In print and in movies, I frequently encounter the cliche about the nerdy kid, beaten up in elementary school, who grows up to become a phenomenally-successful entrepreneur. Of course, he’s not really happy because he’s a jerk now, still having the insatiable need to humiliate his former bullies.
To put this myth to rest, I have my friend H here, who is visiting from New York. We went to school together. H was beaten up all the time by bullies.
Me: H, are you very successful now?
Me: If you could, would you seek revenge on these bullies?
H: Maybe. (SIGHING) But what can you do?
Me: Have you ever encountered any of these bullies since elementary school?
H: No…well, actually, indirectly I do know something about one of them. He went to Queens College, became a teacher, and now he teaches my cousin’s son’s second grade class in Tucson. How ironic is that?
M: How does that make you feel?
H: Good. At least I know that asshole makes less money than I do.
H: (strong curse)
Another myth busted. Not all nerdy kids beaten up in elementary school grow up to become successful entrepreneurs.