People who fight for their friends are idiots, most of the time. Yeah, I said it. What you gonna do about it, bitch?

Oh. Sorry. Got a little sidetracked there. As I was saying, it’s not always a good idea to jump into the fray on behalf of your friends because you don’t always know what you’re jumping into. Consider this video:

A quick break down: A rhino comes into the feeding ground of a group of Cape Buffalo. The alpha buffalo, in his role as protector of the herd, challenges the rhino. During their head-butting contest, other Cape Buffalo can be seen joining the fight… but not on the side of their buffalo leader. Instead, their taking shots at their leader in hopes of killing him so they can become the alpha.

Some friends, huh?

In the end, it appears as though the alpha buffalo dies as a result of the wounds he received from the rhino’s horn. His last moments on earth are spent surrounded by the very pack members he fought so valiantly to defend, and the same ones that turned on him during the fight.

Growing up in Flint, I’ve had plenty of experiences where someone – or a group of someones – would attack a single person on behalf of his/their friends. In more than one case, I’ve seen one guy in a group – usually the smallest – go around and purposefully instigate fights with strangers, supremely confident in the fact that his “boyz” would get his back. In more than one instance, I was the guy that “Mr. Congeniality” chose as his target.

Like our friend the Cape Buffalo in the video, a whole host of bad shit can happen if you decide to take up for friends who don’t care that much about you:

1. You can get your ass kicked. Seems pretty simple, right? Unfortunately , few men are able to admit that there are people out there who can beat them in a fight. In this scenario, there are two options:

A) You get a costly stretcher ride to the hospital and a fat bill for the treatment of injuries that will haunt you for the rest of your life,

B) A free ride to the grave.

2. You get arrested on simple assault charges. Yeah… while taking up for your boyz gives you instant street cred in your suburban-hood-fantasy life, powerful folks in the real world have built their careers around arresting and prosecuting idiots like you who like solving problems with your fists. And this comes with plenty of problems:

A) Court costs and fines. You think your boyz are gonna help you pay these? Think again!

B) Jail and/or prison time. You read that right! It’s actually pretty much illegal to beat people up, especially if you hurt them badly. If you like fighting so much, maybe this is the place for you, since plenty of “squabs” go down behind bars.

C) Limited job opportunity. Even if you get out of this mess with probation and some community service, your newly-acquired criminal record will come back to haunt you each time a prospective employer conducts a background check. Those same friends who wouldn’t help you pay for a lawyer aren’t gonna let you live in their basement rent-free for the rest of your life, either.

3. You’re being used. Some people like to stir up shit and let others clean up their mess. If you have a friend that always seems to be getting into fights – fights that you end up finishing – chances are, he/she knows exactly what they’re doing. Why else do they do it so much? That they’re so willing to allow you to accept all the risks and responsibility for their actions suggests that you don’t make good choices when it comes to friends.

4. Your friends turn on you. Believe it or not, the same people that you’re so willing to risk your life to defend will be the first ones to turn around and call you a “hot-head” or a “violent rage-a-holic” once the dust settles. This usually happens as people age out of their “crazy 20s” and start getting married, having kids and settling down. They and their spouses are trying to distance themselves from their “wild side,” and you are a living, breathing reminder of those days. Don’t be surprised if these so-called loyal friends start turning their backs on you. Remember that gratitude is preservative-free, so it’s shelf-life is exceedingly short!

5. You’re being set up. Admittedly, this is a worst-case scenario but it’s not unheard of. If someone wants something that you have, perhaps the best way to get you out of the picture is by playing upon your misguided sense of loyalty and getting you into a fight that they know will end up in your arrest and prosecution. Hey! Stranger things have happened!

These are the reasons I won’t fight for my friends. Well, most of them, anyway. I would fight and die for my wife and children in a New York minute, but the number of friends I’d actually be willing to throw hands for could be counted on one hand… with more than a couple fingers left over.

Well, that about covers it, though I’m eager to hear YOUR experiences with this phenomenon.

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