A Boss And Her Toy

As Sophia on The Golden Girls would say, picture it: Largo, Florida, 1989. After high school, I had gotten a job as a microfilming clerk in a place off of Ulmerton Road in Clearwater near a new series of industrial and commercial offices called the ICOT Center.

My boss was a woman in her early to 30’s who was rather pleasant to work with for someone in me who was a few months shy of 18. I wasn’t the best of clerks there, and I got ridden pretty hard when I made mistakes prepping medical documents for microfilming. (I just a Google search on the company, and as I suspected, they are no longer around. Perhaps one of my victims in the technological boom of the last few decades.)

She was also a wrestling fan, and would often demonstrate for us the way James Hellwig (The Ultimate Warrior) would grab and shake the ring ropes as part of his ring entrance. She also had a fondness for, ahem, female martial aids. One day, she surprised a few of her female co-workers by bringing in a few dildos that resembled the male genitalia.

It was a big culture shock for me, never having seen one of those before. Just as it was a culture shock for me going to middle school (which I began a few days before I turned 11 in 1982) and having to take showers with my male classmates. I had already gone through puberty at that point, one of the few in school in the sixth grade who had any grass on his field, so to speak.

Anyway, I left the job when I got the radio gig at WTAN. The microfilming gig only paid $130 a week, and I thought at the time that I should have been paid more for the grief I’d gotten and the skills acquired. As they say in the Mob, it wasn’t anything personal, it was just business and getting the chance to do something I thought I’d love.


Mount Hillary And The Sundress

I’m thinking back to earlier times today. The year was 1985, but the story begins about two and a half years earlier.

There was this girl I met when I went to Largo Middle School who I will call Hillary. She was from another country originally, but had no problem picking up the English language before she came to middle school. At first, we called her “Miss Piggy” because we thought facially she resembled the Muppet Show character, which was a cruel thing to do. But she resembled her in another way. When Miss Piggy was the butt of the joke, she’d karate chop the offender which usually ended whatever skit they were on.

Hillary didn’t karate chop people: she’d knee the boys square in the testicles, including me a couple of times. I can attest to the fact that she had sharp knees!

She went to another middle school when 7th grade started in the fall of 1983, but she was back at the tail end as 1984 began. Always seemed to have a class together from 6th to 10th grade, but that’s another story for another day.

As girls do of that age, Hillary blossomed in the chest area, except she went from being flat chested to having a chest the size of a woman at adulthood. She lived further up Indian Rocks Road in the 8th grade in the 1984-85 school year, so we had the same bus route home. One Friday afternoon, she had the seat all to herself, wearing a light colored sundress. She decided to lay down on her belly on the seat, showing off her ample cleavage.

I just happened to be in the same row, on the opposite side. Whether or not she meant to show me the goods (no nipple or areola mind you, just a good sized mountain range) will forever be a mystery.

The view had me thinking about every sport I could think of, if you know what I mean.

The Slap

The happy younger version of myself after graduating middle school at 13, June of 1985.

The happy younger version of myself after graduating middle school at 13, June of 1985.

The story I’m about to share with you I am not proud of. But it did happen, and I did get away with it.

I mentioned back in March that I was the target of bullying in school. I was very smart, but I was chubby, and going to school every day wasn’t pleasant. It showed in my grades, and no one could figure out that I was “tanking” just so I could get the hell out of there, doing just well enough to pass. If I had gone to school a couple of decades later, the teachers probably thought I would have designs of going on a shooting rampage or something. Only problem is, I never liked guns. I just didn’t like the atmosphere of being in there with a bunch of morons.

So in the seventh grade at Largo Middle School there were these two girls, who I will call “Samantha and Suzie” (not their real names, but they really shared the same first letter of their first name) who would tease me sexually, promising to do things that would make Lady Chatterley blush. They were put of a clique of what I call “stoners” that went to school and hung out together afterwards, smoking pot among other things. There were a LOT of “stoners” in Largo Middle and Largo High, including one of my closest female friends the year I graduated, something I wouldn’t discover until we all got reacquainted with each other through the magic of social media here in the 21st century. It’s one of the reasons I’m no longer friends with that particular woman.

