Throughout my entire life, I have been considered to be ‘weird’ by many people. That was why I called my book “He Was Weird” because the main character, Mark, was thought by many to be weird as well. Needless to say, some of the things that I had done in my life to get me labelled that way directly resulted in the bullying I received. At the very least, I was often the recipient of teasing on account of things I did that some people thought of as strange. As I look back, however, I wonder if some of those so called weird things I did were actually weird or was it because those who saw me that way just wanted to be bullies or simply just being narrow minded or even intolerant.
This post, I am going to look at those things which were considered weird by some folk and determine if they were actually strange or was it just people being narrow minded.
The first case was when I was in third grade. At lunch, we had the small carton of milk that all schools had back then (the late 60s and early 70s). In my school, it was an offense to throw away a carton with any milk left in it so what I did was because I took a lunch box to school, I would pour all the milk from the carton into my thermos and then pour the milk from the thermos into the small cup that came with it. Some of my classmates thought this was very amusing and I got teased for it. These children thought that what I was doing was strange, but was it? At the time, because of my aspergers mind, I sometimes thought that I was doing something horribly wrong but thinking about it now, emptying the carton into the thermos like that seemed pretty logical.
Roll on a year later into fourth grade. At the time, I was heavily into warfare, especially that of the nineteenth century. I was a particular fan of General George Custer. Some people were more tolerant to this interest of mine than others and with my mind, the subject kind of ran away with me at times. I found a way not to be so annoying about it to people by drawing my interest. However, I was also very big on science fiction and horror films at the time. Eventually, I combined the two. In “He Was Weird,” Mark states that he made up a film called “General Custer vs Frankenstein.” I actually had an idea in my nine year old head for such a film. But what got me branded weird the most was the time I drew a picture of Daniel Boone fighting the Headless Horseman. Hey, at least they were roughly the same time period. I think I had one hell of an imagination back then, too bad people would rather ridicule it than encourage it.
Now we go a few years further to eighth grade. This was 1974 and there were many attempts to start leagues in different sports. There was the North American Soccer League (NASL), World Team Tennis (WTT) and there as a profession lacrosse league although I can’t remember what it was called. Furthermore, this was the year of the failed World Football League (WFL) and it would be five more years before the World Hockey Association (WHA) was absorbed into the NHL. I supported teams in all of these sports and leagues. Being my local city, all but one were from Philadelphia, the Freedoms (WTT), well they did have Billie Jean King playing for them, the Wings (lacrosse), the Bell (WFL) and the Atoms, (NASL). The exception was in the WHA, I supported the Winnipeg Jets because they had hockey legend Bobby Hull playing for them and Philadelphia didn’t have a team. Someone in my class saw the teams names written down on my note book immediately told everyone in the year how weird I was for having a favourite team in every sport or league. Hey, I think that it shows how much into sports I was back then but to many, there was obviously something wrong with me mentally because of it.
So, I ask, was I weird on account of these things? After all, they were things that someone considered to be normal would do. I look at it this way. In each of these cases, they never bothered anyone unless that person chose to be bothered by it. In the case of my drawings, I know people who drew worse things at that age. In conclusion, I don’t think it was me being weird, it was just others looking for an excuse to tease or bully me using it. It wasn’t me being weird, it was others being intolerant.
Next post: I think I’ll do a part 2
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=1455050273&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird