I’m a sarcastic individual. If you only know me through this blog, I would hope that my sarcasm comes through in my writing. But I know it’s difficult to convey tone through the written word. Anyone who knows me in real life can pick up on my sarcasm easily. One of my best friends even told me that my sarcasm will get me punched in the face someday.
Little does he know, it kind of already happened. It’s not something I like to think about. And it’s probably the sole reason why I keep a lid on the sarcasm until I’ve really gotten to know people. I’ve got to be friends, or at least comfortable acquaintances, with someone before letting my smart mouth off the leash. They need to understand how my sense of humor works and know that I never say anything with the intention of hurting feelings. Sure, it still happens sometimes, but I don’t mean for it to.
Like I said, the sarcasm has already resulted in a punch to the face. I was in 5th grade. I was a chubby kid. Mom probably would have called me “husky.” But it was pre-anorexia, so I wasn’t small. I hadn’t yet discovered that if you let out a smart remark or insult, you better be willing to deal with the consequences. Or be fast enough to run away from those consequences. I was neither of those things in the 5th grade.
I’ll admit, what I said was mean. But, again, this is before I learned how to filter myself. I was just a kid and I came up with a witty comeback for something that had been said to me. I couldn’t not say what was on my mind, right?
We started coming back in from recess on that fateful afternoon. Our teacher, Miss Barlow, had rearranged our desks while we were outside. She now had us sitting in new groups, which placed me next to the Amazon girl, Stephanie. I don’t think she was really an Amazon, but may have been held back at some point. She was about a foot taller than me. I really don’t know anything about her. Could be that she just hit a growth spurt earlier than all the other kids in our grade.
Around that time, Stephen King’s It had been made into a television mini-series. Being the person I am, for some reason, I must have quoted it more than a couple times. Stephanie, upon seeing that she would be sitting next ot me, said, “Great, I’m sitting next to It.”
This is where I get mean. Please not that I’m confessing to being a real jerk here and that, as an adult, I would not say something this hurtful to someone. Probably. Stephanie suffered from early onset acne. It was bad, y’all. Like, the kind of acne problem that most of us didn’t start worrying about ’til freshman year. I can only assume that she was pretty sensitive about it. Because, without missing a beat, I said, “Great, I’m sitting next to zit.” I mean, it rhymed. She started it by calling me “It.” Why shouldn’t I say it? Because you’re about to get the crap beat out of you, that’s why.
I never saw anyone cross a classroom that quickly before. You know how some guys will joke that when they get in a fight, there will be two hits, “I hit you, you hit the floor.” That’s basically what happened. Her fist made contact and I was down. I may have foolishly tried to take out her legs in a halfhearted effort at fighting back. That was a mistake. She then kicked me while I was down.
So I still use humor as a defense mechanism these days. But I certainly don’t use the sarcasm as a comeback unless I’m using it with someone I know won’t rip me a new one. Stephanie got sent home early that day. I’m pretty sure she got a couple days off school for that, too. We weren’t close after that. Not that we were ever close before.