In my last blog post about The Bully I mentioned a minor character named The Hulk. The Hulk is someone I went through all four years of high school with even though we weren’t close. I rarely had classes with him. We certainly didn’t have the same extracurricular activities. You wouldn’t have caught him dead on stage singing or dancing. I’m also reasonably sure he never voluntarily read a book.
Frequently, I would see The Hulk in the halls. So, this is what I would do. I would make sure he couldn’t see me. Then I would cup my hands over my mouth, lower my voice a full octave, and belt out, “Hulk!” and then wait for him to survey his surroundings and find the 5’3” 120 pound freckled thing that had yelled at him. I’d grin. Sometimes he’d walk over and we’d exchange pleasantries or sometimes we both kept walking. After our freshman year this was the nature of our relationship.
So, naturally, when he called me up one day the summer between my junior and senior years in high school and wanted to ask me out on a date, stunned would be a good word to describe my reaction. I didn’t say yes right off ‘cause, frankly, I wasn’t really sure what we’d have to talk about in order to date. So, I told him we could hang out and see.
By this time I knew that The Hulk was no longer playing football and was wrestling instead. He’d gained some weight, either because he was exercising less, not playing football but eating the same, or, maybe from a lot of partying or some combination of the two. So, now on top of just generally being a bigger guy, he was chubby. This didn’t bother me. I just mention it to show that his status in school had dropped, and he wasn’t King of the Hill anymore.
He came by my home to pick me up one afternoon. My dad was at home. This was when we were living in the married student housing apartments over by State Mental Hospital University. The Hulk came over on a big chopper. This wasn’t a scooter or a motorbike. This was huge. My dad said under no circumstances was I getting on that bike.
That was a small disappointment to me, ‘cause The Hulk riding up on that motorcycle was like something out of Days of Our Lives. He was a nice looking guy with dark hair and dark eyes who’d taken the time to grow a decent mullet. Bo Brady had come to pick me up and take me away from my boring summer. I tried to talk my dad out of this, trust me did I ever try, but he would not be dissuaded.
So, instead, The Hulk and I walked to the State Mental Hospital University stadium. It was deserted, so we had the whole stadium to talk. This was not, however, what The Hulk had in mind. We walked up to the box on the visitor side, and I think he had his tongue down my throat within the first 5 minutes. Within the first ten minutes he was on top of me, and the roaches were on top of us. Very romantic.
Now he was a good kisser, and he didn’t grope me or force me to do anything. He could have, very easily. I just didn’t think this inauspicious beginning boded well for our non-existent future. So, I interrupted him every two minutes or so to try to start a conversation. Notice I said try.
At one point I remember I interrupted him to say, “If this is what we’re doing now, then what are we doing in a couple of months?”
I think I really tried his patience to the exponential. He was probably weighing just how badly he wanted to get laid. After only about a half hour or so, I told him it was probably time for me to go back home, and he walked me back.
And then he gave me a proposition. Straight up. No sugar coating. He was more popular than I was. I could improve my popularity by dating him. If I wanted to be popular, then I should call him. The implication about just what I was going to be doing for my newfound popularity was not lost on me. I knew what kind of bargain I’d be making. And I guess it saddened me, both that he’d make the offer and that he’d be stupid enough to think I’d be interested. He gave me his number and told me to call if I was interested.
I did call, but it was to tell him that I wasn’t interested. I knew I’d be in over my head with The Hulk, and I wasn’t so sure that he actually liked me. Wanted to have sex with me, sure, but like me…I don’t know about that.
The man who answered the phone at The Hulk’s house had an accent. He was charming, and he took a message. Now I almost rethought my decision just because the foreign accent thing did bring an exotic element into the mix that wasn’t previously there.
When The Hulk called back I said, “I didn’t know your dad was from the UK.”
“Yeah, he and my mom are immigrants. They’re Welsh.”
“I don’t think I’m going to be dating you, but thanks for asking.”
I never felt like I lost out on anything not dating The Hulk. It became increasingly obvious during our senior year that he was troubled and probably had issues with substance abuse. I did have a class with him that last year. Keyboarding, which was basically a typing class. He couldn’t even manage that class. He hung out exclusively with girls who had less than stellar reputations. Dating The Hulk might have improved my popularity but not in the way that he meant it. I’d like to think that things have changed in American high schools today but if you can tell by the media stories of girls who get bullied for sexting or from the movie Easy A, some things remain the same.
Entry filed under: Alcoholism/Substance Abuse, Humor, Men, Relationships, Social Commentary, Women's Rights. Tags: Bo Brady, Bullying, Days of Our Lives, Hulk, Incredible Hulk, Marvel Comics, Porto, United States.