Roma Writer's Group

The Works of F. Robert Kelly


Most people think it's good to laugh at other people's expense, sort of like when they can't do anything right.

Well this was a time for role reversals.

In my youth, which is just a few years past, I was the one to make fun of other people. Sometimes because they were different, sometimes because I felt like humiliating them.

It was always the same, practical jokes. Like the time I told someone, (in front of his friends) that he'd dropped his dot. And when he looked, they all laughed and I'd struck again.

Sometimes it was the joke of the old "food on your shirt or top" gag. You know the one where you put your finger on their shirt and when they look you would hit them on the chin or nose with your finger.

But then how was I to know that a few years later I was to receive redemption.

It all started back in the period known as the early teens.

I had noticed I was having problems reading over long distances. I was short sighted and I was told that I had to wear glasses, although I now realise this wasn't probably such a bad thing.

At first I said "no" because I thought I would look like a nerd (no offence meant to anyone who needs glasses).

So after a few weeks of people making fun of me because I wore glasses (some said they made me look sophisticated and brainy), I knew sort of what it felt like.

And to add to the humiliation I found I had to go to special school, because I was a slow learner.

After three months of people putting "Kick me" signs on my back and generally making me feel like I was two centimetres high, I finally knew how everybody I ever humiliated felt.

Sometimes I look back and think "did I really have to make someone else feel low before I could feel high?"


© F R Kelly 1998