If Anyone Knows, Warty Nose! 1978


American ‘warty’ Toad

If Anyone Knows, Warty Nose! 1978

Scary School Memories

In 1978 l was 15 and had been back in the UK for my first full year after returning from living most of my earlier lfe abroad in Australia and Malaysia. It was a lot to take on board in many respects, l had to drop back a year in British schooling so as to catch up on my studies due to Australian schooling being behind the English curriculum. So l was in essence a year older than most of my classmates.

It was harder on me for many reasons; 1] l had an extremely broad Australian accent which meant l stood out a mile the moment l opened my mouth, 2] l wasn’t just shy but painfully shy around the opposite sex, 3] l was a book loving nerd who spent most of his spare time table top wargaming, 4] l was considered an oddball because of my quirkiness [enter unrecognised/undiagnosed/unseen Asperger’s Syndrome] and 5] l wasn’t what you would class as an active lover of the usual sports, as in football and cricket were not big fans of mine over say baseball, softball and running/hurdling so had very little in terms of relatable conversation to my peers and 6] l actually was missing Australia not having had wanted to return to a country that despite being born in l knew very little about. I missed my home country. I didn’t like England, it was that simple. I hated the weather, it was always either raining or snowing, was cold and miserable. Even today having been living here since 77, l still do not consider Britain my home.

In addition to that l lived at best a troubled life at home with a neurotic Mother, and unhappy Australian born Sister and an even odder ball of a Father who used to drink and live an adulterous and at times gambling lifestyle with no tolerance for his family who was an extremely strict disciplinarian with no patience for his children simply being just that – children.

I lived with stress and anxiety everyday at home and there was also the potential for internal violence towards me from my Father or on the odd occasion from my Mother, or there was violence towards my Mother from my Father which l would witness or violence from my Mother to my Sister. So life at home was as hard as was life at school where l would be bullied for being different. I tried to make the best of two bad situations and so became quite possibly odder and more isolated with my alone times.ย  I was never allowed to discuss externally home life problems that l was experiencing so tended to remain quiet and shut away.

School despite all the problems l faced daily was still regarded as the lesser of the two evils, and so l would put on a brave face and for the hours out of the home, would just muddle on and enjoy it the best l could. The bullies there couldn’t even come close to home life brutalities and bullying so of the two areas, yeah school life was way easier!


But just because it was marginally better than home life didn’t mean l needed more problems at school to cope with, which sadly arrived in March 1978 and it arrived in the form of a strange spot on the outside of my left nostril! At that age l didn’t think anything of it, “Oh great, another bloody spot to contend with l thought.” I was wrong, the spot over the following two weeks 1] didn’t go away and 2] got bigger, and bigger, and bigger and longer and uglier!!!

“Oh my God!!” Exclaimed my Mother one day and laughing shouted out to my family “Rory’s got a wart on his nose he looks like the wicked witch!!”

Grief, if l didn’t have enough problems already, now l had the mirth of my family and the ridicule at school! People suddenly started deliberately not sitting beside me in school, the bullies just had more ammunition to throw at me, l was called Warty Boy, Wart Hog, Warty Witch,was having rumours spread around about me, was told l was more infectious than sexually transmitted diseases. girls saw me and laughed, teachers cringed at the sight of me when l spoke to them and the greatest jibe of all was the phrase used often If Anyone Knows, Warty Nose!”


After six weeks l finally got an appointment to go to the hospital for it to be seen to, where upon over the course of a month the THING was cauterised off, and if l thought nothing else could get any worse, once more l was proven wrong. Smelling burning flesh is trust me a horrible smell, but smelling it when it is literally milimetres from your nose is far, far worse!!

Finally the thing was gone, but for ten years afterwards, if my nose ever got wet, as in rainwater wet, l could smell the same smell – that same damn smell of burning nose flesh!

But the jibe Warty Nose lived on with me till the day l left school.

So how about you, any scary school memories?

21 thoughts on “If Anyone Knows, Warty Nose! 1978

  1. My heart was bleeding over this poor little lad (YOU) to have gone through so much suffering between home & school. Yet, you turned out to be such a sweetie pie as an adult. Good for you!
    I had the normal school drama as most kids do. Then again, I tried to avoid and get sucked into the drama is more like it. I had more drama with an alcoholic raging father and jumped into breaking up fights between him and my mom and younger brother most times. This meant I got most of the brunt of the abuse. I was very protective of my mother mostly.
    I think the hardest part of school was that my family was very well known in my town. My grandfather was chief of police, and my father was a detective. All the other cops families that had kids my age… we were all pretty sympathetic towards one another because all our fathers were such dicks.

    1. Ah yes l feel Beckie that you and l were in the same club, the very same dickish Father club ๐Ÿ™‚

      Strangely enough my Dick was also a Police Dick, where as your Dick was a real dick, isn’t that what they call private detectives even when they are cops ๐Ÿ™‚

      1. Funny, I never thought of it before, but you’re right. LOL!
        I remember back when I was in my late teens, a kid that I started dating aspired to become a cop. That evening, I broke it off with him. I was such a rebel. ๐Ÿ™‚

        1. My Dad wanted me to become a cop and l was like YOU are joking and turn out like you, no way.

          Of course back then that was a very negative view of the police, as there are a few good coppers out there. it was more of the rebelliousness of not wanting to follow in his footsteps. ๐Ÿ™‚

          So once more same club thinking ๐Ÿ™‚

          Rebels Rock!

  2. Oh yeah…I have a severe underbite, which is is usually mistaken for a severe overbite, so you can imagine what I got called through my entire school career (minus university; I went later in life and then went the online route for my degrees).

    I used to eat lunch in the school library because the bullies never looked for me there. If it was just one bully to contend with, I’d stand up to them, developed a keen talent for scaring the hell out of them by looking “through them” rather than at them so didn’t end up doing a lot of fighting. But the packs of them were a different story, and that I did my best to avoid altogether.

    By my second year of high school I was wearing a .45 caliber bullet on a cord around my neck, and a .22 made into an earing in one ear, a peace sign earring in the other. This was before the mass shootings in schools here in the U.S. took off so I managed to get through two high schools without getting suspended or expelled over the jewelry, Eventually that and wearing black all the time, caused most of the classmates to back off anyway.

    As for home life, well….not much better. My parents divorced when I was 2-3, both remarried abusive spouses, divorced them around 5 and 8, then got married again, Dad married his second wife twice, then they got divorced again, the both of them when I was 16. My Dad was actually a decent man, he just worked 2-3 jobs most of his life supporting the family so didn’t see the abuse wife number 2 was doing. To be fair, she was severely abused as a child herself so from her perspective, she wasn’t being abusive at all. My Mom was abused too so decided to be absent a good chunk of my childhood, coming back in again when I was a teen, and did the best she could after that.

    1. It’s strange though, both my parents also came from abusive backgrounds and whilst my Mother wasn’t so much as abused but constantly in Foster homes due to neglectful parents she did try, she sometimes simply forgot to always be a good parent.

      1. ~Nods~ it all comes down to how much someone understands that behavior is off relative to environment I think. My ex-stepmother seemed to really believe she was doing right by us by over-discipline including backhanding us into walls. She didn’t know any better really. As a kid, I grew up pretty angry at her but as an adult, I also remember her telling us stories of when she was growing up, raised in part by a grandmother because her mother abandoned her, and a schizophrenic cousin that would beat and terrorize both her and her cousin. Eventually she was adopted by some family friends but they too were of that generation where “children are seen but not heard” and nobody thought twice about hitting a kid for looking at them the wrong way.

  3. I can relate to this my home life was a mees and school was a mees delling with the bully’s all the time.


  4. A very tough childhood for you. And yet you are such a caring human being. A great revenge on those who were uncaring and cruel.

  5. I spent a week being followed around by a group of girls calling me ‘slut, whore, tramp’…etc. I had no idea what started it at the time. I later found out it was because I kissed a guy I met at a concert and one of the girls liked him and wanted him for herself.
    I didn’t say anything at home because I was best seen and not heard. Better not to be seen either.

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