Odd Thoughts: Cold facts about bullying

I proved them all wrong time after time through the years.

I proved it once again this past week.

But there’s no satisfaction in it, and certainly no pleasure.

If you saw me today you might be surprised to learn – but probably not – that I was no good at sports when I was a kid.

I was the one who was always picked last when sides were chosen… actually, that’s not entirely true.

There was one kid who had a leg brace on most of the time because he had a seriously bum leg. Perhaps he had had polio or something. He wasn’t allowed to play anything rough or vigorous when the brace was off, so technically, I wasn’t last on those days.

One day when sides were being chosen for a softball pick-up, someone actually suggested choosing me before all the dregs were out of the barrel.

“Nah!” said the team captain, “He can’t catch a ball.”

“He couldn’t catch a fly,” called out a wag from the back, quite pleased at his clever turn of phrase.

“Hah!” said the other team’s captain, an infuriating big-for-his-age jerk who was good at absolutely everything except exercising common decency, “He couldn’t even catch a cold.”

And that was it. From then on, I was the kid who “can’t catch a cold” – always punctuated with a round of derisive laughter – whenever there was anything happening remotely to do with sports. The jocular tagline came up even if there was no ball in the game.

The epithet followed me for several years, right through junior high school – until I was in a big enough school that I could duck all of my childhood “friends” completely.

It wasn’t called bullying back then. It was just kids having fun. Any kid who didn’t punch you in the face or otherwise physically assault you could not be a bully.

Even a few of my teachers got into it, although their laughter mostly sounded a little more sincere. Except for one teacher who was clearly as malicious as any kid could be, I believe most really thought I was in on the joke.

Take it like a man, unless you want to be a cry-baby, too. That’s what it really was from my end.

Well, a kid eventually grows up. And I’ve caught many colds since then.

So there!

 

Just Posted

Aldergrove community stakeholders react to town centre plans

‘The mall has been an eyesore for many years,’ says Home Hardware owner

Langley Mustangs runner sets Canadian record

Sarah Inglis celebrated St. Patrick’s Day with a standout performance at the Canadian All Comers race

Former South Surrey boxer relishing role on Riverdale

Peninsula resident Darcy Hinds has recurring role on popular CW series

Told ‘no’ twice by local shelter, homeless Surrey man sent to Hope anyways

Deemed medically stable, patient was taxied to Hope by hospital when a spot in Surrey wasn’t located

Music students to stage protest performances in Langley

Sunday demonstration planned to oppose budget cuts at Kwantlen Polytechynic University

WATCH: Out and about in Langley

March 20-22; your guide to community happenings.

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Prime minister defends Liberal budget measures as sales effort gets underway

Conservatives under Andrew Scheer say it’s a spree funded by borrowing against the future

Mayor meets with B.C. health minister on homeless taxi transfers

Two homeless people were discharged from Surrey Memorial and sent to a Chilliwack shelter

B.C. lottery winner being sued by co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Teacher reprimanded for conduct towards special needs student

Alan Stephen Berry told vice principal he did not have time to use positive strategies

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

Most Read