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Strove to find a way to punch people in the face by using the Internet.

3/03/2004

DIARY OF INDIGNITIES
More Inspiring Examples of Brave Combat Throughout History
Age 11: While wrestling with my 7-year-old sister, I slip, fall on her and bust her nose, causing no small amount of blood to start pouring out of her face. It doesn’t hurt her at all – in fact, she doesn’t even suspect anything’s wrong until she sees my horrified expression. The crying starts after she runs into the bathroom and gets a look at the gory mess, but she’s not upset for long – oh no. Her panic is displaced as a plan forms in her devious little mind.

As she quiets down, I plead with her through the locked bathroom door to not tell our mom about the incident. She doesn’t answer, but I can hear her doing… something. This makes me nervous. After a few minutes, she comes out of the bathroom. She’s no longer bleeding, but she’s smeared thick, dark red nose-blood all over her face and neck. It’s already beginning to dry, setting into a kind of grisly, cracked death mask.

“I’m going to get you into trouble,” she says.

Age 12: I make a friend: Matt Krogh, whose interests happily run parallel to mine. We spend a lot of time making homemade explosives out of model rocket engines and black powder, playing Dungeons and Dragons, getting ignored by snooty chicks at the skating rink and beating the crap out of each other.

We invent this game where one guy puts on swimming goggles and wraps himself in blankets, pillows and puffy jackets while the other guy blindfolds himself and then spins around in circles flinging ninja stars, darts and throwing knives full-force around the room at random. Amazingly, this little pastime inflicts no serious injury on either of us… Unlike the time in his backyard when I become momentarily distracted by a bee or something and take my attention off of Matt for a split second. Feeling an unexpected impact on my chest, and look down to see about seven feet of sharpened bamboo spear sticking straight out of me at a right angle. Matt, at the other end of the yard, stands pale and frozen.

“Shit,” I say, both because it hurts and also because I’m actually admiring his aim a little.

Age 19: There’s this kid named Fessie, okay, and he’s a total punk-rock drama queen. The type of 1980s suburban shithead who’s always derailing a good party by swallowing 14 aspirin or lightly mincing his wrists with a steak knife and siphoning off all the hot goth babes, whose sympathetic nature and love of posed histrionics irrationally draw them in just as surely as Super Extra Hold Aquanet, clove cigarettes, fishnet stockings and gooshy, pale boobies never fail to hypnotize me.

Anyway, Fessie chalks up more than a few black marks in his column throughout the course of a year or so, trying to hit me with his car and trying to bait my friends into fights, no doubt in an attempt to further his wretched martyr act.

I find it easy to ignore the little attention whore, for the most part, until an incident where, adopting a particular sort of obnoxious bravado I’ve observed in many lower life forms, he tries to shake my hand at a keg party. Not only am I disinclined on principle, I’m also using both hands to pour myself a beer during his attempt. I point this out to the little creep (and, all things considered, rather politely, I might add), finish serving myself and walk off.

A few minutes later, I’m in the kitchen staring down the cleavage of some foxy little Draculina and making small talk about Bauhaus or something when Fessie starts fussin’. Supposedly outraged at my snub, he has two or three guys “holding him back” in the other room while he rants and raves about “what a dick” I am. Having seen similar tableaus played out many times, I shrug and return my attention to little miss spooky. After a few more minutes of… of… shit, I don’t remember, probably enthusiastic discussion about the Sisters of Mercy’s Temple of Love 12”, brave young Fessie taps me on the shoulder. When I turn around, he hits my jaw with a sucker punch that boasts all the destructive force of a kitten parachuting into a bowl of flowers.

Fessie is pulled away while, enraged, I make my way to the backyard. Muttering my murderous intent, I empty my pockets and strip off my jacket, watch and shoes. Barking out challenges and threats, I begin a short regimen of stretching, followed by a warm-up routine that includes what I hope is an impressive-looking collection of kicks and shadow boxing. After a minute or two of this, I am out of breath and starting to get cold. I am also wondering why I’m the only one in the backyard. I gather up all my stuff and go inside – the place is deserted. Confused, I go out front – ah. Fessie’s there, bellowing his plan to kick my ass to the entire party, who mostly look bored.

I walk over, hit him with a straight jab and follow it up with a sloppy roundhouse kick to his ribs. He collapses. I look around. People stare at me, disgusted. The goth girls get on their brooms and fly over to the other side of the yard, putting as much space as possible between themselves and me, the big Fessie-beating bully. People start to file back into the house, keeping their distance from me. Angry and frustrated, I steal a Skinny Puppy tape from the host. Then, feeling bad, I put it back.

A short while later, I’m sulking in the corner when some guy comes up to me with blood all over his hand. “I thought you were a dick for beating that one guy up,” he says, “But look – he just bit me in the hand!”

I walk back into the front yard, and Fessie starts screaming at me again. Trapped in some Twilight Zone nightmare where, despite recognizing my fate, I am doomed to repeat the same actions for all of eternity, I grab Fessie by the hair with my left hand and deliver a stiff right square to the center of his forehead. His eyes roll back in his head as he slumps to the ground and starts twitching.

“You done killed him,” says the guy next to me. I start panicking and hopping from foot to foot.

“No… No! There’s no way!” I kneel down to check on Fessie, who, thankfully, is still breathing.

“If’n you didn’t kill him, you at least gave him brain damage,” the one guy mumbles before wandering off disinterested, along with pretty much everybody else.

With visions of prison running through my mind, I sit on the front lawn for the next 20 minutes with Fessie’s head cradled in my lap, desperately trying to revive him and make sure I didn’t give him brain damage. After a while he comes to, looks around and blinks. He’s strangely quiet, but he doesn’t seem… Well, any more brain-damaged than before, and I am relieved.

“Why, Fessie?” I ask. “Why do you do all this stuff? Honestly, man, what’s the deal?”

Head still calmly resting in my lap, he looks up at me for a moment before answering.

“You don’t respect women,” he says.

Age 35: I attend my first kickboxing class. I get winded during the stretches, dizzy during the warm-up and start to black out after about 10 minutes. After my fifth time running outside to gulp down air, a guy says, “Don’t feel bad. I totally threw up on my first night.” I’m too tired to tell him that if I’m not currently barfing my guts out, it’s only because I don’t have the strength, and that I’m sure with time, dedication and hard work I will one day work myself up to a point where I can vomit with the best of ‘em. Meanwhile, the class is filled with 5’2”, 75-pound sorority girls who barely break a sweat while kicking each other in the face and punching heavy bags right off of their chains. After class, six or seven of these girls corner me in the parking lot and demand my lunch money. Ignoring my tears and pleas for mercy, they take my wallet and start hitting me anyway. “Not the face!” I cry as I fall to the ground and cover up as best as I can, too weak from the class to even get an erection.

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