Actively confronting ignorance/hostility

Everyone, everyone. Enough of all this hulla-baloo. There is one easy solution that answers this problem of being hassled. And it is this… every time you are confronted by a name-caller or even a rabble rouser, punch him/her in the face.

Now i know what you’re saying. “But, XWonka, I thought punching people was bad!”

FALSE!
Punching people is good!

Now i know that many of you may seem to think that this would create a bad name for unicycles. But isn’t that what we truly need? The circus comments WILL STOP once everybody worries that the clown on a unicycle may punch them in the face. Not only this, but this creates somewhat of a thug look for unicycling making it appear even more extreme and that the only people qualified to ride one are people who ran away from home, deface public property, and light stuff on fire. Hell, even the cops will hassle unicyclists for the stigma that will be created (and nothing is cool unless the fuzz hates it). Soon signs will appear everywhere proclaiming ‘No Bikes, No Skateboards, and ESPICALLY no Unicycles!” Punching all these instigators will solve many problems. You don’t even have to punch! Hell, with all that gear on you could head butt, chop, kick, etc. You could even carry a baseball bat with you. Trust me people, this is the answer to all riddles!

You’re Welcome!!!

:wink:

bats are for sissies, use a bazooka.

I’m more of a fan of going with the classics. Carry an extra 12 inch uni with you and if someone gives you lip, return the favor and give them a fat lip with the uni. Either that or a sword.

I must admit that I too am among the group of unicyclists that has been pushed over the edge! :wink:
Whilst riding to the one hour photo place I encountered my unicycling archnemisis, Luigi. I was riding down a relativly narrow part of the sidewalk when I spotted the beast, four hundred pounds of malevolence. Then he spoted me. He stood firm and prepared to carry out a task he had waited long to do, shove me down. I gave a cheery hello and prepared to pass to the left but he rammed me.
Now usually I can recover from a push, but when four hundred pounds of momentum crashes into you on a narrow street, you can do little more than fall.
And fall I did. I fell, crashing into a fence to my right, and recieving in return a large and quite painful cut across my torso. Luigi stood there laughing, expecting little retaliation. I gathered up my unicycle, and my pure hatred for “The Blob” and swung my uni round. The spokes bounced on his head and the pedals caught in his ribs. He howled and walked away.
To this day he still taunts me, that will never change, but he always makes sure I am across the street and a full half block away.

I would also say that you in fact did not harm the image of unicycling at all, the guy was WELL out of order, he basically was trying to mug you and he deserved everything he got.

As a general guideline, maybe it’s a good idea to ask what would be the appropriate behaviour if you weren’t on a uni but riding a bike instead.

That’s how I see myself, I’m riding my prefered form of transport, the fact that it has one wheel does not entitle people to shout comments, hold prejudices/preconceptions without having them challenged, and, most of all, does not give them the right to push or assualt me.

Sword on Unis

2 min with photoshop:

www.unicyclist.com/gallery/albuu96/alex_unicycle_sword

Fool

OK, this is going to sound preachy, but I think the highest form of conflict resolution is non-violent. I offer this story told by the late Terry Dobson, an Aikido practitioner;

http://www.wattstapes.com/dobson.htm

Everytime I read this, I am in awe of the old man’ s spiritual strength. End of sermon. I have never been attacked while on a unicycle, so I don’t know what I would do. I do practice Aikido, so I aspire to a response that would be in keeping with that practice.

Interesting. I’ve lost my temper twice when mocked or abused by members of the public as I was unicycling. On both occasions, I was very very tired, my blood sugar was low, I was dehyrated… a likely condition in which to lose one’s temper; a poor condition in which to deal with the consequences thereof! On the more dramatic of the two occasions, my unreasoning anger was enough to cow two younger fitter and rougher lads into apologising and scarpering.

But more positively, I was assaulted by a customer at work two weeks ago. I was half a mile from my car, I had no mobile phone reception, no one knew where I was or what time to expect me, and I was 100 yards, 4 doors and a lift ride from the nearest person, except for my assailant and his boss. His boss was a little old lady who was clearly terrified of him.

After a bit of general roughing me up, and swearing at me, the bloke told me to sling my ****ing hook or he’d give me a ****ing good hiding. At this stage, I was unhurt, but very concerned about the possibility that the situation could degenerate. I could have been forced to use violence to defend myself - then speed to escape. Unfortunately, this big bloke (taller and wider than me) was standing between me and my paperwork - which was full of notes from my colleagues about his unacceptable behaviour on previous occasions.

Faced with this situation, and with his hand on my neck, I felt my shoulders relax and my feet space themselves naturally into a fighting stance. I didn’t raise my hands or my voice, but I said in a level voice, “I can’t leave until I have my file. It’s on your desk.” Thanks to the fencing lessons that have given me a physical confidence I lacked before.

He was totally thrown by this. He was clearly expecting abject submission, but would have accepted blustering, threats or general struggling as suitable provocation for a further attack. He gave me the file, swore at me, and I left.

After the event, I was shaky. At the time, I was calm.

As a school kid 25 plus years ago, I was an easy victim for bullies - a bit of a smart arse, something of a weakling, and prone to becoming self righteously indignant. Bullies loved it. This bloke was a bully - as are most of the people who will attack or threaten you when riding. Bullies expect a certain response. Give them a different response and it confuses their small brains.

rhysling to the rescue.

The only time i’ve seen extreme hostility was for a f**king goth what the hell these people shouldn’t be xenophobes. luckily it was quite easy to burn her.

In reguards to hostility antidotes Its all about a punch to the face or showing punks up. When you outgap skateboards they tend to run away back to the hairgel store

Hmm im sensing some hostility towards skateboarders and people who choose to dress or act “gothic” from Mr thin_air. Perhaps you should open up your mind and not be so quick to judge them as you obviously dont like when the prejudge you. Then again I’m sure at times this prejudice is very much so accurate, but I feel positive in that it is not always. Or maybe you have some experiences with them that you can’t get over, i dont know.

This is an excellent observation about bullies. They react the way they do because it is familiar to them; it’s a way to control their lives. Take away the familiarity, and it brings out their own insecurities and they will try to get out of the situation as quickly as possible.

Once again I am reminded never to go to Q-town, wherever the hell that is, thanks to Xwonka. I can think of better ways to enjoy life other than to await being the victim of a drive-by. :slight_smile:

I imagine Xwonka is under the age of 18, which is adulthood in the U.S. Beating each other up has a very different meaning when you’re a minor than when you’re not. Once you cross the 18-barrier, it’s assault and battery. Possible jail time, criminal record, hefty legal fees, etc. On top of all the other reasons not to be the same a**hole as the person who’s annoying you.

If your point is that you’re better than the other person, you won’t prove it by being their equal.

I think your actions were appropriate. The fact that he didn’t “mean” it is not something you’re supposed to know. It’s like robbing someone with an unloaded gun. That’s why cops shoot people with unloaded guns, toy guns, etc. They can’t always stop and ask.

You didn’t harm him, and you gave him great reason to reconsider his actions the next time. Next time, the person he threatens may not be so nice.

In the past, I used to get lots of people sticking their foot out as if to trip me. I always wanted to ride over their feet, but they usually pulled them back in time. No harm done from that. Otherwise, I try to stay outside of peoples’ personal space, whenever possible. Pedestrians can be expected to dart in front of you if they see you coming at the last second and just want to get out of the way. So when I can, I try not to be very close.

As for flying hamburgers and other things, that’s drunkenness. Don’t try to reason with drunk people. If possible, don’t communicate with them at all. Let the pros do it, or be on your way. Even if you were to beat them up, it might not make a useful “impression.” :slight_smile:

Drunk Blokes

I was riding innocently on the pavement one day when suddenly, out of the blue, some drunk blokes appeared. They pushed me and my brother off and wouldn’t let us any farther up the road. I had a great sense of satisfaction when one of them tried to kick my uni into the middle of the main road, thwarted by my lifting action on the unicycleand… Wait for it…

He careered onto his back after doing a flying kick into my wheel (which was replaced by thin air just in time). You just have to smile…:smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :smiley: :wink:

This is a great story. As did Mikefule above, the old man acted with class and dignity. It’s a lot harder to act badly with someone who shows class, and often (though I’m sure not always) the bully will back off if his intended victim refuses to play by his rules.

On two occaisions I’ve had people offer to feed me my teeth; both times I refused to fight and stayed serious and polite. Thankfully both times I got away without fighting, and likely a beating, but even if I’d got one at least I wouldn’t have had to be ashamed of my own behaviour. One of these occaisions was over 20 years ago and I remember it like yesterday. Even if you do win the fight, consider that you might not always be proud of yourself. And don’t start something that doesn’t have to be started - fighting is really not like the movies and in any fight you could be seriously hurt.

onewheeldave, I think what you did was exactly right. You responded immediately to the remark and made it clear that it was dangerous and stupid, but you accepted the excuse (and hopefully the apology) that was offered. If you had let it go it might have encouraged him (or his friends) to try something ‘funnier’ next time. If you’d really hit him, then you would be responsible for making the situation worse.

OK, so maybe this one was a little preachy… :roll_eyes:

Here’s something unfamiliar. I haven’t had a chance to use the following response to any bullies or people hurling insults…hope I never have to, actually.

I plan on raising my arms grandly as I ride past them and shout “I FORGIVE YOU!”

Bullies, I think, are ill-equipped to respond to forgiveness.

I’d just lay down on the ground and start bawling and crap myself…who’s gonna deal with that?

why bawl?

Who’s gonna beat up a crying man who’s crapped his pants?