Today I punched someone in the face. Sounds crazy I know, but it’s a fact. I was returning to the office with a co-worker, after lunch, when I was asked by a squatter/punk-type guy whether I “had any money for blah blah blah.” I responded with a simple and brusque “no” returning to my conversation (which, of all things, was about mega-churches). Said guy, unhappy with my response and lack of interest evidently, proceeded to kick me in the back of the leg. Weird right? So I turned on my heels and punched him full-on in the head.

Dated: 07.09  Comments: 11   Permanent link to this post:   Email this post: »

In 2004, I tried to throw my stapler at a woman in my office. The only thing that stopped me was the location of my desktop computer, which blocked me from easy access to the stapler. By the time I reached it, my anger dissipated.

Other than that, I’ve had a pretty non-violent life, off the basketball court.

Posted on 07.09 at 07:34 PM by Virtual Memories

We’re all entitled to one random act of violence, if for no other reason than to prove we’ve got it in us.  Mine involves throwing a cup of cold water in the face of a panicked airplane passenger.  I’ll most likely never, ever do it again, which is unfortunate, because it was thrilling.  While you may not be proud of it, it’s an experience to treasure, and a good bar-time anecdote.

Posted on 07.09 at 08:16 PM by miette

What an interesting admission, all the more so because it’s a challenge trying to interpret your post-altercation processing of the event. Not so much guilt as quizzicalness about the possibilities in your nature eh? Fair enough. It speaks to that incredibly thin line between thought and action and the intangibles that may boost or deter follow-through, and bizarrely reminds me of an amazing article on suicide in the NYT linked from mefi yesterday— (very worthwhile read, albeit off on a decidedly different tangent).

I had a fight when I was about 9 years old. It was more of a rumble really, with neither of us escalating to proper fisticuffs. We were probably both afraid of being hurt. I haven’t changed much and rely upon that fear to deter the daily impulses I also feel to thwump a someone or other in the face. I’m sure, give the right profile of circumstances, I would be just as capable as you (or anyone) of belting a particularly annoying provocateur.

Posted on 07.09 at 08:50 PM by peacay

Bar, Pensacola, Florida, 1996.  Some guy thought I was hitting on his gf, but I was too drunk to hit on anyone.  He charged and I moved out of the way and he ended up falling down a flight of stairs w/ a little help from my boot.  No, I didn’t go home w/ his gf.  In fact, I had to be told the next day what had happened.  I had no real memory of the event thanks to some rot gut I’d been swilling all night.

Posted on 07.09 at 09:14 PM by Jeff

Was the last violent act the time you slammed my head on those steps?

Posted on 07.09 at 10:22 PM by .

Never won a fight when I was a youngster. I am far, far tougher at fifty than I was at twenty. Probably for this very reason, I haven’t needed to get physical with anyone in maybe ten years. That was during an altercation at my brother’s when I was visiting, and it was between him and his prospective son-in-law. I put a nelson or something on the young fool. It hardly counts since my brother was doing most of the actual wrestling.

I’ve chased a rottweiler or two. Dogs are overrated as foes, since they only have one weapon, and can’t use it when they’re running away. (Trust me, I am not the one starting these fights. If they like me, I like them even more. But if one tries to harm me, I believe turning the other cheek is very wrong.)

True fact: win a fight, your testosterone goes up. Lose a fight, it goes down. Doesn’t matter if it’s a fistfight or a lawsuit, a proxy or a presidential election. This is an unspoken dynamic of our national politics. The Right have won lots of fights over recent years and have felt empowered and filled with testosterone. The progressives have been on the shit end of the same equation for decades now. That lousy feeling is not just in your head. If you ever find yourself about to punch out a conservative, I recommend you make the most of it. None of your liberal guilt. Hitler was not beaten by liberal guilt, but by liberal GI’s.

Posted on 07.09 at 11:09 PM by .


Posted on 07.10 at 03:36 AM by simon

My last significant physical altercation was around eight years ago, just as I was finishing up school. I attempted to hit a guy who was hassling me on the bus home, and mostly missed. He laid me out with one punch. Big guy. Mostly afterwards I felt concussed and wronged.

He now plays on the Irish rugby team. It is strange to watch him play for a team I want to win, all the time knowing he’s a dick.

A few years before this I ineffectually punched a guy who was teasing me in this relentless, whining fashion. He was shocked and angry, I immediately felt awful. He came out a couple of months later, our first school gay, which made me feel worse about it, and let my friends needle me as our first school gaybasher.

Been in some messy altercations since then, usually involving drink, but those are the two that have stuck.

I never imagine hitting people. I don’t have violent impulses. I think I usually imagine destroying them in an argument.

Posted on 07.10 at 05:58 AM by Pierce

From several times a week to several times a day since boyhood.  Wait, wait, let me explain: I’m a sport fighter—boxing, wrestling, kickboxing, and most recently Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed martial arts.  Funny thing, though, my aggression is so thoroughly dissipated by these activities that I nearly never get into bother outside of training and competition.

Anyway, as a fellow who has punched many a head, I encourage you to feel well and fine in the aftermath of this event.

Posted on 07.10 at 09:25 AM by Jack Rusher

Good job, I would have done the same. It’s amazing how many of these punks exist out there.

Posted on 07.14 at 11:38 AM by coolest guy on the planet

While I’m not for violence I’m all for self defense. You did nothing wrong and I would have done the same thing.

I’m shocked to hear this person acted the way he did. Unbelievable.
Good on you anyway.


Posted on 09.13 at 09:48 AM by Product Liability Lawyer

back to front page