Take this bully we knew back in school named Bill. Bill struck fear and terror in the hearts of grade schoolers everywhere. We can still see him in our memories, hanging by the schoolyard gate, beating kids up for their concert money and swapping knuckle sandwiches for their U2 tickets. That was Bill.
Of course, there’s more to a bully than the fist that meets your eye. Many of us thought Bill was a victim of his environment, and that he couldn’t help himself whenever he pulled on your hair until you gave him your Kenny G tickets, or grabbed your nose and twisted it like a doorknob until you gave up your tickets for Jefferson Starship and Deicide. We thought a little love and understanding would go a long way with Bill. But the reality was that Bill loved abusing us. In short, it was his schoolyard and he just let us play in it.
So, we tried to live with Bill and his bully ways. We looked the other way whenever he tripped someone, and then swiped their Alan Jackson tickets while kicking them when they were down. Or when he rifled through everyone’s backpacks when they weren’t looking, grabbing anything he could find, like tickets for Judy Collins and Motley Crue. He’s just a kid, we thought. He’ll grow out of it.
But that’s the thing about bullies. They never grow out of it. As Bill grew older, he set his sights on bigger targets. In high school Bill blackmailed the school nurse out of her Bob Dylan tickets by threatening to send photos of her grabbing a quick smoke out behind the football stadium to the school newspaper. But that’s nothing like the time when he managed to make the principle give up his tickets for Lily Tomlin and Margaret Cho in exchange for not sending incriminating photos of him with the English teacher during the field trip to the service charge factory. Then there was that time when he claimed that all the band teachers were secretly ACLU terrorists. Yeah, Bill, wasn’t just playing around when he used to beat us up on the playground for our tickets to see The Black Crowes and Elton John. Oh, no. Instead, he just moved on to bigger and better things.
Is there a moral to this story, a “just” ending to this tale? Only that bullies are often bad to the bone, and try as you might, you just can’t change them. Instead, it’s probably best to just roll over and let the bullies walk all over you and take whatever tickets you may be holding, no matter if the tickets are for Gang Of Four, John Fogerty or Nine Inch Nails. For truth be told, bullies run this crazy, wacky world in which we live, and we’re just pawns for their amusement. And if you don’t believe us, just ask Bill.
That is, if you can get through the switchboard at Fox News.