Monday, December 03, 2007

Who not to fight

Everyone says it's not a good idea to get into a fight with someone bigger than yourself. But as someone who's gotten into scraps with bigger men, and is well acquainted with the fine art of intimidation, I'd like to address that notion. It's a decent rule of thumb, in general, but it doesn't tell the whole story. For example, two of my best friends are over six feet tall (and thus quite a bit taller than me), and one is almost 300 pounds, and I could kick both their asses, possibly both at once. Well, maybe not now that I'm old, but way back in my feisty, weight-lifting prime. Anyway, they're big, but weaklings. The point is, "bigger" doesn't always ensure "winner." The real three factors to consider are: stronger, faster, and smarter. By smarter, I don't mean book smart, I mean street smart. Someone who is quick on their feet, can adapt to new situations, and can strategize.

With those three factors in mind, here is what you might expect when you face someone who is:

Stronger, faster, smarter. Compared to you, this person is Superman. This person will beat you like a drum, if you push him (or her, let's face it) far enough. More than likely, this person will refuse to fight you. If you are stupid, you think this person is weak or a coward. Actually, this person is afraid they might kill you if things come to blows. You are lucky this person thinks you're not worth the time it takes to crush you. Do not fight this person, stupid.

Stronger, faster, dumber. This person is the Hulk. You can out-think this person, but he will probably still beat you up. Sorry, Egghead. You can't win fairly, but you might be able to use your wits to either engineer a face-saving draw, or a hasty retreat. Unless you can maneuver like Leonidas or Batman or something, only fight this person if you know where the exits are.

Stronger, slower, smarter. This person is the Kingpin. If you're a hell of a lot faster, you may be able to avoid his bone-crushing blows. However, since this person is craftier than you, he will probably change the rules on you and beat you with his diamond-studded cane before you can see it coming. Don't fight this person.

Weaker, faster, smarter. This person is Bruce Lee. He may not be six feet tall and a 200 pound 'roid case, but his fists of fury are blurs before your sluggish, soon-to-be-bloody face. He also knows many, many, many more moves than you do. He will beat your ass. Do not fight this person unless you're so strong that one punch will floor him. Even then, you'll probably still lose.

Stronger, slower, dumber. This person is Proinsias Cassidy. He can mash you with his mighty fists, but if you don't get intimidated, you can take him. This person relies far too much on his strength and, presumably, size. He can't conceive that someone less muscular than himself can beat him. That's why you'll win. Just keep changing strategy on him and remember your footwork. So fight this person if you must, but don't let him close the distance.

Weaker, slower, smarter. This person is Lex Luthor. You can beat him up, obviously, but watch out you're not bringing your fists to a gunfight. This person knows what you're up to and may cheat. Go ahead and fight this person, but be careful. You should probably cheat too.

Weaker, faster, dumber. This person is Impulse. This person will try to catch you off-guard with a quick rush. And if he had any more tricks up his sleeve, he might do it, too. But since he's dumb, he probably won't. The interesting thing about dumb people is that they don't know they're dumb; they don't examine their own lives or those of others. So you meet a lot of guys who think they're talented just because they've never bothered to find out what talent really is. People who think they know "martial arts" because they've watched a lot of movies and learned a couple of Japanese terms. These people are assholes. Go ahead and fight this guy.

Weaker, slower, dumber. This person is Jimmy Olsen. Why do you want to pick on this poor schlub, anyway? Is it his misplaced arrogance? Is it the loud bow tie? Just leave him alone, you big bully. Anyway, you never know --- his best friend just might be Superman.


Churlita said...

That was awesome. Truer words were never said.

Michael5000 said...

What an unexpected and strangely enjoyable topic. Makes me want to go out and get in my first fight. With someone weaker, slower, and dumber than me. Maybe a junior high school girl with asthma? I bet I could kick HER ass!

daveawayfromhome said...

Was in one fight in my life, which I lost. I've generally avoided them, partially because I am big and smart (and so appear dangerous, I guess), partially because I avoid fights.
As for little guys beating big ones, I've always feared small hostile guys far more than big hostile one - the little guys'll kill ya, because they know they have to.

Chance said...

Thanks for enjoying this odd thing that popped into my head for no particular reason.

Dave: that's the Lex Luthor syndrome. Little (weaker) guys cheat by necessity. Small hostile guy = nearly as dangerous as large hostile guy.