Age 5.

On my first day at school, a girl was having trouble opening a small packet of ketchup during little lunch. She asked me if I would help her open it. Though small for my age, I was tough and tore it with my teeth. I tore it good.

With the remaining shreds of plastic in my mouth, I spat it at the boy sitting next to me. All the children laughed, including myself, but he was not happy about it. He informed a teacher who later informed my father. My father told me to stop spitting at other children and that spitting was no good.

As he told me this, I was already thinking of ways to hurt that kid for being such a sook.

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Age 6.

I scared the daughter of a family friend by chasing her with a book opened to a giant close-up photo of a tarantula. While she ran, she kept looking back to see how far away I was. By doing this, she could not see what was in front of her. As a result, she ran into a tree trunk and was knocked senseless.

When her parents found her lying on the grass, unconscious, they carried her into the house while my mother had a stern word with me. I argued my case but she remained unconvinced by my theory that all girls were uncoordinated.

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Age 7.

I stole one dollar from my mother’s purse to buy some Spiderman/Hulk bubblegum that came with tattoos. I bought three. As soon as I got them, I threw the bubblegum away and unfolded the wrappers to see which tattoos I got. They were all of the Hulk. It was incredible because I didn’t want the Hulk. I wanted the Spiderman tattoo.

I wet my right arm with some spit and placed the tattoo over my biceps. My mother walked past as I was waiting for the transfer to take. She asked me what I was doing. I told her nonchalantly that I was getting a tattoo. I was a man so it was no big deal. Then she asked me where I got the money from to buy the tattoo. That was a little more difficult to answer since I did not have a job nor was I given any pocket money.

After much interrogation, she finally made me cough up the truth and for my honesty, I received a spanking. What’s more, the tattoos didn’t work, so by the day’s end, I was sporting a red patch on my bottom and a green blob on my arm.

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Age 8.

I locked my younger brother in the storeroom for three hours with the lights off. Outside, I taunted him with stories that the Spam monster was going to get him. The Spam monster was a blobby old thing that liked to eat small children, smothering them in its digestive jelly. I told my brother that Spam is so salty because the smothered children cry so much before being completely devoured.

It was a story that made my brother cry. He banged his small fists against the door until he got tired. He sobbed wearily, but after a while, he got inspired again and banged on the door some more.

I finally let him out when I heard my parents open the front door. I tried to hurry him out, but the light momentarily blinded him as tears and snot ran down his face. I tried to calm him down by telling him that everything was all right, that the worst was over. Although he was grateful for being released, he went ahead and told my parents what happened anyway.

Later that evening, as he was getting ready for bed, I told him the Spam monster hates little sooks. I told him, furthermore, that he should always count his toes in the morning, just in case the Spam monster ate a couple while he slept.

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Age 9.

Once I spent the night at a friend’s house. We were gathered around the table for dinner and as we sat there eating, my friend’s older sister came to the table. She was wearing a fleecy tracksuit. As she sat down, I pulled the chair from underneath her. Her rear end dropped like an anvil, and she landed with a thwack on the tile floor. The way down she had a puzzled look on her face. Sprawled on the floor in her tracksuit, she looked as if she had just finished break-dancing.

Everyone at the table stopped eating and stared.

I waited for her to laugh and tell me what a funny trickster I was, but instead she started to cry. Between sobs she swore at me, before scampering off to her bedroom. After she was gone, the family stared at me. I waited for them to burst into laughter and tell me what a funny trickster I was, but none of them did. Not even my friend.

The house was quiet. They continued to stare. I thought, it was supposed to be a joke, people.

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Age 10.

During lunch, I played the poaching game with some friends on the school playground. It was like cops and robbers except instead of cops, we had poachers and instead of robbers, we had animals. You got to choose which animal you wanted to be. Most of my friends wanted to be lions or cheetahs. The cheetah was the most popular.

On this occasion, I was an impala. I thought it complimented my quick but graceful running technique. When I ran from the poachers, I leapt into the air every now and then, confusing but also amazing the poachers. Because I was such a prized spectacle, everyone wanted to take me down. Well, I got caught eventually, and as the poachers pinned me to the grass, I looked at the persons responsible for my capture and said, “Fuck you.” It was something I picked up from Rambo.

A teacher nearby heard everything, walked over and asked me what I’d just said. I repeated it, and she told me to stand at the flagpole for the remainder of lunch. In response, I sneered at her and walked to the flagpole with my hands in my pockets.

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Age 11.

I was popular with the girls in my grade and decided to take five of them to the big Year Six Farewell Party. The girls didn’t know about the arrangement. I calculated that if I told them I was already taking other girls with me, they wouldn’t want to go with me.

When the girls found out the truth at the party, they became quite angry. They banded together and told me I was mean and good for nothing. Then they threw the flowers I had bought them in my face. One of the roses got stuck in my hair because I had so much gel in it.