How one idea for a neighborhood game ended in crying, racism, and punishment. 


When I was a kid I did whatever my older brother did. No matter how crazy, rough, or outrageous his ideas were, I played right along. And if I played along, the other neighborhood girls played along. We didn’t even consider whether or not it was a bad idea. We just did it. 


Back in the 80’s the WWF (Worldwide Wrestling Federation) was all the rage. My brother became obsessed with wrestling and would practice his “moves” with me as his opponent. We’re talking figure fours, camel clutches, full nelsons, and whatever other excruciating holds he could torture me with. 


He’d come flying in from another room and drop me to our orange and red carpeting with what was called a clothes line. Once I was face down in shag, he’d twist my arm up behind my back until I screamed for our mom.


This is how he conjured up the vision for the West Washington Street Fight Club. 



Yes, we attempted to have a fight club. Or should I say my brother, step brother, and another boy in the neighborhood attempted to have a fight club – a girl’s fight club.


I have butterflies in my belly thinking back to us standing in a circle to create a fighting ring of sorts. The boys would take turns choosing which two girls would bout. Then we’d enter the “ring” and fight until one of us gave up. 


Now mind you, this was completely in the open – smack dab in the middle of our neighborhood. It wasn’t in some hidden location where no one could see us. Those were the times though. The times where parents would yell at you to go outside and play. You could disappear for hours as long as you were home in time for dinner. 


We probably only made it through a few rounds before shit got REAL.


One of the girls called her opponent the N word. Our eyes turned into saucers and the name caller got her ass kicked. She cried. She cried for calling her friend an awful name and she cried for getting beat up. 


Luckily parents tend to find out when a girl gets called the N word and another gets her ass kicked. We all had to apologize to each other and I’m pretty sure we all got grounded. I know my brother and I did. 


That was the end of the highly organized West Washington Street Fight Club – duration one hour. 


Not all ideas are good ideas. I’ve had my share of bad ideas and I’ve probably followed along with even more. But making a bad decision doesn’t make you a bad person. Apologize, take your lumps, and do better next time.