I started my freshman year in High School with a massive overbite. My orthodontist made me wear a bionator. It made me spit when I talked.

My spitting offended someone, or he was just trying to impress a girl. Either way, as I stood at the bus stop he sucker punched me in the gut. Once I caught my breath, he’d knocked the wind out of me, I asked “What what’s that for?”

He yelled, “Nobody spits on me!” and cocked his arm back.

It was more of flinch than anything else. Somehow, my right fist landed on his left eye.

He ran away. It was probably more shame and shock than pain but, he ran away.

I reached for my inhaler, adrenine pulsing through my veins, trying to prevent a full blown asthma attack.

We were in drafting class the next day and he told me that I owed him $70. The year before he’d worn glasses, but this was 1989. He’d switched to contact lenses, the hard kind. His eye looked fine, a bit red but, overall fine.

I’d broken his contact.

He thought I should pay for it.

After a few days he told me his dad was a lawyer and they were going to sue me for $70. I argued he hit me first. He made up some legal word. This went on for weeks.

He started calling me at home every night. Dad heard me on the phone and made me tell him everything that had happened. He could tell I was upset and just said, “Have his dad call me. Then he quoted

Saying 10

Do not speak to fools,
    for they will scorn your prudent words. – Proverbs 23.9

Quote is too strong of a word. Summarize might even be overstating it. Dad said, “Don’t have a battle of wits with an unarmed man.”

I was losing sleep because some sucker punching, trash talking dude wouldn’t listen to logic. But, how could he? He was what the Bible calls a fool.

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