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Revenge of the nerds - Which is not unduly obvious, as I am about to explain
Revenge of the nerds
In celebration of my old friend eyebeams and I finding each other again through pyat's livejournal, I'd like to relate a cherished memory from our shared childhoods. eyebeams, feel free to point folks this way and make any additions or corrections!

It was the winter of 1985/1986. In a middle-class neighbourhood in the north end of metro Toronto were three public schools in a row, literally neighbours to one another. An elementary school, a junior high school, and a high school. This story concerns the junior high, which was called Glenview. It was built up against the side of a shallow ravine (hence the "view" part), and a glen must have existed there at some point because a lot of the streets in the area were rather uncreatively named Glen-something.

Glenview was for kids in grades 7 and 8, those awful hormonal years and I don't envy any of the teachers who had to put up with us. There was a lot of bullying at that school, although I suppose it was no different than anywhere else. At Glenview it started on day one, when two bullies would knock you over. One would sit on your stomach while the other pulled you by the legs down the tall, grassy slopes that surrounded the schoolyard, giving you a grass-coloured butt.

We were part of the "loser" crowd. Mostly due to our social skills - as 13-year-olds, none of us earned our derision from having uber-geeky hobbies, because we didn't have any. Well, okay, we played Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (munchkin style), but never at school. It's not like any of us were computer programmers or stuff like that - what were we going to program, the school's crummy Commodore PETs? Still, I guess we were geeky enough that when the Challenger space shuttle blew up, ours was the first group of students that the vice-principal personally informed of the disaster.

When it came down to it, we were a nice bunch of social outcasts who would've been perfectly content except the bullies never left us alone. So we stayed together over lunch - safety in numbers. Most of the bullies ended up going to Lawrence Park Collegiate, the neighbouring high school. Guess where most of us tried not to end up? Ah, Lawrence. The kind of place for rich, white snobby Reagan-era teenagers where the best player on the football team was arrested for rape. That kind of place.

So it's the winter. There's just been a good, damp snowfall, it's not too cold out, it's the lunch hour, and we're bored. We hit upon the idea of building a snowman. An evil snowman. In the same sense that a younger child might build an evil sand castle over a rock.

Our chosen "rock" was a black metal pole about four feet high and four inches in diameter near the school's front entrance. It and its sister pole flanked the entrance to the teachers' parking lot, which was occasionally closed off by attaching a chain between the poles. But this was mid-day, so no chain. I should also add that this was on the opposite side of the school from the schoolyard, so the likelihood of anyone bothering us was relatively low.

Now obviously we couldn't roll a regular snowman for what we had in mind, so instead we slapped the snow on and around the pole. It was very good "packing" snow and very stable. Mind you, this unorthodox construction method made the snowman look particularly uneven and lumpy, but no matter. Besides eyebeams and myself, I forget who else was there. There was at least one other person... Paul? Noel, George? In any case, none of us had thought anywhere beyond the "build snowman around pole" phase. We had no plan, and the lunch hour was almost up.

Fate, however, had something else in store. Down the sidewalk uphill from us came three of the school's many bullies, walking side-by-side. I forget who they were, they weren't at the top of the bullying hierarchy by any means. We stopped working and they stopped walking.

"Hey, nice SNOWMAN, guys!" one of the bullies said sarcastically.

"Oh, don't wreck it," eyebeams said, in a sort of regretting-the-inevitable tone of voice. Brilliantly played, I might add.

We were completely unprepared for what happened next. The three of them exchanged glances and ran at the snowman without slowing down. What the heck were they thinking? I mean, sure, they obviously wanted to wreck it, but there was no room for them all at the same time. Which is what made it so wonderful.

Bully number one hit the pole full force, and fell flat on his back. Bully number two grazed the side of the pole, lost his speed and was deflected sideways into the prickly bushes behind the pole. Bully number three, failing to have any target space left for him at all, ran into the prickly bushes at full speed.

Oh my god, we were laughing. We were laughing so hard we couldn't even stand up, rolling on the ground and clutching our stomachs. At that point it began to snow again too, huge heavy white flakes falling from the sky. The bullies were swearing something awful, and I can't remember a single word. They were picking up chunks of broken snowman and throwing them at us. It didn't matter, we didn't care. It was wonderful, magical, sweet.

I'll always remember that moment. Thanks, eyebeams.

Current Mood: nostalgic nostalgic
Current Music: Tears for Fears - Everybody wants to rule the world

15 comments or Leave a comment
rhinoscillator From: rhinoscillator Date: December 1st, 2005 08:29 am (UTC) (Link)
HAW. That's beauuuutiful. The stuff of movies. *salutes*
niall_ From: niall_ Date: December 1st, 2005 12:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
Oooooo, YES. (Living vicariously, here.)

Not owned - definitely PWNED. Beautifully played indeed.

