February 14, 2024 | Sammy Tran

You Messed With The Wrong Person


Sometimes, we think we’re tougher or smarter than we really are. We’re so confident, in fact, we pick a fight or a confrontation with someone we definitely shouldn’t. Here, people on Quora and Reddit tell the time they messed with the wrong guy.


1. Beware The Little Old Lady

Last September, I was visiting Atlanta. It was fall, the leaves had turned and with the days shortening it was a cool evening. I was sitting in the parking lot of The Varsity getting ready to eat my “to go” bag meal and sort of looked out around in front of the car watching the bustling city go by.

About 75 feet in front of me, across the street, is a BP gas station with a MARTA bus stop. The benches of the bus stop were parallel to the street, and I could see a little old lady perched quietly at the end of the bench seat. She was a TINY little Asian woman, almost like a child.

I don’t know if she was 60 or 100 years old. She was wearing an enormous vest with the puffy eiderdown-like stuffing. On her tiny frame, it looked like an airbag had exploded and she climbed in. I mean if the poor old girl didn’t look so stoic and genteel it would have almost looked comical.

Her purse was clutched in her lap like precious cargo. I wondered why she was alone in this part of town. I went back to my chicken sandwich, side of nuggets, fries and Coke. Maybe five minutes later, I saw some movement at the bus stop.

Two teens had wandered up to the bench where the woman was sitting. You could see they were talking to her, and one stood at the end of the bench while the other sat beside her, trapping her in between them. I knew something was off. Their unkempt appearance and the way they kept glancing around told me they were up to no good.

The wizened little old lady just sat silent, staring straight ahead. The teen sitting beside her began to scoot his butt towards her, trying to push her off the end of the bench. You could see her tense up to resist, but his weight was probably twice hers and she began to shift right.

The boy standing next to her leaned into her from the other direction, reaching for her bag. It happened so fast my jaw dropped. Looking left, the woman’s right hand came across her body with fingers extended like three prongs and jabbed somewhere behind the ear/back of the neck area of the fella sitting next to her. I don’t know if it was a pressure point or nerve or what, but the right arm/right side of the kid went instantly limp.

He stooped over and his right arm just fell to the bench, useless. Needless to say, he stopped pushing her. As her right arm retracted, she drove her elbow into the groin of the teen standing to her right. You could see him wince in pain. Bending from the waist, he was also met with a jab from her left hand to his neck area.

Down he went like a sack of potatoes. There was no dramatic expression from the woman. It was like bip, bap, boop. Matter resolved. It was over in two seconds. Downright phenomenal to see and if I had blinked, I would have missed it.

The little lady straightened on her perch and regained her regal bearing. The two boys lay on the ground writhing for about five minutes and then slowly stumbled off as they were able and feeling returned to their extremities. It was a made for the movies moment complete with tiny little woman Kung Fu master, obliterating the evil attackers with taps and prods.

A priceless moment I will not soon forget.

Frank Pressly

Senior Asian woman in blue shirt and hat standing at bus stop holding a paperall_about_people, Shutterstock

2. Not Today, Satan

I’m a woman, and at the time of the incident I was 19, 5’7” tall, about 150 pounds. I was a student. I worked as a waitress, lived off campus with a roommate, paid my own bills, and I knew how to throw a punch. This happened in broad daylight.

I had been dating a guy I'll call Dave. Dave lived in Worcester, MA and I lived about 2 1/2 hours away. We'd been dating for about 2 months when Dave told me he wanted to introduce me to his parents. They lived in another country, but they were coming to Boston.

Dave said I could stay with him and his parents in Boston for the weekend and that his parents would pay for my hotel stay, meals, etc. Dave's parents were rich, he was in school, had his own apartment, his parents paid for everything. He even had his own Amex card, and he was only 21. So, I believed him.

I confirmed everything with Dave the night before. He didn't want me to come stay with him the night before and ride to Boston with him, as he said he had to work on a term paper. This should have been a red flag, but I ignored it. The day came, and I gassed up my car for the long drive to Boston.

Since Dave told me his parents would pay for everything, and I was poor, I only brought enough money for gas, parking, and a little extra. Dave and I had agreed to meet in Boston Common, down by the swan boats, because that was a central area and we could go to the hotel from there.

This was 26 years ago, so no GPS, and no cell phones. I arrived at our meet up spot at the time we agreed on, sat down, and waited. And waited. And waited. Finally, as I was about to go find a payphone to call the hotel, Dave shows up. I’ll never forget his actions. He tells me to sit down, he has something to tell me….

He broke up with me. YES, HE BROKE UP WITH ME. I don't remember what exactly he said, but it ended with a well, I hope you have a nice time in Boston! I was dumbfounded. I took time off of work (when I did not get paid time off) and used some of my very little savings for what I thought would be a nice weekend in Boston.

All to be dumped by a jerk who could have saved me the trouble by just dumping me over the phone the night before. So he left me there, on the park bench, upset. When I had calmed down, I started to go around the park a little to clear my head before driving home. It was a bright clear day out, and there were a lot of people out.

It was a rather nice day. Then it all got so darkAll of a sudden, someone grabbed my arm hard, and I felt something cold and small in my lower back. A male voice said, “Give me your money and jewelry or I will shoot you”. I didn't think, I just reacted. I whipped around and punched him in the face.

His head snapped back, he let go of my arm, and I punched him in the gut, sending him sprawling on the pavement. Then I literally SAT on him and yelled for help. Officers came and detained him. The look on their faces when they saw me sitting on him was priceless.

He was a big dude. Probably a good 3 inches taller than me and at least 250 pounds. His eye was swelling shut where I had hit him when they got there. One of the officers asked him if I had done that and he just muttered yes.

The officer let out a laugh and said “Well, looks like you deserved it”. After I gave a statement, I left to go home. I got a flat tire on the way home. It was just not my day. But that mugger definitely picked the wrong girl to mess with that day.

Emily Caravan

Girl in white trench coat being robbed at parkGround Picture, Shutterstock

3. Boxing Clever

I was 16-17. I was a big kid, most of it muscle. I started boxing. I was in love with Rocky—the real Rocky from Brockton named Marciano, not the one in the movies. Anyway, I could hit pretty hard but I didn’t listen very well. However, I had a great coach.

He was a former army boxing champ with the patience of a saint. He started sparring me against other guys in the gym. Sparring went at levels: quarter speed, half speed and full speed. Meaning at quarter and half, you were supposed to not hit as hard as you could.

You were supposed to be learning. Learning things like how to move, foot work, combinations, etc. I always went full speed—as I said, I had a problem with listening. I ran through a few guys and thought I was the next great thing. Coach kept warning me: Take it easy. Watch your wind. Learn. Keep your hands up. Jab, etc.

But in my mind I was ready for Holmes. Then one day I show up to the gym and there’s this skinny little guy in the ring. He was about 5 inches shorter than me and maybe a buck fifty soaking wet. Coach tells me that this kid is my sparring partner for the day. I said “Huh, coach, really”?

Coach says “Well you need a workout. He needs a workout. Let’s get going”. So I head to the lockers, tape up and change, but of course I don’t wear my head gear because, well, I was too good for head gear. Coach steps out of the ring and as he’s stepping out he says, “Just don’t hurt him”.

I go to say “okay” back, and that’s when I noticed that coach wasn’t talking to me. I found this interesting. Anyway. Recorded automated bell rings and I do my usual Clubber Lang swinging for the fences imitation. This little guy just stands against the ropes and takes all my shots in his arms and shoulders and gloves.

He covers up well. I never get his head. He never throws a punch back, not one. Our sparring rounds by the way were 2 minutes long. The bell chimes: first round is over. Minute break. Then round 2, which is a repeat of round 1 with me throwing haymakers and Shorty covered up tight, taking my shots in his shoulders and mitts and not returning fire.

Ding ding. Round 3. See previous rounds. Okay. Here comes round 4. I’m completely spent. I throw a punch, but my arms are so heavy that my glove just lightly taps his gloves, which are covering his face. Then, and this is the part I’ll never ever, ever forget, Shorty lowers his gloves just enough so I can see his eyes and…he winks at me.

It was at that moment that: 1) I almost peed my shorts and 2) I learned to listen. Shorty took maybe 30 seconds to destroy me. And unlike me, I’m sure, mercifully for my sake, he was going half speed. It was a tremendous lesson in humility. One I needed and one I’m grateful for to this day.

Brian Kearney

Two young boxers facing each other in a matchOllyy, Shutterstock

4. Pay Me What You Owe Me

Once upon a time, my parents hired a company to redo their kitchen. They were basically supposed to change the marble countertops. The company was formed by a husband, wife, and three employees.

They set up the countertops and soon realized a minor part of the marble did not fit exactly. They had to take the small bit that didn't fit back to their headquarters to redo the work. At that point, my parents had already paid 90% of the price.

One week later, they came back without prior notice and gained access to their apartment through the maid, who opened the door to let them finish the job while my parents were out on an errand. After the contractors finished their job, the owner called my father on his mobile and told him the job was completed.

Since there had been problems with the execution before, my father told the man that he would come back home in about an hour to check the quality of the final touches and promptly pay the remaining 10% of the price. The man went ape. He told my father that payment was due on the spot.

My parents interrupted what they were doing and hurried back home. But at this point the contractor was already mad at them, so he took out every single bit of marble he had put in place and put it all in his van. Never mind the fact that, as I said, 90% was already paid for.

Upon arriving home, my father noticed that all the stuff he paid for was in the van and being taken away. He is a man of action, and promptly put himself in front of the van to impede its exit. The contractor did not back down and just ran over my father, who was 65 at the time.

His injuries weren’t life-threatening, but he did file a suit against the man. The problem is that he hired a company, so he didn't know the contractor's name. And to file suit against someone, you must indicate his name, of course. The authorities weren't very eager to determine the identity of the perpetrator.

And that's when my parents called me—see, I’m a lawyer. I dove into the matter and found out not only his name and address, but several lawsuits against this guy and his wife. They took several loans and had not repaid them, they sold real estate and did not deliver, they crossed many people in business deals.

In short, they owed a lot of people and banks and were super shady people. And they had empty apartments in Copacabana, a very prized area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I knew just what to do. I gave officers the name of the guy and, on the side, purchased some of the credits against them owned by financial institutions.

I represented my parents in the lawsuit and got them sentenced. But I also pursued the exaction of the debts I bought and, six years later, I got one of their apartments as repayment on one of the debts. This guy should not have run over my father…I bet this is one decision he regrets every day.

Victor Wolszczak

Lawyer in suit sitting on a chair writing somethingPavel Danilyuk, Pexels

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5. Mom And Pop Run The Shop

So, I’m Asian, as is my dad. He’s been an entrepreneur all his life, kind of forced to since he had immigrated to Canada, as there was no recognition of his certificates and licences. When he and mom were in their 60s, they purchased a bar in a small northern Ontario town.

Most of the story below was relayed to me, except for the last 5 minutes of what happened. As with any place there’s always some yahoos who think they are king. In this case they were two big, young linemen who came in while my mom was helping close at 2 am.

They went into the men’s room. I assume they used the facilities, but then they proceeded to destroy the newly installed toilet stalls and rip the brand new doors from the stalls that had literally been installed the weekend before. I helped install them.

According to one of the waitresses, mom went in to investigate. Shouting ensued and she stumbled backwards out of the doorway of the men’s bathroom, landing on her back. I assume my mom had been pushed out. The waitress told me that one of the guys had grabbed her by the face and shoved her out of the way, then told to her to shut up.

The doorman was nowhere to be seen so the bartender called my dad, who happened to be working in the back office. He came running out and saw my mom and crying. He was quickly told what happened. In the meantime, the two guys had exited via another door.

I saw my dad come running out of the bar as I was driving over to see if I could help close the place. I heard him yelling at the two guys who towered over him. They stopped and turned around. I slammed on the brakes and parked, almost in the middle of the road. The exchange went something like this in a matter of less than a minute:

Dad: You guys just come out of my bar?

Two guys: Yeah, what’s it’s it to you? (They also called him a horrible name here)

Dad: You push my wife?

Two guys: Yeah, screw you.

Dad: (Physical action: 3–5 rapid slaps to their faces, so fast that I couldn’t see other than he slapped them, but I did hear them…I was about 5 feet away at this point).

My dad then grabbed them both by the ears and started pulling them back to the bar, saying: “My wife is old enough to be your mother, you do this to your mom”?

Silence.

He marched them back into the bar and he made them apologize to my mom. I suggested calling the authorities and laying charges but he said no. However, he told them to come back in the evening for the next 5 days and fix the doors. They did.

Jong Lee

Angry Asian guy screamingMDV Edwards, Shutterstock

6. Everyone Has Their Limit

Back in high school, I once saw a classic case of a bully getting his butt handed to him by his victim. I wish YouTube had existed back in the 80s because I would have posted a video of it and probably made some money off of the views.

This poor kid had been tormented by this guy for the better part of our junior year of high school. The victim was pretty small and meek, a computer nerd type. The tormentor was one of the stars of the football team. He’d walk by the victim’s locker between classes and smack him in the back of the head, push him, whatever.

Every day it was something different. The kid just took it and took it. Yes, I’m ashamed to say none of us stood up for him. I think we were worried at that age that we’d become the next target if we tried to intervene. Then one day something in the kid snapped. The football guy tried to trip the kid as he was walking down the hall.

The kid dropped his backpack, spun around, and walked up to him. He got about halfway through saying, “Yeah, what are you gonna do about it”?! when the kid kicked him in the balls about as hard as he could. I still cringe thinking about it.

He let out a high pitched scream that sent chills down my spine, grabbed his pants, and just fell over. That screaming just continued on and on. But it wasn’t over. Not by a long shot. The kid jumped on him and started pummeling him. Left/right, left/right, left/right, basically turning his face in to a bloody mess.

Then he stood up and started kicking him in the ribs and face. The horrible realization suddenly dawned on me, “Oh my God, he means to kill him”! A couple of others must have also come to the same conclusion because about half a dozen of us jumped on the kid to pull him off.

Back in those days, nobody called the authorities and it was all over before any teachers could even come out in the hallway and witness what was happening. By the time somebody did come out to investigate the screaming, all they found was the bloodied football kid, nearly unconscious, laying on the floor of the hallway, with a bunch of kids milling around saying, “We didn’t see anything. He must have just fallen down”.

He eventually recovered, but he never once went around that kid again. Never said another word to him until we graduated.

Stanton Nicholas

Frightened schoolboy being bullied by classmateLightField Studios, Shutterstock

7. Father Knows Best

My oldest brother Rick in 1969 had just finished combat training before being deployed to Vietnam. He was 5′10″ tall and always husky at a little over 200 pounds. When he came home on two-week leave before deploying, he was ripped.

House rules had been set down by my father that curfew was 1:00 am. No excuses. Rick spent his first 3 nights with his buddies, hanging out until 3 or 4 o-clock before staggering home, waking everyone up. Dad put his foot down and called house rules for curfew.

Rick was outraged. Here he was 20 years old, getting ready to go to Vietnam. He felt it was his God-given right to stay out as long as he wanted. He got the “Dad look”. Dad told him “I've always told you boys, the day you can whip me, you can make the rules”. Rick made his first mistake. He said “I think I can take you”.

Dad said they'd take it out to the back yard, so nothing in the house would get broken. Rick made his second mistake. He swung a punch at Dad. He ended up face down in the grass in a hammerlock, with Dad sitting on his head and shoulders.

Dad let Rick up and dusted grass off Rick's shirt. Rick made his third mistake, he swung again. Instant replay. This time, Dad sat there a minute longer and bounced up and down a couple times to get his point across. They stood up and shook hands. Dad never hit him. He didn't have to.

Rick was home before 1:00 from then on. Dad wasn't an imposing figure at 6 feet, 180 pounds. But by then he'd been working on a fire truck, hauling around 4-inch hoses weighing hundreds of pounds, for 7 years. He also grew up on the west side during the depression. When you saw him without a shirt, you couldn't count the scars on his torso.

Stephen Gregory

Upset stubborn young man and elderly father sit separately on the couch at homefizkes, Shutterstock

8. Bigger Fish In The Sea

In a famous resort hotel in the US, a rich doctor was trying to sneak his underage children onto an adults-only penthouse floor. On the elevator was a quiet elderly woman who was also going to the top floor.

The woman politely said to the doctor “I don’t think they allow children on that floor”. The doctor turned to her and said: “Mind your own business, you old bag”! The woman was taken aback but did not reply. When the elevator arrived at the floor, the woman went one way and the doctor and his children went another.

The woman happened to be Chairman of the Board of a multi-billion dollar global conglomerate that has holdings on several continents including, you guessed it, the famous resort hotel.

She called the resort’s manager and said: “I want that man and his family out of the resort in ten minutes. Make it happen”.

The doctor got nasty, threatened to sue, etc. But the staff had their instructions and no authority for discretion, so they were indeed leaving no matter what at this point. The most fascinating part of watching the family packing up and leaving was the kids' expressions.

They had obviously become accustomed to their father pretty much always getting his way in life. I’ll never forget the look of shock on their little faces when they discovered that day that their dad did not rule the world. They learned that no matter how big a fish you may think you are, there is always a bigger fish out there, and you never know when it will pop up and swallow you whole.

Rick Blaine

Angry man in a blue suit leaving  hotelElnur, Shutterstock

9. Put On Your Big Boy Pants

A woman called my newsroom crying, and nobody wanted to deal with her so they sent her to me. She was crying and hard to understand, but the basic story went this way: She had bought a used car. She needed it badly to get to the THREE jobs she held to support her children by herself. No husband.

Less than two weeks after buying the car, it broke down. She called the dealer who had told her it had a 30-day warranty. He told her he couldn’t help. But, she told him, you said it had a 30-day warranty. His response—too bad. When she complained, he told her, “Lady, you’re dealing with the big boys now”.

She was crying as she told me this. I was, to put it mildly, angry. My response to her was “Let me call you back”. I called him. I explained the problem and when I did not get what I considered a good response, I “explained” things to him: First,  he needed to respond appropriately to her and solve the problem.

Second, if he did not respond appropriately, I would have my entire investigative news team look into his operation. Well, he did not like that. But I had the perfect comeback. I told him, you picked the wrong person to fight with, and no, NOW you’re playing with the Big Boys.

He took back her car. Gave her a slightly newer model without any problems. She called crying and thanked me. I may have cried a bit too.

Michael Castengera

Man in office talking on a phone holding a tablet in blue shirtESB Professional, Shutterstock

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10. It’s Always The Quiet Ones

Growing up, my mother worked as a bartender. For most of my youth we moved around constantly, never spending more than a year in any one place, so I spent a lot of time in a lot of different bars. Some high end, others just places where folks went to do shady things. In the summer of '93, she was working in one of the latter.

My mother and her boyfriend, Steven, were both tending bar at a dive in New York right on the border of Queens and Nassau County. I'd go in regularly to shoot pool, drop off betting slips, or get in a game of pinball. I became friendly with a bunch of the regulars there. One in particular was a frail, older gentleman named George.

George was probably in his 70s, although it was hard to tell for sure due to how dark his jet-black hair still was. But underneath his thinning black hair and neatly trimmed beard, George was a wisp of a man, battling stage 3 cancer and relying on a walking stick to slowly make his way from his car to his corner seat at the bar every morning.

But every morning, there he was. George would come in with his newspapers, climb onto his barstool at the end of the bar nearest the front door, smile sheepishly at my mom, and silently delve into his reading. He was the quietest, most isolated individual I'd ever seen, with the kindest eyes in the world.

I'm honestly not sure if I had ever heard him speak. I felt sorry for him, being so meek and lonely. George never bothered anyone, and no one bothered him. One day I stopped in the bar to drop off some football tickets (betting lines), and I overheard people in the bar talking about a fight that occurred the night before.

The night bartender got into a fight with a regular, who had just gotten out of the pokey. His name was Mike, and he was a bad dude. On his first night out, he had gone to the bar, started trouble, picked a fight with the bartender and BIT HIS EAR OFF.

My mother was bartending on this particular day and I had to wait for Steven to come in so I could hand in the football tickets. I had come in the back door, walked past the bathrooms, and was standing by the pinball machine when someone obnoxiously burst through the back door, spewing profanity at no one in particular.

As he walked past me, banging into my shoulder, I noticed how rough and filthy his skin was. I also noticed that he smelled horrible. I knew right away this was Mike. Mike made his way to the bar, where my mother promptly told him she didn't need any trouble in the bar. Mike brushed her off and immediately began harassing the few people that were in the bar at this early hour.

I could feel danger in the air as if it were palpable. My eyes darted around the room, desperately searching for someone who might be able to rein this dirt bag in somehow, but all I saw were a few intimidated looking barflies, my mom and, of course, old George sitting there in the corner at the far end of the bar.

Old George was staring down at the bar. He looked to be uncomfortable in his own skin. He was silent, frozen. My mother, a battle-axe if ever there was one, raised her voice and threatened to call the authorities if he didn't leave immediately. Mike stopped in his tracks, glared at her and declared, “Call them, witch”.

My heart stopped. I thought for sure this monster was going to lunge across the bar and hurt my mother and I was helpless to stop him. We ALL were helpless…When suddenly, “Watch your mouth…” It came from nowhere, not much more than a whisper. Mike looked stunned.

He turned and faced George, whose eyes were still fixed on the bar. Mike started walking briskly towards the defiant old bag of bones that had just DARED to tell him to “watch his mouth”. He was cursing and gesturing with his hands. George never moved.

Mike stood beside him and leaned in close to George's face. He began goading him, begging him to say it again. Eyes still fixed on the bar…George never moved. Mike smacked George's hat off the bar, onto the floor. And still…George. Never. Moved.

