Title: Sport 21: Spring 1998

Publication details: Fergus Barrowman, October 1998, Wellington

Part of: Sport

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Sport 21: Spring 1998

[1] The Kickers

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[1] The Kickers

Most of us know that big bullies are pretty scared. In fact pretty and scared. But knowing it themselves is what they're most scared of, and to stop knowing it they keep on bullying. This makes them damned hard to handle. Best to leave them. Leave them long enough with their own kind and they become filled with a longing so sweet and so heavy that the dog-box cracks.

Occasionally they're a push-over.

One night when my kids were about 4&5 having a bath together, exuberant, my tired nerves began to jangle. Mother-hood wasn't what I'd expected it to be. Would I ever have time to myself again? Where was their father? Why were their spirits so high when mine were so low?

Suddenly my spirit turned mean and I gave one buttock a sharp smack. Then a naked delegation of 2 stood up in the bath, water dripping off their white tummies. There was silence. Then one of them — the spokesperson — looked me in the eye, and said, ‘Don't you ever hit us again.’ And I never did.