beef squash

“Squashing The Beef” Decades After Part 1

beef squash

If you watch It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia you know what “beef squash” means 😀

As I’ve briefly mentioned in my blog post a day ago, my brother (and my sister, but on a much earlier timeline) got bullied by our neighbor’s teenage grandchildren. I think it went on for a couple of years. It’s not like everyday in those couple of years that they bullied us or anything like that. But there were times when they’re relentless.

I think I’m around 8-12 years old when they bullied us. First off, I was born, raised and lived in the same house/neighborhood for 24 years. We had these neighbors across our street and 1 house away from us. They have a balcony and they’re renting a couple of units to people. But they live in the unit where there’s a balcony so they have a good view of what’s going on the street.

The first bullying incident happened to my sister when she was 4-5 years old. I was not around yet, that time. These bullies are 3 siblings. An older brother, sister and they have a younger brother. The eldest is 16 years older than me. Let’s call the younger brother “B”. B threatened my sister with a bread knife. He showed the bread knife to my sister and threatened her. Perhaps B is 4-6 years older than my sister. My sister has a friend/playmate who lives in the compound where the bullies live. I think something like, “I-don’t-want-to-see-you-hanging-out-here-I-have-a-knife” kind of threat. And I think he has been pestering my sister for some time already. She got scared with the knife, and she went home and was all quiet. And our aunt (my mom’s sister who’s living with them during that time, this one has some unbelievable story too, the kind where in you think she’s dead because we didn’t hear from her for more than 2 decades, looked for her but didn’t find anything online, but nope we’re wrong she’s alive and fabulous she just didn’t want to be found. But I’ll save this one for another post) 😀 This aunt asked my sister what’s wrong she looks pale, and then my sister was hesitant to tell her because perhaps B threatened her not to tell anyone. So she still told our ex-aunt what happened. Ex-aunt was furious she got a machete or a jungle bolo and went to B’s compound and told him not to threaten my sister again or else. This is actually, one of the endearing memories that I have of my Ex-Aunt. 🙂 There’s actually one more memory that is kind of memorable for me. But totally unrelated for this post. 😀

That was one of the major bullying incident.

My brother and I are only less than 2 years apart, so we have the same playmates and neighborhood friends. We are always outside, playing. I don’t know where their hate for us started, I’ll refer to them as the “3 bullies”. Well, they live with their grandma and the grandma is really nice to us but she’s a notorious gambler and she’s the kind who smokes a cigarette but it’s the other way around which means the embers and ashes are inside her mouth, well we call that “mamangan api” which means“fire eater”. When we see her she acts like this frail, old woman, but then we don’t see her she’s sharp-mouthed and gambles a lot. I didn’t know that about her, until years later when I was a teenager. She passed away years ago, because of old-age. Anyhow, she is the 3 bullies’ guardian. I think their parents are living and working in the US.

As I’ve mentioned, I am not quite sure how the bullying started. First, B looks like the typical bully. Like he’s taller than us, older than us, he has this mean-face. But perhaps if he smiles, he might look friendly. Who knows? I never saw him smile. J and B, calls us names, makes snide comments whenever they pass by us, playing. One time, my friends and I were playing tag and I tripped…really bad. I hurt my knee, it’s bleeding badly. It hurt. But my fear was for someone to see me tripping in a very bad way, and worst the last person I want to see me, tripping is one of the 3 bullies.”I’m ok, it didn’t hurt”. J saw the whole thing, laughing like a hyena, and said “Nadia Comaneci”. Yep, he deserves an “Outstanding Adult Award”…not! I didn’t expect him to help me or anything, but at least not mock me or make fun of me because I was bleeding. I ignored him, and pretended that I was not in pain. Days, after that incident. I was wondering what Nadia Comaneci is. Obviously, I don’t know that she’s a “who” and not a “what”. So, I asked my mom, “Ma, what is Nadia Comaneci?”. She said, she is a gymnast. And asked why I was asking. In my head I was like, “oh what a meanie!”. That’s how hard I tripped, like somersault-y. So, I told her J called me Nadia Comaneci because I tripped, and laughed like a hyena. And she shook her head. I remember we were told to just ignore them. But my dad is really nice to them, and as a child I hated that. I want my parents to hate or dislike the people that I hate and dislike. But they’re not like that, they’re the voices of reason, which I think how parents should be. But as a child, of course that’s something major, like why they’re not taking our side. My sister, is always there to defend us, but since she’s older, she doesn’t hang out with us all the time, so she’s not always there to defend us.

Whenever we’re on the street playing, it’s always fun. But as soon as they pass by or any of them sees us it’s like the rain we just want them to go away. B & J are the worst. Their sister, the middle sibling, I’ll refer to her as “L”. She’s just the worst also, like she snubs us, she has this “tiger-look or dagger eyes” and instead of telling her brothers not to call us names, she defends them.

One incident, their grandma was calling my dad from outside in the middle of the night. She was frantic, and asking my dad if he can drive his grandson B, to the hospital. He was delirious, and really sick. So my, dad got dressed and drove them to the hospital, without any hesitations. We all got up, and was like “what’s happening?” and then our mom told us what’s up. And I was like, whaaaat???!

At the back of my head, I was thinking, perhaps he won’t be mean to us anymore, because come on, my dad drove you to the hospital in the middle of the night! So there was a spark of hope that he will leave us alone.

Every time, he calls us names and just be plain mean, I tell our mom about it, and of course we’re told to just ignore him but when it becomes too much that’s the only time, we tell our dad that B doesn’t stop and he tells us to just try to understand because they don’t have parents to guide them. But how are we suppose to understand that? All I can think of, he’s older than us and we’re younger and dude, just grow up!

That went on. B, is actually the worst. He just can’t stand how happy we are I guess. 😀 We tried fighting back, vocally but of course he knows more than us and he manages to always hurt our feelings. During one summer vacation our cousin from Arayat, stayed with us. He’s Jay-Jay, we’re the same age, but he passed away when he’s just about to turn 14, he got hit by a car. I miss him. We introduced, Jay-Jay to our playmates so he can play with us while he’s there. And one time, we didn’t tell him about B, and he’s like, why don’t you fight back? Well, we tried but we never succeed. Then he taught us this chant. B is in their balcony calling us names and saying nasty stuff, about how lousy we are and stuff. So Jay-Jay, sang this chant, and he said we should chant all together and louder. I think we are, 7-8 kids. The chant is just super stupid, but surprisingly it got them, they got super annoyed to the point where in they’re defeated.

to be continued… 🙂

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