Longtime readers may remember that last year, Son #1 was attacked by a much larger student, threw a few terrified punches in self-defense, and was suspended for the rest of the day. The other kid was suspended for more than a week, and when the school administration heard all the witness accounts, they said that it was clear that Son #1 was only defending himself. At the time, the vice principal told me it was the strangest fight he'd ever seen, because neither student had a visible injury.
Son #1 was concerned, last year, that when Marco returned to school he'd get creamed. But, somehow, things blew over.
As it happens, this year Son #1 and Marco are in a class together. And Marco clearly hates Son #1's guts, but doesn't do anything about it.
Son #1 explained to me, this morning, that the school rumor mill has given him an inflated reputation as "The skinny, white kid who beat Marco up".
People stop him in the halls, to congratulate him. "YOU are 'Jewfro'?? You beat Marco up? Wow!"
And he tries to correct the record. "Actually," he'll say, "I hit him 3 times, and he was fine, and it hurt my hand."
But The People will have none of it. Son #1, aka 'Jewfro'*, has street cred, thanks to the rumor mill.
It's like he accidentally, against his will, took that advice they give to new prison inmates: find the biggest, scariest, toughest guy in the yard, and punch him, and you'll never have to fight again.
I hope it sticks.
*Son #1 has inherited my curly hair. He lets it grow. He is shaggy and adorable.
The Sons are also, coincidentally, 1/8 Jewish, through their paternal great-grandfather. Which we have explained to them means they are "Jewish enough to be stuffed into a cattle car bound for Auschwitz, but not Jewish enough for a bar mitzvah."
Down here in the Happy Boondocks, that is pretty darn Jewish, somehow. And people really can't believe that he gets his Jewfro from the Italian/British side of the family.