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April   6

Baristaville Bullies: Who Beat Up Little Tommy?

Back in the late 1970s, when he was on the Glen Ridge high school wrestling team, someone may have been bullying a small guy by the name of Tom Mapother. Twenty-five plus years later, now known as Tom Cruise, the former resident of Washington Street is telling the world about the days when his father, and bullies at school made his life hell.

"So many times the big bully comes up, pushes me," he says. "Your heart's pounding, you sweat, and you feel like you're going to vomit. I'm not the biggest guy, I never liked hitting someone, but I know if I don't hit that guy hard he's going to pick on me all year. I go, `You better fight.' I just laid it down. I don't like bullies."

Cruise, now 44, quoted in this week's Parade Magazine, graduated from Glen Ridge High School in 1980. He got his big break there after an agent discovered him playing the role of Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls, a role he apparently got after a knee injury side-lined him from the wrestling team. And while there's no indication anyone bullied him there, he tells the mag that he was picked on regularly at the 15 different schools he attended in 12 years.

Did anyone make your life miserable in school? Talk about it now (or maybe your best high school pranks) or whatever else you like - it's your daily chat.

April 6, 2006 in The Daily Chat | Permalink


"Did anyone make your life miserable in school?"

Only the teachers, the Principal, the Assistant Principal, the Truant Officer, and a certain yellow-haired young lady WHO KNOWS WHO SHE IS!!!

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian | Apr 6, 2006 11:54:01 AM

15 schools in 12 years? That's crazy.

I was the kid that everyone said had cooties because I was new. But don't we all have some dumb story like that? Elementary school kids are evil ;)

Posted by: Megan | Apr 6, 2006 11:55:14 AM


In other and more important news to those of us in Bloomfield, the Zoning Board of Adjustment meeting tonight has the 1242 Broad Street Apartment House variance requests on its agenda. Bloomfield residents against this project need to stand up and be counted at the 7:30 PM meeting in the Council Chambers at 1 Municipal Plaza.

(Check this thread late this afternoon; if I hear of any changes to the agenda by then, I will post them.)

Posted by: Conan the Grammarian | Apr 6, 2006 11:55:45 AM

I went to school with the ultimate pathetic bully. Her father was a local celebrity. The extent of the celebrity would be teachers asking about the last name then a big act of - oh yeah that my dad - phony embarrassment.

The bully would single out kids from their group of friends and announce to the rest of the friends that kid A was to be the target. They would use a fake name to tease kid A (If kid A name was Greg, they’d talk about another kid they all knew named Craig and how awful of a person Craig was.)

It was kind of funny- I was kid A a few times – but really sad too. It was obvious the main bully and followers were really lonely kids. They would insult kid A for weeks –but the moment kid A had a party, or invited them for a play date, the bullies were right there best friends with kid A and now kid B is the target.

The main bully stayed sad even in high school – a platonic prom date is the only date I can remember them having, and I can’t think of a single person at the reunion who even asked about them.

So cheer up Tom Cruise – however your bully was they are probably as sad as mine was and you know what they say – living well is the best revenge.

Posted by: hrhppg | Apr 6, 2006 12:08:56 PM

Thanks Conan, my son and I were handing out fliers in our neighborhood the other night and talking it up to the Bloomies at my church...see you there.

Posted by: mrso | Apr 6, 2006 12:10:02 PM

For what it is worth, I once sat in a Decamp bus with four young (then, it was more than 10 years ago) women who'd all gone to GRHS with Tom Cruise, to judge from their conversation. They all agreed to each other they recalled him as a pretty nice guy. But shy and quiet.

Posted by: cathar | Apr 6, 2006 12:20:07 PM

Where I grew up, William and Munn in East Orange(1960's), it wasn't about who was giving you a hard time. It was more about not getting stabbed or beaten to death. Caucasians were instant targets. It wasn't until my brother and friend were nearly stomped to death by a mob on William and Harrison that my mother finally realized we had to get out of there.

I didn't mind leaving the urine soaked and graffiti lined hallways of 150 Munn one bit. No sir..

Posted by: RadonMan | Apr 6, 2006 12:20:39 PM

I went to a Catholic elementary school for 8 (loooooooong) years in the 1970's. The classes were small and you were pretty much stuck with the same group of kids year after year. Not much turnover, unfortunately. By sixth grade, the girls became truly evil and would single out someone as the target. When it was my turn, they would do things like invite everyone but me to a party, exclude you from recess games (or pick you last for gym teams. . you know the drill).