My mother ran down to the end of the bar, demanding Mike leave George alone and just go. Mike promptly told her to shut up, and that's when George moved. He slowly lifted his head, cocking it to the left and breaking his gaze from the bar to look at Mike. “I said watch your mouth…”

At that moment, I saw the most beautiful and terrifying thing in my young life. All the kindness had left George's eyes. What I saw now was nothingness. Not rage. Not fear. Nothing. Just two pools of darkness, like gazing into the deep black eyes of a great white shark.

Mike chuckled and then suddenly snatched George out of his seat by his collar. But in the blink of an eye (I swear it happened so fast) George grabbed the back of the hand that was holding his collar, and manipulated Mike's wrist in such a way that Mike doubled over at the waist, leg kicked the back of Mike's knee, causing it to buckle, delivered a knee strike to Mike's face that knocked him backwards against the wall, at which point George grabbed Mike's throat with his right hand and secured Mike's head with his left.

Just like that, in a split second, Mike is on a knee, blood pouring from his nose, and he's making gurgling sounds while George stands frozen above him, Mike's life LITERALLY in his hands. I was bewildered. Suddenly Steven came flying through the front door, hollering, “George, let him go!! GEORGE!! Let him go! It's ok, George, just let him go”.

George released Mike and was visibly shaken up. Steven and his friends got Mike on his feet and threw him out of the bar, bloodied, defeated, and humiliated. Everyone rushed over to George to see if he was okay. Everyone except for Steven.

Steven came over to me, and filled me in. Turns out George was a Green Beret who trained extensively in lethal hand-to-hand combat. He wasn't even lonely. He had a family…he just had a crush on my mom! He was shaken up because had Steven not come bursting in, he was going to KILL Mike.

Steven told me George had done and seen some horrible stuff during his career, and that's why he keeps to himself the way he does. Because he's a freaking weapon. I said, “Steve, I can't believe what I just saw…I thought Mike was going to hurt him”! “Ah, Mike just has a big mouth! It's the quiet ones ya gotta watch out for”.

I've carried that message with me my entire life.

Fast forward two years from the incident. George was still relishing his days, quietly playing “Quick Draw” in his own, private, cozy corner of the bar. I would go so far as to say George revered his little corner stool so deeply that his adoration alone made this dingy little hole in the wall the most beloved establishment in town.

And after the “incident,” word of George's heroics quickly spread throughout all regions of the bar; from the dartboard to the pinball machine, from the mouse under the deep fryer, to the dark corner of the patio that you couldn't quite see into from the parking lot. George became a bit of a “tavernicle” folk hero.

And while he never gloated, or even acknowledged the admiration for that matter, deep down, I believe, Ole' George secretly thought the unsolicited attention was kinda groovy. Though I would never see Ole' George again after the spring of ‘95, I did keep tabs on him over the years through guys I kept in touch with from the neighborhood.

Ole' George made it to 2002. He passed way he lived. A warrior. Although cancer ultimately took him to his next destination, George gave that ol girl every bit that he could handle, pummeling the cancer into remission not once, but twice. Cancer may have taken him, but George decided when they'd go.

Jeremy Pinto

Senior man in suit in a bar drinking coffee and standingUfaBizPhoto, Shutterstock

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11. A Big Heart And Bigger Fists

I get a LOT of mileage out of this story. It happened in 2002. My friend Lisa was in her early 40s and had congestive heart failure. She was a trooper despite her physical struggles. She grew up in a “tough” city environment and had the attitude to boot.

She was typically a bit high strung, but on this afternoon she was the most mellow I had ever seen her. Her daughter was at my house playing with my daughter. Lisa came to pick her up after she had stopped at the drugstore to pick up her monthly supply of heart and related medications.

Her meds filled a small paper bag. Mellow Lisa proceeded to tell me what went down at the drugstore 10 minutes earlier. Lisa legally parked her car in the handicapped spot just outside the store’s door. She joked with the pharmacists inside, telling them that if it weren’t for her they’d be out of a job.

She left the store and proceeded, medicine bag in hand, to her car in the handicapped parking space. A woman was loitering in and out of the store most of the day. When Lisa left, she was hanging around not far from Lisa’s car. As Lisa went to unlock her car door, the woman jumped Lisa and attempted to take her purse and medications.

Well, Lisa flattened her. She ended up sitting on top of the woman and smacking her in the face, much like little Ralphie did to Scut Farcus on A Christmas Story. She screamed at the woman while giving her the smackdown, “You think you can come here from the city and mug people? Well I’m from the city, too! You picked the WRONG girl”!

Just then, an officer showed up. He happened to be an acquaintance of Lisa’s. He kept saying, “Lisa get off her…I got this”! He finally pulled Lisa off the mugger and sent her on her way as he detained the mugger.

It was ten minutes later that Lisa showed up at my house, mellow as could be. I told her she should buy herself a punching bag for daily use since she felt so much better. She said, “Wow, I haven’t felt this relaxed in a LONG time”!

I was pretty impressed. A heart patient requiring a handicapped parking space takes out her would-be mugger! Gotta love it! Sadly, Lisa passed in 2008 when her big old heart finally gave out. I never knew a more hilarious woman in my life. I miss you girl!

Ann Buckley

Woman in blue jacket fighting to take her bag from a robberBearFotos, Shutterstock

12. He’s Bigger On The Inside

A humongous lifted truck stopped right in front of the Trader Joe’s I was at to wait for someone. Heavy Metal was blasting from the open windows. Moments later, an old brown minivan pulls up and “toots” its horn for the truck to move.

The guy in the truck gives the van the finger. Unable to get past the truck, the van “toots” again. The hothead in the truck jumps out. He’s of average height, but muscle-bound with full sleeve tats and a shaved head. He swaggers over to the van, yelling and thumping his chest and daring the other guy to fight him.

I thought I was going to see a beat down of the poor guy in the van. I was in for a huge surprise. When he got out, the van rocked under his weight and raised a couple of inches. He was at least 6′5″ tall and 285 pounds, no exaggeration. He just stood like Paul Bunyan, calmly staring down at the tough guy.

Realizing his error, the tough guy took a couple of steps back. Suddenly, a little blonde woman comes around the side of the truck, slaps the “tough” guy, and yells, "You're going to get your butt kicked! Let's go”!

As Paul Bunyan is getting back into his van, the sizable crowd that had formed started clapping.

Walter Sayler

Young bearded man showing thumb up while traveling together with his dog on vintage minivanDrpixel, Shutterstock

13. Take It Like A Man

My boss was friends with a guy who had been a tunnel rat in Vietnam. The guy wasn’t much to look at—he looked like Chuck Norris’s skinny brother. My boss swore up and down this guy was the real deal, though.

One night my boss invited me and my girlfriend to meet him and his lady and his friend and his friend’s wife to hang out at a place where there was dinner and dancing. We’ll call this guy Chuck Norris Lite, Chuck for short. While we were there, Chuck’s wife saw an old boyfriend of hers.

When the old boyfriend saw she was there, he got up from his table and headed to ours to say hi. At first he was cool, but within a few minutes, he started talking trash. Things like how they shouldn’t have broken up, he was better looking than Chuck, she needed a real man, and other insults.

Chuck listened to the insults and played it off. He didn’t need the fight, he had the girl. Then the ex asked her to dance. She said, “No, if I want to dance, I’ll dance with my husband”. A clear clue to him to back off. He didn’t take it.

He protested and wouldn’t take no for an answer. Chuck did not get angry. He quietly said, “You heard my wife say no. Take a hike”. It was then the ex made the mother of all mistakes. He said, “Screw you. What you going to do about it”? AND SLAPPED THE BACK OF HIS HEAD.

Chuck didn’t even get up from his chair. He moved quickly, taking his right hand and doing a palm strike under his left armpit, straight into the ex’s stomach. The ex dropped to his knees, and then Chuck’s left elbow got him in the nose. The ex slumped to the floor, out cold. After a few minutes, he got up and staggered for the door.

About 20 minutes later, officers came in and approached the table. Chuck went over and talked to them and motioned to his wife. She talked to them, they nodded, shook hands and left. The ex had left and called them. The officer in charge knew Chuck as they both took martial arts classes together.

The officer went back out and told the ex he was at fault, and to take his whuppin’ like a man and go home. He did so. I was mightily impressed. Any man who can kick your butt and not even get up from his chair is a real one in my book, too.

Dennis Manning

A man in blue shirt  sitting at a bar table defending himself from an angry manDusan Petkovic, Shutterstock

14. I Know Karate

About 8 years ago, my dad, aged about 70 at the time, was driving my son (aged about 4) and myself into a nearby town. We were driving through the outskirts in a 40 zone. We were slowing down as we are about to enter a 30 zone.

A hundred yards up ahead are teens, all messing about on mountain bikes, doing wheelies and doing skids into the middle of the road. Dad slows down and they move a little to one side, still romping about. One loses control and the bike shoots over and skids in front of my dad’s car. The rider slid over the hood and windscreen of the car before sliding off the other side.

Dad hurtles out of the car, closely followed by me, expecting to see some mangled mess of a teen on the floor. Luckily he was fine, getting up and dusting himself off. We’d barely let out a breath of relief when he turns onto my dad, screaming at him.

Then his friends drop their bikes to the floor and start advancing on my dad, also screaming insults. Now my dad back in his day was a pretty good at karate. It was something he did weekly for about 15 years. He is also a very fit man, from that generation of wily, hands-on men who just get on and do things.

So these 6 or so youths start to circle in on dad. I step back a bit to lock the car doors. The first boy, the one who’d slid over the hood, makes a lunge for my dad, fist punching out towards his face. Dad grabs his wrist, yanks it down and before I could say a single word, has got this kid on his knees, on the road, arm bent back, hand folded back in a somewhat unnatural position.

The kid is screaming…”Let me go!! Get off!! You’re breaking my hand!!! Get off”! Still holding him by one hand, dad makes a small step towards the other boys, drops the kid’s hand and takes up a karate pose.

The kids just turn tail and run, while the other boy gets up and legs it after them. Dad just giggles in delight and with an almighty yell hurtles down the road after them, yelling like a maniac. If the boys were running 5 seconds ago, now they are really running like Usain Bolt with an axe is chasing them, and I am doubled up laughing.

Eventually, I pick up the boys’ bikes and lean them against a garden hedge, then wait for dad to saunter back, having run a hundred yards or so after them. We still laugh about it. I’m not sure what those boys thought they were going to do to my father, but they really didn’t see that coming.

Daise Kendrick

Older man in green shirt and white hair making karate moveSam DCruz, Shutterstock

15. Grandma’s Gonna Knock You Out

I was standing in line at the checkout of my local drugstore. There was a Muslim woman in front of me in full head and face covering, except for her eyes. A large white guy was in front of her and suddenly turned to her yelling insults. Things like “You don't belong here”.

He also said a bit more, which was so disgusting that I will not repeat it. I was just going to call him out when an elderly woman behind me beat me to the punch. She very calmly, but firmly, stated how totally wrong and disgusting his words were and demanded that he apologize.

