Sometimes, no matter what you do, you just can’t get away from a bully. They’ll taunt you to the ends of the Earth.
If you are a regular reader of this column, you’re familiar with my archnemesis during those seven years spent growing up back on Flamingo: Down the Street Bully Brad. But there was another that I’ve never written about. A bully that’s inflicted more pain on me than even Bully Brad could possibly imagine.
Early on Dad taught us how to fight a bully. First, just try to ignore him with the hope he’d get tired and finds someone else to bully. Second, try to walk away. Third, run away. And, if none of the first three work, then as a last resort, turn and fight.
Dad showed us the importance of holding up our hands to block attacks and protect our face, how to snap a jab, and how to throw a good right cross followed by a quick uppercut. Now a third-degree black belt, I’ve added assorted elbow blocks, knife hands, and karate kicks to those skills.
Of course, all of these were only to be used in defense and then get away. I’ve moved twenty times since leaving Flamingo and, unlike Bully Brad, my other childhood bully has found me each time.
I guess, to be more accurate, that makes him a real pest.
I thought I was finally free of him until this morning when shortly after sunrise, my relentless pest found me, once again inflicting pain in my life like it had done so many times before. Somehow, he found me walking alone in the woods. Remembering what I was taught by my dad back on Flamingo, I first tried to act like it wasn’t there. Sadly, that tactic never worked with Bully Brad and didn’t work this time either.
Then I tried walking away. And just like with Bully Brad, it followed. I tried running away. Running away worked with Bully Brad unless he threw a stick to make me trip. Unfortunately, this morning my attacker I couldn’t outrun.
Finally, as a last resort, I turned to fight. Holding up both hands to block my face just like Dad had taught me, I threw all the punches and kicks I knew, but my ten years of karate training didn’t work. I was struck right between the eyes! Turning and trying to fight off my childhood tormentor had not worked. Defenseless against the ruthless attack, there was only one thing I could think of to do.
Scream and run away.
That didn’t work either. Suddenly it struck me multiple times right between the shoulder blades with such force it almost took my breath away. Somehow, I made it back home, went inside, and locked the door. The Wife saw my wounds and immediately started giving aid, “Wow, he really got you this time.” She added with a slight smile, “Think it’s that same guy from Flamingo?”
She scraped the stingers out, then applied Benadryl and Band-Aids. “Must be,” I replied, “or one of his million or so distant offspring. Somehow, they always seem to find me.”
If any of you, Dear Readers, know how to repel sweat bees, please let me know. That pest has been bullying me since I was six years old and growing up back on that old familiar street not so far away called Flamingo.
[Rick Ryckeley has been writing stories weekly in The Citizen since 2001.]