Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (Diary of a Wimpy Kid #2) Jeff Kinney TO JULIE, WILL, AND GRANT SEPTEMBER Monday I guess Mom was pretty proud of herself for making me write in that journal last year, because now she went and bought me another one. But remember how I said that if some jerk caught me carrying a book with “diary” on the cover they were gonna get the wrong idea? Well, that’s exactly what happened today. [Image: A cartoon showing a boy beating another boy. ] “My brother Rodrick” Now that Rodrick knows I have another journal, I better remember to keep this one locked up.

Rodrick actually got ahold of my LAST journal a few weeks back, and it was a disaster. But don’t even get me started on THAT story. 2 Even without my Rodrick problems, my summer was pretty lousy. Our family didn’t go anywhere or do anything fun, and that’s Dad’s fault. Dad made me join the swim team again, and he wanted to make sure I didn’t miss any meets this year. [Image: A cartoon of three people urging the three boys before a swimming race. ] “Kill ‘Em, Brandon! , No Mercy Todd! , Stop Shivering Greg! ” Dad’s got this idea that I’m destined to be a great swimmer or something, so that’s why he makes me join the team every summer. At my first swim meet a couple of years ago, Dad told me that when the umpire shot off the starter pistol, I was supposed to dive in and start swimming. But what he DIDN’T tell me was that the starter gun only fired BLANKS. So I was a whole lot more worried about where the bullet was gonna land than I was about getting myself to the other end of the pool. [Image: A cartoon showing a swimming race between three boys and out of them one boy has sunk to the ground. ] 4 Even after Dad explained the whole “starter pistol” concept to me, I was still the worst swimmer on the team.

But I did end

Page 2 Diary of a wimpy kid: Rodrick Rules Essay

up winning “Most Improved” at the awards banquet at the end of the summer. That’s only because there was a ten-minute difference between my first race and my last one. So I guess Dad’s still waiting for me to live up to my potential. [Image: A cartoon of a boy being patted on his back for the award as the mother and brother look on. ] In a lot of ways, being on the swim team was worse than being in middle school. First of all, we had to be at the pool by 7:30 every morning, and the water was always FREEZING cold. 5 And second of all, we were all crammed into two lanes, so I always had somebody on my tail trying to get around me. Image: A cartoon of three boys swimming. ] The reason we had to use two lanes was because swim practice was at the same time as the Water Jazz class. I actually tried to convince Dad to let me do Water Jazz instead of swim team, but he wouldn’t go for it. [Image: A cartoon of some people learning water jazz from their instructor. ] “Come on, Ladies! Get Those Arms Up! 6 This was the first summer the coach let us boys wear swim trunks instead of those skimpy racing trunks. But Mom said Rodrick’s hand-me-down bathing suit was “perfectly fine. ” [Image: A cartoon of a boy being made fun of by his two friends. ” Your friends will be jealous because you’ll be so fast! , Ha Ha Ha! , Ha Ha Ha! ” After swim practice, Rodrick would pick me up in his band’s van. Mom had this crazy idea that if me and Rodrick spent “quality time” on the ride home every day, we wouldn’t fight as much. But all it did was make things a lot worse. Rodrick was always a half hour late picking me up. 7 And he wouldn’t let me sit up front. He said the chlorine would ruin his seat, even though the van is something like fifteen years old. [Image: A cartoon of a boy in the truck telling the other to climb in the truck. “Get in Back. ” Rodrick’s van doesn’t actually have any seats in the back, so I had to squeeze in with all the band equipment. And every time the van came to a stop, I had to pray I didn’t get my head taken off by one of Rodrick’s drums. [Image: A cartoon of a boy falling backwards due to the sudden movement of the truck. ] 8 I ended up walking home every day instead of getting a ride from Rodrick. I figured it was better to just walk the two miles than to get brain damage riding in the back of that van. Halfway through the summer, I decided I was pretty much done with swim team.

