When our new home was being built, I once stuffed sawdust into the oiling tube on an electric motor. I was ten, maybe eleven. My prankish act caused no damage, but I worried myself into confessing to my dad. He said my act was stupid, but probably that I had not destroyed the carpenter’s table saw. Dad was an engineer and knew everything. In the seventh grade I was sucked into scattering pepper all over the room to work up Mrs. Dutton’s allergies. It worked. She missed several days of work and we were all paddled by the principal. Dad was ashamed for me, but did not add to my punishment. I was mortified — mostly about the skuzz bags I’d joined. Once I attempted to bully my best friend, but I cannot remember why. Maybe we just had a fight. In mid-pummel his dad jerked me off his son and sent me home pronto. The next day I apologized. Vaguely I remember sniggering at some “oddball kids,” but nothing specific comes to mind. Most likely in the sniggering I was a fellow traveler in the mocking. In high school I was a nerd basically, but I don’t recall being bullied. I just wasn’t a jock and that was important in my tiny, rural high school.
Funny, if I can remember these egregious shenanigans on my part back to the seventh grade, I find it hard to believe that big Willard Romney could not remember his bullying incident. I don’t care much, really, except to note that one who likes to fire people, to command others and to be President, might also have been more inclined to bully than to fawn. Do you suppose Admiral Halsey was a bully?
Steadfast and cautious,