Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Perils of Passez


I hope you don't mind a little story from earlier times of Tee Angel (Little Angel, in Cajun):

Girls are as aggressively disposed as guys.  But they tend to be expert at three forms: relational aggression, reputational aggression, and shaming.  Let me give you an example of the last: putting someone in an utter humiliating circumstance.  One of the more juvenile examples of cloddish behavior is to pull off a girl's bikini top and play passez with it.

Passez (pronounced "pos-say," roughly) is a teasing game that kids in the New Orleans area played for as long as people can remember.  It involves a pair (or more) of people swiping a person's posesssion (hat, glove, paperback book, etc.) as tossing them back and forth, keeping it from the owner while taunting him or her with "passez!  passez!"  Swiping a girl's bikini top is especially frustrating for her because she's usually handicapped by the protection of her modesty that she cannot effectively retrieve her possession.

Other girl's reactions tend to be one of amusement; or "better her than me," I'm sorry to say.  There's no feminist solidarity in that evolutionary crucible: the playground.

After she's sufficiently angry, the cloddish offenders make her an offer: "Show us your ta-tas (or some less pleasant term), and you'll get it back."  If she doesn't, they can throw it in a tree or over a telephone line.

I experienced this kind of juvenile prank some years ago when a group of three older girls (!) did that to me.  You have to handle things when ordinary passez is played on you with coolness -- no hard feelings, on the surface.  I didn't; being half-naked, humiliated, and with a bruised knee and bloody chin.  Therefore, I went for the nuclear option!  

Finally, after they threw my top over a tree limb, I lost all concern for modesty: I hauled off and bopped one of them in the eye.  I was pleased  later to see that she got quite a shiner.  Her old lady went and complained to Mama, who stood up for me and the response was less than genteel.  The boppee was a head taller than me. 

 I will say that my copain, Dee-Doh, climbed the tree for me and retrieved mine.  And he didn't peek at all!

Princess Lum, on the other hand, would have had a way of dealing with people who misbehaved in that fashion:  Give them an electrical zap!

Actually, we have the final answer in that most of us have long memories.  Whether a victim or an observer, we remember who did that sort of stuff and this affects how we reacted to her or him later on.  Sometimes revenge may be well-served cold on bullies.  


11 comments:

Grand Crapaud said...

Good move! She deserved it!

Deena said...

Such an awful custom! A good reason not to dress provocatively.

Linda Kay said...

I think you handled it well! And such a gallant guy to retrieve your top for you. My older daughter popped a guy in the mouth and busted his front tooth at school in sixth grade when he snapped her bra strap.

TexWisGirl said...

neat name for what we just call as 'keep away'.

Anemone said...

Angel, Linda Kaye: those were well-deserved punches! I wish I had the courage and the anger to do just that when I guy popped mine!

Insane Penguin said...

A great story.

Mike said...

I remember it as 'keep away' also.

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Watching girls fight is a rare diversion. Glad you hit her!

Cloudia said...

Oh yeah. Us elephants have loooooong memories

beach lad said...

what a mean thing to do...good on Dee-Doh for helping out.

(i think i would have done the same, but wouldn't have been able to commit to the no peeking)

Anonymous said...

Didn't you secretly enjoy your boobs being exposed?