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  • Writer's pictureTraci Kanaan

"Sometimes, you just have to kick some ass and take names."

"Sometimes, you just have to kick some ass and take names." ~George D Kanaan

When I was about 11-12 years old, I was being bullied. I told my dad about it. He shared with me how he grew up with a bum leg due to polio, making him a target for bullies as a result. Thanks to being on crutches for much of his young life, his arms were very strong so he was able to defend himself most of the time. He explained that he never earned the friendship of his bullies, but he did earn their respect and they eventually left him alone. He ended our conversation with "Sometimes, you just have to kick some ass and take names. Do what you gotta do and defend yourself."

On my fifth straight day of being bullied, two of the boys started kicking me in the ass (literally) and squirting me with water pistols. Enough was enough! I heard my dad’s words in my head and I did what I had to do. I grabbed the one boy, picked him up WWF style and threw him on the gravel driveway. The other boy I couldn't catch but managed to chase him into a barbed wire fence that he didn't see until it was too late to stop.

A family friend heard screaming and turned to see one bloody kid on the ground clutching a smashed squirt gun and me chasing the other boy into the fence. He came running and started screaming at me. "What the Hell are you doing?" "What did those boys ever do to you?" "For Christ's sake, it was just a squirt gun!" He then ran over to my dad and started screaming at him over what I had done. "YOUR DAUGHTER just beat up ____ and ____!"

My father, with an amused expression on his face, said "Did I just hear you say my little girl beat up TWO boys?”

I was not exactly little for my age. I was probably 50lbs heavier than the boy I threw on the ground and the same weight as the other.

He took a sip of his drink. "That's too bad for them, isn't it."

My father then relayed the entire events of the week to the man who accused me of being a bully. He detailed every incident of bullying I endured, the crying every night for a week because I was convinced no one liked me.

The man who witnessed this incident listened to my father intently. He was a very proud man. He grew up in a tough neighborhood and likely had to defend himself from bullies growing up because he was short. He was well on his way to being a self made millionaire if he wasn't one already. When he heard the full story, he apologized for his actions. He relayed what happened to the parents of the two boys, and they were forced to apologize to me.

What a powerful life lesson. Thank you, Dad, for being such a great teacher.

10/3/1941 - 1/10/2006

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