Frying Pan Assault Techniques
Central Washington, December '12
I was sent from one apple warehouse to their other warehouse to complete a pick up. Inside the drivers’ side of the shipping office I waited on the few unoccupied squares of linoleum available which happened to be by the counter for the shipping office. The two female shipping clerks were seated at computers facing each other. The older, smaller woman was recalling how she told off a co-worker.
“She’s a big girl,” the other woman said, annunciating “big” in the way connoting size, as opposed to level of maturity.
“That doesn’t matter, I had brothers that beat me up all the time. I learned how to fight,” said the smaller, slightly older woman.
“My brother is a Marine and he taught me some tricks. You step into the punch,” she said rising to demonstrate,“put your weight behind it, like when you hit a baseball.”
“No, what I’d do is grab a fistful of hair,” the older woman said as she pantomimed grabbing hair, “and yank her backwards onto the ground, and then kick the shit out of her.”
A third woman of similar age jumped up from the drivers’ side of the room and joined the conversation, “Not hair pulling and girl fighting!”
“No,” the older woman explained calmly, “when you use your fist, you bruise your hand. Yanking her hair works better.”
“I’ve only hit two people in my life,” the woman from the drivers’ side now standing in the shipping doorway said. “The first was in second grade. Roxanne Carpenter* was her name and she always would hit me in the shoulder, right there on the bone where it hurts. She was a real bully and I was just this tiny thing. One day she slugged me real hard between the shoulder blades. I just turned on my heels and without thinking hit her right in the teeth. She had to go into the bathroom to clean off the blood ‘cause we were both afraid of getting in trouble. She left me alone after that.
“The second time was when my ex-husband called me the “C” word,” then the woman in the doorway lowered her voice and spelled it out, “C – U – N – T. I literally saw red. I picked up a frying pan and at the very last instant I pulled back a little ‘cause I thought if I hit him that hard I’ll kill him. He was 6’5” but he went out cold.”
“Whoo! You like ‘em big,” said the slightly older woman.
“Yeah, I guess. My husband now is 6’1.” But I ran three or four blocks to Mom’s house ‘cause I was afraid what he’d do once he woke up. He didn’t do anything, but said he knows not to call me the“C” word ever again. There is nothing more satisfying than the sound a frying pan makes when it hits a skull.”
“Makes kind of a gong sound,” one of the other women said and then mimicked the sound.
“My ex-mother in-law layed out her husband, my ex’s father, with a skillet. He was a mean, evil bastard. He would beat her viciously, while she was pregnant, he’d have women over, he’d sell her – pimp her out to other men while she was pregnant with my husband. But yeah, she got tired of being punched around so she layed him out with a frying pan. Said it made a gong sound. My husband was a wife beater too, but I learned how to fight from my brothers so I fought back. One time I stabbed my brother David in the scapula with a knife and it stuck.”
“Ow! David?” the taller, slightly younger woman said breaking her silence, but still without a potentially homicidal anecdote.
“Yeah all of us were fighting all the time.”
At about that point a slightly older gentleman entered the shipping office, consulted his paperwork, then said to me, “Go ahead and take door three when that black truck pulls out.”
So I left my patch of linoleum and headed for my truck.