LOVELAND, Colo. — An eighth-grader from Colorado has found a way to instantly stop other kids from bullying him: wear a t-shirt from a local martial arts academy.
Chase Balzac, the preferred target of ridicule and random acts of petty violence among eighth-graders at Walt Ball Middle School, got the free shirt when his mother signed him up for self-defense courses at a martial arts school nearly a week ago. He has since worn the t-shirt everyday and is now considered the most feared student in the whole school.
“I was about to trip [Balzac’s] clumsy ass, like I do every day when he waddles past my locker before second-period Spanish class, but I got scared that students from his dojo or whatever would swing down from the ceiling and beat me senseless,” said Brian Montgomery, 14, who for the last four years has mercilessly taunted Balzac for his first name, last name, or sometimes both names.
Christian Pinkerton, a bulky, twice-held-back fellow student who enjoys using Balzac’s unkempt hair as a target for spitballs, wads of chewing gum and paperclips, says that he has decided to give up his favorite lunchtime activity — seeing how many crumbs of food he can land on Balzac’s head before the friendless teen breaks down into a fit of sobs and weird animal noises.
“What if I piss him off, and he does a roundhouse kick to my head and gets me in some kind of jiu-jitsu hold and crushes my throat?” Pinkerton said. “It’s time I find some other nerd to pick on.”
Gym teacher Martin Dreadskill, 39, himself a former bully who enjoys drawing attention to Balzac’s flabby pecs and comical lack of physical grace, says that he’ll have to treat the miserable excuse for an American male more gingerly, lest the pudgy kid known mostly for reciting Weird Al lyrics in a falsetto voice make an example of the 223-pound teacher made of pure muscle.
“I had a pretty good run, making fun of that little lardass,” Dreadskill said. “But it’s the end of an era, unless I want to invite the wrath of a Mr. Miyagi type who’ll show after school one day and knock me on my ass in front of the whole wrestling team.”