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This is a question Bullies

My mum told me to stand up to bullies. So I did, and got wedgied every day for a month. I hated my boss.

Suggested by Mariam67

(, Wed 13 May 2009, 12:27)
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Sage Scottish advice
Growing up I was the killer combination of being short, bespeckled and crap at sports. It’s as though the bullying fairy had shat in my crib at birth.

At first things weren’t too bad because almost everyone’s short and weedy at first (with the exception of William Dale, who was nearly six foot by the time he was 13 and built like a brick shithouse – lovely chap mind you). But when puberty hit life started to get very miserable indeed.

To compound things I was stuck in a boarding school so it went on all day and all night. I assembled a motley collection of bruises, wrist burns (and one breakage) endless shattered specs, far too many ‘Deep Heat on the bollocks’ sessions and a broken tooth by the time I was 14. I’m only glad I didn’t live in a country with easy access to guns otherwise I’d have been stalking the school halls with an AK47 in one hand and the scrotums of two or three of the worse perpetrators in the other*.

Now parents will tell you to just ignore the bullies and they’ll go away. After several years working towards my PhD in the school of getting the shit kicked out of you I can attest this is bullshit. “Just keep out of their way,” is also not good advice when you’re sharing a dormitory room with them for 30 weeks of the year.

The school chaplin suggested prayer, which I tried as well. Either god doesn’t listen to prayers or he takes active pleasure in watching gangs of kids beating up their peers – and after many years of thought and a thorough reading of the bible I suspect the latter.

Thankfully it was my great uncle Jim who provided the answer. I’d gone up to Scotland to stay with him for the first time in years and he’d noticed that the ‘bonny wee lad’ he’d last seen five years ago had turned into a quivering lack of self confidence in a perpetual state of fear. After some patient questioning and two large whiskey toddies I unburdened myself to him and he thought for a while, puffing on an unfiltered Senior Service, before giving me the answer.

“It’s going to hurt for a wee bit but ye’ll have to hammer the cunts.”

He explained that he’d had similar problems in the army in the Second World War. He had joined up in 1940 and, being bookish sort and a homosexual to boot, had suffered similar torments. In the end he told me it drove him almost insane but he got the advice he had given me from a corporal and it had worked. He fought back, fought dirty and never backed down unless unconscious, which had happened more than once.

He then spent the next week inculcating me in the art of fighting dirty. I learnt the value of bollock grabbing, instep crunching, long fingernails and elbow strikes to the face. It was kind of like Karate Kid without the boring 'wax on, wax off' rubbish and substituting a wizened Asian man with a gay, perpetually drunk Scotsman (which to my mind would have made a better film.)

As the next term started I used his advice. Once the bullying started I hit out and didn’t stop hitting, biting and scratching until they ran off or I couldn’t get up again. Yes, there were many times when I got the shit kicked out of me, because all the fighting in the world won’t help you when it’s five to one, but I didn’t mind it so much. There was none of the sick misery I’d felt as a victim before, more just a stoic acceptance that it was needed and a sneaking pride in my ability to pick myself up and go out and do it again.

It’s remarkable how quickly the bullies faded away. Most of the scum who bully are cowards deep down, that’s why most of them do it – to prove to themselves that they aren’t, and if there are other kids out there who won’t hurt them they’ll move on to new and easier game. By the end of the term it had stopped all together and I was well on the way to getting some confidence back.

I’ve never had to fight since, apart from one incident on my 29th birthday but that was self-defence, and have grown up to hate bullies and all they stand for, be it in schools, the workplace or wearing a policeman’s uniform. If my goddaughter ever has problems I’ll pass on Jim’s advice with pleasure, just as I’ve passed it on here, and I urge you all to do the same.

Apols for the length but it’s a hot button issue for me.

*The day after Columbine I said as much in the pub and was surprised at how many people agreed. Thank goodness for gun control.
(, Thu 14 May 2009, 0:03, 8 replies)
"It's going to hurt for a wee bit but ye'll have to hammer the cunts."
I LOVE your uncle :) *click*
(, Thu 14 May 2009, 0:10, closed)
I loved him very much too
Sadly he's now in the great distillery in the sky but a better man I've not met.
(, Thu 14 May 2009, 0:17, closed)
your uncle sounds like he was a top bloke.
i got the same advice once, and it fucking works, doesnt it :D
(, Thu 14 May 2009, 6:36, closed)
It really does
I suppose parents don't pass it on because they are afraid their precious little snowflakes are going to get hurt. In fact, I think they're more mentally damaged by letting the bullying continue.
(, Thu 14 May 2009, 19:30, closed)
Your uncle
wins. That is all. Glad to hear he helped make your life better for you.
(, Thu 14 May 2009, 16:23, closed)
Thank you. I miss him a lot.
(, Thu 14 May 2009, 19:30, closed)
Your uncle was a genius. Yeah, it's not the nicest way of dealing with the problem but in your situation it's probably the only one that would have worked. Good on him, sounds like a top bloke :)

(, Sat 16 May 2009, 22:04, closed)
Clicks from me too...
...it does seem to be the only way through to some people. Once you fight back they either bugger off or strangely want to be your friend!?!
(, Tue 19 May 2009, 17:11, closed)

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