I’ve been called lardass more times in my life than I care to remember. It’s been the default joke thrown my way since elementary school when as a 5th grader and sat on a table in the back of the classroom, collapsing it. What was I thinking? An overweight kid sitting on a flimsy fold-up table? Ha. I sort of deserved that one.
It was at the end of the day. I was having a great day. I was always a smart kid and on this day I was doing especially well. I was at the top of my game, but then the teacher ordered everyone to sit down and my immediate reaction was to sit on that table…damn that teacher! The rest of that week was horrible.
My friends started making fun of me immediately. It was funny at first, although I secretly hated it. But I went along with it since it was like something out of a movie. I wasn’t really that fat as a kid, but I was a little heavier than normal so I guess you could say I was “fat.” It’s not like I was busting out the sides of my shoes or anything. My friends were relentless. I was bigger than them so they were also a little afraid to mess with me for too long once I told them to stop. I was always the tallest kid too, except for Jonathan, this kid was like six feet tall in the 5th grade. Tall, skinny, and friendly. Aside from him, I was the second tallest. I was a nice kid too.
So days went by and the lardass, fat ass jokes persisted. Now the girls would giggle when I walked by. My self-esteem was shot!!! I would still get picked in games during recess, not last, but close to last. I hated that. I didn’t start blossoming into an athlete until high school, which coincidentally is when my baby fat started shedding as I become more active. But back to my lardassness…
I would be too embarrassed to come out and play any sports. There was even a time when I lasted a whole school year without coming out to play. I would wake up in the morning, walk to school, walk back, and stay cramped up in our apartment until it was time to go to school again. Aside from the occasional family outings or trips to church, I would stay inside. It got so bad that everyone thought I was dying. At one point, I had decided to come back outside, but was too scared to do so. I didn’t know how to rejoin society. The older kids would invite me to join the PAL (Police Athletic League) so I could play flag football and be more active, but I never did. I regret that. 100% regret it.
Anyway, so I was called lardass for a long time. A very long time. Then it stopped as I went to junior high school, or middle school as they call it now. Things were fine for a long time. I was bigger than normal, but not obese. There were occasional fat jokes, but that comes with the territory and I was fine with it.
Then I enter high school and start shedding the weight rapidly. Start playing sports and get into decent shape. But then something weird happened. My close friends start calling me lardass in jest because it rhymed with my last name. I got all these flashbacks and hated it. But they wouldn’t stop.
Even when I was in great shape, they felt it necessary to call me lardass. Why? I have no idea. Maybe because I was in greater shape than them so it made them feel better about themselves? One of the culprits was always really skinny, the other really obese. So now I have a skinny guy and a fat guy calling me lardass. WTF am I to do?
Why am I complaining about this? Well, just the other day my buddy calls me and the first thing out of his mouth is “Yo, Lardass!” My immediate instinct was to hang up the phone, but I resisted and instead had a heart to heart with him about how I really disliked being called that.
Want to know something crazy? He actually respected my desire to not be called that anymore and understood me. This is the obese guy I was talking to. He explained to me why he did and how he felt bad when people called him names too. He said the reason he did it was because he thought I was strong and respected me. He figured it didn’t bother me at all.
Who would have thunk it?