Bullies may come in many different sizes, colours and shapes, but they all operate to the same tediously predictable agenda: ‘If you don’t do A, or give me B, I will inflict Torment C upon upon you…’ There are, of course, variations upon this theme which allow the bully (who, typically, likes to think of him or herself as a cut above the rest intellectually and physically) to think that he/she is highly versatile, mysterious and adaptable. But the truth is that bullies are unable to think outside their nasty little boxes, the nasty little foxes…
…and, lest you think this is segueing into Dr Seuss, let me tell you that I don’t personally give a rat’s scrotum whether Bully A likes, loathes or is wholly indifferent to green eggs and ham (whatever the venue, weather condition or dining partner) as long as said creature learns the range of expletives which generally end in ‘off’ – and are usually accompanied by certain well-known hand and finger gestures! – and gets the hell out when told.
We all tend to think that, if we treat bullies kindly – under the mistaken impression that, like the Pirates in ‘The Pirates of Penzance’, they are ALL orphans, or were mistreated as children – they will stop. That all they are waiting for is the hero on the white charger to come galloping over hill and dale, in a romantic and dashing manner, strewing forgiveness and smiting under-the-bed monsters on his, or her, way. That, in some fairy tale world not even on one of Grimm’s worst maps, giving way and being decent will cause the bully to see the error of his ways, kneel sobbing at one’s feet and promise to be an angel thereafter!
No. On the contrary, a line so firmly cut into the sand that it resembles the Grand Canyon is the only way.
And that means Psychological Warfare – because, whether the bully uses fists or threats, the ‘transaction’ always originates from the mind – and only fox-like stealth, combined with bull-in-a-china-shop clumsy heedlessness, can trounce the buggers!
Backing away from the sabre-rattling only makes it worse. Giving that little bit extra – be it money, time or possessions – simply narrows the gap between each Jolly Roger incursion upon the Good Ship Bullied!
Most bullies are like cats. They fluff themselves up to look bigger, use claws, teeth and whatever else they have in their personal armoury to get the upper hand; but they are also more than capable of purring, giving you the huge-eyed look and miaowing piteously when they are hungry!
Therefore, dismantling/removing the cat-flap is always a good opening gambit, as is getting a Rottweiler/Pit Bull Terrier. Remembering that felines are more than capable of the old ‘Lurk in a tree/on a roof and leap onto head’ ploy, and given that pollarding/cutting down one’s entire woodland area is both expensive and wounding to the spirit, a course in Bestial Topiary can be most soothing to the frazzled nerves – and, once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll find that a well-placed Jabberwock in the box hedge is worth any number of onions fired up your unwelcome visitor’s backside!
When you get the vast eyes and heart-string-pulling gutteral noises, immersion in a well soon sorts the men out from the boys, mainly because death tends to deter a repeat performance.
Some troublesome types express their aggression by spraying the furniture. A few judiciously-placed live wires very quickly cures them of this habit, however, as the sensation of peeing backwards brings tears to the boldest eye.
Dog-training techniques can also be utilised when dealing with the more intransigent bully. A whack across the snout with The Financial Times is especially effective because pain and intense boredom unman the worst of us, and a dicey day on the Stock Exchange can easily cause a veritable cascade of the more repellent citizens out of office tower block windows and the like.
Rubbing a bully’s nose in his or her own ordure has had some very positive feedback, though it is never wise to get into a Pissing (or worse) contest with the blighters because they invariably cheat and will have downed a jereboam of Old Engine Oil and fifteen Vesuvial curries in the hours leading up to the event.
Saying ‘No!’ in every known language is another good wheeze. It is brilliant for the brain cells, impresses your friends and can give you that valuable head start so that you can run away/lock yourself in/call John ‘Shithouse’ Smith from down the road or scream until you burst your bully’s ear-drums…
If all else fails, try Musical Warfare. Take up the violin. Especially effective if you have no talent for music and thin walls. The bag pipes are even better. Zealous practising of either, or both, is recommended, with the setting-up of Folk groups amongst consenting adults being a further diabolical embellishment.
Seriously, though: We do nobody any favours by pandering to those who get off on thuggery, emotional blackmail and Nuclear-strength rhetoric!
Start hammering nails into those cat flaps now – and, if one or two find their way into the metaphorical cat by mistake, so much the better!