- Politics and Social Issues
My Favorite Bullies
How many of you remember when you were younger, perhaps still in school, or maybe presently have had to deal with a bully? In the news today, we are hearing a lot of bullies terrorizing students from Kindergarten up through Grade 12. It doesn't stop there! I have heard of bullies in college, the work place, our own neighborhoods, and even people using bully 'tactics' in their professions, like high pressure sales. So many different circumstances, but they all have one common factor. These people are a pain where you sit and can make your life miserable!
I am going to speak about my experiences with 2 bullies. One lived in my neighborhood, so this guy was always around. In fact, he lived about 3 doors down from my house. The other bully I encountered in high school in 10th grade. Since I didn't see this one everyday, but he was a real loser and other students were being hassled by this guy too, it was barely tolerable. Maybe because he had multiple victims, I didn't encounter him as much...thank God!
The High School Bully - the beginnings of a criminal
Let's begin with my friend,... er... my intimidator, scumbag, loser, slime ball in high school. I met him in 10th grade, or should say, I clashed with him. Of course, I didn't do a thing to this nut to cause him to pick on me, but to a bully, it doesn't matter. It is an ego or power trip thing. In my opinion, these people think little of themselves or anyone else, love to have attention and the feeling of power they get over others that back down from them. Most do poorly in school, which makes me think that the people they seem to bully are intelligent and have some brains!
My first bully was in my gym class, it quickly became the gym class from H@//. I am going to call him Roy, since that was his real name! As far as I know, he had few friends and no manners. Big surprise there! He really wasn't big or huge like the Hulk, but he was no skinny little runt like me either. I was in the marching and symphonic bands, so had to be in this class since the band met the last period of the day...always. I wanted to transfer, but couldn't. We rotated between band and gym class, which helped me avoid this dipstick every other day. Talk about a real jerk. I don't know what started his bullying, but for some reason he took a strong disliking to me. During class, it wasn't too bad since our teacher was there and Roy just behaved, well, kind of. He always hummed this stupid song..."They call me mellow yellow." I hate that song...I wonder why. Anyway, he annoyed everyone and usually started his junk in the boys' locker room after class. He never physically attacked me that I recall, but he loved to intimidate and make people do what he wanted. Since our gym class was the last period of the day, when dismissed we went straight to the parking lot to get our bus home. Most of us lined up outside by the gymnasium doors to wait, saving us a precious minute or two to get to the bus. Roy found out we were doing this, which was perfectly fine with our coach, but Roy started coming up to us and telling us NOT to go out there and to stay by our lockers in the gym until the bell rang. To avoid trouble, I did what most did and shut my mouth and stood there like a fool. But it wasn't long before I felt the anger and resentment building.
Now Roy had me right where he wanted. I did what he told me and now I was his! Oh joy. A few times I tried to sneak past him, but usually got caught, and paid for my disobedience! This went on for a very long time and then Roy began to do the same to the other kids in my class. So here Roy was, herding his little victims and keeping them in the locker room, terrorizing and bullying us like there was no end if we even looked at him wrong!
Well, the other victims and I talked about this since most were in the band, but nobody wanted to stand up to him. We just didn't want any trouble and one person alone would be flattened like a pancake or worse. But I was getting angrier by the day at this lunacy. So, I made my move...dumb!
One day, I was not in a good mood and of course, had gym class. I was really hoping the moron would be absent, but they never are...probably their parents can't stand them either. Anyway, I was getting dressed and Roy came up and started his stupid routine telling me not to move from my locker, etc. He proceeded down the line getting his other pawns to obey him. Well, I lost my cool. I slammed the locker door and just stormed out of the room, up the hall and steps to the doorway. At first nothing happened...guess the sucker was in shock since someone actually had the audacity to defy him. But eventually he recovered and started after me. Luckily the bell rang and I took off before he could do anything. I was fuming mad, but also scared of this jerk!
I got away that time, and had 2 days to figure out what to do. I told my parents, finally, after several months of this and this last incident broke the 'camel' back, so I spilled the beans. My mom, naturally got angry...she sure was a feisty one back when I was a kid. She called the school and gave the principal the 'what for', etc. I just sat there with my head in my hands thinking, "Oh no...now I am really dead meat!" Having mom call and complain to the principal was like getting a death sentence! Roy was going to rip me to shreds and feed me to the fish!
The next 2 days were a living you know what. I got through it somehow, but when gym class time came, I was a mess. I almost skipped class, but knew if I did, I most likely would be caught, so I went. Sweat was dripping like rain off of me and I had that sick feeling in my stomach...you know the one I mean. But, I went in to face the music...at least I would get it over with and hopefully my suffering would be short lived!
Roy was in class, big surprise again and just glared at me, so I knew he got reprimanded after mom called. He muttered something about me being a chicken or baby, telling my mommy about this, etc. and of course everyone around heard it. Now add humility to the mixture along with all the other horrible feelings. Luckily, coach was there and ended a possible encounter.
