Take it like a man…

The last time I was punched in the face was early 1999 in Los Angeles. I was going in to an AM/PM to buy cigarettes and the guy coming out was trying to steal cigarettes and the smaller employees had the door blocked. I distracted the whole group when I got to the outside of the door and the thief slammed into the door to get out. I tried to jump in his way and he punched me in the jaw. Without thinking, I swung and hit him as hard as I could over his left eye, tearing his eyebrow and ripping up my hand. He ran away, but dropped his shopping bag, which, I shit you not, was fully of syringes.

My hand hurt, and in return for my bravery, the AM/PM gave me a pack of cigarettes for free. Which is also what the guy stole. It’s a rich ironic world.

My point is this; it doesn’t hurt that much getting punched in the face. My jaw hurt a little bit, but my hand was banged up for about two weeks. If I hadn’t hit the guy, we would all be much better off.

I got in a fair number of fights in junior high and high school. I was angry all the time, just pissed off and fearless all the time. Maybe I was angry because I was pretending to be fearless. Maybe I wasn’t all that angry, it seems, in retrospect, that Michelle and I had a lot of fun. But man, any person over the age of about 17 sent me into a rage. Most guys my age did the same thing.

I can tell you what I learned from those fights. Guys who want to hit you in the face are trying to insult you, they aren’t trying to put you in pain. First of all, the punch is going towards your eyes, you can see it coming and you can brace yourself or, if you’re fast, move out of the way. Second of all, your face is pretty tough, it’s fatty, it’s used to the abuse of wind and exposure and, y’know, shaving, the nerves aren’t nearly as sensitive. Third, your skull is designed as a defensive machine. the reason I hurt my hand so bad on that guy’s head is because I hit him in the eyebrow, right where his skull is designed to defray the most damage. In movies, they use that part of the head as an offensive weapon, it’s so tough.

If you want to hurt someone, me for example, then hit them in the ribs or the lower back when they don’t expect it. The nose is bad, sure. But there is something about getting punched really hard in the kidneys that makes you wish you were dead.

Our bodies still retain the monkey design, our ribs all slope downward and our organs are designed to hang from the spine and ribcage. Everything is aimed downward. When you punch up into someone, you are going against the grain, it hurts so much more.

So, all you husbands preparing for Superbowl Sunday, remember; if you hit your wives in the face, it’s mostly just humiliating them. If you turn them around and hold them around the shoulders or neck and punch with an upward thrust into their lower back or ribs, you could actually make them pass out from the pain. If you’re gonna do it, you may as well do it right.