Brawl: (n) a rough or noisy fight or quarrel.
But many, many years ago, I was walking the streets of the inner portions of a large city. I was with two friends, and we were “feeling our oats,” as they say–studly and strong.
In the process of our little jaunt, we were confronted by three other dudes, apparently residents of the neighborhood, who found our presence distasteful.
We probably should have cooled our heads, relaxed and been respectful of this trio of locals, but we just kept boppin’ along, trying to ignore them.
They didn’t want to be ignored.
So a series of insults were flung back and forth–some questioning our relationship with our mothers, others suggesting that these adversaries perhaps wore pink tennis shoes.
Long story short, it was squaring off to a fight.
We were about to have a brawl with people we did not know simply because nobody was willing to back down.
That’s what a brawl is–an unplanned fight that occurs because conversation is implausible–and violence suddenly and unexplainably seems logical.
Right before we were ready to mix it up (and by the way, I do not know what that would entail, since none of us had ever been in a fight before) I suddenly got cold feet, tingly balls, scared bowels and a chill going down my spine.
I didn’t want to scuffle.
I didn’t want to be a coward.
So I raised my hand and said, “Stop. I’m sorry. I can’t do this. I have a heart condition.”
I do not know why I did this or why I chose to claim a debilitating disorder. But for some reason it diffused the situation, and the three guys looked at me like they were eyeballing their grandpa.
They gave me permission to walk away.
And shortly after I eased by them and tiptoed down the street, the remaining five decided they had lost interest in the fight, exchanged one last round of macho bullcrap, and the two groups went their separate ways.
My friends thanked me for being so inventive in avoiding the skirmish.
I learned that night that brawls are to be avoided at all costs, even if you temporarily have to feign geriatric.
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