Journalism: Like Ball Tapping, In a Way

Just fucking shoot me:

It’s a disturbing game with devastating consequences, and anew WTHR survey suggests it is rampant in Indiana schools.

“Ball tapping” is the act of intentionally hitting or kicking a male in the genitals. Earlier this month, anEyewitness News investigation showed the game has become commonplace in some area schools, resulting in serious injuries for students.

As part of the investigation, WTHR also conducted astatewide survey
of school nurses. The results are in, and they show the problem of ball
tapping is more common and widespread than many school officials had

Now, look. Before you inundate me with stories about how as a chick I don’t get how harmful it can be to get kicked in the balls, I am not talking about how much it must hurt. Let’s get this out of the way: If you are presently kicking someone in the balls, please cease to do so. Unless it is Joe Lieberman. If you have been kicked in the balls and are experiencing complications, please go to an emergency room. Or just show up to Joe Lieberman’s office. No, I am talking about the usual things I talk about when I talk about this kind of story: Editorial standards, resource allocation, and monumentally shitty writing.

Here in Chicago we’re currently trying to figure out how to get kids to and from school without them being fucking shot or beat to death, or trying to figure out how to heat the school or feed the kids breakfast, lunch and dinner because their parents are working three jobs and still not able to pay rent, or crackheads, or gone to wherever, or in Iraq or Afghanistan, or living on the street. I’m hard-pressed to imagine Indianapolis isn’t facing some of the same issues, plus the fucking earth is caving in, in general. But hey, that’s not sexy for the suburbs, so we get shit like this, just like every other school-trend scare story, like“rainbow parties” and “grinding” and whatever other bullshit used to be the parental freak-out hot button.

This, WTHR INVESTIGATES! I’m so glad the Internet hasn’t trivialized things beyond repair. Seriously, this merited a survey and an actual interview with someone who had been kicked in the balls. I don’t know how much this cost, but I do know it took me about ten minutes to dissect the stupidity and that’s ten minutes I am never going to get back.

Plus, oh god, the over-serious Onion-esque story itself. If Doc and I ever get drunk enough to write our book, How Not to Be a Douchebag Reporter When You Grow Up, it will feature this story prominently in the chapter about TV jargon. You can just hear the ponderous voice, right? The emphasis on every third word? “The game has become more commonplace in some area schools.” As opposed to some schools, as one editor of mine used to yell contemptuously at the TV, in Tibet? And is there really a name for this now? I thought hitting someone in the balls was called, well, hitting someone in the balls. Who knew it had its own theme song? And “more commonplace?” How commonplace was it before?

ViaDave Barry.


19 thoughts on “Journalism: Like Ball Tapping, In a Way

  1. When I was in 8th grade we had a couple of guys who would run through the halls and yell “TIT SQUISH!” and smash a girl’s breasts and run off. Being rather well-endowed at that age this unfortunately happened to me not once but twice. Hence the reason so many girls clutch their schoolbooks to their chests.
    So memo to the U.S. media: adolescent kids are little mutant animals. I’m shocked they just now got the memo.

  2. You know, if a woman tried to kick you in the testicles, just punch her. Women often clearly think that kicking someone in the balls is a perfectly acceptable way to show displeasure. That really does have to stop.
    You don’t normally hit women, but sometimes they have it coming to them. If you try to hurt someone else, you damned well deserve to feel a bit of pain yourself.

  3. Slow news day much? This shit happens all the time. Seriously, I remember it from late grade school & middle school. Pre- and early-teenage boys are idiots of the highest caliber. It’s amazing that we don’t all kill ourselves between the ages of 11 and 14.
    And what’s all this about hitting women? I saw that, in the article, they mentioned girls occasionally taking part in this, but all the times I’ve ever seen this (my own experiences, my brothers’, and, oh, those of all the guys my age and younger I’ve ever known), it’s boys doing it to boys. So let’s chill out with the woman-punching.

  4. Actually, there is a section in the 1993 Booker Prize novel Paddy Clark HaHaHa ( which is on this topic where it is called “pruning” There are long portentous speeches by the teachers in a (church) school about it. So it’s an old story with obvious roots in male anxiety crossed with IMHO just a whiff of Wholly Catholic and Apostolic same sex pedophilia.
    But going by soullite, apparently you don’t normally hit a man in the balls but sometimes they have it coming. (Actually, hitting a man in the balls will in most cases, for a while, inhibit him from coming.)

  5. I’m still in favor of the book. I’m not in favor of people who kick people in the balls. You ever see it happen in a movie? If you’re in a movie theater, you can hear the “SSSSSS OOOOOH” from all the guys in there sharing the pain.
    Is this news? No.
    “Whoomp! There it is!”: A hip new fad that’s sweeping the nation. The State Journal tells us more…

  6. Jude, when I was a kid other boys NEVER kicked each-other in the testicles. Young girls, on the other hand, had no problem whatsoever doing so to show even the most minor degree of displeasure. Or to prove that they could. Or for fun. little girls rarely appreciate what that kind of pain feels like.
    So yeah, that “don’t hit girls” thing only applies so far. And no, if a woman tries to hit me in the testicles I’m laying her out and I don’t really care what you think about the matter.

  7. I can all but guarantee you that it’s generally little girls who kick people in the testicles. I don’t know why Bob Seagell didn’t think “this is bullshit” when he read these results, but this is clearly a made-up game. Little boys don’t generally kick each-other in the testicles without some serious reasons for doing so. They certainly don’t do it it for fun and games.
    You know who does? People without testicles who don’t have a clue what being kicked there actually does feel like. I was a little boy, I know damn well who kicks little boys in the balls.

  8. soullite, I have no doubt you do know all about being kicked in the balls by little girls. If you were anywhere near me right now I’d kick you there myself. And I’m old. STFU already about your decades long anxiety that little girls are going to beat the crap out of you. Get over it allready and stop pissing them off.

  9. When I was in grade school, at least, ball-kicking seemed to be an equal-opportunity pursuit. Girls did it to boys, boys did it to other boys, ho hum.
    Anybody who thinks female people can’t appreciate the pain has obviously never taken a metal saddle pommel to the external clitoris. I’ve described the sensation to a number of male friends of mine, and the correspondence isexact. (Unlike most ball-kickings, it usually bleeds, too.)

  10. Like those above, physical bullying was common when I was in school (the enlightened 60s) and preceded that – remember the roasting in Tom Brown’s Schooldays?
    Fortunately, schools are starting to recognize the problems of some of the more obvious methods. But it seems rather odd that some rather obvious things are a “surprise”.
    Not to mention, I wonder about the validity of the survey. The School Nurses have pressure on them to present the school in a good light. So what is their definition where it crosses the line to a “yes” answer? How many “playful” events were really aggressive bullying but the victim was afraid to speak up?

  11. Didn’t anyone else seeIdiocracy? Where the top TV show was a guy getting hit in the nuts by any variety of things and people and it was titled: “Ow, My Balls!”
    Now, lo those many years ago when I was in HS and the paleologism we used more commonly was “nads”, I finalized a freshman year of ectomorphism, being picked on by practically everyone except the gay guy in the class, when K, this tank of a sophomore cornered me in a back hall just after the last classes of the last day of school had ended and I was trying to make the bus. I was tired of the whole thing, and while I was skinny (ah, youth!) I was tall and had fairly long legs — although I’d broken one of my ankles the summer before. K started to make his move and I just drew back and slammed him in the nads with my right foot, then ran like hell for the bus for the 45-minute ride home. Word got around, I guess. I wasn’t liked any better the next three years, but people didn’t physically mess with me, either.
    Call me a little girl if you wish (I’m no longer the former and never was the latter), but sometimes (to paraphrase Roger Rabbit) a kick in the balls is the only weapon we have.

  12. i do admit i have drawn blood on a boy and preemptively punched a kid in the gut to prevent a kiss(he was wont to do so of others). but i never found the need to aim for the balls. yet.

  13. Interrobang:
    Motorcycle gas tank lock covers are almost as bad as metal saddle pommels.
    Yep, that would be the voice of experience.

  14. This is news? Sheesh, I knew about this ages ago from watching Judge Judy. Okay, I admit, that’s a little embarassing to admit, but it’s true. She had one case where one boy had “ball-tapped” another, and the parents sued.
    Now I’m off to contemplate how many brain cells I have occupied holding that little gem of information.

  15. Jeez, in my small town in the 1960s I got kicked in the balls by guys plenty of times. The writers must have lived awfully sheltered lives. It’s no fun, but it isn’t exactly news.
    Of course, as a result I consider Columbine to be justifiable homicide too so YMMV.

  16. Any male who went through something like this knows why this is a serious issue and a story worth covering. You trivialize it because it doesn’t matter to you. To the victims of constant sexual assault, it matters a great deal. The boy couldn’t even get teachers or school officials to do ANYTHING to stop it, which has been the experience of almost all males in schools like this. In my experience it was the feminist teachers themselves who were behind it, openly and blatantly. The boy had to go to a REPORTER to get anyone to do anything at all becaue he was DESPERATE. And even with that, not one person or organization responsible for providing help to victims of sexual abuse has come forward to offer him or any of the male victims any counseling of any kind.
    If you’re all worried that this story is going to take attention away from other issues which you consider more interesting, fear not, this same issue came up in 1995 with a University of New Hampshire study that found the same problem there, with 1 of every 10 boys being sexually abused in this exact manner, mostly by girls or older boys, and also receiving no help of any kind and nothing being done. After the study was released the media buried it and the problem continued to grow. Today a local Indiana news station reports it as a local problem, which it is not, and just like in 1995 nothing will be done. So calm yourself. The war on males will not slow in the least and you can continue watching the Taser torture scene in The Hangover again and again while laughing hysterically at sexual abuse of males with the full knowledge that American police actually do shoot men in the testicles with their Tasers and are not prosecutred for torturing our citizens. You should be very happy

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