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Tough Guy

Posted by Admin on November 29, 2015 at 11:00 PM








Anybody knows that boys are tougher than girls. I first learned this astounding fact at the age of ten, and it went right to my head.

One hot summer afternoon I was hanging around my grandmother’s house in hopes she might make a pan of biscuits. When it became apparent that there was not going to be any baking until suppertime, I had to find something to do. So I decided to put my new knowledge to a test. I picked a fight with Carolyn.

My aunt Carolyn was the baby of Granny’s family, and only a few years older than me. We grew up together, worked the fields together, and she was more like a big sister than an aunt. I liked Carolyn fine. She had never done anything to me. But I had to have someone to try it out on, and there stood Carolyn – in a flour sack dress, humming a little tune, just asking for it.

I walked up to her and threw her a couple of insults. She completely ignored me. Angered to be taken lightly, I called her something unprintable. She laughed in my face. That was always one of Carolyn’s biggest faults…she was too dang hard to get riled up. It was frustrating. I was beginning to get mad, even if Carolyn wasn’t. Taking a running start, I dived headfirst at her, elbows flailing, bare feet churning the ground. She held me off with a hand in my face and laughed harder as I tried to hook a heel behind her ankle to take her down.

Now I know that boys are tougher than girls, and you know that boys are tougher than girls, but somewhere down the line someone had apparently neglected to slip the news to Carolyn. She acted like she was plumb ignorant of the fact.

Suddenly I found my left wrist and my left ankle both locked in a grip like iron. My other foot left the ground and that ignorant girl began to whirl me around and around like a helicopter. She was laughing like it was some kind of game. The ground, the sky, trees…everything began to blur and my eyes started to film over with a red haze. This thing was getting serious. I mean, for heaven’s sake, why hadn’t somebody got the information through to Carolyn…?

All at once she let me go, and I zoomed through the air like a shot. I hit the ground hard, and by the time I quit rolling in the dust I looked like I had been rolled in flour. I looked up through the settling dust to see Carolyn leaning against a tree, laughing so hard she could barely stand up. My head was spinning from all the whirling, so I decided to just lie quiet for a spell until the dizziness passed, and think on it some. Seemed like to me I was going to have to recheck some of the information the older boys had shared with me on this subject.

I decided to let Carolyn off that time. But I’m still looking for the guy who started all that stuff about boys being tougher than girls.





Joe McCormick


(First written December 12, 1981. Revised December 31, 2008)


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