Anyway, I go through a whole year of Samantha and Suzie teasing me, berating me and even hitting me when I don’t cooperate. The day after Memorial Day of 1984, I had enough. I asked them to leave me alone, but they wouldn’t. So as I’m changing classes that afternoon using the open-air hallway to the east of the school, they start shoving me as I walk. The third time it happens, I’m thinking: that’s it. I reached back and slap “Samantha” in the face. Hard.

Lucky for me, the east hallway isn’t monitored by teachers. But I wasn’t even thinking about that. Something had to be done, so I did it. Samantha’s big plan the following day was to go to the class we each attended what had happened the prior day AFTER class was over.  I gladly admitted my guilt, and said that if any disciplinary action was coming my way, I’d be happy to accept it, for the deed was worth it.

And that shut everybody up. I never got punished for the slap. No teacher saw it, and any of my classmates that saw it ratted me out to the teachers. I had that kind of luck at school. Whenever I did something bad, no one believed it was me because I was so well behaved generally.

The Ugliness Of Bullying

whaleboyI often wish we lived in a world without bullying.  Bullying took place back in my day, although I tend to think we didn’t have a name for it back then.  And I was a frequent target of bullies when I attended Anona Elementary, Largo Middle, and Largo High schools.  I think it may have been one of the reasons I never went to college.  I wanted to learn, but I got tired of all the crap I had to take from other people.

Bullying takes on many forms.  It isn’t just “macho boy” trying to prove his worth against slower and weaker prey.  There’s also sexual bullying between girls and boys.  An example of which in my travels in middle school would involve post-pubescent girls promising to do R-rated things to me.  Of course, I was wise to the schemes to a degree.  The promises of “putting out” never materialize of course, as it’s usually a set up to get put in a compromising position.

There’s also the byproduct of the bullied attempting to become the bully, sometimes with absolutely disastrous results.  This one kid I went to middle school with just wouldn’t stop razzing me, so I decided to use my size and height advantage and beat his ass.  This happened a few more times over the next few weeks, and I started to get a false confidence.  The kid started razzing me again, but this time I felt I didn’t have anything to prove, so my 11 year-old tells the kid something rhyming with truck off, if you get my drift.

Well the next thing I know, I’m seeing the fist of his friend, a girl who was a bit of a tomboy, coming at me.  I’m tired from putting in an honest day in school, so when I see this fist coming at me, I froze the split second long enough to where the blow makes contact with my right eye.  WHAP!

I instantly put my hand over my right eye, I knew I had been socked good.  Sure enough, I’m sporting a shiner.  Long story short, my family goes to the tomboy’s family for a sitdown, and the issue isn’t that the boy in question wouldn’t be respectful to me, it’s that I used profanity to defend myself.  Oh, we can’t have that, can we?  I thought it was all BS, really, but I made my peace for the good of everyone involved.

After that and a couple of more incidents, I just really didn’t care about who bullied me.  I just laughed at it.  When I was a senior in high school, these freshmen girls picked me out as a target, and this one chubby girl on my bus route kept writing these erotic suggestions at me.  So one day, she hands me a note, I’m reading it, and I bust out laughing.  She spelled the word “pussy” with an e before the y!

So much for our public education system, I suppose.


Heroes Amongst Us

I think I have found a new hero.  Her name is Jennifer Livingston, and she is a reporter for the CBS station in La Crosse, Wisconsin, WKBT.

Some idiotic man in her area wrote her an e-mail this Friday past, and in a very snarky way said that because she was overweight, he did not feel that she was representing her community the best way how.  Basically, he called her “fat” by doing everything but use that very word.

Let’s be real, people. I’m overweight. I’ve been bullied for being overweight most of my time in school, and I took it every day because I didn’t think beating the shit out of someone or someone beating the shit out of me proved anything. Have I ever snapped? Absolutely I have! There was one day in the 7th grade where I turned around and slapped one of my female classmates silly walking to class because she bullied me, using her body as bait.  You know, one of those girls that says she wants to have sex with me when that really wasn’t the plan. Anything that’s too good to be true usually is, and even back then I knew that.

That’s the truth. That happened. I was VERY lucky not to get in trouble for it, and most of all, I’m not proud of it.

But that was a little over 28 years ago. It hasn’t ruined my life. People are going to say shit about you eventually, no matter what you do. The key is not to listen, to not let it live within the occupancy of your mind. That’s how you win.