Humanifesto #30: Work. Don't know where to start. I am back home, where I remain a foreigner. ...

A catfight between two women is a terrifying thing to witness
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One man's near-fatal discovery that women are not the weaker sex...

Sometimes in a man's life, an event happens to him, an event so powerfully soul shaking, that he's forever changed.Nothing can prepare him. No amount of life-experience, big dollar colleges or other traumas will strengthen him.

It doesn't matter if he's had the training of an army commando, survived a major train wreck or gone naked bungee jumping while thoroughly tossed on $2 well drinks. The experience I speak of will leave him with far more respect for the female gender than even poor Mr. Bobbett could garner.

It's called a catfight.

Don't ask me why it's called a catfight, because I've seen a few cats fight, and the viciousness, and even the noise, is nowhere nearly as soul freezing and terrifying as two sane women going for the kill.

After two truly enlightening years in a stormy but passionate relationship with a psycho possessing a special penchant for fast-pitching helpless inanimate objects at yours truly, I decided the time had come to move out and add a couple of years to my life expectancy.

I tried to tell her of my plans, but it took me two hours and some fancy footwork to convince her that there was no one else, that it was I who needed the change, (that always sounds like a lie, even when it's the truth), and in the end I think she came to her senses and refused to believe me and my need to escape.

After a hell-filled week of vicious denial, I was eventually forced to do as any self-respecting man would do: I moved out under the cover of darkness when she went back East to share crisises with her mother.

Unable to enroll in any federal relocation programs and running like a fugitive from a wanted militia, I actually felt liberated setting out into the seedy world of downtown living to nurse my wounds, both mental and physical.

After awhile, all was going well; new apartment, new job, new girlfriend, new life, and months passed without a word from ol' Bullseye Bella. I was slowly slipping into a tranquil life of peacefulness and contentment that would make Jimmy Stewart proud.

The first thing I have to warn you of is that when a catfight happens, it is always when you absolutely, positively, least expect it. For me it was on a sunny Saturday at the local Laundromat. The new missus and I were fluffing and folding, debating the intricacies of washer vs. dryer softeners when, through the door like a black sun rising, my favorite ex-psycho came stomping in with all the grace of a schoolbus crashing on the freeway.

I froze. Fight or flight even failed me.

I stood there petrified, my girlfriend's comment that this girl looked like the photo of my ex echoing as I hastily scanned for cover. Turning left, I realized in both horror and relief that I wasn't to be the target of the oncoming onslaught from this straight-jacket poster girl.

Quicker than Scooby can say "Zoinks!" these two significant others from my pathetic, mortal life flew into bloody mortal combat faster than the latest Power Ranger became all the rage.

At first I felt cold and blank, which was quickly replaced by a welling sense of pride that these two women, actual attractive, caring and sensual females, were fighting over the privilege of my company. And that foolish thought quickly changed back to fear as I realized the damage now occurring before my very eyes.

I must tell you now, before I go any further, that any illusions of helplessness, femininity and daintiness you might have about the women in your world you'd be better to just dispense of now. Once confronted with the truth, you'll probably go into shock anyways.

Women fight in all the ways that men are taught not to. There is no such creature as a "Gentlewoman's Duel". It simply doesn't exist.

And except on American Gladiators, there are no gloves, no time-outs, no warnings, no pulling below the belt punches: just scratching, clawing, kicking, screaming, and hair-pulling, with lots of blood, sweat, dirty words and shredded bits of clothing flying everywhere.

Perhaps this is why it's called a Catfight.

Throughout the ages, the sight of two femmes going, how do I say, mano a mano, has always conjured up primitive male erotic fantasies.

This explains the proliferation of bars specializing in mud fights, nude jello brawls, scantily clad females engaged in hot-oil wrestling and movies with clever titles like "Breast Gladiators from Jupiter" and "Faster Pussy Cat, Kill, Kill". But for the Al Bundy's and Russ Meyer's of the world, this is mostly fantasy, and these two girls definitely weren't scantily clad.
At least not to begin with.

Something peculiar happens in most woman-on-woman fights that is, thankfully, missing from man-on-man fights. That is the tendency to intentionally tear off the opponent's clothing, piece by piece, shred by shred. This starts usually with the bra or shirt and works from there.

Shoes are a good trophy too, I guess, as well as earrings and jewelry. As I witnessed more and more skin come into view and little chaotic swatches raining on the floor, I rationalized that I'd better do something before the city fathers stepped in and closed my favorite Laundromat as a danger to the community's morality.

My mistake. (Pay attention here, as what you learn may very well save your life.) Stepping in bravely as the quivering voice of male reason, (where you act like you're cool, but you're not), I said, "Ladies..." and was quickly rewarded with a nail slash to the face (there outta be a waiting period on those suckers!), and a near fatal kick to the groins.

So much for my "weaker sex" theories.

I was more than stunned. These two women, both whom have professed great love and affection for me, both turned their rage at me at the one moment when I least expected it. The ex, well, she did it less out of habit this time and more because of this incredible unresolved anger that lives within her.

And girlfriend, I can only guess, was swept up in the heat of the moment. Or maybe it was because something horrible from my past came and caused her pain, and she was less prepared than I was.

I suspect there were probably even deeper, primordial reasons like territory and the reproductive urge in play here. When men fight, there's always an inward urge to bring change through force and lashing out, and we're taught early on the differences in levels of force. Women, on the other hand, have their fighting urges suppressed by society and are encouraged to communicate their differences more and resolve them peacefully.

So when forced to use force, well, just remember: Nature's a Mother. And like the mother bear and her cub, it's always best to give wide berth to women when their love is threatened.

It's a lesson we'd all be wise to remember. As one wise man once said, "Hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned."
And he speaks like he probably knows.

The bittersweet and ironic part of it all is that the ex doesn't stalk me anymore, and girlfriend is now an ex.

Oh yeah, they're also the best of friends.

- Photo by Jeffree Benet
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