So I came up with a trick to get out of practice. I’d swim a few laps, and then I’d ask the coach if I could use the bathroom. Then I’d just hide out in the locker room until practice was over. The only problem with my plan was that it was something like forty degrees in the boy’s bathroom. So it was even colder in THERE than it was in the pool. [Image: A cartoon of a boy shivering with cold while using the toilet. ] 9 I had to wrap myself up in toilet paper so I didn’t get hypothermia. [Image: A cartoon of a boy wrapped in toilet paper sitting on the toilet. That’s how I spent a pretty big chunk of my summer vacation. And that’s why I’m actually looking forward to going back to school tomorrow. Tuesday When I got to school today, everybody was acting all strange around me, and at first I didn’t know WHAT was up. [Image: A cartoon of children screaming and running away from a boy. ] “Scream! , Scream! ” 10 Then I remembered: I still had the Cheese Touch from LAST year. I got the Cheese Touch in the last week of school, and over the summer I COMPLETELY forgot about it. The problem with the Cheese Touch is that you’ve got it until you can pass it on to someone else.

But nobody would even get within thirty feet of me, so I knew I was gonna be stuck with the Cheese Touch for the whole school year. Luckily, there was a new kid named Jeremy Pindle in homeroom, so that took care of THAT problem. [Image: A cartoon of a boy talking to another. ] “Welcome to our school, Jeremy! ” My first class was Pre-Algebra, and the teacher put me right next to Alex Aruda, the smartest kid in the whole class. 11 Alex is SUPER easy to copy off of, because he always finishes his test early and puts his paper down on the floor next to him.

So if I ever get in a pinch, it’s nice to know I can count on Alex to bail me out. Kids whose last names start with the first few letters of the alphabet get called on the most by the teacher, and that’s why they end up being the smartest. Some people think that’s not true, but if you want to come down to my school, I can prove it. [Image: A cartoon of a smart kid and a dumb kid. ] “Alex Aruda, Christopher Ziegel” I can only think of ONE kid who broke the last-name rule, and that’s Peter Uteger. Peter was the smartest kid in the class all the way up until the fifth grade. 12

That’s when a bunch of us started giving him a hard time about how his initials sounded when you said them out loud. [Image: A cartoon of three children in a classroom. ] “Teacher the answer to that question is… , P. U! P. U! , Yeah! P. U.! P. U! ” These days, Peter doesn’t raise his hand at ALL, and he’s pretty much a C student. I guess I feel a little bad about the whole P. U. thing and what happened to Peter. But it’s hard not to take credit whenever it comes up. [Image: A cartoon of a boy trying to talk to the girl in front of him in the class. ] “I started that” 13

Anyway, today I got pretty decent seats in all my classes except seventh-period History. My teacher is Mr. Huff, and something tells me he had Rodrick as a student a few years back. [Image: A cartoon of a teacher telling the boy to sit in the chair near him. ] “Mr. Heffley, you’ll be sitting in this chair next to my desk. ” Wednesday Mom has been making me and Rodrick help out more around the house, and now the two of us are responsible for doing the dishes every night. The rule is that we’re not allowed to watch any TV or play video games until all the dishes are done.

But let me just say that Rodrick is the WORST dishes partner in the world. 14 As soon as dinner is over, he goes upstairs to the bathroom and camps out there for an hour. And by the time he comes back downstairs, I’m already done. [Image: A cartoon of two boys in front of the kitchen sink. ] “I’m ready to start! ” But if I ever complain to Mom and Dad, Rodrick always pulls out the same lame excuse: [Image: A cartoon of a family listening to a boy intently. ] “My body is on schedule. ” I think Mom and Dad are too worried about my little brother, Manny, to get involved in a fight between me and Rodrick right now anyway. 5 Yesterday, Manny drew a picture at day care, and Mom and Dad got really upset when they found it in his backpack. [Image: A drawing of a boy being hounded by two shouting adults. ] Mom and Dad thought the picture was supposed to be of THEM, so now they’re acting all lovely in front of Manny. [Image: A cartoon of a couple acting lovingly in front of their child. ] “I love you soooo much! , And I love you so much! ” I knew who it was REALLY supposed to be in the picture: me and Rodrick. 16 We got into a big blowout over the remote control the other night, and Manny was there to witness the whole thing.

