Our school had a nice endowment left by the man in which the school was named after, John McEachern. When a new principle came in, he asked why we weren’t using the money sitting in the school’s coffers. By this time, tens of millions of dollars were sitting idly while the aging school was deteriorating. He began to improve the school and one of those improvements was a brand new vocational center. It was nice. The VoTech building (as they called it) had a state of the art beauty school, auto body shop, and mechanic shop.
I skipped the beauty school. My cuticles were fine, hair was beautiful, and my flannel shirt and jeans were still in fashion. But I took several years of body shop and auto mechanics.
It wasn’t unusual for me to have to go to the assistant principle’s office to pick up keys or other things for our shop class. It was located in the new building. One day I stepped into the office and saw two classmates, Bubba and Bee. Since they were sitting in the waiting chairs, I could tell it wasn’t a visit for an errand. Now, Bubba was a skinny kid. He was actually skinnier than me. Bee was just the opposite. She was a big girl. A very big girl. I don’t mean fat either. She was easily six foot two, maybe taller, and 250 pounds.
Let me first give you a little background on Bubba. He could be, how should we say it? A little annoying. No, a lot annoying. With a loud mouth but squeaky voice, he didn’t know how to stop himself from pestering others. He frequently bragged about his superhuman strength. When some of the guys were talking about working out, he bragged he could out lift them. He then said he could lift 500 pounds. When he insisted this was true, he then accepted the challenge to prove it. But he didn’t show. The first day his mom came to get him and he had to leave. The next day he had detention. Each day something came up to prevent him from coming to the gym to prove his brawn.
Running his mouth to either brag or belittle was Bubba’s way.
Most of the time people just scoffed and ignored him, but on this day, he took a special liking to Bee. He decided to taunt her. He taunted, teased, and pestered her until she’d had enough. So now they were in the vice-principles office.
“What are you doing in here, Bubba,” I asked.
“Can you believe this?” Bubba said. He popped out of his seat and said, “I want you to look at what I’m here for.” He snatched the disciplinary slip from Bee’s hand. She sneered briefly and Bubba handed it to me.
I read it. Reason for disciplinary action: Horseplay.
Bubba then handed me his slip. Reason for disciplinary action: Victim of horseplay.
While sitting in his desk and taunting Bee, she’d hit her limit. She stood up, grabbed his desk and threw it upside down – with him still in it.
After a good laugh, I left Bubba to his fate. He wanted sympathy for his victimization, but none was coming. Everyone considered doing this. Bee was just pushed far enough to turn fantasy into reality.
My advice to Bubba? Don’t taunt to be amused, and you won’t feel the pain of the abused.
Oh, and don’t push Bee.
Eddie Snipes 2012
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