Re: Teenage years

1

I went to an all-girls high school and despite what people say about girls dressing for girls and whatnot, it was a wonderful break from the awful stuff like this in middle school. And not for lesbian-specific reasons, either.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 10:40 AM
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Thanks for sharing this, heebie. Nobody likes being treated like an object, and it's easy to overlook it when other people are.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 10:50 AM
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Man, I worry about stuff like this. I don't think Sally's getting this kind of harassment -- she talks a fair amount about her friends, both male and female, and while she certainly doesn't tell me everything, I think I'd notice if she were avoiding this kind of stress. But of course I don't know.

I got I think literally none of this kind of harassment when I was in school -- I'm trying to remember if there were anything, and I'm not coming up with it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 10:55 AM
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I don't remember a ton of bra snapping, but there was one incident in 8th grade when a guy actually unhooked my bra through my shirt. This was between classes, and I had to go to the bathroom to get it hooked again which, being 13 and not yet adept at fastening a bra behind my back, involved taking my whole shirt off. I was late for class, and got marked tardy.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 10:56 AM
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I'm glad you gave a summary because from what you've written, it would hit a little close to home and I'd like to be productive for the rest of the afternoon.

Junior high was horrible. High school was pretty fun. Both schools were co-ed so I don't know if the difference you, Thorn, noticed was due to girls vs. co-ed or just age. Or even getting to transfer between schools so your history could be rewritten a bit (which is what happened with me).


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 10:57 AM
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Bra snapping was definitely a thing in my school and my mother, when I finally worked up the nerve to ask for a bra, said I didn't need one. Which, yeah, missed the point. Ditto with shaving.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 10:59 AM
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I think that girls aspiring to be "popular" get more of this sort of harassment than do the "popular" ones. It is a power play, after all.


Posted by: Regina George | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:00 AM
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hydrobatidae, I really have no way of guessing, but I do think that having uniforms and no one dressing up or putting makeup on to impress anyone else was a positive for all of us.

I was in a small Catholic K-12 school and skipped from fourth to sixth grade, which is the start of junior high there, at age 10. That first year was absolutely miserable, with both boys and girls teasing me for the way I laughed, smiled, just for knowing things. I was really, really unhappy about it and stopped eating and hid behind my waist-length hair. Things got better, but not by a ton.

Nia, in first grade, has had boys pushing her and commenting on her looks. One of them didn't like her frohawk, her favorite style, and said that mohawks aren't for girls. She apparently said something like, "Who cares? Plus maybe you just don't know enough girls." Mara, at 4, has gotten comments on her hair ("bad") and "acting white" already, though in both cases from adults and not kids. I don't think either has had more overtly sexualized teasing, but Nia may be one of the first to develop and I'm glad she's got the resilience and spark that she does to help her get through whatever that would mean.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:03 AM
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I remember one mildly snappy comeback I pulled off when a guy in ninth grade was teasing me about being flat-chested. It was not particularly impressive (as you'll see) but I still recall it with a glow of satisfaction.

Annoying kid was saying something in conversational tones about whether I could find my tits if I looked down my shirt for them, and then a friend of his said, more loudly, I guess as a segue to more lolz: "What did you say, [teasing guy]?"

"Oh," I said, uncharacteristically nonchalantly, and just loud enough for everyone to hear, "he's just obsessed with my breasts." General laughter, points to me, la la la, boy did ninth grade suck.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:03 AM
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Grades 7 and 8 were pretty bad for me, but the ostracism didn't have sexual overtones. I just wasn't welcome. I went to a math/science high school that was probably 70% boys, and stuff like this wasn't rampant. It was occasional, but could be backed down. It certainly wasn't an overt part of the culture.

I took the ostracism stoically, but I can't identify with taking on-going sexual assault as inevitable or somehow my fault. My parents must have convinced me otherwise, because I was outraged when I did get my bra snapped and knew he was being an ass, and that it was worthy of loud complaint.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:04 AM
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(This is all on my mind because Nia's mom wants her to wear a bra, which she doesn't need yet and which I think would potentially set up a bad dynamic at school. Unlike with hairstyles, I don't think she actually gets a say there.)


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:04 AM
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Oh, I was talking about two different schools. Seventh and eighth at a junior high, then a different, even higher boy:girl ratio high school after that.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:06 AM
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I went to a sex-segregated junior high school and it was great. I mean, it wasn't, because seventh graders are horrible people, but it was pretty egalitarian and non-cliquey and we didn't have problems like those in the OP. Then after I left they let in girls and fucked everything up.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:06 AM
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I can't identify with taking on-going sexual assault as inevitable or somehow my fault

I think a lot of it is that you don't call it that, you don't identify it that way at that age. The "boys will be boys" attitude is pervasive, and 12-year-old girls can pick up on perfectly well on the unlikelihood of a boy getting in serious trouble for most of the things we're discussing.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:10 AM
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Back when I was thirteen there was a period of girls getting their bras snapped by boys and boys getting their butts slapped by the girls. For the most part it was not harassment, i.e. it involved willing participants(*), but sometimes that wasn't the case.

*I'm using willing participants loosely since as the game started among the most popular kids there was plenty of pressure to join in.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:10 AM
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I can't actually remember all that much about high-school or junior high (or middle school--my cohort had the good fortune to attend four different schools in four years, due to weirdness about a new school opening and restructuring from 1-6/7-8/9-12 to 1-5/6-8/9-12), but god, that sounds awful. I was bullied a bit in 8th grade, possibly 7th but I can't really remember, and it was bad, but non-sexual. And then high school was unpleasant in more general, alienated ways. I think the biggest issue with the bullying is the sense of helpless humiliation and domination; nobody seems to care, there's nobody to turn to, you're completely at others' mercy, and there's absolutely no goddamn reason for it.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:14 AM
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You could just as easily have a post for boys regarding being labeled a "fag" in jr high. Same sort of harassment, in a bizarro non-sexual way. Primate dominance behaviors.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:15 AM
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Oh, I wouldn't have told grown-ups about it or expected anyone to get in trouble. But I remember that I told individual guys to cut it out and felt supported by peers. I don't remember internalizing the problem as something I brought on.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:15 AM
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I think the biggest issue with the bullying is the sense of helpless humiliation and domination; nobody seems to care, there's nobody to turn to, you're completely at others' mercy, and there's absolutely no goddamn reason for it.

In that sense bullying is good preparation for life, but that's no reason to accept it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:17 AM
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One problem is that boys are basically just little shitfucks. We had my daughter's birthday party this weekend and the boys just would not participate in anything, because some of the songs were princess-themed at that would have given them girl cooties or something. Meanwhile my kid kicked the crap out of some of these same fools at the Lego ninja foam sword party two weeks ago.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:20 AM
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Oh, wait. I had an issue in 9th grade or so with one kind of pathetically harrassy boy -- we were assigned seats next to each other in math, and he'd lean on me in a way where I'd have had to make a big fuss with the teacher to get him off me. I couldn't figure out how to make him stop without being more hostile about it than I thought was reasonable at the time (although in retrospect I should have) -- elbowing him away and muttering "Stop it" was ineffective, and I didn't quite have the heart to go for "Never make any physical contact with me again, you make my skin crawl", true though it would have been. Once we were out of the same class, avoiding him worked fine.

But that was a little different from the problem in the OP; moderately low ranked on the social scale as I was, this kid was way lower. It was harassment, but not bullying; what let it go on for as long as it did was that I couldn't figure out how to make him quit it without feeling as if I were bullying him. (In later years, I got over that sort of problem.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:21 AM
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Is the bra snapping sexual? (maybe I should have read the article) I seem to remember both girls and boys using it as a tactic to bully unpopular girls. Sexual in such a way that would make the girls less likely to bring it up to adults? Sort of like a taboo against talking about certain body parts which would make it really difficult to complain about. And yes, there was a weird undercurrent of 'if you complain, then you can never be popular' which is hard to fight against if you do actually want people to like you.

I never thought that any of the bullying was my fault - my parents' fault for not buying the right things, maybe, but not mine. Now that I look back on it, of course there were ways I behaved that encouraged the bullies to pick on me. But now I'm proud that I did those things. For example, baby-feminist me ripped up a sexist ad and yelled at a bunch of boys for objectifying women (I don't think I used that exact word), after which I was pretty horribly bullied. I was also bullied for being skinny but a popular girl who turned out to have an eating disorder.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:23 AM
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I watched pretty carefully to see if my daughter was experiencing anything like this, but had (and have) no real idea one way or the other. She might have told us if there was something really serious, or might not have. It's not like we weren't constantly bugging her about whether things were going ok in her life, and getting more intrusive when it was obvious that they weren't -- teenagers just don't like letting you in.

The linked post is the more striking for conduct the author is experiencing today.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:25 AM
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Is the bra snapping sexual?

To a 13 year old boy? Hell yes.

It's a bra. Holding real live titties.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:26 AM
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Man, all the fun times I missed out on by being a completely oblivious loner.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:26 AM
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I was bullied constantly in elementary school, but more in the way of no one wanting to be seen associating with me except to call me a fat ugly lesbian bitch, with bonus calls to my house pretending to be popular people asking if I wanted to hang out. I tried to kill myself when I was 8, but I got used to it by the time I was 11 or so.

In high school, I really was sort of pretty and fun to be around, but the stink of bullied-kid stays on you for a long long time. Everyone wanted to be liked by me, but no one would be caught dead touching me or alone with me.

So I was spared sexual harassment of the touchy-feely kind, but it's a miracle I survived fourth grade.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:28 AM
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I definitely did not know the word 'lesbian' in elementary school! 'Homo' might have gotten thrown around, but with little idea on anyone's part what it meant.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:30 AM
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I'm not quite sure what 27 is supposed to say. That I wouldn't have called you a lesbian, I suppose?


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:31 AM
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I went to a really small Montessori school from age three to twelve. Of course, being of the non-girl persuasion, I didn't experience that side of it, but the bullying/alpha bullshit was shocking once I got into a "real" middle-school. And I think that's part of the point of the linked piece, and a big part of the point for me: this awful behavior is completely learned/taught/propagated. It isn't some kind of innate "primate" throwback. There are other options for our behavior, but we keep getting stuck in these generational feedback loops: I have to find a way to like myself, therefore the awful shit that happened to me made me stronger, therefore awful shit happening to my kids is a positive (ultimately) thing.
Christ.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:32 AM
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Grades 7 and 8 were pretty bad for me, but the ostracism didn't have sexual overtones. I just wasn't welcome.

This was my experience as well. I'm vaguely wondering whether there's a generation gap in play here: I'm in my 40s, and in 7th-8th grades, in the late 70s, I was ostracized in various ways that were still very childish (someone put a small toad in my hair during phys. ed. class outdoors one time, e.g.). Sexually, the girls were just beginning to talk about getting their periods -- this was a big announcement made on a weekly basis in girl land -- but hey, I was a late developer and wasn't harassed because I hadn't had mine. No bra-snapping, just being blocked out of invitations to parties and such.

My experience wasn't typical in any case because my family had just moved to the town, so I was the new kid. Everyone else had known one another since kindergarten. Nobody could tell where I was supposed to fit in, and that bred resentment.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:32 AM
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It was new to me! I first heard it in fourth grade right after we moved to that town, and my next-door neighbor, who I thought would be a friend, was at school one day telling everyone that I was a lesbian and they should stay away from me because I would try to touch them. I didn't really know what she meant, but it stuck.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:33 AM
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Should mention that bullying was pretty non-existent at the Montessori school: if it happened, it was squashed right quick, and everyone felt horrible about it.


Posted by: Mentioner | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:33 AM
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31 to 27


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:33 AM
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The bullying I learned about from my daughter was from other girls.

