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Vf'mpy Kiel 


ty Jeff Kihhcy 




First of all, let me get Something straight-' 'TV»«S 
is a JOURNAL, not a diary. X know what it 
says on the cover, tut when horn went out to 
buy this thing X SPECIFICALLY told her to 
get one that didn’t Say "diary" on it. 

Great. AH X need is for Some jerk to catch me 

The other thing X want to clear u^> right away 
is that this was MOM’s idea, not mine. 

But if she thinks X’m going to write down my 
"feelings" in here or whatever, she’s crazy, 
just don’t expect me to be all "Pear Piary’ this 
and "Pear Piary” that. 

XHe ohly reason X agreed +o do +His a+ all is 
because X -figure la+er oh wHeh X*m ricH ahd 
famous, XU Have be++er +Hihgs +o do +H»a»n 
ahswer people's s+u^id questions all day long. So 

Like X said, XU be famous ohe day, but for how 
X'm S+uck ih middle ScHool wi+H a buhcH of morohs. 


Le+ me jost Say /or the record that X thihk 
middle school is the dombest idea ever invented. 
You <jot kids like p>e who haveht hit their 
growth sport yet- nixed in with these gorillas who 
need to shave -twice a day. 

And theh they wonder why bullying is soch a bi^ 
problem in middle school. 

X/ •+ was op +o me, ^rade levels woold be based 
on height-, ho+ a^e. Bot then a<jaih, X ^oess 
that woold mean kids like Chira^ Gopta woold 
still be in the -first ^rade. 

Today is 4* fi'rs+ Jay of school, ahd righ+ how 
were jus+ wai+ihg arouhd for +ke Teacher +o hurry 
u^> ahd fihish 4>e sea-hhg chart. So X figured X 
might as well write ih th<S took to ^)ass the time. 

By the way, le+ me give you Some good advice. Oh 
the first day of school, you got to te real careful 
where you si+. You walk ih+o the classroom ahd jus+ 
fluhk your stuff dowh oh ahy old desk ahd the 
hext fnihg you khow the teacher is sayihg— 


So ih this class, X go+ s+uck with Chris Hosey ih 
froht of me ahd Liohel James ih tack of me. 

Jason Brill came in late ahd almost sat to ry 
ri^ht, but luckily I stored that from ha^enin^ 
at the Iasi second. 

Mext period, X should just sit in the middle of a 
bunch of hot ^irls as soon as X step in the 
room. But X ^uess if 1 do that, it just proves 
X didn't learn an^thin^ from last ^ear. 

Man, X don’t know WHAT is up with girls these 
Jays. Xt used +o fee a whole lo+ simpler back in 
elementary school. "The deal was, if you were the 
fastest runner in your class, you got all the girls. 

And in -the •fifth grade, the -fastest runner was 
Connie McCoy. 

c? C> 19 ° 

Nowadays, it’s a whole lot more complicated. Now 
it’s about the kind of clothes you wear or how 
rich you are or if you have a cute butt or whatever. 
And kids like Ronnie McCoy are scratching their 
heads wondering what the heck happened. 

Xhe most popular boy in my grade is Bryce 
Anderson. "The thing that really stinks is that 
X have ALWAYS been into girls, but kids like 
Bryce have only come around in the last couple 
of years. 

X remember how Bry< 
elemeh+ary school. 

ac+ back ii 

Bu+ of course how X doh’+ ge+ ahy credii for 
s+ickihg wi+h +he girls all this +ime. 

Like X said, Bryce is +he mos+ popular kid ih our 
grade, so +ha+ leaves all -the res+ of us guys 
scramblihg for +he o+her S^>o+S. 

Xhe bes+ X cah figure is +ha+ X’m somewhere 
arouhd 52hd or 53rd mos+ yofular -this year. 
Bu+ -the good hews is +ha+ X’m abou-t +o move 
u^> ohe S^>o+ because Charlie Pavies is above me, 
ahd he’s ge++ihg his braces he#+ week. 

X -try +o ex^laih oil +K.S po^ularrty sWf +o my 
friend Rowley (wKo is probably Kovering rigKt 
around +Ke 150 mark, by +Ke way), bu+ X +Kink 
i+ juS+ goes in one ear and ou+ +Ke o-tKer wrtK Kin. 


Today we Kad PKys E-d, so 
did wKen X go+ ou+side was 

+Ke firs+ +King X 
sneak off +o +Ke 

baske+ball coori +o see if +Ke CKeese was s+ill 

+Kere. And Sure enougK, i+ was. 

That piece of Cheese h«s been sitting oh the 
blacktop since last spring. I guess it must’ve 
propped out of someone’s sandwich or something. 
Af+er a couple of Jays, the Cheese started gettihg 
all moldy and nasty. Mobody would play basketball on 
the court where the Cheese was, even though that 
was the only court that had a hoop with a net. 

"Then one day, this kid named Parren Vlalsh 
touched the Cheese with his finger, and that’s 
what started this thing called the Cheese Touch. 
It’s basically like the Cooties. If you get the 
Cheese Touch, you’re stuck with it until you 
pass it on to someone else. 

The only way to protect yoorst\f from the 
Cheese Touch is to cross your fingers. 

But its not tKat easy remembering to keep your 
fingers crossed every moment of tKe day. X ended 
up taping mine togetKer so tKey’d stay crossed 
all tKe time. X 30 + a P in Kandwr.tng, but i+ 
was totally wortK it. 

XKis one kid named Abe Hall got tKe CKeese 
X>ucK in April, and nobody would even come near 
kiim for tKe rest of tKe year. XKis summer Abe 
moved away +0 California and -took tKe CKeese 

"loueK witK Kim. 

X just Kope someone doesn't start tKe CKeese 
ToucK up again, because X don’t need tKat kind 
of s+ress in my life anymore. 


XVn KaVing a seriously Kard time getting used 
+0 +Ke fact tKat summer is over ahd X KaVe to 
get out of bed every morning to go to scKool. 

My summer did not exactly get off to a great 
start, tKanks to my older brotKer Rodrick. 


A couple of days ih+o summer vaca+ioh, Rodrick 
woke me up ih +he riddle of +he high"t. He +old 
me X slepi -through +he whole Summer, bu+ +ha+ 
luckily X woke up jus+ ih time for +he first 
day of School. 

You mi^ht thihk X was pre+ty dumb for fallihg 
for that one, but Rodrick was dressed up ih his 
School clothes ahd he set my alarm clock ahead to 
make i+ look like it was the morhih^. Plus, he 
closed my cur+aihs so X couldh’t see that it was 
s+ill dark ou+. 

After Rodrick woke me up, X Just 30 + dressed ahd 
weht dowhs+airs +0 make myself some breakfast, 
like X do every mofhih^ oh a school day. 


Bu+ X guess I muS+ KaVe made a f>re++y kig 
racked kecause +Ke hcx+ +k»iv\g X khew, Pad was 
dowhs+airs, yellihg a+ me for ea+ihg CKeerios a+ 
3:00 ih +Ke morhihg. 

X+ took me a mihute +o figure out wKa+ +Ke Keck 
was goihg oh. 

After X did, X told Pad +Ka+ Rod rick K«d 
flayed a +nck oh rne, ahd WE was +Ke ohe tK<»t 
sKould ke get+ihg yelled a+. 

Pad walked dowh to +Ke kasemeh+ +o cKew 
Rodrick out, ahd X tagged alohg. X couldht 
wai+ +o see Rodrick ge+ wKa+ was eomihg +o Kim. 


But Rod rick covered uj> V>»'s tracks pretty good. 
A*">d +o this day, £m sore Pad thinks X've 
30+ a screw loose or something. 


Today at school we got assigned +0 reading grooms. 

They don’t come right oot and tell you i-f 

C re in the Gifted group or the fc-asy group, 
yoo can ■figure it oot right away by looking 
at the covers 0/ the books they hand oot. 


X was pretty disappointed +o find ooi X 30+ 
pot in ike Gifted 3rooj> ( because +k«i jost means 
a lot of extra worlc. 

VJken ikey did tke screen^ at ike end of last 
year, X did my best +0 make Sore X 30+ pot in 
tke E-asy groop tkis year. 

Mom is real +13K+ w.ik oor principal, so XU bet 
ske stepped in and made sore X 30+ po+ in ike 
Gifted 3 r oop a<jaih. 

Mom is always sayin3 Xm a smart kid, tot ikai 
X jost don't "apply" myself. 


but if theres one thing X learned from Rod rich, 
its to Set people’s expectations real low so you 
end up surprising them by practically doing 
nothing at all. 

Ac+ually, X'm kihd of glad my plah -to ge+ pu+ 
ih +ke Easy group didh‘+ work. 

X Saw a couple of +ke "Biink Says Boo" kids 
koldihg +keir kooks upside dowh, ahd X doh’+ 
•tkihk +key were joking. 


Vlell, +he frs+ week of school is finally over, so 
+oday X slep+ ih. 

MoS+ kids wake up early oh Sa+urday -to wa+ck 
cartoohS or wka+ever, kvt ho+ me. ike ohly reasoh 
X ge+ ou+ of ked a+ all oh weekehds is kecause 
eVeh+ually, X cah+ s+ahd +ke ias+e of my owh 
krea+k ahymore. 


Unfortunately, Pad wakes up a+ 6-'00 ih the 
morhihg ho matter WMAT day of the week rt¬ 
f's, and he is hot real cohsiderate of the fact 
that X an tryihg to ehjoy my Saturday like 
a hormal person. 

X didn't have anything to do -today so X just 
headed up to Rowleys house. 

Rowley is technically ny best friehd, hut that is 
definitely subject to change. 

X’ve been aVo«dihg Rowley since the first day of 
school, when he did something that really 
annoyed ne. 

VJe were ge-H-ihg our s-tuff from our lockers a+ 
■+V>e ehd of +he day, ahd Rowley came up +o me 
ahd said— 

X have +old Rowley a+ leas+ a billioh +imes +ha+ 
how +ha+ were ih middle school, you re. supposed 
+o Say "hahg ou+,” ho+ "play.” Bu+ ho ma++er 
how mahy hooves X give him, he always /orge+s 
+he hex+ +ime. 

X ve fceeh -trylhg +o he a lo+ more careful at>ou+ 
my Image ever sihce X go+ +o middle school. But 
haVihg Rowley arouhd is de-fihi+ely ho+ helpihg. 

X me+ Rowley a few years ago wHen He moved 
in+o my neigHborHood- 

His mom bougH+ Kim +Kis took called "How +o 
hake Friends in Mew Places," and He came +o 
my House "trying all +Hese dumb gimmicks. 

X guess X kind of fel+ sorry for Rowley, and X 
decided +o +ake Him under my wing. 

X+’s been grea-t Having Him around, mos+ly because 
X ge+ +o use all +He -tricks Rodrick fulls on ME. 


hem tty 

You khow Kow X said X flay all Sor+s of pranks 
oh Rowley? VJell, X KaVe a little brotKer homed 
Mahhy, ahd X could NEVER ^et away witK 
fullihg ahy of tKat stu# oh Kim. 

Mom ahd Pad protect hahhy like Ke’s a frihee or 
sometKihg. Ahd Ke hever gets ih trouble, eVeh if 
Ke really deserves it. 

Yesterday, Mahhy drew a self-fortrait oh my 
bedroom door ih fermaheht marker. X tKougKt 
horn ahd Pad were really goihg to let Kim Kave 
it, but as usual, X was wrohg. 


Bu+ +Ke iKih^ +Ka+ bu<js me +Ke moS+ about 
Mah»y is tKe hickhame Ke Kas far me. VJKeh Ke 
was a bab^r, Ke couldht firohouhce "brotKer,” 
so Ke started calling me "Butty.” A^d Ke 
STILL calls me tKat how, eVeh tKougK I keep 
tryihg +o get Mom ah<J Pad to make Kim stop. 

Luckily hohe of ry •friehds Kave fouhd out ^et, 
but believe me, X KaVe Kad some really close calls. 

I I 

Mon notes ne Help Mahhy <je+ ready for scHool ih 
+He morhihg. Af+er X note Mahhy His treat fast, 
He carries His cereal towl ih+o +He family room arid 
si+s oh H<s plas+ic po-Hy. 

Ahd wHeh i+’s +ine for Hm +o 30 +0 day care, He 
ge+s up ahd dumps wHatever He didh‘+ ea+ ri^H+ ih 

+He +oile+. 


Mon is always ge-Hihg oh ne atou+ hot fihisHihg 
ny treatfast. But if sHe Had +0 scrape corh 
flates ou+ of +He to++om of a plas+ic po++y 
every morhihg, sHe wouldhi Have mucH of ah 
appe+i+e ei+Her. 



X dont know if X nentioned this before, but X 
an SUPER ^ood at Video ganes. X*ll bet X 
could beat ahyone in ny ^rade head-to-head. 

Unfortunately, Pad does not exactly appreciate 
ny skills. Hes always ^ettih^ on ne about ^oin^ 
out and doin^ sonethin^ "active." 

So tonight after dinner when Pad started 
hassling ne about going outside, X tried to 
explain how with video ganes, you can play sports 
like -football and soccer, and you dont even get all 
hot and sweaty. 


X m sore Pad would diSmah-He my game sys+em 
if he could figure oo+ how +o do i+. Bu+ luckily, 
+he people who make +hese -things make +hem 

E-Very time Pad kicks me out of tKe Koose to do 
SometK'hg sporty, X just go op to Rowley s and 
play my Video games tKere. 

Unfortunately, tKe only games X can play at 
Rowleys are car-racing games and stuff like tK<»t. 

Because whenever X bring a game up to Rowley s 
Koose, }vs dad looks it up on some parents’ Vieb 
site. And if my game Kas ANY kind of figKting 
or violence in it, Ke wont let us play. 

Xm getting a little sick of playing Formula One 
Racing witK Rowley, because Kes not a serious 
gamer like me. All tK«t you KaVe to do to beat 
Rowley is name your car sometKing ridiculous at 
tKe beginning of tKe game. 