But Mom and Dad don’t need to find out about THAT. Thursday Another reason my summer was kind of lame was because my best friend, Rowley, was on vacation pretty much the whole time. I think he went to South America or something, but to be honest with you, I’m not really sure. I don’t know if this makes me a bad person or whatever, but it’s hard for me to get interested in other people’s vacations. [Image: A cartoon of two boys talking and pointing at the globe which is on the table. ] “And then we’re gonna get on a boat and cruise down this river… MM HMM… Hey have you ever noticed this freckle before? ” 17 Besides, it seems like Rowley’s family is always traveling to some crazy place in the world, and I can never keep their trips straight. The other reason I don’t care about Rowley’s trips is because whenever Rowley comes back from one of his vacations, he always crams it down my throat. Last year, Rowley and his family went to Australia for ten days, but from the way he acted when he got back, you’d think he lived there his whole life. [Image: A cartoon of a boy welcoming his friend into his house. “G’day Mate! ” Another thing that’s really annoying is that whenever Rowley goes to some new country, he gets into whatever fad is going on over there. 18 Like when Rowley got back from Europe two years ago, he got hooked on this pop singer named “Joshie,” who I guess is some huge star or something. So Rowley came back with his bags full of Joshie CDs and posters and stuff. [Image: A cover of a Joshie CD. ] “Wild animal heart” I took one look at the picture on the CD and told Rowley that Joshie was supposed to be for six-yearold girls, but he didn’t believe me.

Rowley said I was just jealous because he was the one who “discovered” Joshie. And what made it really irritating was that now this guy was Rowley’s new hero. So if I ever tried to say anything critical at all, Rowley didn’t want to hear it. 19 [Image: A cartoon of two boys in the bedroom. ] “Joshie says you should respect your parents and follow your dreams! ” Speaking of foreign countries, today in French class, Madame Lefrere told us we’re going to be choosing pen pals this year. When Rodrick was in middle school, he had a seventeen-year-old girl from Holland as his pen pal.

I know because I’ve seen the letters in his junk drawer. [Image: A picture of a girl and a note stuck beside it. ] “I like the sunshiny days & ice-cream. Day you too? ” 20 When Madame Lefrere handed out the forms, I made sure I checked off the boxes that would get me a pen pal just like Rodrick’s. But after Madame Lefrere read over my form, she made me start over and pick again. She said I had to choose a boy who is my age, AND he has to be French. So I don’t exactly have high hopes for my pen-pal experience. [Image: A picture of a boy and a note in French. “Je m’appelle “Philippe”” Friday Mom decided to start making Rodrick pick me up after school, just like he picked me up after swim practice. I guess that means she didn’t learn from THAT experience. But I did. So when Rodrick picked me up today, I asked him to please take it easy on the brakes. 21 Rodrick said OK, but then he went out of his way to find every speed bump in town. [Image: A cartoon of a boy driving his truck rashly over the speed breakers. ] “Ouch Crash” When I got out of the van, I called Rodrick a big jerk, and then it got physical.

Mom saw the whole thing unfold from the living room window. [Image: A cartoon of the two boys fighting their mother looks at them. ] 22 Mom made us come inside, and she sat us down at the kitchen table. Then she said me and Rodrick were going to have to settle our differences in a “civil manner. ” Mom told me and Rodrick we each had to write down what we did wrong, and then we had to draw a picture to go along with it. And I knew exactly where Mom was going with THAT idea. Mom used to be a preschool teacher, and whenever a kid would do something wrong, she’d make him draw a picture of it.

I guess the idea was to make the kid feel ashamed of what he did so he wouldn’t do it again. [Image: A cartoon of a boy breaking the crayons I front of the three crying children. ] “I will not break the crayons because that makes the other children very sad. ” 23 Well, Mom’s idea might have worked great on a bunch of four-year-olds, but she’s going to have to think of something better if she wants me and Rodrick to get along. [Image: A cartoon of a boy teasing a child. ] “I will not call Rodrick names. Bunny Rabbit! Waaaah! ” [Image: A cartoon of a boy pushing another off the edge. “I will not push Gregory. Aieee! ” 24 The truth is, Rodrick can pretty much treat me any way he wants, because he knows there’s nothing I can do about it. See, Rodrick is the only one who knows about this REALLY embarrassing thing that happened to me over the summer, and he’s been holding it over my head ever since. So if I ever tell on him for anything, he’ll spill my secret to the whole world. I just wish I had some dirt on HIM to even things out. I do know ONE embarrassing thing about Rodrick, but I don’t think it’s gonna do me any good.

