Sars (of TSFKAMBTV fame) has written a great essay about teenage girls and how cruel they can be. I never really experienced much of what she’s talking about. I wasn’t part of the popular crowd, but I didn’t rebel enough that they singled me out or anything. I was smart, and – while they didn’t reward that trait – they at least respected it (especially when they’d get assigned to work with me on a project). I had my persecutors though. In my case they were the non-popular kids, the ones who are all dropouts and single mothers now. They picked on me because I was a “brain”. One low-life stole my brand new Umbro shorts (which I’d saved up to buy) out of my gym locker. I knew exactly who’d done it, but I didn’t say a word. These were the kids who hated anyone that they perceived “above” them, and unlike the popular kids, I didn’t have the group armor or the ability to look down my nose at them. I was vulnerable and they knew it. I had a scientific calculator stolen as well. I used to honestly wish that I wasn’t so smart. Can you believe that? That a person would honestly wish to be less intelligent? Nowadays I can’t. Nowadays I’m different. I haven’t run into many of these people since high school, but on the few occasions that I have, it’s been a delicious experience. “Oh, you’re still working at the air conditioner plant? Yeah, I got my degree from Notre Dame, lived in London for two years, and recently moved to Australia. Have a nice life.” Yeah, it’s mean, but I feel a little occasional revenge is justified, don’t you?