When I was at school I was a bit of a tomboy. I’m not proud of my schooldays. But I’m not ashamed of them either. I was only young and I hadn’t learned what life was all about yet.
I remember there was a group of boys who always seemed to stick together. They were inseparable. They delighted in breaking the rules and they were always looking for trouble. They were cool, dangerous and very, very good looking.
My little group of friends were never very far away. We thought they were the best and we fantasized about getting closer to them. Especially the main ones.
There were two ringleaders among the boys. Both very tough looking and both impressive to look at. Surrounding them were the minions. These boys were less attractive but just as badly behaved. They used to do all the dirty work. They’d pick on the weaker kids and whenever the ringleaders took a dislike to someone it was always the minions who ended up hitting them. I’d never heard the word sycophant back then but looking back that’s exactly what they were. They were the puny attention-seekers who I now realise were only trying to hide their lack of self-esteem by pretending to be tough.
But I never saw any of these tough boys fighting alone. They always came in a group and they always attacked the weakest kids. Whenever someone who was really tough crossed their paths they either made friends with them or they ran away. Sometimes they actually, literally, really ran away.
I’ve been thinking about these boys in the last few weeks and wondering where they are now. I haven’t seen most of them for over fifteen years. One went off to be a policeman. He had a brief fling with a friend of mine and he seems to have turned out alright. He grew up. Hopefully they all did.
But when I think back to my impressionable childhood with the eyes of an adult I realise just how cowardly and insecure this gang of boys must have been. And I see their like in the adult world too.
I wonder how many of them grew up to become Biffers.