Mark Kelso and I lived in the same Eglin Air Force Base neighborhood and rode the same big yellow bus to elementary school. I don't remember anything about Mark or his family--except our fight.
One day, on the bus ride home, Mark passed my seat and, totally unprovoked, bashed the top of my head with his wooden yo-yo. It was hard enough I saw stars. I bided my time. When the bus stopped at our stop we got off with a bunch of neighborhood kids. We milled around until the bus turned the corner and was out of sight, and then the fight began. I'm not sure if I threw the actual first punch or not--in my mind the yo-yo was the first punch. I held my own against the bully and his yo-yo, which he continued to use. Again, I saw stars when he hit the side of my head. Since this was only my second lifetime fight I had not developed any sophisticated fight strategies. I just aimed and swung. I don't know if I had enough strength to make him see stars, but I hoped I did. The fight didn't last too long. I'm not sure if someone called the APs (Air Police--now I believe they are called MPs in all branches of the military, but they will always and forever remain APs to me), or, if he was on his regular drive through. For whatever reason, the AP was there and he intervened.
Back in the day, when a military brat got into trouble, the Sponsor and his/her Commanding Officer received calls. Most kids I ran with tried to keep from having their Dad meet up with his CO because of something they did. Our gang was no where near perfect. We just kept our noses clean for the most part. When Mama and Daddy heard about the fight and the events leading up to it, they told me there's never a good reason to fight, and I should report bad behavior to the authorities. Mama didn't give me the whipping I was expecting. This surprised me since she was forever spanking my butt for some infraction. But not this time. Daddy and I had a "date to talk." Daddy was the second line disciplinarian. "Talking" with Daddy in situations like this was like being called before the CO of your CO. My Sister and I generally avoided doing anything so egregious as to incur The Discipline of Daddy.
When Mama took me for a walk outside, it was to collect a good spanking switch. But Daddy didn't gather a spanking switch. And his belt remained secured at his waist. We had a short talk. He reiterated that I was to avoid fighting. I should attempt to solve differences nonviolently by talking them out. It was the smart way to handle bullies. Daddy said, "No child of mine will be bullied or picked on. If it comes down to a fight, you are never to throw the first punch." And then he showed me some boxing moves. As I recall they were mostly defensive blocks; however, there were a few offensive punches, and how to hold my hands to minimize injury. But more importantly, this lesson took place In the front yard where all the neighbors could see. In fact, we were in the corner closest to where Mark Kelso lived. To my recollection, that was the last time I was involved in a fight. Until I got the shiner in this weeks Cat Fight.
Cat Fights are typically between two girls. I'm atypical. Yep. I was once again in a fight with a boy. For the third time in my life. Did I honor Mama and Daddy's wish that I exhaust all nonviolent options? Yes. But sometimes talk goes in one ear and out the other. Unheeded. Just like Daddy's defensive move lesson. Had I been more cognizant of my vulnerability and past lessons learned, my eyes would have been protected. But I was not. I failed to protect my eyes and as a result, he got a shot in and gave me a shiner. It's not a big shiner. But its present and noticeable. A reminder that I physically tangled with someone.
So this weeks cat fight the guy gave me a black eye, but unlike my last fight, this time there was a definite winner.
My goals were to apply the ointment to both Moggys eyes (per vet instructions) and coax him into eating more than the gravy off his wet cat food. I instilled the ointment into the bad eye. He was too squirmy for me to safely instill it in the second eye. And then he promptly left without even licking the gravy. Cat Fight Results: Moggy 2, Me 1, plus the black eye which goes into Moggy's win column, making it Moggy 3, Me one. Except my win is actually a win for Moggy that he does not realize yet. So the final score is Moggy 4, Me nada.
In a decisive victory, I have been thwarted by my 8 pound cat.