February 28, 2009
I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not the most imposing figure. My scant 160 lbs of mass stapled onto a six-foot skeleton does not cast an impressive silhouette. Therefore, a lot of people think that I must not be able to fight.
They’re right. But I was the captain of my high school wrestling team and am a green belt in Judo. I’ve studied jujitsu and Muai Thai kickboxing in small doses as well. But I’ve never been in a fight. I think that fighting amongst adults is the ultimate show of immaturity. We might as well go find a playground and trade some X-Men cards while we’re at it.
Plus if anyone punched me in the nose, I’d hit the ground like a sack of dirt.
In short, my participation in the fight is not a deterrent for others to enter. I do not possess the “Hockey Goon” effect, whereby aggressive combatants are soothed into placidity by the prospect of getting beat down by a larger specimen. Rather, my presence seems to invite any Affliction-shirt-wearing hard-ass to say, “Well he’s at least six feet tall, so I wouldn’t feel bad throwing some bombs on his face. Let’s get him.”
But if we are to come to blows, I have one request: Don’t mess with my glasses.
There’s an old unspoken aphorism of manliness that proclaims, “You can’t hit a guy with glasses.” Most people interpret this in two possible ways.
1) To be polite – Simply ask the man you wish to hit to remove his glasses before striking. This precaution will ensure that the spectacles are not broken during the course of the ensuing fracas.
2) People who wear glasses do not need to be battered because they are already wussies. Any blow landed on a glasses-wearer would be a superfluous statement of power.
Wrong on both counts.
The reason the old man-adage has lived on for so long is because the simple fact that if you mess with someone’s glasses they will go berserker-fury on your ass.
One time a friend of mine, who is slightly larger than me( .5% to be exact), was having a bit of fun with me at a bar. We started slap fighting against my will. I wasn’t enjoying this friendly beating, but I would take it until he got tired of it and moved along. But he made a mistake. With a misplaced hand sweep, he grazed my face and caught the rim of my right lens. My glasses flew off of my face and went clattering to the floor. He laughed shortly. When he met my eyes, now glowing with an intense ferocity that had been hidden by my lenses, he immediately apologized and got on his hands and knees to pick them up, polish them and hand them back to me.
Perhaps it was because he was my friend and felt bad about it, but I like to think that one glimpse of my unleashed peepers sent him into a terrified frenzy.
I’m not sure what triggers such a reaction in four-eyed community. I think it coincides with the phenomena experienced when selecting a new pair of glasses. It takes forever to select a new pair of glasses because, like George Costanza said, “This is my new face.” To be so nonchalant in a selection of frames is to say to the world, “I care nothing for my identity.”
So when you forcibly remove someone’s glasses it’s like you’re forcibly removing their identity. Sight, for many, is the most treasured of the four senses. We (the near and far-sighted) realize the fragility of this sense in our own body. When you take away our only tool with which to see, we will do anything within our grasps to reclaim the sight that is now lost.
Don’t believe me? Ask Scott Farkus from A Christmas Story whether or not breaking Ralphie’s glasses was a good decision in hindsight. Ralphie was not the biggest or the toughest kid in school. But someone interrupted his sight. They damaged his eyes in a symbolic manner. And Ralphie attacked. He attacked with the voracity of an antagonized badger, tackling and pummeling the larger opponent. The children on the playground look on in amazement. But their awe slowly mutated into horror, as the diminutive blond had to be pried off of his would-be attacker by his mother, a chromatic arrangement of vulgarities bursting from behind his pearly white teeth.
Don’t hit a guy with glasses…
For your own sake.
(If you wear glasses…continue reading)
(Seriously, don’t read this if you have good eye-sight)
OK guys. I think I fooled them. They think we’re tough now. See you at the optometrist.