Totally Inappropriate Salted Humour Day: Here To Kick Some Ass And Drink Beer And We’re Almost Out Of Beer

“laws of physics clearly state than an object that was just pushed will push back”


Narrator: Well, what do you want me to do? You just want me to hit you?
Tyler Durden: C’mon, do me this one favor.
Narrator: Why?
Tyler: Why? I don’t know why; I don’t know. Never been in a fight. You?
Narrator: No, but that’s a good thing.
Tyler: No, it is not. How much can you know about yourself, you’ve never been in a fight? I don’t wanna die without any scars. So come on; hit me before I lose my nerve.
Narrator: This is crazy.
Tyler: So go crazy. Let ‘er rip.
Narrator: I don’t know about this.
Tyler: I don’t either. Who gives a shit? No one’s watching. What do you care?
Narrator: Whoa, wait, this is crazy. You want me to hit you?
Tyler: That’s right.
Narrator: What, like in the face?
Tyler: Surprise me.
Narrator: This is so fucking stupid…
Narrator swings, connects against Tyler’s head
Tyler: Motherfucker! You hit me in the ear!
Narrator: Well, Jesus, I’m sorry.
Tyler: Ow, Christ… why the ear, man?
Narrator: Guess I fucked it up…
Tyler: No, that was perfect!
“Fight Club”; Chuck Palahniuk (1996)


“make a big man nervous, he’ll rough you up and call the job done… a small man will kill you”
“things i learned in Prison”; Juggling Cats (August 4, 2007)



Weed: A Great Substitute For A Mike-Style Father.


It’s always the dudes who think a fight is scripted: 1. Say something witty; 2. Listen to the other dudes witticism; 3. Throw punch; 4. Take a break; 5. Evade punch from dude; 6. Role d8 to determine damage… who end up getting their ass kicked.

There was this great instructional video a few years ago of how fights are conducted in this reality… it wasn’t really an instructional video, it was something caught in the corner of a home movie of a high school pool party. The person with the camera was too far away to catch the sound, but from the body language it started like this:

Dude One: “What did you just say?”
Dude Two: “What?”
DO: “Just now, man. When you walked past, what’d you say?”
DT: “About what?”
DO: “You said, ‘Smells like someone’s tokin’ some reefer.'”
DT: “No, I meant somewhere I smell some pot, you know? It was just an observation.”
DO: “Oh, an observation, huh? Well who the hell are you, man? Isaac fucking Newton?”

At which point DO, or “Clint”, does a lean in and DT — lets call him “Mike” — quickly retreats with his friends. “Mike” then spends time using this ultimate humiliation, coupled with the encouragement from his friends and all of his fighting experience taken away from a White Wolf role-playing game to gird his loins. He then returns to where “Clint” and his friends are standing, and punches “Clint” in the face. As “Mike” tries to explain himself and waits for the dice to be rolled to decide the damage inflicted by his mighty blow, “Clint” has punched him four times in the face. “Mike”, a look of disbelief and confusion on his face, falls backwards and crushes a shrub. “Clint”, now with a knee on “Mike’s” chest, punches “Mike” another four times to the head before “Clint’s” friends pull him off. In ten seconds “Clint” has taught “Mike” a valuable lesson because “Clint” is nothing if not a giver. Then the videotape ended.

I’ve been in a few fights… but not many. Frankly, I haven’t even seen that many fights… comparatively. But I know it’s not about size, and it’s definitely not about boxing. It’s about committing to the certainty that getting hurt is a risk worth taking. I also know everything my grandfather taught me about fighting was either a practical joke or he was stoned and reliving a Marx Brothers movie. No shit, he told me to stand on the other Dude’s foot and, while he was trapped, to make sure I punched him with the knuckle of my middle finger slightly raised from my fist.

Most of the fights I’ve seen usually started and ended in the same breath, and were based on an alcoholic misunderstanding or boredom. I have seen a few serious beatings — there is a difference between a fight and a beating — but I’ve never taken part in one.

The fights I’ve been a participant in are not things I like to talk about. Although I have no problem saying my grandfather’s technique does not work, anywhere. I’ve never been seriously hurt… but the time I had a large steel belt buckle bashed against the side of my head was an experience.