Ahd theh when you pass Rowleys car, he just 
■falls +o pieces. 

A*yway, after X 30+ done mopping the floor 
with Rowley -today, X headed home. X rah 
through the neighbor's sprihkler a couple times +0 
make 1+ look like X was all sweaty, ahd that- 
seemed to do the trick for Pad. 

Bo+ my +nck kind of back •fired, because as Soon 
as Mod saw me, she made me go ups+airs and 
+ake a shower. 


X guess Pad r->us+ have been pre-Hy happy wi+h 
himself for waking me go ou+side yes+erday, 
because he did i+ again +oday. 

X+S getting really annoying +o have to go up to 
Rowley s every time X want to play a video game. 
"There’s this weird kid named Fregley who lives 
halfway be+ween my house and Rowley’s, and 
Fregley is always hanging out in his front yard. 
So its pretty hard to avoid him. 

fregley is ih py Phys E-d class a+ school , ahd he 
has +his whole nade-up lahguage. Like wheh he 
heeds +o go +o +h« ba+hroopi, he says— 

Us kids have pre-Hy noch /inured Fregley ov+ by 

"loday, X probably would have gohe up +o Cowleys 
oh py owh ahyway, because p«y broker Rodrick 
ahd his bahd were prac+icihg down ih -the basenehi. 


Rod rick's band is REALLY aw/ul, and X can’+ 

S+and bein^ hone when -they're having rehearsals. 

His band is called "Loaded Piaper," only i+'s 
swelled "Loded Piper" on Rodrick's Van. 

Yoo ni^h+ -think he spelled rt -fha-t way +o make i+ 
look cooler, bw+ X be+ if you +old Rodrick how 
"Loaded Piaper" is really spelled, i+ woold be news 
+o hin. 


Pad was against -the idea of Rodrick s+artin^ a 
band, birt Mon was all for i+. 

She’s -the one who bough"t Rodrick his firsi 
drwn se+. 


X think Mom has this idea that were all ^oin^ 

+o learn to play instruments and then become one 
of those ■family bands tike you see on TV. 

Pad really hates heavy me+al, and that's the 
kind of music Kodrick and his band play. X don’t 
think Mom really cares what Rod nek plays or listens 
to, because to her, all music is the same. Xn 
fact, earlier today, Rodrick was listening to one 
of his CPs in the family room, and Mom came in 
and started dancing. 

"That really bucked Rod rick, so he drove off to 
the store and cane back fifteen ninutes later Some headphones. And that pretty nuch 
+ook care of the problem. 


Yesterday Rodrick 30+ a new heavy netal CD, 
and it had one of those "Parental Vlarnin^’’ 
stickers on i+. 

X have never 30+ten +0 listen -to one of those 
Parental Vlaming CDs, because Mon and Pad never 
let ne buy then at the nail. So X realized the only 
way X was ^onna ^et a chance to listen to 
Rodrick’s CD was if X snuck it out of the house. 

"This noming, after Rodrick left, X called up Rowley 
and told hin to brin^ his CD player to school. 


'Tkeh X weh+ down +o Rod nek’s room and +ook 
+ke CD off kis rock. 

You’re ho+ allowed +o brih^ personal music placers 
+o sekool, so we kad +o wai+ +o use i+ uh+il af+er 
luhck wken +ke +eackers le+ us ou+side. As soon 
as we 30+ -tke ckance, me ahd Rowley shuck 
arouhd +ke back of +ke sekool ahd loaded up 
Rodricks CD. 

Bu+ Rowley for<jo+ +0 pu+ ba+teries ih k«s CD 
placer, so i+ was pre-Hy muck wor+kless. 

Xkeh X came up wi+k +kis ^rea-f idea for a 3ame. 
Xke object was +0 pu+ +ke keadpkohes oh your 
kead ahd -tkeh +ry +0 skake +kem off wl+kou+ 
uSih^ your k«hds. 


'TVkt winder was whoever could shake +he headphones 
off in +he shortest amount of time. 

1 had -the record with seven and a half seconds, 
kut X think X mi^ht have shook some of my 
fillings loose with that one. 

Ri^ht >n the middle of our ^ame, Mrs. Crai^ came 
around the comer and caught us red-handed- She 
+ook the music placer away from me and started 
chewing us ou+. 


But X ikihk ske kad tke wrong idea about wkat 
we were doing back tkere. SHe started telling us 
kow rock and roll is "evil" and kow its going to 
ruin our brains. 

X was going to tell ker ikai tkere weren't even 
any batteries in ike CD flayer, but X could tell ske 
didn't want to be interrupted. So X just waited 
until ske was done, and tken X said, "Yes, na an." 

But rigk+ wken Mrs. Craig was about to let us 
go, Rowley started blubbering about kow ke doesn't 
want rock and roll to ruin kis "brains.” 



Ylell, how I’ve ^ohe and done i+. 

Last ni^Kt, after everyone was ih ted, X Shock 
downstairs to listeh to Rodricks CD oh tKe 
stereo ih the family room. 

X pot Rodricks new headphones oh ahd cranked 
op tKe Volome REALLY high. XKeh X Kit "play.” 

first, let me Jost say X cah definitely understand 
wKy tKey pot that “Parental Ylamihg" sticker 
on tKe UD. 

Bot X only got to Kear atoot tKirty seconds of 
tKe first Sohg before X got ihterropted. 


X+ turns out X didn’t Have tHe HeadpHones plugged 
into tHe stereo. So tHe rnosic was actually comihg 

tHroo^H tHe SPEAKERS, not tHe Head^Ho^S. 

Pad nwrcHed ne uy +» ry room arid sHut tHe 
door beHind Hum, and tHen He Said— 

VJhenever Pad sa^s "friend" that w<y, ^ou know 
you're in trouble. The frst time Pad ever sa«J 
"friend" like that +o me, X didn’t get that he was 
being sarcastic. So X kind of let ry guard down. 

Tohight, Pad gelled at me for about ten minutes, 
and then X guess he decided he’d rather be in bed 
than standing in ry room in his underwear. He 
told me X was grounded from placing Video games 
for two weeks, which is about what X expected. 

X guess X should be glad that’s all he did. 

The good thing about Pad is that when he gets 
mad, he cools off real <^u<k, and then it's over. 


Usually, if you mess up in fom+ of Pad, He jus+ 
-tHrows wHa+eVer He’s 30+ in His Hands a+ you. 


Mom H«s a TOTALLY di#eren+ s-tyle wHen i+ 
comes +0 punisHmen+. Xf you mess up and Mom 
ca+cHes you, +He first +Hin^ sHe does is +0 take 
a ft w days +0 figure out wH«+ your punisHment 
sHould He. 


thills +o "try +o ^e+ off easier. 

, RECK OF IT? , 

/ WOW ^ 
V OF YOU? > 


"This video g<»me tan is a whole lo+ toother than 
I thought it would te. But a+ least I'm not the 
only one in the family who’s in trouble. 

Rodrick s in some hot water with Mom right now, 
+oo. Manny 30+ ahold of one of Rodrick's heavy 
me+al magazines, and one of +he pages had a 
picture of a woman in a bikini lying across +he 
hood of a car. And +hen Manny brought i+ in+o 
day care for show-and-+ell. 

Anyway, I don't +hink Mom was +00 happy about 
getting +ha+ phone call. 

I saw +he magazine myself, and i+ hones+ly wasn’t 
anything +0 get worked up over. But Mom doesnt 
allow that kind of stuff in the house. 


Rod rick’s punishment was that he had +o answer 
a hunch of questions Hon wrote out for Kin. 

u. o 

m+&g. A^yu. a. ZtttlA. ^M/lAoru. 


£U nvflj^x uou. errxytfc 
■popu&an. at AcKool ? 


Wour ijoa aAocot Aavo^p 
OUmixf. thill * A j f *' * “ ^rvoi^a^uYv^ 
mow ? 

X feel «JwmeJ* 

J0» I^ou. Aave ^OU. 

warn*. to- Acu^. £o- xtA»n*/T\. ^OT. 
AavCm^, ou rntd- xfvA. ©^t/nAuyt 


Im sorry women. 


I’m s+ill grounded Iron playih^ Video ^ames, so 
Mahry has beeh uSihg my sys+em. Mom weh+ ouf ahd 
fcoo^h+ a whole bohch of edoca+iohal video ^ames, 
ahd wa+chih^ Mahhy play +hem is like torture. 

The ^ood hews is that I finally figured out how 
+o ^et Some of my ^ames past Rowley s dad. I 
just put one of my discs in Manny’s PiscoVerin^ 
+he Alphabet" case, and +h«+’s all it +akes. 



A+ school today, they announced that Student 
government elections are coming uy. "To be honest 
with you, X’ve never had any interest in student 
government. But when I started -thinking about 
i+, X realized (jetting elected Treasurer could 
TOTALLY change my situation at school. 

A>vJ even better ... 

Mobody ever thinks about runhing for Treasurer, 
because all anyone ever cares about are the big- 
ticket positions like President and Vice President. 
So I -figure i-f I sign up tomorrow, the 
Treasurer job is pre-tty much mine for the taking. 


Today, X went and put my name on the list to 
run for Treasurer. Unfortunately, this kid named 
Marty Porter is running for Treasurer, too, and 
he’s real brainy at math. So this might not be as 
easy as X thought. 


X told Pad that X was ruhhih^ for student 
^overhmeht, and he seemed pretty excited. X+ 
toms oo+ he rah for s+odeh+ government wheh 
he was my a^e, ahd he actually woh. 

Pad do^ through some old boxes ih +he basement 
ahd foohd ohe of his campaigh posters. 





Frank Hefttey 

FOR ' 


X thought +he poster idea was pretty ^ood, so 
X asked Pad +o drive me +o +he s+ore +o get 
some Sollies. X loaded up oh poster board ahd 
markers, ahd X spent +he res+ of +he night 
makihg all my campaigh s+off. So le+s just hope 
these posters work. 



X krooni ny yos+ers ih +o school ioday, and X 
Have +o say, +Hey cane ou+ j>re-Hy ^ood. 


I started hanging my posters up as soon as I 
got in. But they were only up for about three 
minutes before Vice Principal Roy spotted them. 

Mr. Roy said you weren't allowed to write 
"fabrications" about the other candida+es. So I 
told Mr. Roy that the thing about +V>e head lice 
was true, and how it practically closed down +he 
whole school when i+ happened. 

But he took down all my pos+ers anyway. So -today, 
Marty Porter was going a round handing out- lollipops 
+o buy himself votes while my posters were si+ting at 
-the Dot-ton of Mr. Roys -trash can. I guess -this 
means ry political career is officially over. 


Vlell, ;+s finally October, and tkere are only 
tkirty days left until Halloween. Halloween is 
ry FAVORITE koliday, even tkougk Mom says 
Vm getting too old to 30 trick-or-treating 

Halloween is Pads favorite holiday, +00, but for 
a different reason. On Halloween nigkt, wkile 
all tke otker parents are kanding 00+ candy. 
Pad is kiding in +ke kuskes wi+k a big trask 
can ■foil of water. 

And if any teenagers pass by oor driveway, ke 
drenckes +kem. 

In hoi sore Pad really ohdersiahds +he cohce^>i 
of Halloweeh. Bui In hoi gohha be ihe ohe who 

"Tohighi was ihe o^ehihg highi of ihe Crosslahd 
H^h School hauhied house, ahd I goi Mon +o 
agree io take ne ahd Rowley. 

Rowley showed up a+ ry house wearihg h«s H“Howeeh 
cosiune front Iasi ^ear. Wheh I called hin earlier 
I iold hin io jusi wear regular cloihes, but of 
course he didh'i lisieh. 

I tried hot to let i+ bother ne too nuch, though. 
I’ve never been allowed +o go +o the Crossland 
haunted house before, and X wasn't going to let 
Rowley ruin it for ne. Rod rick has told ne all 
about it, and X’ve been looking forward to this 
for about three years. 

Anyway, when we got to the entrance, I 
started having second thoughts about going in. 

But Mon seened like she was in a hurry to get this 
over with, and she noved us along. Once we were 
through the gate, it was one scare after another. 
"There were van^ires jumping out at you and people 
without heads and all sorts of crazy stuff. 


But the worst ^>art was th<s area called Chainsaw 
Alley- "There was this tig guy in a hockey mask 
and he had a REAL chainsaw. Rod rick told me 
the chainsaw h«$ a rotter tlade, tot X wasn’t 
taking any chances. 

tailed os oot. 

Mon nude the chalhsaw guy show us where the 
exit was, and that was +he end of our haunted 
house experience right +here. X guess i+ was a 
little embarrassing when Mon did that, but X'n 
willing +o let it go this one +ine. 

haunted house really got ne thinking. 
Those guys were charging -five bucks a pop, and 
+he line stretched halfway around the school. 

X decided +o make a haunted house of ny own. 
Actually, X had +o bring Rowley in on the deal, 
because Mon wouldn’t let ne convert our first 
■floor into a full-out haunted nansion. 

X knew Rowley’s dad wouldn’t be crazy about the 
idea, either, so we decided to build the haunted 
house in his basement and just not mention it to 
his parents. 

Me and Rowley spent most of the day coning up 
with an awesome plan for our haunted house. 


The Crossland 


Here was our final ^la*V 

X don + mean +o brag or any+King, bo+ wKa+ 
we came o^ wi+K was WAY be++er +Han +he 
Crossland H<gH School Kaun+ed KouSe. 

Vie realised we were gonna need +o ge+ +he word 
oo+ +Ka+ we were doing +Kis +bw'ng, so we go+ 
some ^>aper and made o^> a buncK of flyers. 

5 + 

I'll admit mayhe we stretched the truth <» little 
in our advertisement, hut we had to moke Sore 
people actually showed i^>. 

By the time we ■finished ^uttin^ the flyers uf> 
around the neighborhood and 30+ hack +0 
Rowley's basement, it was already 2 -‘ 30 , and we 
hadn't even started putting the actual haunted 
house together yet. 

So we had to cut some corners flrom our 
ordinal ^>lan. 


VJKen 3:00 rolled around, we looked oo+side +o 
see if anyone Kad sKowed op. And Sore enoo^K, 
+Kere were aboot -twenty nei^KborKood kids waiting 
in line outside Rowleys basement. 

Mow, X know oor -flyers said admission was fifty 
cents, but X coold see tKat we Kad a cKahce to 
make a killing Kere. 

So X told tKe kids tKat admission was +wo bucks, 
and +Ke frfty-cent tKing was just a -typo. 

XKe first kid +o cougK up Kis -two bocks was 
SKane Snella. He paid Kis money and we let Kim 
inside, and me and Rowley +ook oor positions in 
tKe H«*U of Screams. 


"The Hall of Screams was basically a bed wi+H me 
ahd Rowley oh ei+Her side of i+. 

X ^ueSS maybe we made +He Hall of Screams a 
li++le +oo scary, because Hal/way -tHroucjH, SHahe 
curled Up ih a ball uhderhea+H +Ke bed. Vie -tried 
+o ^e-t Kim +0 crawl ou+ -from uhder +Kere, bu+ 
He wouldh’+ bud^e. 

X S+ar+ed -tHihkih^ abou+ all +He mohey we were 
losih^ Wi+K +K.S kid dojjgih^ up -tKe H“ll of Screams, 
ahd X khew we Had -to ^e+ Him ou+ of +Here, <^uick. 

E-Veh+ually, Rowley s dad came dowhS+airs. A+ 
frsi X was Happy +0 See Him, because X +HougH+ 
He could Help us dra^ SHahe ou+ fro m uhder -tHe 
bed ahd ^e+ our Hauh+ed House crahkihg a^aih. 

But Rowleys dad wasn’t really in a Kelpfol mood. 

Rowleys dad wanted +o know wKat we were 
doing, and wKy SKane Sriella was curled u^> under 
tKe feed. 

Vie told Kiri tKat tKe basement was a Kaunted 
Kouse, and tKat SKane Snella actually PAID 
•for us +o do tKis +o Kim. But Rowley s dad didn’t 
believe uS. 

I admit tKat if you looked around, it didn't 
really look like a Kaunted Koose. All we Kad time 
to ^>ut togetKer was tKe H«H of Screams and tKe 
Lake of Blood, wKicK was just Rowleys old 
baby ^>ooI witK Kalf a bottle of ketcKu^> in it. 


I tried +o show Rowleys dad our original plan 
+o prove -that we really were running a legitimate 
operation, but he still didn't seem convinced- 

And io make a long story short, -that was the 
end of our haunted house. 

"The good news is, since Rowleys dad didn+ 
believe us, he didn’t make us refund Shane’s 
money. So at least we cleared two bucks toda^. 



Rowley ended up getting grounded for that whole 
haunted house ness yesterday. He's not allowed to 
watch TV -for a week, AND Kes not allowed to 
have ne over at his house during that tine. 

That last part really isn't fair, because that's 
punishing ne, and I didn't even do ary-thing 
wrong. And now where an I supposed +o play 
r-y video ganes? 

Anyway, I felt kind of tad for Rowley. So 
tonight, I -tried to nake it up to hin. X -turned 
on one of Rowley s favorite TV shows, and X 
did a play-ty-play over -the phone so he could 
kind of experience it that way. 


X did my best io keep up wi+H wHa+ was ^oih^ oh 
oh +He screeh, bu+ +o be Kohes+ wi+H you, X'm 
hoi Sure if Rowley was ^et+ih^ +He -foil effec+. 


Vletl, Rowleys ^rouhdihg is fhally over, ahd just 
ih -ftme for Halloweeh, +oo. X weh+ up +o His 
House +o cHeck ou+ His coS+ume, ahd X Have +o 
admi+, X'm a li++le jealous. 

Rowley S Mom 30+ Him -+H»'S khi^H+ coS+ume +Ha+S 
WAY cooler +Hah His coS+ume from las+ year. 


His knigh+ ouifli came wi+K a Helme+ and a shield 

and a real sword and EVERYTHING. 

X've never Kad a s+ore-bougH+ cos+une before. 

X S+ill Kaven+ figured ou+ wha-f X'n> gonna go as 
-tomorrow nigk+, So XII probably JoS+ +Krow 
Sone+King -toge+Ker a+ +he las+ minu-te. X figure 
maybe X*ll bring back -H>e "loile-t Pa^er Mumry again. 

Bv+ X -think i+'s su^osed +o rain -tomorrow 
night, so that might not be -+Ke snar+es-|- choice. 


Xn -the past- few years, -the grown-ups in ry 
neighborhood have been getting cranky about 
py lap* costup*s, and X pi starting to think its 
actually having an effect on the apoont of candy 
Xp> bringing ih. 

But X don’t really have tip* to put together a 
good costup*, because X'ni in charge of planning 
out the best route for p* and Cowley to take 
toporrow night. 

"This year Xve cop* up with a plan that II get us 
a+ least -twice -the candy we scored las+ year. 



About an Hour be-fore we were supposed to start 
trick-or-treating, X still didn’t Have a costume. 
A+ tHat point X was seriously tHinkin^ about 
^oin^ as a cowboy for tHe second year in a row. 

But tHen Mom knocked at my door and Handed 
me a pirate costume, witH an tyt patcH and a 
Kook and every tHing. 

Rowley showed up around 6-'30 wearing His 
kn^Ht costume, but it didn’t look ANYTHING 
like it looked yesterday. 

Rowleys mom made all tHese sa-fety improvements 
to it, and you couldnt even tell wHat He was 
supposed to be anymore. 


S^e cut out a b^ hole in the front of the helmet 
so he could see better, and covered him up in all 
+his reflective tape. She made him wear his winter 
coat underneath everything, and she replaced his 
sword wi+h a glow stick. 

I grabbed my pillowcase, and me and Rowley 
started to head out. But horn stopped us before 
we could get out the door. 

Man, I sHould Have known tHere was a catcH 
wHen Mon ^aVe me tHat cos tune. 

I told Mon tHere was no WAY we were taking 
Manny witH us, because we were ^oin^ to Hit 152 
Houses in tHree Hours. And plus, we were ^oin^ 

+o He on Snake Road, wHicH is way too dangerous 
for a little kid like Manny. 

I sHould never Have nentioned +Hat last part, 
because tHe next tHing I knew, Mon was telling 
Pad He H«d to 30 alon^ witH us to nake sure we 
didnt step foot outside our nei^HborHood. Pad 
tried to squirm out of it, Hut once Mon nakes up 
Her mind, tHere’s no way you can cHan^e it. 


Before we even 30+ 00+ of our own driveway, we 
rah ihto oor hei^kbor Mr. Mitckell and Us kid 
Jereny. So of course THEY tagged alohg witk os. 

Mahhy ahd Jerery wooldh’t trick-or-treat at ay 
kooses witk spooky decora+iohs oh tken, so tkat 
ruled 00+ pretty nock every koose oh oor block. 

Pad ahd Mr. Mitckell started talkihg about 
football or sonetkihg, ahd every tine ohe of tken 
wahted to nake a ^>oiht, tkeyd sto^> walkihg. 

After a couple of hours, P«uJ and Mr. Mitchell 
took the little kids hor^e. 

After that, we headed tack out oh the road. 
But it was already 10.‘30, ahd X guess that’s 
wKeh most ^rowh-u^s decide Halloweeh is over. 

You cah kihd of tell because that's wteh they 
start comihg to the door ih their pajamas ahd 
tjivih^ you the evil eye. 

VJe deeded to head tome. Vie made u^> a lot of 
time after Pad ahd Mahhy left, so X was pretty 
satisfied with tow muct cahdy we took ih. 

Vlteh we were talfway tome, this pickup truck 
came roarihg dowh tte street witt a buhch of 
high school kids ih it. 


"The kul in -the bock was holding « -fire extinguisher, 
and when -the truck passed by us, he opened 6re. 

X h«Ve to give Rowley credit, because he blocked 
about %% of the water with his shield* And if 
he hadn’t done that, all our candy would have 
gotten soaked* 

VJhen the truck drove away, X yelled out southing 
that X regretted about two seconds later. 




“Ike driver slammed oh +ke brakes ahd ke Turhed 
Ws +rock aroohd. Me ahd Rowley s+ar+ed rohhihg, 
bo+ +kose ^oys were ricjk+ oh oor Keels. 

Ike ohly ^>lace X coold ikihk of +ka+ was Safe 
was Grammas kooSe, so we co+ +kroo^k a cookie 
backyards +o ^e+ -tkere. Gramma was ih bed 
already, bo+ X khew ske kee^>s a key ohder +ke 
ma+ oh ker froh+ porck. 

Ohce we 30+ ihside, X looked out +ke wihdow +o see 
if +kose guys kad followed os, ahd Sore ehoo^k, 
+key did. X "Wed +o -trick +kem ih+o leavihg, bo+ 
+key wooldh’+ bod^e. 


After a wkile, we realized +ke teenagers were 
^oin^ to wait us oo+, so we decided we were jo$+ 
^onna kaVe +o S^end +ke ru^k+ a+ Gramma’s. 
"Tka+s wken we s+ar+ed ^e++ih^ cocky, making 
monkey noises a+ +ke +eena^ers and wka+r\o+. 

Vlell, a+ leas+ X was making monkey noises. 
Rowley was kind of making owl noises, ko+ X 
^oess >+ was +ke same general idea. 

X called Mom +o +ell ker we were ^oin^ +o crask 
a+ Grammas for +ke ni<jk+- Bo+ Mom soonded 
really mad on +ke ^kone. 

Ske said 1+ was a sckool ni^k+, and +ka+ we kad 
+o ge+ kome rlgk+ +ka+ ins+an+. So +ka+ mean+ 
we were <jonna kaVe +o make a run for i+. 

X looked oo+ the window, and this time, X didn't 
see the +rock. Bot X knew those ^oys were hiding 
somewhere and were jost -trying to draw os oo+. 

So we snock oot the back door, hooped over 
Grammas -fence, and ran all the way to Snake 
Road. X floored oor chances were better +here 
becaose there aren’t any streetlights. 

Snake Road is scary enoo^h on its own wi+hoot 
having a trockload of teenagers hon+in^ yoo 
down. E-Very time we saw a car coming, we dove 
into the boshes. X+ mos+Ve taken os a half 
hoor to op 100 yards. 

Bu+ believe 1+ or ho+, we nude 1+ oil the wa^ 
home wi+Kooi yttihg cao^bii. hlel+her ohe of us 
le+ our ^uard dowin uh+il we <jo+ +o rry driveway. 

Bu+ ri^hi +Keh, -there was -this awful scream, ah<J 
we saw a bl<j wave of wa+er conlhg -toward us. 



Man, X -format ALL at>ou+ Pad, and we +o+ally 
paid +he price -for i+. 

Vlhen ne and Rowley 30+ Inside, we laid ou+ all 
our candy on -the ki+chen -table. 

"The only -things we coold salvage were a couple of 
min+s +na+ were wrapped in cellophane, and +he 
+oo+M>rushes Pr. Garrison ^ave us. 

X +hink nex+ Halloween XU juS+ s-tay hone ahd 
nooch sone But+er-fln^ers -from -the howl Mon 
keeps on top of +he re-fri^era+or. 



Oh +ke tus ride ih+o Sckool +od«y, we passed ty 
Grammas kouse. X+ 30 + rolled wi+k +oile+ paper 
las+ higk+, wkick X guess was ho tig surprise. 

X do -feel a li-ttle tad, tecause i+ looked like i+ was 
gohha +ake a lohg +ime +0 cleah up. Bu+ oh +ke 
trigk+ side, Gramma is re+ired, so ske protatly 
didh+ k<»Ve ahy+kihg plahhed for +oday ahyway. 


Xh +kird period, Mr. Uhderwood, our Pkys E-d 
+eacker, ahhouhced +ka+ +ke toys will te doihg a 
wres+lihg uhrl 1 for +ke hex+ six weeks. 


If theres one thing most toys in my school <»re 
into, it's professional wrestling. So Mr. 
Underwood might as well have set off a bomb. 

Lunch comes right after ?hys E-d, and the 
cafeteria was a complete madhouse. 

I don't know what the school is thinking having 
a wrestling unit. 

But I decided if I don't want to get twisted 
into a pretzel for the next month and a half, I’d 
tetter do my homework on this wrestling business. 

So I ren+ed a couple of video partes +o learn 
some moves. And you know wha+? Af+er « while, 
I was really s+ar+in^ +o ^e+ +he han^ of i+. 

In fac+, -4»e o-ther kids in my class had better 
look out, because if I keep this up, I could be a 
real threat. , 


"Then a^aih, X better nake sure X don't do 
TOO ^ood. 1V..S kid harmed Preston Mudd got 
harmed AtKlete of tKe MontK for being the best 
placer ih the basketball unit, so they ^>ut his 
picture uf in the Kaliway. 

P.Mudd *1 

Athlete of the 

Xt took people about •five seconds to realize how 
'?. Mudd" sounded when you said i+ out loud, 
and alter th«t, i+ was all over for Pres+on. 

VJell, I foorvj out +oda^ -tHa+ +He kind of wresHing 
Mr. Underwood is +eacHin^ is COMPLETELY 
different front +He kind +He^ do on TV. 

Ti'rsi 0/ all, we Have +0 wear +Hese +Hin^s called 
"sin^le+s,” wHicH look like +Hose ka+Hin^ sui+s 
+Hey used +0 wear in +He 1800s. 

And second of all, +Here are no pile drivers or 
Hi++in^ people over +He Heads wi+H cHairs or 
an^+Hin^ like +Ha+. 

'(Here’s no+ even a rin^ wi+H ropes around i+. 
T+S juS+ basically a swea-y rva+ +Ha+ Sriells like 
i+s never keen wasHed ke-fore. 


Mr. Underwood started asking for Volunteers so 
he could demonstrate some wrestling holds, but 
there was no way I was going to raise my hand. 

Me and Rowley tried to hide out in the bach of 
the gym near the curtain, but that’s where the 

Vie got out of there in a hurry, and we went 
back to where the rest of the guys were. 

Mr. Underwood singled me out, probably because 
I’m the lightest kid in the class, and he could 
toss me around without straining himself. He 
showed everybody how to do all these things 
called a "half nelson" and a "reversal" and a 
"takedown" and stuff like that. 

VJhen he was doing this one move called the 
"•fireman’s cany," X felt <» breeie down below, 
and X could -tell my singlet wasn't doing a 300 d 
Job keeping me covered up. 

“That's when X thanked my lucky stars the 
girls were on tKe other side of the gym. 

Mr. Underwood divided us up into weight groups. 
X was pretty happy about that at first, 
because it meant X wasn’t going to have to 
wrestle kids like Benny VJells, who can bench-press 
Z50 pounds. 


Bi/+ -then X found ou+ who X DID have +o wres-He, 

Fre^ley was -the only kid li^K+ enough +o be in my 
wei^K+ class. A*^d a^aren+ly Fregley was pay.n^ 
a++en+ion when Mr. Underwood was ^iVin^ 
ins+ruc+ions, because he ginned me every which way 
you could marine. X s^>en+ my seven+h period 
yHin^ WAY more -familiar wi+h Fre^ley -than X 
ever wan+ed +o be. 


My other tig protlem is that X have to wres+le 
Fregley every single day. But this morning X 
realized something. X/ X can noVe out of 
Fregleys weight class, X wont Have to wres+le 
Vwd anymore. 

So today, X stuffed my clothes wi+h a tunch of 
socks ahd shirts +o ge+ myself into the next 
weight class. 

But X was S+ill +oo light +o move up. 


X realized X was gonna have +o gain weight for 
real. A+ ■first X thought X should just start 
loading up on junk food, tut then X h<»d <» much 
tetter idea. 


X decided +o ^aih ry wei^k+ ih MUSCLE, ho+ fa+. 

X've hever beeh all +ka+ ih+eres+ed ih get+ih^ ih 
skape be/ore, bu+ +kis wres+lih^ uhi+ kas made me 
re+kihk -tkihgS- 

X figure if X bulk up how, i+ could ac+ually come 
ih kahdy down +ke road. 

Xke /oo+ball uhi+ is coming ih +ke sprihg, ahd 
+Key spli+ +Ke +eams up ih+o skir+s ahd skihs. 
A^d X ALWAYS <je+ put oh skihs. 

Xf X to*"! pack oh some muscle how, it’ll fee a 
whole differeht story hext April. 

X>high+, after <iihher, X 30+ Mow ahd Pad 
together ahd told them my plah. X told them X 
was 301^3 to heed some serious exercise e^uipmeht, 
ahd some wei^ht-^aih powder, too. 

X showed them some muscle magarihes X 3ot at 

Mom didn’t really say anything a+ first, but Pad 
was pretty enthusiastic. X think he was just 
glad X K»d a change of heart from how X used 
+o fee when X was a kid— 

But Mom said if X wanted a weight set, X was 
going +o have + 0 prove that X could slick wilh 
an exercise regimen. She said I coold do lhal by 
doing sit-ups and jumping jacks for -two weeks. 

X had lo explain lhal ihe only way lo gel 
lolally bulked op is lo gel ihe kind of high-lech 
machines ihey have al ihe gym, bol Mom didn’l 
want lo hear it. 

XKen Pad said if X wanted a bencK press, X 
sKoold keep ny Angers crossed for CKristmas. 

Bert CKristnaS is a nontK and a KalA away. And 
if X get pinned by fregley one no re tine, X’n 
gonna KaVe a nervous breakdown. 

So it looks like Mon and Pad aren’t going to be 
any Kelp. And tkat neans Xn going to K«Ve to 
+ake natters in+o ny own Kands, as usual. 

wait +o start ny weigkt-training 
progran today. E-Ven tkoogk Mon wouldn't let 
ne get +Ke equipment X needed, X wasn’t going 
to let tKat Kold ne back. 

X couldn’t 

So X weht into tke fridge and emptied oot tke 
milk and orange joice and -filled tke jogs witk 
sand- jVn X taped tkem to a broomstick, and 
X kad myself a pretty decent barbell. 

After tk«t, X made a benck press oot of an 
ironing board and some boxes. Once X kad tkat 
all set, X was ready to do Some serioos lifting. 

X needed a shotting partner, so X called 
Rowley. And wken ke skowed op at my door 
wearing some ridicoloos getop, X knew X made 
a mistake inviting kim. 


X made Rowley use the bench press first, mostly 
because X wanted to see if the broomstick was 
going +o bold up. 

He did about five reps, and Ke was ready +o 
<^ui+, but X wouldn’t let him. "That's what a 
good training parser is for, +o push you 
beyond your limits. 

X knew Rowley wasn’t going to be as serious 
about weight lifting as X was, so X decided to 
try out an experiment to test his dedication. 

Xn the middle of Rowley’s set, X went and got 
this phony nose and mustache Rodrick has ih his 
junk drawer. 

And rigk+ wken Rowley kad +ke tart el I in +ke 
'down' posi+ion, X leaned over and looked a+ kin. 

Sore enougk, Rowley TOTALLY los+ kis 
concen+ra+ion. He couldn*+ even ge+ +ke kartell 
off kis ckes+. I +kougk+ atoo+ keying km oo+, 
ku+ +ken I realized +ka+ if Rowley d<dn*+ ge+ 
strious atoo+ working ou+, ke was never going io 

X even-hiaiy kad +o rescue kin, tecaose ke s+ar+ed 
ki+ing +ke milk jog +o le+ +ke sand leak ou+. 


Afier Rowley 30+ off ike kenck press, i+ was 
iime for my sei. Boi Rowley said ke didni feel 
like working 00+ anymore, and ke wen+ kome. 

You know, I figured ke’d poll someiking like ikai. 
Bui X guess you can’i expeci everyone +0 kave 
+ke Same kind of dedica+ion as you. 


"Today in Geograpky we kad a <juii, and X kave 
+0 say, X’ve keen looking forward +0 ikis one for 
a long iime. 

Xke ^oiz. was on s+a+e capiials, and X si+ in 
ike kack of ike room, rigki nexi io ikis giani 
map of ike Uniied Siaies. All ike capiials are 
wri-Hen in kig red prini, so X knew X kad ikis 

Bu+ ri^K+ before +W +es+ 30+ s+ar+ed, Pa-Hy 
Farrell piped up {cot* -t 4 \e froh+ o{ +he root*. 

Pa-Hy +old Mr. Xra +Ka+ He sHould cover up +He 
Uru+ed S+a+es map before we 30+ s+ar+ed. 

So +Hahks +0 Pa-Hy, X ehded up fluhkir^ +He 
<|ui2.. Arid X will definitely fee looking -for a way 
+0 pay Her tack {or +Ha+ one. 



Tonight Mom came up to ry room, awl she had a 
•flyer in her hand. As soon as X saw it, X knew 
EXACTLY what i+ was. 

Xt was an announcement that the school is having 
tryouts for a winter play. Man, X should have 
thrown that thing out when X saw it on the 
kitchen table. 

X BEGGED her not to make me sign up. Those 
school plays are always musicals, and the last 
thing X need is to have to sing a solo in front 
of the whole school. 

But all my begging seemed to do was make Mom 
more sure X should do it. 


Mom said +he ohly way X was goihg +o be 
"well-rouhded" was by -tryihg differeh+ -thihgs. 

Pad came ih my room -to see wha+ was goihg oh. 

X +old Pad +Ka+ Mom was makihg me Sigh up -for 
-the school play, ahd +ha+ if X had -to S+ar+ 
goihg +o play prac+ices, i+ would -to+ally mess up 
my weigh+-lif"tihg schedule. 

X khew that would make Pad -take my side. Pad 
ahd Mom argued ■for a few mihu+es, bu+ Pad was 
ho ma+ch for Mom. 


So +ha+ meahS -tomorrow Xve go+ +o audi+ioh 
for -the school play. 


"(he ploy +hey re doihg -this year is "'The VJiiard 
of Oi.“ A lo+ of kids came wearing cos+umes for 
-the parts -they were -tryihg ou-t for. 

Mrs. Nor+on, +He music director, mad 
sin^ "My Couh+ry ‘%s of lliee" so s 

bunch of o+ner boys wnose moms made -ther 
'te, -too. X "tried +o sin^ as ^uie-Hy as poss 
+ of course X 30+ singled ou+, anyway. 
|/'WHAr~A s \ 

I [ LOVELY Ill'll, 

K SOPRANO!/ ,1 .1 


X have no idea wha+ a “soprano” is, bo+ from 
the way some of +he ^irls were ^i^glin^, X knew 
i+ wasn’+ a ^©od +hin^. 

Tryoi/+s went on forever. XVie ^rand finale came 
wi+K audi+ions for Poro+hy, who X 31/ess is the 
lead cKarac+er in +he play. 

And who should +ry oo+ firs+ bo+ Pa++y Farrell. 

11 j | j i i i 

X +Kou^K+ about trying oo+ for the part of the 
VJi+ch, because X heard that in the play, the 
Vli+ch does all sor+s of mean things +o Poro+hy. 

But then somebody +old me theres a Good VJi+ch 
and a Bad VJi+ch, and wi+h my lock, Xd end op 
getting picked +o be the good one. 



X was Mrs. Norton would just cu+ me -from 

the play, but today she said that everyone who 
+ried out is 301^3 to ^ei a part. So lucky me. 

Mrs. hS orton showed "Xhe Vizard of Oz" moVie 
so everyone would know the story. X was trylhg 
+o ■figure out what part X should play, but 
pretty much every character Kas to sih^ or dance 
at one point or another. But about Kal-fway 
thrcn^h the movie, X •figured out what part X 
wanted to si^n up for. X’m 301^3 +0 si^n up +0 
fee a Tree, because 1) they don’t have +0 sin3 
and 2) they 36+ +0 bean Porothy with apples. 

Getting +o feg Patty Farrell with apples in 
front of a live audience would be my dream come 
true. X may actually have +o thank Mom for 
making me do this play once its all over. 

After the movie ended; X signed uf) to k « Tee. 
Unfortunately, a bunch of other ^uys had the 
same idea as me, so X guess there are a lot of 
guys who have a bone to pick with Patty Farrell. 


Well, like Mom always says, be careful what you 
wish for. X got picked to be a Tree, but X 
don’t know if that’s such a ^ood thing. Xhe 
Tree costumes don’t actually have arm holes, so 
X gvess that rules out any apple-throwing. 


X should probably ■feel lucky +h«+ X 30+ a 
speak^ pari a+ all. "They had +00 mahy kids 
+ryi'h3 ou+, and no+ enough roles, so +hey had 
+0 s+ar+ makin3 up charac+ers. 

Rodney James +ried ou+ +0 be +he Xn Man, bu+ 
he 30+ s+uck wf+h beih3 +he Shrub. 


Remember how X said X was lucky +0 3e+ a 
speaki^ part? Vlell, +oday X found out X only 
have one line in +he whole play. X Say i+ when 
Poro+hy picks an apple off my branch- 


”TKa+ means X kaVe to go +0 a two-kour practice 
every (Jay just so X can say one stupid word. 

Xm starting +0 tk<nk Rodney James 30+ a better 
(Jeal as tke Skruk. He -found a way +0 sneak a 
Video .game in+o kis costume, and X II ket tkat 
really makes tke time go ky. 





So now X'ni trying +0 tkink o-f ways +0 get Mrs. 
Morton to kick me out of tke ^>lay. But wken 
you only Kave one word to say, it’s really kard to 
mess uy> your I 

( owwow?) ^: 




"The play is only a cookie of d ays away, arid X 
have no idea how were ^oihg io poll -this ihn^ off. 

Firsi of all j nobody bias boihered io learn -their 
lines, and ihai’s all Mrs. Mor+on’s {aoli. 

Poring rehearsal, Mrs. Morion whispers everyone’s 
lines io ihem from ihe side of ihe sia^e. 

X wonder how ii’s ^oing io 30 nexi "Tuesday 
when Mrs. Morion is siiiin^ ai her piano ihiriy 
feei away. 


A*v>iker ikihg ikai’s screwih^ everyikihg up is 
ikai Mrs. kiorioh keeps adding hew scenes and 
hew ckaraciers. 

Yesierday, ske krou^ki ih ikiS krsi-^rader +o 
play Poroiky’s do^, Toio. Bui ioday, ike kid’s 
mom came ih ahd Said ske wah+ed ker ckild io 
walk arouhd oh -two le^S, kecause crawling arouhd 
oh all fours would ke ioo "degrading." 

So how weVe 30+ a dog ikais gohha ke walkihg 
arouhd oh kis ki*vl legs for ike wkole skow. 

Bui ike worsi ckahge is ikai Mrs. Nlortoh acioally 
wroie a sohg ikai us TREES kaVe io sihg. 

Ske said eVeryohe "deserves” a ckahce io sihg 
ih ike play. 

So today we Spent oh hour learning the worst 
song that's ever teen written. 

Thank God won’t te in the audience to 
see me humiliate mysel/. Mrs. Horton said the 
play is going to te a semi/ormal occasion," and 
I know there’s no way Rod rick is going to wear 
a tie /or a middle school play. 

But today wasn’t all tad. Toward the end of 
practice, Archie Kelly tripped over Rodney James 
and chipped his tooth tecause he couldnt stick 
his arms out to treak his /all. 


So +He 300<J hews is, +|\e^’re le++ihg us Trees 
carve 00+ arm Holes for +He performance. 


T*>igH+ was +He big scHool pro<Joc+ioh of "’TKe VJilarcJ 
of Oz.." Tie frs+ sigh 4 ia+ -tWhgs were hot going -to 
go well Happened before 4 ie pla^ eveh S+arW. 

X was peeking +HroogH 
+He cor+aih +0 cHeck 00+ 

How nary people showed 
op +0 See +He pla^, and 
guess wHo was S+ahdihg 
rigH+ op froh+? 
bro+Her Rod rick, wearihg 
a dip-oh +ie. 


He mus+ Kave fouhd ou+ X was sih^ihg, ahd Ke 
couldh+ resist +Ke cKahce to see me embarrass nyself. 

YKe play was supposed to start at 8 -' 00 , but it <jot 
delayed because Rodhey Janes Kad sta^e fri^Kt. 

You’d figure tKat soneohe wKose Job i+ was to sit 
oh tKe stage ahd do hotKihg could Just suck it up 
•for ohe perfornahce. But Rod hey wouldht budge, 
ahd eveh+ually, Kis non K*d +o carry Kin off. 

XKe play fihally got started arouhd S' 30 . 
Kiobody could renenber tKeir lihes, just like X 
predicted, but Mrs. Kjortoh kept tKihgs novihg 
alohg wi+K Ker piaho. 


The kid who played To+o brought a s+ool and a 
pile of conic hooks onto the S+a^e, and that 
totally ruined the whole do^" effect. 

VJhen i+ was +ine for the forest scene, ne and 


Great. X have beeh able +o keep that nickname 
<|uiei for five years, and how all of the suddeh 
the whole towh khew it. X could feel about 300 
pairs of eyeballs poihted my way. 

So X did Some ^uick ad-libbihg ahd X was able to 
deflect the embarrassmeht over to Archie Kelly. 

But the major embarrassmeht was still oh the 
way. VJKeh X heard Mrs. Mortoh playihg the 
first few bars of Vie Xhree Trees,” X felt my 
Stomach jump. 

X looked out at the audiehce, ahd X hoticed 
Rodnck was hold'h<j a video camera. 

X knew that if X Sang the song and Rodrick 
recorded it, he would keep the tape forever and 
use ft +o humiliate me for the rest of my life. 

X didn’t know what +o do, so when the time 
came to Start Singing, X just kept my mouth sKut. 

For a few seconds there, things went OK. X 
figured that if X didn’t technically sing the 
Song, then Rodrick wouldn’t have anything to 
Fold over my head. But after a few seconds, the 
other Trees noticed 1 wasn’t singing. 


I ^uess ihey muS+Ve +Kou^K+ I khew Some+Kihg 
+U+ +Key didn't, so +Hey S+op^ed sih^ih^, +oo. 

Mow +Ke +Hree of us were jvs+ s+ahdifig +Kere, 
ho+ saying a word. Mrs. Mor+on nos+ We 
+hoogn+ we forgo+ +Ke words +o +he song, 
because sKe came over +o +he side of +he s+age 
and wKis^ered +Ke res+ of +Ke lyrics +o us. 

'The song is only abou-t -three minu+es long, bu-t 
+o me i-t /eli like an hour and a hal/. X was jusi 
prayihg -the curtains would go down so we could 
hop off +he S+age. 

"Thais when X no+iced Pa+iy Farrell standing in 
-the wings. And if looks could kill, us Trees would 
he dead- She probaby -though* we were ruining her 
chances of making i+ +o Broadway or something. 

Seeing Pa-Hy standing -there reminded me why X 
signed up -to be a Tree in -the first place. 

Pretty sooh, the rest of the Trees started 
throwlhg apples, +oo. I think T>to eVeh 30+ ih 
oh the act. 

Somebody knocked the glasses off of Patty's 
head, and ohe of the lehses broke. Mrs. Mor+oh 
had +0 shut dowh the play after that, because 
Patty cah’t See +wo feet ih froh+ of her 
without her glasses. 

After the play was over, my family went home 
together. Mom had brought a bouquet of flowers, 
ahd I guess they were supposed to be for me. 
But she ehded up tossihg them in the trash cah 
oh the way out the door. 

I just hope that everyohe who came to See the 
play was as ehtertaihed as X was. 



Well, if one ^ood thing cane out of the •play', it's 
that X don’t have to worry about the "Botty' 
nickname anymore. 

X saw Archie Kelly getting hassled in the hallway 
after fifth period today, so it looks like X can 
finally start to breathe a little easier. 

this stuff going on at school, X 
haven’t even had time to think about Christmas. 
And it’s less than ten days away. 


Su nday 
With all 

Xn ■fact, +ke only iking +k«+ +i^>ped me off 
+k«+ Ckris+mas was corning was wken Rod rick pu+ 
Kis wisk lis+ o^> on +ke refrigera+or. 

< ^.odrieks W'Sk^ > 

_ Lis-i 

1* New drwm S 
2 - New Von 
3' SWohken kead 


X usually make a tig wisk lisi every year, bu+ 

+kis Ckris+mas, all X really wan+ is +kis video 
game called Twis+ed Vliiard- 

X>nigk+ Manny was going +krougk +ke Ckris+mas 
ca+alog, picking ou+ all +ke s+uff ke wan+s wi+k 
a tig red marker. Manny was circling every single 
+oy in -tke ca+alog. He was even circling really 
expensive +kings like a gan+ mo+orired car and 
s+uff like +ka+. 

So X decided +o step ih and give Kim sorte good 
big-brotKerly advice. 

X +old Kin tKat if Ke circled stuff tKat was 
+oo expehsiVe, Ke was going to ehd up witK a 
buhcK of clotKes for CKristmas. X said Ke 
sKould just pick +Kree or four nediun-priced 
gifts so Ke would ehd up witK a couple of 
tKihgS Ke actually wanted- 

But of course Mahhy just weht back to circlihg 
everytKihg agaih. So X guess Ke’ll just K«Ve to 
learh tKe K«rd way. 

VJKeh X was seveh, tKe only tKihg X really 
wahted -for CKristnas was a Barbie Prean House. 
Ahd NOT because X like girls* toys, like 
Rodrick said. 


X just thought ii would be a really awesome fori 
for my toy soldiers. 

Vihen Mom and Pad saw ry wish lisi that year, 
they got in a big fight over ii. Pad said there was 
no way he was getting me a dollhouse, bui Mom 
said ii was healthy for me io "experiment" with 
whatever kind of toys X wanted io play with. 


Believe ii or hoi, Pad actually won that argument. 
Pad told me io start ry wish list over and pick 
some ioys that were more "appropriate" for boys. 

Bui X have a secret weapon when it comes io 
Christmas. My Uncle Charlie always gets me whatever 
X want. X told him X wanted the Barbie Pream 
House, and he said hed hook 

me up. 

Oh Christmas, when Uhcle Charlie gave me my 
gift, i+ was NOT what X asked for. He must’ve 
walked ihto the toy s+ore ahd picked up the first 
thihg he saw that had the word Barkie * 
oh i+. 

Pad washt real happy wheh he saw wha-t Uhcle 
Charlie got me. He told me +o either throw it 
out or give it away to charity. 

But X kept it ahyway. Arid OK, X admit mayke 
X took it out ahd played with it ohce or twice. 


"That's how X ehded op ih the emer^ehy room 
two weeks later with a pihk Barbie shoe stock op 
ry hose. Ahd believe me, Rodrick has hever let 
me hear the ehd of THAT. 

the Givihg Tree at church* Ihe Givih^ Tree is 
basically a Secret Sahta kihd of thih^ where you 
^et a 31ft for someohe who is heedy 

Mom picked oot a red wool sweater for oor 
GiVihg Tree ayy. 

T tried to talk Mom ihto gettihg somethihg a 
lot cooler, like a TV or a sloshie machihe or 
something like that. 

Because imagine i•f all you got on CHristmas was 
a wool sweater. 

I'm Sure our Giving Tree guy will tHrow His sweater 
in tHe trasH, alorg witH tHe -ten cans of yams we 
sent His way during tHe IHanks^tong Food Prive. 

C H risi m aj 

VlHen X woke uj> tHis morning and went downstairs, 
tHere were about a million grfts under tHe CHristmas 
-tree. But wHen X started digging around, tHere 
were Hardly any giFts witH ry name on tHem. 

Bot Manny made oot like a bandit. He got EVERY 
single thing he circled in the catalog, ho lie. So 
I’ll bet hes glad he didn't listen to me. 

X did find a cookie things wi+h my name on 
them, fcu+ they were mostly books and socks and 
s+off like that. 

X opened my gifts in the comer behind the 
couch, because X don't like opening gifts near 
Pad. Whenever someone opens a gift, Pad swoops 
ngh+ in and cleans op after them. 

X gave Manly a toy Kekop+er an<i X gave 
Rodrick a took atou+ rock tands. Rod rick gave 
me a took, too, tu+ of course Ke didn't wra^> it. 
"TKe took Ke go+ me was Best of L il Cu+ie.’ 
"L'il Cu+ie" is +Ke worst comic in +Ke newspaper, 
and Rodrick knows Kow mucK X Ka+e it. X tKink 
+Kis is +Ke four+K year in a row X’ve gotten a 
"L'il Cu+ie" took from Kim. 

X gave Mom and Pad +Keir gifts. X get +Kem 
+Ke same kind of tKing every year, tu+ parents 
ea+ +Ka+ stuff uj>. 

"The rest of the relatives s+dr+ed showing op 
aroond It'00, and Uncle Charlie came at noon. 

Uncle Charlie brought a big trash bag -foil of 
gifts, and he polled my present oot of the top 
of the bag. 

"The package was the exact right size and shape 
to be a "Twisted Vlizard game, so X knew Uncle 
Charlie came through for me. Mom got the camera 
ready and X tore open ry gift. 

X wer>+ u^> +o my room to take a break for a 
while. A couple mihu+es la+er, Pad kriocked ori my 
door. He told me he had my gift for me out ih 
the ^ara^e, ahd the reasoh i+ was oo+ there was 
because it was too b^g to wrap. 

Arid when X walked dowh to the garage, there 
was a hratid-riew weight set. 

"Thai +Kihg mus+ KaVe cos+ a -for+uhe. X didh+ 
have +he heart to tell Pad that X kihd of lost 
ih+erest ih the whole weight-li-f+ihg +hihg wheh 
the wres+lihg uhr+ ehded Iasi week. So X >s+ 
said "+hahks" ihs+ead. 

X +K*>>k Pad was exfec+ih^ me +o droj> dowh ahd 
start doihg some rej>s or somethih^, hut X just 
excused mysel/ ahd weht back ihside. 

At about 6:00, all the relatives cleared out. 

X was sittih^ oh the couch watchih^ Mahhy play 
with Kis toys, /eelih^ pretty sorry -for mysel-f. 
Xheh Mor< came up to me ahd said that she 
■fouhd a <jift behihd the piaho with my hame oh 
it, ahd i+ said, Trom Sahta." 

The box was way too big for Twisted Vlizard, but 
Mom fulled +he same "big box” trick oh me las+ 
year wheh she got me a memory card for my 
video game sys+em. 

So X ripped opeh the package ahd fulled out my 
preseht. Ohly this washt Twisted Vlizard, 
either. X+ was a giaht red woo! sweater. 

At first X thought Mom was playihg some 
kihd of practical joke oh me, because this 
sweater was the same kihd we bought for our 
GiVihg Tree guy. 

But Mom seemed pretty cohfused, too. She Said 
she DID buy me a video game, ahd that she h«d 
ho idea what the sweater was doihg ih my box. 

A^d theh X ■figured it out. X told Mom there 
must have beeh some kihd of mix-up, arid I got 
the Giving Tree guy s gift, and he got mihe. 

Mom said she used the same kihd of wrapping 
paper for both of our gifts, so she must've 
writteh the wrohg names oh the tags. 

But theh Mom said that this was really a good 
+hihg, because +he Giving Tree guy was probably 
really happy he go+ such « great gift. 

X had +o explaih +ha+ you heed a game sys+em 
and a TV +o play Twis+ed VJixard, So -the gane 
was +o+aiy useless +o him. 

E-Veh -though my Chris+mas was ho-t goihg -tha+ 
grea+, X m sure i+ was goihg a whole lo+ worse 
■for -the Giving Tree guy. 

X kind of decided +0 -throw in -the -towel for -this 
Chris+mas, and X headed up +0 Rowleys house. 


X forgot +o ge+ a gif -+ for Rowley, so X jus+ 
slaved a t>ow oh +ke "Uil Co+ie” took 
Rod rick ^ave me. 

Ahd +ka+ seemed +o do +ke -trick. 

Rowley’s pareh+s kave a lo+ of mohey, so X cah 
always couh+ oh +kem for a ^ood ^i-ft. 

But Rowley said +ka+ +kis year ke picked ou+ my 
^ift kimsel/. Tkeh ke t>rougk+ me ou+side +o skow 
me wka+ i+ was. 

From +ke way Rowley was ky^ihg kis preseht, X 
+kou^k+ ke mus+ kave ^o++eh me a ki^-screeh 
TV or a mo+orcycle or some+kih^. 


But once a<jaih, X le+ my Ko^es +oo high. 

Rowley 30+ me a Bi^ VJkeel. X ^uess X would 
K«Ve +kougk+ +Kis was a cool gift wkeh X was ih 
+Ke +KirJ ^rade, bu+ X k«ve ho idea wKa+ Xm 
supposed +o do wi+K ohe how. 

Rowley was so eh+kusias+ic aboi/+ i+ +ka+ X +ried 
my t>es+ +o ac+ like X was kappy ahyway. 

VJe weh+ back inside, ahd Rowley showed me kiS 
Ckris+mas loo+. 

He Sure 30+ a lo+ nore s+u# X did. He 
eVeh 30+ Twis+eJ Vliiard, so a+ leas+ X cah play 
i+ w^eh X cone up +0 his house. Xh*+ is, uh+il 
Rowleys <1 ad •fihds ou+ how violeh+ i+ is. 

A^d toy, you have hever seeh soneohe as happy as 
Rowley wi+h his "L’il Cu+ie” took. H*s non said i+ 
was -me ohly -f^irvg oh his lis+ +ha+ Ke didh+ 36+. 

