Beating Up Children

Saturday, February 28th, 2009

Rory Miller tells an amusing tale about beating up children:

We have a brand-new jail completely empty. The voters passed the levy to build it, but the people who run the county decided not to even allow a vote for the money to run it. Great big empty clean jail that doesn’t smell like criminals.

Someone got the really cool idea of letting the Boy Scouts hold an over-nighter there. Even cooler, someone decided to have a group of deputies give brief little classes on what Law Enforcement does… but only the cool stuff: K9, night vision, special weapons…

I was asked to do the DT (defensive tactics) portion. Six twenty-minute classes for 40-50 Boy Scouts.
I arrived at the site and something was wrong. Sounds of shrieking and laughing and running penetrated the concrete block walls of the jail. I met the lieutenant inside. He said, “There was a slight miscommunication. Remember I said Boy Scouts and Eagle Scouts, mostly fourteen to eighteen? It turns out they’re Bobcats, Cub Scouts and Webelos. Ages are mostly six to nine. You OK with that?” Hmmmm.
“At ease!” I yelled, “No shoes on the mats!” They seemed startled, but scrambled to get their shoes off. Half hour to kick off time. If I left them alone, they’d wreck the place.

“All right, gentleman. We’re stuck here for a half hour. You wanna screw around or you want to learn something?”

“Learn something!” they shrieked. Shrieking seemed the basic mode of communication. So I got the entire group of them, as well as a couple of dads and others that drifted in playing at a sparring flow drill. By the end of half an hour they were working on blindfolded infighting. Not bad. One learning moment: A kid asked me if I worked there and I said I did. He asked what I did and I said, “Mostly, I beat people up for a living.”

The kid started running around to all his friends, “This guy has the coolest job! He beats people up all day!” Some of the parents looked disapproving.

There was a brief ceremony before things kicked off where the Sheriff administered the oath of office and swore in the kids as junior deputies. I remember my oath of office pretty well, but I seemed to have forgotten the parts about doing my homework and listening to my parents.

Then the classes. First a talk about how fighting isn’t like on TV and cops have to fight one of two ways, either putting handcuffs on someone without injuring them or fighting for their life. Then, if they were well-behaved (and only one group of the very youngest didn’t seem up to it) the sparring flow drill. Then back to talking: “Okay, gentleman, the next part is all about PAIN. Who wants to learn about pain?’

“Yeahhh!!!!!” While the parents, especially the moms, cringed in the background.

Some pressure points, maybe elbow locks. “I don’t want to hear about anybody using these on their little brothers or sisters or keeping everybody awake all night practicing. To make extra sure, I’m going to show your parents the pressure points I’m not showing you, including the one that will give you a headache for three days.”

“Show us the headache one!”
“I won’t use it, I promise.”
“Can you make people go to sleep like the Vulcan neck pinch?”
“Show us that.”
“No. I don’t even know you.”

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