Monday, December 25, 2017

Bullies and Bullees





On Christmas Day, if you channel surf, you will probably have the choice of football or the movie CHRISTMAS STORY, written by Jean Sheppard, about a Christmas in his childhood.   We see the movie every year.  We know it word by word, but it is still a pleasure to watch.
In it the hero Ralphee is constantly being bullied by the two neighborhood bullies.  Ralphee finally blew a fuse and beat the shit out of the oldest bully, Scut Farkus.
Each Christmas season when I see this movie, Scut Farkus reminds me of a bully Vern in my childhood I had to deal with.
We went swimming at the Larry Bell Park swimming pool.  We always had season passes, I think because my father was friends with the management of Larry Bell.  Vern was always there and always picked on me when I was close.  I kept my distance.  He talked mean, I was sure he could wipe the pavement with me.
One day, not in the summer, Vern and another kid came face to face  with on East Dixie Avenue, beside Hick's Grocery.  While Vern was calling me chicken and in my face the other kid (who I don't remember who) went behind and got on his knees.  This Vern pushed me hard.  I fell over the kid and hit my head on the sidewalk.  I was in pain, they walked away laughing.
I had a friend named Frank Hunter.  He was not related, he was from Boston.  Frank was hot tempered.  Several times we had run ins, and Frank flared up fighting and each time I whipped him.
Then the next summer at the pool Vern saw Frank hanging around with me and said something smart-ass to him.  Frank, not a chicken like me, came back to him with an equal insult.  They went out behind the pool to settle it.
Frank whipped Vern's ass.
That started me thinking:  If I can whip Frank and Frank can whip Vern, why am I letting Vern bully me?
The next day at the pool Vern and a buddy was sitting on a rail.  That would be a good place to pay him back the time he push me over the kid on is knees.  I walked up to him smiling with my fists drawn, ready for battle.
Vern was no fool.  He got down and walked away.  From then on he avoided me.
Over a half-century later I heard that annually they was a Bell Reunion at the American Legion.  The Bell Reunion was a reunion of people who went to Larry Bell Park for the various sports and hanging out.  I wanted to go to see old acquaintances I haven't seen in years. 
I went the first time in 2006.  Vern was there.  He hadn't changed a bit, except looking elderly.  He spoke to me friendly like.  I told him he used to pick on me at the pool back then and I was wondering if this was going to a continuation and he and I settle it one and for all.
He very friendly, patted me on the back, "Lets don't do that!"
From that reunion, and every year thereafter we have been friendly.
Speaking of bullying, I know someone who was the target of some bullying, and years later he was in a position of deciding on contractors, and one of his bullies of a previous life tried for a contract.  The person I know did not say being bullied  influenced his decision the reason the ex-bully was not awarded the job so who knows?

Bullies need to understand something about memory and Karma.  Bullees  are usually smarter than  Bullies, therefore will probably be in management someday.  Then, Karma might step in.

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