Fights always make me nervous, scare me and make me almost ill. I was taught and trained to avoid them, and if not able to avoid them, end them.
Being graceful in your interactions with oafs shows that you have character. This advice was from my mother.
Various ministers also lectured on turning the other cheek and the many virtues of peace.
Later on, my senseis in martial arts reinforced this; dignity and respect for others were the marks of a real martial artist. Courtesy and kindness deflected many conflicts. Students of their dojo were not to swagger about and provoke conflict.
Then there was my father, the former Marine and Merchant Mariner engineer, ” Louis, don’t start a fight. Just be prepared to finish one if you must.”
So there I was, standing in the Blue Anchor with my arm around this heavenly young woman I’d been dancing with. Four fast dances left us elated and slightly out of breath. Then in walks the boyfriend. Sweet Jody, the young woman, runs over to him, kisses him, and clutches him possessively. Seeing how things are developing, I try very hard to make myself small, inconspicuous, and unnoticeable. Walking slowly back to the table where my buddies are waiting, I hope the boyfriend is not an oaf and interested in starting a fight. I have my apologies ready for the ordeal.
Sure enough, he comes sauntering up to me as I approach the table and makes the error of grabbing my shoulder. I turn, brushing the hand off. I told him I had not known the young lady had a boyfriend. From the look on his face, I see that he really didn’t care; he just wanted to have a bit of fun with me. Past him, over his shoulder, I see Jody with an expectant look on her face. I should head for the exit, except that never happens because Oaf-boy has already started to swing a roundhouse punch at my face. Never use one of those theatrical roundhouses on a martial artist. I grabbed him in a wrist lock, twisted his arm so the elbow pointed upward, and levered him to the ground. His arm was mine to snap if I so wished. I now shifted my grip so I could twist his pinky finger. The pain from this is sublime. I whispered that one form of this hold allowed me to dislocate his shoulder and snap his neck. But if he apologized nicely, I’d let him lick my boot. He groaned.
Several of his friends had entered the bar at that point, but seeing the four Marines I had been drinking with, decided that oaf-boy was on his own. My Marine buddies were howling with laughter; docs aren’t generally known for fighting skills.
I pushed Oaf-boy away and went to my table. The bouncer was already on his way over, so my friends were preparing to leave. None of us wanted to be taken in by the Shore Patrol.
On the way out, I saw Jody throwing me a kiss; I looked away. I pitied her boyfriend.