Gym Teacher Secretly Hates Nerds

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Issue 3827

Ex-Girlfriend Flashback Leaves Man Paralyzed In Produce Aisle

MITCHELL, SD— Alex Borland, 26, was paralyzed by a ginger-root-triggered ex-girlfriend flashback in the produce aisle of his local supermarket Monday. "Excuse me, sir... Excuse me," a fellow shopper told Borland, who was lost in memories of the day last December when he and then-girlfriend Jill Weston bought ginger root for an Oriental salad they later prepared at Weston's apartment. "I'm trying to get to the kiwis. Would you please move? Hello?"

Panhandler Demands Explanation For Failure To Provide Quarter

ATLANTA— Local panhandler John "Jolly Jack" Sabourin angrily insisted that pedestrian Bruce DiCostanzo explain his failure to spare 25 cents Monday. "Why not?" an indignant Sabourin asked after being turned down. "Why you don't gimme no quarter?" After explaining that he had no change on him and that he was sorry, DiCostanzo walked two blocks before realizing he'd just apologized for not handing free money to a complete stranger.

World's Last Bob Hope Fan Dies Of Old Age

JEFFERSON CITY, MO— Vic Wilmot, 97, the world's last Bob Hope fan, died in his sleep Monday, finally rendering the long-endangered species extinct. "He was always going on about some guy called Bob Hope," said great-grandson Clint, 22. "I'm not sure, but it sounded like he was some sort of actor." In the past 12 months, more than a dozen species of fandom have become extinct, including the Katharine Hepburn Fan, the Mickey Rooney Fan, and the Red Buttons Fan.

Man As Surprised As Anyone That He Knows All The Members Of 'N Sync

ORDWAY, CO— Craig Bulone is "as surprised as anyone" that he can name all the members of 'N Sync, the 31-year-old reported Monday. "There's Justin, that's Lance... J.C., Joey... and I'm pretty sure that last one is Chris," said Bulone, watching an 'N Sync video on MTV with roommate Todd Campa. "Jesus Christ. Did I just name all five members of 'N Sync?" Bulone remains unaware that he knows all the words to Chad Kroeger's "Hero."

Orphanage Director Pushing Asian Orphans

AMES, IA— Plagued with a surplus, St. Joseph Orphanage director Ann Rath has been pushing Asian orphans to prospective adoptive parents. "This is Mi Ling—isn't she pretty?" said Rath, introducing Bonnie and Paul Fisher to one of the 40-bed orphanage's 27 Asian children. "Or, if you'd prefer a boy, we have Tan Dinh. He's crazy about baseball." The Fishers, who were hoping for a Russian girl, told Rath they would "think it over"—the fifth time a couple has done so in the past week.
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Gym Teacher Secretly Hates Nerds

SIOUX FALLS, SD—In spite of a professional obligation to treat all P.E. students equally, Thorpe High School gym teacher Brad Malanga, 37, secretly hates the unathletic nerds whose forebears he bullied and ridiculed back in his own school days.

The nerd-hating Malanga.

"Pathetic," said Malanga, eyeing a trio of honors students huddled in the corner during dodgeball Monday. "It's just like it was when I was in school. There are always a few kids who refuse to make any effort in gym class. These kids become magnets for teasing because of their bad attitude. If they weren't such wimps, they'd win more respect, but they never change."

Added Malanga, under his breath: "Buncha pussies."

Though he would never admit to doing so, Malanga looks the other way when nerdy students are teased and harassed by the more popular "jocks." He also tends to focus his attention and teaching efforts on a few select individuals whose athletic potential makes them prime candidates for varsity sports.

"[Sophomore Chad] Shelby definitely has the goods to be a wide receiver, and I'm really pushing for him to go out for track next spring, too," Malanga said. "[Freshman] Kim Kause has got the same hustle that made her brother Mike the best point guard in THS basketball history. Very excited about her. And [freshman Kurt] Winters is a natural-born wrestler. Can't wait to see what he can do with another 15 pounds of muscle on that frame. If that happens, we could be going all the way to State next year. He's that good."

Malanga failed to make any mention of sophomore Joshua Kiesler, who throws softballs backwards; junior Hugh Howell, who cannot clear a hurdle; and freshman Tricia Wasserstein, whose epileptic seizure during a volleyball game last September relegates her mostly to the sidelines.

Malanga, who grew up in Sioux Falls, is a 1983 graduate of Thorpe. Earning letters in football, basketball, and baseball, he has always had an interest in physical education. He has also always had an interest in terrorizing students who prefer science to sports.

"Yeah, well, you know, boys will be boys," said Malanga when asked about a 1982 incident in which, as a high-school junior, he administered a locker-room "swirlie" to Westinghouse Prize winner Howie Krumholtz. "Man, I forgot all about that. I sure was a live one back then."

Malanga attended Yankton College, where he majored in physical education. Believing that physical fitness was the best way to instill confidence and self-esteem in young people—and eager to repent for his poor treatment of nerds in high school—Malanga vowed to become "the kind of P.E. teacher who reaches out to all students."

"I had so many ideas, and for those first few months after I returned to Thorpe, I implemented a lot of them," Malanga said. "Extra-credit intramural sports teams. Remedial after-school gym classes for kids who needed a little more attention. I even gave more responsibilities to the shy kids, like keeping track of the equipment or collecting towels for the laundry cart."

Yet Malanga became disillusioned when he discovered that the unathletic students he wanted to help were often "unwilling to help themselves."

"I had to discontinue the after-school classes because nobody came," Malanga said. "I heard it was because the kids who needed them didn't want to be branded as dorks. Well, I was trying to prevent them from becoming dorks in the first place, but they just didn't get it."

Malanga said his resentment of the school's more academically oriented students only deepened over time. Of this year's crop, Malanga is particularly critical of senior and National Merit Scholar David Chang.

"I've hardly seen Ching [sic] this semester, since he keeps weaseling out of class to participate in his Science Olympiad team," Malanga said. "The guy can't even do a push-up; I guess fitness just isn't as important as some big science prize. And I can't make him stay after class, either, because he's taking some extra-credit college-level calculus course. See what I mean? Absolutely no sense of commitment among these kids."

In spite of his efforts to mask his preference for athletes, Malanga has earned the dual distinction as one of the most and least popular teachers at Thorpe. Depending on the student, "Mr. M" or "Malangaloid" is either a trusted friend or a hated foe.

"Last Friday, Mr. M took a bunch of us to a non-conference Fighting Sioux [hockey] game, and then out to Domino's [Pizza] afterwards," said 15-year-old Bryce Donovan, one of the stars of Thorpe's junior-varsity swim team. "He's the bomb!"

"I'll never forgive him for making me stay up on the rope until I climbed to the top," said 16-year-old aspiring paleontologist Joe Wagner. "I was up there for almost 20 minutes, struggling to get more than a few feet off the ground before he finally said I could get down. The whole class was pointing and laughing at me as I tried to lift myself up. And the whole time, [Malanga] just stood there all smug and satisfied, like he was teaching me some important life lesson. I can't tell you how humiliating it was. Malangaloid is a total bastard."

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