Scut Farkus: What a rotten name. Finished with puberty before his peers knew what it meant, likely tortured by some unseen demons, delighted when inflicting pain and fear, with a cackle that could curdle blood, the bully from A Christmas Story reminded us of every schoolyard tormentor we'd ever cried over, taken beatings from and tried desperately to avoid.
"There was a kid who used to call me 'Zack-Zack-the-River-Rack,'" said actor Zack Ward, who played Scut in the holiday classic. "I don't know what a river rack is, but the way he did it made me so mad that even today if someone called me a river rack---Ahhh!"
The man who played Scut 30 years ago no longer sports either a Davy Crockett cap or a mouthful of metal, but remains very familiar with the power a bully can wield.
"My name was Zack," Ward said. "I had red hair. I didn't play hockey. I grew up in Canada. I got beat up quite a bit."
And now, for the anniversary of Scut Farkus' silver-screen debut, Ward the actor's raising money to stop real bullying.
"I thought it would be funny to use Scut Farkus as a lightning rod for conversation," Ward said, "and I figured comedy breeds compassion and -- I don't know -- we could help some kids not get bullied or something."
Ward wants to collect at least $10,000 and then write a check to the school the American Teachers Education Guide says sees the most bullying (according to Ward, that group tracks such things), making donating to Ward's cause the most satisfying experience involving Scut Farkus since Ralphie bloodied the bully's face for the first time 30 years ago.