This is what I know about fighting: getting punched in the face hurts less than not knowing what it feels like to be punched in the face and then having a “Clint” beat you into Stupid Land. There is a lot of Truth in the movie “Fight Club”, most of the stuff about being raised in a fatherless world, for example. But also about growing up and never knowing what it’s like to get hit by someone angry enough to do it… and ‘not knowing’ is really what breeds fear, and it also encourages people to become tormentors. It isn’t the “Clint’s” of the world who wreak the most havoc, it’s the “Mike’s” who never learn the lesson. Or learn from the lesson.

It’s not the size of the person you have to watch out for, it’s how likely it is they’re so afraid of being punched that they left the house with a paring knife in their jacket pocket. And I’m talking about one-on-one stuff, if you’ve got a dude swinging a bat at you, run as fast as you can. And try to never get involved in some kind of ‘The Outsiders’, ‘Platoon’ or ‘Boyz n the Hood’ shit unless you’re armed.

My own father never taught me shit about shit, but from what I’ve learned over the years I firmly believe he is as clueless a “Mike” as there ever was. On one of the occasions I interviewed him a few years ago he was pretty proud of having had “bodyguards” through the ages. The fact he perceived the need to have one is pretty telling in itself, but in the transcripts he seemed very proud of having “others” fight for him.

When I was a kid… well, eighteen, we played this game called “Punch For Punch” almost every weekend after getting baked on weed. Basically you punch me in the chest or shoulder as hard as you can, then I do it back to you, until someone has had enough. It wasn’t about flinching, it was about repetition… it was about six or eight fatherless sons teaching ourselves how to put our weight into a punch, and how to twist your arm a little to drive your knuckles into the other person’s body.

How fucked is it that eight stoners taught me more about how to stand up for myself than my father and grandfather ever did… just as an aside, “Clint” and “Mike” are characters in “Dazed And Confused”.


Clint & Mike In “Dazed And Confused” (1993)

This movie is my life from 1988 to 1992… at least the parts about weed.
And not including Milla Jovanovich. Although Melanie came really close.





…since november fourteenth, 2006.

“You burn things when there’s no going back. How much of
yourself have you had to burn away to be
the person you are today? Because baby, my body
is ash and my mind is still smoking.”






About Gabriel...

...diagnosed with manic depression when I was nineteen, for the next 14-years I lived without treatment or a recovery plan. I've been homeless, one time I graduated college, I've won awards for reporting on Internet privacy issues, and a weekly humour column. In 2002 I finally hit bottom and found help. It's now 2022, and I have an 8-year old son, and a 12-year old son... I’m usually about six feet tall, and I'm pretty sure I screwed up my book deal. I mostly blog at
This entry was posted in Bipolar, Bipolar Disease, Bipolar Disorder, crazy people with no pants, Depression, Health, Humor, Humour, Inappropriate Humour Day, Lithium, Living With Depression, Living With Manic Depression, Manic Depression, Ottawa, Punk. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Totally Inappropriate Salted Humour Day: Here To Kick Some Ass And Drink Beer And We’re Almost Out Of Beer

  1. Bryan says:

    Dude I couldn’t imagine growing up without ever being in a fight and learning some lessons along the way. In a way it builds character that makes people stronger in the end.

    I can’t say that I ever enjoyed being in the fights that I was in but as I got older I learned a few tricks that saved my ass a time or 2 when I had to stand toe to toe with someone for one reason or the other.

    It teaches us how to deal with thinking on a basic level and to think quickly to get your ass out of trouble the simplest way possible.

    I know my view on things might be a little warped. Hell I don’t know.

    I know one thing for certain about this whole issue though. I was never taught how to fight outside of learning from the school of hard knocks. I’ll be damn sure to not let my son fall into that same trap if he ever needs to learn it.

    I didn’t learn to take care of myself through the one on one break with someone in a party or just the general singular bully at school with his cronies. When I was growing up with my busing being the biggest issue I was subjected to a host of bullies that ran in packs. That would like to track you down in the school bathroom and gang up on you all at once because they didn’t like the color of your shoes that day or got upset with you because they couldn’t persuade you to do there homework any other way when I was one of the smartest kids in the class.

    Oh well that’s my fucked up rant for the day… Take it easy for now, my son is trying to fill up the memory card on my camera. This should be interesting.

  2. Gabriel... says:

    I’ve had friends who were fortunate enough to have had martial arts lessons, including a fourth level Aikido black belt. Actually my youngest sister… if she doesn’t have her black belt in something then she’s pretty close to it.

