Inspired by my friend @ridley, who happened to witness a time I almost got into a fight with a drunken buffoon over the importance of voting. I like to think she was prepared to hold my earrings.
  1. Once my kid brother started kindergarten, we walked home from school together every day. The walk was about a mile, mostly residential.
    Just look at these Goonies. No one was supervised in the 80's.
  2. I was in the third grade, and took this responsibility very seriously.
    I collected him from his classroom and made sure we held hands crossing the street.
  3. Sometimes other kids walked with us.
    One of these kids told me the first "dirty" joke I ever heard: What starts with an "F" and ends with "uck"? Firetruck. (I didn't get it.)
  4. One day, the third grade bully started following us, heckling us as he approached.
    Trevor was a mean kid. And a loudmouth.
  5. I told my brother to ignore him, and we picked up our pace a bit.
  6. But Trevor caught up to us quickly.
  7. He continued to hurl insults, and stated circling around us as we talked.
  8. I kept my eyes forward, and froze him out.
  9. But out of the corner of my eye, I could see my brother. He kept his eyes on Trevor at all times. He was afraid.
  10. Trevor noticed too, and focused his attack on my brother: calling him a baby, mocking his fear, and daring him to cry.
  11. He started giving my brother a little push every few feet.
  12. I stopped walking.
  13. "Trevor. Leave us alone."
  14. Trevor laughed. "Ooohhh, who's gonna make me?"
  15. "I am, Trevor. GO AWAY."
  16. He shoved my brother down to the sidewalk. "Oh yeah? You and what Army?"
  17. "JUST ME!"
  18. I swung my metal lunch box behind me. . .
  19. . . .and slugged Trevor right in the stomach.
    I was aiming lower.
  20. He crumpled into a ball and fell to the ground.
  21. I grabbed my brother's hand and we ran the rest of the way home.
  22. Trevor didn't walk that way home anymore.