Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Schoolyard boys

Mai has a story of when she broke a boy's arm at school. I was reminded of this recently and recalled that I too broke a guy's arm at school. Although I'll admit I was less hands-on than Mai (who is quite the formidable opponent). Was no 'hands-on' at all actually.

I was going to elementary school in the US at the time. The boy whose arm I was to break sat next to me in my Year Three class. His name was Chad. Yes, seriously.

Anyway, Chad had the hots for me. It was so serious that he gave me scratch n' sniff stickers. The good ones too, like grape. The attention was nice at first but then it got creepy. He would follow me all day, keep trying to talk to me or touch me. Every time I looked around he'd be nearby and staring at me. I think he even stole from my lunch box and followed me home from school.

It got so that I felt sick at the thought of going to school and tried to get out of it. I'd try the stomachache approach - cause I really did have one I was that anxious. And then came the tears but they were real too cause I was shit scared.

Neither worked.

Mum didn't understand why I didn't want to go. If I'd known all that grown-up, handy stuff called 'wisdom' and 'experience' I'd have said, 'Cause I'm being stalked by a maniac loser called Chad!!!'. But for some reason I was unable to get my point across.

Fortunately, it turned out that Chad's eagerness to impress me solved my problem. The school playground had a great, towering jungle gym. A high metal structure made of lots of crossed over poles so it looked like lots of cubes [see pic but imagine it, you know, without the birds].

Anyway, I recall walking past this contraption set on the sawdust that is abundant in US playgrounds (on the west coast in the 80s at least). Ol' Chad had climbed up to the top with his mates and was intent on showing off. He was doing some sort of daredevil contortion hanging off the side of it whilst looking down at me to see if I was impressed with his grand display of acting like an utter monkey.

I believe I thought something along the lines of, 'That idiot, I hope he falls off', turned my head and heard THUD, 'Aah!'. I looked back to see Chad covered in sawdust and holding his arm. He started crying. Chad really wasn't doing a good job of impressing me.

I believe it was not only me but Chad too who considered this my fault. He still looked at me after that but kept his distance and it was more of a scowl than his previous puppy-dog look.

I don't recall him staying at the school for much longer either.

Hopefully it taught him to desist with his stalkerish ways!


I'll admit I wasn't the toughest kid in elementary school but I did enjoy a bit of a tumble with the boys (the cute ones - still do).

My favourite game was when they would come and chase me and grab me - after I slowed down so they could catch me of course. The boy or boys would then pin my arm up behind my back in a half nelson and roughly escort me back to their hide out, ie. some isolated, grotty corner of the school grounds. They never hurt me cause my arms are quite long and flexible but I acted like it hurt of course, all part of the game acting helpless and such.

Not surprisingly, back at the hide out I would soon escape. The boys seemed a little relieved at this as they likely didn't really know what to do with me. A bit of a fight to escape was always fun too.

And then of course they'd catch me again...


Now these boys giving me half nelsons were my friends. When I had a real fight it was only with my true enemies. The creepy boys who would call you names or pull your hair, laugh when you walked past or, horrors, make faces at you. These boys I usually kicked in the shins.

I recall there was one boy who did all this but was quite keen on me all the same. He wouldn't let me alone but I was pretty tough by now and fiercely held his soft little-boy hand and dug my thumbnail deep into the top of it. I did this each time I saw him. Scary eh? Although I stopped after he begged me. And I saw he had a dozen or more fierce looking scabs on his hand. And he was looking sad and scared. Poor boy. (I wonder if they scarred.)

Mind you it worked, he stopped bugging me. Took the hint. (Now why didn't I try that with my last boyfriend when he persisted after I ended it?... I suppose because his big hairy man-hands are pretty tough. *sigh* Life was much simpler when I was eight.)


The fight I best remember at elementary school was one of those proper 'fights to end all fights' with my main male enemy. No more little skirmishes, it had to be decided once and for all. This fight was arranged formally by time and place. Yes, serious stuff.

We each had two friends with us as support. We faced off in the sawdust playground... And I kicked the shit out of him until he was flat on the ground.

Yay! I won!

I turned and began walking to my equally happy friends... whose faces suddenly fell just before I was shoved hard in the back. Bam! Down I went. And that stupid creep laughed and guffawed his head off like he'd won. Loser.


Dumb boys.


You all have similar schoolyard tales, yes?