Editor's Note: The following is a previously un-posted story I wrote a year and a half ago just before I moved to California from Texas.
I figured with all of the 'NO BULLYING' videos and overall public awareness now for 'Bullies', it was time to post.
Wellp, I thought bullies ceased to exist once you left high school or college, but they don't. I guess once a bully, always a bully. A name caller. An instigator.
And tonight I bullied a bully back. And it felt tremendous.
Here's the scene: Holidays party in my apartment complex's courtyard. Jazz band playing, free food, hot chocolate. You know the drill folks, it was pleasant. They had a raffle for $100 off rent. You got a ticket when ya came in, they call off the numbers later on, again, nothing new so far.
I've got a good group of friends at my apartment complex, and one just happened to hear his number called during the raffle. He won. He was excited and he went up to claim his $100 coupon towards rent.
Here's where it happened. Now, my friend is a bit shorter than usual, slight build, and wears big black glasses. So, he goes to get his prize and walks by a group of dudes. Not a group of guys, or men. But dudes. And these dudes were amped. Frosted hair, cool dude jackets, bedazzled pants pockets, into fast cars and jaegarbombs. You know the dudes. Dallas had a lot of them, no offense Dallas, none taken.
I recognized only one of the dudes from my apartment complex, but the rest must have been his cronies. Henchmen. Support system. And my friend, let's call him Jake, happily passed these dudes to collect his prize.
As soon as Jake walked by them I actually HEARD snickering. From the dudes. Snickering. I'm 30 years old. These dudes were probably, what, 28ish? I couldn't tell. But there was snickering, a couple of pointed fingers, and it was all aimed at Jake. He walked by, there was snickering.
And then I hear this,'You're killin' me, Smalls, you're killin' me.' More snickers. Now, I knew immediately what this was in reference to: Sandlot, the movie about a bunch of kids playing baseball in the 50's. And 'Smalls' is the sterotypical nerdy kid in the flick. Big black glasses, skinny, tiny.
Jake got heckled in front of the whole party. He's a grown man, fer cryssakes. I looked to see which dude at the table said it but I couldn't tell. I looked back to Jake to see if he heard the heckle.
He did. His face lowered. Embarrassed. Shamed.
That's it. Not tonight, assholes.
I loudly said 'Who said that?' and looked directly at the dude table. Four of them looked over at me. And as soon as they did I realized I was livid. Not angry. Not pissed. Livid.
'Who fucking said that? Which one of you said that?' The dudes all looked at one another.
The jazz band had stopped. The woman with the microphone announcing winners had stopped. I had just started.
I walked toward the dude table. Crazed-look-in-my-eye. I can feign a pretty decent crazed-look-in-your-eye for a moment, but there was no feigning this one.
'Who's the bully? Where is he? Who said it?'
Jake looked sheepishly at the ground, clearly embarrassed. Something about the way he fidgeted with his hands led me to believe this type of thing happens or happened to him all the time, which only pissed me off more
I looked back to the dudes, searching for the guilty one. Ah, there he is. He was the one not looking at me. The wiseguy, the mouth, the heckler. I'm not a fighter. Never have been. I was actually always 'Smalls,' growing up. Nerdier, into comics, Dragonlance books, role-playing games, Magic The Gathering, picked last, smaller.
But that was then and now's not then, bitch.(Sidenote: Still a nerd, just a larger one now) I lunged across the table and grabbed the heckler by the collar of his dumb shirt. He feebly tried to take my hands off of him. Party-goers stared in silence. Stunned silence.
'Apologize to Jake,' I said. 'Say you're sorry to my friend.'
And he did. And the other dudes just stood there, mouths open. A few looked away.
You'd think Bullies would get tired of being themselves, tired of being the only ones laughing at their jokes. But they're still out there, slowly meandering uselessly through life in hopes to lift their self esteem by lowering someone else's. Wellp, from this day forward, I'm committing myself to a life of bullying bullies.
I better stock up on fresh undies, though, because I had to clean out my pants after that ordeal.