Well, Xn ^lad SOMEONE 30+ wha+ -they 
wah+ed +oday. 

Mew Year's 

Xn case you’re wondering wKa+ X’n» doing in ny room 
a+ * 1:00 p.n. on Mew Year’s £.ve, le+ ne fll you in. 

E-artler +oday, ne and Manny were Korsing around in 
the fcasenen+. X found a +iny black kali of -^read 
on -t^e carpe+, and X +old Manny i+ was a spider. 

XKen X Keld i+ over Kin pre+ending like X was 
going +o nake Kin ea+ i+. 

RigK+ wKen X was about to let Manny go, Ke 
slapped ny Kand and nade ne drop +Ke +Kread. 
And guess wKa+? "TKat fool swallowed it. 


Vlell, Mahvy conple+ey los+ his mihd. He r«h 
ups+airs +o where Mon was, ahd X khew X was 
ih ki^ -(rookie. 

Mahhy +old Mon X nade Kin ea+ a slider. X 
+old her -there was ho slider, and +ha+ i+ was 
jos+ a -hVy kail of thread. 

Mon kroo^h+ Mahhy over +0 the kl+cheh +akle. 
"Theh she ^ir+ a seed, a raisih, ahd a ^rape oh a 
pla+e ahd +old Mahhy +0 j>oih+ +0 -the +hihg 
+ha+ was +he doses+ ih size +0 -the ^»iece o-f 
-thread he swallowed. 


Mahfy +ook a wKile +o look over the +Kih^s oh 
+ke pla+e. 

So +Ka+s wKy X go+ seht +o bed a+ 7:00 ahd 
X’n ho+ dowhs+airs wa+chih^ +Ke Mew Years 
E-Ve special oh TV. 

Ahd iKa+'s also wly ny ohl^ Mew Years 
resolo+ioh is +o hever ^>l<y wi+K Mahiry a^aih. 




X found a way +o KaVe some f,n wrtK tKe VJKeel 
Rowley ^ot me for CKristmas. X car* up w.tK +K»S 
^ame wKere one ^uy rides down tKe Kill and tKe 
o+Ker ^uy tries to knock Kim off witK a football. 

Rowley was +Ke first one down tKe Kill, and X 
was tKe tKrower. 

tKou$Kt. Plus, X didn't ^et a lot of practice. Xt 
took Rowley like ten minutes to walk tKe B13 VJKeel 
tack up tKe Kill after every trip down. 


Rowley ke^>+ askih^ +o swi+cH places ahd Have ne 
be +He ohe wHo rides +He Big ViHeel, bu+ X'n ho 
■fool. "THa+ -tHih<j was Hi++ih^ +K>r^y-five niles ah 
Hour, ahd i+ didh + Have ary brakes. 

Arywa^, X hever did khock Rowley off +He Bi^ 
VJHeel +oday. Bu+ X ^uess X Have sone+Hihg +o 
work a+ over +He res+ of CHris+nas vaca+ioh. 

X was Headihg u^ +o Rowley’s ioday +o ^>lay our 
ftg VJHeel ^ane a^aih, bu+ Mon said X Had +o 
fihisH ry CHris+nas +Hahk-^oos before X weh+ 
oo+ aiywHere. 

X thought X could just crank out ny thank-you 
cards In a half hour, but when it cane -to actually 
writing then, ny nind went blank. 

Let ne tell you, Its not easy writing thank-you 
notes for stuff you didn't want in the first place. 

X started with the nonclothes itens, because X 
thought they’d be easiest. But after two or 
three cards, X realized X was practically writing 
the sane thing every tine. 

So X wrote up a general forn on the conputer 
with blanks for the things that needed to change. 
Vlriting the cards fron there was a breeze. 

Dear/^unt Lydia, 

Thank you so much for the awesome encyclopedia ! 
How did you know I wanted that for Christmas? 

Hove the way the encyclopedia looks on my shelf ! 

All my friends will be so jealous that I have my very own 
encyclopedia • 

Thank you for making this the best Christmas ever! 

Sincerely, Greg 

My system worked out pretty well for the firs+ 
couple of <jifts, but after that, not so much. 

Dear Aunt Loretta, 

Thank you so much for the awesome pants I 
How did you know I wanted that for Christmas? 

1 love the way the pants looks on my legs ! 

All my friends will be so jealous that I have my very own 

Thank you for making this the best Christmas ever! 

Sincerely, Greg 



X finally knocked Fowley off tHe Big ViHeel today, 
kut it didn’t Happen tHe way X expected. X was 
trying +o Kit Kim in tHe sHoulder, tot X missed, 
and tHe footkall went under tHe front tire. 

Fowley tried to kreak His fall ky sticking out His 
arms, kut He landed pretty H«rd on His left 
Hand. X figured He'd just sHake it off and get 
rigHt fcack on tHe kike, kut He didn’t. 

X tried to cHeer Him up, kut all tHe jokes tHat 
usually crack Him up weren't working. 

So I khew ke nos+ be kor+ pre-tty bad. 


Ckris+nas vaca+ioh is over, ahd how we’re tack 
a+ sckool. Ah <4 you renenber Rowleys Bi^ Vlkeel 
accidehV? Well, ke broke k>S kahd, ahd how ke kas 
+o wear a casi. AhJ -today, everyohe was crowdihg 
arouhd kin like ke was a kero or sone+kihg. 


I -tried +o cash ih oh Some of Rowley's hew 
^oyularity, bu+ rt -to+ally backfired. 

A+ luhch a buhch of 31'rls ihVi+ed Rowley over +0 
•their -table so they could FEED him. 

Viha-t really -ticks me off about that is +ha-t 
Rowley is ri^h+-hahded; ahd it’s his LEFT hahd 
that's brokeh. So he cah feed himself just fihe. 

have ah ihjury of my owh. 

X took some game from home, ahd X wra^ed 
u^> my hahd to make 1+ look like it was hurt. 


X couldh*t figure out why the girls wereh’t 
swarmihg me like they Swarmed Rowley, but theh 
X realized what the problem was. 

See, the cast is a great gimmick because everyohe 
wahts +o sigh -their home oh it. But its hot exactly 
easy to sigh game with a ^eh. 


So X came up wi+K a solu+ioh +ha+ X +hou^K+ 
was juS+ as ^ood. 


”TVi“+ idea was a +o+al bus+, +oo. My bandage did 
ehd op a++rac+ih^ a-Heh+ioh from a couple of 
people, but believe ne, +b>ey were **>+ +he -type 
of people X was ^oin^ for. 

Last week we started tke tkird quarter at 
school, so how X kave a wkole buhck of hew 
classes. Ohe of tke classes X Sighed up for is 
Sone+kih^ called Xhdepehdeht Study. 

X WANTED +o si^h up for Hone E-cohorwcS 2, 
because X was pretty 300 d at H°r>e E-c 1. 

But beih^ ^ood at sewih^ does hot exactly buy 
you popularity poihts at Sckool. 

Ahyway, tkis Xhdepehdeht Study tkih^ is ah 
experimeht tkey’re tryihg out at our sckool for 
tke firsi tine. 

Ike idea is ikai ike class geis assighed a projeci, 
ahd ikeh you KaVe io work oh ii iogeiker wiik ho 
ieacker ih ike room for ike wkole <^uarier. 

Tke caick is ikai wkeh you’re dohe, everyohe 
ih your group geis ike same grade. X fouhd oui 
ikai Ricky Fisker is ih my class, wkick could be 
a big problem. 

Ricky’s tig claim io -fame is ikai ke'll pick ike 
gum off ike boiiom of a desk ahd ckew ii if you 
pay kim fifty cehis. So X doh’i really kave kigk 
kopes for our fihal grade. 


T>day we goi our Xhdepehdehi Siudy assighmehi, 
ahd guess wkai ii is? VJe kaVe io build a rofcoi. 

A+ f'rsi everybody kihd of freaked out, because 
we ikougki we were goihg io kave io build ike 
roboi front scraick. 

1 % 


Bu+ Mr. Parnell +old us we don‘+ kave -to build 
ah actual robot. VJe just need to cone op witk 
ideas /or wkat our robot migk+ look like ahd 
wkat kinds 0/ tkings it would be able +0 do. 

Xken ke le/t tke room, and we were on our own. 
Vie started braihstormihg ri^K+ away. X wrote 
down a buhck of ideas on tke blackboard. 

E-Verybody was pretty impressed witk my ideas, 
bu+ it was easy +0 come up witk tkem. All X 
did was write down all tke tkihgs X kate 
doihg mysel/. 

a couple of -ike girls got up io -tke /roht 0/ 
room, and tkey k<»d some ideas of tkeir own. 
y erased my list and drew up ikeir own plan. 


"They wanted to invent a robot that would give 
you dating advice and have ten types of lip gloss 
on i+s fingertips. 

All us guys thought this was the stupidest idea 
we ever heard. So we ended up splitting into two 
groups, girls and hoys. "The boys wen+ to the 
other side of the room while the girls stood 
around talking. 

Mow th<»+ we had all the serious workers in one 
place, we got to work. Someone had the idea 
that you can say your name to the robot and it 
can say it back to you. 


But then soneone else poihted out that you 
shouldn't be able to use bad words for your 
nane, because the robot shouldn’t be able to 
curse. So we decided we should cone up with a 
list of all the bad words the robot shouldn't be 
able to soy. 

Vie cane up with all the regular bad words, but 
then Ricky fisher cane up with twenty nore the 
rest of us had never even heard before. 

So Ricky ended up being one of the nost valuable 
contributors on this project. 

Right before the bell rang, Mr. Parnell canc 
back in the roon to check on our progress. He 
picked up the piece of paper we were writing on 
and read it over. 


VJell, <»+ leos+ i+ is for os boys. So if +he rol>o+s 
in +he fo+ore ore ^oing oroonj wi+h cherry lif 
^loss for fibers, o+ leas+ now you know how i+ 
oil 0o+ s+or+ej. 

'Thors joy 

In school +o<Joy +hey had a generol ossembly ond 
showed +he movie "I+’s Greo+ +o Be Me," which 
+hey show us every ye or. 

Ihe movie is oil oboo+ how yoo shoold be happy 
wi+h who yoo ore ond no+ change ony+hing 
oboo+ yoorself. 


To t)« hohes+ wi+k you, X +kihk +kaVs a really 
dumb message +o be +ellihg kids, especially +ke 
ohes a+ my school. 

La+er oh, ikey made ah ahhouhcemeh-f -+ka+ 

+kere are Some opehihgs oh +ke Safety Pa+rols, 
ahd +ka+ go+ me +kihkihg. 

Tf someohe picks oh a Sa-fe-ty Patrol, i+ cah ge+ 
+kem suspehded. Xke way X fi$vrt <+, X cah use 
ahy ex+ra pro+ec-tioh X cah ge+. 

Plus, X realized +ka+ maybe beihg ih a posi+ioh 
of au+kori-ty could be good for me. 

x ;rx x 

f Mr - Whit / “~u ~w „ l « 

Ct v " PS 'J^SJ-fa - so~tU, 

ISJ' m T " p u *>•j“■* 

h * W “ °" r ^ W 3 “ tk« spot. 

Mr. Vlinsky said the openings were fior a special 
assignment. Our school is right next to the 
elementary school, and they've got a halfi-day 
kindergarten -there. 

He wants us +o walk -the morning session kids hone 
in -the middle of -the day. X realized that meant 
we would miss twenty minutes of Pre-Algebra. 
Rowley must have -figured that out, too, because 
he started to speak up. But X gave him a wicked 
pinch underneath the desk befiore he could -finish 

X couldn't believe my luck. X was getting instant bully 
protection and a -free pass firom halfi of Pre-Algebra, 
and X didn’t even have to lifit a finger. 

XVi idling you, X've got i+ made witk tkis 
Safety Patrol tking. 

At 12:15, me and Rowley left sckool and walked 
tke kindergartners kome. Xke wkole trip a+e up 
forty-five minutes, and tkere were only twenty 
mnutes of Pre-Algefcra left wken we got tack. 

Vlalking tke kids kome was no sweat. But one of 
tke kindergartners started to smell a lit-He funny, 
and X tkink mayke ke kad an accident in kis pants. 

He tried to let me know atout it, tut X just 
stared straigkt akead and kept walking. XII 
take tkese kids kome, tut kelieve me, X didn’t 
sign up for any diaper duty. 




Today it snowed for the first tine this winter, 
and school was canceled. VJe were supposed to 
have a test in Pre-Algebra, and X’ve kind of 
slacked off ever since X became a Safety Patrol. 
So X was psyched. 

X called Rowley and told him to come over. Me and 
him have been talking about building the worlds 
biggest snowman for the past couple of years now. 

And when X say the worlds biggest snowman, 
X'ni not kidding. Our goal is to get into the 
"Guinness Book of Viorid Records." 




But every time weve gotten serious about gahg 
/or tHe record all tHe snow Has melted, arid 
we've missed our window of opportunity. So +his 
year, X wanted to get started rigHt away. 

VJHen Rowley came over, we started rolling tHe 
first snowball to make tHe base. X figured tHe 
base was going to Have to be at least eigHt feet 
tall on its own if we wanted to Have a sHot at 
breaking tHe record. But tHe snowball got real 
Heavy, and we Had to take a buncH of breaks in 
between rolls so we could catcH our breatH- 

Poring one of our breaks, Mon cane oo+side +o 30 
+0 +He grocery s+ore, but oor snowball was blocking 
Her car in. So we go+ a li+-He frtt labor 00 + of Her. 

After oor break, ne and Rowley yosHed +Ha+ 
snowball on+il we cooldn*+ yosH it any far+Her. 
Bo+ wHen we looked beHind os, we saw +He ness 
we Had nade. 


Our plan to build tKe world’s blcjgest snowman 
was starting +o fall apart. So I came up with 
be-Htr idea for our snowball. 

