When you think about school bullies, you think about the big, tough guy who does sports all the time and could knock you out with his hands behind his back. Or maybe the beautiful girl who has a posse of friends and could ruin you with a single text sent en masse. But as far as bullying goes, they're both outdated, past their prime, practically tame. There's a new type of bully on the rise: the nerdy bully.

They look sweet and harmless, the sort of kids who end up on the receiving end of the bullying. They're polite to the teachers and always do their homework on time, usually earlier than that. They are overlooked completely by authority, and that's just what they need to be able to turn on their fellow students. These students are lambasted for being stupid, for not understanding things, for being slow. "I never knew you understood so little about this," they'd say. "Perhaps we should find something simpler for you to do." And the people around you would giggle and laugh and whisper as you felt your face heat up. They also get by in school by being a tattletale and supplying the teachers with juicy dirt on everyone. Nobody was safe from them.

These days, nobody wants to look stupid. They don't put too much emphasis on being the strongest or the prettiest, so the tough guy and the pretty girl are slowly dying out as the image for stereotypical bullies. But intelligence is something everyone wants, and it's because unlike beauty and muscles, it can't be faked and it won't go away. Blemishes are covered up with cosmetics and natural beauty fades, and muscles can be achieved by steroids and will slowly dissipate with age and lack of use. But you can't fake knowledge. Everyone knows that.

But that's enough about nerd bullies. Let's zoom in on one particular nerd bully called Martin, and how he got taken down.

It all started with Bradley, the new kid. Bradley was a genius. Not just someone who gets straight A's throughout the year like Martin (but he did get all A's), an actual inventor genius who brings a backpack with a jetpack inside and shoes with springs inside. Bradley is the sort of person who can't do the school science fair, not because he finds it hard, but because the last time that happened, one of his drones 'accidentally' lifted the wig off the really strict P.E. teacher's head. And then 'accidentally' left it on top of the school flagpole. Now nobody can take it down because there are birds nesting in it and according to preservation of nature laws, you can't take down a bird's nest while there are birds nesting in it. They suspended Bradley for three days and his parents grounded him, but he was everyone's hero. And Martin hated how everyone liked Bradley.

Martin began picking on Bradley a little more than he would pick on everyone. No, a lot more than anyone else. Martin focused on Bradley like a laser. He would tease the guy for, of all things, being dumb (Bradley's IQ was easily above genius level) and called him 'pizza boy' because Bradley's uncle owned a pizza place. Apparently, he thought that we would think that was funny. It just made everyone think he was so lucky because his uncle would let him have free pizza if he asked. A few times , Bradley's uncle sent pizza to our class at the end of term. But Martin was willing to skip over the good parts to focus on the bad things. And he loved to taunt Bradley about his uncle's pizza business. As far as Martin was concerned, anyone who had to work with food, and particularly junk food, was at the bottom of the social pecking order.

"Hey, pizza boy," Martin smiled, as he waltzed over to Bradley. He completely ignored the other students glowering at him. "Do you have a stuffed crust pepperoni pizza for me? And is there a genius discount I can put on that?" He laughed unkindly. Everyone turned away from him.

"It's people like you that get what they deserve," I muttered. "And I hope it happens really soon."

"Martin, you're being rather rude and I would like you to leave me alone," Bradley told him. "And my uncle's pizza business is not something I want to hear you talk about."

"Oh, you're trying to tell me what I can and can't talk about now?" Martin growled. "Why don't you mind your own business, genius?"

"You say that like it's a bad thing," Bradley pointed out, as he fiddled with his backpack. Rocket boosters and metallic wings thrust themselves out of the sides of the backpack and allowed the bag to hover above the desk. The other students whispered about how cool it was, and Martin lost his mind.

"Why do you morons think he's so cool?" Martin shrieked. "Look at him, sitting there with his robot backpack and sketching plans for inventions! I don't know why you like him, but you won't like him anymore by Friday!" (It was Monday.) Then he stormed out, smiling evilly.

"This is not going to end well," Bradley remarked. "But I'll be fine."

"What do you mean?" I asked. Bradley grinned.

"You'll figure it out," he replied.


Friday came, and Bradley got a nasty surprise. All his stuff was on the floor, and as he picked it up, he realized that a very important memory stick (which was probably full of invention plans and notes) was gone. The whole class helped him look for the memory stick, except for Martin, who sat there pretending not to notice anything. We weren't too bothered by it; we could look for it later, anyway.

We did our best to reassure Bradley as we filed into assembly, but today was about to get much worse. Martin, of all people, was holding up a memory stick that had Bradley's initials on it nice and clear. Martin had stolen from Bradley and was holding the stolen items in front of the whole school! This was a whole new low. As the principal droned on, his bald spot being consistently exposed by the fan near the window, Bradley stopped freaking out. He was as calm and collected as he always is. Then Martin began an announcement. It was usually long and rambling, but for once, it was pretty short.

