It is not a weakness to volunteer for tasks simply to gain experience and have adventures but a strength, so I believe. This is offered as inner exploration to excuse how I find myself at a fund raising carnival at the local middle school, offering small, discounted servings of one of our stimulant drinks as a fund raiser for the school and marketing demonstration for one of our popular products with the youthful crowd.

“How much?”

“Two tickets.”

“I’ll take two.”

“Only one serving allowed. School rules.”

“Can I come back and buy another?”

“I can sell you two if one is for someone else standing next to you.”

“Yeah, they are for the two of us.”

“Here you go. Thank you.”

Experience? Not in the action of my task, but in observation.

Observations of note:

  • Teachers can be well put together, and there seems to be a very tasty strain of sweet treat at this school.
  • There seems to be a mom type that is in competition with their young, blossoming teenage daughters. Not healthy, but perhaps worth a one time sampling — for science.
  • Some of these 13 year olds are sweetened beyond their years. The unfortunate aspect of such sweetening is that many will peak before they can use their candy sweet goodness to wrangle the position they desire and well deserve.
  • Carnivals are loud. Kids are loud. People are annoying. I have a headache!

“Come on, guys!” That is the duration of impatience offered when a young boy crashed into the table, three girls running after him.

“Sorry,” the slight boy offered in his quickest voice, running off before the word was finished.

The girls followed and by the sounds of their giggles, they fancied the little boy they found so “cute”.

The running around of the three girls and boy had been going on for at least a couple of hours, I had observed, which is why what happened next seemed so unexpectedly bizarre.

The guiding hand of fate wanted me to observe, because movement in the distant periphery caught my vision and I observed the girls poking and shoving the boy — in what appeared to be a quite harmless manner — and him opening up on them in a violent, physical rage. Within seconds the three girls were on the ground crying and the boy had been subdued by a woman of massive girth — something that served her well in her actions of good testament. The woman saved the boy from himself.

All seemed back to normal... What is normal?

“Do you have a large one of those?” a frail, rail of a man asked.

“No, but you can buy as many as you want.”

“Give me 3.”

“Six tickets.”

“Thank you.”

“Here. Hope this helps relax you,” I offered.

“Can you tell I’m stressed?”

“You look a little on edge.”

“Did you see that boy beat up those girls?”

“I saw something.”

“That was my shitty son. He beat up girls he said were teasing him. He’s talking with the principal now.”

“Why aren’t you with him?” I had to know.

“They told me I couldn’t.”


“So I left him with them.

“I don’t know what to do. I understand why he beat them up. They have been teasing him for a long time and then they started pushing him. He went full force and beat them them up to get them to stop, to defend himself from their bullying”

Looking the man up and down, you had to wonder how much rage cloaking fear he had within to excuse his son’s actions.

“I am sure you already know this, but your son has a problem. If a few girls can push his buttons and make him go ‘full force’ to deal with their taunts, your son has some issues.


“And if you excuse this behaviour or explain it away, the message he receives is that the actions are acceptable. And they will escalate.”

“But... But they got physical with him first.”

“And this was an acceptable response for the young man?”

“I don’t believe in violence either, but...”

“Wait! Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the use of violence, when appropriate. You seem to think this was appropriate, which means you will not elevate the tolerance of your son and you will continually excuse this kind of behaviour. I cannot help but wonder if it is because you are afraid of parenting.”

“What!? No! Absolutely not! That’s stupid, but I don’t want to punish him for defending himself.”

“I wonder if you would be so blasé if it had been three boys your son had a conflict with and he was the one now seeking medical treatment. Though , I doubt he would have had the same response if it had been 3 large boys.”

“I am pretty sure he would have had the same response if it had been 3 large boys.”

“Don’t kid yourself. Men who need to fight women do not tend to engage men. Your son is weak. He learned it from you. Now, when called upon to parent, it appears you are abdicating your responsibility to help your son demand more from himself.”

“But he was attacked.”

“Attacked? Read The Art of War, that was not an attack. Read a teen romance novel, that was more love than war.”

“Just remember this conversation, so in the future when his behaviour escalates to a level you find unacceptable — and it will — you don’t pretend you had no idea his behaviour would escalate. It’s unfortunate but true, your son will pay the price for your fear of parenting him.”

The meek mush as man looked at me, broken, filled with self-loathing manifesting as anger. He was more comfortable with the idea his son had no choice.

“That’s sexist!” a frumpy woman who had been standing to the side watching us interjected, ferociously.

“Yes,’am,” I forced myself to offer Ms. Angry Frump.

The man slowly backed away, nodding a polite goodbye, not wanting to participate in the campaign of Ms. Angry Frump. There was no doubt he was in turmoil about what to do and was done using the opinionated gentleman behind the folding table as a sounding board.

“Are you suggesting he was not really hurt before defending himself from those girls? Are you one of those idiots who continues to perpetuate the myth men are more capable of violence than women?”

“I’m sorry, my delightful dough, but if you are looking to engage someone about the equality and sameness of the sexes, you will have to look elsewhere for your fellow fool. Though it must be interesting to ignore the whole of human history and the constant reminders nature offers. Kind of an ‘ignorance is bliss’ thing, but with anger and bitterness tossed in to spice up the ignorance, I presume?”

“Women can use weapons, sticks, knives, to beat men. We are just as capable of violence.”

“But you’re not. You are a smaller, weaker — physically — arm of the species who avoids violence because it is not your strength. For the smaller, weaker of the species to depend on violence would spell the end of the smaller, weaker woman. Fortunately, you have other assets by which the world can be controlled...well, some of you do.”

“You’re an ignorant asshole, sexist, douche-bag! We have brains! That’s what makes us human!”

The bigger fool is the one arguing with an idiot, yet I feel the need to respond. “Um, you see, brains are not an exclusively human characteristic and, as you have so exquisitely demonstrated, just because they come prepackaged in the human unit, all brains are not created equal. I suggest you forget the lie of equality and bask in the beauty of differences.”

“What makes you think you are so superior, you pompous old ass!?”

Still knowing I should close my mouth and serve customers, I cannot refrain, wasting words, thoughts and breath. “Men superior to women? Never have I said such a thing.”

“Women are just as capable as men. We are just as smart as men and we can do anything men can do. I hope you never breed.”

Looking at Ms. Angry Frump, I was sure she did not have the option of breeding — nature appeared to have switched off her gene pool distribution tools.

“I don’t remember saying anything anti-woman? I come from a woman; I love women with my every breath; and, I could not see the point of life without women. Without woman, what is the purpose of man?”

“Now you are beginning to understand.”

Yes, I understand I have engaged a whack-a-doodle. Not sure what point Ms. Angry Frump offers, but to continue the absurdity would be my further reduction into insignificant wind blowing.

“For you,” I offer Ms. Angry Frump as I resume my simple, humble task.

“Thank you,” she says with a smile of gritty teeth. “That’s big of you.”

I could not resist: “Two tickets, please.”

“Oh, I thought you were giving me this. I didn’t...”

“I was, but realized you may feel disrespected if I treated you like a woman, me acting like a generous gentleman.”

“ Well...uh... I don’t have any tickets, so...” she said with a greedy smirk, drinking the gift.

“Then I guess you will have to accept that on behalf of my sexist, generous, gentleman nature.”

“Thanks,” she offered, her face growing bitter as she walked away.

Look around, crazy is everywhere...even within...even without...