As the guy was standing looking dumbfounded but not apologizing, she really ripped into him about his intolerance and hurtful actions. She said that, by his remarks, he was the one who didn't belong here. There followed a round of applause for her courageous challenge.

By this point, the lout put down his intended purchase and meekly shuffled out of the store. Several women went up to the Muslim woman and tried to console her. She may not have understood everything they said, but the message was pretty clear.

The big idiot richly deserved the best put down I have ever seen and it came from a tiny but feisty senior.

Robert Reid

Smiling senior European woman with curly brown hair in a shopping mall interiorGrigvovan, Shutterstock

16. Small But Mighty

Two big, ugly biker dudes in a bar were playing pool and making a lot of noise about the bar, the cheap drinks, costs, and other stuff. Basically, they were being a noisy nuisance. One of the dudes came around the corner of the pool table and knocked a medium-height guy off of his barstool and made him spill his drink.

The little guy stood up and went over to the biker dude and said you owe me a drink. The biker dude said screw you and swung at him with his pool cue. Wrong move. The little guy ducked and came up off the deck and chopped him in the throat. It sounded like a loud pop.

Then he chopped him twice in his kidney area and he went down like a falling tree. The second dude came charging at the little guy, who sidestepped him like a matador and ran his face into a concrete pole and hit him twice in the gut and once in the chest. The chest hit, you could hear bone cracking.

Now we have two biker guys out cold on the floor. The bartender yells out to the little guy “Here’s your drink, but you better drink it fast before they wake up”. The little guy goes over to the first dude and checks his throat to be sure he’s still breathing, since he was turning blue. Then he goes to the bar and downs his drink and walks out.

In the meantime, a waitress goes over and throws water on the second dude to wake him up. I said to the bartender jokingly, “Who was that masked man”? He said he was a drill instructor from Camp Pendelton, and these two guys are lucky they are still alive. DIs don’t like to be disturbed when they are having a quiet drink.

Well, officers show up as these two dudes are getting up off the floor. The bartender didn’t call them so maybe it was the waitress, but nobody saw anything. Shortly after that, an ambulance shows up and 2 EMT guys come in with a gurney on wheels. They examine both men, who are suffering from broken ribs, noses, jaws, and kidney pain.

They whisk them off to the emergency room at the local hospital. The officers do a survey to find out what happened in this bar fight and of course, once more nobody saw anything. Anyway, later I find out these biker dudes were detained for assault and a half dozen open warrants. So that’s my story of “Boy, did you pick a fight with the wrong person”.

Ken Mason

Angry man in green shirt  in a  bar pointing finger threatening someone to stay awayTheVisualsYouNeed, Shutterstock

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17. Home Is Where The Hate Is

Mine involved me, my Homeowners’ Association (“HOA”), and its Managing Agent—that is, he company hired by the HOA to actually manage the property on a day-to-day basis. So one day, the Managing Agent mailed me a notice complaining that my grass was too high (over 8″ tall) and that I needed to remove the Lincoln Continental from my front lawn.

There were only two problems. The first was that you could practice putting on my lawn. The second is that my front lawn is at about a 45-degree slope…you couldn’t park a Hummer or a Jeep on it, let alone a Lincoln Continental.

Sensing an obvious error, I called the Managing Agent’s representative for our HOA. Rather than acknowledge the mistake, she compounded it, not only being arrogant and defensive, but following our conversation up with a second letter that called me to a hearing with the HOA Board to “defend my actions”.

I went to the hearing, inviting them to drive by my home on the way to theirs and see the environment for themselves and assess the situation. The board member’s responses ranged from polite shrugs to a “Yeah, they shouldn’t have done that”. But the Board took no actual action on the matter.

Because of all this, I began looking into the Managing Agent’s behaviors, talking with my neighbors. I very quickly came to the conclusion that they needed to go. Their past activities apparently included embezzling our HOA’s funds, along with notices delivered to other homeowners about physically impossible violations of our Covenants.

The money had apparently been replaced by the Managing Agent, but I was staggered that an immediate change wasn’t made by the HOA Board. Upon inquiring about this with members of the Board? Polite shrugs. “They replaced the money”. Incredible.

I attended the HOA’s Annual Meeting about 3 weeks later. At it, everything I suspected—that the Managing Agent was incompetent and that the Board members were just well-meaning people who took everything they were told by the Managing Agent at face value, without question—was confirmed.

In reviewing the financials, I saw the HOA was owed tens of thousands of dollars, but taking no steps to collect it save sending out letters asking the debtors to pay up. The HOA, meanwhile, was on the verge of either bankruptcy or requiring homeowners to pay a special assessment (one fire at the community pool would’ve done the trick), simply because no one was doing their jobs.

I didn’t bring my recent brouhaha up (I considered it resolved) at the meeting or to anyone else there, but the person sitting beside me and I got to chatting. We both came to the same conclusion of ineptitude. “I wish there were a way to get rid of them,” my new friend said to me as we left. Turns out? There was…

In North Carolina, 10% of an HOA’s members can call a special meeting of the members, for any lawful purpose. That knowledge came in handy when I got yet another citation about the phantom car and grass height. For me, the Rubicon had been crossed.

So many people I’d spoken with had issues with the HOA of their own that it took me less than 72 hours to gather signatures on a petition by around 15% of homeowners. The purpose of the meeting (which by law had to be stated): Fire the Managing Agent.

I sent copies to the HOA’s Secretary and the Managing Agent itself. Under North Carolina law, upon their receipt they had 30 days to call a special meeting. The Managing Agent then blew up the bridges on the Rubicon: they refused to call the meeting.

They claimed the petition was invalid; that I could have forged the signatures. I called members of the HOA Board. Got the telephonic versions of polite shrugs in response. At which point I came to a simple conclusion: They all had to go.

I then rounded up a group of homeowners to run as candidates as part of a joint ticket. I went back to all the homeowners I’d approached the first time and more. I explained what had transpired. I also took a notary with me, asking each of my neighbors to execute a new demand for a meeting, only this one called for the removal of the Managing Agent and the entire HOA Board.

I took the collection of paperwork to an attorney, who then sent the Managing Agent (a) the meeting demand, (b) copies of all the notarized petitions, (c) a list of all the state laws they had either (i) violated to date or (ii) would be violating if they failed to heed this demand, and finally (d) his assurance that he’d take great relish in dragging them, and the HOA, into court if they didn’t comply within 30 days as required by law.

They still took 42 days to call the meeting, during which time the Board members and Managing Agent took extraordinary steps to either discredit me or question my motives. For example, ten days before the meeting they sent a letter to all homeowners, not defending their behaviors but questioning mine.

I replied with a multi-page response, sent to every homeowner, detailing all the conduct that prompted the meeting. At the meeting the extraordinary steps continued…“plants” were put in the audience. Any time I or one of my associates began speaking? They began heckling us.

I have to give them credit—they did their darndest to hold on. But I came equipped with proxies, representing about 37% of the entire HOA…more than enough to match every person who attended the special meeting. Near the end of the meeting one rather dapper, courtly, elderly gentleman stood up.

Speaking with great eloquence, he told the Board, “You’re all a bunch of screw-ups… maybe these guys can do better,” then telling the Managing Agent, “You should be behind bars what you guys have done”. I couldn’t help but laugh. didn’t need “plants”.

My group won the election. Per state law, the entire HOA Board was instantly discharged and my slate immediately elected in its place. As we prepared to leave, I had the privilege of telling our Managing Agent’s representative—someone I’d been battling now for four months—“I’m not giving you notice in writing until we find your replacement, because until then I know you’re legally obligated to continue serving us…but as soon as I do? You’re fired”.

The newly installed Board was just, fair, engaged. Within 30 days we identified a new Managing Agent that was equally diligent. We took a $40,000 deficit and turned it into a surplus in less than two years, during the recession. Upon leaving the Board, my successor as President (an original homeowner in the community) said that I had “done more in two years than every entire Board in the history of this HOA had ever done, combined”.

Today, the fellow who sat next to me the night of the Annual Meeting is the HOA’s president. I served two years on the Board, left, and returned to a new term this January—this time with no controversy and no agenda. The HOA is on firm financial footing, and though some things have been let to slide, overall it’s in much better shape than was the case in 2012.

All essentially because one person (the Managing Agent representative) acted somewhat snottily toward someone who didn’t realize that, after reaching a certain point? That person would do everything within their power to bring them down.

DP McIntire

Person in suit from HOA Community ManagementYuriy K, Shutterstock

18. Whoopsie Daisy

A friend of my daughter’s, a Royal Marine in civvies home on leave, was sitting with my daughter and some friends in a pub chatting up a girl. A chav, jealous of his success, ran past and punched him in the head.

The Marine didn’t flinch, but carried on talking to the girl. This happened a second time—still no reaction, and the chav wandered off confused. Later when leaving the pub, the chav started again. By this time the Marine was getting a little testy. It happened so quick. Like a flash, he took the chav down, incapacitating him and breaking his nose with his shoulder on the way down.

He then began holding him in an arm lock with the words, “Do you know what I do for a living? I kill people like you”! Officers duly arrived and the Marine told them, “I’m a Royal Marine, this man has harassed me three times, I haven’t hit him, just incapacitated him, there’s a CCTV camera there, you can check it”.

“What happened to his nose”? the PC asked. “I ‘accidentally’ caught it with my shoulder as I took him down”.

Stuart Allison

Two men in brown sweaters with fists lifted are ready to fight in a barNomad_Soul, Shutterstock

19. What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You

Years ago, I knew a young lady I’ll call Ann. Ann is about 5′ tall, and looks fairly slim for her size. She’s also very pretty! One evening, a guy tried to pick her up. He wasn’t drinking heavily, but he was persistent. We were at a little office get-together after work, so there were a bunch of us.

He tried several times, but she put him off politely at first, then a little more forcefully. The group gave her a bit of cover so he gave up. Or so we thought. As we were leaving, he accosted her outside the sports bar as we were all drifting toward our cars. She pushed his hand off her arm and told him to knock it off.

Oh, I forgot to mention she’s also Asian. His reply was, “What the are you gonna do, karate chop me”? and reached for her again. She smiled and punched him in the middle of his chest. As he lay on the ground holding his chest, she said, “I don’t know karate”! and just walked away.

What the moron didn’t know was Ann was into bodybuilding and boxing. I’ve seen her in her gym gear; she is in phenomenal shape! She might be small, but it was all muscle. He actually called the authorities, but with 10 or so witnesses—and not just from our group—they just called him an ambulance.

They didn’t even take statements. We learned later that the guy had a couple of broken ribs and a cracked sternum. If she hit him much harder, she might have done even worse damage. As a precaution, we did get the names and cell numbers of the other witnesses, in case he did try and push it.

It really was a thing of beauty, one punch and he was down and hurting. The best part was the “I don’t know karate”! line. I still laugh when I think of it. It’s been a while, but Ann still looks like she could punch through a steel wall.

