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27 May 2015: Fighting Words

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1 27 May 2015: Fighting Words on Tue 26 May 2015 - 17:05


You're having a family barbecue today. Guests aren't supposed to start arriving for a while, but one of your brothers, Ben, has some errands to run, so he drops his kids off with you, and checks to see if there's anything you need from the store.

Ben is about 8 1/2 years younger than you, and the two of you have almost always had a close and affectionate relationship. While there were a few problems along the way, there was only one point when you had problems with him - that's when he was giving your son, his nephew, a hard time for being 'too familiar', even though you talked to several kids who said he wasn't, but that 'Coach Meyers' was treating Noah differently from the other players.

You had a talk with Ben to set matters straight, and Ben knew you well enough both to consider how he was acting, and to know how you'd react if he kept it up. You and Noah were both upset with him for a while, but things settled back to normal after a while, and you feel like your relationship has fully recovered from that.

Because Ben came by early, one of Noah's friends was also here. Eli and Noah have been friends for years, and the two of them are very close. Eli is almost like part of your family, and that's how you treat him - for the good, the bad, and the sore.

You and Noah are getting ready to fire up the grill, and you step inside to get a few things you'll need. The kitchen isn't far from the patio, and, almost before you reach it, you here yelling, then scuffling. You rush outside to find...

Eli 17, and Ben's son, JP - 15

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The two boys are swinging (rather wildly, with few connections) and scuffling around. It's not much of a fight - despite the age difference, the boys are about the same size, and neither one is a real fighter.

You and Noah quickly separate them. You are not amused, and you let that be known.

It turns out that, as soon as you left the two of them alone, the conversation went something like this.

"So, you're Coach Meyers' kid?"


"I hope he's not as big an asshole at home as he is at school."

It went downhill from there.

You have permission to treat either boy as your own, and both their fathers have always backed you on decisions. What do you decide?

"In the end, it's just a story. But if you ask me, it's all true."

2 Re: 27 May 2015: Fighting Words on Tue 26 May 2015 - 17:39

David M. Katz

I would be tempted to simply let them fight it out but I would be concerned for serious injury.

I think the best course is to keep them apart and let things cool down then bring them together in my presence to discuss it, apologize, make up, etc.

I certainly see my nephew defending his dad's "honor" but Eli was out of line. I think as long as JP can show he is over it and calm then he will get a pass. I think Eli needs a little reminder from me about name calling.

Cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

3 Re: 27 May 2015: Fighting Words on Tue 26 May 2015 - 17:40


Ditto Katz. And incidentally, I had a Coach Myers, and despite my hatred of gym, he was totally awesome.

4 Re: 27 May 2015: Fighting Words on Wed 27 May 2015 - 2:32


Seems to have been pretty much a storm in a teacup with no guests to upset. I think an ear bashing rather than a rear bashing will suffice.

5 Re: 27 May 2015: Fighting Words on Wed 27 May 2015 - 4:47


I fully understand JP's reaction and will just send him elsewhere to cool off a bit As for Eli I will be chewing him out and there may even be the odd swat. I will point out that if he has a beef with Ben that is none of JP's doing( sins of the Father and all that ) and that his remarks were totally out of order

6 Re: 27 May 2015: Fighting Words on Wed 27 May 2015 - 5:27

John Boy

AFinch wrote:Ditto Katz.

7 Re: 27 May 2015: Fighting Words on Wed 27 May 2015 - 8:19


Editor Extraordinaire
Like the others, I see little need to make this scuffle into something more than it is. I'll have a quiet word with Eli, after which I hope he'll have the good sense to offer JP an apology.


8 Re: 27 May 2015: Fighting Words on Wed 27 May 2015 - 12:57

Pi Beta

RIP 9 Jan 47 - 17 June 17
Having separated them and taken a deep breath, I'm going to tell them each to go and cut a switch, implying that the switch each cuts is for the other's punishment.

I'm hoping that the realisation of what I'm threatening will bring each to his senses. If Eli brings back anything bigger than a small twig, I'll be exceptionally annoyed with him since it was he who precipitated the fight and may well then actually use on him the switch that JP brings.

However, I suspect and desperately hope that each will make peace and apologise to the other for their stupidity so that I will be able to discard both switches, though I will still be telling off both - Eli for his inflammatory words and JP for resorting to fisticuffs.

9 Re: 27 May 2015: Fighting Words on Wed 27 May 2015 - 16:17


First of all, let me say that this was NOT a real life scenario. Rather, it's based on a talk Ben and I had Monday.

The honest truth is that Ben did have some trouble with Noah, but more with Huck, when he interacted with them during athletics. I talked with some of the other boys, and they seemed to agree that Ben was more familiar with them, and treated them a bit differently from most of the students, but then got upset when they reacted the same way to him. I pretty much just told Noah to be formal with him, and to call him 'coach' no matter where they were.

When Ben got addressed as 'Coach Meyers' over Christmas, that seemed to make the point to him better than anything I could have said.

However, Ben is a pretty popular teacher/coach, from what I understand, and the trouble he and Noah had was during Freshman year - over three years ago.

The discussion we were having was because JP does attend the same school where my kids do, and he's on the soccer team, so he has to work with his own dad. The two of them had a few issues to work out between them because of that.

That's what suggested this scenario.

As for my answer to the scenario... I'll remind JP how I feel about resorting to fists outside of self-defense. I'll put him in the corner for a minute. Then I'll remind Eli how I feel about treating people politely and with respect. I'll remind him that, while he's one of my favorite kids, he's still a guest here, and if he can't get along with my family, I'll have to ask him to quit coming.

I think that will get through to him more than any sore butt would, and I'm willing to bet that an apology will be forthcoming.

Also, I'm going to remind Eli that he has to work with Coach Meyers next year, so he'd best think hard about what he says and where he says it, lest it get back to ears he doesn't want hearing it.

"In the end, it's just a story. But if you ask me, it's all true."

10 Re: 27 May 2015: Fighting Words on Thu 28 May 2015 - 4:56


ditto Ivor

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