When Rodrick was a sophomore, he was sick the day they did school photos. So Mom told Dad to mail in Rodrick’s freshman picture for the school to use in the yearbook. Don’t ask me how Dad screwed this up, but he sent in Rodrick’s SECOND-grade picture. 25 And believe it or not, it actually got printed. [Image: Pictures of four children . ] ” Harrington Leonard Hatley Andrew Heffley Rodrick Hills Heather” Unfortunately, Rodrick was smart enough to rip that page out of his yearbook. So if I’m ever gonna find something to use against him, I guess I have to keep digging. Wednesday

Ever since Mom assigned the dishes to me and Rodrick, Dad’s been going down to the furnace room after dinner to work on this miniature Civil War battlefield of his. [Image: A cartoon of a man making a model of a battle field. ] 26 Dad spends at least three hours a night down there working on that thing. I think Dad would be happy to spend the whole weekend working on his battlefield, but Mom has OTHER plans for him. Mom likes to rent these romantic comedies, and she makes Dad watch them with her. But I know Dad is just waiting for the first chance to break away and go back down to the basement. Image: A cartoon of a boy thinking about his model as he watches T. V with his Mom. ] “Kiss Smooch” Whenever Dad can’t be down in the furnace room, he makes sure us kids keep away from it. 27 Dad won’t let me or Rodrick go NEAR his battlefield, because he thinks we’re gonna mess something up. And earlier today I overheard Dad say something to Manny to make sure HE doesn’t go poking around back there, either. [Image: A cartoon of a man talking to the child. ] “I think I just heard some grunting noises coming from the furnace room. ” Saturday Rowley came over to my house today.

Dad doesn’t like it when Rowley comes over, because Dad always says Rowley is “accident prone. ” I think it’s because this one time Rowley was eating dinner here, and he dropped a plate and broke it. 28 So now Dad has this idea that Rowley is going to ruin his whole Civil War battlefield in one klutzy move. [Image: A cartoon of a boy bouncing and about to land on the model. ] “Duh, Bounce. ” Whenever Rowley comes over to my house these days, he gets the same greeting: [Image: A cartoon of a man opening the door and warning the boy as he enters. ] “The Basement is off Limits

Yes, Sir. ” 29 Rowley’s dad doesn’t like ME, either. That’s why I don’t go over to his house much anymore. The last time I spent the night at Rowley’s, we watched this movie where some kids taught themselves a secret language that no grown-ups could understand. [Image: A cartoon of two children sitting and speaking in a secret language. ] “Beegle Boddle Brup Bop! Bork! ” TRANSLATION: AT EXACTLY 2:30 P. M. , LET’S ALL DROP OUR BOOKS ON THE FLOOR. Me and Rowley thought that was pretty cool, and we tried to figure out how to talk in the same language the kids were using in the movie.

But we couldn’t really get the hang of it, so we made up our OWN secret language. 30 Then we tried it out at dinner. [Image: A cartoon of a family at dinner time. The two boys talking to each other in a secret language. ] “Your- pa dad-pa smells -pa like -pa a woman-pa! Hee Hee Hee! ” But Rowley’s dad must have cracked our code, because I ended up getting sent home before dessert. And I haven’t been invited to spend the night at Rowley’s ever since. [Image: A cartoon of a boy leaving the house in the night. ] 31 When Rowley came over to my house today, he brought a bunch of pictures form his trip with him.