The entire class period I was like a man waiting on death row. I imagined all kinds of horrors that Roy would do to me after class. What a fun day! Zero hour finally came and I was sweating bullets! I knew my number was up and hoped I would have a decent burial! Roy didn't say a thing or do anything, which really made me nervous and scared. He didn't do his normal bully act, ordering the other boys to stand by their lockers, he just glared at me and was focusing all his hostility on me!! Oh boy, I was really going to get it good! What a way to die, in a stinky old locker room with all my band buddies watching the execution!
Well, since I was already dead and there was no way I could sneak out, I got my things and walked out to the door. Some of the others went with me since Roy didn't seem to care. Now I know what a firing squad and victim feels like with the guards escorting the dead man to his final standing place. I watched like an eagle to see if Roy was going to follow, and sure enough, he did, but he took his sweet time...and he was humming that blasted song again!!! I looked at my watch and noted the time, since I wanted to know the moment I died! Roy came up the stairs, again saying nothing and humming! I wanted to ring his stupid neck and rip out his vocal cords! It was something about that song that hit a nerve in me! Anger started to really build and all I wanted to do was get my hands around his stinking neck! Me, the wimp, the baby, the little boy that ran to his mommy for help, etc. wanted to take this piece of garbage out and make him rue the day he was ever born. It felt strange to me, but kind of good too. I knew this guy would tear me apart, but I didn't care this time. If he was going to kill me, which was darn likely, at least I wasn't going without taking a piece out of him, hopefully something vital! Now I was really pumped!!
As I prepared myself for a butchering, the door opened from the outside, which never happens, and coach was standing there with his hands on his hips. His towering frame made me gasp in relief. A hero had come to save my hide and to keep himself from having to clean up an awfully big mess. Great joy!! Coach knew this was probably going to happen since he was told by the principal that my mom had called. They met and coach worked out a solution. So, Roy, the little boy, had to take me on and coach! Now this was going to be great watching coach, who looked like some mutant ex marine, put this bully in his place and I was going to get some good licks in too!! I was practically drooling with excitement picturing in my mind Coach and me plastering Roy all over the bleachers! Christmas was going to be early this year!!!! I was going to savor every moment!!
But to my great disappointment, Coach said in a calm voice, "From now on, we are going to line up at the bottom of the stairs and I am going to leave with you when the bell rings." That was it! No vengeance whatsoever? I was robbed from getting my revenge! After all the humiliating and suffering half the class had gone through...Roy didn't get one scratch? I would have given anything for an aluminum bat at that time! I don't know what Roy thought and I didn't give a darn! Coach solved this problem without one act of violence or even raising his voice, which I knew he could. I know he was right, but I was hoping at least Roy would get one solid smack! Coach reminded me of a drill sergeant, awesome power retrained by a thin thread...and how I wanted to cut that thread! My anger did drain out of me eventually, but sometimes I wish I would have given Roy a good pounding while coach was there to save my hide.
Epilogue: Well, Mr. Yellow Mellow didn't bother me after that since coach always walked the group to the bus area..even hanging around to keep an eye on things. Coach, my rescuer! I was grateful for his assistance and deep down, knew he did the right thing, but I sure wanted to see this bully get his at least once!
Roy never bullied us again, and I never had him in any othe classes after that. I was so grateful. He did continue to bully others, but I never saw it. He even messed with my younger brother, but nothing came of that. My brother would just beat a metal trashcan with a big stick when Roy messed with him. (Anyone who has read the Tribute to my Parents hub that I wrote will undestand that statement. LOL). Seriously though, I was so grateful for Coach and will never forget him. Thank you Coach Veech and Roy, wherever you are, I hope you got a taste of your own medicine at some point to get you back for the years of torment you dished out to others as a rotten kid! If he ever went to war, his own troops would have shot him!
The German High Command Bully - a Career Badguy!
My other bully that I had to deal with was when I was much younger. I lived in a suburb in St. Louis and lived there for almost 20 years. This bully was no child, but an adult, actually an old geezer and a real nutcase! His name was Mr. Heinz, but am going to call him Hermit, since he never came out of his house most of the time. Now Hermit wasn't the typical bully, which made him unpredictable and strange. He never did the power trip thing, intimidate us like Roy, threaten or anything like that. This bully had to be tolerated for several years. Here is the weird world of Hermit.
Hermit lived 3 doors down from me and must have lived there forever. He was living there the entire 20 years I was. Our area had a bunch of boys and we played outside a lot! Behind my house was a good sized wooded area and some abandoned streetcar tracks which was a natural magnet to our gang. We played army back there, built treehouses, climbed trees, threw rocks at each other and bottles, and of course, played with...DIRT! Since we all lived there, we ran pretty much wild in the yards, and such. Behind Hermit's house, was a pretty good sized open field, overgrown with all kinds of great things, like weeds, bushes, and was just ideal to play army there. We would crawl on our bellies in our army gear through the weeds and have a ball fighting the German army invading us.