Ted Herrlich

Portrait of Asian pretty girl standing in fight pose and protecting herself on white backgroundDragon Images, Shutterstock

20. Every Dog Has Its Day

The best example l ever saw was when my boss, who was about 65 years of age, was walking along the beach with his two dogs. We were minding our own business when three youths started to mouth off. This didn't seem to bother my boss too much.

We kept on talking as if nothing had been said. The situation soon changed very quickly. One of the youths approached my boss and started to become violent. Swearing and cursing at him. It wasn't long before a scuffle began. One of the youths started on me, striking me in the face.

The other two started to punch and kick my boss.

My boss was thrown to the ground and the two kids started to kick him. Then things changed again so fast. The two dogs came running to help their owner. They latched onto two of the youths and they meant business.

The one who was left standing started to panic and looked at me and my boss. My boss and I looked at each other as to say what the heck is happening. My boss screamed at the dogs to stop, and eventually they did—but although they were alright, those two kids still ended up in the hospital.

My boss did get into trouble for having his dogs off a lead, but nothing much else came of it. But beware of angry dogs, they are not to be messed with. And maybe don’t attack someone with them!

Adrian Silvester

An angry dog running at the beachIvistevie, Shutterstock

21. Sister Act

My sister is somewhat short on stature, (maybe 5′1” tall on a good day) but make no mistake, she knows how to look after herself. Years ago when we were in our twenties, we visited a local bar in my neighborhood. The music was fairly loud and the bar quite busy.

My sister stood behind two empty chairs, really high bar stools at the bar, and I went a few feet further on as I recognized a colleague from my office and went over to say hello. After a minute or two I headed back to join my sister. At that moment my sister was trying to access one of the empty chairs at the bar, and it appeared that a nice young man nearby, early twenties and quite tall, was pulling out a chair for her to sit on.

He smiled, a real gentleman. My sister thanked him and prepared to settle into the chair. At the last possible moment, he quite intentionally yanked the chair away, and my sister hit the floor hard. It’s a good thing she didn’t fall backward as she would have hit her head on a floor as hard as concrete.

Before I could reach out to help her, my sister got up without assistance. The jerk who had pulled this stunt was leaning forward, laughing. In a split second my sister had wound up with her right fist, and as she rose from the floor, she got him with a right cross directly on the jaw. This punch was a thing of beauty. He reeled backward and landed on one of his friends, who was sitting in a chair. The look on his face and those of his friends was priceless. Nearly knocked on his butt by a 5′1” tall woman!

Anyway, my sister had some choice words for him, and he and his friends took off. Moral of the story—don’t mess with my sister!

Sharon Bowles

Girl in white t-shirt defending herself from a guy that is behaving obnoxiouslyDiego Cervo, Shutterstock

22. Don’t Poke The Mama Bear

The little girl was the daughter of our washerwoman/ironing lady. She used to often come by with her mother to collect and return clothes. One day, one of our local kids discovered an itch-causing plant near an electrical pole. It was something like poison ivy and would cause terrible itching if anyone came in contact with it.

The ensuing pain and burning sensation was terrible, and after the local kid accidentally touched it, they decided they needed to inflict it on others. Since none of us could be targeted, the kid and her gang decided to find a victim who would be easy. That’s when they zeroed in on the washerwoman’s kid.

They put a tiny branch inside her dress, rubbed her back with it, and then guffawed when she started to itch. They had their fun. Or so they thought! Within 15 minutes, her mother came to the lane and started screaming with all her might. She banged on the doors of all the guilty kids and took them and their parents to task.

Mind you, these were respected people of society. Plus, they were the ones who gave the lady her major portion of earnings. But did this make any difference?? NO! The lady who told off those people and questioned them for harassing a little girl knowingly was a mother first. Everything else faded before that role. She couldn’t see beyond her child’s pain and did not hesitate to target the people who brought on that pain. Initially, some of the parents were reluctant to accept their kid’s fault. They were belligerent. But when the lady lambasted them and made their kids confess, they had no choice but to apologize.

She was a mother that day. Nothing more, nothing less. She was the wrong choice to pick a

No one dared cross that lady. Not on that day, or later. Her business was fine too.

Rachna Seth

Angry woman in yellow t-shirt yelling in front of green backgroundTima Miroshnichenko, Pexels

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23. The Old Timer Strikes Back

This little gem was recounted to me by my father, who witnessed it firsthand. My parents still live in Mumbai, the city where I was born and raised. Dad still works as an attorney at the high court. Now, his practice is located about a dozen miles away from downtown Mumbai where all of the courts are, so he gets driven to and fro every day.

The route is notorious for being packed with traffic jams; that dozen miles takes over an hour to traverse. On one such occasion, while his car was standing in traffic, the one right next to his was being driven by this old gentleman with no other occupant in the vehicle.

The traffic is thick enough that cars crawl along within inches of each other, and hence dad had a front-row seat to the comical drama which was about to unfold. A young hothead on a motorcycle bumped against the old man’s car. It wasn’t a big deal really and while it was not clear who was at fault, the young guy went full-on ballistic.

Your classic case of road rage. He got off his bike and saw that the driver was an old man. He first kicked the tires of the car in rage, then started screaming at the poor old guy while pounding furiously on his car window, daring him to come out.

By this time with all of the ruckus, quite a few onlookers feared for the safety of the pensioner. But they had no idea what was coming. The old fellow then calmly reached into the glove compartment and took out a handgun. He then simply placed it on the dashboard in clear view of the hothead.

Did nothing more than that. Didn’t point it at the enraged kid, didn’t even look at him as he pulled out the weapon. Cold as ice. He then lowered the car window, and in the most polite fashion said to the young man, “Is there a problem, son? Why are you so angry”?

The young guy nearly soiled his pants. His face went pale with shock as if he’d seen a ghost, then he turned around as quiet as a mouse and walked back straight to his bike and sat down. Given how incredibly difficult it is for an ordinary citizen to get a firearm in that country, that old gentleman was almost certainly a retired army officer (or a former policeman) retaining his service revolver.

I imagine he’d probably seen far worse in his time. The rash idiot on that motorcycle had no idea about just who it was that he was itching so much to pick a fight with.

Allen Lobo

Man with gun behind the wheel in a carMorphoBio, Shutterstock

24. Quite The Comeback

Coming out of a club one night, I heard a guy and his girlfriend arguing loudly next to their car in the parking lot. As we got closer, the boyfriend called her a name and then slapped her across the face with the back of his hand.

One of my friends and I started to rush over to intervene, but before we got there, the girl came back with a perfect three punch combo (uppercut, overhand left, right cross) that dropped the boyfriend right on his butt.

Then she stood over him and screamed “Don't you EVER put your hands on me again”! before hopping in her car and leaving him sitting there in the parking lot.

I still chuckle every time I think about it.

Justin Espanio

Confident sporty boxing woman in blue shirt holding fists in front of her, going to fight and defend herself, ready for fightingHBRH, Shutterstock

25. Prey,  Meet Predator

When I was 14, my first year to hunt, my dad took me to one of his favorite spots for a weekend of squirrel and rabbit hunting. We had a great time, my dad teaching me how to survive when game is scarce. Anyway, my dad was not a drinker, but I guess in a small way he wanted to celebrate this moment of our bonding.

On our way home, we stopped at this little bar in some small town in Western New York. My Dad just wanted a single pint and ordered me a Pepsi. There were three big good ol’ boys at the bar and they started making fun of my dad, who is by no means a huge dude.

They came over to our table and just would not let up on his small size. Anyway, as there were one on each side and one behind, my dad was trapped. I tried to get up and they told me to sit down and shut up, while the bartender started to call the authorities.

Before I could even blink my eyes, two guys were on the floor screaming and the guy behind my dad was passed out with a broken bloody nose! Without warning, my dad had grabbed the crotches of the two on either side and in the same movement rapidly stood up and slammed his head into the face of the guy leaning over behind him.

The officers arrives a few moments later, talks to the bartender, then comes to speak to my dad. Officer: “Problem sir”? My dad's response was priceless. “No sir, the three problems are now yours”!

And with that my dad finished his drink and we went home. He only asked me never to relate this to my mom and I never did.

Steve Kumm

Close Up Portrait of a Handsome Caucasian Young Married Man Drinking Tasty Golden Refreshing Beer Beverage in a PubGorodenkoff, Shutterstock

26. Use Your Words

When I was newly in medical school, I was recently married and lived with my wife in La Jolla, California, a very upscale community. I spent most of my hours in class and studying. In college, however, I  had spent my summers canoeing and working as a Whitewater guide in Northern Wisconsin and Minnesota.

I wasn’t ripped but there was little fat on me, and I could put on a 70-pound pack on my back, pick up a canoe and carry it a mile through a swamp without putting it down. One pleasant evening we ventured from student housing to downtown La Jolla to have a bite at a cafe and stroll the streets by the ocean.

We came upon a crowd gathered around a mime. After a few small routines he reached his hand out and took my cute young wife’s hand very politely. When she tried to pull away, he refused to let go. The crowd found this amusing with her husband, me, standing by seemingly helpless to intervene.

I went up to him, bowed gently, and gestured that he should release her hand, which he declined to do. It was obvious I was in a pickle. Since I had the benefit of being able to speak and he could not within the constraints of being a mime, I choose the following approach.

He was standing bent forward with his hand outstretched refusing to release the hand of my wife. I took several steps back and then announced to the crowd in a definitive way: “Ladies and Gentlemen, you are about to see a man kicked in the nuts with more force than you thought was humanly possible. It is something you will remember for the rest of your life”.

I looked up at the mime, his pose was unchanged. “On the count of three with a running start I’m am going to kick him in the nuts as hard as I can”. Still nothing from the mime. “ONE” I took a step back and got into a balanced stance. The mime was still frozen.

“TWO” I rocked my body back, getting ready to move forward. And just before the count of THREE my wife’s hand fell from his as he released her from his grip. I took her hand and bowed to the crowd that was clapping. It was a fight I won with words, and without ever touching the assailant. Whether he was delighted with the theatrical spectacle or terrified I will never know.

Bob Sheeler

A mime in full costume looking a little scared with raised hands in front of lavender backgroundViDI Studio, Shutterstock

27. Taking It To The Limit

When I was in Marine Corps boot camp in the late 60s, I was generally quiet. One of the guys in my platoon decided that I was his personal target. He bullied me often, and since I didn't fight back that encouraged him to escalate his actions.

This being boot camp, we were receiving hand-to-hand combat training. He continued to harass me. One day we'd been out marching in the rain in our dress greens. Once we'd gotten back to our barracks, he got right in my face and began shouting at me, insisting that I'd gotten mud on his raincoat. I snapped.

He stepped back and put up his fists, evidently expecting to box. Instead, I put my head down and lunged into his chest, slamming him into the wall. I spun him around, put my right wrist into his throat in a bar choke we'd been taught, and took him down to the ground on top of me.

I neglected to bury my face into his shoulder as they'd shown us, so he got a thumb into my eye, but I held on to him. People were shouting and trying to break my choke hold, but I hung on. Someone was twisting my foot and he started to go limp, so I decided to let go.

