Blogs are at their best when being vaguely confessional or intensely private and we as readers are obsessed with personal details and real emotions, so with that in mind I present to you a story from my youth, a morality lesson involving YT and a bully

I was a bookish, arty and quiet kid when I was twelve. Never one of the popular kids at school but not one of the reviled or bullied kids up to that point. That changed when, in one geography class, the popular kids (there was no difference between popular and bully at my school) asked me for help with the conservation poster that was our task that particular hour, he was taken with a chrome lettering effect I was developing and asked me to title his poster for him, I was flattered and more importantly had finished my work and also eager to do a favor for someone higher up on the social food chain.

Unfortunately, because of my dyslexia, although beautifully drawn the “environmental” became “enviromenal” and because of its craftsmanship the effort was put up on a display for all to see bearing the bully’s name. For this transgression, bully logic meant that he could quite rightly demand money as payment, fifty pence, which was a fortune considering my first job was several years away and the only money I ever really saw was my bus fare left exactly each day in small fastidious piles every morning. That day also happened to be the day that some money for a school trip had to be handed in, so I opened the brown envelope up and took the money from that claiming later to the teacher that the rest would be in tomorrow.

I was sickened I was fifty pence in debt with no way of making up the shortfall. The next day because he had seen the amount of money I was carrying yesterday he demanded a further fifty pence by the end of the day, my head swam I had no way of paying him and the teacher.

I worried all day; a migraine was starting and had no one to back me up back then so when the bully charged over to have a private word to me I did the unthinkable, I threatened to tell. Now most reading this were probably thinking at this point why I didn’t tell before this but I was brought up in an environment where being that simply wasn’t done, grassing was such a foreign action, I could no more of ran to a teacher than grew wings and flew to one.

It wasn’t so much of a threat, I simply explained the situation; that I had no more money and the money he had took was in fact intended to pay for the school trip and any attempt to get any money would be futile and I would probably have to explain to Mr Adie why I was fifty pence short. When I saw his face go white I learnt a little lesson in Leverage that day. You see little bully had form for extortion and any other infraction could land him in some serious boiling trouble, he instantly showed his belly and gave me the fifty pence back, and over the next few weeks was pursuaded to part with several more fifty pences besides.

me, 16 years later, enjoying a book at a pub