Years ago I lived in Colorado Springs, CO. One night my wife, and I went to dinner with a friend of ours, and her 4 year old son. It was deep into the winter, it was quite cold, and there was black ice everywhere. We went to the local Joe’s Crab Shack, which if memory serves is on Academy Rd, but don’t hold me to it, I really drank a lot in those days, so a lot of “details” have been deleted long ago. As per my custom, I have a nice Red Wings winter jacket that I thoroughly enjoyed wearing to aggravate the local populace who rooted for our arch enemies, the evil Colorado Avalanche. Wonderful jacket, deep pockets to keep the hands nice and warm, it was the perfect choice to wear for the night out of some drinks and a meal. Little did I know at that time, it would be a choice I would come to regret….


Detroit Redwings


We went inside, and as planned had some drinks, and a meal, and a nice time out in public. Except for Michael. I’ll never forget little Michael. I heard his name at least 2000 times in the time we had sat down at the booth. Michael is so bright (As I see Michael cheerfully mining for boogers) followed immediately of a shriek of “Michael! Stop that!”. I heard that phrase a lot that night. Michael thought that blowing bubbles in his milk was the height of humor. Michael didn’t think twice of throwing the food he didn’t want at his mother. Michael wouldn’t sit still, and eat. I think you get the gist of what I’m telling you that night was about, no need to beat a dead horse, but so help me I would have given my right arm if I could have taken a belt to beat that little prick Michael right across his little ass….


Michael wishing the Pope a Happy Birthday....
Michael wishing the Pope a Happy Birthday….


I think it was there when the night started to take a turn sideways. No sooner had that popped into my head, I had the temerity to state my thoughts out loud. As any parent knows, nobody likes to hear that they are raising their kids wrong, and they especially don’t like it when you call their little snowflakes, and I quote ” little pricks that need their asses beat in the worst way”. In hindsight, I was completely out of line. I should have simply kept my mouth shut, but alcohol has a way of loosening not just your lips, but your brain as well. I grew up in a era where a parent didn’t hesitate to whip off a belt, and administer the leathery slaps of justice when we were caught doing something we should not be doing. I hated it at the time, of that I have no doubt, no kid likes spankings, or at least none of the normal ones I know of did. As the years grew into decades and I had become a parent myself, I had come to appreciate what my parents had done for me. It kept me honest. If not for them I could have completed my death ray years ago. You guys probably owe them a lot of thanks, for keeping me on the straight and narrow (for the most part). Anyhoo, I’m getting just a bit off topic, let it suffice to say, that I was a believer in the power of discipline when it comes to child rearing.


If you think I’m putting a picture of a child being spanked in this space, you are out of your freaking mind…..


So after a bit of back and forth, and another round of two of drinks, it was time to call it a night, and head on home. Tempers had calmed, and there was an ease in the air, after the heated discussion. We all donned our winter attire,  paid the bill, and marched off into the dark, cold, very slippery, night. I should mention that it had been snowing that night as well. As we exited the Crab Shack, Michael seeing the snow wanted to tear off into the parking lot. I had told him just prior to that to be careful, as it was very slippery, he would fall down if he wasn’t careful. He started to dart off immediately after my warning, got about 3 steps as he yelled out “SNO…”, followed by a WHUMP, which was then followed by screams of tears, and pain as the little prick Michael did a face plant in the parking lot, which naturally sent me into fits of laughter, a fit of laughter that I didn’t know I had in me. I laughed harder than I had at any time in my life, which earned me some very harsh looks from my wife, and our friend. My laughter quickly turned to me yelling out “OH, FU” as I started away from the door, followed by an even louder THUNK sound as my fall was broken by my face on the frozen over, gravel parking lot of the Crab Shack.

As you may recall from the first paragraph, I had a nice winter coat on with really nice, deep pockets, which is exactly where my hands were safely, and warmly snuggled, completely useless to me, as I fell forward, unable to stop my momentum from taking me down into a face plant of my own. As my face bounced off the gravel, and settled onto the icy rocks, I started to howl with laughter, as if I was some lunatic that recently escaped from the hospital. My wife, and our friend came running over to me to see if I was OK, as they had seen how hard I had hit, and how I had landed. It was then that they starting laughing in delight at my plight, proclaiming that I got exactly what I deserved for laughing at a 4 yr old for falling on the ice. I kept laughing, I couldn’t agree more, I did deserve exactly what I got that night.  My face was on fire, and it felt like it was swelling up to about 4 rimes it’s normal size, and there was blood. Lots of blood. I had fallen literally face first onto frozen over gravel, and I had the marks to prove it. My face was scraped up, I had a bloody nose, a black eye, and looked like I had just gone 15 rounds with Apollo Creed. Karma had come down, and made me her bitch right in front of everyone.


Kind of like this....
Kind of like this….


After briefly laying in the parking lot, I managed to pick myself up, the ladies still laughing while tending to Michael while reminding me that I had gotten exactly what I had coming to me, and get us all in the car, and heading home. My face hurt like hell, my mouth was dry, and wanted to wash the gravel out of my face so we stopped at my local watering hole where I was well known by the regulars so I could grab a drink to numb the pain in my face, and the indignity of my wounds, and how I had obtained them. Immediately everyone looks at us as we enter the bar, and their faces are all shocked at my appearance. Friends yelled out that it looks like I finally said something to the wrong person, or that my wife finally got tired of my shit, the catcalls were nothing compared to the howls of laughter echoing off the bar walls when later they were told the true story of what happened. It is to their credit that they were unanimous in their opinion that I had indeed gotten what I had deserved. We had a few more drinks, and we went home so I could lick my wounds.  The indignity of that night was matched only by the next 3 weeks where I had to relay this story to everyone I met. As a field service engineer, I met a lot, and I mean A LOT of people in the course of my job who all seems to agree that I did indeed get what I deserved for laughing at a child. The experience wasn’t a total loss, as I had come to know that bitch Karma on a very intimate basis, non believer in her powers no longer. Never again would I doubt her power. I must admit though, I would do it all over again in a heartbeat only so I could relive that magical moment that little prick Michael fell down before it all went sideways for me.

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Ha! Kudos SP, that’s pretty funny stuff.

John Lennon – Instant Karma!


SP, you have a way with words. You made me chuckle. That is not too hard to do but the story was something I could not stop reading. That is the best I can say. Could not stop reading.

Thanks for the laugh.


LMAO…toooo funeeee smot! But honest and I like that about your episode. And who hasn’t had an experience with someone else’s unruly kid? One of these days our it will be a requirement to take parenting classes before we become parents which ultimately will benefit not only our offspring, but the folks who will be the parents. As for karma…she is a bitch, isn’t she 🙂 Sounds like you got off easy! LOL


SmotPoker, great post and so well written! Sort of an outtake from a more grown up “A Christmas Story”!

We’ve all been there with the out of control, bratty kid, either at a restaurant like you recounted, sitting behind us on the plane kicking our seat or blabbering loudly through a movie in a theater and how often we’d like him/her to get a little comeuppance.

Though if part of the package deal is getting a comeuppance ourselves for being so impatient with a kid being a kid (even if a badly behaved one), it’s not worth getting smacked in the face with frozen gravel.

Why is it that Karma is so undependable? When you want it to descend on people like the Kochs or despotic leaders (is there a difference?) Karma seems to be on vacation.

Once again, really enjoyed your writing, you’ve got quite the chops there, a great read!