They pulled him off of me and I stood up. Eventually he stood up too and started to bluster that it was nothing, but the others quickly shut that down. “You were gone. Your tongue was hanging out of your mouth and if he hadn't quit, you wouldn't have gotten back up. Just shut your mouth”.

Funny thing. He never bothered me again.

Brook West

Two soldiers in full equipment in desert surroundingPixabay, Pexels

28. Wax On, Punch Off

My father was working in the military in the rank of Major. To skip a lot of stories, he was a super cool dude. At 6 foot 5 inches, he was 250 pounds of muscle. I don’t know how he kept up his physique, but he was the alpha male when he came to the swimming pool.

Like, all the women turned to look at him and all the males were jealous and the kids had a role model. I digress. So one summer, I was 16 and my dad was home, and my mom was outside. Being males, we decided to wrestle. He beat me. It did not even begin, really. I was slammed onto the bed, my arms twisted into a full nelson.

It was painful, but I was in awe of his strength and he was laughing. So I told him that I would get strong enough to defeat him (we both were anime fans so he laughed even louder!). Before he left for service again, I asked for permission to join a dojo. He agreed and told me that he would test me after he came back.

6 months later he returned. I was overjoyed but I told him about our duel. He agreed and barely 2 hours after his return, I have been slammed onto the bed again. He laughed and said that he would accompany me to the dojo tomorrow. We entered the dojo and met my sensei.

The sensei started berating me in front of the kids, saying that I was super bad and stuff for no reason at all. Normally teachers stop the criticism after a minute or two, but he kept on going at full steam for 15 minutes. It was the most embarrassing moment of my life as I saw kids from ages 4 to 16 looking at me and laughing.

My dad had enough. He stopped the sensei mid-sentence and said, ”Maybe he is so bad because you don’t teach well”. The sensei, aggravated, started screaming that he was a black belt in some stupid division of karate an international champion and blah blah blah. My dad roared, ”Prove it then”!

The students created a half a meter radius circle around then. Without any cue, they started fighting. Someone started recording, but it was too late by then. The idiot sensei was sucker punched, kicked in the ribs, and had his knee cap dislocated by then.

My dad then grabbed my hand and rushed from there. After we reached home, he told me this dude was probably a sham as he could do nothing in self-defence. The sham was proven when mom told him that the classes didn’t even ask for an address or phone numbers or stuff like that, only money.

Anonymous

Two men in dojo bowing to each otherRDNE Stock project, Pexels

29. Shorty’s Revenge

This had to be near 40 years ago. I was “chief of security” (head bouncer) in this dive bar in Wyoming, about 30 miles north of the biggest oilfields in the state. The population of the county had gone from 5,000 to 100,000 in about 10 months, so the infrastructure was trying to catch up.

It was about six on a weekday evening, and the place was starting to fill up with the day shift, when I saw this super-sized roughneck giving this cowboy, about 5′6″ tall in his boots (we called him “Shorty”) a ration of trash-talking. He was also crowding him, bumping chests, sticking his finger in Shorty’s face.

I was heading over to break it up when the big roughie grabbed the little cowhand in a bear-hug, and SQUEEEZED! I swear I could HEAR Shorty’s spine creak; his boots were a foot off the floor, and his arms were trapped as I ran up behind him. I pulled on the hulking youngster’s arm and it felt like tugging on a tree limb.

Suddenly, Shorty leaned forward and BIT A CHUNK out of the giant’s cheek. The huge kid SCREAMED and dropped Shorty, who lurched backwards into me, making me stumble a couple steps back, but HE caught his balance like the rodeo cowboy he was, grabbed a glass pitcher off the bar, and laid it upside the screeching over-sized roughneck’s head, stretching the big boy out sideways and showering all of us with Budweiser!

The little cougar booked it out the back door, tossing me the heavy pitcher as he trotted out. I handed the sobbing “tough guy” a clean bar towel, then called the law and the medics. Funny thing, when the Sheriff got there, all anybody could remember was the guy who got bit went after a man half his size, and it was self defense.

“I guess there’s no case then” was all he said, tucking his notebook into his shirt pocket. About three weeks later, Shorty stuck his head in the door and asked me “Am I 86ed”? “HECK no! But EVERYBODY wants to know, Shorty, what’d that TASTE like”?

Wayne Sherman

Security guard bouncer looking over clubiSOMBOON, Shutterstock

30. Napoleon Meets His Match

Not a physical altercation; rather a verbal one. Norm was the Program Director at the radio station where I worked. He was an egotistical know-it-all who used his status as PD to basically intimidate other staff. And this probably was owed to the fact that he was short. Really short.

His bravado was the offset. Everyone knew it, but for the sake of peace they avoided confrontation with this “little Napoleon”. Among Norm’s peeves were women who did not “know their place”. Peggy was an elegant woman who hosted our classical music segment. She was polite, if a bit remote socially, and spoke in perfect English both on the air and with those in her direct company.

She also designed and made her own clothing, stitched by hand of the most lush fabric. She was, in those early days of the “women’s lib” movement, completely well-adjusted psychologically, self-confident, and beyond intimidation. All of these impressive attributes presented in her quiet, soft-spoken, and most respectful manner.

As it so happened, her show was in the evening. Norm, the nemesis, worked the morning to early afternoon shift, so had little contact with Peggy. But that didn’t stop him. On one particular evening, as he “monitored” our station from his car radio, he felt compelled to come to the station and admonish Peggy for being too formal in her persona.

When Norm came into the station, I was in the production studio recording advertising spots, the news guy was on his phone to pick up local news items, and the sports guy was putting together his five-minute late evening “sportscast”. Clerical and sales staff had gone for the day; it was pretty quiet.

The appearance of Norm was somewhat unusual at this hour, so his bee-line to the control room, where Peggy was enthroned, drew our interest. Norm had a most determined look; something was up! An announcer for classical music programs spends a lot of time simply listening to their own music, which tends to play for many minutes before any break for the announcer’s program notes or commentary or commercial material.

So there was Peggy, making some notes as she listened to Bartok or Brahms or Vivaldi or whomever. Norm, realizing she would not key her mic for many minutes, entered the control room, leaving the door ajar. I and the other staff quietly gathered in the hall just outside, leaning in to hear what might transpire. We couldn’t believe our ears.

What did transpire was the most insulting lecture we could imagine, covering not just the suggestion of a bit more friendly vocal presence, but moving on to include his opinions about women’s lib and related political agendas having no place “on the air”.

This rant went on for perhaps 10 minutes, during which time Peggy sat quietly, offering no protest, no rejoinder, and presenting no visual clue as to her growing indignation. Finally, Norm ran out of gas and was silent, hands on hips, evidently expecting Peggy’s collapse. Not happening.

After a very pregnant pause, she arose from her chair, enrobed as she was in a raw cotton creation of her own design and manufacture, and she towered over Norm. Then, she spoke. “Norm,” she said quietly, “You’re short. Now I need to use the ladies’ room. Good night”.

And as she floated out to the facilities, we eavesdroppers assembled ourselves to “look busy,” doing our best to contain our laughs. Norm took leave of the control room, marched stiffly through the office, and made his exit to the parking lot. Not one word. But an expression and a posture that telegraphed his utter defeat.

When Peggy returned to her duties, the rest of us were completely absorbed in fist pumps, applause, whistling, and other forms of approval and support. She winked and closed the control room door behind her. When she keyed the mic, again, to make her comment on the music or the performers, there was not one shred of a suggestion that she had just endured a most undeserved assault.

Talk about sangfroid. Wow. From that day forward, there was little to be heard from Norm, who eventually took a job somewhere else, to the relief of all. Thank you, Peggy.

John Geare

Young smiling woman wearing headphones and talking into a microphoneStock-Asso, Shutterstock

31. Australia Versus Denmark

Well, this wasn’t actually a person, but it was the best case of “you just picked a fight with the wrong one” I’ve ever seen. I was at the park walking my dog with a friend and her dog. Her dog was a rescue but from her brains, looks, and behavior she was an Australian Shepherd.

That particular day she was off in the distance chasing birds while my dog (also a rescue and at that point still quite timid) was hanging back with us. Suddenly a pair of huge Great Danes appeared out of nowhere and decided to make a meal out of the Aussie.

They started off far behind her but they were 5 times her size, so they closed on her quickly in a vee formation, with the Aussie at the point of the vee. As my friend and I watched in horror, they gained on her until they were just inches from her, still closing in at an angle.

We were sure she was a goner. And then, just as they were about to grab her, she reversed on a dime and shot back through the narrow gap still left between them. The train wreck she left in her wake as the two clumsy oafs slammed into each other headfirst was awesome to behold.

We were still laughing when she reached us, trotting back with a grin on her face and her tail waving high.

Gail Ellis

Australian Shepherd dog in a parkHelena Lopes, Pexels

32. Family Feud

This is back to when I was a teenager. A pretty insecure teenager at that. My brother was two and a half years younger than me. He was a good brother and we were pretty close. One day he came home from school and mentioned that there was a boy named “Seiler” a grade between us that was bothering him.

My brother wasn't crying about it or even asking for help. He simply mentioned that he was having trouble with this one kid. It bothered me. The next morning when I got up, I had this renewed strength in me I never had before. I didn't even have a plan.

I was walking up the hill with my girlfriends to catch our bus. I saw the bus that would pick up my brother and his friends up for their junior high. I turned and started walking towards the bus. I could hear my girlfriends asking me what I was doing, that’s the wrong bus!

As I walked up the three steps I could hear myself yell out Seiler! It came from my gut. It got the attention of everyone and as I walked down the aisle to get to the back of the bus, I can see the look on this jerk’s face: A mixture of shock and fear.

I put my knee on the seat next to him and stuck my face into his. In a loud and firm voice, I said to him, “Don't mess with my brother! Don't you go near him again or you will deal with me”. I walked off the bus and joined my friends. I had no idea I had it in me. But sometimes we are put in a position to protect those we love and that instinct kicked in for me that day.

Through the years that inner strength has shown itself when I've needed it.

Janet Hodson

Group of school kids fightingViktoriia Hnatiuk, Shutterstock

33. Hidden Depths

When I was a senior in high school in 1968, we had this new English teacher, Mr Cillo. He was small in size and spoke quietly. The girls loved him, but the guys thought he was just “light in the loafers”.

We had a multi-grade study hall in the cafeteria on Friday afternoons, and he was one of the teachers assigned to watch over it. There was this group of the “tough guy” types that hung out in the far back corner of the cafeteria. They usually didn’t cause much of a disturbance and were pretty much ignored by everyone. One day that changed.

One afternoon they started making trouble for some of the younger students, and the English teacher went over to put a stop to it. One of the “tough guys” stood up and challenged the teacher. Mr Cillo’s voice changed dramatically and told him to sit down and be quiet or it would be a trip to the principal’s office.

Tough guy made a few derogatory remarks and took a swing at the teacher. About a nano second later, tough guy was lying flat on his back with Mr Cillo’s foot on his chest. It was so fast you couldn’t see it happen, and I was only ten feet away.

