4H club becomes Fight Club
July 9, 2003 9:18 AM   Subscribe

That's frickin' awesome. Cockfights, but instead little kids. Ba ha ha.

No, really, it's not funny.

posted by xmutex at 9:31 AM on July 9, 2003

Kids these days, what with their fight clubs and color tv's, they're just plain outta control.
posted by insomnyuk at 9:31 AM on July 9, 2003

And I grew up in Richmond, so it makes it all the more tangible!

Well, not really.
posted by xmutex at 9:32 AM on July 9, 2003

I read this story in the paper today as well, and it immediately reminded me of two formative experiences in my youth: First, being "encouraged" by a P.E. coach to stand up to a playground bully, which ended in a little tussling and flailing of arms while the two of us were surrounded by a circle of chanting kids, all done under the close eye of the coach, who pulled us apart when needed. Second, being at summer camp and also being "encouraged" by the (only slightly older) counselors to come up with inventive and creative ways to "raid" the rival bunkhouses, and then following through with our (only slightly destructive) plans.

If there's a point to these stories, it's that if either of them were phrased in the same language as this story is, with the same liberal usage of "allegedly" and the same emphasis on certain portions, then both would also be classified as child abuse and would deserve the same kind of news coverage; however, I really don't think either experience scarred me for life.

Maybe I'm just getting old; or need more details on a story before I come to an absolute opinion as to its morality.
posted by yhbc at 9:36 AM on July 9, 2003

Wow. I think those counselors were influenced by that bumfighting crap.
posted by sklero at 9:37 AM on July 9, 2003

"You are not your f*cking gym shorts"
posted by LexRockhard at 9:38 AM on July 9, 2003

"Out of all the horrors that might happen at summer camp, you wouldn't expect that."

A mute guy with a hockey mask killing them all? Yes.

But not this.
posted by trondant at 9:41 AM on July 9, 2003

That was probably one of the funniest one-line FPP I've seen in a while.

posted by grum@work at 9:53 AM on July 9, 2003

Saw one of the kids on CNN's "American Morning. Despite the anchor's compassionate distress, the kid seemed completely unfazed by the incident. Comical.

I still don't get it. Didn't everyone bet on fistfights when they were younger?
posted by eatitlive at 10:22 AM on July 9, 2003

Let's not make a big deal out of this story. Back in mediæval times, people used to fight and kill each other all time. We haven't biologically changed much, so why make a big deal out of it when people fight these days? If it was good enough for the gladiators and criminals of Rome, it's good enough for our children.
posted by wackybrit at 10:30 AM on July 9, 2003

Um. Is this so different than having kids play football against each other? Or wrestling? Hand-to-hand combat is an unfortunate rite-of-passage for a large part of America's youth.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 10:35 AM on July 9, 2003

Shocking. Dollar bets? What kind of small-time operation are they trying to run?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:45 AM on July 9, 2003

1st RULE: You do not talk about JR. FIGHT CLUB.

2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about JR. FIGHT CLUB.

3rd RULE: If someone says "stop" or goes "I wet myself" the fight is over.

4th RULE: Only two young hairless boys to a fight.

5th RULE: One fight at a time.

6th RULE: No shirts, no shoes. Only gym shorts.

7th RULE: Fights will go on as long as they have to. Or until dark. Or until someone's mom calls.

8th RULE: If this is your first time at JR. FIGHT CLUB, you HAVE to fight. Unless you have asthma or a doctors note.
posted by filmgeek at 10:48 AM on July 9, 2003

I think the big difference here is this was not some random dust up between two angry boys, nor was it one boy being taught to stand up for himself. If the allegations are true, the children were forced to fight, and punished if they didn't.

I fail to see how that can be construed as anything but abuse.
posted by frykitty at 10:54 AM on July 9, 2003

posted by quonsar at 11:04 AM on July 9, 2003

Sorry, quick question from a non-American: what the hell is a "4-H" club?
posted by kaemaril at 11:04 AM on July 9, 2003

Wildly inappropriate 'context-sensitive' ads to go with the story too.
posted by kerplunk at 11:06 AM on July 9, 2003

Children can’t just go around doing whatever they feel like. There are rules. They need structure. Children need discipline.
posted by wackybrit at 11:08 AM on July 9, 2003

4-H is an extra-curricular club that many schools host... it started out in rural schools for children of farmers, and they played at farming... which was a real boon to families that might otherwise loose their children to the big city.

Nowadays, they've jazzed it up for the population at large... but it's still a club for kids that probably wouldn't do debate or athletics.
posted by silusGROK at 11:14 AM on July 9, 2003

Look around. Everyone's doing it.
posted by the fire you left me at 11:23 AM on July 9, 2003

Vis10n: Thanks for clearing that up, but what exactly does the "4-H" refer to?
posted by kaemaril at 11:26 AM on July 9, 2003

Head, Heart, Hands and Health

I pledge
My Head to clearer thinking
My Heart to greater loyalty
My Hands to larger service, and
My Health to better living
For my club, my community, my country and my world.
posted by goddam at 11:32 AM on July 9, 2003

Head, Hands, Heart, Health. A little Google and it's over.
posted by me3dia at 11:33 AM on July 9, 2003

the four h's are for huntin', whorin', hatin', and lynchin'.

i took dog training in 4-H. it was nift.
posted by fishfucker at 11:38 AM on July 9, 2003

Wrestling for the preschool set.

Am I the only one that had to take wrestling in P.E. in junior high? They wouldn't allow more than a ten pound difference between wrestlers, but many grudge matches were settled on the mats and I'm sure bets were made.

