Part of growing up involves learning to deal with bullies. They’re everywhere. There are many different reasons as to why someone decides to become a bully, which is why they can take on so many different forms. Some are more prone to physical intimidation, while others are in to mind games. On rare occasions you have the “triple theat”—a bully who can not only scar you mentally and physically, but who can dance.
In order to gain better insight into the mind of a bully, I went to a local high school and waited. I loitered around, but not in the creepy way a pedophile would. I’d like to think I looked less like a guy in a trench coat who might expose himself, and more like a plain clothes cop looking for something suspicious to investigate.
Sure enough, at the end of the day kids flooded out hallways. The observant outsider (i.e., me), only needed minutes to spot some bullying-in-progress. I confronted the young man and asked for a minute of his time. After assuring him that I’d only take up a few minutes of his bullying, he agreed to talk to me. Here now is the transcript of our shot interview. I have taken the liberty of “cleaning up” some of the dialogue, although perhaps “translating” is the better word.
Dr. Bizarre: Thanks for your time. I promise this will be short.
Bully: Good, because this is somewhat awkward. You promise you’ll give me $20 bucks, right?
Dr. Bizarre: Of course.
Dr. Bizarre: First off, what’s the best thing you’ve ever called someone, in terms of an insult?
Bully: Easy. “Nipple-nuts.”
Dr. Bizarre: Nipple-nuts?
Bully: It’s the perfect insult. No matter how you say it, it’s insulting. Switch it around: “Nut-nipples.” Whether you have nipple-nuts or nut-nipples, the visual is disturbing. I once told a guy in the locker room that he had nipple-nuts and nut-nipples (he really did), and everyone laughed. It caught on. And for the next year he couldn’t walk down the hallway without someone referencing his nuts or his nipples. People would put their fingers by their crotch and pretend to be milking tiny nipples when they saw him. They’d make what I can only describe as “tinker-bell” noises as they did so. It was odd…but it was all because of me. I did that. I created that.
Dr. Bizarre: Where is he now?
Bully: I’m not sure. Perhaps he changed schools?
Dr. Bizarre: What if he’s dead? What if he killed himself?
Bully: Because he had nipple nuts?
Dr. Bizarre: No, because you made fun of him.
Bully: It’s much more likely he’d kill himself because of his strange testicles and hanging, raisin-like nipples that would only tighten up in the winter. Sometimes I thought he might really have testicle-like nipples—as in they were fully functional. As in they produced sperm. I’m actually surprised he even took his shirt off in the locker room, or that his parents didn’t have a doctor take care of that.
Dr. Bizarre: [speechless]
Bully: Can I go now? My friends and I are supposed to jump this one kid before he gets home.
Dr. Bizarre: Sure. [hands bully the $20 promised to him.]
Years ago, bullies demanded your lunch money. Today, they wax on about testicular-nipples, or the moral failings of parents who wouldn’t surgically repair such defects in their children. In an increasingly complex world, you get increasingly complex bullies. We’re smarter and more internet savvy, but our dark sides have caught up.
Sometimes, I find myself yearning for the simper times. In a world where the best a bully can come up with is “loser,” or any number of monosyllabic insults, life is easy. It’s easy to laugh off bullies with IQs just high enough to allow them to hold down a job, but what do you do when you’re faced with Junior Lex Luthor?
It’s a weird world, which is why I currently don’t plan on having kids.