Ask a Dilettante – Put up Your Dukes

I’m a 32 year-old man, and I’ve never been in a fight. A real fist fight, with bloody noses and all that. Have I missed out on something, some necessary, primal step in my adolescent development that would have turned me into a he-man? Should I go pick a fight (preferably with a teenage girl or an elderly person)? Would it do any good? Is it too late for me?
— Milquetoast, Houston

It’s not too late for you, but I do recommend that you immediately get yourself into an altercation of some sort. Since you’re in your thirties, it doesn’t have to be a bloody fist fight. A rousing verbal scuffle would be enough. Or maybe something with shoving. Whatever form it takes, the confrontation should be with someone who could potentially kick your ass.

The reason? If you’ve never been in a situation that had the possibility of ending in an ass kicking (yours), you haven’t given yourself your due. Some people in your shoes become mamma’s boys who cower at the slightest sign of struggle. Others just turn into obnoxious, fake-strong douchebags.

(Seriously, click on that link. Granted, Cat Scratch Fever was not the kind of ditty that made you think, “I’ll bet the person who wrote that song is a real thinker. The kind of sensitive type who could sit around with me on my futon while we talk about the wonders of the universe and the sweetness of kitten kisses.” No, we never expected that of the Nuge, but we also sure as hell didn’t expect him to be on stage, doing what he considers to be a “concert” performance these days, waving around not one but TWO machine guns. How small must that guy’s penis be? TWO machine guns? Does he have an innie? If so, maybe he can store a couple of bullets up there. That way, if anyone ever tries to kick him in the balls, his mangina will blow their foot off.)

You don’t want to let your life of not-fighting make you afraid to stand up when the need arises, nor do you want to give yourself a false sense of bravado since you’ve never been beat down. You’re just aiming for good old fashioned middle of the road confidence. The kind of confidence that comes only when you’ve successfully navigated yourself out of murky, potential ass whupping, waters. Remember – you don’t have to exchange fisticuffs. Words can hurt, too. Just ask the Nuge.

(PS – The “special edition” cover of Nugent’s new album would make Spinal Tap weep – it features a naked, bound woman on a serving platter full of vegetables with a grenade stuffed in her mouth. Classic.)

[This column originally appeared in its entirety on Houstonist.]