|if you see me coming,|
Trouble erupted over my première as a pugilist. Other boys—onlookers—came to my defence. I’d been hit first – but the teachers seemed to think that I had hit back far too hard.
I probably did hit him too hard – but I’d never hit anyone before. How was I supposed to know what would happen?
The teachers eyed me as some sort of thug. I’d obviously been slugging it out since I was a toddler.
If you see me coming you’d better step aside / A lotta men didn’t and a lotta men died / I got one hand made of iron – the other made of steel /
If the left one don’t getcher then the right one will.
Merle Travis—Sixteen Tons—performed by Tennessee Ernie Ford—1946
This was hardly my image of myself. This was the first time I’d fought – so I was confused by the way in which I was treated.
I was deeply sorry for Adrian Parrott – but the outcome proved useful. I was never bullied again at that school.
It wasn’t over a week in fact before I was talking to Adrian in a friendly way. The teachers noticed that I never fought anyone and my Form Teacher took me aside to tell me that they were happy with my behaviour in the play ground. Everything was forgotten and the teachers accepted that I was not a homicidal hoodlum.
When Bo Diddley come to town, the streets get empty and the sun go down.
Bo Diddley—Bo Diddley’s a Gunslinger—1960
Volume 1 of an odd boy by Doc Togden will be published by Aro Books worldwide in 2011
Excerpts can be read on Doc Togden's Facebook fanpage