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First of all, I think it’s safe to say I’m a city boy. As Lindsay and I (Lindsay’s my wife) were driving up to Dundalk the scenery became increasingly hilly and I said something along the lines of, “Wow, I feel like we’re in New Zealand”. Now, for any of you who have had the pleasure of exploring Ontario, Canada… it’s not really anything like New Zealand.
RE above picture: I understand this photo does not do the hillyness of the Southgate Community justice.
I’m such a tourist when it comes to anywhere new. We pulled into a pizza place ran by a guy named George. Everyone who came in said “Hi George”/”Bye George” but further conversation would ruin his concentration on the TV wedged between the half-wall and the ceiling.
A young girl was working the counter, she had an arm tattoo and looked to be 13, maybe 12. I asked her, “So, what is Dundalk all about? I’m doing a show here tonight and would like to know a little more about your town.”
She didn’t have to think to long, she said, “Honestly, mennonites and old people.” AS SHE SAID THIS a horse and carriage strolled on by the window. It was then I knew I was in for a very different show.
The crowd was mostly women and old people. I was talking to Lindsay at the back of the theater and asked her, “I’m not really sure if this is my demographic.” But my wife was comforting as usual, “Don’t worry. Just talk about how you’re a disappointing husband.”
Last Saturday I was in Richmond Hill at a St. Louis Bar and Grill performing for a half-filled room of drunk people who love chicken and ribs. I was the last performer and I had to deal with this loud-mouth white boy who looked like he worked for Bell. Blue dress shirt, grey dress pants, he was wearing dress shoes, like funeral shoes, at a rib and chicken joint. The dude was dressed wedding-appropriate for dusted riblets.
Anyway. I was doing my thing and he was yabbering on and I addressed him, asking him, “What did you say?”
To which he responded, “Oh no. It’s too offensive.”
I thought the guy was going to make a fat joke or something so I told him “out with it” and said that it’s hard to offend me.
Then it was his turn to speak again and he should of opted out of this one. But he didn’t, so he says to me, “Well, it starts with an N and ends with an Igger.”
The restaurant goes silent. And I let him feel the silence. There were a few black people in the room and it was very uncomfortable.
I didn’t know what to do. To be honest I don’t touch on racial stuff too much because I’m a fat Portuguese guy who looks Jewish but dresses Mormon. I try to stay away from race and religion for the most part. Not because I don’t know how to talk about it. Mostly because I don’t have anything new to say.
So after giving this guy a good 15 seconds of awkward social tension and potential danger, I said the only joke floating around my head, which was the lamest joke I could possibly thing of.
I said, “It wasn’t easy growing up. I was the only alligator in an all crocodile high school. When everyone was saying “in a while” I was the only one saying “see you later”.
This got a good laugh because I chose the high road which was the pre-school approach.
An approach that I now know works best for taking down stupid drunk white boys.
I told some new girl at my work yesterday that I was a comic. She’s a super Christian lady and asked me if I performed “clean comedy”. So, to answer her, I showed her this picture:
Last November I had the pleasure of taping a comedy set for ‘No Kidding’ on iChannel and last week I had the pleasure of working with the same crew for a round table discussion show linked to ‘No Kidding’ called ‘The Inside Joke’. Basically, 4-5 comics get together and discuss a reoccurring theme in their acts that relate to each other and I was apart of a segment on bullying.
I’m pretty much an expert on being bulled seeing as I was a fat kid with braces who became a Christian and lead an impact group in the most ghetto school in Oshawa, Ontario. But when I was a kid I was bullied the old fashioned way: swirlies, wedgies, pushed against the locker, etc. I’m not jealous of kids today. If someone didn’t like me they told me to my face. They didn’t pull out their phones and start calling me a slut on Facebook. Jesus Christ.
There used to be an art to bullying before being a nerd was cool. There was a clear divide between the bullies and the nerds and there was a certain rite of passage when you finally stood up to your bully. Sure you might of gotten the shit kicked out of you that much harder but there was a personal pride in sticking up for yourself. This ladies and gentlemen is called “building character”. There’s an important moment in life where you either learn you don’t need to take shit from people or you default to doormat.
I remember one particular day in high school some kid in army pants walked by and smashed my head into the wall. I blacked out for a few moments and when I came to I was crying in front of a crowded hallway full of high school kids. Embarrassing right? I didn’t know how to face this kid because he had Columbine written all over him but I remember I saw him snickering at me in the library a few days later while we were watched The Diary of Anne Frank and in the middle of the movie I just yelled over to the kid, “Go fuck yourself!” I got sent to the principals office and was told not to tell kids to go fuck themselves but even my principal knew, hey, I had to do something. I had to let this kid know I wasn’t going to take his shit. He tried messing with me some other time but I was with my big punk friend Joe and Joe grabbed the kid and said he was going to eat his face or something scary then the kid never bothered me again. I’m pretty sure he dropped out that semester and is now dead from drinking too many Monster Energy drinks and jacking off to horse porn.
That’s right. You can die from watching too much horse porn.
So this is old news. The internet has created a bully evolution but I would go one step further and say the internet ruined bullying! Ruined the art of sticking up for yourself. The underdog stories that built our character and made us better people. How boring would The Breakfast Club be in 5 kids sat in the library and texted swear words at each other? Not only is the internet ruining bullying, a once vital rite of passage, but it’s ruining dating too!
I was on Facebook the other day and some kid wrote on my cousin’s wall and said, “Hey, your pics are super hot. We should go to the movies.” That’s a paraphrase. I’m sure the grammar was off and some of the letters were replaced with numb3rs. But what happened to old-fashioned asking a girl out? I mean, walking up to her in the cafeteria, rubbing your heels together, sweating, praying she won’t say no and that you won’t be embarrassed for the rest of your high school career, coughing, stuttering, putting together the words, “Hey Sally. Wanna go to the movies some time?”
I’ll end on this. If you’re going to bully, fucking man up and do it in person. None of this internet shit. You want to treat someone like crap you go up to them yourself and try to lift their underwear over their head and then learn your lesson when that nerd musters up the courage to punch your fucking teeth out.
Also, I saw this on Twitter the other day and appreciated the irony.
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