14 April 2012

Bully for you, Donny!

In the news, in the movies, and on everyone's lips, is the topic of bullies and bullying. People tell painful stories about how they were bullied. You'd expect there to be a passel of former bullies out there, but you never hear anyone say that they were a bully.

I'm turning myself in: I was a bully. Maybe the bully of the 70s, if I'm the only one copping to it now.

Real Don Rickles
I began to hone my devastating comments and delivery in grade school, culminating with an act for the 6th grade talent show when I wrote a script about the teachers. I could see them cringe and try to smile patiently as my cast mimicked their characteristic moves and voices and delivered every acid line.

By middle school, I concentrated more on other students and soon was well on my way to inspiring a school shooter or two. I could terrify, embarrass, or shame absolutely anyone at Pleasant City Junior High.

My homeroom teacher called me "the Don Rickles of the 8th grade." I was thrilled.

Don Rickles of the 8th Grade

I usually, but not always, targeted fat kids as my victims. Well, fat boys. It's been shown that female bullies usually bully other females. But I already liked girls, and I liked weight on girls. I fired my bullets into the boys.

I remember one boy in particular. Donny. I was merciless. I recall I got a lot of laughs when, right out loud in the classroom, I called him Chun King. (A "chunk" was what you called a fat person back then. Chun King was a brand of Chinese canned food.) 

As I grew to an adult, I somehow became non-bullying. This was no conscious change. I guess I just developed a frontal lobe. Now it's hard to believe I was so insensitive to others' pain. My feelings toward people are very different now. My treatment of others so much more gentle and compassionate. I hope Donny wasn't too scarred by how I treated him. (I'm thinking I'll turn on the TV someday and there will be Donny crying and telling Oprah all about me.)

I still wonder at times if I could apologize to Donny. He's on the internet. He still lives back in Guernsey County. He writes for a local paper there.

But I can't do it. Whenever I think about it, I think of a thousand reasons not to.

1 comment:

  1. It's not really that hard to imagine you as a bully. :):):)