Some time ago, there was a contest for short stories with an Australian historical theme, word limit being 500. I entered this little story, but the judges had poor judgment, and it didn’t win.
“I fought for this country! And you wogs are coming to take it over. Piss off back where you came from, you little bastard!”
I saw George cower like he wanted to disappear, till the big bloke in greasy blue overalls stormed off. The poor kid was nearly crying when I got to him.
Some of the other kids at the bus shelter were sniggering. Most of them looked away like George was invisible.
“Stupid bastard,” I said, “you were born in Australia, weren’t you?”
“Yeah, but my parents are Greek, and so what.”
“So, do as he said, go back to Australia.”
He grinned, and I got a few laughs.
“I cop it too. Just because my name is Rudolf Schneider, I get ‘Nazi’ and ‘Kraut’ thrown at me all the time.”
“But you’re Jewish!”
“Yes. My family were smart enough to get away from Hitler while they could. You know, it doesn’t take a genius to be bully. But I’ve worked out what to do about it.”
The school bus arrived then, and we got on before I answered. “There’s two things. I go to the Police Boys Club in Maroubra Junction and do boxing, judo and weights. I reckon you should give it a go.”
“The second thing is, I’ve found a way to get revenge. I’m going to go to university.”
“Come off it! This is a technical school. Nobody goes to uni from here.”
George did come along to the club. I was more into judo than boxing, but he developed a beaut left hook he once used to floor the school’s worst bully, who was two years ahead of us. He became popular after that.
George got good at rugby, me at basketball. Both of us could fight, so were excused being ‘swats’ with lots of time in the library, and homework in on time, and at the end of each year topping every subject between the two of us. When we sat for the Leaving Certificate at the end of fifth year, we both came within the top two hundred in the State.
George and I lost contact many years ago, when I had to move interstate to become Lecturer in Electronics at RMIT, so what brought all this ancient stuff to mind? I read in The Age this morning that Mr George Kondlikis, QC, was successful in the Supreme Court, preventing a bunch of Sri Lankan refugees from being deported back to torture and death.
Beauty. Wog’s revenge.