E-Very +lme 1+ snows, tKe kids from VJKlrley 
Street use our Kill for sledding, even tKou^K H 
Ish’t tKelr neloKborKood. 

So iomorrow morning, wKen +Ke VlKirley S+ree+ 
kids cone marcking up our Kill, me and Rowley are 
going +o +eack +kose guys a lesson. 


VJKeh X woke up +kis morning, +ke snow was 
already s+ar+ing +o mel+. So X fold Rowley +o 
kurry up anti get down +o my Kouse. 

VJKile X was waiting for Rowley +o sKow up, X 
wa+cked Manny trying to build a snowman out of 
+ke piddly crumbs of snow +ka+ were left over 
from our snowball. 


X+ was ac-hiaiy kind of pa+Ke+ic. 

I really cooldn+ Kelp doing wka+ I did nex+. 
Un-for+vna+ely for me, figK+ a+ +ka+ moment, 
Pad was at +Kc -front window. 


Pad was ALREADY mad a+ me for tearing op 
+He sod, so X knew X was in for i+. X Heard +He 
garage door open and X saw Pad coming oo+Si'de. 
He marched rigH+ oof carrying a snow sHoVel, and X 
4>ougH+ X was going +o nave +o make a ron for rt. 

Bu+ Pad was Heading for my snowball, no+ me. 
And in less +Han a minu+e, He reduced all oor 
Hard work +o no+Hing. . i , _ 

Rowley came b^ a -few mihu+es la+er. X ke 

micjk't' actualy ^e+ a kick ou+ of wka+ kapfehed. 

Bu+ X ^uess ke kad kis kear+ se+ oh rolling 
+ka+ showball dowh +ke kilk ahd ke was really 
mad. Bu+ ^e+ +kis-‘ Rowley was mad a+ ME for 
wka+ DAD did. 

X +old Rowley ke was beihg a bi^ bab^, and we 
30+ ih a skoVihg ma+ck- Ri«jk+ wkeh i+ looked like 
we were ^oih^ +0 ^e+ ih ah all-ou+ fgk+, we go+ 
ambusked from +ke s+ree+. 


X+ was a Li+-and-run by tLe VlLirley Street kids. 

And if Mrs. Levine, my E-nglisL teacLer, was 
tLere, X'm sure sLe would Lave said tLe wLole 
situation was ironic. 


'‘today at scLool tLey announced tLere’s an opening 
•for tLe car+oonis+ jot> in tLe school paper. XKeres 
only one conic slot, and up until now tLis kid named 
Bryan Little Las been Log^ng it all to Limself. 


Bryah Kas tKls corxc called "Vlacky Pawg,' and 
wKen It started off, it was actually pretty funny. 

But lately, Bryans teen usln<j Ks strlj> to Kandle 
Kis personal business. X cjuess tKat’ 

^ave Kin tKe 

^uess tKats wKy tKey 

Wacky Dawg 

Bryan Little 

Hey, Actually, 

Wacky I have 

I Dawg. say something 
somethin' serious on 
FUNNY! m Y mmd 

i today. 

Susan Lim, if you are reading this, 
Bryan is very sorry he kissed your 
best friend Rachel behind the 
lockers. He hopes you can find it in 
your heart to forgive him. 

As soon as X Keard tKe news, X knew X Kad to 
try out. "Vlacky Paw^" made Bryan Little a 
celebrity at our scKool, and X wanted to ^et In 
on some of tKat kind of fort.. 

X Kad a taste of wKat Its like to be -famous at 
my scKool wKen X won Konorable mention In tKls 

antismoklna contest tKev Kad. 

All X did was -trace a picture from one of 
Rodricks Keavy metal magazines, but luckily, no 
one ever -found out. 

X\« kid wKo won first place is named CKris 
Carney. And wKat kind of ticks me off is tKat 
CKris smokes at least a pack of cigarettes a day. 



Me and Rowley decided +o team up and Jo a 
cartoon together. So after ScKool today he cane 
over to ny house, and we got +o work. 

VJe banged oot a bonch of characters real 
<^uick, bot that torned oot to fee the easy 
part. Vlhen we tried -to think op some jokes, 
we kind of hit a wall. 

X -final ly cane op with a good solotion. 

X naje op a cartoon where the ponch line of 
every strip is "Zoo-VJee Manaf ” 

"That way we wooljn’t get bogged down with having 
to write actoal jokes, and we coold concentrate on 
the pic tores. 


For the ■firsi couple of strips, X did the writing 
and drew the characters, and Rowley drew the 
boxes around the pictures. 

Rowley started complaining that he didn't have 
enough to do, so X let him write a -few of the strips. 


E-veh+uaiy X 30+ kind of sick of +he "Zoo-VJee 
Mama" idea and X ^re-Hy mucH le+ Rowley -take 
over +he w^ole opera+ioh. 


A*d kelieve i+ or ho+, Rowley s drawih^ skills 
arc worse +Kah Kis wri+ih^ skills. 

X +old Rowley mayke we Should come up with 
some hew ideas, ku+ he jus+ wah+ed +o keep 
wri+ihg "Zoo-VJee Mamas.” IVieh he packed up 
Kis comics and weh+ home, which was 6he ky me. 
X doh’+ really wah+ +o ke par+hered up wi+h a 
kid who doesh’+ draw hoses, ahyway. 


After Fowley left yesterday X reallv ^o+ to work 
oh some cones. X cane up w>tK tkis character called 
Crei^htoh tKe Cretin, and X got oh a roll. 

X must’ve barbed out twenty strips, and X 
didr*t ever* break a sweat. 





”lT*e ^reat tb*ir*g about tKese ' Crei^Kton the Cretin" 
contcs is that with all the idiots running around ry 
school, X will MEVER run out of new material. 

VJhen I go+ +0 school -today, I -took ry cor»cs 
+0 Mr. Ira's office. He's +he teacher who runs 
■+V»e school news^a^er. 

but when I went +0 turn ry strips in, I saw 
that there was a pile of corses -from other kids 
who were -hying 00+ -for the jot. 

Most of them were pretty tad; so I wasn‘+ +00 
worried about the competition. 

So In hot +oo worried about +Ke cKahceS of 
Bills conic ^e+tih^ ih, ei+Her. 

"There were actually ohe or two deceit conics ih 
the bih. But X slipped then uhder a pile of 
paperwork oh Mr. Xras desk. 

Hope/ully, those ohes woh’t turh up uh+il Xr 
ih high school. 


’Today, durihg mornih^ ahhouhcemeh+s, X 30+ 
+he hews X was hopihg for. 

"The paper came 00+ +oday a+ luhch -time, ahd 
eVeryohe was readih^ i+. 

X really wah+ed +0 pick up a copy +0 See my 
hame ih prih+, t>u+ X decided +0 jus+ play i+ cool 
for a while ihs+ead. 


X sat a-)- the end of the lunch table so -there 
would he plenty of room -for me to start signing 
autographs -for ry mew -fans. But nobody was coming 
over to tell me how great my comic was, and X 
started to get the feeling Something was wrong. 

X grabbed a paper and went into the bathroom 
to check it out. A^d when X saw my comic, X 
practically had a heart attack. 


Mr. Xra told me he had made some "minor 
edits” to my comic. X thought he Just meant he 
fixed spelling mistakes and stuff like that, but 
he totally butchered it. 

"The comic he ruined was one of my favorite ones, 
too. X* the original, Creighton Aw Cretin is taking 
a math test, and he accidentally eats it. And then 
the teacher yells at him for being such a moron. 

By +he -time Mr. Ira was done wr 4 \ i+, you 
^rac+ically could^-f reco^fuxe i+ as +Ke sane s+rij). 

Creighton the Curious Student by Gregory Heffley 

So I'm pret+y Sure I wotvt t>e si^hihg au+o^ra^Ks 




Me ahd Rowley were ehjoyih^ our ko+ ckocola+e 
ih +Ke cafe+ena wi+K +ke res+ of +ke Pa+rols 
+oday, ahd -there was ah ahhouhceneht oh the 

Rowley weht dowh to Mr. Vlihsky’s office, ahd 
wKeh Rowley cane tack fifteeh nihutes later, he 
looked pretty sKakeh op. 

Appareh+ly Mr. Vlihsky 30+ a call fron a pareht 
who said they withessed Rowley "+errori7.ih^’‘ 
the kihder^arthers wheh Ke was supposed +0 te 
walkih^ then home fron School. A^d Mr. Vlihsky 
was really nad atout it. 


Rowley said Mr. VJihsky yelled at Kin -for about 
teh mihutes ahd said Kis actiohs "disrespected 

You know, X tKihk X mi^Kt just khow wKat tKis 
is all about. Last week, Rowley Kad to take a 
<jua. durihg -foor+K period, so X walked tKe 
kihdergarthers Kome oh ry owh. 

Xt Kad raihed tKat morhih^, ahd tKere were a 
lot of worms oh tKe sidewalk. So X decided +o 
KaVe some fuh witK tKe kids. 


Bu+ some neighborhood lady saw wha+ X was 
doing, and she yelled a+ me from her front porch. 

X+ was Mrs. Xrvine, who is friends wi+h Rowleys 
mom. She must have thought X was Rowley, 
because X was borrowing his coat. And X wasn’-t 
about +o correct her, either. 

X forgot abou+ the whole incident uhtil today. 

Anyway, Mr. VJinsky told Rowley he’s going to 
have +o apologize to the kindergartners tomorrow 
morning, and that he’s suspended iron Patrols 
■for a week. 


X knew X skould prokakly just tell Mr. Vlinsky it 
was me wko ckased tke kids tke worms. Bui 
X wash’i ready to set ike record sir aigkt just 
yet. X knew if X confessed, X’d lose my kot 
ckocola+e privileges. Arid tkat rigkt +kere was 
enougk +o make me keep (juiet -for tke time keing. 

At dinner tonigkt, Mom could +ell Sometking 
was kotkering me, so ske came up to my room 
afterward to talk. 

X told ker X was in a tougk situation, and X 
didn’t know wkat to do. 

X got to give Mom credit for kow ske kandled 
it. Ske didn’t try to pry and get all tke details. 
AH ske said was tkat X skould try to do tke 
"rigkt tking," kecause it's our ckoices tkat make 
us wko we are. 

X figure +ha+s pre++y deceh+ advice. Bo+ Xm s+ill 
ho+ 100 % sore wha+ X’m goihg +o do +omorrow. 


Vlell, X was op all ni^K+ ioSSih^ ahd +orhihg 
over +his Rowley si+wa+ioh, fco+ X fihally made 
op my mihd. X decided +he ri<jh+ +Ki ^3 +o do 
was +o joS+ le+ Rowley +ake ohe for +he +eam 
+h*s +ime aroohd. 

Oh +he way home from school, X came cleah wi+h 
Rowley ahd +old him +he whole +ro+h aboo+ wha+ 
happened, ahd how i+ was me who chased +he 
kids wi+h +he worms. 


"TVieh X told Kim tKere were lessors we could 
botK learn from tKis. X told Kim X learned to tie 
more careful about wK«t X do in front of Mrs. 
Xrvines Kouse, and tKat Ke learned a Valuable 
lesson, too, wKicK is tKis-' Be careful about wKo 
you lend your coat to. 

'To be Konest witK you, my message didn’t seem 
to be <jettin^ tKrou^K to Rowley. 

Vie were su^osed to Kan^ out after scKool 
today, but Ke said Ke was Just ^oin^ to 30 Kome 
and take a na^. 

X couldn’t really blame Kim. Because if X didn’t 
KaVe my Kot cKocolate tKis morning, X wouldn’t 
Kave K«d mucK energy, eitKer. 


VlKeh X 30+ home, Mon was wai+ih^ for me a+ 
+he frotrv+ door. 

Mon +ook me out +0 ^e+ some ice cream as a special 
+rea+. Ar>d wha+ +his whole episode has +ao^h+ me 
is +ha+ ever^ ohce ih a while, i+s no+ soch a bad 
idea +0 lis+eh +0 yoor mo+her. 



"THere was another ahhouhcemeh+ oh -tHe loudspeaker 
today, ahd to be Hohest witH you, X kihd of 
figured +His ohe was comihej. 

X khew i+ was jus+ a matter of time before X 
got busted for wHat Happehed last week. 

VlHeh X 30+ +0 Mr. Vlihskys office, He was 
really mad. Mr. Vlihsky told me tHat ah 
"ahohymous source” Had ihformed Him tH<»t X 
was tHe real culprit ih tHe worm-cHasihg ihcideht. 

XHch He told me X was relieved of my Safety 
Patrol duties "effective immediately. 


Vlell, i+ doesh't take a de+ec+ive +o figure out 
+H«+ +He anonymous source was Rowley. 

X cant believe Rowley weht and backsiabbed 
me like tHat. VlKile X was si+tihg -*We getting 
cKewed out by Mr. Vlihsky, X was tHihkihg, X 
heed to remember to give my friehd a lecture 

Later oh today, Rowley got reihstated as a Patrol. 
Ahd ge+ -H\is-* He actually got a PROMOTION. 
Mr. Vlihsky said Rowley Had "exHibi+ed dighity 
uhder false suspicioh." 

X +K0U3K+ akou+ really le-H-in^ Rowley kave 1+ 
for ra-Hin^ me 00+ like +ka+, t>u+ +ken X 
realised some+kin^. 

Xn June, all +ke officers in +ke Safety Pa+rols 
30 on a +rij> +0 Si* Xia^s, and +key ge+ +0 +ake 
alon^ one friend. X need +0 make sore Rowley 
knows X’m Kis 0)\ty. 

said before, +ke wors+ j>ar+ of ^e-Hin^ 
kicked off Safe-ty Pa+rols is losing your ko+ 
ckocola+e ^rivile^es. 

E-Very morning, X 30 +0 +ke back door of +ke 
cafe+eria so Rowley can kook me u^>. 


Bu+ ei+Ker my friehd Kas 3 ohe deaf or he's +oo 
busy kissih^ the o+her officers’ butts to hotice mt 

Xh fact, how that X -rtvhk of it, Kowley has been 
TOTALLY ^ivihg mt the cold shoulder la+ely. Ahd 
that's really lame, because if X recall correctly, 

ME’ S the ohe that sold t^lE out. 

