In high school there was a low-life cretin of a bully who was making my life miserable. Following me around in and out of school. Spitting. Pushing. Shoving. Taunting…
There didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to his ‘raining’ terror.
I mean, I don’t recall that it was because I was one of only six Jewish guys in our junior class of 660. Perhaps it had something to do with me being popular enough to be elected vice-president of our student body. Or that I got good grades. And had a father who toiled his way up from the dirt fields of our farm to start and operate a small but successful chainsaw factory.
No, I think Donnie just had a bug up his constipated dirt-canal. He didn’t seem to like me from my easy smile down to my polished cordovan shoes. He hung out with a group of cigarette-smoking toughs with slicked-back DA haircuts. They were always getting into disciplinary trouble. Or getting a girl into trouble. And just dropping out to nowhere.
And obviously there was no point in broaching or discussing his epic angst. He was simply deficient in everything but a sneer
Then one morning in the crowd of 1,600 students shuffling between classes he found me in the hallway. And resumed his petulant nonsense.
And finally I basically had had enough. Actually I had had more than enough. My cup runneth over with his inclement weather fouling up my horizon.
So I simply uttered – no doubt in a squeaky, shaky voice: “Look buddy. You have a problem. And I have had enough. Let’s settle it here and now.”
Whew! What duh hell, what duh heck was I doing?!
Anyway, we proceeded to stomp into the nearest lavatory, where a lot of bad things always happen in high school. And admittedly I was fearful… of so much. Getting expelled. How my parents would react. Of being hurt. Or humiliated. I was afraid of everything at that moment. But in the very next moment I was afraid of nothing… except taking care of this business once and for all.
I wasn’t processing whether I was doing the right thing. But only that finally I was doing some-thing. And what needed to be done, so I could live without the dread of Donnie’s fuming terror hanging around every corner. It had long-ceased being a surprise.
And, of course, I figured I was going to get my ass whupped. Badly. I told him to just give me his best shot. I wasn’t overly experienced in the sweet science of pugilism, except for being rather proficient at slipping and sliding my face out of the way of my hot-tempered father’s quick hands.
So, as Donnie threw the first punch, heaving it from somewhere far out in left field to the home plate of my dour grimace, my head moved instinctively. And he missed, throwing himself off balance. Even more imbalanced than a lot of us figured he already was.
The point is: He missed! And at that point I was bolstered. I don’t know if I could call it confidence. More like resolve. My fear dissipated. And I persevered with some primitive boxing skills gleaned from Saturday mornings at the Y, and regular bedroom bouts with my bigger, older brother.
Admittedly, Donnie got in a few shots. But I beat him way pass ‘Houston-we-got-a-problem’. Much like a venomous snake that crawled onto the wrong blacksmith’s anvil.
I punched. Wrestled. A little judo. Some big elbows. I was rushing in and out of touchdowns. And then for the coup de grace I shoved his empty-headedness into the toilet bowl.
And there is nothing more humiliating to a greaser than to have his hair not only mussed, but soaked – particularly in the crapper!
All the while a handful of goofy classmates at ringside for this skinny-weight clash of the restroom titans, were hooting and shadowbox dancing. They obviously enjoyed viewing this little ‘white-boy’ who outran them on the track team, now running all over this big greaser. As one of them guffawed: “Little dog’s got some big teeth.”
And after I pulled Donnie out of the crapper I shoved him towards the porcelain urinals, where he stumbled and banged his head… hard.
And I suddenly got concerned that he may have really hurt something more than his ignominious impudence. And I guess I was worried that now I could possibly be even in more trouble.
So I helped him up. Mostly to check out the possibility of having damaged something seriously between his empty ears. But then, as I was actually offering him a hand up, he swung at me from down low.
He swung at me?! Again?! The impertinence! The utter insolence! Now I was really pissed – even though he mostly missed… yet again! So this time I shoved his addled head back in the hopper. And held it down there while I flushed — twice.
Takes a lot of flushing to get rid of some people’s shit.
But of course!
And one of lessons I reaped at that point was that fear is about what we think ‘they’ are going to do to us, rather than what we are going to do to them. In other words fear is merely excitement in need of an attitude adjustment. If you want to get over your fear, just get down to business.
Sooo…. Now let’s talk about these bloody terrorists who hide behind Allah – not to mention innocent women and children. Crash into our buildings. Bomb our marathons. Detonate airplanes. Kidnap villages. Sell young girls into sex slavery. And try to kill the light in the City of Light…
The question we’ve got to wonder is how can the few do so much to so many of us?
And the answer, as you probably read here in my last week’s affliction (that is if you weren’t sick or abroad or stoooo-peeeedly overdosing football) is that all of us have got to get back to taking care of business.
We can’t just keep leaving it for somebody else to handle. Like Big Business. And especially our too-big government that keeps breaking old laws, making new rules and mostly punishing us instead the bad guys.
We’ve got to get armed. Get trained. We’ve got to be able to save ourselves. Because when the terrorists come back – yet again – there’s no negotiating with these shitheads. They are here to kill us. They have no regard for human life. Especially ours. Nor even their own. They wanna die. So help them.
Help them discover there ain’t no virgins in heaven – except Jewish mothers who went back to being virgins. Hmmm…. And you wonder why their husbands, like my irascible dear ol’ Pappy, die long before them.
They want to.
Look, I don’t need to belabor what is already stirring more than your evil twin. And keeping good Christians from turning the other cheek. And shutting the pie-holes in Jew-hating meshugas who whine and kvetch about how Israel is mistreating those drecks lobbing missiles at them most every day.
Hmm… In case you haven’t figured it out: Hamas. Jihadists. And all the rest of them nut-jobs screaming about Allah aren’t here to negotiate. Nor mitigate. They are here only to annihilate. Us, Israel. Western civilization. And most everything that shines light on their Dark Ages.
The trouble is it’s impossible to hunt them all down and kill them. Hell, we can’t even kill all the weeds that keep popping through cracks in our sidewalks. And I definitely don’t want the resulting police state we’ve created where we don’t have many freedoms left… or rights.
Sooo… how do we build a world that doesn’t create terrorists? How do we find a way for us all to get along? Where do we begin to address the frustration, the loss and the despair that drive some of these killing fields. You know, like we did in America with civil rights. And equal rights. And women’s rights. And voting rights… And whatever is left to make right.
Do we have to shove a gun to some sheiks’ heads and demand they freely share the wealth, women, wine and song they are hoarding only for themselves?
I don’t have the final solution. Especially right now when I am only seeing the world through the cross-hairs of my elephant gun.
Nobody’s listening, anyway. We just wanna kill. You know, vengeance is mine… and all that. Hey, I know… because I’m already there.
I should happen to mention here a sort of post scripts about that erstwhile high school terror, Donnie.
Some 20 years later I happened to espy him when I ventured back to my old home bailiwick. My father had been barnstorming a large grass-roots tax action organization. And at this huge gathering, there Donnie was.
Apparently he was a regular.
I barely recognized him. He was gaunt, and pale. His hair was wispy. Life seemed to have more than chiseled him down. There simply didn’t appear to be much there, there. Yet for a moment our eyes locked. He nodded his head my way. And I heard him mouth the words: “You father’s a good man.”
“Yeah,” I offered. And with a knowing smile added; “He set me straight.”
“Me too,” Donnie said, poking a thumb to his bony chest. “Just like you did… to me.”
Hmm… No shit.
And like I said before, but allow me to repeat, because I just might be saying something worth listening to more than once: ‘You can’t kill them all. But you can kill enough of them so enough start listening.’
And dats yDrewIS on dis penal colony…