But although I had somehow been outflanked by a 12-year-old moron, at least I no longer needed to maintain my cover: I'd found my bully. I ran my fingers through my hair, reforming it into the Zack Morris wave I normally wore, and swelled up my chest, adopting the posture of a grownup, someone who'd forgotten more about Ninja Turtles than these children had ever learned.
"You got me," I said.
"We got you what, fag?" Tyson asked.
"What? You got me. I'm not a student here." I shook my head, confused, then reformed my hair wave again. "How old do you think I am?" I asked.
"I don't know. Like 4?"
"He's a baby!" one of Tyson's wingmen shouted.
"Like -4 then," Tyson offered.
"Look," I said. "I'm 32 years old. I can't kiss Rebecca because I'm 32 years old. It's illegal and ... and that's a really good law."
"What a liar! You're not 32!"
"No, it's true!" I protested. "I'm a grownup here to hunt you down for saying awful things to me on Battlefield 3, and yes I know that doesn't make me sound like a grownup! Shut up!"
"You're not an adult!" Tyson said, ignoring my command. Also, I couldn't tell if he was speaking figuratively or literally. "You look like you're 11!" he added. Literally, it seemed. My shoulders sagged. "And I don't even play Battlefield 3. Battlefield 3 is for fags."
"BATTLEFIELD 3 IS FOR EVERYONE REGARDLESS OF SEXUAL ORIENTATION!" I bellowed, alarmed at the unusually high pitch of my voice. I actually kind of sounded like I was 11.
"Whatever, baby fag," Tyson said, walking away. Furious, I whipped my last Lunchables at him, missing, hitting Rebecca in the back of the head, forever ending whatever chances I might have had with her, and marking only the second time in my life I've ended a relationship with a Lunchables.
Even the Nice Ones Are Kinda Dillbags
I was ultimately hauled into the principal's office by one of the lunchroom monitors, along with Andy, who may have gotten some blame on him when I was furiously trying to deflect said blame from myself.
"Listen, young man," the principal said a few minutes later, entering his office while carrying my file. "I don't know how things worked at your old school, but here at Alan Thicke, we don't tolerate funny business."
"Young man?!" I protested, finally tired of the charade, wishing I hadn't shaved the other day. I mashed just a tremendous amount of spit into my hair to make it look less floppy. "Look, I might be older than you!" I explained, although again, far too shrilly, my voice betraying me in my darkest hour.
"Look, Mr. ..." he began, squinting at my file, "Mr. ... Grimlock?"
"Justin Grimlock. It's Romanian," I explained, sticking to my cover story. "And I'm 32! It's ... this ... puberty was real rough. Has been real rough. I'm not sure it's done yet," I explained, hating the words even as I said them. "I'm 6 feet tall, for fuck's sake!" I stood up and jumped up and down to emphasize my physical stature, looming over the principal by nearly an inch. "These horizontal stripes just make me look shorter," I said, gesturing at the ridiculous outfit I had on to disguise my height.
Imagine Nanny from Muppet Babies except is just kept going all the way to the top.
"Well, Mr. Grimlock, we'll see what your mother has to say about this."
"Please don't call my mom!" I begged. "She's already so rightfully disappointed in me." The principal ignored me and began dialing the phone. I sat down, resting my head in my hands, wondering why I had put down my real emergency contact information on those forms.
"Hey, are you SkorpionKok34?" Andy asked beside me, using my Xbox username.
"What? Yes. No. Of course not." I looked down at Andy. "Yes. How'd you know that?"
"I was playing you the other day," Andy replied. "You're good."
"Of course I'm good. I'm 32 years old. You don't get good at video games by not wasting 25 years of your life." I sat back in my chair and looked at the ceiling. The last piece fell into place. "It was you, wasn't it? You're the one who cyberbullied me?"
"What? Cyberbullied? No." Andy looked down, embarrassed. "Well. I guess I called you a name."
I sighed, recent near-felonies and mortal sins having melted the rage away from me. "You shouldn't do that," I said, now calm, seeing a teaching opportunity. "For one, calling someone gay isn't an insult. Gay guys are totally normal. And they're pretty funny, and they almost always know where to get drugs, and they've got the latest ideas about trousers. Don't call people gay. It just makes you look bad."
"And it also seemed to make you go insane."
"And it also made me go a little insane," I allowed. "Look, do you want some advice?"
"From you?" Andy looked unsure, not without cause. I smacked the back of his head.
"Yes, from me. Look. One, just calm down, OK? Losing at video games is no big deal. Hell, winning at video games is no big deal. Two, in BF3, when you're in the open, don't shoot from so far away with just the AK -- you won't hit shit and it just makes you a target for snipers. And three, you probably have a chance with Rebecca if you want. I'm not saying that's a wise idea. But it's one of the good kinds of unwise ideas, if you know what I mean. You don't, but just nod like you do." I stood up while he considered my wisdom on unwisdom. "Now if you'll excuse me." I looked at the principal, still with the phone cradled to his ear, and gave him a gun finger. "Word to my mother." Finally, I strolled from the room and out of their lives forever, unless they read Cracked, in which case out of their lives until just now. ____________________________________
Check out more from Bucholz in 5 Romantic Ways To Get Revenge on That Special Someone and So You're Accidentally Stalking Helen Mirren.
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