The Bully Boys

by James Glaser
October 23, 2002

I want you to think back to your first years on the school playground. There was always some kid in every class that was the biggest and in those early years the "biggest" ruled his recess period. My bully was named Richard and I will never forget him as long as I live. Richard set the tone of our free period. Richard had a bad day, we had a bad day.

Later on in fifth and sixth grade Richard was a threat to no one, both because some of us caught up to him in size and because some small kids became really tough. To this day when ever I stop over to see my Mom, I am looking for Richard as I know he still lives in the neighborhood. Richard turned out to be a OK guy, but I will never like him because of the terror he inflicted in those years that power went to his head.

Looking back now I realize that Richard was not the bully of the playground, but his best friend Georgie was. Really it was a kid named George, skinny and small, who had befriended Richard and lived next door to him. Richard was the muscle, but George was the instigator. George would be slighted by some kid on the teeter totter and would have tell Richard that kid had said something about Richard. That was all it took and Richard would be over there in a flash.

I guess you could say that it was fun to be the bully. Richard wasn't that bright and he really didn't make friends that easily. It took a few years before he realized that George was just using him, but as far as bullies go he had it down to a science.

First off there is the sneer and the stance, with head cocked to one side. Then the taunting starts and if the little kid tries to walk away you get over to his other side and block him off. Georgie never fought, but he was good at blocking any retreat. Richard would always have to push, taunt, and yell before any fight would start. He was really big and you just knew you were going to get your clock cleaned.

At the first sounds of the taunting every kid on the playground would surround the two combatants. Peer pressure would make even the smallest kid take a swing and then Richard would pound the kid. It happened to me several times but as the years went on and I got bigger it happened less and less. The bully is always looking for that easy mark and small is good.

After a while every bully has those hangers on that don't want to get in a fight so they cow tow to the bully and hang around with him. Kind of a little kids gang only just the bully actually fights, the others are like Georgie and just taunt others into action.

Then in fourth grade a kid who was pretty small, named Joey Wells put an end to bullying on our playground. Joey Wells, that is his real name did a lot for every kid on that playground and school was just that much better after that day.

Georgie and his buddies were yelling and taunting Joey for who knows why and they had Richard come over to settle things up. Like I said Joey was small and had been beat before, but over the summer he got some tips from some one, a cousin or maybe his uncle. Joey Wells punched Richard so many times right in the nose that he got two black eyes and blood ran all the way to the school nurse's office.

Joey was a playground hero and all the fight was out of Richard. I think that was the first time anyone got some shots in on Richard and he figured out that it hurt and he didn't like it at all.

Sure after that their were fights on the playground, but they were different. Just spontaneous engagements, not pre planned and never with Richard. Heck I got in to a few of those, but I can't even remember why now and there wasn't that taunting and pushing, just two guys in a quick scuffle and then back to normal

That taunting and pushing I can remember to this day. When someone draws you into a fight you really don't want there is all that time for the adrenaline to course through out your body and you would run away, but all your friends are there watching, so you have no choice.

America is doing that same playground routine that Georgie and Richard used on my playground and all bullies use. We taunted the Taliban in Afghanistan for weeks and weeks and said give us your hero, Osama or we will take him. We forced the Taliban to fight even though they knew they would be beat, because everyone in the world was watching. Taliban have pride just like little kids on the playground do.

Now we are doing the same to Saddam, We beat him once and now we are coming back for more because he was so easy last time. We are in the taunting phase right now with wanting arms inspections. Saddam tried to get out of the fight and said "OK, come on in and look around for whatever you want," but America doesn't really want to look for arms, that was just a goad or a push. America, like that bully from my past wants to have a fight, knowing we can beat Saddam just like last time. Saddam is in that corner every little kid on the playground was in, with every Arab country looking at what he will do. He might get beat like last time or maybe he picked up some pointers and will punch us right in the nose.

President George Bush is the Instigator of this world Playground fight and our Armed forces are the bully. The hangers on are Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfled and the rest of those "chicken hawks" who won't fight, but like to hang around with the bully so they won't have to.

Just like Richard in my youth our American Military "bully" is starting to think for themselves and the Generals are saying wait just a minute maybe this is not the way to go, but we also have "Georgie" pushing from the sidelines wanting this fight. I just hope our bully has grown up enough to say. "No More."

BACK to the Politics Columns.