Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Back in the Day

Back In the Day

It has come to my attention that the two, possibly three people who read this blog and the crap contained herein and possibly on heroine, who may have interesting things to write about but either don’t:
1) want to write
2) have time to write
3) know how to write – at all!

I want to start a blog where anyone can write in with a quip or query. I have know idea how to do this so don’t get all uppity on me or I will have to get all whacky on your badonkadunk!

The first kick at the can will involve stories from my/our past. Hence the name, ‘Back in the Day.’ Please put on your tinfoil helmets and hit us with a quirky blast from the past. It can have something to do with a blind date where either you or the blind date had horrible gas (and since your date was blind he/she could not see you pointing at the old guy on the other side of the theatre aisle). Maybe it was one of those cutesy things that little kids can only get away with saying. Regret is great thing to, in hindsight, joke about.

Instalment Number 1 – January 7th 2009

There are very few things I regret, as long as alcohol isn’t involved. One of the things I regret is not standing up to a bully when I was in the 4th grade. Let’s call this bully – Dave. Dave was a friend of mine for half of my school life (since grade 2). One day Dave and I were no longer friends. At lunch recess Dave beat the holy hell out of me while everyone drank there Allen’s apple juice and waved there Star Wars lunch pails like Marching flags. At afternoon recess Dave decided he had not finished the job and decided to go for round two. In a spinning vortex of dust and spastically thrown punches I ended up getting Dave in the Mother of all headlocks. If I could hold on for fifteen more minutes I would only have to outrun Dave to the doors and back into class. Unfortunately this was not to be. Dave was a lot bigger than I was and could easily lift me up and fall on me, several times.
I ended up with swollen eyes, a bloody nose, some blood from one of my ears and a ringing sound that lasted for a couple of hours. My teacher sent me to the bathroom to clean up and then to the principal’s office to rat out the other person. I never did rat Dave out. Not out of pride. Simply out of fear. Jungle Gym Justice.
When I got home my mom sent me to my room and demanded that I tell her who I had gotten into a fight with. I knew the school had called her and informed me that I would be dining with the rest of the ‘tards in detention until I fessed up, came clean, joined the system and played ball. I didn’t talk. Even at that age I knew I would be standing before the Man in roughly two hours.
If you have ever been in the same situation you know that the waiting is the worst punishment. Every minute ticked by agonizingly slowly. What would happen? Maybe I should write my will and leave my hockey cards and clean underwear to my brothers. Who would witness my will and would it be legal? Oh God why have you done this to me? I haven’t seen Athens yet and I am only halfway through the latest Hardy Boys book.
I heard the dog bark and the door swing open. My heart raced and I knew I was going to be killed within minutes. I heard a shrill voice instructing my father to deal with his youngest son. I swore I heard her say she wasn’t too old to have another child and she never liked me anyway. Boom boom boom. My heart was jumping through my mouth as my dad trudged up the stairs. I don’t remember the door opening. I just remember levitating down to the basement and standing in front of dad’s office desk. I do remember his door closing and me thinking that I had had a good run. Nine years wasn’t too bad. Dad’s heavy breathing and squeaky chair brought me back to reality.
Knowing that flames and death rays were going to shoot out from his face I braced myself and made peace with the gods.
‘Your mother is very upset with you right now!’ he said calmly. I opened my eyes and I wasn’t being destroyed by death rays OR fire. ‘She wants you to tell the principal who beat you up.’ I tried to clarify that I had been in a fight and not just ‘beaten up’. His voice went a little deeper and he said, ‘by the looks of you, I figured you got jumped. But if you say it was a fight you were in then it was a fight.’ ‘Did you at least win the fight?’ he asked me solemnly. For reasons still not known I broke down. Gasping for air and an answer I said “No. I didn’t win either fight.’ His chair tilted forward and I was told to stop crying. He leaned back in his chair and began to talk. ‘I understand why you won’t tell us who you got into a fight with. I wouldn’t tell either if I was you. I will inform the principal that you won’t tell and I think you only deserve a few days detention. I do suggest that you take care of things yourself or whoever you have been fighting with will keep coming after you. Go upstairs and eat dinner.’
I walked upstairs and sat at the dinner table. Dad walked in about three steps behind me. Mom started in on me and was quickly told to let it go by dad.

I spent three lunch hours in the hooskow with the bad elements of D.M Eagle Public School. Nose-pickers. Biters. Ankle kickers. Nut kickers. Biting nut kickers! Three days of retards and bullies. That will teach me a lesson.

The next few months were spent looking behind me. Pushes into lockers, punches through crowds the same sort of behaviour dad had warned me about. It got really bad when Dave’s cronies began taking shots at me. Funny thing about guys who want to be tough – they never think about tomorrow.
We all used to play hockey together on Saturday mornings. Dave was a puck hog and wasn’t a very good skater. His cronies weren’t blessed with the ability to skate very well either. Now was my time to shine. I didn’t take Dave out; I worked on his cronies and slowly showed them that I could pick them apart. After a few weeks of hockey the cronies left me alone and Dave’s attacks dissipated. I still remember waiting for the next attack that never came.
Years went by and we all hung out with new friends and did different things.
I got shipped off to a Catholic high school for grade 9 and 10. I hated the place but I made some friends. I don’t remember what year it was but Dave showed up at the same high school. He was dressed up like a punk rocker. He was possibly only an inch or two taller than me now and he had the physique of a fat ass baseball player, minus any biceps.
Dave still had a big mouth and I watched several times as he got his ass kicked by multiple city kids. I remember he looked at me once while he was getting his ass whooped. He wanted my help, like we were still old buddies. I wouldn’t help him. I was mad that every time there was a fight it ended up being a brawl. I so badly wanted to kick his ass that I refused to help him, gain his trust, and kick his ass when he was vulnerable.

A few weeks after his arrival, Dave was gone. Transferred to another high school.

Thirty years later I still dream of the day I see Dave again. There he is in the grocery store minding his own business. KRACCK! I kick his mop out from under him. BANG! The sound of his head bouncing off his wheeled mop bucket as I shame him with his mop and mop like cleaning accessories. ‘Remember me douche bag!’ I scream as I chase him around the produce section with his dust pan.

I don’t know what became of Dave and frankly I don’t care. I can thank him for helping teach me to stick up for myself. I can probably despise him for turning me into a bully when I was physically capable of it. The only thing I do know is I wish I had stood up to Dave. Actually gone after him until he was tired of getting into fights with me. I wish I had tagged him every opportunity I had to let him know that I wasn’t afraid of him and I was/am stupid enough to keep coming after him. Bullies aren’t bad. Bullies are bullies. I think they actually do some good. Given the chance they can teach the rest of us to stand up for ourselves-which in itself is pure pride.

That is the first ‘Back in the Day’ quip. If you have a story to tell please send it to me. I will post it without your name if you like.

1 comment:

Seattleforge said...

Didn't that happen to all of us? Why did I have to be the mouthiest short guy in AVG?