    I had two opportunities to learn a martial art, but screwed both of them up by not understanding what they were all about. Personally, if and when I’ve got kids I plan on getting them involved pretty early. It’s not about the fighting, it’s about being able to defend against the bullies. My own bullies were a group of chicks, so that was frustrating beyond frustration. They tortured me for almost two school-years and I never had a clue how to react — fuck, I was in lust with two of them — so I was constantly freezing up… then I’d generally project my absolute loathing of them onto other, very unlucky people… including, unfortunately, my younger brother.

    Having someone there to teach me how to react in a non-cartoonish manner would have made a huge difference in my life. Then again, considering how my bio-father has reacted to the stresses in his life, it may be a good thing he wasn’t my teacher.

  3. aroundnaround says:

    I grew up a scrapper… an’ I’m a girl.. an’ I had three brothers… ‘an I never really had a choice in the matter.

    That’s kinda beside the point though. I really wanted to comment on the wisdom of what to do in a fight. More specifically, well … I used to take karate (have recently returned… yeahaww!) and one of the things we spent a good deal of time working on was fighting. You know – the catch you unaware, in the back alley, self-defense stuff. Lots of knife fights. Yeah. I don’t so much as worry about the person who is going to come at me with their fists, but I sure as hell worry about the guy who decided that today is the day they were gonna grab the knife to bring to the fight. Those buggers scare the hell out of me. I can tell you that from all the knife defense exercises we held, I’ve had my guts laid out on the dojo floor more times than I care to recall. The first rule we were taught? If you can: Run. The second rule: If you can’t run, hurt ’em just enough so that you can run.

    Sound stupid? Nah. Live to fight another day, I say.


  4. Gabriel... says:

    Hola aroundnaround!

    One of the first conversations I got into as a WordPress user was with Puddle Jumper about self-defence and the weird lessons taught to women in SD courses. The “key thing” has always been one of the weirder ones… holding your keys in your fist so that one or more is pointing outwards… honestly, male or female, if you’re that worried about being attacked carry a dog repellent in your purse. They have a stream of several feet and are basically a diluted and legal-everywhere pepper spray. You can buy some at any decent store selling running equipment.

    I’m not that extraordinarily large (and I’m getting smaller) nor aggressive, but like I said up above, during a fight I was hit in the side of my head with a steel belt buckle which was swung by a very angry dude and I kept going. Your housekey is not going to stop a determined someone. Those kinds of courses seem to be taught to give people (men and women) a sense of security that can put them into situations where they’re going to be very badly hurt. Again, if you’re worried about being hurt, carry some kind of pepper spray and if you’re walking in a sketchy area don’t walk on the sidewalk, walk in the street so you have more time to react to any situation. Also because, believe it or not, the “streetlights” are there for the cars, not pedestrians… they light up the street more than the sidewalks. I do this on my midnight walks through my village to avoid skunks.

    “Live to fight another day, I say.” is an excellent motto and should be the default position for most ‘encounters’, but knowing how you react to violence is important as a backup.

  5. aroundnaround says:

    Heya Gabriel

    Heh. After re-reading my post, I thought I should clarify a little bit. I *do* worry about the guy who is coming at me with his fists, or any other kind of weapon (belt buckle– ouch!) but the guy with the knife is of a definite concern to me. In either case, both individuals need to be approached with the “run like hell” approach. And barring that being the first thing you can do… “Hit and Run” seems appropriate.

    Those self-defense classes make me squeamish. They just seem so… I dunno… to me, they impart a false sense of security. Where I work, we all went through a self-defense class because our job location puts us right downtown, in a not-so-nice area. I can tell you that by the time we left that class, I in no way felt any safer than when I went in.

    You are right… it is important to know how you are going to react in a violent situation. I also take nothing forgranted and am always hyper-aware of my surroundings … yeah, streetlights are not there for pedestrians. What other cars are around? Who’s standing around? And…. I always have my keys ready when I leave a building and head towards my car – nothing worse than fumbling in the dark for them. Yikes!

    So, yup. Live to Fight another Day. Better yet… try to avoid getting yourself in that position in the first place. 🙂 And.. if ya can’t (crap happens!) … know what you’re gonna do to try to get out of it.

    There… I think that kinda covers off what I forgot to say.

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