I do remember explaining in detail to my daughter when she was in 9th or 10th grade why it was a really bad idea for girls to get pass-out drunk at a party -- this was a popular pastime in her set -- and she was appalled, but certain than none of the boys in her class would even think of acting that way.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:34 AM
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Having read the link in the OP: that stuff didn't occur in my school environment until age 14/15 or so, with a huge increase by 16 or so (with various girls being rumored to be sluts, etc.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:35 AM
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I'm vaguely wondering whether there's a generation gap in play here: I'm in my 40s, and in 7th-8th grades, in the late 70s,

Part of that generation gap thing might be the drop in age when girls are hitting puberty. More girls these days are farther along developmentally in 7th-8th grades than in the 70's.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:36 AM
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17: Well, no shit insulting boys by calling them 'fag' is the same thing. See also 'sissy', 'heteronormative', 'patriarchy hurts men too'.

(Do chimps police gender behavior? There have been occasional reports of alpha male ?great apes? caretaking for orphaned young, and there's something about non-vicious alphas staying in some groups as sort of aunties. Not clear to me that there's policing to keep everyone in a role, just competition over the dominant roles.)


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:36 AM
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Do chimps police gender behavior

Don't know, but there are chimp police:


http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/03/120307185016.htm


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:41 AM
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24 I just want to make clear that in my experience it was a kind of precursor or foreplay to making out with girls you were friendly with and not a bullying kind of thing. You only snapped the girls you liked. (I'm sure that snapping as bullying did go on just not in the circles I socialized with).


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:44 AM
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I used to think that being bullied as a kid had some good effect on my character--made me tough and needless, etc--but I think it's pretty obvious, from the 33-year-old perspective anyway, that every effect of that time of my life has been horrible, and deeply emotionally debilitating. Very rarely, someone will start in on me in some twingey-feeling way and I will completely fall apart. At a program I was in abroad as the only American, a fellow student kept pointing out how eager I was to get in line for lunch at the cafeteria, because, you see, I'm so fat, and Americans are fat and love to eat. And instead of telling her to fuck herself to death, I just withdrew for the rest of my time there. I didn't want to speak to anyone there again. I'm a grown-up; you'd think I'd have a spine by now.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:45 AM
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36: Yeah, that's what I was wondering. I feel for mere 12-year-olds going through sexual dominance games in school nowadays.

One thing remains the same, though: in the thick of and aftermath of that stuff, many girls/women decide that trying to be popular is of paramount importance. Sometimes we get over it, sometimes not. I did a lot of silly things in the first couple of years of high school, a lot of self-torture and compromise, in order to try to get in with the in-crowd (my style of in-crowd, that is, which wasn't the jocks but the student council and high school yearbook types).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:47 AM
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These threads are always a bit at odds with my experience. There was a fair bit of fighting and low level violence at my school but not much systematic bullying that I can recall. I did have a few people attempt to bully me, but nothing persistent or prolonged. I either ignored it, so they got bored, or I went with violence as a response.

Not that I was tough -- I was speccy and fairly small -- I just wasn't scared enough of violence to avoid it, and a couple of times really shocked some wannabe hard case. Headbutting people in the face is quite effective as a detterent.

That said, as someone who wasn't eithet very popular or very unpopular, and who had hard mates, I just wasn't a target until I grew long hair and by that point I was 15 or 16 and not if bullyable age.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:51 AM
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There's a huge anti-bullying campaign going on right now (at least, I see billboards). No idea how effective it is.

There was a weird thing between 7th and 8th grade where the kid who had been the biggest bullier and reasonably popular (which, as I said, in an all-boys environment wasn't quite as big of a deal; he was scary and would do things like toss you into a locker for no reason, but you weren't socially dead after that happened) became widely hated and a figure of general derision, much more so than the nerdiest nerd.

I think part of it was that the natural aristocracy of the school -- the very athletic, good looking, rich boys, and especially one of them -- basically decided that it wasn't OK to be an asshole in that particular way anymore, and so it wasn't.

(The nerdiest nerd ended up being quite popular, in his own weird way, and is now very rich).


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:53 AM
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Sometimes we get over it, sometimes not.

New mouseover!

Speaking of non-sequiturs, gosh, normal work days are tiring, even when the job itself is incredibly easy and there's a lot of waiting around. I find it amazing that some people get stuff done afterwards, going to night school or building start-ups or whatever. Sigh.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:53 AM
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The only thing I could think of to try and inoculate my girls (15 and 13 now) from this kind of thing is to raise them like I would boys. There's been some teaching on how to fight and an explicit message that there will be no consequences from me if they get suspended for defending themselves. I think the physical thing is generally not as necessary for girls but does help them develop a willingness to stand up for themselves. My older one was supposedly dating a boy in 9th grade for a few days when he told her he didn't like her talking to other guys. Apparently he decided he didn't like her anymore after she said something along the lines of "who the fuck do you think you are to tell me who I can be friends with". So far, so good.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:54 AM
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40: Yep. I had two of those experiences here at my new school recently - a 'popular' girl who looked right through me and a party I wasn't invited to that I accidentally crashed (it was at a restaurant). I know I'm having outsized responses because of how I grew up but, wow, the emotions are right there waiting.

39: Ah. Did the girl know you liked her?

30: Maybe a generational gap but the bra snapping was concurrent with 'throwing rocks', 'chasing up trees', 'forming circles and mocking' and 'obvious non-invitation to parties' and mocking for not reaching puberty.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:55 AM
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the very athletic, good looking, rich boys, and especially one of them -- basically decided that it wasn't OK to be an asshole in that particular way anymore, and so it wasn't.

All hail the philosopher king!


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:56 AM
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Sort of off topic: The pill and abortions will now be completely free for girls aged 15-18 in France.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 11:59 AM
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Not that I was tough -- I was speccy and fairly small -- I just wasn't scared enough of violence to avoid it, and a couple of times really shocked some wannabe hard case. Headbutting people in the face is quite effective as a detterent.

Heh, I wasn't a headbutter but that was largely my experience as well. Bloodying up someone bigger than you works wonders for encouraging others to leave you alone.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:01 PM
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40.2 Yes. There would already be some low-level flirting and grape-vine messaging to that effect. And some teasing from her direction as well so it was mutual. The notion that one would just go up to a girl and do that, no way.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:03 PM
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the natural aristocracy of the school ... basically decided that it wasn't OK to be an asshole in that particular way anymore, and so it wasn't

One day two of the good guys at school decided that they were done discussing test answers after tests. Up until then we did that with all nerdy fervor you can imagine and within a week no one would dream of asking someone else what they put down for #4. It was a pretty striking change and one I came to appreciate.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:03 PM
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50 to 46.2 not 40


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:03 PM
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I went from elementary school to a middle school that did grades 6, 7, and 8. The bra-snapping, crotching-and-butt-grabbing, and bullying started in 6th grade. Hallways, birthday parties, random students on the bus. By 8th grade, I had consciously switched social affiliation from the popular set to the geek set, in part because I felt safest there from the overly sexualized dominance games.

I think that if my elementary school had been K-8, or if 2 or 3 schools had merged to do 6-8, it wouldn't have been like that. Instead, that middle school had maybe 800 students. It was just chaos.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:03 PM
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I decided I was a pacifist at some point in elementary school (in addition to deciding that I wouldn't swear or see R rated movies). I tried the "if you don't react they'll stop doing it" technique, but that didn't work, so I thought why not go all the way; I strenously claimed that in fact I enjoyed getting hit, or bodyslammed, or whatever. Having a super high tolerance for pain became my "thing", so I'd do things to get attention like attempting a flip off the risers in the auditorium. (I had no idea how to do a flip. I flung myself straight at the ground and clipped the risers with my face on the way down. Had a huge black eye for weeks. This did not, shockingly, make me one of the popular kids.)

At the time I think I assumed that bra snapping and so on were flirtatiousness; I wondered what it would be like to be so popular that one could flirtatiously snap a girl's bra without being seen as an asshole. Little did I know that the boys doing that were, in fact, being assholes.

I had two friends but we weren't very nice to each other; we sort of were the bottom of the totem pole, and any chance for one or two of us to step on the other in a chance to raise status would not be passed up.

Oh, also, I wore a fedora every day.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:04 PM
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Speaking of non-sequiturs, gosh, normal work days are tiring, ... I find it amazing that some people get stuff done afterwards, going to night school or building start-ups or whatever. Sigh.

I hear you.

Congratulations on the job.


Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:04 PM
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At the time I think I assumed that bra snapping and so on were flirtatiousness

Heh. I thought the same thing (though as I said we didn't see this on a regular basis, and wondered why I wasn't naturally inclined to be flirtatious).


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:07 PM
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Oh, also, I wore a fedora every day.

To grade school?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:08 PM
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57: yep. 5th through early 7th grade, I think? Until some kid stole it.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:10 PM
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Your mom probably paid him to steal it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:11 PM
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48:Yeah, Hollande in France is a great demonstration of what a commitment to progressive politics can accomplish, as opposed to wallowing in victimization and basking in reflected identity. You can actually help young women.

Meanwhile, there's the Iowa Obama interview, 2nd term Grand Bargain of at least $2.50 in spending cuts for every dollar in taxes and the story of the "disposition matrix"


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:12 PM
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He may well have felt like he was doing me a favor. I was pretty enraged, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:12 PM
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I tried the "if you don't react they'll stop doing it" technique, but that didn't work, so I thought why not go all the way; I strenously claimed that in fact I enjoyed getting hit, or bodyslammed, or whatever.

Yeah, my friend and I took this same approach to dealing with one particular asshole in 8th grade. It didn't really work for us, either.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:13 PM
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Oh, I don't mean go up behind her while she's walking in the hallway and snap her bra and laugh. Which I did see done. But my first thought was, IME, you're practically cuddling maybe lying down legs kind of entwined next to each other but haven't kissed yet so yeah, definitely flirting.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:13 PM
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Huh. I'm slowly working my way through the linked post in the OP, and this remains true:

I have never stopped being reminded of my there-for-men status. I am reminded when I am violated in my sleep, or groped in a bar, or held down by a longtime friend.

Granted, that begins to fade once you're in your 40s, or maybe into your late 30s, in part because you no longer put yourself in those situations, and in part because you're not any more considered a desirable female (in that way).

But yes, it was certainly true throughout one's 20s. I'd almost forgotten. It's something that you learn to deal with, to shrug off, almost.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:18 PM
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Congratulations on the job.

Thanks, though they're not really warranted; it's just a week-long temp assignment. But my previous ones started at 9, and were 7 hours net of lunch; this is 8-5:30. Totally different!


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:27 PM
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Oh, also, I wore a fedora every day.

At such a young age! I started wearing cowboy boots to school when I was 15: the sound and feel of myself striding down the hall was very satisfying (my parents were apparently quite horrified by my wardrobe choices, but didn't say nothin', though my mom never forgot it). But that wasn't until like sophomore and junior year of high school, when I started to finally figure things out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:32 PM
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It distresses me to contemplate that Jane is going to have to go through being ages 11-16 and that no matter how it goes down, some large chunk of it will probably be absolutely horrible and not only will I not be able to help, she will quite probably find me one of the things that makes it horrible. Ugh.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:56 PM
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67: I will start writing bad poetry about how awful you are now, so that you get used to it.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:58 PM
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Hooray! You are a good friend.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 12:58 PM
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66: I did not mean to give the impression that I wore a fedora because I had figured things out. Really very much the opposite.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:03 PM
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You had things figured out because you wore a fedora.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:06 PM
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70: Now that you've really figured things out, what kind of hat do you wear?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:07 PM
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Meh, these threads are always depressing. US high schools just sound unpleasant. As I said above, there was a fair bit of episodic violence at my school, which could be fairly serious in older kids, but I think systematic bullying was rare and much commoner among girls. I don't think even the socially awkward or nerdy kids took that much shit. I had a few fights in high school, but I was both a bit more of a target than some of my friends [later in school once I had long hair and was more of an outsider], and less inclined to back down than others.

