Chapter 2 of 4 – Fourth-grader JoJo has become the victim of bullying by the sixth-grade gang known as the Bully B’s: Bob, Bo, and Bill. JoJo’s mission is to discover a way to deal with them in a positive manner before they decide to beat him up again.
- Click here to return to Story chapters 1-4 links: JoJo and the three Bully B’s to see the previous chapter in this story.
Chapter 2 - JoJo learns Tommy’s secret
After school on Friday, JoJo went to hang out at his best friend’s house. Suddenly, JoJo got an idea. He asked, “Tommy?”
Tommy said, “Yeah, JoJo?”
JoJo asked, “How come the Bully B’s have never bothered you? What’s your secret?”
Tommy said, “It’s because I laugh and smile and joke around a lot. As my Mom always tells me, ‘If you act like a victim, you’ll bring out the bully in them every time.’”
JoJo asked, “What do you mean, act like a victim?”
Tommy said, “When my Mom was in third grade, she got punched in the stomach almost every day at recess by these two tough guys.”
JoJo asked, “Did she tell on ‘em?”
Tommy said, “Yeah, she told on them all right. But nobody believed her ‘cuz those bullies were real careful to make sure the teachers never saw. Of course, my Mom cried and carried on. My Mom explains it in kind of a funny way. She says that as long as she kept dancing the ‘victim dance’, those two tough guys couldn't help but dance the ‘bully dance’.”
JoJo said, “That is kind of weird. So what happened?”
Tommy said, “My Mom’s big brother kept telling her over and over, ‘Sal, you have to force yourself not to cry. You need to stand up straight and tall. You need to force yourself to look them in the eyes. And you need to laugh, like it is so funny that they’re punching you in the stomach. No matter how much your stomach hurts, Sal, you gotta laugh.’”
JoJo asked, “Did she?”
Tommy said, “Yep! And believe it or not, they first started hitting her softer and softer. Then when she kept on laughing, they eventually got bored and stopped hitting her altogether. So that’s the secret, JoJo. I laugh and smile, no matter how I truly feel inside. Doing that keeps me off the Bully B’s radar screen, and they leave me alone.”
JoJo thought for a while. Then he asked, “So what kind of dance would you call it when you remember to stand up straight, look ‘em in the eyes, and smile and laugh even when you’re feeling scared or sad?”
Tommy said, “Well, uh, I guess you’d call it the … WAIT FOR IT! Since it takes lots of courage to do all that, maybe you could call it doing ... the ‘Hero Dance’.”
JoJo said, “I like that! The ‘Hero Dance’!”
Chapter 2A: JoJo’s home practice session
After JoJo got home, he stood in front of the mirror.
He practiced standing up straight and tall.
He pretended to look other people in the eyes.
He practiced smiling and laughing. He even told himself some corny jokes.
By the time he was through, he was feeling much more confident and hopeful.
Chapter 2B: JoJo and Bill at Ryan’s Dessert Bar
That night, he and his Mom went to Ryan’s for dinner. He was standing by the dessert bar when … dun-dun-dunnnnn … Bully Bill walked over.
Bill said, “Nice shiner, shrimp!”
JoJo remembered to stand up straight and tall. He looked Bill right in the eyes. Then he forced himself to smile and chuckle as he said, “Yeah, it’s a little present I got from some friends of mine.
Do you think it makes me look like a raccoon? Or maybe a pirate or a one-eyed bandit? What do you think, Bill? Does it?”
Bill just stared, grabbed a dessert, and then walked off. JoJo thought, “That’s one for the home team! It really does help to be funny! Doing the hero dance works great!”
- Click here to read Chapter 3 of 4 - JoJo and the three Bully B’s
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