When I was a kid, say about nine, I was riding my bike home from school and was mugged. Just to shake things up a little bit, prior to being mugged I had meandered around a bit and rode home a different way than usual, through a different neighborhood.
I wasn't in that neighborhood long before I sensed that I was being chased--chased by two older kids on their bikes. They caught up to me and forced me to stop by a vacant lot that ran alongside the road.
I'm not sure what these hooligans intended to do with me. Kids in those days hardly carried any money, so they could scarcely go through the trouble of chasing me for 35 cents. Maybe they just felt like beating the shit out of a little kid, a perfectly acceptable hobby in the late 60s. Or maybe they thought they could do well by stealing my bike out from under me. Chances are, they were bored and I was something to do.
The two kids shoved me around a little bit. They called me a fuck. Then one of them bent over to let the air out of my front tire. As he was doing so, I karate chopped him on the back of the neck. He fell down and I rode off.
"Hey," they called after me, "We we're just messing around. Come get your tire cap." Naturally I ignored them and rode to safety.
I guess I think about this this morning because work can so often feel like being mugged--ganged up on by fools or bullies.
The only difference is there's no one to punch and you can't just ride off.