He said the best part of his vacation was when they went on a river safari, and he showed me all these blurry pictures of birds and stuff. Now, I’ve been to the Wild Kingdom amusement park a bunch of times, and they have this River Rapids ride where they have these awesome robot animals like gorillas and dinosaurs. If you ask me, Rowley’s parents should have just saved their money and taken him there instead. [Image: A cartoon of two boys talking in the room. ] “Did you see any sharks fighting giant tarantulas on your safari? No, and sharks don’t fight tarantulas. Well, at wild kingdom they do. ” 32

But of course Rowley didn’t want to hear about MY experiences, so he just gathered up his pictures and went back home. Tonight after dinner, Mom made Dad watch one of the movies she rented, but Dad really wanted to work on his Civil War battlefield. When Mom got up to go to the bathroom, Dad stuffed a bunch of pillows under the blanket on his side of the bed to make it look like he was asleep. Mom didn’t find out about Dad’s decoy until after the movie was over. [Image: A cartoon of a woman standing behind a man as he works on the model. ] She made Dad come to bed, even though it was only 8:30. 33

And now Manny sleeps in Mom and Dad’s bed, because he’s afraid of the monster that lives in the furnace room. [Image: A cartoon of a man lying awake as his wife sleeps beside him. ] Tuesday I thought I was done hearing about Rowley’s trip, but I was wrong. Yesterday, our Social Studies teacher asked Rowley to tell the class all about his vacation, and today he came to school wearing this ridiculous costume. But what was even WORSE was when some girls came up to Rowley at lunch and started kissing his butt. [Image: A cartoon of two girls talking to the boys at the dinning table in school. ] “Will tells us more about your trip? SI! ” Heh,Heh” 34 But then I realized maybe that wasn’t such a bad thing after all. So I started parading Rowley around the cafeteria, because after all, he IS my best friend. [Image: A cartoon of two boys talking and a girl looking at them. ] “Rowley here just go back from south Dakota! South America! Whatever! ” Saturday Dad has been taking me to the mall every Saturday for the past few weeks. At first, I thought it was because he wanted to spend more time with me. But then I realized he’s just making sure he’s out of the house for Rodrick’s band practices, which I can totally understand.

Rodrick and his heavy-metal band practice in the basement on weekends. 35 The lead singer of the band is this guy named Bill Walter, and me and Dad bumped into Bill on the way out the door today. [Image: A cartoon of a guitarist greeting the man and his son. ] “Mornin’ Mr. Heffley! ” Bill doesn’t have a job, and he still lives with his parents, even though he’s thirty-five years old. I’m pretty sure Dad’s worst fear is that Rodrick is going to see Bill as some kind of role model, and that Rodrick will want to follow in Bill’s footsteps. So whenever Dad sees Bill, it just puts him in a bad mood for the rest of the day. 6 The reason Rodrick invited Bill to be in his band was because Bill got voted “Most Likely to Be a Rock Star” when HE was in high school. Most Likely to Be a Rock Star [Image: A picture of two people. ] “Bill Walter Anna Wrentham” That hasn’t really worked out for Bill yet. And I think I heard Anna Wrentham is in prison. Anyway, me and Dad went to the mall for a few hours today, but when we got back, Rodrick’s band practice wasn’t over yet. You could hear the guitars and drums from a block away, and there were a bunch of random teenagers hanging out in our driveway. 37

I guess they must have heard the music coming out of the basement and got drawn to it, sort of like how moths get drawn to a light. When Dad saw all those teenagers in the driveway, he TOTALLY freaked out. [Image: A cartoon of four boys in the driveway and a boy in a truck. ] Dad ran inside to call the cops, but Mom stopped him before he could dial 911. Mom said those teenagers weren’t doing any harm, and that they were just “appreciating” Rodrick’s music. But I don’t even know how she could say that with a straight face. And if you ever heard Rodrick’s band, you’d know what I mean. 38

