Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap
I chose this song for this blog because me and my friends loved ACDC in junior high and high school.
I saw ACDC in Calgary at the Max Bell Arena during their Back in Black tour. I saw several great concerts at the Max Bell Arena. The venue held about 5,000 people.
– BLOG 15
I don’t know how status is achieved in more affluent neigbourhood’s but being a good fighter was a high status symbol where I grew up.
I wasn’t really into fighting so my status wasn’t very high but, at the same time, although nobody feared me, I can’t say I really feared anybody else.
Well that’s not exactly true.
There was a kid in my Grade-7 gym class from Trinidad.
There were quite a few families from Trinidad in our neigbourhood. As a matter of fact the family who shared the other half of our duplex for nine years was from Trinidad.
It’s funny; growing up in low cost housing you can hear all the laughter and all the arguments of your neighbours because you share the same wall. There was always a lot of arguing in our house, so this family from Trinidad was forced to listen to our foolishness, while we listened to their laughter.
Anyway, back to this kid in Grade-7.
None of us ever saw him fight, but there was no doubt he was the toughest among us. In Grade-7 he was already tall, long-limbed and muscular. Nobody ever messed with him.
One time in Grade-7 my buddy and me went into gym class and most of the class was already sitting on the floor waiting for class to start.
When we were walking past this big kid from Trinidad my friend pushed me and I fell on top of him and hurt his arm. The whole class hushed and looked my way.
He looked at me and said something to the effect that I would no longer be alive after class because that was when my head would be removed from my body.
He didn’t say it particularly loud and he wasn’t particularly aggressive. There was just enough menace in his voice to make it clear that my already short life would soon expire.
As the clocked ticked down to the end of class I wondered what I could do to escape his wrath.
When the teacher told us time was up, everybody headed to the locker room – except me.
I walked out the gymnasium door, went to the bathroom in the hallway, sat on the toilet seat with my gym shorts on and waited for everybody to clear out of the locker room.
After 10 or 15 minutes had lapsed I walked back to the silent, empty locker room and changed my clothes.
As I approached the corner to leave the locker room, around the corner walked the guy who was going to kill me. I almost walked right into his chest.
I stopped, and started to back away. He looked at me and said, “Don’t worry about it. It was no big deal.”
It turns out, thankfully, that he came back to the locker because he forgot something.
There were a few kids in our junior high school who were not to be messed with. Two of them were from London, England.
Nobody messed with them because, like the fellow from Trinidad, they just looked tough.
One was short and stocky and the other was of a medium stature, but both lifted weights and had ripped musculature.
Maybe it was the English accent, or maybe it was the menacing way they carried them selves but, despite their friendly natures, nobody wanted to test their worthiness in the field of battle.
I wasn’t so lucky. There seemed to be no shortage of people wanting to test my worthiness in the field of battle.
There were a couple fellows I fought on several occasions and there were others I fought only once.
- Fight # 1
There was one kid in our junior high school that was a good hockey player and had a reputation as a good on-ice fighter. I fought him only once.
I was in Grade-9 and we were eating lunch in the same classroom and I must have said something he didn’t like because he said he was going to knock my teeth in.
I asked if it would be ok if I finished my lunch before he removed my teeth.
He said ok, and when I finished my sandwich we squared off. I must have got lucky, because I gave him one punch in the face and that was the end of it. His eyes were watering from the punch making it look like he was crying and I said, “Poor Muuufffffiiiiiiinnnnnnn,” and laughed at him. (I could be a real jerk.)
His teacher actually threatened to beat me up when I was in Grade-9.
All of us Grade-9 students were taking a trip to Mississauga, Ontario. (They came to Calgary for one week, and then we went there for one week.)
I was walking by this teacher’s class one day at lunchtime and he asked if he could speak with me for a second. He then proceeded to tell me that if I caused any trouble on the trip that he was going to personally yank me off our tour bus and beat my face off.
I basically shrugged my shoulders and said, “yeah, whatever.” He wasn’t even my teacher and I barely knew him. I still have no idea what his problem was.
Needless to say I didn’t cause any trouble on the trip.
I had several fights in junior high and high school. Some I won and many I lost.
– Fight # 2
One of the more interesting fights I had was at the arcade across from my high school.
Me and a few of my friends were masters at a video game called Asteroids.
We would spend 25 cents, earn extra space ships, and then play the game for as long as we wanted.
One kid didn’t like how we dominated the game, and one day he told me that when I reached a score of 100,000 that he was going to take the game over. As I approached a score of 100,000 I wondered what was actually going to happen when I reached the 100,000 mark.
When the scored clicked over from 99,999 to 100,000 he jumped on my back and tried to throw a choke on me.
I threw him off my back, got him in a headlock, and then threw him to the ground where he sort of rolled half way under a pool table. I then kicked him in the ribs a couple times before the fight was broken up.
– Notes on the big kid from Trinidad:
He got kicked out of high school in Grade 11 for something that, as far as I was concerned, was pretty innocent but didn’t seem to impress his teacher. (I won’t say what happened, because it was sort of stupid)
Anyway, part of the reason his shenanigans were no longer tolerated in high school was because he decided not to join the football team. If he would have played football this minor infraction would probably have been overlooked.
I talked to him on a City of Calgary transit bus about a year after he got kicked out of school.
He said he was working for a loan shark. He was the muscle.
He was the guy who found people who hadn’t paid their bills and smacked them around for a while – or worse.
I talked to him on the bus a couple of times after that but never saw him again.
I also used to sometimes hang out with another kid from Trinidad when I was in junior high school. (He went on to become a Golden Gloves boxer, so nobody messed with him as well.)
I remember one time we ended up at an arcade in downtown Calgary and we spent the entire afternoon playing a popular car racing game called ‘Sprint.’
I ran out of money but he kept paying for our games. I asked him where he got all the money and he said his dad gave him $60 a week for allowance. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. My allowance was probably one tenth of that. He suddenly seemed like the richest kid in the world.
– A note on the present-day immigration to the subsidized housing street I grew up on:
The majority of the people who now live on the street I grew up on in Ogden are from Sudan.
I wonder if knowing who is the toughest kid on the block is as important to them as it was to us? It’s hard to say. Maybe they prize education over pugilism.
– One further note:
Actually, I worked with two people from Sudan on a seismic crew in Alberta. They were very friendly fellows but one day some nut-job on our crew pulled a knife on them while we were at work. The RCMP came out to our job site and took the guy away in cuffs but the two guys from Sudan were quite shaken.
They said knife violence was common in Sudan and having a guy pull a knife on them in Alberta brought back a lot of bad memories.
Here’s another classic from ACDC: