Don’t start nothin’ and there won’t be nothin’

Tonka trucks
Tonka trucks

Do you remember Tonka trucks? They were quite realistic and made of metal; had little tailgates that came down and little chains and gadgets in the appropriate places.

I had four brothers and I liked Tonka trucks. My mom had taught us how to not kill each other; she taught us about sharing and taking turns.

One morning, when I was about four,  she put me in a church preschool so she could go shopping without having to chase me down the aisles. I was content; quietly playing with a Tonka truck. A skinny little blonde boy came over, snatched my truck with a growl and walked across the room and started to play with it.

His mom must have not taught him about taking turns and sharing, so I proceeded to socialize the little turd. I took the truck back and swung it like a baseball bat upside his head. There was wailing and some blood. Very shortly thereafter my mom picked me up; I had been expelled from preschool at age four.

I didn’t converse well enough to defend myself; indeed I didn’t feel any need to defend myself. It wasn’t until I was grown and working with teenagers that I had the proper expression for it anyway. As they said, “Don’t start nothin’ and there won’t be nothin.’

I think that’s a good foreign policy. Of course, we shouldn’t start nothin’ either. If we do, we might get a Tonka truck upside the head. We should mind our own business and play fair with others. Now if they really do snatch our Tonka truck, then we should swing it upside their head. That’s defense. It’s supposed to be the Defense Department, not the Offense Department. And no “pre-emptive strikes.” It would have been wrong for me to whack the kid because I thought he might, or he looked like he was planning to snatch my Tonka truck.

That’s it-the new US foreign policy: Don’t start nothin’ and there won’t be nothin.’

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