Verbal and I were exploring coping strategies to combat the daily mental warfare which eight year old girls seem to prefer to actually doing any school work. While the boys still “ I assume “ duff each other up in the playground before cementing lifelong friendship by stealing a car, the fairer sex are masters at name calling, groupy cliques and the occasional bout of she started it hair pulling.
Right then Verbs I offered up in that peculiar football manager speak when no proper noun is ever allowed more than two syllables (Becks, Wazza, Curbs, Pards, Knobs, whatever) you need to get your retaliation in first, anyone so much as spills your pint, give ˜em the old one-two in the chops and finish ˜em off with a Glasgow kiss and a swift book laden schoolbag to the testicles
This rendered her momentarily speechless which, being such a rarity, forced me to switch tactics. Clearly punching your way through school is all a bit seventies and apparently ˜telling tales‘ is such a sin (this is a CofE school after all) that turning the other buttock (CofE again with a modern twist) is the accepted response if it’s your turn to be picked on.
Drawing on twenty years of corporate experience, I was able to offer proportional retaliations such as ˜writing them an officious email copying in their boss or hunting an individual down with a copy of the last weeks minutes so humiliating them in front of the whole team. In extreme cases, one could consider blanking them in the canteen and weeing in their shoes but it all seemed “ well “ a bit childish.
Eventually we settled on an appropriately verbal parry going something like Don’t mess with Me, Fish Face. It has “ I’m sure you’ll agree “ almost everything in terms of a crushing put down set in a contextual construct of not apparently being bothered and carrying just a hint of violent threat.
I think I may try this at work.