The alley was a dead end. No place left to run. Turning around, Manny saw the gang closing in on him. They slowed to a stop about ten feet away and carefully positioned themselves in a semi-circle, penning him in.
The gang leader let out a devious cackle and reached slowly into the breast pocket of his jacket, then quickly pulled out a feather. "OK, boys -- off with his shoes," he said. "If Manny wants to be on the Tickle Posse's turf, he has to pay the toll."
"No! Noooooo!" Manny screamed, but it was no use. He was defenseless as the gang leader closed in and spoke the words that will forever haunt him: "Gootchi-gootchi-goo." The sound of Manny's uncontrollable laughter echoed through the city night.
The tickle torture is a unique form of physical attack. Essentially, it pleasures the victim so intensely that it causes pain. The pleasure can be so powerful that the whole body spasms as if the victim is experiencing an orgasm. The shame of being pleasured against one's will, however, is what makes the tickle torture a feared weapon.
Above all, it is a way to assert dominance: male over female, older sibling over younger sibling, the stronger over the weaker. The tickle torture can be compared to rape, though it is almost always less violent, and much, much funnier.
Still, to be dominated in such a way can be humiliating, all the more so because the attack is usually rationalized as innocent fun. Seeking justice from an authority figure will only result in further embarrassment for the victim.
Attempts at revenge will be viewed as unjustified unless the revenge is taken in the form of a counter tickle torture. Since the victim is usually of inferior physical strength, the counter attack can only take place when the person of superior strength is using both hands to carry something heavy.
It should be noted that committing a tickle torture could have serious repercussions if the victim is not judiciously chosen. When the manager at work says, "These sales figures are unacceptable," the response, "Sounds like someone needs a tickle torture," will not result in positive outcomes.
Paul Lundgren is a newspaper columnist and a very nice man. He would like to tickle torture Donald Trump, the entire Supreme Court and your mom. His e-mail address is paul [at] geekprom.com.