I remember one kid getting pissed after losing and burning the other kid's clothes in the locker room so he would have to wear his P.E. uniform the rest of the day.
posted by Frank Grimes at 11:41 AM on July 9, 2003

A buddy of mine used to write for a local weekly paper in Wilmington, MA. He told me once about covering an event called the "Silver Mittens" tournament--a play on the "Gold Gloves" amateur boxing tourney that's popular around here. The Silver Mittens was an event organized by the local Lions Club or Knights of Columbus or something and featured 11- and 12-year-olds--presumably wearing gloves, cups and headgear--duking it out while their fathers egged them on from the corners.

He said that while at first he was horrified, after a couple of bouts he found himself sizing up the kids and saying to himself "man, this one's a little pussy. c'mon, kid, suck it up and hit him!"

I never got over the "horrified" part.
posted by jpoulos at 12:26 PM on July 9, 2003

More on the Silver Mittens
posted by jpoulos at 12:27 PM on July 9, 2003

Which Meatballs movie was this again?
posted by NortonDC at 12:31 PM on July 9, 2003

Yes, it's abuse. But, yes, this discussion is amusing. The front-page post text is amazing. Bravo, machaus!

Like yhbc, this reminds me of my youth, only I was on the Bad Counselor side of things.

The summer between high school and college, I was a counselor at a church camp nestled in the forests of the Oregon Coast Range. One week my partner and I were responsible for a particularly shitty batch of fifth-graders. Real turds, these kids.

On the final night of the camp the kids were in rare form; they wouldn't go to sleep, they kept trying to sneak out of the cabin, etc. So, Jon and I decided to take advantage of that great camp myth: The Machete Man.

We went outside the cabin and, with the help of the counselors next door, we enacted a terrifying scenario in which The Machete Man was real and, what's more, he was here, lurking among the ferns and trees!

"Oh no! I can't find Jon. Have you seen him, O Little Trusting Campers? No? I guess the Machete Man must have got him!"

This fun went on for about half an hour. We stood outside yukking it up while the kids cowered inside the cabins.

Unfortunately, their screams brought for the Camp Director. Oops. We managed to shoo him off without incident and then decided to call an end to our lark.

We went back inside the cabin.

All of our campers had gathered together on the farthest bunk from the door. Next to the bed their was a Pepsi can and a large wet spot.

"What is this?" we asked.

They'd all shared a single Pepsi can to relieve themselves of fright.

It took a while to calm them down, to explain that we were only joking.

In retrospect, the prank was a little mean yes, but boy, it's a fun memory. I've talked to a couple of the campers since that day (over fifteen years ago), and they actually have fond memories of the experience, too, though at the time they were so scared they had to piss in a Pepsi can...
posted by jdroth at 12:32 PM on July 9, 2003

This brings back fond memories of elementary school. There was a chain dugout near the baseball diamond with no benches in it. Kids used to have cage match fights in it while others climbed the cage to watch.

Good times for all.
posted by trillion at 12:46 PM on July 9, 2003

Which Meatballs movie was this again?.[same thought]
The one with a mini-brad pitt.
posted by thomcatspike at 12:48 PM on July 9, 2003

jpoulous -- I don't get what's horrifying about Silver Mittens. It's a sport. Do you feel the same way about watching 11 year olds play full contact football? The contact is just as violent. Although I must say, isn't Wilmington MA the same town that gave us the hockey dad murderer?

Whatever, SM is worlds away from camp counselors forcing unwilling kids to beat each other barefisted.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:55 PM on July 9, 2003

I thought this was hilarious this morning, and it's still funny at the end of the day. I've been laughing about it for about 8 hours now. Crazy world, man. But beautiful.
posted by Samsonov14 at 2:13 PM on July 9, 2003

enough arguing
i've got six down on the lil fat one with the spread even against him and that bony kid. wildcards: that frecklefaced fireball and the kid who may or may not have mono. he's faked us out before! takers takers?!

annddddd FIGHT!
posted by Peter H at 2:27 PM on July 9, 2003

Bony kid comes out quick, a couple of quick jabs on the lil fat one. Lil fat one is not fazed, though, shrugs it off. Lil fat one connects with a blow to bony kid's nose. He's bleeding, but not a lot. It's enough to throw him off, though, he's lost his confidence. Lil fat one senses his weakness, moves in with a surprisingly quick flurry of punches and bony kid is down and hollers uncle.

Peter H makes six bucks on the first fight.

Next up: frecklefaced fireball and the kid who may or may not have mono. (Followed by the tall tomgirl who insists on fighting against that annoying kid with a laugh like a hyena. I've got four bucks on the tomgirl.)
posted by jdroth at 2:38 PM on July 9, 2003

If only they would strap spurs to their little wrists.....
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:40 PM on July 9, 2003

the fireball and mono fight was called on a draw due to them both wetting themselves and 'mommy needing'

tomgirl cracked a hard swift to hyena boy's knees followed by an even swifter spitting and "dont call me a girl" scream. victory tomgirl - jdroth is in the wise with four new folds in the wallet

the championship is now at hand with an all out cagematch featuring
tomgirl (17-1), lil fat one (5-2), wedgie face (a longshot 23-1) and our most ferocious caged beast, the kid who looks like gary coleman but is really legitimately 11 years old (2-1)

i'm holdin my own lucky rabbit to lil fat one. he's done me swell, put me down for the whole wallet, $17
posted by Peter H at 2:49 PM on July 9, 2003

My jr. high school P.E. teacher used to handicap the fistfights.
posted by planetkyoto at 3:03 PM on July 9, 2003

My jr. high school P.E. teacher used to fistfight the handicapped.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 4:56 PM on July 9, 2003

posted by ColdChef at 7:00 PM on July 9, 2003

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