The Boys Next Door

When my son was growing up he had a couple of neighbor kids he used to play with. They were brothers with not much more then a year between them in age. Boys generally are rather rambunctious to begin with and siblings are often that much worse. These two brothers battled constantly, wrestling, boxing, arguing, ranking, insulting, competing and beating on each other with hands, feet, various toys and sticks.

One day they were at it as usual and Brother A gave Brother B a hard smack. Brother B cried “Ow!” and gave Brother A a smack back. He in turn cried “Ow!” and proceeded to give Brother B a smack back. This went back and forth for a while: playfighting, yes, but in a strangely violent and rythmic cadence:

(Brother A strikes Brother B:) – Smack! – Brother B yells: “Ow!”
(Brother B strikes Brother A:) – Smack! – Brother A: yells “Ow!”
(Brother A strikes Brother B:) – Smack! – Brother B yells: “Ow!”
(Brother B strikes Brother A:) – Smack! – Brother A: yells “Ow!”
(Brother A strikes Brother B:) – Smack! – Brother B yells: “Ow!”
(Brother B strikes Brother A:) – Smack! – Brother A: yells “Ow!”
(Brother A strikes Brother B:) – Smack! – Brother B yells: “Ow!”
(Brother B strikes Brother A:) – Smack! – Brother A: yells “Ow!”

After several minutes observing all this I interceded and said “Hey! Do one of two things: Either stop hitting each other or stop saying Ow!”.

Humanity would do well to follow this sage injunction.

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About The Twentieth Man

Age 68
This entry was posted in Observations, Personal History, Plain English, Short Stories, Violence and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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