I'd guess the majority of my friends and acquaintances at school went through high school with no real experience of bullying or violence, except the odd half-hearted playground scuffle.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:07 PM
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Redfox, I don't think this kind of misery is inevitable. I was ostracized, but I was one of the two or three ostracized kids, which meant that most kids weren't. I didn't see the type of sexual assault this post is about. I don't see reason to be sure that horrible-ness is the rule, and almost every daughter will catch a share.

I mean, I'll be doom and gloom about climate change hitting everyone, but not bullying nor assault.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:16 PM
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And I could be being clueless, but I'm harboring a 13-year-old girl as we speak, and she doesn't seem to be miserable along these lines at all. (Nor does Newt, although he's slightly awkwarder; he was feeling a little outsidery last year, and seems to be happier now that he's in middle school.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:20 PM
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I'm becoming more and more convinced that the common denominator is the school, more than the individual person. And IIRC Sally is at a selective school? Giving kids something other than hormones to focus on - sports, nerdiness, band, theater, etc - makes the best antidote, IME.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:23 PM
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US high schools just sound unpleasant

In my experience, which seems consistent with what other people here are saying, it's more often the middle school / junior high part that's unpleasant.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:25 PM
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Nah it wasn't the school with me. It may have been worsened by the K-8 system -- no chance to reset and find a new group of friends until high school -- but most kids I think liked things well enough.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:25 PM
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I believe that, because my social problems went away when I switched to a school of kids like me. Besides that, get your daughters into sports.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:26 PM
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Yeah high school was okay. I played role playing games and ultimate with the other dorks.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:26 PM
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School buses were always the worst places for me. A sixth or seventh grade kid tried to strangle me on the school bus when I was in third or fourth grade. Another kid would pin me down and punch me or twist my arms when I was in sixth grade. The school bus drivers just couldn't be bothered to deal with anything, or when they did they would punish the bullied as well as the bulliers.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:30 PM
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73: Well, on the flipside, there was very very very little overt violence in my (Canadian) schools. A fight every year between groups of friends but no casual violence and certainly none that resulted in blood. One of my sister's friends (male) threatened someone with a protractor and was expelled for weeks. I can only imagine if someone had tried headbutting. I feel the same way about UK school I guess - you guys had real fighting!? Geesh, that's horrible.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:31 PM
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And IIRC Sally is at a selective school?

She is (although not all that wildly selective). It does puzzle me why brighter kids would be consistently less shitty to each other, though -- the two things seem unconnected.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:32 PM
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83: I'm not sure about this, but in my own schools (junior high and high school), SES status, social class, had a lot to do with things. A school in which everyone is more or less of the same SES might see less shitty behavior, or of a more muted variety.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:36 PM
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It does puzzle me why brighter kids would be consistently less shitty to each other, though

I can think of several possibilities, including that there are still kids who are treated shittily but that now they're going to be selected by criteria other than being brighter than the others. A more optimistic guess, based on my memories of high school, is that the more selective schools have a much more diverse student body (in a number of ways: in terms of their interests, socioeconomically, ethnically, etc) than local schools, which interferes with the development of a single hierarchy that's clear to everyone.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:37 PM
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Theory: If you're in any kind of selective school, a bunch of the us-vs-them energy gets focused on the in-our-school-or-not division.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:37 PM
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Not that puzzling to me, if what they were being shitty to me FOR was being bright (manifested as a show-off who talked about weird things). Bright was the axis where I was unusual (and my clothes, and the glasses and headgear, but those got fixed) so in a bright crowd, I wasn't a drastic outlier along any other axes.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:37 PM
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Ha! Parsimon and I came to exactly opposite conclusions.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:37 PM
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re: 84

I tend to think somewhat the opposite. The fact that my high school was very mixed in terms of SES and academic ability, seemed to allow most kids to find a place. And there were some genuinely tough kids. So if you were a snotty middle-school aged bully, someone would almost certainly clean your clock, so to speak, if you pushed it too far.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:38 PM
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Yeah, same SES means that you can detect and punish very fine gradations of class behavior. Big range means that the folks who are roughly the same SES come across as roughly the same.


Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:41 PM
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As a data point, Sally's school is pretty non-uniform ethnically and SES.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:44 PM
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83

... It does puzzle me why brighter kids would be consistently less shitty to each other, though -- the two things seem unconnected.

Numerous studies link low IQ and anti-social behavior. See here for example:

Numerous studies link low IQ to violent behavior, delinquency, and adult crime. In fact, as Bruce Bower recently noted in Science News, "Intelligence deficits make up one of the most firmly established characteristics of criminal offenders as a whole." But critics suggest that this may simply mean that high-IQ criminals are more likely to avoid capture.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:54 PM
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School buses were always the worst places for me.

Separate school buses for young men and women in my town. For High School, not sure about Middle School.

Just something I noticed a few weeks back. "That's the girl's bus!" she yelled at the guy.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 1:59 PM
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Of course my town can afford 93 because we take care of our local economy, and good policy for women then becomes affordable. We keep taxes and spending high.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 2:03 PM
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Are you sure it isn't just because Texas loves burning fossil fuels.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 2:17 PM
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It does puzzle me why brighter kids would be consistently less shitty to each other, though -- the two things seem unconnected.

Probably pwned, but it's not (necessarily) that they're brighter - they've chosen to apply for a non-standard high school experience. (Minus parental pressure - more of them chose, anyway.) They've got some broader perspective that they care about more than just ranking on the popularity totem pole.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 2:36 PM
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I had relatively little problems with bullying in my US elementary schools, both of which were very white with one fairly class diverse (excluding the very poor and very rich) and the other with very little class diversity (solid UMC - no poor, almost no middle class, and no very wealthy). In Geneva the middle school period had a fair amount of bullying but that disappeared in high school. Or mostly disappeared - there were a few social outcasts, but they were more ostracized than actively bullied. There also seemed to be little correlation between class and status, perhaps none at all. I wonder if that has something to do with everybody being at least comfortably middle class and most comfortably UMC. From our perspective there wasn't a huge difference in what the super rich kids had relative to the UMC ones - a nicer home, nicer hotels and first class tickets when they traveled represented a huge difference in spending but little in terms of fundamental access to things of value. My impression is that this isn't the case in the US, at least not today.


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 2:46 PM
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. . . normal work days are tiring, even when the job itself is incredibly easy and there's a lot of waiting around. I find it amazing that some people get stuff done afterwards, going to night school or building start-ups or whatever

Congrats on the job! IME, boring jobs are the most draining. I used to stay out way past midnight, get home, and then read or work on random technical projects. Now that I don't like my job much, I have to convince myself to get up and go out every night. I've seen the same thing in my friends, who become a lot more withdrawn if work hits a long stretch of easy, unchallenging, work.

Alternately, perhaps I'm just getting old.


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 3:27 PM
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I was bullied some in elementary school for having a pixie cut and weird clothes. I had a fur coat in third grade (a hand-me-down from a cousin) and everyone in my class called me "Bunny Murderer" or "Cruella DeVille." I finally threw the coat in a Dumpster and told my parents I'd lost it. They were mad as hell, and it didn't stop the other kids from being mean.

Anyway by middle school I was very defensive and pre-emptively superbitchy.


Posted by: L. | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 3:37 PM
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98 meet 65, but thanks; and yeah, that does sound right. I think it will help if I can force myself to get up the slightly bit earlier it would take to allow for a short run in the morning (it's also faster to bike downtown than to take the streetcar, but I was lazy/it was rainy Monday and Tuesday). Exercise makes such a difference, at least for me.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 3:54 PM
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Our schools just changed from K-8 to K-5 and 6-8. Brilliant! Except our school that gets to remain K-8 because parents threw a fit (and because the program particular to our school doesn't make sense stopping at 5th grade.)
I did one assholish thing that I can remember- in 6th grade we were doing limbo in music class and I was one of the stick holders (laydeez) and when a certain well endowed girl went under I watched carefully. A friend told me later that if the game had continued she was going to fold her arms across her chest the next time through to send a message. So I was suitably embarrassed as well.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 3:57 PM
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I did one assholish thing that I can remember

Either my memory is better, or I was a bigger asshole. (The smart money is on door #2.)

I was guilty of first degree bra snapping on at least one occasion. The victim was a stupendously endowed eighth or ninth grade classmate whose breasts, in an ironic twist*, would later become the first I would fondle. I also teased a girl (Scandinavian exchange student) about her unshaved legs. The fact that I was probably 16 at the time makes this an aggravated misdemeanor). I never bullied anyone or teased anyone about their clothes or haircut, though.

*In a further ironic twist, I would later hear through the grapevine that she claimed she wasn't interested in me at all, but only let me do what I did because she enjoyed it, leading to my first real appreciation for the fact that girls could have independent agency in matters of sex.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 4:08 PM
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I am taking a corresponding approach to 45 with the boys, teaching them assorted skills that are really useful but that they're too young to associate as "girl" things. I've taught them basic cooking, I'm making their halloween costumes now and in the process teaching them to use a sewing machine, and while I'm finishing his costume the 8 year old is feeding his baby sister a bottle. Whether this backfires horribly in terms of bullying remains to be seen, but hopefully they won't be bullies.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 4:20 PM
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I think your biggest worry is a whole hand of fingers getting sewn together.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 4:23 PM
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I liked junior high better than high school. I probably peaked in 8th grade. I just realized that, along with some other things.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 4:40 PM
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84-90: Yeah, same SES means that you can detect and punish very fine gradations of class behavior. Big range means that the folks who are roughly the same SES come across as roughly the same.

Okay, I see that. Maybe it was just because I had a foot in both worlds, what was literally called "the wrong side of the tracks" as well as the 'bright' kids. We've talked about this before.

For 7th and 8th grades, when I first moved to that community, nobody knew what to do with me. My fellow students were particularly confounded, and tried to make me conform to one or another standard. Since I couldn't make a decision, both sides figuratively beat me up, and still viewed me with suspicion for years. This sounds hand-wringy. (I was more comfortable with the wrong-side kids, but they were stubbornly refusing to be bright, which was frustrating, so.)


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 5:16 PM
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102: I also teased a girl (Scandinavian exchange student) about her unshaved legs.

I hope we gentlemen have grown up regarding the shaving of legs.

SP in 103 is an awesome dad! Those kids will not be helpless in the face of a sewing needle or spatula. I tip my hat, SP.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 6:17 PM
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Wow. The OP really takes me back. I was one of the lowest girls on the totem pole in junior high and really bullied in 7th grade. I remember bra-snapping, and most terrifying, in 9th grade the jerk who sat in front of me in biology would open my purse if he could to see if I had a tampon or a pad and announce whether I had my period to the class. I lived in constant anxiety about protecting my purse, hiding my hygiene products, etc. In high school there were definitely a couple of guys who would corner one in the journalism room to cop a feel, and a lot of verbal, emotional harassment. On e I had a boyfriend, one tormented would always like to speculate openly and loudly about what we were doing in bed, the sex acts I liked. Etc. most of this happened in front of teachers and nothing happened to any one. I never complained--it would have been like complaining about gravity. I cried at home, worked really hard to get good grades, got a scholarship to college, and never looked back.


Posted by: Miranda | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 6:52 PM
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"Once I had a boyfriend, one tormenter"-- stupid fingers


Posted by: Miranda | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 6:56 PM
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I said some pretty shitty things in sixth and seventh grade. Partly, I just hadn't picked up social cues as to what's really bad and what isn't until they were explained to me. The worst was when I threw around some bad words I'd learned in Spanish (not covered in class, but kids like to share "secret" profanity) without thinking of or completely understanding the implications of what they meant in English. I weaseled my way out of being disciplined and only later realized just how much of an asshole I'd been, right down to the weaseling.

