For all that schools have improved in taking action against bullying, they can't possibly keep a strict eye on 1000 hormone-fuelled teenagers at once. Bullies know this, and so bullying is rife.
Now, amongst any experienced Bully's arsenal of weapons is a little manouevre known as 'dacking'.
In Australia, 'dacks' is slang for pants.
'Dacking' is where a boy yanks down another boy's pants.
If he manages to also yank down the guy's underwear, it's called 'double dacking'.
If you are the dacker in the situation, it's hilarious. If you are the dackee, you are humiliated. I think it's pathetic. But then, I'm weird like that. I don't enjoy watching people hurt themselves on funniest home videos. I just feel sorry for them.
Now, back to the story involving my son: you've heard about Harry before. Likeable, hard-working, sociable, and easy-going. Some kids in grade 8 are practically full-grown men, with carpet legs and megaphone voices. On the other hand, the late-starters in the puberty stakes can be very tiny. Harry doesn't have any muscles or body hair, and his voice sounds like Tweety Pie.
For that reason, he is sometimes fodder for bullies.
Enter into the picture a kid called Nick Davis. He's as big as a small gorilla. He spends his school days boasting about how great he is. For entertainment, he belittles and humiliates other kids. Oh, how charming.
Yesterday was the school athletics carnival. Nick Davis, as usual, had nothing better to do than sit around in the stadium picking on people.
Finally, the inevitable happened. Harry walked past wearing his elastic-waisted shorts with no belt. Nick Davis took the opportunity to dack him. Actually, he double-dacked him.
In front of the whole stadium.
But Harry is very street-smart. First, he pretended to be embarrassed. Then he pretended to laugh it off. He waited until Nick Davis stopped crowing and carrying on, and dropped his hands away from his face. Then he punched him in the head.
"Go, Harry!" the cheer went up. Friends crowded around to give Harry a hi-five.
Nick Davis shed a few tears. It was a sight nobody remembered ever seeing before.
Job done, Harry calmly walked away.
Unfortunately, his hand was not the same any more:
|Exhibit A. Boxer's Fracture|
I spent last night at the hospital with Harry, who had emergency surgery on his broken hand. He has what's known as a Boxer's Fracture, where a bone in your hand breaks off at the knuckle. His hand is in a cast. They stabilized his knuckles with wires.
He can't use his hand. He won't be able to write his exams. There's a lot of stuff he's going to miss out on.
But I said,
"Next time, son, just aim for soft tissue!"