Coaster Punchman was blogging about memories about the whole junior high school and high school social status thing and it reminded me of a moment in my life.
When I was in seventh grade, my family moved to Western Springs, Illinois, a middle class 'burb west of Chicago.
Things did not go well. My brothers and I were different-- we'd lived most of our lives up to that point in the city. We weren't jocks, and my family didn't attend church. We got picked on ferociously.
At some point, the three primary bullies of my junior high, all bigger than me physically, decided that punching me whenever a teacher wasn't looking was the most fun sport of all.
I endured it, made it out of junior high school and thrived in high school. As high school ended, I won a scholarship to North Central College in Naperville. I lived at home, and would usually take a commuter train to school.
One day, I was running late and missed the train that would get me to school on time. If I was going to get there on time, I was going to have to drive.
I hopped into the car, my family's yellow 1973 Ford Pinto, and got ready to go. I looked at the dashboard and saw that the fuel gauge was down near "E." I needed to go to a gas station.
I was really running late now, especially with the time it was going to take to go to the gas station, so I pulled up to the Full Serve. The attendant came running out and asked "Fill 'er up, sir?"
I was at a loss for words for a moment. It was John Birk, the bully ringleader.
I regained my composure and said "Just five bucks worth will be fine, thanks."
As I drove off to Naperville, I chuckled to myself. I was going to college on a scholarship and poor John was working as a gas jockey. I thought to myself "I guess that bully thing didn't work out for you so well, did it John?"