I don't think being a jerk was my "normal" state, though. I got along fairly well, if often distantly, with most people. I didn't really get bullied. I was picked on some but failing to understand social cues had the benefit of leaving me unaware sometimes that people were trying to pick on me. (This also applied to romantic advances, but that's another story.) Plus, I had friends and didn't feel excluded from things I wanted to be included on.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 7:20 PM
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I hope we gentlemen have grown up regarding the shaving of legs.

Let there be no doubt.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 7:38 PM
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111: Ha, yes, I thought I remembered that.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 7:58 PM
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I had no experience with bra snapping, but it was a huge thing when my mother was in junior high, so could it be a generational thing?

Reading some of these stories makes me feel lucky. At elementary school I was pretty popular, and we were watched like hawks for any sign of social ostracism. Then my parents/teachers were far more worried I would be a bully than be bullied. In middle school, I was the new kid, nerdy, spoke overly standard English, and was bona fide weird, so I got picked on a bit, but all attempted bullying didn't stick. There was one day I sat in the closet and cried after school, but in general I was unbulliable. People assumed I was English because of my name and how I pronounced it, and the worst incident I can think of is that one day some kids wrote an insulting note about how they were going to host a tea for me with crumpets etc, and I should meet them in the park. They stuck the note to the front of my locker. I pretended to be really excited about it and then didn't show up, and after that they mostly left me alone.

In high school, I experienced I guess what could be mild sexual harassment, but I was too oblivious to notice and it never felt upsetting or menacing at the time. In 11th grade, my physics lab partner ran his hand up my shin and said, "smooth," and all I remember thinking is that I hadn't shaved my legs in about 2 weeks, so that was a strange thing to say. Senior years the boys behind me would pick the hairs off my sweater in history class, and it never crossed my mind at the time it was sexual. There was a quite a lot of general teasing which in retrospect was probably flirtatious, but at the time didn't feel like that to me. (I was an *extremely* late bloomer). The only thing that raised any possible alarm bells in my incredibly dense skull was oddly performative yet mild sexual harassment from my (male, middle-aged) English teacher junior year. I got teased about that a bit from my classmates, but weirdly enough it in no way felt threatening.


Posted by: Britta | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 8:06 PM
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45: My dad took a similar line with respect to self-defense. I wasn't popular, but not especially tormented. But an early bloomer, and there was a creepy kid who wouldn't let me alone and tried to grope me. And once he came running at me when he caught me in a hallway while we were alone and tried to tackle me, I think, but I sidestepped him and redirected him bodily into a locker door and then I hit him.

Didn't get in trouble because if you were a jerkwad boy who got owned by a tiny wild-haired girl with glasses, would you tell?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 8:33 PM
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Congrats to trapnel on his continued success at finding low-paying stopgap employment.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 9:37 PM
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I would comment on the actual topic of the thread, but I don't have much to say. I don't remember any of this stuff happening when I was in school, but that's very much not to say it didn't happen.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 9:40 PM
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I could also wade into one of the other threads, but that's crazy talk.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 9:48 PM
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It's tough being on Alaska time, isn't it?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 9:54 PM
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108 tracks quite close with my experiences in fifth and sixth grade. Being an early bloomer sucked.


Posted by: J, Robot | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 9:57 PM
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It's tough being on Alaska time, isn't it?

Is it ever. The difficulty is compounded by the fact that my new job blocks Unfogged entirely.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 10:06 PM
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But it's not all bad. I bought a bed the other day.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-24-12 10:28 PM
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121: Did you move a chair over by the window? Or call the landlord when the water turned brown?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 1:33 AM
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One of my sister's friends (male) threatened someone with a protractor and was expelled for weeks.

How? They aren't even particularly pointy.

Oh, also, I wore a fedora every day.

I am now imagining young Sifu as being Calvin.
http://www.s-anand.net/blog/calvin-and-hobbes-tracer-bullet-1/


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 1:43 AM
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I think I may have overstated how crappy I acted in 6th/7th grade. I can only think of two incidents when people had to tell me I shouldn't have said something.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 2:09 AM
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42: I'm beginning to wonder if bullying is something specific to American culture. A couple of years ago I read Mishima's Confessions of a Mask. The first part of the book is about the main character in school, where he's a complete weirdo who's in love with the most popular boy in the school. I kept thinking "this is the scene where he gets bullied", but it never happens.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:19 AM
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re: 125

I remember some more systematic bullying among some of the girls, although it wasn't widespread, I don't think. But maybe. Or maybe it was going on and I didn't notice. None of my primary school peers [40 or so] were bullied much that I remember, and that was a small enough group that I'd have been aware of it, even once we transitioned to the bigger school. But perhaps it was going on under the radar among other groups.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 4:33 AM
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125: Have you read any novels that take place at a British public school?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 4:53 AM
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125: My first awareness of how horrible the effects of bullying could be came in university, listening to a friend from Glasgow (well, a poor suburb) discuss the horrible circumstances that led to his sister's suicide (she was tormented mercilessly at school, which did not help obviously underlying problems with depression). I don't know if the issues were generational (I think it's about 10 years later than your experiences), or simply a different school environment, but said friend definitely made it seem that while his sister's case was extreme, it was not isolated.

I've also noticed a lot of concern about bullying in schools now here in England (there have been multiple suicides in my area, and it seems that some are linked to bullying). And aren't English boarding schools supposed to be like, the front runners in bullying? (I don't know if that's actually true, or just a common trope.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 5:01 AM
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Oudemia beat me to the public school comment, and in 128.1 "your" should be "ttaM's." (I forgot what comment I was replying to.)


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 5:02 AM
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I think 'specific to American culture' didn't mean 'only here and now in human history', but something more like 'ordinary in present-day American schools, but not an inevitable facet of human nature.'


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 5:03 AM
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127: True. I was going to say something along those lines, but then I couldn't decide whether to use "public school" in the British or American sense. But in Britain it seems like an elite-school phenomenon, while in the US it's pervasive. Every time we have a discussion about bullying in US schools, the British commenters always seem to find it particularly foreign to their experience.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 5:07 AM
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131: Except it's weird that, as Parenthetical says, it's a big deal in the British media right now for regular schools, with the same fraught discussions of suicides, etc. Maybe it's new?


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 5:17 AM
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I assume they're not set up like this any more, but old-fashioned British public schools were basically the Stanford prison experiment, or at least that's the impression one gets from descriptions. If bullying were going to happen anywhere, it would happen where you have some students with the authority to punish others with the backup of the school, but without a lot of oversight.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 5:20 AM
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Could very well be a newish phenomenon. The incident I spoke of above happened over 15 years ago. I just was talking to two guys last weekend who faced a lot of bullying for being the only "weird kids"* in their village school (course, for them it was more of a badge of honor than anything else).

Then again, I feel like discussion of bullying has gone way up in the last 10 years everywhere, because of the prevalence of internet bullying and the sudden awareness that it isn't just kids being kids.

*Nerdy punky.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 5:41 AM
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My kids' school has a very showy program against bullying. It's hard for a parent to know these things, but it seems to work quite well. My son got sent to the principal's office for a very minor infraction. Good!

I grew up in an old-school Catholic school in the '60s. Unambiguous sexual assault (as opposed to sexual harrassment) was normal once girls hit 7th grade or so, and I can't think of a case where it was punished. As far as bullying goes, it was the law of the jungle.

I had better luck than others here with a sort of firm pacifism. I didn't let anyone keep me from doing anything, and I took my beatings without resistance. I never got beat up by the same bully more than once. (I distinguish here between bullying and fair fights.)

While I was as sensitive as anyone to taunting and ostracism and whatnot, physical intimidation never scared or scarred me.

I'm sometimes given to sentimentalism about my unsupervised youth, and lament the over-watchful modern parent. Until I think about it for a second.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 5:46 AM
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125: I don't know what's in that book, or if things were different in its milieu, but bullying has been an agonized-over issue in Japan for a while now.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:11 AM
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the only person who bullied me in my school years was also my best friend.

i was new in town (3rd new city that year!), and Steve was the first person i met. he lived down the block, was the same age, we had a lot in common and hung out constantly. but he was psychologically sadistic. he'd play me and the rest of his gang off each other, as long as he stayed on top. he'd decide, either out of the blue, or when he saw an opportunity to flex his alpha status, that i was no longer his friend. for example, he'd make up a game that i was sure to lose and the punishment for losing was not being his friend any more. or he'd just turn to me and say, smiling, "i don't like you any more". then i'd spend the next week shunned by him and everyone else in the neighborhood, and sometimes by the whole school. or, sometimes he'd pick someone else and i'd have to avoid talking to the other friend or else risk being shunned myself. but it was usually me. eventually, he'd find someone else to torment, or get bored and call me up, or my parents would call his parents (which usually made things worse, but not always), and we'd be friends again - doing normal kid things, as if nothing had ever happened. and the really fucked up part is that he wasn't tough, and he wasn't rich, and he wasn't smart, and he wasn't protected by big brothers or anything. almost any of us could have beaten him up any time we wanted. and we all liked each other just fine without him in the middle of things. but he had somehow perfected this system of keeping everyone in the neighborhood desperate for his approval.

these days, i imagine a wife who keeps going back to her abusive husband because the good times are fine. my mother, for example.

and i didn't know how fucked-up this was for decades after. in high-school, i met kids who weren't under his spell and found out that normal people didn't play those kind of mind-games. sure, you could break up with a girlfriend and maybe get back together; or you could get permanently mad at someone for something; but there was none of the insecure status bullshit that Steve would play. so i abandoned Steve for good. and it wasn't until i thought about it, long after college, that i realized how insane it all was.

i was too much of a geek for bra-snapping.


Posted by: cleek | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:02 AM
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I went to a boarding school for part of high school. I don't know if "bullying" really describes it -- nothing like the OP, at all, but more like constant, hierarchical violence with the salient feature that you could never go home. Closer to fraternity hazing but constant. Let's see if I can think of a few examples.

Oh, OK. Any senior had the right to play the "20 beers" game where they would hit underclassmen as hard as possible in the shoulder until they named 20 beers. If the phone rang (there was one pay phone in the dorm, this was before cell phones) and the youngest kid didn't run to get it within two rings, he got thrown in a trash can and hit by all the older kids. One kid was literally whipped until he confessed he'd been lying about stealing from an older kid, etc. To the school's credit, there was a real effort to stamp this stuff out by the time I left.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:44 AM
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When my dad was in high school, he used to put the typing teacher in the trash can so he could go smoke.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:49 AM
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Also a lot of really sadistic pseudo-sexual stuff. My first week there, the older kids came in to all the new kids rooms with a tennis racket and steel wool. You had to take your short off and they would rub the steel wool over the tennis racket on your chest until it left a red, bloody-ish mark. That really hurt! The only thing that made it remotely OK was that at least it wasn't targeted; everyone in the same class suffered the same fate. Fortunately for my conscience this is a tradition I didn't perpetuate.


Posted by: Roberto Halford | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:52 AM
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Shirt, not short. It wasn't that sexual.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:53 AM
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136:Too many good movies to list. Middle school and bullying approaches an obsession in Japan. Some recently watched.

All About Lily Chou-Chou is beloved

Jump and Confessions are stylistically superb.

Ken is based on a Mishima novel. Not quite about bullying. It may go back to Ozu's I Was Born...But and

Where are the Dreams of Youth (1930s) is about recent college graduates. A peon gives up his girlfriend to his higher social status boss/best friend. Boss has not only higher social status, but better test scores. Boss kid helps his college friends cheat on their company exams and get jobs at his father's company. At the height of the depression. Boss beats the shit out of him (really scarey violence) for being too subservient, and peon marries girl. Boss beats, commands, sacrifices, has broken heart. Woman is only partly an object, by some measures although she loves peon she too has to defer to boss. Peon kid knows he cannot provide as well. Part of the answer at the end is that boss is kinda also guaranteeing financial security to the couple.

