Your fifteen minutes may soon be up. I would like to take this opportunity to call you out, sir. You were not a merry prankster; you were a bully. You may actually not remember these bullying incidents, but I guarantee you, the people you hurt do. I was bullied all the way through elementary and high school. It’s in part why I was an alcoholic by the time I was 20. It’s also why I became an elementary school teacher. In my forty something years on Earth, I have learned a few things about bullies.
Here’s what I know. I KNOW bullying hurts; emotionally, psychologically, physically, and spiritually. In 1943, Abraham Maslowe wrote about our innate needs as human beings. Here’s my favourite version of the chart.
I went to a high school where pranks were a big part of the graduation hijinkery. (GO SEMI TOTEMS!)
Sneaking onto the rugby field with dozens of bottles of bleach and spelling out GRAD 83 is a prank. Getting the rugby team to carry a 1970s Mini Cooper down a flight of stairs so you can drive it through the hallway (yes, really!) is a prank. Climbing over a barbwire fence to 'borrow' a speedboat and then chickening out halfway through is stupid, but it's still no more than a prank.* Pranks are funny and harmless. Pushing someone to the ground and cutting off their hair? NOT A PRANK!
I have a bad left shoulder. Perhaps this is due to the prank I was part of in 6th grade, when I was shoved from behind into a portable classroom wall. I'm pretty sure I hit it with my left cheek Pushing someone to the ground and cutting off their hair is assault. Saying "Attagirl" to a gay male classmate is hate speech. And by all that is good and pure in this world, DRIVING THOUSANDS OF MILES WITH YOUR DOG IN A BOX ON TOP OF YOUR STATION WAGON is animal abuse.
This is the TWENTY FIRST CENTURY, Mr., and I am afraid that your ideas (Assaulting people is harmless fun! The dog loved it!) do not belong here. Please go away. Soon.
I wish you well in your life, and out of mine.
* I actually participated in one of these events in High School. Guess which one?