A Charmed Life

All of my life I’ve been snubbed, rubbed, bum rushed and shoved, I’m not nor ever will I be hip enough to be one of those “Beautiful People” the Beatles sang about. I was born a jaundiced runt. In the mid seventies, the doctor used calipers to grip my head. They left a dent and made the birthmark growing out of my eye more prominent. I was also born a hyperactive child with a bad case of tinnitus. The doctors said that I would outgrow both conditions. I never outgrew either.

When I was in grade 5, the school photographer lost or ruined the negatives before he processed the pictures. The retakes were quite a pain in the butt and they made me go with the immersion kids. This made me feel really stupid, because my French was bad and these kids only spoke in French. If any of them spoke to me or each other in English there could be consequences for them.

Because they said I was smarter than many of the other kids, after an IQ test, they called me ‘gifted.’ Gifted meant either a genius or a retard. We were treated the same way. They regularly took me and a bunch of other kids out of regular class for “Special classes.” Half of us were smarter than the majority and the other half were stupider. They treated the geniuses like we were mentally retarded. Come to think of it, I may have been one of the retards.

At my Hebrew school graduation, when I was 11, they forgot my diploma and hastily had to make one up for me in the office because I was a little upset. It didn’t look like the others, and they had signed it with an X.

They fed me hormone-tainted milk in elementary school that caused me to develop gout years later.

Then after elementary school, things got awkward, as I hit puberty hard. I immediately tried various things that all got me into a lot of trouble. They forced me to be a “Nice guy.” Trouble is, to quote a schizophrenic former roommate, “No women for the nice guy.” Which I instinctively knew at that age but was forced into something a lot worse.

High school was a bully zone, where I was beaten up daily, and regularly annoyed or bothered by the bullies who were having fun at my expense. Sometimes the teacher would join in.

College was very much a relief. But because my French wasn’t very good, I had to take an extra year to complete that one stupid credit. To add further insult to injury, there was a “Regime change” and I suddenly needed French to graduate CEGEP. They gave us PhD level exams so that most would fail. I did. I got kicked out of university because of it.

I once bought a case of beer for a party where the one beer I took out was defective: it was full of a yellowish watery fluid that I don’t wish to speculate on further. I had to throw it out.

And last week I was at a restaurant to find a staple in my salad and a piece of broken glass in my soup. It’s a charmed life I have lived and live.

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