Jidai-geki and chambara.

Hierarchies are like a given, they're constant, dynamic and multiple, built into the language. Social life is about negotiating hierarchies and yes there is horrific abuse but there is also a greater sense of noblesse oblige and social/personal responsibility than I see elsewhere. At least as an ideal.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:55 AM
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Almost done with Daniel Rodgers, wondering if I should read Michael Walzer's Spheres of Justice.

I was sent to the hospital by a football lineman as a junior in high school. I didn't snitch.

I didn't snap bras or cop feels, but did something, just once, so unspeakable, so horrible to a girl I am ashamed of it 50 years later. Astonished by it. Not rape, but very bad, very teenage boy. I can't say, y'all won't like me anymore.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:03 AM
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I don't know if "bullying" really describes it -- nothing like the OP, at all, but more like constant, hierarchical violence with the salient feature that you could never go home.

So more like summer camp, really.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:04 AM
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Now that you mention summer camp, I'm astounded by the relative lack of bullying. There were a few kids who were picked on and there were the more popular cabin groups but there was nothing systematic or violent. The only thing that stands out is when we were 12 there was an early developed kid, known as "Meat", and one night a bunch of other kids carried him around to different cabins naked and swinging (in more ways than one.) But I don't even know if he minded it, he seemed to think it was pretty funny.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:09 AM
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138, 140: Now that sounds like what I've heard about oldfashioned British public schools.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:24 AM
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I went to one summer camp for three years and two of those years it was basically fine-ish (for me) and then one of them it was a hellhole of ostracism and hierarchical violence and so on.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:47 AM
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According to Meatloaf, two out of three ain't bad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:48 AM
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Roberto Halford

Is there a pseud transformation going on that I missed? I was wondering why no one had offered Senor Tigre a fruit basket.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:52 AM
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It's just a World Series thing. Won't last long.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:54 AM
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149: It has something to do with baseball. I think there's a baseball team called the L.A. Tigers? I don't follow that stuff. But Senor Tigre has temporarily renamed himself out of solidarity.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:56 AM
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151: Superb trolling, parsimon! Especially good if you weren't even trying!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:58 AM
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151 gets it both right and very wrong.

I'm really enjoying the new Roberto Tigre persona, though, and might stick with it. I feel sexier.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:07 AM
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135: While I was as sensitive as anyone to taunting and ostracism and whatnot, physical intimidation never scared or scarred me.

I tend to make a distinction between bullying of the physical beating-up variety, and the ostracism / mind games / taunting variety. I wondered last night whether ttaM's comments were solely to do with the former, since he talks about headbutting people in the face. That would be a weird thing to do (insanely satisfying, but kind of demented) to someone who's, say, gossiping behind your back that you're a slut, or snickering in front of your face that you probably didn't go to the party last Saturday -- which you didn't know anything about -- because you were studying (snicker, snicker).

I don't remember anyone having physical fights in high school; I vaguely think they happened from time to time in junior high (7th and 8th grades). Most definitely in grammar school.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:11 AM
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Or you could just assume that it's Halford's "Senor Spielbergo"- style non-union Mexican equivalent.

Or his Lucha Libre alias.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:13 AM
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Worst organization in terms of bullying: Boy Scouts. And the "perversion files" thing was the most unsurprising thing since... something else really unsurprising.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:15 AM
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Strangest for of bullying I experienced in the scouts: we were camping, bring your own food in your pack, and some kids threw my tomato sauce over a cliff.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:17 AM
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Nooooo!


Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:23 AM
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It was O.K. because the can really didn't crack open at the bottom. That was blood used ask fake tomato sauce.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:24 AM
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"as" not "ask"


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:24 AM
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Who takes tomato sauce on a camping trip? I'm with the bullies on that one.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:27 AM
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I'ma stick up for tomato sauce for camping, though I wouldn't have it in a can, for heaven's sake. Too heavy. A tightly-sealed tupperware of tomato sauce, sure: highly versatile, can be used as ketchup or for flavoring beans, or on pasta (very light to carry); has lots of preservatives, so no worries there, and you can reuse the tupperware. Salsa might be even better - you can just dip hunks of bread in it, in a pinch.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:38 AM
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What a hunka hunka burning bread!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:39 AM
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It was a box of sauce. Apparently they took exception to the name.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:39 AM
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Actually I spent college eating bread dipped in spaghetti sauce. It was my favorite go-to meal. (Bakery bread, not sandwich slices.)


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:40 AM
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They thought it said Thromi.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:41 AM
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I used to make sauce and then eat it with bread and sausages. Cooking pasta was beyond me because I didn't have a big pot.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:42 AM
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And of course being a kid I blamed my parents for sending me on the trip with a stupidly named tomato product that would make people pick on me.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:43 AM
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nothing like the OP, at all, but more like constant, hierarchical violence with the salient feature that you could never go home

Holy crap, that sounds awful.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:47 AM
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wondering if I should read Michael Walzer's Spheres of Justice.

Yes, you should. So should everybody else.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:47 AM
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A box of Pomi sauce does seem weirdly fancy for camping.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:48 AM
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Parents could save their children a lot of misplaced grief if they told them that, "No, it's not your (clothes|hair|tomato sauce|mad cello skills) that make the other kids mock you; It's you they don't like."


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:48 AM
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What I'm saying is, just how privileged were you?


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:50 AM
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I'm failing to understand what's wrong with "Pomi". Does it sound like pom-poms? Does it sound generally gay or something? Fey, somehow? I guess I could see that; your parents should have sent you along with some Manwich (which doesn't come in a box, alas).


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:52 AM
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156: Reading an article about the BSA's "perversion files," I was ever so proud to see the guy who would have been my AP English teacher listed as "a particularly egregious offender." (He was a weird fucking dude. Scary "super cop" looking motherfucker.)


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:55 AM
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Scary "super cop" looking motherfucker.

What do you have against Jackie Chan?


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:02 AM
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174: I'm thinking that bringing "Manwich", for that reason, could be counterproductive.


Posted by: Benquo | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:16 AM
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Pomi & meat as described in 145 = Manwich?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:22 AM
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165! I thought I was the only one who did that.


Posted by: sral | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:30 AM
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It seems clear that removing all labels from things is the way to go. Just put everything in a tupperware, and immediately offer some of whatever it is to the other kids.

God knows that some people eschew tupperware -- i.e. plastic resealable containers -- in the first place. Totally your mom, duh. So I guess everyone has to gnaw on chunks of dried meat. Or slices of slimy bologna or something. How irritating boys are, except that I know many grown men who find tupperware a bridge too far as well. What the hell do you do with your leftovers and stuff, I ask? I dunno, they say.

I hadn't realized how much this puzzled/annoyed me. It's just hard to work with someone who has, like, no tupperware.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:38 AM
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The bastard probably keeps things in ramekins.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:39 AM
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Or jars. You have no jars? Okay, what shall we do with this bulk quinoa, or bulghur wheat, we bought? I dunno ....


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:41 AM
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173- Not very but my mom often packed weird food for me. In ~4th grade I remember often discovering slices of London broil wrapped in foil in my lunch bag.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:42 AM
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London broil wrapped in foil

Favored lunch of the men who moil for gold.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:43 AM
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In strange parallel, I was linked off to "Ask a Grown Man" last night, mostly for the Ira Glass Balloon Animals episode: http://rookiemag.com/2012/10/ira-glass-balloon-animals/ It was excellent. I followed him back to This American Life, where he linked off to his segment, and a few of Rookie's regular features. One in particular was horrifically on topic:
http://rookiemag.com/2012/05/it-happens-all-the-time/

In my experience:
Grades up to 4: I was bullied in weird, inconsistent ways. Occasionally chased around the soccer field in attempts to trip/tackle/smear the queer sense, lots of exertion but "not fighting". The low on the social totem pole rotated for specific ostracism/negative attention, til it moved on.

5-6: A new school, made friends, we formed a clique that did our own thing. My Dad was a teacher at the same school, which had an influence. (Though my little brother didn't make as good a transition, was bullied and responded poorly to taunts, making "blame both" the easy way out for administration.)

7-8: We continued on to a separate junior high. The three of us remained separate from everyone else (hanging out in disused parts of the campus during lunch, etc.), with occasional visits from others. Despite the basically good grounding of personal friends, generalized tension, expected acknowledgement of dominance, and struggles for primacy drove me to those quiet corners. I hated these years, mostly for internal "out of control" feelings, but also for PE "picking teams for sports" and other ritual humiliations.

9-12: New district, was mildly bullied by the jock crossovers to the honors program. Despite being on one campus with intermixed classrooms, I had little interaction with non-honors students, and little bullying crossed those lines. (For me--more carried over if you had a history from earlier years.) The little bullying was enough to make me hate high school as a concept, and incredibly eager to just get through it and on to college where (I assumed) idiot bullies didn't exist.


Posted by: MooseKing | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:44 AM
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God knows that some people eschew tupperware -- i.e. plastic resealable containers

God knew that, but I didn't.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:45 AM
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One of my fellow campers cooked spaghetti for us on a Boy Scout camping trip. It was very good.

And yes, count me among the non-shocked regarding the perversion files.


Posted by: politicalfootball | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:48 AM
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I've had quinoa and as far as I'm concerned Peru can keep it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:48 AM
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184: I was trying to rhyme those because it didn't really scan and now I have no idea how I pronounce any of those words. Moil really needs to be used more often.


Posted by: hydrobatidae | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:49 AM
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re: 154

re: headbutting, that was in response to physical violence from other people.* Not mind-games/taunting type stuff, which I didn't experience much and when I did it was water off a duck's back.

* Specifically, a kid burst my BCG scar, does this happen in the US? You get your BCG [i.e. TB vaccination] early in high school, and it sometimes swells up into a pus-filled bubble. It was a 'thing' where the boys would charge up to someone and bash them on the arm to burst the scar. Anyway, one of the posher, arseholier kids did this to me. Despite me explicitly warning him not to. So I butted the fucker. Similarly, a bunch of us got cornered by some older kids after school, and some shoving/punching ensued. So, I butted the ringleader, and we all legged it before they could retaliate.**
** those are the only two times in 5 years of high-school that I stuck the head in someone in earnest. It's not like I was doing it every second week.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:50 AM
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Outside of Ernest, people move to much to hit them in the head.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:53 AM
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I've had quinoa and as far as I'm concerned Peru can keep it.

Word.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:53 AM
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You get your BCG [i.e. TB vaccination] early in high school, and it sometimes swells up into a pus-filled bubble.

WTF? No that doesn't happen here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:54 AM
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does this happen in the US?

No, we don't get those TB vaccinations.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 10:56 AM
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Wikipedia says it's common in the rest of the world. I didn't know.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:00 AM
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Wikipedia says it's common in the rest of the world

Wasn't that the specific purpose of Ellis Island, et al? It wasn't just to rename those unpronounceable Middle European surnames.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:09 AM
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I always thought that those vaccinations were specific to immigrants. Like, native-born Americans (and people who live in other countries and don't move here) had neatly-healing TB vaccinations, but on Angel or Ellis they gave you the scarifying ones so that in the future people wouldn't mistake you for native-born. It's really going to flip my worldview upside down if that turns out not to be correct.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:14 AM
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Like the neatly-healing sneetches and the scar-bellied sneetches?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:17 AM
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I remember often discovering slices of London broil wrapped in foil in my lunch bag.

A little taste of heaven. Go Mom!


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:21 AM
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And of course being a kid I blamed my parents for sending me on the trip with a stupidly named tomato product that would make people pick on me.

Little did you know that they were arming you with the only BPA-free tomato packaging!


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:25 AM
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Right, around here those vaccinations don't swell up.

I have no idea what the objection to quinoa is.

