Tyson laughed, a stupid, ugly bark of a laugh. "I bet you're the one who sucks at video games," Tyson suggested, his lips spreading into a cruel smile. "Fag," he added, dropping the nuclear weapon of 12-year-old conversations. This was him. I had my man. My ugly, stupid-looking pre-man.
I waited for the mushroom crowd of "Oooooooohs" that rolled over the gathered crowd to settle. "You see, Tyson, that's where you're wrong; I don't suck. I'm supercool. And I'm not gay."
Tyson sneered, not intimidated at all by my accurate claim of supercoolness. "I bet you've never even kissed a girl!"
I sighed. "I've kissed tons of girls. And I mean a large number of fairly regular-sized ones, not a small number of the larger type."
"Although that has happened, too."
Tyson shook his head, trying to shake away the confusion caused by my use of polysyllabic words. "You liar," he parried. "You haven't kissed anyone!" A number of similar accusations echoed up from Tyson's crew of less ugly, less stupid-looking associates. "I dare you to kiss a girl right now!"
Another chorus of "Ooooohs" from the mob.
"Oh, I could," I said, bluffing like mad. "But I don't even like any of the girls who go to school here. The girls here are trashy," I suggested.
"Chicken!" Tyson shouted. "I dare you to kiss Rebecca!" He pointed at one of the girls in his posse, who, in all fairness, looked pretty trashy.
"Screw you, Tyson," she shrieked, though she didn't make any effort to run away, and in fact she looked like she was enjoying the attention.
"I really, really can't do that," I said, meaning it.
"He's gay!" Tyson shouted, his proof seemingly airtight. I was trapped. The reason this child-kissing situation was a problem -- the part about kissing children, specifically -- was obvious to me, knowing my actual age. I was living the nightmare of every undercover cop; imagine Training Day if it had balls.