Tough guy got expelled, and Mr Cillo go a lot more respect from all of us who formerly didn’t have a high opinion of him. We found out later that he had been the state wrestling champion in college and was a brown belt in Judo.

David Burgess

Angry teacher in suit and tie with lifted arms yellingpathdoc, Shutterstock

34. Live By The Sword

My (at the time) 75-year-old grandfather, ex-Mustang, Spitfire and Typhoon pilot and paratrooper was living in a small market town in East Anglia. The house was a nice bungalow backing onto the golf course where he played.

He was an imposing figure, having boxed and played rugby in his youth and having seen and experienced things during the war that no man or woman should ever see. So, when he came home from the golf club and found two burglars in his hallway, he wasn’t about to be intimidated.

Over Sunday lunch a couple of days later, he described punching one in the face, breaking his nose. He then grabbed his sword from the umbrella stand and chased the other one out of the front door and down the street. He returned to literally kick the other one out of the house and down the garden path.

When the authorities came they were able to identify the burglars from DNA due to the blood that they had left behind. My grandfather was commended for his help in catching and convicting the aforementioned scumbags, but was also given some friendly advice concerning his attempts to run through one of them with his sword!

He passed a few years later and I miss him every day.

Steve Freeman

Old sensei in a kimono with samurai swordGalyamin Sergej, Shutterstock

35. Don’t Be Like Dan

Once I lived across the street from a high school, and every day at lunch the students would cross in front of my house on their way to get food. A lot of them crossed through my yard, which was annoying but not a big deal.

Well, one day there was this punk standing in my yard, gouging a hole in my lawn with a big stick. I shouted at him to get off my lawn. He shouted back at me and we got into a low-grade shouting match as he walked away.

I thought that was the end of it. I was so wrong. A few days later in the morning, I realize my house and truck had been egged. These geniuses had egged me during a rainstorm, however, so all the egg had washed off. The only way I knew was from the eggshells and a little residual yolk in my truck bed that I easily wiped off with a paper towel.

Still, the principle of the situation called for vengeance. I was a grad student with a lot of time on my hands, so I got onto MySpace and spent hours clicking through the networks of kids attending that high school until I found his page.

Bingo!! This kid was a raver dude and not exactly a genius. When I saw the website, I grinned from ear to ear. His page was full of pictures of him doing lots of illicit activities, including buying and selling substances, out in the open with no privacy controls! Next, I clicked through all his friends’ pages and happened to stumble on one where he had left his phone number (home phone—this was when only grownups had cells) on a girl’s page.

So I paid $5 to reverse-lookup the number and got his parents’ names and address. Then I printed out all his pictures and references to buying/selling substances along with a handy glossary of substance terms, put it in an envelope and mailed it to his mom.

For good measure I emailed a link to his page to the principal and school officer at his school along with a note expressing how concerned I was that this kid was dealing in school. I continued to monitor his page to see if I could find out what happened.

His activity ceased and his friends were leaving messages on his page saying “Dan where are you”? Apparently he was not in school. After a while his friends began to learn what happened and were discussing it on their pages. Apparently, he got expelled and his parents sent him to reform school!

So delicious. It was great revenge, and hopefully the intervention steered him toward a better path in life. Wish I had a way of finding out what happened to the kid in the long run, as this was 13 years ago.

Anonymous

Man in gray shirt  working on a computer at homeElina Fairytale, Pexels

36. Made In The Trenches

I had a teacher in middle school, a really nice lady who'd escaped Germany as a child. One day a scuffle broke out in the back of the classroom. One boy pulled a weapon on another boy. Before anyone knew what was happening, the teacher stepped between them and knocked the one with a weapon out cold with a single punch.

The class went completely silent. You never know what some people have learned in their lives. I'd never heard her say an angry word before that moment, but she really took care of business when it became necessary.

Cody Bolt

Angry teacher showing timeout with her hands in front of orange backgroundpathdoc, Shutterstock

37. Power Tool Trip

This is great story my dentist told me. He’d gone through dental school paid for by the military and was working on a base in the southeast. His fiancée lived on the other side of the state. The first time he went to visit her, he took the shortest route.

His buddies on base later said: “What were you thinking, everyone knows that there is a terrible speed trap town on that route”. They were saying this because, of course, he drove right into it. He wasn’t speeding but he had out-of-state plates, which identified him as fair game.

An officer on a motorcycle came out from behind a billboard, pulled him over, and told him that his front tire had touched the double yellow line. Then he let him know that he had to pay the ticket or leave the car and come back when he could pay. Ooof dah.

About a month later, at the dental clinic on base, he stepped in to the clinic room and looked down in the chair to see…oh yes…that same officer. Enter: his revenge. He set up his dental drill and ran it a bit—zziiiiiii, zzziiiiiii, zzzzziiiiii. “Oh hey, don’t I know you”? zzzzziiiii, zzzzzziiiiiiiiii.

“Oh! yes, aren’t you the cop who claimed that my front tire touched the double yellow line”? zzziiiii, zzzzziii. “Forced me to pay a bogus ticket”? zzzzziiii, zzzziiii. “Y’know, that really ticked me off. That was you, wasn’t it? zzziiii, zzzzziiiiiii.

He said the officer turned quite pale. “OK, now open wide and let’s take a look…” He, of course, did a professional job and did nothing to hurt the fellow, but he had a wonderful time letting the officer feel what it’s like when the tables are turned.

John Douthitt

Dentist wearing  face mask and glovesAndrea Piacquadio, Pexels

38. Looks Can Be Deceiving

A friend named Butch and I are going to junkyards looking for a particular car part that was being difficult to find. This was in 1995. Butch drives a mid-80s Toyota Pickup, very beat up on the outside, but runs very well. Butch constantly kept the engine and transmission in tip top shape.

This was his workhorse for what he needed, so outward appearances didn’t matter to him. For whatever reason this idiot in a BMW took umbrage at Butch’s pickup daring to share the same road as his highness. We get to a light, and Butch is in the right lane preparing to turn right.

Idiot is in the left lane. No other cars were around as it was early Sunday morning. He rolls down his window. The exchange goes like this:

Idiot - Why don’t you get that piece of garbage off the road?

Butch - Because it works and does what I need it to do, besides what business is it of yours?

Idiot - Are you being smart with me?

Butch - On my worst day I’m smarter than you on your best day.

Idiot - Come over here and say that to my face!!! (He gets out of his car)

Butch - SIGHS, puts the pickup in Park, THEN Unfolds his 7 foot tall, 300lb frame out of his pickup. It was truly fascinating to watch him get in and out of this vehicle, but he insisted he was quite comfortable in it. From the outside he looked like your average 5′9 - 5′10 tall guy driving it. He was not.

He strides over to the guy who has turned white, is backing up, his mouth flapping - “I…I…I…” Butch calmly clops the guy on top of the head, dropping him like a bad habit and leaving him sitting on his butt. He gets back in the pickup and we go on our way.

Ken Waid

Tall guy in white shirt standing in front of a carAS photo family, Shutterstock

39. Giving Him The Fifth Degree

I have a friend called Yobbo, which is a very Australian nickname for a socially inept type. He got it when he was about 10. Yobbo grew up to be a slightly built fellow about 5′8″ tall. But as a youngster we were always pulling him out of trouble because he had a cheeky and mean streak.

He ended up becoming a bank manager with 3 degrees (all done part-time while working) and happily married to his childhood sweetheart. Along the way he got into a form of Karate that settled him down and gave him self-discipline and awareness.

We were out one night and had been indulging in a few ales when about 6 thugs decided to have a bit of fun with our group. So they started on Yobbo because he was the smallest. They poured drinks over him and I knew that his fuse was pretty much ready to be lit.

Now, I have been known to be the enforcer and my fuse is very, very short. So I basically told them to get lost fast or there would be blood spilled. Of course, that only got them going and they really started on Yobbo. I warned them that they were on a loser if we both lost it.

Well, they didn't and Yobbo calmly dispatched four of them before I had finished with my first one. No emotion shown, but just doing what a Fifth Dan Sensei spent over twenty years practicing.

We are both well past 50 and I have not seen him use his skills since. He just spends his spare time with his family and training at least 3 times a week. And of course, he goes for the odd surf whenever possible.

We have been friends for nearly 50 years and are always in touch even though we are a long distance apart.

Mitchell Plains

A fist of angry  man, right handtheshots.co, Shutterstock

40. Tales From The Night Shift

It was the night shift at the local ER, and I was the medical officer on duty at the time. It was a jam-packed Friday duty, and our staff was swamped with trauma cases and patients throwing up here and there. Some were even amusing to a point, in that they were verbose and cooperated (somewhat) with our staff.

In came an elderly woman with complaints of chest pain and some difficulty breathing. By means of clinical triage, of course, we had the sweet old lady up for an EKG STAT. Unfortunately, this also diverted our attention away from the other patients. Given that the hospital staff was stretched paper-thin as it is, we had to scramble, divide, and conquer—focusing and prioritizing those cases that might be life-threatening.

Enter roaring drunk guy, 6′2′’ tall, tower of blubber who felt slighted that granny got treated first, when apparently “he was there first, and no one was catering to his needs”. He went on about being very angry, that he knew the Mayor, and that he would personally complain to the Mayor about it.

Two things. One: This guy claimed that he knew the Mayor; however, not a single inkling of his current personal data had him linked to said government official. His outward appearance and prior ER visits revealed that he was an unemployed guy who got into repeat bouts of tom-foolery with multiple stitches to prove it.

Two: His threats were empty, on the grounds that he was in no clinical jeopardy despite the hubris he was putting on full display. A staff nurse offered him a seat and tried to de-escalate the situation. No use. He was ticked.

I cannot help but overhear the altercation from the other side of the ER. After making sure granny’s vitals were stable and that her EKG was not life-threatening, I went to see the situation.  I tried talking to the man, reassuring that we would get to his case as soon as possible. I told him there were other cases being seen to prior to his case as well, and that the elderly woman I attended to first may have had a heart attack if not for prompt management.

Of course, he was not having any of it. He went off the rails. He began demanding to see the “manager”. I told him I was the medical officer on-duty, and the staff nurse he was talking to happened to be a senior staff member. It was at this moment that he began to get more irate and flailed his arms around, shouting “Let me out of this place”!

He lashed out at the staff and even other patients who were trying to calm him down. I was standing perpendicular to the guy, trying to de-escalate the situation to the best of my abilities, while leading other patients away from his reach. Then it happened. He drew up a balled fist at the staff nurse.

Instinct kicked in. Years of training in various martial arts—combined with an eldest son’s high protective instinct—kicked in, all of which boiled into a single motion. I parried his left arm away from the staff nurse (thank goodness no patients were standing on THAT side), then ducked from under him, then put him in a headlock from behind.

I squeezed his neck as if my patients’ lives depended on it. Now, he tried to shake me off like some bucking bronco, but the constant pressure of my forearms on his carotids staved off oxygen his brain needed, and in a matter of seconds, he was beginning to fall limp from exhaustion and oxygen deprivation.

