One Fall day while walking home from kindergarten, I was approached by three thugs. Now by thugs, I mean second graders from the bucolic elementary school in the calm peaceful South Jersey town of Wenonah. I didn't know them as most victims don't know their attackers. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time…
I had just fended off the advances of my then girlfriend Debbie Rosenberg and was just about to leave the school property when the thugs came up to me.
"Hey man, come here." One of them asked.
"No, I can't, I'm on my way home." I replied in a squeaky 5 yr old voice.
"Get over here!"
Rather than risk a physical confrontation, I obliged and asked, "What do you want?"
"Step on that pile of leaves."
I looked down at a pile of leaves and said, "No, I don't wanna."
One of the thugs repeated to me, growing louder, "STEP on it!"
"I have to go home…" I trailed off starting to move away.
"GET HIM!" they shouted, grabbing me and holding me in front of the pile of leaves.
Two ruffians held me on either side while the third ruffian forced me to step on the pile of leaves. I remember vividly seeing them force my right Buster Brown shoe onto the pile and hearing an egg crack as I stepped on it. Runny egg white and yolk spilled out from either side of the leaf pile and onto the bottom of my shoe. They started laughing at me.
And that’s it. That's all that happened. As I look back at this event I see how anticlimactic it was. Okaaaay, they forced me to step on a pile of leaves. I wasn't hurt or anything. Hmmmm. It seemed like much ado about nothing.
Way back then, that was enough to send me into hysterics. I broke free and ran home yelling the entire way. A couple blocks away from my muggers, I tripped over the sidewalk and fell face first onto it completely flipping over onto my back.
I just sat there in shock looking above at the leaves ever so gently floating down around me. I came to a couple minutes later and realized I was pretty scraped up, but basically OK. My knees were scraped, hands scraped, and forehead and nose scraped up from the face plant.
I ran the rest of the way home just stopping briefly to tell the crossing guard Mrs. Lutz that I had been savagely beaten by older kids. Once home, this story mushroomed into a tale that included being chased down, thrown about, and beaten up. And I mentioned there was an egg involved although at that point it seemed rather pointless to dwell on. I also failed to mention the trip and falling over the concrete sidewalk.
All Mom could do was yell to Dad, "They beat up my baby!"
I sat there in the breakfast room and looked like a sad clubbed baby harp seal. Mom and Dad sprung into action and contacted the school the next day. The 8 year old ruffians were punished for attacking me … although I am sure they still insist it was just some tale about stepping on an egg. My deviousness started at a young age.