I Really Was Voted That

I have anger issues.

And thanks to the classes I took while I was toying around with the idea of majoring in psychology before realizing that if I were to become a practicing psychologist I’d probably just fuck up my patients more than they already were, I have some insight into the source of why I’m  such an angry, angry guy.

My entire life, I was way bigger than any other kids my age. We had these plaster handprints in the living room of my family’s house, one of me, and one of my brother. Both were made when we were three years old. My brother’s hand didn’t fit inside my three year old hand print until he was like ten or so. Nowadays I’m just slightly taller than most people I meet (Although my dad’s got a good couple of inches on me), but for a while there I absolutely towered above every other kid my age.

My parents were very much the non-violent types. Dad had been a Vietnam protestor (Ironically he had voluntarily enlisted too. Weird guy, my dad.), and mom is just rabidly anti-violence.

She made me return Paper Boy for the NES because she felt throwing papers was too violent.

So with this constant indoctrination of never getting in a fight no matter what the costs, I grew to just suppress my every reaction to any provocation, even though it would piss me off to no end because I knew I could pretty much take just about anyone. Of course as the years went by, the knowledge that I didn’t really fight back spread amongst the kids in school and I became a target for much bullying and teasing for most of my academic career until I moved out of town after high school.

All I did was just swallow it down and not do anything about it. As you can imagine, after years and years of this, I got to be a bit of a powder keg. I’d explode and get pissed off at the slightest irritation, but I’d never physically fight anyone. That’s probably why I was voted “Most Likely to Climb a Clock Tower With a Rifle” my senior year in an internal poll of my English class.

Anyway, periodically I’d reach a breaking point and get sent to the school psychiatrist or something. One time, I got sent to bring home my brother from elementary school down the street, and on the way back some kids from school started circling us on their bikes and taunting us. I think I was about 14 at the time.

It’s amazing what a difference being removed from a situation where you’re constantly under the watch of the authorities can bring on, because I went absolutely ape shit on these guys now that there was no one around to watch. Grabbed a stick, jammed it into the spokes of the front wheel of one of the bikes, which made it pitch him right over the curb.

My backpack was full of books, so I slipped out of the straps and swung it like a hammer throw and full-on clocked the second guy in the face and knocked him off his bike and on to his ass.

The third guy didn’t look like he knew what to do in the face of a guy who usually doesn’t react to bullying going wild like this.  So to drive the point home, I kicked the second guy in the gut while he was still on the ground, and turned around just in time to deck the first guy in the face who had come running up behind me, having just gotten to his feet.

Apparently they weren’t prepared for me fighting back, so they scattered like leaves in the wind. Had they kept their wits about them though, they’d have probably realized that I couldn’t take them all on at once. Oops, their loss.

So anyway, I was standing there panting and trembling as I was coming down from my adrenaline high, when this slow, deliberate applause started coming from the alley to my left. And who should emerge from said alley?


“Well done,” he said to me. “You handled them quite well.”

“Thanks,” I said. I didn’t really know what else to say to him.

“I’m going to make you an offer… How would you… like to be the next Robin?”

“Really? You want me to be your next sidekick?” I could barely contain my enthusiasm.

“Yes, you’d make a perfect Robin.”

“Do I have to be Robin?”

“Yes, you have to be Robin.”

“Can’t I be Nightwing?”

“No. It has to be Robin.”


“No. It has to be Robin.”


“No. It has to be Robin.”


“No. It has to be Robin.”


“No. It has to be Robin.”


“No. It has to be Robin.”

“But the name and outfit are just so darned… well, gay…”

“Is that a… problem for you?” he said, clasping his hand on my shoulder.

I ran screaming all the way home.