185: A new school, made friends, we formed a clique that did our own thing. My Dad was a teacher at the same school, which had an influence. (Though my little brother didn't make as good a transition, was bullied and responded poorly to taunts, making "blame both" the easy way out for administration.)

Younger siblings, oh, it can be terrible for them. My brother didn't fare well in high school: he heard about me perpetually (I'd done well, with bumps in the road, and gone on to Ivy League place). My brother was apparently frequently compared to me -- which is pretty indefensible on the part of the faculty and all parties involved except for my brother, who had to live with it. I didn't know at the time.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:25 AM
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Is that TB or smallpox? (Wiki says... TB apparently.)
London broil wrapped in foil is kosher so you can feed it to a Mohel.
I liked Cremation of Sam McGee.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:26 AM
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181: The bastard probably keeps things in ramekins.

Note how well I'm ignoring this.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:28 AM
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Oh, now I remember. We used to call them "FOB marks," because they were like stamps to identify the FOBs.


Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:28 AM
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Right, around here those vaccinations don't swell up.

I think the TB vaccination is the same, but that in the U.S. only higher risk groups get it.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:29 AM
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Younger siblings, oh, it can be terrible for them.

I considerately paved the way for my younger siblings to be viewed in a favorable light by never doing any homework and getting mediocre grades.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:29 AM
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I have no idea what the objection to quinoa is.

It tastes funny.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:29 AM
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My brother didn't fare well in high school: he heard about me perpetually

Heh. Parent teacher conferences were last night, and I had another one of Newt's teachers say "Hrm. He's not like Sally, is he." Sally has inherited her father's charm, and is beloved by all. Newt, on the other hand, got a somewhat more bombastic personality from the other side of the family. Everything's good, but teachers who were expecting the boy version of Sally tend to show up at conferences looking a little dazed and overwhelmed.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:30 AM
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201: Yeah, he had the same comparisons constantly leveled at him. He rebelled, striving to find things where he could be better and dodge comparison. He chose mechanics (auto shop, etc.) and edgy friends in high school, which put him on a worrisome (to my dad) trajectory.

In the end, college wasn't his thing--he went straight into the Navy and (after a bad initial experience) made it a career.


Posted by: MooseKing | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:30 AM
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Some quinoa is stronger tasting. Some of it doesn't have much more flavor than couscous, and it has a lighter texture.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:31 AM
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It tastes funny.

So do clowns.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:32 AM
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I had a big BCG boil that got infected and left me with a nice big scar on my arm. I used to taunt the girl who sat behind me in class by showing her the pussy wound. I totally had a crush on her but the disgusting wound gambit did not win me her affection. She's probably a lesbian, I figure.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:35 AM
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If she were a lesbian, she wouldn't have recoiled from the pussy wound.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:36 AM
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Now to sit back and watch the pwnings roll in.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:37 AM
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212: I don't know, when I was in the Peace Corps I had a huge crush on a NZ volunteer who was mostly identifiable by a series of horribly infected wounds.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:46 AM
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208: LB, for what it's worth, I'd be careful about that, and shut down the comparisons whenever possible. I guess I mean: check with Newt whether he's hearing the comparisons, in however oblique a manner, himself. It does damage, I think.

I don't mean to be alarmist -- just that I was appalled to learn years later that my brother had had to hear that message throughout high school.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:54 AM
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Yeah, my brother kept being compared to me in our school district. It didn't help that he's 5 years older.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:57 AM
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In their case, I don't think he's taking any damage. They both impress people, just in different ways, and I think he's fairly pleased to be perceived as a very different person than she is. If I thought he felt belittled by the comparison, I'd worry, but he doesn't seem to.

You can't really avoid being compared to siblings in the same school. Dr. Oops was a notable figure around our high school, and I got a bit sick of being comparatively drab, but there's nothing to do about it.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 12:00 PM
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My oldest brother got voted Best Butt when he was a junior, by the senior girls. I heard this from girls who overlapped with both of us.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 12:02 PM
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215: Well, what do you expect from a Necrotic Zone volunteer.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 12:04 PM
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Yeah, well with getting all Oedipal trying being compared to one's superstar athlete father. Fortunately there were only a handful of teachers left from that era, but it was necessary for all of them to remark. The downside of the legacy admit.


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 12:05 PM
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I heard this from girls who overlapped with both of us.

Kinky.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 12:06 PM
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I had one teacher who'd taught my father, although at a different high school. When Dad came in for a parent teacher conference, Mr Marienhoff hassled him about a paper he'd never turned in.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 12:07 PM
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209: My brother was roughly the same -- rebelled, and blew off trying to be a scholar of any sort. The times allowed that rebelling included becoming a computer geek. It's worked out.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 12:08 PM
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It's tough growing up in the shadow of your brother's butt.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 12:15 PM
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When you can't see the sun, reach for the moon.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 12:16 PM
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||

Speaking of high schoolers, jesus christ. A three mile cross country route in 16:00 is unbelievable.

|>


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 12:21 PM
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Maybe she was chased by bears

http://withleather.uproxx.com/2012/10/enjoy-running-try-not-to-get-murdered-by-bears


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 12:26 PM
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OT: My old stomping ground.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 12:32 PM
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You guys should come have huckleberry quinoa for breakfast at my house. It'll convert you.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 1:01 PM
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My brother was roughly the same -- rebelled, and blew off trying to be a scholar of any sort. The times allowed that rebelling included becoming a computer geek. It's worked out.

Sort of similar here--I rebelled by refusing to put effort into anything, but still thoroughly internalized the same values and standards of self-worth, which, uh, hasn't worked out too well at all, says the once-again-being-supported-by-parents 32-year-old. (My older sister went to school in Boston, as they say, but put off doing her CIT PhD in order to spend a few years training with and competing on the national speedskating team, hoping to make the Olympic team--she just missed it, unfortunately; in any case, she seems to be doing well enough to be buying an apartment with her same-field, same-university postdoc boyfriend.)


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 2:38 PM
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What is CIT?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 2:42 PM
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My cousin, OTOH, seemed to follow Parsimon's brother's path--rebelling, refusing to play the game in any way, becoming a computer geek. This was pretty stressful for his whole family during the time when he was a live-at-home, GED-less high-school dropout, but once he got recruited into a CS PhD program (still w/o HS or college diploma), and was then lured away from that by M$, things smoothed out.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 2:44 PM
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It's a school, out west. I don't know why I used the acronym rather than its usual abbreviation. Some weird gesture towards anonymizing, though FFS she's got to be pretty uniquely identifiable based just on that sentence.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 2:51 PM
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Oh, okay.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 2:52 PM
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Oh, right, as I think previously established an old friend of mine is in the same lab as she is.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 2:56 PM
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That Rookie link from 185 is really horrifying. Just ... what the fuck, dudes. What the fuck.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 2:57 PM
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227: that's comparable with the top Kenyan or Ethiopian junior women's times. After the two silvers for U.S. men (not of African descent) in the 2012 Olympics distance running events, I've been thinking more and more that what's holding U.S. running back is a mental or attitude barrier more than anything else. It should be fun to watch her hit the world scene in a couple of years.


Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 2:58 PM
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A high school role-playing game friend, at that.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 2:58 PM
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Dude you should move in with her and put your crazy jury-designing skills to use in the reality TV show industry.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:03 PM
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A high school role-playing game friend, at that.

Clearly my problem was that I wasn't enough of a nerd. I was on BBSs and played MUDs, and learned a bit of very simple programming writing TeleMate scripts for said MUDs, but never really committed to that. Ah, well.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:07 PM
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240: I really don't understand how that would work.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:09 PM
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Also, Halford: giving up on los Tigres so quickly? I know last night's game was brutal, but c'mon, there are still three more to go...


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:11 PM
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That Rookie link from 185 is really horrifying. Just ... what the fuck, dudes. What the fuck.

This stuff continues to amaze me, every time there's an internet discussion about it. Since age 16 or so I have not witnessed a single incident of the sort mentioned there. Not once, I'm pretty sure of it. Not only that, I have never heard women complain about it or even mention it except on the internet. There's a constant and relentless hidden effort by various men to harass women when no one else is looking, which apparently reaches all women everywhere at all times, and concomitantly there is a seething hidden resentment by all women against this - all of which is invisible to men who don't harass women. It's amazing.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:12 PM
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Anyway, that's probably one of those factors which will affect the election results in ways not revealed by polling. Back on topic!


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:14 PM
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241: oh, he's one of the smartest people I've ever met, so I imagine that helped. Dropped out of high school, talked his way into Increasingly Well Regarded Boston-area University (perfect math SAT helped), took (and aced) their entire undergraduate math sequence, then used THAT and a combination safe he built by hand in high school to talk his way into Famous Boston Engineering School where he spent a bunch of years building robot fish before deciding he was tired of that, hitchhiking around for several years, and then kinda falling into Trapnel's Sister's Subfield.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:15 PM
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But he also DM'd a mean Rolemaster campaign.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:16 PM
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244: have you ever asked any women about it?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:17 PM
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a bunch of years building robot fish

So cool. Did they have lasers attached to them? Did they attack people?


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:18 PM
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Did they attack people?

I believe this possibility, along with the source of his funding, was what eventually got him out of the business.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:20 PM
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But anyhow you should ask your sister about him. I imagine she's a lot more current on what's up with his life than I am.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:21 PM
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I was being compared to my younger brother before I got out of high school. He didn't even *go* to high school. Good thing we went to different colleges.

Washing all the bitter saponins off quinoa is difficult. Vaguely related, I just introduced my (Boston Irish) sweetie to grits with butter on them and he's astounded that anything so good has been unknown so long. Granted, completely white food with butter on it is an easy sell to the stereotypical Irish taste. Still. He does know this is funny.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:22 PM
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But anyhow you should ask your sister about him

Yeah, we don't actually talk much.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:29 PM
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Washing all the bitter saponins off quinoa is difficult.

Yeah, I assume the difference in tastes I've noticed is largely due to how much pre-sale washing it gets.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:43 PM
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OT: From time to time the Internet, purveyor of so much that irritates, distracts or plagues, casts upon attention's strand* a pearl of lumpen, frank, ingenuous charm: e.g., the information, in the Wikipedia entry on Saint Peter, that his "Influences" consisted of "Jesus."

Just so.

* Indulge me.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 3:57 PM
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Since age 16 or so I have not witnessed a single incident of the sort mentioned there.

And yet a lot of women seem to think it happens to them. Truly, an irreconcilable chasm! Whom to believe!

Okay, I know sarcasm probably isn't going to be the most productive tack here, but I have to ask: wtf is supposed to be the takehome from 244? Charitable reading would say wonderment that this sort of thing goes on constantly without your being aware of it, but honestly, it reads more like you're doubting that it really happens that much.

FTR, I can count at least five times off the top of my head that I've been masturbated at in public, including a truly terrifying incident when I was 16 and driving on the interstate alone. It hasn't happened in a while, presumably because I've aged out of the kind of youth and vulnerability that can make a woman a more attractive target for that particular kind of harassment. But it seems like a lot of the writers for Rookie would be right in the prime target age.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 4:00 PM
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At my high school new students were known as beagles and got mocked. There were pranks at night my first year. Those were banned later, but of course the boys continued to beat up boys.

The main pranks were things like Vaseline on the toilet seat at night. The worst offender in my dorm was a Senior who had been a beagle the year before. I complained about it too much and got individually targeted. I think I actually complained to that girl, not realizing how hung ho she was. One night I got cheese whiz in my hair while I was sleeping.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 4:03 PM
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244 all of which is invisible to men who don't harass women

I've witnessed street harassment a few times. Of course, if my saying that were to somehow affect your opinion in a way that women talking about it didn't, something would be fucked up.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 4:08 PM
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wtf is supposed to be the takehome from 244?

