam getting all cocky when he makes the transformation to He-Man? “I have the POWERRRRRRRRR!” Who do you think you are, Joseph Stalin? Maybe you’re the real bad guy, not Skelator. Speaking of which, he’s another one that is super ripped, looking like Mr. Universe despite his head being nothing but bones. Where does the meat end and the skeleton begin? We never get to see him pull that hoodie down to give us a clue.
Glad I got that off my chest. Clark, you’re alright bro.
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