We all get laughed at, especially as kids. It’s a hard line to draw between what’s all in good fun and what is hurtful and damaging. Little kids seem to love it and will often go to absurd lengths just to make sure everyone is looking at them. It’s sometime during primary or elementary school that I find some kids become exceptionally sensitive to the laughter of others.
Of course, this is all subjective. When you feel like you’re in on it, it’s okay. If people are laughing at some crazy/stupid stunt you did, it seems okay, “Yeah, I sure am a crazy guy!” But if they hit on something you’re sensitive about (whether they know it or not), it can change the whole game – we can joke about my graying hair, but if you mention my sweaty armpits, we might have to fight.
Bullying is obviously a critical issue for young people. As such, the subject is discussed so much that many kids and even adults see it in every conflict. Communication is so tricky that way. The chances of a message getting from your brain to the brain of another person with absolutely no distortion is so slim that it makes me wonder why we even bother to talk or look at each other.
That said, sometimes it’s nice when things are so cut and dry that you can assuredly declare someone a complete asshole. This came up in Halloween 4 when a few kids catch wind of little Jamie’s aversion to Halloween.
I see kids tease each other a lot. Even though it can seem pretty merciless sometimes, something serious usually puts things in perspective. Yeah, your shoes may be ugly, but when kids find out you lost a pet or that someone in your family is sick, even kids that are usually jerks are willing to offer some support. Not the kids in Jamie’s class. They see that she isn’t wearing a costume and quickly surmise that it’s because her mom is dead. Seeing as this is true, they torment her about it viciously, telling her that her mommy’s a mummy and even chase after chanting, “Jamie’s an orphan!”
Holy shit! These little bastards are blackhearted! What do they do when they’re not teasing orphans? Kick puppies while on their way to the cancer treatment ward for a good laugh? As often as I’ve seen kids tease each other, I’ve never seen anyone get it for having a dead mom. That’s taking it to a new level.
At this point you might be asking yourself, “what could be funnier than a little girl with a dead mom?” How about a little girl with a notorious serial killer for an uncle? Comedy gold! This leads to the natural chant, “Boogeyman, Boogeyman! Jamie’s uncle’s the boogeyman!”
I try not to take myself too seriously. If someone’s laughing at me, it’s probably because there is something funny. If someone’s mean, being meaner isn’t going to make them nice. Every once in a while though, it’s nice to look an 8 year old in the eyes and let them know that they are, beyond a shadow of a doubt, a complete asshole.