Some people are blessed with brains, some with brawn. Some with a friendly nature, others with the minds of a psychopath. Others, unfortunately, have none of these and that's where society's problems start. I've met many no-brain Sun reading neanderthals in my time (mostly through my existence as a Dole Office clerk, where they queued up to print their names on a piece of paper and say 'Where's my fuggin' monee?'), but none of them quite take the biscuit like Tommo.
Paul "Tommo" Thomas. We called him a mate, but it was 'mate' in its loosest possible definition, that being 'thug of limited intelligence who kept kicking people in the nadgers.' In a bar brawl on a far off world, he'd be referred to as "Let the Wookie win".
We figured, as you do in the school playground, that the best thing to do is to keep the lunatics near you where you knew where they are. Perhaps they might not kick you in the ballsack quite so often. Some chance. He wore steel-capped boots to school, and left a swathe of destruction in his path, usually piles of kids clutching their groins in agony, puking in fear, smelling more rank than goat curry.
Repeated visits to the headmaster, the vicar, local law enforcement officers, counsellors and the school 'special' doctor failed to cure his impulses. In fact, the doctor never came back, and as far as we knew, never fathered children.
Something had to be done.
It had been used before, but only as a last resort. Lure the victim out onto the school field. Overpower him (which with Tommo was tougher than you'd expect), then carry him by arms and legs towards the conker tree. One leg party to the left, one leg party to the right, bollocks right up the middle. Never fails.
He must have had bollocks of steel. Like an injured rhino, it just made him worse, and the carnage was terrible.
We were defeated. Nothing would calm his gonad-crushing urge. Even sidling up to the school caretaker and asking "Do you have any spare toilet paper?" by way of an improvised pad failed to alleviate the agony. Enter Tommo's dad.
Tommo's dad was madder than his son, but with one exception: he had a brain.
Tommo's dad was what's known as a piss-taker, and was always thinking up practical jokes from the public bar of the King's Arms. It was he who diverted the flow from the toilet trough at the village fete right through the beer tent. It was he who diverted traffic for miles round the village "just for a cackle" and changed the script of the royal opening of a local community centre to incvlude "Unhand my camel, fiend!" It was he who rescued us.
One blessed morning, Tommo's dad told young Paul, that due some unspecified trouble with the law, his family would be changing their surname to "Backskin" as part of a witness protection programme. Terrified, Tommo fell for his dad's deadpan delivery hook, line and sinker. It would be down to him, son number one, to tell everybody at school his new name.
So he did. Friends. Teachers. Form tutor. Headmaster. The lot.
It took him three days to realise what we were laughing about, and he fled, humiliated, screaming for home.
I'd like to say at this point "and he never kicked us in the bollocks ever, ever again." But he did, the bastard. He'd mellowed out though. He didn't take a run up any more.