Hermit didn't like kids, that was obvious, in fact, I don't think he liked anyone. I never saw that guy outside unless he was leaving in his old, creepy brown Ford car, or when he came outside to mess with us kids. He was a bachelor, never married and thank goodness he had no kids unless he had them jailed in his basement. So, Hermit lived like a recluse. Nobody that I know of visited him and he rarely went out. None of the neighbors knew anything about him and avoided him for the most part...kind of reminds me of that movie 'Burbs", but this was real!
We had about 8 boys total in the immediate area and if we weren't playing behind my house in the woods or the 'tracks', we would be out front playing ball on the street, or some other game that involved movement. Hermit's house was on the outside part of a curve, so anytime we hit a ball, or threw anything, if not retrieved, it would end up on Hermit's precious front lawn. Now what happened next was a very common reaction of Hermit's, but it freaked us kids out and we just roared with laughter. He didn't do it all the time, but enough to make me remember this! He would always watch us kids from the front window if we were outside on the street playing or riding our bikes, or he would be by his back kitchen window, when we were in the field area outside his back fence.
Like I said, we played ball out in front a lot, and when the ball ended up in Hermit's front yard, he would throw open his front door, actually run out and grab our ball, race back in the house and shut the door. The old coot was pretty darn fast. That was not the worst of it. Most of the time this maniac came out in his underwear only...no top, just the boxers. Talk about a public eyesore! Seeing his scrawny old legs and arms running out and some other appendages bouncing around, well, it was nothing 8 poor innocent boys should have to witness! It was just plain gross! Anyway, it seemed he always did this. We thought about going on his yard and getting the ball, but we thought this moron might grab us and haul into his dungeon in the basement. No old guy in stinky underwear was going to touch me...No Way! Over the years I have wondered how many balls that guy ended up with?
The one time I got scared was when we were all playing army in the back area. Naturally, Hermit was watching us like a prison guard from his kitchen window. He had this huge apple tree by his back gate and sometimes we would snitch apples. This drove the guy even nuttier than he already was. Most of the apples were on the ground so all we had to do is reach under the fence and drag them to us. We weren't even in his yard. We were grabbing apples and were being little stinkers, just trying to goad Hermit into doing something. I was on the ground, flat as a board with my head just visible by the back gate serving as lookout as our army squad pilfered the apples since we were on short rations. Hermit disappeared for a few minutes and I relayed the latest intelligence to the rest of our squad. An apple picking frenzy took place until Hermit came back to the window. As we were lugging off a truckload of apples on an old sheet and a couple of buckets we just happened to have, except me of course, Hermit's attacked. I stayed at my post to keep an eye on Hermit since I thought if he sees the ton of apples we snitched being carted off to the American lines and out of enemy territory, he would retaliate. Being a good soldier, I stayed allowing my comrades to get away safely. Should get a promotion for this brave action!
As my squad started to disappear into the thick German woods, I started to get up and retreat too! All of the sudden, I heard this deep voice say, "Son, come here!" It wasn't Hermit, so had no clue to who it was. The voice repeated the command and when I turned, a police officer was standing right there! Bladder control issues could have started, but I held the load I had, not wanting the enemy to see a soldier lose control. Being an American soldier in WWII, and being confronted by this German SS officer, I did what any loyal American soldier would do. I ran! The officer scared the dickens out of me and I bolted! All my comrades in arms were gone and there was no way I was going to be captured alone. They all vanished as I ran home trying to get reinforcements..hmm..does this sound familiar or what?
I found my commanding officer, General Mom, and told her what happened. I explained that our squad was searching for food since we were low on supplies, and the SS got us, er me! She took me by the hand and we walked to the back gate to meet the dreaded SS soldier. I still had no clue as to where my comrades in arms were...the rats. Only my brother came and stood by my side, willing to be thrown into the Stalag with me if necessary. My other 'comrades' vanished into thin air like rats on a sinking ship!
In the meantime, Hermit came out and joined the other SS officer. I thought, "Oh no", now the insane German general is going to nail us good. My mom spoke to the police officer and told him what happened. Hermit was about to lose a major load in his underwear, but at least he had more clothing on than he usually had. I didn't know why Hermit was mad until I started listening to the policeman. As I listened, I figured out quickly that he was defending us! Was this guy some double agent working for the German and American forces? As I listened more, I heard this policman say that we weren't hurting anything and even he, when our age spent some time pilfering apples and other goodies from the local trees! So, we were let off the hook and we made a fast retreat to our base, well, our baseMENT!
After that encounter, we stayed away from Hermit's stupid tree, but we played back there all the time and also in the front on the street. Hermit never did change, he still came out in his drawers when a ball went onto his precious yard, but we just left him alone, except on Halloween, when we delivered a little payback for his war crimes and taking our equipment! But that is a story for another time.