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09:36:52 - 2000-08-10

BULLY FOR YOU...NONE FOR ME

Since yesterday was about as exciting as a chicken pot pie, I thought I'd talk smack about the bullies I've had throughout my life.

Yes...even your dear ol' slightly arthritic Uncle Bob had to deal with bullies growing up. And yes, there were enough of these rancid bastards weaving their way in and out of my life story to warrant a diary entry.

...And then some...

My first bully was

RANDY HARDIN

It was the first grade, and Randy Hardin wanted to "fight" me. It's been a while and I don't remember the exact circumstances, but I vaguely remember not being able to spit properly, which upset Randy. Instead of one big loogy, I spat like Daffy Duck...spittle flying everywhere.

So Randy decided we were going to fight in a corn field behind my friend Timmy Welker's house.

I met Randy and Timmy in the cornfield. I remember that the fight took a while to get started, mainly because we were first graders and weren't really sure how to get a fight going.

The fight went like this.

A) I pushed Randy to the ground.

B) I sat on Randy's chest.

C) Randy cried.

D) End of fight.

I walked home and did NOT feel good about what I just did. For some reason, I was CONVINCED that I was going to be thrown out of school for the fight, even though it took place on a Saturday afternoon in a corn field a few miles from school property.

I got home and my parents could tell what was up and asked me what was wrong.

I denied that anything was wrong and began pacing around in circles, denying EVERYTHING.

Okay...that HAD to look a little strange. A husky little boy with a crew cut, walking around in circles and saying "I didn't do anything, I didn't do anything."

...So much for playing it off like nothing happened. I musta looked guiltier than Timothy McVeigh.

Finally, Dad grabbed me by the shoulders, not out of anger, but just to stop me from getting vertigo, and said "What have you done?"

And I just burst into tears and between sobs, confessed to fighting with Randy Hardin.

They both laughed and I could tell Dad was proud I had won my first fight.

And I felt MUCH BETTER after telling them.

RANDY BROWN

I quickly gained the reputation of the kid you DON'T wanna fuck with, or I'd push you down and sit on you in my school. So nobody picked on me again until we moved to Tennessee while I was in the fifth grade.

Randy Brown lived a few streets over from me and he was a nightmare.

He was a fifth grader who SMOKED, which was just the most insane thing a fifth grader could do in 1972. If you were in the fifth grade and wanted to be an instant bad-ass, light up a butt and watch the kids flee in horror.

Once again, I have no idea why Randy wanted to beat my ass. But I remember it culminating in an arranged rumble near a creek behind the subdivision we both lived in.

I remember setting up the specifics in the school bus on the way home.

Randy told me the fight would take place at 4:30 that afternoon and he warned me not to be late or he'd whip my ass twice as hard.

Where was I at 4:30 that afternoon??

In my bedroom, shaking like a leaf.

The next day on the bus, Randy happens to mention that I never showed up for our fight.

I told him I HAD shown up ... it was RANDY who had chickened out.

(I have no idea why I picked this defense in our battle of words. It was probably one of the most ignorant defenses ever used)

Randy bit.

"Ummmmm," he stammered. "Well, my mom wouldn't let me leave the house."

BINGO!!

"Oh yeah," I said, all brave and shit. "I think you were just chicken."

"I ain't chicken," he said. "I'll fight you today if you want."

"Nope," I said and then added "You blew it."

Randy was all dejected and I SWEAR his buddies called him a chicken right there on the bus.

I had won the fight while cowering in a corner in my bedroom.

Go me!

TODD REBHOLTZ

For three months in the seventh grade, we moved to Peoria Illinois for my dad to get briefed on a project before we all moved to Germany.

Since I was only going to be going to this school for three months, I didn't really care to make any friends. I was pissed we were moving to Europe and I had to leave all my friends (and Randy Brown) behind in Tennessee.

So I hung out with the absolute biggest losers in school for three months.

Todd Rebholtz was the loser's biggest enemy. He had fought every one of the losers at one time or another with the exception of Gilbert, who only had one arm. Todd never messed with him.

Todd and I fought once on the school playground. It wasn't much of a fight. Todd socked me in the eye, I got a black eye, and that was the end of the fight.

One Friday afternoon, Todd challenged me to another fight. It was to take place the following day on a golf course across from the school.

I agreed.

The following day, as our plane took off from the Peoria airport, heading toward Germany, I looked down at the golf course across from my school.

I could SWEAR I saw Todd Rebholtz standing out there on the golf course waiting impatiently for me to show up for our fight.

Dumbass.

MARK O' DONNELL

Definitely the scariest of all my bullies. Randy Brown was scary because he looked like an ape, but even Randy finally softened and decided we could be friends, even though I NEVER trusted him as friends.

O'Donnell was different. He was a hulking kid, with long straight hair that reached his shoulders and a bad attitude.

We were living in Greece at the time, and O'Donnell and his buddies HATED me. They were constantly calling me names and picking on me and my friends.

I never understood why they hated me until one of my female friends pointed it out to me.

"They're jealous because all the girls would rather hang out with you guys than them," she said.

She was right. O'Donnell's group of six mangy guys NEVER had girls around them. While me and my clique had girls constantly around us because we were sweet and funny.

O'Donnell would constantly say shit about me at this American Youth Club where all the American kids would hang out. I knew that if I ever WAS to get in a fight with him, he'd kill me. He just looked psychotic and acted psychotic with his long greasy hair in his face and his dark piercing eyes.

I blew him off. Ignored him. Inside, I was scared shitless of getting my ass kicked in front of all my friends by this psycho...it was a HUGE fear. But for two years, I managed to avoid ever fighting with the guy. Looking back, the psychological torture was worse than any ass beating he could have dished out.

At one point, I joined the football team. I went from being 15 years old and weighing in at a very chubby 220 lbs. to a svelte 160 lbs.

I became fast and tough. My fat had turned into muscle.

And O'Donnell left me alone.

I remember my last week in Greece. I just wanted to make it through the week without any incidents from O'Donnell.

Unlike Peoria, everybody knew me in Greece and a big going away party was being planned for me.

So O'Donnell knew he only had a limited time to try and kick my ass.

And he decided to bring his crew of hooligans to my going away party and give it one last shot.

The party was held at the American Youth Club and O'Donnell and his rats showed up to play some Foosball.

They started catcalling at me. Calling me the same names they had called me for two years.

And...as always...I blew it off.

O'Donnell and his boys decided to leave but before they left, O'Donnell walked right up to me and said "You were lucky."

Lucky???

I have felt like I had to piss my pants every time I left the house for two whole years and you call that LUCKY???

Whatever.

They left.

I made out with three different girls at my going away party.

I guess I WAS lucky.

**************************************

It sounds like I never had a real fight in my life, which isn't true. I was involved in a handful of fist fights in my life. But they were all with friends.

Friends that I could trust wouldn't try to kill me during a fight like O'Donnell would have.

The ironic part is ... I was a club bouncer for several years in the early 80s.

Me....the guy that would go running and screaming in the other direction when a fight arose ... a bouncer.

But...as I've told you in the past...being a bouncer consists of standing there and LOOKING threatening...not actually having to kick ass.

I can look mean and angry.

That's ACTING.

Not FIGHTING.

And I'm an actor, baby...not a fighter.

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