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I once punched somebody in the stomach. I’m not proud of it (well, maybe a little), but it happened. I was around ten-years-old and was participating in cross-country at the time. Though the movie Forest Gump wouldn’t come along for …...

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As I Approach 30

I live in a small town. Colona, IL has a population of just over 5,000. As a jogger, this means I am usually only assaulted with exhaust fumes a few times whenever I decide to go outside to burn some calories. But as far as the type of people passing me on the roadside? Over this, I have no control....

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Filed Under on March 21st, 2011

Family Maxims #17

By Seth Kabala

I once punched somebody in the stomach. I’m not proud of it (well, maybe a little), but it happened. I was around ten-years-old and was participating in cross-country at the time. Though the movie Forest Gump wouldn’t come along for many more years, I had something in common with that weird-talking cracka: I was fast.

My lack of skill in object-oriented sports (the ones where they throw something at you, and where I was just as likely to get smacked in the face as catch the damn ball) didn’t matter when it came to youth cross-country. All I had to do was run. That I could handle.

The fall breeze on my skin, turning my balls into a couple frozen peas. Ahhhh, good times, except when you’ve got a chatterbox wrecking it all.

No, my wife didn’t make a sudden appearance (sorry, couldn’t resist). Another, let’s say less-skilled runner tried to pace with me during practice sessions. I think his name was Greg. That’s less of a pain to type than annoying-guy-who-had-it-coming, so we’ll go with it.

Greg was out of shape, but he would try to fake the opposite by striding with me for a portion of the training loop, asking questions about how he could be as fast as me.

Though this only lasted a few minutes at a time before his lungs seized like a clogged air-filter, it bugged the crap out of me, because whatever my response–eat better, run more, you know, the veritable hidden truths of getting in shape–he never got better, just kept asking the same inane questions.

I don’t know if he was hoping my fitness would rub off on him, but he just wouldn’t quit, and continued wearing down my famous dearth of Kabala patience until all I had left was the equivalent of a meth addict holding a gun with a light trigger.

Perhaps Greg was a meth addict, because one day for some inexplicable reason, he decided the way to be as fast as me was to become a literal parasite, and he jumped on my back while we were running and demanded a piggyback ride.

If you like dudes and you are a dude, whatever. That’s your thing. But you should probably go for a simpler opening gesture than a piggyback ride to assess the romantic potential of a prospective date.

Seeing how I like the boobies, I was mildly turned off by Greg’s advance, whatever his motivation, so I responded by throwing him off, whirling around, and slugging him in the stomach.

Hey, I was a kid, and my punch had all the force of a Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em toy. Physically, Greg was fine, once he got his wind back, but my message hit home. He never bothered me again.

Sad that it must come to this kind of action, but people who take up your space and time for the sole purpose of taking up your space and time, lacking any intent to break a sweat, deserve to be punched. Hangers-on should be left on the rack.

The Kabalas shall be aware of, and draw down on when necessary, hangers on.

I’m pro-gun, especially the figurative kind.


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Seth Kabala

About: Seth Kabala
Seth is an entrepreneur, writer, and musician. He lives with his wife and three children in Portland, OR.

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