In class, we kept our workbooks on a bookshelf. We had to get them ourselves. When I went to get mine this one time, it wasn't there, but I know I put it there. When class was over, it miraculously reappeared. They tried to make kids look bad in any way they could.

I don't know about now, but the Catholic school kids I grew up with, were anything but "holy".

Posted by: justeL | Apr 6, 2006 12:28:22 PM

Oy, who cares.

Posted by: lasermike026 | Apr 6, 2006 12:50:06 PM

Victims care. Want to hear the good one about the pedophile on the 4th floor..

Posted by: RadonMan | Apr 6, 2006 12:57:33 PM

I was the 2nd highest ranking bully in my elementary school in the 1970s (mainly 4th-6th grade). But in my defense I only picked on the boys I had crushes on.

Posted by: Girl | Apr 6, 2006 1:03:13 PM

Nice juxtaposition, lasermike: in one thread you invoke peaceful action against genocide and in another you say "who cares?" about bullies.

Posted by: appletony | Apr 6, 2006 1:12:46 PM

I was the kid you sat next to in homeroom and when you graduated you didn't know my name.

But I wrote notes to myself about how you scribbled your boyfriend's name all over your notebook < MRS. JIMMY X- ) and about about the way you said his name with a dreamy-schoolgirl daze in your eye.

You were the prettiest girl in the school....

... and you wouldn't know me if I wenched your car out of a ditch on a stormy night.

I guess there are different kinds of bullying, eh?

Posted by: Tonoose | Apr 6, 2006 1:13:37 PM

V for Vendetta! Off with their heads! We all have Brooklyn Alzheimers: you forget everything but the grudges!

Posted by: Bill The Cat | Apr 6, 2006 1:22:22 PM

Speaking of attempted bullying, and on thsi very site, does anyone know what came down when Dominick Restaino had his befuddled day in court last week? Even if in fact he had it?

Posted by: cathar | Apr 6, 2006 1:22:58 PM

Cathar bullies me on these boards

I just started an SAT course for literary self defense.

In no time I'll be doling out all those boring SAT words you thought you'd never hear again until you saw them used by the posting elite.

loquacious - adj. - used in a sentence = Do you find it overly snobbish if I say you are loquacious instead of just plain talkative or chatty?

Stay tuned for more...

Posted by: Shitalker | Apr 6, 2006 1:23:33 PM

Look up verbal vastation.

Posted by: Iceman | Apr 6, 2006 1:26:09 PM

Just as long as it widens both your cultural horizons and your vocabulary skills, s'talker, who would dare complain? And if it helps you do better on your SATS so you can get into either Weber State or Liberty University (give my regards to Rev, Falwell), so much the better.

Posted by: cathar | Apr 6, 2006 1:26:27 PM

Never discount the value of a good vocabulary.

I often tried to smuggle contraband messages past the WC's BD-eyed with obscure words or deep irony. Sometimes it worked!

(I am now convinced that this is why Russians are so subversively funny)

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Apr 6, 2006 1:28:03 PM

When I started high school there was a girl in my neighborhood who began verbally bullying me for no reason at all. Most of the time, I just ignored her (I wasn't afraid of her, she was about my size) but one day I lost it and just yelled at her to leave me the f**k alone. She never bothered me again after that. In fact, one day she actually invited me to come over. Turns out she was very lonely and didn't have a lot of friends. Plus, her mother was rarely home and when she was, she picked on the girl. Now that I am older, I realize this is true about a lot of bullies. Many of them are either bulled themselves at home or by their peers.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 6, 2006 1:35:49 PM

Well, gee whiz, maybe THAT explains THIS:


What a freak he is. What a stupid little girl she is!

Posted by: Meandtheboys | Apr 6, 2006 1:42:03 PM

Oops, that didn't work.

It's a link to an article where Tom talks about how HE'S decided Katie's going to give birth to their baby: silently and without drugs!

Boy howdy, what a nutjob!

Posted by: Meandtheboys | Apr 6, 2006 1:43:22 PM

Well, Meandtheboys, aren't you glad those two found each other? This way, only 2 (ok, 3 with the baby) people will be miserable instead of 4.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Apr 6, 2006 1:45:17 PM

she's overdue now-what happens if she needs a c-section?--a pacifier for her-Yes, I would call that abusive.

Posted by: cstarling | Apr 6, 2006 1:46:44 PM


It's a Scientology® thing.

Once the baby is born, the parents play the "Ultimatum Game" with the baby after which they both look at the baby and say:

"Some day I'd enjoy meeting you in person."

Posted by: Right of Center™ | Apr 6, 2006 1:48:40 PM

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