Even +Kou 3 K Cowley has been a total jerk lately, 
X tried to break the ice with Kim today, anyway. 
But even THAT didn’t seem to work. 



E-Vtr sihce +Ke worn ihcideh+, Rowley Kas beeh 
hah^ih^ oof wi+K Collih Lee every day after scKool. 
VlKa+ really s+ihks is +Ka+ Collih is supposed +o 
be MY backup friehd. 

”TT\ose ^oys are ac+ih<j +o+ally ridicoloos. "Today, 
Rowley ahd Collih were wearihg these na+cKihg 
T _ sWr+S, ahd i+ made me jus+ aboo+ wah+ +o Vomi+. 

Bu+ Rowley was ih his froh+ yard, ahd he was 
wa+ckiV^ me. So X khew +here was ho +urhihg tack. 

X ihvi+ed myself ih+o Fre^ley’s house. His mom said 
she was exciied +o see Fre^ley wi+h a "^layma+e," 
which was a +erm X was ho+ +oo eh+hosias+ic about. 

Me ahd Fre^ley weh+ o^s+airs +o his room. 
Fre^ley tried +o ^e+ me +o play Twis+er wi+h 
him, so X made sore X s+ayed +eh feet away 
from him a+ all +imes. 

X decided +ha+ X should jos+ ■poll +he plu^ oh 
+his S+upid idea ahd 30 home. But every +ime X 
looked 00+ +he wihdow, Rowley ahd Collih were 
s+ill ih Rowley’s froh+ yard. 


X didnf want +o leave until tKose guys went tack 
inside. But tKings started to get out of Kand witK 
fregley pre-Hy quickly. VlKen X was looking out tKe 
window, Fregley troke info my tack pack and afe tKe 
wKole tag of Jelly teans X Kad in tKere. 

Fregley’s one of tKese kids wKo’s not supposed 
+o ea+ any sugar, so two minutes later, Ke was 
touncing off tKe walls. 

Fregley started acting like a total maniac, and 
Ke cKased me all around Kis upstairs. 

X kepi fKinking Ke was going to come down off 
of Kis sugar KigK» tut Ke didnt. E-ventually, X 
locked myself in Kis tatKroom to waif Kim out. 

Arouhd 11 -' 30 , i+ got <jw'e+ ou+ ih +Ke Kallwa^. 
TKa+s wheh Vrtt^ty slipped o piece of paper 
under +He door. 

X picked i+ op ahd read i+. 

£)ear Gne^ofy, 

IVn very sorry X 
chased yoo w?+h a 
boomer on my finder. 

Here, X i+ on 
+his p a per so yoo 
can 0e+ me back. 


"That's +he last thing X remember before X 
blacked out. 

X came +o my senses a few hours la+er. After X 
woke op, X cracked the door open, and X heard 
snoring coming from Fregley's room. So X decided 
to make a run for it. 

Mom and P«d were not happy with me for getting 
them out of bed at 2'00 in the morning, but by 
that point, X could really care less. 



VJell, me and Rowley have officially been ex-friends 
for about a month how, and to be honest with 
you, I hi better off without him. 

X m glad X can just do whatever X want without 
havihg +o worry about carrying all th*t dead 
weight around. 

Lately X’ve beeh Kah^ih^ out ih Rodricks room 
after school ahd going through h*'s stuff. Xhe other 

Rodrick wrote oh eVerybodys picture ih his 
yearbook, so you cah tell how he felt about all 
the kids ih his grade. 

1 % 

E-Very once in a while, X see Rod rick's old classmates 
around town. And X have -to remember to thank 
Rodrick for making church a lot more interesting. 

But the page in Rodricks yearbook +ha+'s 
really interesting is -the Class favorites page. 

"That's where they put pictures of the kids who 
get Voted Most Popular and Most "Talented and 
all that. 


Rodhck wrote oh K>s Class favorites page, too. 


Bill Watson Kathy Nguyen 

You khow, this Class Favorites thihg has really 
got my gears turhihg. 

If you cah get yourself Voted ohto the Class 
Favorites page, you’re practically ah immortal. 
Fveh if you doht live up to what you got 
picked for, it doesh’t really matter, because its 
oh permaheht record. 

People still treat Bill VJatsoh like he’s somethihg 
specal, eveh though he ehded up droppihg out of 
high school. 


Vie still run into him at the Food Bam every 
once in a while. 

So here’s what X’m -thinking-' "This school year 
has teen kind of a kust, kut if X can get Voted 
as a Class Favorite, X’ll go out on a high note. 

X’ve teen trying to think of a category X have 
a shot at. Most Popular and Most A+hletic are 
definitely out, so X’m going to have to find 
something that’s a little kit more in reach. 

A+ first X thought mayke X should wear really 
nice clothes for the rest of the year so X con 
get Best Pressed. 


But that would mean X would Save +o get rty 
picture taken with Jenna Stewart, and she 
dresses like a Pilgrim. 


Last night X was ying in ked, and it Kit me-' X 
should go for Class Clown. 

Xts not like X'm known for keing real fur\Y\y at 
school or anything, kut if X can pull off one kig 
prank fight Wore Voting, that could do it. 



"Today X was trying +o •figure out how X was 
going +o sneak a thunbtack onto Mr. VJorth’s 
chair in History when he said sonething that 
made ne rethink my plan. 

Mr. VJorth told us he has a dentist's appointment 
tomorrow, so were going to have a substitute. 

Subs are like conic gold. You can say just about 
anything you want, and you can’t get in trouble. 


X walked ih+o my History class today, ready 
+o execute my pi ah. But wKeh X 30+ +0 tKe 
door, ^uess wKo tKe Substitute teacher was? 

Of all tKe people ih tKe world +0 be our Sob 
■today, it was Mom. X thought Mom’s days of 
^e+tihg involved at my ScKool were over. 

SKe used +0 be ohe of those parehts who came 
ih +0 Kelp 00+ ih the classroom. But that all 
charged after Mom voluhteered +0 be a 
chaperohe -for our -field "trip +0 the zoo wheh 
X was ih third ^rade. 

Mon H 4 prepared all sorts of material +o Help us 
kids appreciate tHe different exHibrts, but all 
ary one waited to do was watcH tHe animals 30 
to tHe batHroom. 

Anyway, Mom totally -foiled my plan to wih Class 
Clown. X’m just lucky tHeres not a category 
called Biggest Mama’s Boy, because after today, 
X'd win tHat one in a landslide. 



”TKe school paper came out a^ain today. X ^uit 
my jot as school cartoonist after "Crei^Kton +Ke 
Curious Student" came out, and X didn't really 
care wHo tKey picked to replace me. 

But everyone was lau^Kin^ at tKe comics pacje at 
lunch, so X picked up a copy +o see what was so 

X+ was "Zoo-Vlee Mama.” Arid of course Mr. Xra 
didn’t change a single WORD of Rowley’s strip. 

Zoo-Wee Mama by Rowley Jefferson 


Xhe kids at my school are ALWAYS itching to 
see a fight. Me and Rowley -fried to walk away, 
bot those goys weren’t going +o le+ os go ontil 
they saw os throw some punches. 

X’ve never been in a real fight before, so X didn't 
know bow X was supposed to stand or bold my 
fists or anything. A^d yoo coold tell Rowley 
didn't know wbat be was doing either, because be 
jost started prancing aroond like a leprecbaon. 

X was pretty sore X coold -take Rowley in a 
fight, bot tbe thing -that made me nervoos was 
tbe fact that Rowley takes karate. X don’t know 
wbat kind of hocus-pocus they teacb in Rowleys 
karate classes, bot tbe last thing X needed was 
for him to lay me oot right there on the blacktop. 


Before me or Rowley made a move, -there was a 
screechihg souhd ih -the school parkihg lo+. A 
kuhch of -teehagers had s-topped -their ^>icku^> 
-truck, and "they s+ar-ted piling ou+. 

X was Jus+ ha^>py -tha-t everyorie’s a-H-eh-tioh was 
oh -the -teehagers ihs+ead of me ahd Rowley. But 
all the o-ther kids +ook off wheh -the -teehagers 
S+ar+ed headihg our way. 

A*d +heh X realized +ha+ -these -teehagers 
looked awfully familiar. 

"Tha-hs wheh i+ hi+ me. "These were +he same 
guys who chased me ahd Rowley arouhd oh 
Halloweeh high+, ahd -they had fihally caugh+ u^> 
with us. 


Bu+ before we could make a run for i+, we had our 
arms pinned behind our backs. 

"Those guys wan+ed +o +each us a lesson for 
+aun+lng +hem on Halloween nlgh+, and +hey 
s+ar+ed arguing over wha+ +hey should do wl+h us. 

But +o be hones+ wl+h you, I was more concerned 
abou+ some+hing else, "the Cheese was only a few 
fee+ from where we were s+anding on +he black+op, 
and 1+ was looking nas+ler +han ever. 


XKe big teenager most Kave caogKt my eye, 
because tKe next tKing X knew, Ke was looking 
at tKe CKeese, too. And X guess tKat gave Kim 
tKe idea Ke was looking for. 

Rowley got singled out first. XKe big kid grabbed 
Rowley and dragged Kim over +o tK« CKeese. 

Kiow, X don't want to say exactly wKat Kappened 
next, because if Rowley ever tries to run for 
President and someone finds out wKat tKese guys 
made Kim do, Ke won't Kave a cKance. 

So XII f>u+ it to you tKis way' XKey made Rowley 
_tKe CKeese. 


X khew +tay were <y>Y\Yv\ r*»ke me do i+, +00. I 
s+ar+ed +0 j>ar»c, because X kr*w X wasn't goirvg 
-ho fee able +0 -figh+ my way 00+ of -Hvs si-toa+ioh. 

So X did Some fas+ ialkiftg instead. 

A^d believe i+ or no+, i+ ac+ually worked. 


I guess -me -teenagers were satisfied they had 
made their point, because after +Key made 
Rowley finish off the rest of the Cheese, the 
let us go. "They go+ back in their -truck and 
-took off down the road. 

Me and Rowley walked home together. But neith* 
one of us really said anything on the way back. 

I -thought about mentioning to Rowley that 
maybe he could have gulled out a couple of his 
karate moves back there, but something told me 
-to hold off on that thought for right now. 



Tuts jay 

A+ school today, the -feathers le+ os outside 
after lunch. 

1 + took al>ou+ five seconds for someone to 
realize the Cheese was missing from its spot on 
+he blacktop. 

E-verybody crowded around +o look a+ where +he 
Cheese used to he. Nobody could believe it was 
actually gone. 

People s+ar+ed coming up with -these crazy theories 
about what happened to it. Somebody said that 
maybe the Cheese grew legs and walked away. 

Xt took all mv self-control to keep ry mouth 
shot. And if Rowley wasn’t standing right 
there, X honestly don’t know if X could have 






A couple o+ the guys who were arguing over what 
happened +o the Cheese were the same ones who 
were edging me and Cowley on yesterday afternoon. 
So X knew it wasn’t going to he long before 
someone put two and two together and fgured out 
that we must have had Something +o do with it. 

Rowley was starting to panic, and X don’t 
blame him, either. Xf the truth ever came out 
about how the Cheese disappeared, Rowley would 
be finished. He d have to move out of the state, 

"Thai's when X decided io speak up. 

X iold everyone ihai X knew whai happened io 
ihe Cheese. X said X was sick of ii bein^ on ihe 
blackiop, and X jusi decided io gei rid of ii once 
and for all. 

For a second ihere, everyone jusi froie. X 
ihou^hi people were goin^ io siari ihankin^ me 
for whai X did. bui boy, was X wron^. 

X really wish X had worded my siory a liiile 
differenily. Because if X ihrew away ihe Cheese, 
^uess whai ihai meani? X+ meani ihai X have 
ihe Cheese Touch. 


Vlell, if Rowley appreciated wKat X did for Kim 
last week, Ke Kasn't said it. But we've started 
Kanging out after school again, so X guess tKat 
means me and Kin are kack to normal. 

X can Konestly say tKat so far, KaVing tKe 
CKeese ToucK Kasn't keen all tKat kad. 

Xt got me out of doing tKe Square Pance unit 
in PKys E-d, kecause no one would partner up 
witK me. And X Ve Kad tKe wKole luncK takle to 
myself every day. 

Today was tKe last day of seKool, and tKey 
Kanded out yearkooks after e,gKtK period. 


X +o the Class favorites page, and 

here's the picture that was waiting -for me. 


Rowley Jefferson 

AH X can Say is, if anyone wants a free yearbook, 
they can dig one out of the trash can in the 
back of the cafeteria. 

You know, Rowley can have Class Clown for all X 
care. But if he ever gets too big for his britches, 
X'll just remind him that he was the guy who ate 


There are many people who helped bring this book to life, 
but four individuals deserve special thanks: 

Abrams editor Charlie Kochman. whose advocacy for Diary 
of a Wimpy Kid has been beyond what I could have hoped 
for. Any writer would be lucky to have Charlie as an editor. 

Jess Brallier, who understands the power and potential of 
online publishing, and helped Greg Heffley reach the masses 
for the first time. Thanks especially for your friendship and 

Patrick, who was instrumental in helping me improve this 
book, and who wasn't afraid to tell me when a joke stunk. 

My wife, Julie, without whose incredible support this book 
would not have become a reality. 


Jeff Kinney is the creator of He spent his 
childhood in the Washington, D.C.. area and moved to New 
England in 1995. Jeff lives in southern Massachusetts with his 
wife, Julie, and their two sons, Will and Grant. 

I it 

Jus+ doh + expect me to be dll "Pear Pi'ary" 
+K.S dh«J "Peer Pidrv” +K*+. 

Luckily for ui, whit Grog Woffloy taya ha won’t do and 
what ho actually doat aro two vary dlffarant thing*.