Monday, August 18, 2008

Sizing Them Up

Every time I find myself sizing up an opponent on the street - and in NYC, this happens several times a day - I look at how large and muscular they are. It's automatic. Sometimes I think, 'That would be easy.' Other times I tell myself, 'He could just fall on you and you'd be dead.'

I'm ashamed to admit it but if a guy is really big, I won't be as righteous as I would be if he was Peewee Herman. I rarely worry about women that way and when I do, it's some enormous bull dyke. And even then, I'm not all that worried.

I thought like this before I ever started boxing. It's natural, I'm afraid, something I remember as far back as the second grade (before the second grade I would just hit anyone, boy, girl, large, small, adult, child. And bite). Actually, I think every man has the same impulse, more or less repressed. With women, it seems to be about who is the prettiest one in room.

Boxing has only expanded the range of those I think I can take. Nowadays, even if he's seven feet tall and his knuckles are scraping the ground, I think, 'Yeah, but he probably doesn't even know how to fight.'


Benedict Smith said...

i find myself thinking the same thing when out and about, more so with my friends than with my girlfriend. i've been in enough street fights and been in the gym long enough to know that most guys fold the instant they get "touched"...and often, the more they talk...the less they're actually intending to do. but yeah, training has made me more prone to the notion....

Billy Jack said...

I'm with you on this.

As if skill/looks have any reliable correspondence.

The other night I was out for a run in a small town, passing a party in progress. Someone yelled out "homo!" at me (must have been my shorts) and then I heard 5-8 pairs of feet sprinting behind me. This time I didn't bother looking back!

Robot Boy said...

Billy my man
That's happened to me several times. It's so frustrating when they come at you in numbers.
I've always found that it's middle-class dudes who think they can talk the most shit and get away with it, especially to someone short (como yo). Working class folks are generally more respectful, although they get the most retarded.

Robot Boy said...

I've got some bad images of your shorts.

Billy Jack said...

They're really short.

Split shorts are THE BEST for functionality though. No doubt.

I can't stand those really long shorts that all the kids wear these days.

Several years ago, while out for a 5am run with some co-workers, I passed a group of young 20 -somethings who clearly hadn't gone to bed yet from the night before. That morning I was wearing my even SHORTER pair of shorts.

Someone sang out kind of playfully, "He wears short shorts!"

Robot Boy said...

Billy Jack
I totally get you on the shorts, I do. I got chicken legs and they ridiculous in the long and baggies. But if you're gonna wear the short shorts, you have to pay the price.

Robot Boy said...

When I ran in my hometown of Providence I often carried a billy club just in case the motherf**kers who shouted from their cars decided to stop.

Erica said...

I agree with you that with women, it's more about who is prettiest -- or at the very least, most noticed. When that repressed tension gets pushed in one direction or the other, even an eensy bit, all hell breaks loose.

Over the years, when I've had to handle misbehaving clients, I've occasionally told my (female) bosses "Don't worry, if our strategy doesn't work I can totally take them." I believe the only reason I haven't been fired is that they are scared of me.

The sizing up of people works in perfect tandem with the sexual imagination, the constant instant fantasies of conquest.

Which is why the roving horny masses are extra-loving those short shorts.

Robot Boy said...

'Roving Horny Masses.' I like that. It's funny, an ex of mine has a theory that American man won't make eye contact with women. And when I was kid, I had that problem. Too much political correctness. Missed out on a lot of the fun in life but no more.