First off, I’m a physician, NOT an elite fighter. I ain’t expecting him to tap out, nor would I leave his body on the floor, so I plopped him down in a wheelchair as he was about to lose consciousness. I then proceeded to call security. But it wasn’t over. As I turned my back after ensuring he has a pulse and blood pressure, someone in the row of patients gasped and shouted “Oh my God! He just pooped himself”!

This was followed by a foul stench that wafted throughout the entire ER. Again, we were medical professionals firstly, so he was aptly treated by the clinical staff for his condition despite his bravado and nappy-soiling shenanigans. He was sent home the next day chastised and mostly silent.

Funny, never heard a hoot from the Mayor all these years. I’m also happy to report that Granny went home that night as well. I personally sent her home with instructions for her medications…right after she poked fun at the incident and jokingly called me an MMA fighter.

I’m like, “No ma’am, I’m afraid MMA fighters don’t wear scrubs”. As I wheeled her off, she wagged a finger over the now-limp-snoring-mess of the guy and went “tut-tut”. Best night shift ever.

Joseph Francisco

Handsome doctor man wearing medical uniform Punching fist to fight and defend himselfKrakenimages.com, Shutterstock

41. Hulk Angry

When I was on vacation in Egypt, I saw a girl carrying her own food in beach where you can't (very stupid rules). So, one man from that beach staff tried to take that that food from her. She didn't want her food to be taken, and tried to rip it off his hands.

In response, that man hit her in the face so hard that her glasses shattered. Unfortunately for that man, the  girl's boyfriend noticed. He was like Hulk but not green. Hulk punched that guy so hard that he immediately lost consciousness and dropped on the sand.

After 10 seconds two of the guy’s friends came to beat that Hulk, but with no luck. One had his face smashed into the table and other was hit with Hulk smash in his stomach.

Young sporty strong athletic toned fit sportsman man in 20s in sports clothes, warming  up training  boxingViDI Studio, Shutterstock

42. The Pluck Of The Irish

My wife and I were at a punk show at a small venue downtown. It was kind of a weird lineup. There was a gutter punk band, a street punk band, and an Irish folk/punk band playing. Kind of a strange mix of people.

Anyway, we're outside and I watched as 4 gutter punk kids step out the door and get right in the face of this slightly overweight Irish guy who was just minding his own business. He shouts something like "What the heck”! and the gutter punks surround him.

People could see this was going to be bad, so the crowd starts to step in to intercede when the Irish guy puts his fists up like he's a boxer from 1900. It looked almost ridiculous, and I thought for sure this guy was going to have a bad night. Nope. He lashed out and dropped one of the gutter punks in one hit before they closed on him.

One of the remaining 3 got a solid punch into his face, bloodying his nose. The Irish guy returned the favor with a wicked punch to the stomach that dropped the kid to his knees. The remaining two jerks tried to grapple with the guy, and one of them got thrown through the plate glass window to the venue.

Authorities showed up and after questioning people in the crowd the detained the 4 punks who started it and let the Irish guy go. The venue even let him back in despite the broken window. The whole fight lasted maybe 5 or 10 seconds.

This kind of short slightly overweight guy showed me what a bad idea it can be to judge a book by its cover.

Portrait of attractive red haired man wearing sportswear standing over white studio background holding hands in front of him in boxing positionJihan Nafiaa Zahri, Shutterstock

43. Check Mate, Ma’am

At work I had a chess board and would play with various people during lunch. None of us were particularly great or anything, it was just a fun diversion. One day one of my co-workers came up, an older woman who was always very sweet and quiet, and asked if I wanted to play a game.

She destroyed me. Like, it wasn't even a close game. Towards the end I would make a move and she would just say, in the sweetest tone possible, "Oh, are you sure you want to make that move”?

Destroyed. Turned out she had actually competed in some chess tournaments when she was younger, and both of her sons were active competitors.

Chess boardRon Lach, Pexels

44. Dodge This

As an arrogant 14 year old, I was at Skyzone, a recreational place with a lot of trampolines. I was in the dodgeball section and I told a twenty-something man that he was "the number one person on my people to get out list". This man was put on the other team, and he was a very athletic man.

He proceeded to hurl these rubber dodgeballs at what seemed like the speed of sound as he eliminated my entire team three games in a row. But he didn’t stop there. He saved me for last each game. Every time he got me alone, he hit me in right in the middle of my pants in front of all my friends.

I should not have messed with him.

Image of red trampolineMichal and Yossi Rotem, Shutterstock

45. I Think We Need A Bigger Boat

When I was younger, my family would go rafting with a couple other families down a very calm river. People would often bring some kinds of squirt guns, and people would try and fire at people in other rafts. Everyone on the river did this.

Well, one time we were floating by a very large group (at least 40+). They had all their rafts tied together, which were all covered by towels. We thought, "Oh boy, we should get them! Look how many people there are! This will be epic”! Mind you, this is 9-year-old mentality. Then, we issued the first strike. This is where things went wrong. They shouted, "I wouldn't do that”!

We had heard this before; an opposing raft issuing mild threats to get us to not fire our Tinker Toys. Hence, we continued. Another warning, "I really wouldn't do that”!. The measly firing ensued.

Then a loud, "You've really done it now”! And this is when I thought, "I messed with the wrong person". Suddenly, the sound of a generator came across the river. The group of 40+ unveiled all of the towels, only to display they had a fire hose.

The pressure from the fire hose was insurmountable, and could easily reach the other side of the river. Our entire group was heavily doused in a matter of seconds. Needless to say, the game ended quickly.

People in full equipment rafting on a riverHilmi Işılak, Pexels

46. Not So Friendly Fire

When I was 20, we were in a DCA drum corps for the summer, on our way to a show in Pennsylvania or something. We had stopped at a Wendy's to eat. While we were there, a group of bikers (obviously part of a club) came in the same Wendy's to eat.

They sat behind us. My friend decided to try to hit me with his straw paper. His attempt went right past me and hit a biker in the back of the head. We go silent, waiting for a reaction. Nothing. We let out a deep sigh of relief and continue eating.

As we are heading out the door, my friend decides to use the bathroom. I wait for him on the bus. A few minutes later he comes flying out of the Wendy's, red-faced and looking terrified. Apparently, a biker had met him in the bathroom, cornered him and explained, "I'm the nice kind of biker, so I'm going to let you off with a warning, but be aware that many bikers would be kicking your butt right now. Get out of here".

That was the end of that game.

Biker with sunglasses looking at the cameraLjupco Smokovski, Shutterstock

47. An Olympic Effort

When I was young, I was in the Navy. As you'd expect living amongst a couple hundred aggressive young men, I got into more than a few scraps. I was young, in great shape, and had exceptionally fast hands, so I acquitted myself well and had a reputation of someone that you didn't really want to mess with.

Another guy on our ship, a friend of mine, was rumored to have been a top-notch collegiate wrestler, almost but not quite good enough to make the Olympic team that didn't go to Moscow in 1980. Anyway, being rather full of myself and never having seen this guy in any kind of dust up, I decided to have a go at him.

We were just fooling around, there was no anger involved, just one young tough guy testing another. I goaded him a few times to show me what he had. I was poised, well balanced and ready for him. And then I was on my back looking up at the sky.

I wasn't hurt. I never saw him move. No time had elapsed. One instant I was standing in front of him ready for whatever he did, and the next I was on my back looking up at the sky. Genius that I was, I figured it had to be a fluke. So I got up and tried him again.

Once again... never saw him move, didn't feel a thing. Just one instant I'm in front of him ready to go, and the next I'm on my back looking up at the sky. And once again, no time had elapsed. Well, I am less stupid than I am stubborn, so I admitted that he was better than I was and stayed where I was to contemplate the clouds floating silently by overhead.

Never before or since have I ever been so utterly and completely over-matched. Let me say this again, so it’s very clear. I never saw him move. Twice! I've gone toe-to-toe with wrestlers before, but nothing I'd ever done prepared me for this guy. I still don't know what the heck he did, all I know was that one instant I was ready to fight, the next I was on my back.

Not hurt, never felt a thing, never saw a thing, didn't notice the passage of any time. It was like I had been teleported from a vertical position to a horizontal one. That was the day I learned the difference between a good athlete and a world class athlete.

Closeup male hand of boxer with red boxing bandagesIvanRiver, Shutterstock

48. Show Me The Money

I was working a NASA grant many years ago. I got paid, closed the grant, it was all super frustrating, full of red tape, and I never wanted to do it again. Literally a year later, got a phone call from a NASA grant administrator who wanted some more paperwork.

I said I was done with the grant—go away. The administrator said "Well, I won't pay you until you complete this paperwork”. Me: "You've already paid me”. Him: "Huh. Well, if you don't give me the paperwork, we'll pay you again”.

I thought about it for a moment, then told him that the paperwork would be there in a few business days. Honestly, think of the worst bureaucracy you've ever had to deal with. Now, think of the hassle of dealing with a double payment.

You don't get to keep the money. Instead, you get to go through some tortuous, potentially expensive process of getting the money returned and your books cleared up or face civil penalties. Paperwork blizzard, maybe a year of hassle.

That administrator knew exactly what he was saying...and so did I.

Man in white shirt and glasses talking on phoneHassan OUAJBIR, Pexels

49. Tooting His Own Horn

My little brother and I pull into a parking lot one day, and another car is coming at it from the opposite direction. It was drifting into my lane a little bit. My brother then reaches across the seat and honks my horn for me—big mistake. The car moves back over, slams on the brakes, does a quick turn, and starts tailing me as I park.

I pick a spot, and the car stops in the lane behind me. This dude gets out of the car with a super angry scowl and starts heading over to my door like he's got a problem. I look at my brother and go “Way to go” and step out. The dude stops in his tracks when he realizes I'm basically a monster at almost 7' tall and 300+ lbs.

He doesn't even say anything, just dips back into his car and peels out, My brother and I start laughing our butts off. Then I hit him for touching my horn.

Parking lotStephan Müller, Pexels

50. Not To Be Messed With

When I was 14, my brother, who was one of my long-time mentors and heroes, took me to NYC for my birthday. He was 29 at the time and was on leave. He had left 1st Ranger Battalion and just finished the Army Special Forces Q-Course (Green Beret).

By all accounts, he was and still is a bad mamma-jamma. However, he is incredibly quiet and soft spoken and very gentle. We were on the subway headed to Times Square and I was standing next to him. Both of us were holding a vertical rail in the train.

From the next compartment a group of young urban troubadours were passing roughly through the crowd and shoulder bumping people to get through. When they bumped into my brother, it was like waves crashing into a rock. They eyed him and the leader of the group said something along the lines of "Who the heck are you? Are you supposed to be tough or something”?

To which my brother calmly responded, "Actually, I am tough. If you care to find out for yourselves let's wait until we're off the train, I'd hate to leave a mess in here”. They made the wise choice of leaving at the next stop.

Group of friends waiting the trainsantypan, Shutterstock

Sources:  1, Reddit


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