"Ladies and, gentlemen," Martin began, "I shall start the assembly like no other for you, with things nobody has ever seen before . . . about your very own, oh-so-precious Bradley. I hope you like it." He inserted the memory stick into his computer, and a video began to play. But it wasn't about Bradley, like he said. The videos all contained Martin.

The school tattletale and bully turned ghostly white as all his dirty laundry was aired out for the whole school to see. Students of all ages got to see him taunt Bradley's uncle's business, call other students dumb, insult the teachers and even make jokes about the principal, which were, in all honesty, shocking. Bradley's smile became bigger with every video shown, as everyone's jaws dropped at Martin's behaviour. Eventually, the video ended with a clip of Bradley smiling into a camera.

"Hello, Martin! Yes, it's me, pizza boy, or as I am actually called, Bradley," the recording chuckled. "I know you think I've got invention blueprints and notes and a few embarrassing fails on here, but it's all about you. And before you say that I did something illegal, we have a one-party consent rule around here, and I don't need to ask you if you want to be recorded. If you're really smarter than me, you'll watch this before showing the school and then destroy the memory stick. I know you probably haven't done that. We're probably watching this in school right now! With that said, goodbye, Martin!"

The clip ended, and everyone lost their minds. Of course Bradley of all people would be smart enough to trick Martin into ruining his reputation in such a spectacular fashion. Martin went from being smug and sure of himself to a screaming, red-faced tantrum-throwing toddler. Bradley looked at him curiously, as if he'd never seen anything like it before. And he really hadn't. Nobody had. This tattletale bully was officially out of control.

"NOOO! THIS WASN'T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN! STUPID, STUPID, PIZZA BOY!" Martin screeched, stomping his foot like a baby. He didn't notice our principal, who'd had more than enough of Martin by now. He was a nice guy, but could look really scary when he had to be. He placed a hand on Martin's shoulder and loudly cleared his throat. Martin stopped screaming immediately and froze.

"Martin, I'd like to see you in my office," he said simply. "I need to talk to you." Martin hung his head as he was taken away to the principal's office for attempting to bully another student and stealing from another student. The entire hall was silent. We couldn't help it. But then one kid cheered, and that set everyone else off. The teachers couldn't stop us, and the assembly ended with Bradley being carried back to class like a hero. Martin, however, wasn't seen for the rest of the day, which nobody minded too much. It was just icing on the cake, really.


When Martin came back from a three-day suspension, he was still sour. But there was one very noticeable, very nice change in him. Whenever he saw Bradley, he would make sure to stay very quiet. But the best part was probably when his parents stepped in to help. His parents turned out to be very apologetic, eager to help in any way they could, and very, very angry with their son for behaving like that to his classmates and teachers, and especially Bradley, someone they saw as 'such a sweet boy'. And they decided to see Bradley in person to apologize on behalf of their son and assure him that Martin will be punished very severely for this, with groundings and being banned from the playground and extra homework for the rest of the year.

But Bradley was sure none of that was necessary, so long as Martin issued a public apology to the whole school and also volunteered at a local charity event in a week's time doing whatever Bradley wanted. His parents thanked him profusely and left. We tried to get him to tell us what he meant, but he refused to talk. We tried just about everything, and he kept his mouth firmly shut about all of it. Everyone else was a little frustrated, but Martin was just about losing his mind. He would beg Bradley, the 'pizza boy' for any information at all, but Bradley wouldn't say a thing. So once the charity event started, Martin was a bundle of nerves when the day came and he had to find out exactly what he had to do.

"What do you want me to do today?" Martin asked, terrified. The kid he used to call 'pizza boy' had every reason to make his life hell for a day. "Is it going to hurt?"

"I don't like you, but I'm not going to hurt you, Martin," Bradley told him. "That's just horrible! I have an idea that will get plenty of money for charity." They went over to a set of wooden stocks that looked very strong. Martin gulped, blushing as a man locked him into the stocks and brought out buckets filled with cold water and paint balloons and a bin bag with holes in.

"What are all these for?" Martin whimpered.

"Those are things to throw at you, of course," the man explained. "Why do you think there are cold sponges and paint here? And the bin bag is so you can stay here and not get wet and paint-covered." Martin gulped.

"How long is this supposed to be?" Martin asked.

"Five hours, because that's how long the event is," the man smiled. "Why are you here, anyway, kid?"

"I had to do this or be grounded for a year and banned from everything," Martin confessed.

"Oh, is that so?" he replied. "Well, you're going to wish you had taken the first option once this is done. Most people do." Then he placed a sign next to the stocks holding Martin, which said:

Cold sponges: $1.00

Paint balloon: $2.00

Both: $2.75

"Bye, Martin!" Bradley smiled, as he walked away. Martin gulped with terror as a few students searched themselves for money. He realized he was finally getting his just desserts, and they were long, long overdue. And with every projectile thrown at him, Martin began to regret his time as a school bully more and more.


And that, boys and girls, was how a kid who was once called pizza boy took the school bully down.