I think the takehome is supposed to be what's glossed as the charitable reading; the 5th sentence seems pretty straightforward to me:

There's a constant and relentless hidden effort by various men to harass women when no one else is looking, which apparently reaches all women everywhere at all times, and concomitantly there is a seething hidden resentment by all women against this - all of which is invisible to men who don't harass women.

That reads to me as a statement of fact: this thing happens. And then, yes, it is remarkable that otherwise-intelligent folks can be so blind to it.

In my own case, it wasn't until I saw internet discussions about street harassment that I understood what a big deal it was, and talked with female friends about it; they shared their own horror stories. Before that, it really was invisible to me. Yes, that reflects badly on me, but I don't think I was all that unusual in this respect. Privilege can be blinding in a lot of ways, and this is one example of that.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 4:21 PM
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256: Just mechanically, how did that work? I read that to mean while you were driving, but it can only make sense if it meant while you were on a trip (perhaps stopped for gas, food, or restrooms?).


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 4:32 PM
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To clarify: I'd witnessed street harassment a few times. But living in Chicago and then NYC, I was used to occasionally seeing sketchy people behaving in antisocial ways every once in awhile. So it was easy to think of it in that category--the occasional unpleasantness that's a part of living in a city where we don't cane people for being antisocial, like crazy people muttering to themselves. This is totally wrong, I know that now, but being in the position I was in, and not having had conversations with women about it (something doubtless made more likely by the libertarian-asshole vibes I was giving off), there I was: in a place of privileged obliviousness. A lot of guys are in that place, and it might well be the case that the better they're structurally positioned to actually shift things, the less likely they are to have the reality of the situation impress itself upon them with appropriate sharpness. I think men doing a better job policing each other about this is an important aspect of bettering things, and so it's helpful to understand why it is that so many men are so clueless; it's not (just) that they're stupid or have no empathy or whatever.


Posted by: x.trapnel | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 4:34 PM
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Weirdly, I don't recall being street-harassed to that extent. What I do recall, quite well, is being groped or being held down (see 64).

A few years ago I had a friend-- about my age -- who was freaking out that his daughter, who was on vacation and camping on a beach, in a tent, had phoned him to say that she'd been molested in her tent the previous night by some stranger who'd crept in. She was very upset, of course. My friend was beside himself, wanted to demand that she come home right away, or wanted to rush over there himself. But she was a continent away.

I surprised myself. The daughter was something like 22 years old. I asked basic questions: is she with friends there? Yes. Did the guy actually rape her? No, just fumbled with her clothes, yanked her shirt up, got on top of her, put his hands in her pants. She yelled and he left. Does she have somewhere else she's going to go instead of staying at the beach? Yes.

I surprised myself by saying, Sweetheart, I hate to tell you this, but that happens to practically every woman at some point, and believe it or not, she'll most likely work it out and get over it. Just make sure she has a safe place to go.

I wasn't sure if that was cold of me, but it was the truth.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 5:22 PM
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I had a college friend who drunkenly revealed to a group of guys that he really enjoyed groping women on public transportation. Everyone was basically like uhhhhhhh what that's super horrible. He explained that it was "totally normal" in his Eastern European country, to which everyone was still like uhhhh what.

Anyhow even if only like 5% of guys are street harassers or gropers or whatever that's still gonna feel like pretty constant harassment to young women.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 5:30 PM
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||

Are there any animal doctors in the house? Say your dog is in obvious pain. And say that the local vet can't see him until late tomorrow afternoon. And let us stipulate further that one has an ample supply of opiates in the house. Can you give a dog vicodin? And if so, what is a safe dose per unit of body weight?

|>


Posted by: Dr. Doolittle | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 5:43 PM
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Vicodin? No way. So my instinct says.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 5:46 PM
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What about Percocet? Tylenol with Codeine? Straight ibuprofen?


Posted by: Dr. Doolittle | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 5:51 PM
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I thought Tylenol was poison to dogs but that might just be because they'll eat the whole bottle if they find one.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 5:56 PM
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What kind of pain are we talking about? From arthritis? Or a gaping wound? Or a broken leg?

I seem to think that half an aspirin is okay. Aspirin, like for a child. Not sure on dosage. I would check online about that, though.

Maybe the dog should go to the veterinary E.R.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 5:57 PM
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http://books.google.com/books?id=ievLulSqwBAC&pg=PA317&lpg=PA317&dq=oxycodone+dose+for+dogs&source=bl&ots=FaEEyia4u0&sig=4g-EqNTYfq1yH8vXmWuFlOJFBVU&hl=en&sa=X&ei=IeCJUOD1D-qe2QXijIGAAw&ved=0CEcQ6AEwBzge#v=onepage&q=oxycodone%20dose%20for%20dogs&f=false


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:00 PM
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Not sure what the cause of the pain is. He's too young for arthritis. No obvious wound or injury, either. It could be a musculo-skeletal thing, or infectious disease, or cancer, or who knows what. Sudden onset, accompanied by lethargy and pathetic whimpering.


Posted by: Dr. Doolittle | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:02 PM
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Yeah, the diagnosis is the key here. If the pain is severe then the vet ER is the place to go but be prepared to lay out some big bucks there.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:06 PM
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Hate to say it, but pathetic whimpering sounds like I'd bring him to the vet E.R., or at least call them and ask.

I'm more familiar with cats, and in their case, there can be a hidden injury you're not seeing. Whimpering means something important.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:07 PM
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Could be poisoning or GI obstruction of some sort. I wouldn't give anything without the vet's okay.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:08 PM
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I'm with Parsi. Take him in.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:08 PM
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I wouldn't dose him up, in any case. The doc needs to be able to determine the source of the problem.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:10 PM
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Having now seen the dog myself, I don't think he's that bad off. Mrs. Doolittle's frantic texts notwithstanding, he's not actually whimpering, and he wagged his tail when he saw me (albeit from a prone position, when he would normally jump up).


Posted by: Dr. Doolittle | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:14 PM
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Hrm, they'll do that, wag and smile, even when they're hurting.

Up to you, obviously. See how he is over the next while -- how do his eyes look? Cloudy, unfocused? Can he get up and eat or drink? Are his ears warm (indicates fever, at least in cats). Pinch the skin at the back of his neck -- it should rebound nicely, not stand in the same pinched position (indicates dehydration, at least in cats).

I don't mean to be alarmist, but these are the things I look at, for cats. Mostly the eyes.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:21 PM
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The NYT and various other sources are reporting a terrible, horrific crime in my neighborhood.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:23 PM
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I dunno, prone position, declining to get up, doesn't sound good. Maybe he needs I.V. fluids to start with. Sorry, I know you don't want to go to the vet E.R.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:25 PM
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278: yeah, I saw that, though I didn't know you were involved, Nanny McPhee.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:45 PM
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I suppose I should have put two and two together.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:46 PM
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Um, Doolittle, if you bring him to the vet ER, they'll probably just admit him and keep him overnight. IV fluids, tests. He'll sleep and be bummed out, but they'll have some information tomorrow. It'll cost several hundred bucks.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:47 PM
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They don't even put a tongue depressor in an animal's mouth for several hundred bucks in Doolittleville. I'd be out the price of a late model Vespa if I take him in tonight. He's sleeping and seems to being all right for now. I'll take him in the morning if he doesn't eat then. Mrs. Doolittle thinks he injured his back somehow (not implausible, given his wiener dog physiognomy and slightly excessive weight).


Posted by: Dr. Doolittle | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:55 PM
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I assume you're subtly bragging about the size of the dog's penis, which is strange.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:56 PM
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But, if the dog is sleeping and was drinking before that, I'd think it could wait.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:57 PM
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Alright. Sorry to fuss so.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 6:59 PM
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Why are we going anonymous for this one?


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:03 PM
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his wiener dog physiognomy

This had me worried about this but it sounds like it doesn't usually coöccur with lying down.

(Happened to my dad's dog, but they managed to catch it in time. So messed up!)


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:05 PM
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Why are we going anonymous for this one?

Maybe some dogs don't want their medical problems paraded all over the internet, thank you very much.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:11 PM
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On the internet, nobody knows your dog's sick.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:13 PM
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Unless you, like, tell them or something.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:14 PM
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287: Lurkers always try to score Percocet if they know who has any.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:16 PM
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Probably the profligate dispensing of vicodin. Got a problem? I got your answer right here!


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:18 PM
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Just mechanically, how did that work? I read that to mean while you were driving, but it can only make sense if it meant while you were on a trip (perhaps stopped for gas, food, or restrooms?).

No, it was while I was driving. I was on the highway, during the day, and had noticed another car being annoying -- not driving a steady speed, pulling up beside me in the passing lane (2-lane divided highway) but never actually overtaking. It finally got annoying enough that I tried to speed up a lot and lose the car, but it wouldn't let me get away, and that's when I looked over into the car at the driver. He was quite exaggeratedly jerking off. If I slowed down, sped up, it didn't matter, he stuck right beside me. Sometimes he would surge in front of me just a bit so that I would be sure to see him jerking it extra hard. I had no idea what to do. I certainly wasn't going to stop by the side of the road. I thought of taking the next exit, but it was a rural area, a stretch of the interstate where the exits were just to small roads, and didn't have public amenities, and what if he'd gotten off at the exit too? I had to drive through several exits before I got to one with a gas station, where I pulled off. He didn't follow, but that didn't keep me from being terrified that he was waiting for me somewhere down the road. I thought of calling the police, and in retrospect I probably should have for the driving tactics alone, but I was mortified. What was I going to say? There's a pervert on the highway? So I didn't tell anyone.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:25 PM
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||

If you're going to eat a bear, be sure to cook it thoroughly. I think this is the best part of the article:

In the past decade, bear meat has overtaken walrus as the primary culprit behind Alaska trichinosis cases

|>


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:28 PM
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Coincidentally, I just did a google image search on "don't poke the bear". Hoo boy was that not a good idea.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:30 PM
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293.1 to 293.last.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:34 PM
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Well that's just crazy Blume. What a weird event.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 7:44 PM
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295: If Emerson were here, he'd remind you to cook boar well-done too.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:26 PM
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More scary that weird. The persistent following in an unpopulated area is a big issue.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:27 PM
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294: No, it was while I was driving. I was on the highway, during the day, and had noticed another car being annoying -- not driving a steady speed, pulling up beside me in the passing lane (2-lane divided highway) but never actually overtaking. It finally got annoying enough that I tried to speed up a lot and lose the car, but it wouldn't let me get away, and that's when I looked over into the car at the driver. He was quite exaggeratedly jerking off gesticulating at the steel hook hanging from my door handle.


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:31 PM
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Let's have the gun control arguments again. My daughter would have scared that loon into permanent impotence.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:32 PM
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You taught your teenager to pull a gun on people while driving?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:36 PM
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Just to echo the advice for Doolittle, don't give your dog an opiate if you don't know the cause of pain. It could exacerbate a digestive problem.
Also, I don't remember witnessing any harassment of women by strangers, nor have any mentioned it to me irl, but that's almost certainly because I am not a woman, nor do I talk to any.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:48 PM
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No, that would be dangerous. You run them off the road, stop the car, and shoot them while they're still stunned by the airbag going off.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:49 PM
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It would be safer to keep a spike strip tied under your car with a lever for a quick release. Then, if you get ahead of them for a second, you can pop the switch and take out their tires.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 8:59 PM
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If Emerson were here, he'd remind you to cook boar well-done too.

I know he has his opinions on what to do with bears as well.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:12 PM
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At least for Canadians.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:12 PM
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He has not to my knowledge weighed in on the walrus question.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:13 PM
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294: That is scary and disturbing.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 9:19 PM
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294: That's awful.

Vaguely related... once I took the city bus from downtown LA to somewhere in Westwood, and along the way these three rednecks got on and started insulting people and trying to pick a fight. (They were obviously from out of town, and they really were rednecks.) Most of the people on the bus were Hispanic and just tolerated them. But it was really bad, they were saying things that ought to have gotten them stabbed. Eventually I got off the bus, and I don't know what happened to those guys.


Posted by: YK | Link to this comment | 10-25-12 11:08 PM
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Canine update: Mrs. Doolottle finally insisted on taking the dog to the veterinary ER -- at 3:30 in the morning -- because she couldn't sleep for worry over him. The vet thinks he has something wrong with a disc in his neck that is affecting motor function in his hind legs. She gave him steroids and doggie valium. He isn't allowed to exercise for two weeks, and we have been severely admonished about his weight.


Posted by: Dr. Doolittle | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 4:30 AM
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re: 311

Getting on public transport and menacing people is a fairly time-honoured thing, I think. I've been on nightbuses on London a few times when biggish groups of young men have gotten on and starting giving people a hard time. I had someone threaten me with a knife on one in Glasgow, and the worst (Glasgow again) was after an Old Firm game, where some Rangers fans got on and smashed a window, pissed on one of the other passengers, verbally abused, pushed or threatened most of the rest, and then ostentatiously made sure a couple of the bigger non-fans on the bus were aware that they were armed [chibs, bike chains, not guns] so they didn't decide to play have-a-go hero. I sat silently and hoped they'd ignore me. Which they did.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 5:15 AM
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He isn't allowed to exercise for two weeks, and we have been severely admonished about his weight.

Low carbs then, I guess.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 5:27 AM
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313: I've never seen anything like that on our bus, but our soccer fans are mostly cheering for small children.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 5:31 AM
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OT: Jacques Barzun was apparently alive until yesterday. I had no idea.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 5:33 AM
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316: You could have been masturbating to him all this time!


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 5:41 AM
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There aren't many historians who remember WWI from the newspapers.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 5:44 AM
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Anyway, once you get past 100, you can piss on people on the bus without getting arrested.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 5:54 AM
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319: mostly just yourself.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 6:01 AM
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Mostly but not entirely. If you wanted to piss just yourself on the bus here, you'd have to get up early and ride before the morning crowds.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 6:09 AM
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then ostentatiously made sure a couple of the bigger non-fans on the bus were aware that they were armed [chibs, bike chains, not guns]

Out here that's an excellent way to end up with a bullet in you. I've helped stop the light rail train more than once to escort various shitheads off. The last one who had brandished a knife was told up front that if he even thought of reaching for something he was going to get shot in the face.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 6:50 AM
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re: 322

Ordinary beat cops aren't armed here, as you know. Plus this was a match day, the city was swarming with riot police in vans, but I expect they'd only have called in an armed response team as a matter of last resort. Anyway, there was no-one on the bus at the time with a gun, and they'd certainly have expected no opposition.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 6:53 AM
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Yeah that seems like another one for the annals of "gun culture=higher rate of deaths, lower rate of fights."


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 6:54 AM
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re: 322

The sheer scale of the mayhem on a day like that would generally mean the cops would just be trying to get people to disperse and go home, too. There'd have been 50-60,000 plus drunken arseholes at the match, plus countless others congregated in pubs all over the city. That particular day, there'd been a tube strike, so the police had made the (insane) decision to 'kettle' the Rangers fans in pubs along the south side of the river. They then released them in a large wave in the early evening. So there were tens of thousands of very very violent, frustrated drunk arseholes on the loose.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 6:57 AM
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So there were tens of thousands of very very violent, frustrated drunk arseholes on the loose.

We call that "Saturday" here.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 7:00 AM
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I'd guess 'here' on a Saturday isn't _really_ much like Glasgow on an Old Firm day. Where's 'here'?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 7:01 AM
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Well, violence like that is rare, but we have plenty of free roaming frustrated drunk arseholes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 7:03 AM
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That particular day, there'd been a tube strike, so the police had made the (insane) decision to 'kettle' the Rangers fans in pubs along the south side of the river. They then released them in a large wave in the early evening. So there were tens of thousands of very very violent, frustrated drunk arseholes on the loose.

Jesus.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 7:05 AM
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Basically, it's all either frustrated drunk arseholes or (even worse) self-fulfilled drunk arseholes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 7:06 AM
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Yeah, this is really a whole order of magnitude different from the ordinary quota of drunk arseholes you'd expect in many major cities at the weekend [or in that city, on any other day].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 7:07 AM
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I'm probably more of an Edinburgh guy than a Glasgow guy anyway.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 7:18 AM
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That really sounds like a Scottish version of "The Warriors." "Release the pent up drunk assholes in a single wave onto public transit" doesn't really seem like a super good plan.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 7:21 AM
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re: 333

I think it was just a dumb decision made in the spur of the moment.

'Shit, these guys have no way of getting back over the river, and they are kicking off; right, keep them here for a few hours while we work out what to do next.'

[time passes]

'Shit, they are getting drunker and drunker, we should just let them go and make their own way back via bus.'

[time passes]

'Oops.'


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 7:24 AM
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At this point, though, wouldn't "dealing with thousands of drunk, violent soccer fans" be something the Glasgow police has 100 years of experience dealing with?

Crowd control seems really really hard.


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 7:47 AM
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re: 335

Yes, and they usually do an OK job. Around the stadiums and certain hotspots there'll be riot police in force, mounted police, etc and very high levels of police presence throughout the city on match days. There's usually a lot of people acting like arseholes, but it's a fairly routine task for the police. Old Firm games are worse, but they are used to those to.

On this particular day the tube strike meant the fans couldn't be dispersed from the stadium area after the match, so they were congregating in thousands along one of the main roads, getting increasingly belligerent. That was an out of the ordinary event and they handled it badly.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 7:49 AM
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I was once on a Seattle-to-Portland train that stopped because drunk football fans were rushing from side to side of the carriage trying to tip the train.

It was particularly disconcerting because Seattle-to-Portland is mild-to-milder. OTOH, the worst of them were put off to a semi-abandoned station in a very, very small town.


Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 7:55 AM
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The internet Glasgow is a series of tubes.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 7:55 AM
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I believe I've been menaced on public transport exactly once -- on a student-heavy bus there was a non-student fellow who seemed just very upset with the world and laid into me about how he would fuck me up. He didn't actually get up the nerve to take a swing at me though. I believe I was 17 or 18 at the time, and just about as big as I am now.

Re: 311, I had a wonderful time on the bus from downtown LA to Hollywood & Vine late one night, when some wag kept ringing the bell for every stop. The bus driver got pissed off and started just skipping every stop until the asshole quit. It was very frustrating, especially as I was somewhat the worse for drink and ready to fall asleep, so I was very concerned I would miss my stop. (My companion had, in fact, already fallen asleep, so I was responsible for him getting off the bus correctly as well.)


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 7:56 AM
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So what's it like now with police having to deal with Rangers fans milling around in towns that haven't had Old Firm matches in decades, and stadiums that can only hold a thousand or so away fans anyway?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 8:11 AM
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So what's it like now with police having to deal with Rangers fans milling around in towns that haven't had Old Firm matches in decades

ie, everywhere but Glasgow?


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 8:24 AM
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340: Have you read Among the Thugs? Policeman, eyeball, sucking?


Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 8:28 AM
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|| So, Mid-Atlantians, this hurricane looks like the real deal. Or will this just be another great French toast affair? |>


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 8:29 AM
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I meant matches involving either member of the Old Firm.

Berwick, Peterhead, Elgin...


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 8:35 AM
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343: Slate has a piece complaining that the governments warnings being too strong (they are in CAPLOCK), so I assume this means we're all going to die in a flood.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 8:39 AM
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343: Buck's been telling me that there's a cold front which may make it a snow-a-cane. It's wrong, but that really does sound like it could be fun.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 8:47 AM
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It will be a snow-meteor-a-cane. A giant snow meteor 3000 miles wide will flatten America and everything in it. Thanks to early voting, I have cast my vote for Mitt Romney, and as I prophesized, America will now be destroyed. You thought I was speaking metaphorically?


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 9:03 AM
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re: 340

Honestly, I've no idea. I don't know how many away fans are following Rangers now that they've been expelled into the outer darkness. I'd guess they turn up, behave like cocks, and then leave without any major harm done.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 9:19 AM
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Wait, who is this "Walt Someguy"? Have we had a direct line to God here all along?


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 9:25 AM
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Hurricane Sandy may be unprecedented in East Coast storm history

This is a beyond-strange situation. It's unprecedented and bizarre...the double-freak part is that the upper level wind, instead of weakening the storm and simply absorbing the moisture - which would be annoying enough - is merging with the tropical system to create a monstrous hybrid vortex. A combination of a hurricane and a nor'easter.
A very prominent and respected National Weather Service meteorologist wrote on Facebook last night, I've never seen anything like this and I'm at a loss for expletives to describe what this storm could do.

Um, better call mom and check in.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 9:32 AM
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350: cue mcmanus telling us that the only way to stop the storm is to nuke the Eastern seaboard.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 9:40 AM
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I guess it is time to go swordfishing


Posted by: Tasseled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 10:07 AM
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350: Your mom wasn't really asking for new expletives.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 10:26 AM
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353: no, but yours was. Well, one in particular.


Posted by: Annelid Gustator | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 10:32 AM
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A genuinely novel human sex expletive?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 10:36 AM
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Gronk me, baby. Gronk me harder.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 10:38 AM
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go to "wings n' things" in Ryde NSW AUSTRALIA, and you will know exactly what a gronk is - trust me!!!


Posted by: Roberto Tigre | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 10:42 AM
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What was that song Neb posted? Slang her? Slope her? Grape her? I'm sure it combined rape, grind, grope and slut but I can't remember how. Whang her?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 10:53 AM
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Slime her? Slame her?


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 10:53 AM
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Off to grame some students for the next hour. Hard.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 10:55 AM
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Lemme smang it, gurl.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 10:57 AM
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Graming students is the other thread.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 10:58 AM
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And ye mome smang outgrabe


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-26-12 10:59 AM
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302

Let's have the gun control arguments again. My daughter would have scared that loon into permanent impotence.

A cell phone seems like a more practical way of dealing with this sort of thing.


Posted by: James B. Shearer | Link to this comment | 10-28-12 8:26 AM
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294: Holy shit! I've been jerked off at by a stranger, just walking through a parking lot in Cleveland. I went to the police station, and they were all eye-rolly about it. Apparently the kid was like 17 and every time they haul him in his grandmother beats the shit out of him, but no one presses charges. I didn't know what the right thing to do was. He obviously needs help before he starts acting like the guy in 294, but I am not going to pretend I was harmed by it and ruin some kid's already shitty life.

I do feel like the urge to aggressively masturbate *at* a stranger in public is one of those things I just don't understand. The women exhibitionists I've known have some deranged fantasy that every shoe salesman and waiter and cab driver *wants* to see her pussy, which is gross and classist and is infuriating, but at least the other person's pleasure is part of the fantasy. Male exhibitionists seem to get off on horror.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 10-28-12 8:40 AM
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Male exhibitionists seem to get off on horror.

I don't know what they get off on, probably a number of different things. But can you imagine a person who would just make a story like that up and then post it on the internet? I mean, can you imagine?


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-28-12 8:51 AM
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It's happened to almost every woman I know.


Posted by: AWB | Link to this comment | 10-28-12 8:52 AM
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sorry, I guess people don't tell me these things.


Posted by: text | Link to this comment | 10-28-12 8:57 AM
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365: Some guy did that to my daughter in her college days. She laughed.

364: James, she often drives in areas with no or spotty cellphone coverage. She knows the law, knows her strategy and tactics, and mostly doesn't worry. It wouldn't pay to frighten her though, her reaction would be aggression rather than submission.


Posted by: Biohazard | Link to this comment | 10-28-12 9:10 AM
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