the ancient martial art of poo shin | uptheworkers

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

In the early days, the earliest days of manhood. When we are nearer to nappies than shaving, democratic decisions in the school yard are made using the ritual act of


Now “pushin” is a form of fighting. But truth be known it is nearer to being grumpy than actual violence. I recall that some of the best pushers even used vocals.

“Yeah?” Followed by a push was seen as mildly serious, inflammatory even.

Where as a solid shove accompanied by a “Come on then”! Was just down right hard.

The only downside to “pushin” was getting caught. …..Err by the other school kids I mean. What you didn’t ever want to hear were the cat calls of, “FIGHT, FIGHT” breaking out as a horde of badly dressed eager for blood, relieved it’s not them, kids, spotted you. Then charge across the yard & make a better circle than they ever did in geometry around you & your fellow (the pushee or opponent) pusher. No that was bad karma. Because then you would have to take your “pushin” to the next level, in front of everyone.

No, that was unthinkable, especially if you were not a good pusher. In that case you were likely made into the world’s largest laughing stock. Not only would you be seen as a bad fighter but a target for every up & coming contender who fancied their chances at “pushin”. Failure, wasn’t just failure, no it was more. So much more. It meant you were thick, it meant you wouldn’t be good at sport; girls would laugh & even a few teachers. No, failure just wasn’t an option.

The smart money was always on delaying tactics. Give it some more aggressive “pushin” & hope that Mr Kennedy the head of year would break it up in time. This is where the good vocals counted, as he who shouts loudest is generally perceived to be victorious.

Now I must say that I realised early on that “pushin” just wasn’t my thing. I would try to avoid it at all costs. In my time I have used many ingenious techniques, picked up from a variety of sources.

I recall a wild life programme debating the merits of surviving an attack by a Grizzly Bear.

“Lie down & play dead” offered the khakily dressed genius. “The bear will lose interest & wander off”.

It doesn’t work.

Several kicks later I was forced to groan out loud & curl up into a ball as the rest of the school tried to practice penalty shoot out.

Some of the kids at my school were so tough that even a Grizzly would play dead.

If there are any up & coming pushers reading this I would definitely advise against bursting into song as a way to defuse the situation. Singing, in the hope of calming a volatile crowd & impressing the throng with a few verses of “Dancing Queen”, whilst swaying from side to side doesn’t work.

I still maintain that in theory, fainting & throwing a fake fit is a good idea. I mean it’s not my fault if school kids are dispassionate & don’t understand the frailties of disability.

Posing like the karate kid stood on one leg arms raised is also a no no & combined with Abba can appear camper than Butlins. & definitely don’t tie your school tie around your head for added effect.

It was during one spectacular world title bout of “pushin” that I was almost on the verge of a famous victory. My opponent, a well renowned bully had attempted to steal some of my lunch. Now I didn’t mind when this particular chap copied my homework, but pinching my chocolate was the last straw. I responded with a quick upper push to the ribs. Before I knew it we were locked in a death struggle, “pushin” for pride. A crowd had gathered baying for blood. I almost had him in tears I could smell triumph. All of a sudden the crowd scattered as Mr Barratt the ferocious Headmaster appeared,

“MR KENNEDY…….” he bellowed at the deflated head of year.

“………leave Peeler alone, I will see you in my office now & take that stupid tie off your head”.


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