The Cul-De-Sac Bully

by Kevin on October 24, 2015

Phil was a little kid and we were in the eighth grade. I was the new kid in school so it was a hard time for me, but Phil was nice and one of the few people I might’ve considered a friend.

There was a group of guys that constantly made fun of Phil. I don’t know the reason or the circumstances, but I do know what happened to them.

Phil got tired of it…that’s what happened.

I had just got my books out of my locker for my next class. I was running a little bit late and most of the halls had cleared already. Why I saw Phil quietly sneak into the boy’s bathroom near my locker was pure coincidence.

But all of a sudden, I heard a crash and then screaming…and watched Phil hurry out of the bathroom–with a huge smile plastered all over his face. He winked at me through coke-bottle thick glasses as he scooted quickly away down the hall.

I went into the bathroom and there, lying in a pool of blood, was the source of Phil’s tormenting. A pool of blood might be an exaggeration, but both lips were bleeding and not only did his nose look broke, but he might’ve been missing some teeth.

The teachers arrived and many questions were asked. I didn’t tell them a thing, but I was dying to talk to Phil.

When I found him later, he was still shaking like a leaf. He had endured years of bullying, both physical and mental, from this kid and Phil had watched him go into the boys room. In this particular bathroom, you had to turn completely turn around to see someone that walked in if you were using the stand-up variety of dispensation. Phil had snuck in while the bully was relieving himself and unbeknownst to the urinator, he grabbed the cuffs of his baggy pants and jerked as hard as he could.

When your hands are busy holding something else, you can’t quite catch yourself before your face connects with some polished chrome with lots of corners.

This is how we dealt with bullies when we were kids…and it worked.


In the 1960’s, the homes in a cul-de-sac began to gain much popularity. They were supposedly safer: No cars speeding by that might run over your child.

But they were wrong.

Child deaths increased. Why? Because in a cul-de-sac, you have to back out and its harder to see, especially when you are backing out into a dead-end of houses.

A well-meaning idea ended up being worse than the problem it intended to fix.

The Cul-De-Sac Bully

Bullies have always been around and will always be around. If you happen to skate through childhood without having a run-in with one, just wait until you get into the workplace.

There are two types of bullies in this world:

1. Someone who uses the threat of physical harm to intimidate, humiliate, and or manipulate another person’s feelings or well being.
2. Someone who uses the protection from physical harm to say things to intimidate, humiliate, and or manipulate another person’s feelings or well being.

We all know the big mean kid (#1). They steal your lunch money or it’s a co-worker who uses their size or temper to threaten others into doing what they want.

But then there is the second-class bully…The Cul-De-Sac Bully.

We started cracking down on bullying in our schools, but just against the first-class bully. We harshly punished anyone and everyone who used physical force; whether or not it was for personal protection. We wanted to build nice little communities where everyone was safe…but they were wrong.

You see, there used to be checks and balances. I never knew a first-class bully that didn’t end up get what’s coming to him. Just like in Phil’s case, someone will finally stand up to them and deal with it. No matter how big or bad you think you are, you will eventually run into to someone bigger and badder…or smaller and smarter.

But the other side of that was also true. You didn’t walk around saying whatever you wanted to to anyone. If you said the wrong thing to the wrong person at the wrong moment, you were liable to get punched in the mouth.

I had a guy in middle school that didn’t like me because my dad was the local sheriff and his family was always in trouble with the law. One day, he told me at lunch that my dad was a derogatory term for a particular part of a female’s anatomy and that he was going to come to my house and give my mom what my dad couldn’t.

I knocked him and his meatloaf over a table…and he got in trouble because he made the mistake of saying it loud enough for a coach that was sitting nearby to hear.

You can’t do that anymore.

Now, people can go around and say things to hurt people, intimidate people, manipulate people, and we aren’t supposed to do anything about it. Where I come from, you better watch your mouth or you might find a fist in it. It’s not like that anymore.

No longer do we just have these big, over-sized bullies taking lunch money. Now we have these little snot-nosed bullies that think they can say whatever they want to whoever they want, and not only are they protected from physical harm, they think they have the constitutional right to mentally abuse others. I don’t care how tough you are physically, words have the power to decimate someone, not just the week or so it takes a busted lip to heal, but for years and even decades.

I no longer actually remember the physical pain of the bloody noses I got from standing up to bullies. I know that I remember it hurting at the time, but I don’t think about it every time I look in the mirror. But what I do think about is the time when a little kid called me a pizza-face because of my severe acne. I still think of that today when I am washing my face…still dealing with acne as an adult. And it still hurts.

The checks and balances have been lifted. We haven’t removed the bullies, we have built them. But now they use words instead of physical violence…and we say that freedom of speech protects them. Well I believe in freedom of speech wholeheartedly. I also believe in you better use that freedom wisely.

Bonafide bullies of the first class are actually few and far in between, but the second class. Well, they are everywhere…just look at social media.

So what is the answer?

I teach my kids like this: Talk no crap, but don’t take any either.

Bullies of both kinds use confrontation as a means of intimidation because they are afraid of it. I tell my kids to confront bullies of both sides…and don’t let up. I don’t tell them to punch people in the mouth or to yell and scream. I tell them to take the high road, but never back down from a bully of either class.

Good people that turn a blind eye to abuse of any kind are the perpetuators and protectors of evil.

We need more sheepdogs…

He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous are both alike an abomination to the Lord.
Proverbs 17:15 ESV

culdesac bully


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