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The second eight grade bully from “He Was Weird” appears in the form of Brian Cullen. Brian was an offensive lineman on the Ramsgate American Football team and is one of the more critical ones of Mark for quitting the team. However, his bullying of Mark doesn’t begin until very late in the story. Before that, it’s just the constant demand in wanting to know why he quit the team. Saying that, he does join the other eighth graders who harass and beat Mark up for getting the substitute teacher who had indecently assaulted him in trouble with the police.

Brian’s bullying doesn’t happen at the school, it happens more at the local store called the Glanville Delicatessen. His first solo instance starts when he calls Mark and his friend Gene a pair of homos. Gene answers back that Brian is the homo and Brian, like any other bully, takes ‘offence’ and grabs both Gene and Mark and threatens violence if they don’t apologise. Even though Mark never says anything, Brian forces him to apologise as well.

There is a small occurrence a few days later when Brian threatens to kill Mark because he got one of Brian’s friends in trouble with the principal. While that is particularly minor, Mark faces Brian again when he goes to the store on his own. Brian falsely accuses him of having called him names, which Mark denies and is true. Brian gives him a shove, forcing Mark to drop some loose change. He picks up one coin daring Mark to say anything about it.

Since Brian’s bullying isn’t as bad as that of many others, he isn’t listed as one of Mark’s main targets. It is only when Mark tells one girl that he is not going to shoot her because she was one of the few who was good to him, Brian gives himself away by baiting him by saying that he was good to him as well, in a very condescending tone of course. Mark’s answer comes in the form of three well aimed rounds.

My idea for the character of Brian Cullen was influenced by a boy named Brian Curran. He did bully me in the way I have described here and constantly harassed me over quitting the American Football team. However, there was one thing that was different, which doesn’t appear in the story. I briefly fell out with the actual person the Gene character was based on, Brian shook my hand and I had no further hassle from him after that. Obviously, he had something against my friend and if I had known that sooner, things might have been different. Therefore, I am more willing to forgive him for his transgressions of bullying against me though he must still recognise his part in it.

Next post: Jim Nickerson

To buy He Was Weird, go to: http://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1439234313&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird