Timmy Flynn was the most obnoxious kid in my neighborhood and I was not alone in that opinion. It seems a lot of the other kids I knew felt the same way about him. Whether it was the charming habit of picking his nose while engaging in a conversation with you or constantly stating "My Mommy says" whenever he didn't like the rules to some game we were playing,Timmy was every kids ideal candidate for "Biggest Pain in the Ass in the Neighborhood".
But everybody else put up with the little butterball(Timmy was overweight for a kid his age) except for me. That was because he went out of his way to deliberately piss me off. What Timmy would do is wait until he saw me, at a safe distance of course, then he'd yell," Up yours, Vannicola!" and stick out his tongue while giving me an obnoxiously annoying "Bronx cheer".
Had I been a few years older, say sixteen or seventeen,I would've simply ignored him while thinking he was both immature and in immediate need of psychological counseling. However,since I was a mere tadpole of twelve, I took umbrage to his display of hostility and would run after Timmy as I screamed at the top of my lungs," You're gonna die,Flynn!" Timmy having the home court advantage of distance would run screaming bloody murder,despite the fact that I had yet to lay a hand on him,to his house and then close the door leaving me to shake my fist at him in frustrated futility,muttering curses as he pressed his pudgy mug against the picture window making grotesque facial expressions and singing, " Nyah,nyah,nyah,nyah." And Timmy seemingly went to great lengths in order to annoy me. I have always suspected he had a day planner in which he wrote:
Go to school.
Come home from school.
Many was the time as I came off of the school bus there was Flynn(again, at a safe distance) greeting me with his favorite phrase," Up yours, Vannicola!", while once again sticking out his tongue and offering up a loud Bronx cheer. I in turn would holler at him while shaking my fist threateningly, "You're gonna die, Flynn!" With that,we were off to the races as I chased Flynn through various peoples yards intend on wielding death and destruction upon his person(or as much death and destruction as my puny twelve year old fists could muster).We would climb over fences and tunnel our way through exposed sewer pipes as Timmy ran toward the safety of his families home. I must grudgingly admit that for a fat kid,he was rather athletic. And as always, Timmy would make it home just in a nick of time and(as usual)I would rattle my fist at him and grumble as he made faces at me from behind the living room picture window singing his song of defiance.
But fate,unfortunately for Flynn,would soon turn the tables in my favor. One day, I was with my buddies at the playground and shooting the shit with them as I hung upside down from the monkey bars. Suddenly, there was Flynn. He had gathered enough nerve to walk right up to where I was and go into his little hostility shtick,probably thinking I couldn't dislodge myself from the monkey bars and climb down quickly enough;which would allow him time to run toward the comfort and succor of his house. Wrong! I immediately swung down, landing upright. I then repeated my often uttered threat and the chase was on.
I was literally no more than a few yards behind Timmy,but it looked like he would evade me once again. This time, his mother accidentally locked the front door on her way to the grocery store, so Timmy had no way to get into his sanctuary.Upon discovering this,he let out a bloodcurdling scream(what range.what pitch.) and I proceeded to chase him around the length of the house. After about ten minutes of this activity, I caught up to Timmy, tackled him,and proceeded to give him a good pounding.
It was at this point that his mother drove up in the Flynn families ugly green station wagon. Timmy and I suddenly stopped fighting and stared at her with a dumbfounded expression on our faces as she said," Stop beating up Timmy,you hooligan! Go home,Joe, you nasty ragamuffin!" (Although I had no idea what she had called me, I later looked up those two words in the dictionary.
Now, I didn't mind that she called me "a hooligan". I mean,I 'll give her that one.But I did take issue with the term ragamuffin. My parents made sure I always wore nice clothes and I combed my hair at least four times a day.Ragamuffin indeed! So having achieved my objective,I happily sauntered home looking forward to a nice dinner since Tuesday was meatloaf night which was served along with with mashed potatoes and green beans.Hooray for me!
When I enter the house however, the first thing I heard my mother say to me was," Mrs.Flynn just called me on the phone. She said you beat up on Timmy. Is this true?" In my defense I mentioned that Timmy insulted me and made faces at me as well. And that I felt justified in smacking the roly poly little schmuck upside his round head. This did not cut the mustard with my mother at all who sternly announced that I was to go to bed with no supper that night.
No supper? No mouthfuls of my mothers savory meatloaf? This was terrible! This was unjust! If I knew about the A.C.L.U back then,I would have contacted them and I guarantee you that, by God, they would have intervened. I would have been sitting in front of a plateful of meatloaf, mashed potatoes and green beans with fork in hand in no time flat. Democracy in action!
The sad reality was, I went to my room sulking and feeling very sorry for myself(as well as my rumbling,empty tummy). But I had learned a powerful lesson from this experience: chasing Timmy + beating the tar outta him = no meatloaf for Joe. So from that day forward, I left Timmy alone. And by the same token, never again would I hear him bellow the hated phrase," Up yours, Vannicola" complete with disrespectful nose thumbing and wrath inducing Bronx
After that incident, I made sure to behave myself so that I never missed out on dinner ever again. Well-except for the times I refused to eat the evenings meal consisting of spinach and eggs. But that's a whole 'nother story.