Kids. Can’t stand ‘em. Monsters of ego, every one. You know how you can tell a kid from a leech? That’s a trick question: you can’t. Well, actually, you can. If a leech gets hold of you, you can burn it off with a Bic lighter. Try that with a kid, and sure as you’re born, the little bastard will scream and cry like a Templar at the stake. Then he’ll tell his parents and you’ll get a nasty letter from your vicar general.
So, I take it upon myself, as a pastor and catechist, to strip these little maggots of any illusions about the world, specifically, about their own significance in it. Whenever one tells me, “Good morning, Father,” I’ll ask, “What have you done for me lately?” Or I’ll say, “You want it to be a good morning? Wash my car. That’d be good.” And then, to drive home the point — because, God knows, this is an ignorant generation — I’ll flip the bird.
I think it’s a shame that bullying’s gotten such a bad name lately. It’s a useful practice. First, it serves as a sop for kids’ ambient annoyingness; every hour that kids spend picking on each other is an hour they don’t spend bothering me. Second, it teaches kids deference to people bigger than themselves, which may be the only hedge against complete anarchy.