The Runt


Nicholas Ivan Ladendorf


            “If you want to sit on the porch with the big dogs you got to learn to stop pissing like a pup!” This, their new mantra, especially popular since I came along. Now they have someone to taunt with it: “Get off the porch, Nicky!”

            When I get sick of it, all I do is turn the attention on one of them. I have a list of sore spots for each of the guys on the porch. As soon as one of us starts it the rest go jumping all over him “Hey Derrick, you still screwing cows?”

            He hesitates and the rest jump in like Jackals. They ask him if they moo when they orgasm, or just spray milk. They ask if he yells oh baby or oh Betsy. They ask these things knowing but ignoring the origin of the joke.

            Derrick decided to cut across the pasture when the bull started to charge him. When he told us the story Derrick’s dad told us the bull was probably trying to keep Derrick from screwing the cows. Derrick tries to defend himself “I don’t screw cows!”


“That would be cheating on the goats!” adds Cody which provides a segue for the others to start with “Oh so you’re a goat roper…Ah! This explains a lot…”


            He can’t reason his way out of it because they are all drunk. Reason has no place on the porch (reason pisses like a pup). The only way I’ve seen everyone back off on goat roping charges is when Malcolm Johnson just gave us a creepy grin and said “Have you ever fucked a sheep? It ain’t baa-aa-aa-ad…”

            The good thing about being the new guy is that I don’t have one of these sore spots. Eric has the cosmopolitans with the pages stuck together in his bathroom. They are his wife’s magazines and steam from the shower warped them. Cody is the drag queen. His dad grounded him when he came at three in the morning wearing make up. He actually he just fell asleep at a party. Mike is known as pokey because as his wife pointed out ‘you’re poking out, Hun’, and normally burning the image of your (he insist only half-formed) erection in the minds of your friends is enough to earn eternal heckling, but somehow I can’t get the guys to turn on him.

            They still call him pokey, even to his face, but they won’t lay into him the way they do each other (and sooner or later me). True that ‘pokey’ doesn’t inspire insult the way being a goat roper does, but that never stopped them before. I have started to doubt my skills as an instigator. When the goat-roping jokes die out around Derrick, I decide to give it another go “You going to take that crap from pokey, Derrick?”


“He’s just making up for being the little dog!”


            Derrick was more referring to how far pokey was poking, but I take it another way. Everyone except Mike is over six foot each weighting over 200 (All muscle if you don’t count the beer bellies). Half our height and weight but with twice the attitude, the little dog complex. The more I think about it the more Mike reminds me of Beaner, his attack wiener dog. That reminds me, Pokey owning a wiener dog-I have to get the guys started on that one day).

            Lately Mike has been even more ornery than before. It isn’t the guys that have changed, it’s him. Pokey has achieved ego of epic proportions. This on a guy who already deemed himself 110% man (the extra ten percent is the prick in his ass is what Derrick says). I don’t feel like speculating on what it could be so I flat out ask “Why is everyone Pokey’s bitch all of the sudden.”

            They deny it and commence to try and rag me, but I don’t pay attention. I just look at the creepy grin Pokey has on his face, the creepy knowing look Malcolm gave us. They all turn their attention from me and roll their eyes at Mike as he says with ultimate pride “I didn’t tell him yet!”

Derrick groans “So he’s the one!”

            The story starts “You got to hear this one Nicky, these pussies are a bunch of little girls…”

               Mike begins to go into the story and I notice looks of resentment and shame on the faces of the other guys. I begin to worry because I know, even without yet hearing the story, that I won’t be able to turn the group on Mike for a long time. And if I can’t turn things on Mike then I will have a harder time turning them away from me when they decide to pick on the new guy.

            “Y’see I was up at the golden crotches with these nimrods, eating my Big Mac when the manager tells us they’re calling the cops if the mess doesn’t get cleaned up. I hadn’t even finished my food yet and didn’t know what the hell she was talking about.” pausing to put in a new dip of chew “so I asked her ‘What the hell are you talking about?’

Mike pauses as if he expected me to answer the question before continuing “She pointed to the section next to where we was sitting. Trays and drinks and stuff left out on the table, and a napkin dispenser was dumped all over. It looks like there was a catsup fight too. I told her I didn’t have nothing to do with that, we were sitting right here the whole time.” Mike leans forward with emphasis “So the bitch says ‘All I know is that a bunch of guys made this mess, I come over here and there’s a bunch of guys here.’”

Cody speaks up perhaps out of neglect or perhaps to avoid the embarrassing punch line to this story “I told her we weren’t really a bunch, there were four of us and I think a bunch is eight or some shit. That’s how many Brady’s there were if you don’t count Alice.”

“And it was as stupid as it is now, so shut up!” Mike interjected in a playful, yet, still condescending manner “The manager and I both rolled our eyes when Einstein here started rambling about bushels, but she isn’t used to it like me and probably walked off with a headache.” 

“We figured that was the end of it and finished our food.” He shook his head ruefully “On the way out was when she said ‘Cleaning up that one table isn’t going to cut it fellas!”

“I told her ‘We were only sitting at the one table!’”  then raising the pitch of his voice mockingly “‘I’m giving the police the plate number of whatever car you get into leave if it doesn’t get cleaned up.’”

Derrick adds “I think she knew it wasn’t us, but she wanted to be a whore about it, and make us scapegoats. I called her on it and told her ‘you know it was that suck ass football team from the high school!’”

“She made a snooty look and said ‘I have to assume you were with them.’”

“I told her ‘We’re with the people we’re with.’” Mike so pissed his voice fluxes “I wanted to rip her head off. I said ‘Look woman! I am a grown man with a wife I don’t hang out with high school kids!’ She just shrugged!”

“I was so pissed off I told her that it was going to bet cleaned up. She made me want to clock. But I knew if I hit her I would definitely get arrested, that’s why I told her it would get taken care of. So me and these dip shits hopped in The Beast and drove down to the pool hall”

            Mike had named his car “The Beast” as a term of endearment. The Beast is a Monte Carlo that Mike and his stepfather dropped a ‘Vette engine into.

            From the gleam in his eyes I can tell that he’s getting to the climax of the story, and it’s something good. It’s obvious he’s getting off telling the story to someone that hasn’t heard it yet. Whatever it is that happens next in the story has got Mike’s head so big he’ll have to re-adjust his hat size. With pride just oozing out Mike proceeds “We went to the pool hall out on the main highway because it’s the only one that lets people under twenty-one in.”  

“Someone must have been showing them up on the tables because they were all out side with their little jail bait girlie friends.” I notice that the other guys dropping their heads as Mike talks “I nailed the gas and nearly ran four of them over as we pulled into the parking lot and I used the e-brake to whip the tail end around so my headlights would still be on them when The Beast stopped.”

I could feel the adrenaline and testosterone radiating off him as he continued “The whole lot of them watched as I got out of The Beast and walked around to the back. They didn’t know what the hell I was doing but I think I saw one of them jump when I slammed the trunk closed. The murmuring really raised when they saw me come back with an axe handle.”

“One of those dumb bastards tried to act tough and yelled out ‘You got a problem!’” a scary gleeful look became Mike’s expression “And by God I told that punk ‘No but you’re going to have a problem when I stick this handle directly up your ass!’”

“One of the freshmen looked like he was about to piss himself as he said ‘Calm down buddy, we’re all cool’”

“I told that scrawny jag off ‘I ain’t cool twerp! I got the manager of Mickey D’s threatening to call the cops on me if a mess you ass wipes made doesn’t get cleaned up!’”

“’That big one was about to lip off so I poked him in the chest with the axe handle and said ‘If I go to the pen I’m taking you with me and you’re going to be my new girlfriend!’” Mike pokes me in the chest to illustrate.

I don’t know if Mike was actually paranoid enough to think the cops would do more than write situation for the mess at the restaurant. But it made me wonder if he is just that angry at the world that he is itching to get into an altercation with something as Americana as a high school football team. This isn’t really my concern right now; I am more worried about how I am going to ever take him down a notch after this.

“See big guys like that never got picked on growing up so they don’t know how to take it. If you ever got a choice between fighting a big guy and a little one, take the big one because he doesn’t know how to fight.” I’ve heard him say this before but I let him continue “So I made an example out of the gorilla by saying ‘If any of you retards try to take a shot at my bitch here is going to have to learn to play with a broken knee cap!’”

“After that a group of them piled in a car and drove back to clean up the mess” Mike leaned back and gave a shit-eating-grin.

Normally I would have laughed along with Mike and cursed out high school jocks as the story went on but I kept my mouth closed, so not to encourage this potentially dangerous event to my career as an instigator. I can’t let Mike onto this though so I ask Derrick, Eric, and Cody “So where were you guys during all this?”

Before they could answer slaps Mike his knee and springs up “Crap! I left out the best part! When I swung The Beast around and had those jock straps all in my head lights I told these pansies ‘Let’s go kick some ass!’ And they were all saying ‘I’m not getting out of the car there’s too many of them.’”


Mike waved his arms around frantic with excitement “So I had to get all those football players to back down by my self!” Mike gestures to the three of them “They should all get off the porch!”


I looked at the three miserable guys, each of them a good foot and a half taller than the runt leader. I knew that my next words were important if I wished to keep Mike from becoming a one-up-manship tyrant. My built in humility ray kicked in at full power as I realized exactly what to say


As if in revelation I say “Oooooh! I heard about that, Pokey! One of the football players was up at the Fueler-up talking about how they thought Eric, Derrick, and Cody were going to kick their asses when they first saw their lackey approach them!”


Evil grins bore into Mike as I pressed “Everyone’s talking about how bad these guys made the team look by sending a little runt to order them around while they just sat back and chilled in the car. Isn’t that how it was fellas?”