Yes, the sad reality, to reiterate,
was the fact that Boot Nut caught a hell of a lot of sh** just for the sin of
being a little different than the rest.
Regardless, and though knowing this, Davey found himself babbling profuse apologies in Boot Nut's general direction, hoping to assuage any angst that would be directed into potential violent acts against Davey's person.
Davey had fear of pain as well as losing face!
In such perilous moments, the aforementioned “fight or flight” response is firmly invoked, which, to the uninitiated, is explained thoroughly in this Wikipedia entry as follows: