There’s a lot of attention these days around bullying; cyber-bullying, classroom bullying, prison yard bullying, hell, we’re living in a day and age where people are even getting bullied at Starbucks.
As if paying eighty dollars for a mocha frappé triple-soy latte coffee with an extra shot of MSG wasn’t bad enough, Starbucks employees will sic the cops on you if you’re a black guy that hasn’t sold a kidney to buy anything within fifteen seconds of walking through the doors.
William Arthur Gibbs (1865–1877) was a boarder at Christ’s Hospital school in Sussex who committed suicide by hanging on 4 May 1877 at age 12 after being bullied and beaten. This caused an outcry and the government subsequently held an official inquiry.
But bullying only evolved from there.
But you know what really sucks? When the bullying comes from an authority figure that should know better.
I know what you’re thinking: “Hook’s on the sauce again! He’s supposed to be giving us reason to NOT kill ourselves and he’s doing the opposite. Hashtag #BizarroHook!”
Don’t form the lynch mob just yet, folks. There’s a madness to my method, but it’s still valid.
Back in the 1970s, when I was a wee lad I had a soccer coach who immediately recognized that I was a super nerd who had only strapped on some cleats because his parents refused to feed him or give him anymore money for comics until he got out of the basement and got some sunshine and fresh air. And so he teased me mercilessly before each game
And then he humiliated me on the field.
And then he’d get hammered and drive by my house on weekends and holler, “Hey, Hookey? How’s your daughter?” To be clear, he was addressing my father. Who didn’t have an actual daughter, just a thin, pasty son.
Now, at the time, I was indeed a thin pasty kid who couldn’t even handle a soccer ball on a field, never mind a grown bully, so I had to let it all go. Just like my parents.
You may be under the thumb of a bully yourself. Perhaps you’re too young to do anything. Or too isolated. Or too scared. You may be feeling that there’s no way out. Well, except for one.
But I’m here to tell you there’s hope. Always.
That soccer season was Hell for me, it’s true. I was weak, lanky, uncoordinated kid who got picked on by everybody, it made things even worse. But eventually I realized something that changed everything: As I got older, so did my adult bullies. However, in my case, growing older meant I’d become stronger (somewhat) while they got weaker.
See where this is going?
If you can find it in yourself to swallow the pain and you’re willing to play the long game by sticking around, time will eventually be in your side. Either that, or karma will put you into a position to strike back against your oppressors. Mind you, I’m not condoning violence per se, but consider what happened a few short years later, to the coach in question:
- His shed burnt down.
- Someone put an entire bag of sugar in his gas tank.
- His house was egged beyond recognition. (Seriously, it was Biblical.)
- His wife left him for a male gigolo.
Now, I may or may not have had something to do with three out of the four calamities described above, but I will say this: Make sure you shop around before hiring a gigolo. And be sure to get references.
You don’t have to follow my lead but you owe it yourself to seek revenge rather than an early grave. (Or, if any law enforcement types are reading this, what may have been my lead. Is there a statute of limitations on destroying a man’s life?)
At any rate, don’t let bullies rob of you of your future, fight back by remembering how GD amazing you are. And if that doesn’t work, let me know; I can recommend a revenge scenario or two.
They certainly don’t mean to, but bullies can help us rise above and draw on strength we never knew we had.
See you in the lobby, friends…