And there was no way he could win / Just had to take it on the chin

It starts off with me recalling this great guy in school, he had an Asian name that sounded like an English name, didn’t put us off him though, we all liked him. Wore gel in his hair, laughed a lot, liked cricket and always arrived to school early (just what I remember). Also recall him being great at making drawing pins behave like spinning tops.

But, sad story – he goes down in my estimation when I remember this – he made fun of the guy who always got made fun of (that guy), let’s call him Pedro, and Pedro was innocently sucking his pen, when Gel-boy calls him out in front of the entire Spanish class, claiming that he looks like he’s committing a sex-act with his Biro, of course poor Pedro gets harpooned verbally and probably physically with fists as a result of said interpretation.

Gel-boy also enjoyed being part of an evil game we played which involved spinning coins. You play around a table (usually during class time when you should be working) and the first boy spins a coin – fifty pee usually- and the next boy has to keep it spinning by flicking it. You lose if you stop the coin from spinning, your punishment is to press your fist down onto the table, baring your knuckles, and then someone from the peer-group slams the coin (at high speed) into your clenched hand. It was this element of risk that made the game so addictive. We would often bleed, all over the table, all over the coin. We even made one boy cry, but he carried on playing. Thing is, I started to return home with scabs on my knuckles and my parents got worried, Dad banned me from playing it, despite the fact he told me he played a card game called ‘raps’ in school. I ignored his pleas for a while, and we started playing with the (what felt like) recently introduced two pound coin — quadruple the pain. Scabs got bigger, Dad’s commands got more serious, the phase ended. Although, when I look closely at my knuckles, I can still see the scars.

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