Wednesday, March 29, 2017
I grew up in a fairly mixed community. Mostly though, it was white and Hispanic. We had some Asians and blacks sprinkled in, but whites and Hispanics had the majority. There was this one kid who was a mix of Asian and Hispanic, so he had a little trouble fitting in. His name was Kendall Chow. Kendall was a very emotional kid. It was rather easy to make him cry, which made him easy prey for the little assholes that we could be. I am not proud of that and I don’t think my then ignorance of sensitive kids is a good excuse. My parents taught me better than that.
He had this monster pompadour that seemed to be the gateway to his feelings. When it was up and groomed, he was doing well. When it fell down into this thick curly cue, he was sad. His hair was so freaking thick too, which made it a natural pompadour that could probably repel water. I don’t think he could wear his hair another way, unless he buzzed it.
One of my all-time favorite ways to pick on Kendall was to sing a parody of a Puppy Chow commercial to him. We would substitute the word “puppy” with his name. He really hated it. That being said, I never picked a fight with him or threatened him, but I didn’t defend him when I could have either. I mostly serenaded him with “....feed him Kendall Chow!”
Kendall was genuine and a fairly pleasant person. Aside from occasionally prodding him to make him cry, I actually enjoyed him as a friend. I would often hang out with him after school at his house, because he had more deadly toys than me. We used to shoot his beebee gun all the time. When we ran out of beebees, we would load the gun with cut up nails. Those were fun and destroyed coke cans quite thoroughly. We also would throw darts at each other on his front lawn. That wasn’t too smart. When one of us would get hit with the dart, we would both laugh our asses off. It was just boneheaded fun.
When we were in the 6th grade, Kendall got into it with his neighbor Ronnie. Ronnie delivered some blows Kendall’s way, and Kendall, right on cue, cried. However, something was different. Instead of cowering, Kendall pursued Ronnie. Kendall actually got a few punches in. I don’t know which had the greater effect, the punches or the staredown pursuit. Maybe both had an equal effect.
Ronnie kept backing up and looked very scared of Kendall. Nobody was scared of Kendall, but then nobody ever got pursued by Kendall like Ronnie was getting pursued. Ronnie kept on punching and backing up. With waterworks and punches, Kendall kept pursuing. He was like some sort of laser-focused pompadoured robot. There was fear in Ronnie’s eyes.
Their scuffle was soon broken up by the teachers and of course, they both got in trouble. However, Kendall really gained my and Ronnie’s respect after that fight. Even though his crying was in full blast, he didn’t back down. He focused all of those emotions and gave Ronnie a full serving of Kendall Chow. I never messed with Kendall after that. I am very sure Ronnie didn’t either.