Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Twelve Days of Festivus: Day Four


Day Four: Grade Three

Ah, grade three. That year was interesting. I liked school again, after a dreadful second year. Mr. Simmons was a really cool teacher, and Mr. Ingels (spelling?) had a boa constrictor in his science lab. What wasn't to like? Admittedly it was not without its bad times, though. After all, it was grade three in which I got busted for the stick-people porn and ended up getting the strap (see King Tit and the Eraser That Saved My Ass).Grade three was also a landmark year in my life because it was when I first met a bully.

One day after school in the fall of 1986, I was leaving the school after staying late for a detention (no, I don't remember what I did to get detention, but I was helping Mrs. Miller in the library putting books back). Because it was after the dismissal time, there was no one about outside. The perfect setting for a predator.
As I was walking through the playground, I took out a Super Powers Flash action figure from my pocket. The Flash was so cool! You squeezed his arms together and his legs moved to "simulate" that he was running. I loved that toy so much.
Anyway, while I was walking and playing with my Flash, two kids came up to me. One was quite tall and then other noticeably short by comparison. I remember distinctly that the taller kid's face was acne ridden (as I didn't know what it was at the time) and so that puts the bullies at least in middle school if not high school. They were much older than me for true. The younger one seemed to be the "leader" and did all the talking. He asked me what I was doing out all alone. I didn't reply because it was not right to talk to strangers...and because I was scared. I tried to keep walking, but the tall one got in my way. When I tried to go around him, he moved to block me. I thought I was in trouble.

"What have you got there?" the short one inquired, nodding toward my toy. I told him it was the Flash and then tried to walk away. That is when the short one grabbed me. Holding my arm, he yanked the figure out of my hand and started to play with it. I grabbed at the toy to try and get it back but he moved his arm away from my reach.
I distinctly remember being upset. Scared, confused, and upset. I just wanted my toy back and to be left alone. The short kid played with the figure, activating the action feature over and over and over. I kept trying to grab it but the tall kid grabbed me.

"You want your toy?" the short kid asked while laughing. I, of course, said I wanted my action figure back. The kid then said "okay, you can have it." The kid then wound up his arm and chucked the figure through the air. The Flash whizzed through the air, higher than I could have ever thrown it. The figure flew further and further away until it disappeared over the top of the school. The figure landed on the roof of the school.

"Go and get it," the short kid said, laughing again. The tall one pushed me down to the ground and they left me.
I cried. All the way home I cried. I had lost my favourite toy forever. I told my parents what happened that night, but while my dad seemed to be angry that the bullies threw away my toy, my parents did not do anything about it. I don't think they told the school about what happened. And the figure was certainly not replaced. From time to time, I wonder if my Flash is still up on the roof of R.J. Hawkey. Wouldn't that be something?

Over twenty years later, I admit I still have a place in my heart for The Flash from the Super Powers toy line. It is a symbol of my childhood so the nostalgia is pretty strong. It is also a symbol of my victimization.
I won't lie to you...I would love to own that figure again. It's just a stupid toy and is archaic by today's standards, but it means a lot to me. Maybe I'll find it again someday.

Oh, and if you ever see bullies picking on a kid, do me a favour. Grab the bullies. Squeeze their arms until their legs move (and if that doesn't work, punch them until they do it for you). Then throw them on the nearest roof. It's the least they deserve.
Now someone go up on R.J Hawkey and look for my action figure!

See you tomorrow for Day Five!

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