And that's when you solidified the knowledge that brains will always triumph over brawn in the end, yes? :)
eyebeams From: eyebeams Date: December 1st, 2005 01:57 pm (UTC) (Link)


Nothing to add. You captured it just as I remembered it.

Unfortunately, I *did* end up going to LPCI after my mother couldn't afford the private school I was at. I got beaten up for not joining the rugby team and then kicked out.
dronon From: dronon Date: December 1st, 2005 05:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ack, I thought you went to a place called... Sole (sp?) near Oakwood? Oh well, that's memory for you. Glad I got the rest right! Actually I think George went on to Lawrence too, now that I think about it. And they weren't all bad; Steve Tassie came out of there all right. I shall make a slight modification to the post accordingly. :)
eyebeams From: eyebeams Date: December 1st, 2005 06:14 pm (UTC) (Link)
I went to Annex Village Campus, then LPCI, then AISP in North York (where Dodd was), then City School, then SEED.
dronon From: dronon Date: December 1st, 2005 06:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah, o.k. I think my friend Matthew was the one who went to Sole then. My sister ended up at SEED for a while too.
stevetassie From: stevetassie Date: February 25th, 2007 04:28 am (UTC) (Link)
I eventually transfered to Northern, but yeah, I made it out okay.
BTW who are you and why do you know me?
dronon From: dronon Date: February 25th, 2007 06:09 am (UTC) (Link)
Hey hey! I was your worst roommate ever, in Montreal, anyway. An unfortunate low point amongst many otherwise happy shared memories. Hello once again!
stevetassie From: stevetassie Date: February 25th, 2007 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Well, snap!
pyat From: pyat Date: December 1st, 2005 04:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Good stuff. :)
nottheterritory From: nottheterritory Date: December 1st, 2005 05:07 pm (UTC) (Link)


Hello dronon - indeed a wonderful story and one that eyebeams has related with great glee to me in the past.

I am taking the liberty of adding you as a friend, partly in celebration of your reunion with eyebeams and partly because, if you are the person I am 90% certain you are, you and I went to (and here I must beg those readers with weak constitutions to avert their eyes from what follows as it will displays levels of nerdiness normally proscribe by international temporal and religious law) D&D camp sometime in about 1985 at Harbourfront.

It was an experience from which I remember very little, with one exception: your charcater and mine dispatched to seek a ressurection for a less fortunate party member, encountered a rather callow city guard (of the kind beloved by GMs who's acting abilities stray towards the hapless and comedic) on our way to an appropriate temple. When the guardsman was informed that we were carrying the pickled corpse of one of our companions in a wine cask he was understandably discomfitted. I shall always recall you fixing the GM, playing the role of the concerned yeoman, with a steely smile, lowering your John Lennon sunglasses and saying, simply, "we're adventurers". You may not remember it, but it has informed my sense of what is proper to heroism for 20 years. So hooray for the '80s!
dronon From: dronon Date: December 1st, 2005 06:08 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: Greetings

Holy crap - I remember saying that now! I don't remember a thing about what led up to it, but now that you've said it I remember it! The glasses had a light rainbow sheen. Egads... I hate to admit that I don't remember your name at all, or pretty much anyone from those camp days except the people I went to school with. I remember faces a lot better than names. (blush) I'm both flattered and embarassed that that one throw-away line lived on.

Were you also in the party when we climbed that spiral staircase into the sky, and when faced with a beholder, someone used a wand of wonder, which summoned a rhinoceros, and our paladin in full plate fell off the staircase, hit one of the explosive glyphs of warding that our wizard had set around the base of the staircase, and then had the rhinoceros fall on him? I guess it was kind of like the AD&D equivalent of the bricklayer's tale.
nottheterritory From: nottheterritory Date: December 2nd, 2005 12:54 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Greetings

I hate to admit that I don't remember your name at all, or pretty much anyone from those camp days except the people I went to school with.

Oh don't feel bad - I don't remember anything much from those days either. I remember the GM (cause I ran into him at the Worldhouse for years afterwards), I remember your one-liner and I have a vague memory of guarding the door a lot.

What can I say? I was twelve, Wilde would have been lost on me...

Sadly I can't say I remember that spiral staircase. I might have been in the party - especially as I seem to recall the GM had a fondness for explosive glyphs - but I really don't remember the details. For all I remembered you throw away line for 20 years, I don't actually rememeber very many other of my gaming stories...
kannik From: kannik Date: December 1st, 2005 06:49 pm (UTC) (Link)
Haha, that's awesome! I seem to remember doing something similar once, though I think we used a fire hydrant... :P (and we weren't there when it was kicked through)

Love the paladin-glyph-rhino story too }:D
orleans From: orleans Date: December 2nd, 2005 03:31 am (UTC) (Link)
Great story! :)
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