Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Last night, I evicted Elijah from my bed and tried to sneak in without disturbing any of the other humans or animals still occupying the tiny sliver of mattress I call my own.

As soon as I got in, Diana sat up in bed, wide awake.

“Eli’s being bullied at school,” she sadly declared. Well, that was not the bedtime story I was expecting.

There is this group of dullards, who by genetics and competitive fathering, are good at sports. I call them “dullards” because they fit the in-computer dictionary definition of “a slow or stupid person.”

Anyway, this pack of athletic dullards have been hassling Eli because he is not good as sports. They slap the ball out of his hands at the after school basketball club. They call him names. They make fun of his incoordination.

What kills me is this is the exact opposite of everything Eli stands for. He’s the sweetest, kindest boy ever and would never hurt a fly. I can’t imagine how bullying computes with his sensitive soul.  

After marveling at just how darkly violent my initial response was, I asked Diana what we should do. None of the immediate options seemed right.

You can’t go yell at the dullards. That will just make them hate Eli more.

You can’t go yell at the dullard parents, because if The Brady Bunch has taught me anything, bully parents are worse than bullies.

You can’t just go teach your kid to be better at sports, because I suck at sports. And it would take time away from Xbox.

You can’t just hire a Harley driving badass to scare the living poop out of them like my friend Chris Roe suggested. Because Harleys aren’t allowed on school property.

You can’t explain to Eli that the dullards are racing towards a future of unemployment and beer bellies and the sadness of glory days. And that literally every one of his idols (Spider Man, the guy who draws Spider Man) were bad at sports. Second graders don’t understand the long delight of watching the slow decline of jocks.

I’ll be honest, the whole affair just brought a truckload of guilt down on my shoulders. I feel like the worst dad in the world. I should have been throwing balls at Eli’s head or making him watch The World Series or at least The World Series of Poker. I shouldn’t have stressed kindness and humor when I could have been forming him into a blunt object.

But I assume Diana will think of something and I can go back to training him for a career in competitive Lego video game playing.

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