Monday, May 3, 2010


Every day I read or hear about some study where bullies are mentioned.  Thousands of dollars are spent, and countless new rules are made to take care of the problem.  There will always be bullies.  They are part of life and growing up.  However, in the nanny state, children are taught to look to the government to identify and take care of bullies.  In my day, the only time a bully was a problem was when no teachers or parents were around.  These occasions were rare.  My dad schooled me early on in the fine art of self defense, but it took time for my skills and confidence to catch up.


     I was too young to start school.  I still had my baby teeth.  But there I was, back against the wall, trying to avoid contact with strangers.  A large boy stood in front of me looking down at my upturned face.  His stare was unfriendly. 
     “What are you looking at?” he asked.
     “You look sleepy.” I said.
    Apparently he took offense at my retort and pounded me into a submissive blob.  This was my first encounter with a bully.  I didn’t report the incident to my dad because I knew he would have questions about what I did to defend myself. I didn’t think crying and rolling into a ball would count for much.
      I come from a long line of good boxers.  Dad made attempts early in my life to instruct me the art of self-defense.  I’m left handed, and a bit of a bumble foot, so I avoided physical confrontation.  Several times I tried to mock the tricks of my favorite cowboy stars, but it never worked out just as it did on the big screen.  I once tried to grab a charging playmate and roll backwards with my feet in his stomach thus launching him over my head.  My legs were unable to support his weight, and to my father who was watching from the window it looked as though I had wilted in the face of a challenge. Further lessons were a necessity.
    I gained confidence as I rose through the elementary grades, but, just when I felt comfortable, Junior High School started.  I was a round faced seventh grader.  The bullies I encountered here were bigger and meaner than any I had seen before.  Some rode motorcycles to school and wore leather jackets.  They had longish greasy hair combed back on both sides forming a ducktail at the back.  The front was curled to fall over on their forehead in the front.  I spent hours contemplating what I would do if attacked.  I timed my comings and goings from school to avoid any notice from that crowd.  However, it was not to be.
    It was picture day and I dressed in a new white shirt and a bow tie.  Sammy, the class bully, sat directly behind me.  The teacher was out of the room.  Sammy had a side kick named Earl who always jumped in after Sammy softened up his mark.  I don’t know why the teacher decided to put me in front of these two.  As I sat with my face forward trying to be invisible, I felt dampness on the back of my shirt.  Sammy was slinging blue ink from a cartridge pen all across my back.  I knew my dad would ask about the shirt when I got home.  I had to do something. I stood facing Sammy and hit him hard with my left fist right between his eyes. A big knot formed over the bridge of his nose.  I turned on Earl who was trying to slide down in his chair.  Just about that time, the teacher walked back into the room.  The class monitor, a girl with a pen and pad, was only to happy to report my breach of good conduct to the teacher.  I was held after school along with Sammy and Earl.  After a while my dad walked through the door to the classroom.  He asked why I was being detained. The teacher, a small woman, explained the happenings from earlier in the day as my father listened.  He asked her if she had seen the incident and she reported she had not been in the classroom at the time.  My father came back to where I was seated and said “Come with me son we’re going home.”  As we passed the desk he turned to the teacher and said, “He did just what I taught him he should, and he won’t be staying after school for that.”  From that day forward I had very little trouble with any of the other bullies in the school.  A bad reputation can be a good thing.   

Dennis Price


  1. Thank you for posting this! I find you blog VERY interesting!!

    Common Cents

    ps. Link Exchange???

  2. His fate was sealed with ink. Blotted out with a solid left.

  3. I am unfamiliar with the term link exchange. Perhaps you could enlighten me. Glad you liked the post. Come back anytime. Pappy

    Yes it was Carey. You might say it was Air Mailed.

  4. That was a good story. You deal with bullies the way I do! My father was a bully and I had to learn early how to fight or be crushed. A swift poke in the nose is all they understand. We should deal with the evil religion of Islam the same way.

  5. Enjoyed this-I was good at avoiding the bullies of my day too-plus I was lucky in that there just wasn't many in my classes. I agree with you about the Nanny state-we teach our girls to avoid trouble-but in the event something happens like it did to you-they know where and how to hit.

  6. I still teach my children the same thing, 3 girls and a boy. They don't have to win, and they better not have started it, but if they defend themselves, I will defend them against all comers - teachers, parents or whomever. I started school early and was always the smallest on our country bus and at school. I suffered bullies in the same way, but the tide really didn't change until I hit about the 8th grade and a growing spell. Bullies avoided the big farm kid after that. Denying anyone the right to defend themselves, anywhere and against anyone, is the most un-American thing we can subject ourselves and our children to.


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