Dad couldn’t relax with all those teenagers out in our driveway. [Image: A cartoon of a person peeping out of the window to look at the two boys talking. ] So Dad went upstairs and got his boom box. Then he put in a classical music CD and let it play. And you would not BELIEVE how quickly the driveway cleared out after that. [Image: A cartoon of a man playing music from the window and three children walking away. ] 39 Dad was pretty proud of himself for thinking up that one. But Mom accused him of getting rid of Rodrick’s “fans” on purpose. [Image: A cartoon of a man and a waman talking as the music plays on. “What? I can’t enjoy my music, too? ” Sunday Today, on the car ride to church, I was making faces at Manny, trying to get him to laugh. I made this one face that made Manny laugh so hard that apple juice came out of his nose. [Image: A cartoon of a boy making faces at the small child and making him laugh. ] “Bwah Ha Ha! ” 40 But then Mom said: [Image: A cartoon of the two children in the back of the car and their mother driving. ] “You could have killed him! ” Well, once Mom put that thought in Manny’s head, it was all over. [Image: A cartoon of a boy looking at the crying child. See? This is the reason I keep my distance from Manny. Every time I try to have a little fun with him, I end up regretting it. I remember when I was younger, and Mom and Dad told me I was getting a little brother. I was REALLY excited. 41 After all those years of getting pushed around by Rodrick, I was definitely ready to move up a notch on the totem pole. [Image: Cartoons of a boy kicking the small child. ] “Yaah! Yaah! ” But Mom and Dad have always been SUPER protective of Manny, and they won’t let me lay a finger on him, even if he totally deserves it.

Like the other day, I plugged in my video game system, and it wouldn’t start. I opened it up and found out that Manny had stuffed a chocolate-chip cookie in the disc drive. 42 And of course Manny used the same excuse he ALWAYS uses when he breaks my stuff. [Image: A cartoon of a child complaining to his parents. ] “I’m Ownwy Thwee! I really wanted to let Manny have it, but I couldn’t do anything with Mom standing right there. Mom said she would have a “talk” with Manny, and they went downstairs. A half hour later, they came back up to my room, and Manny was holding something in his hands. Image: A cartoon of a child apologizing to his brother as the mother looks at them. ] “I’m Sowwy, Bubby. ” 43 It was a ball of tinfoil with a bunch of toothpicks sticking out of it. [Image: A cartoon of a foil ball with toothpicks stuck in it. ] Don’t ask me how that was supposed to make up for my broken video game system. I went to throw the stupid thing away, but Mom wouldn’t even let me do THAT. [Image: A cartoon of a boy throwing the ball in the dustbin and the mother scolding him for that. ] “Your brother made that for you! ” The first chance I get, that thing’s going in the trash.

Because mark my words, if I don’t get rid of it, I’m gonna end up sitting on it. 44 Even though Manny drives me totally nuts, there is ONE reason I like having him around. Ever since Manny started talking, Rodrick has stopped making me sell chocolate bars for his school fund-raisers. And believe me, I’m grateful for THAT. [Image: A cartoon of a asking the man behind the door for help. ] “Before” [Image: A cartoon of a child asking the couple for help as his brother looks at him happily. ] “Now… ” Um… hello sir… would you like to help support… Not interested! Now… Wood you wike some chokwits? How precious! 45 Monday Madame Lefrere made us write our first pen-pal letters today. I got assigned to this kid named Mamadou Montpierre, and I guess he lives someplace in France. I know I’m supposed to write in French and Mamadou is supposed to write in English, but to be honest with you, writing in a foreign language is pretty hard. So I really don’t see the need for both of us to stress out over this whole pen-pal thing. Dear Mamadou, First of all, I think we should both just write in English to keep things simple. By the way, remember how I said I was gonna end up sitting on Manny’s spiky tinfoil ball thing?

Well, I was half right. 46 Rowley came over today to play video games, and HE ended up sitting on it. I’m actually kind of relieved, to be honest with you. I lost track of that thing a couple of days ago, and I’m just glad it finally turned up. [Image: A cartoon of a lady dabbing the aching ass of the boy as the another boy looks at them. ] And in all the commotion, I threw Manny’s “gift” in the garbage. But something tells me Mom wouldn’t have stopped me this time. Wednesday Rodrick has an English paper due tomorrow, and Mom’s actually making him do it himself for once.

Rodrick doesn’t know how to type, so he usually writes his papers out on notebook paper and then hands them off to Dad. 47 But when Dad reads over Rodrick’s work, he finds all sorts of factual errors. [Image: A cartoon of a man talking to his son in their drawing room. ] “Well, for starters, Abraham Lincoln didn’t write “to kill a mockingbird. ” Rodrick doesn’t really care about the mistakes, so he tells Dad to just go ahead and type the paper like it is. But Dad can’t stand typing a paper with errors in it, so he just rewrites Rodrick’s paper from scratch.

And then a couple days later, Rodrick brings his graded paper home and acts like he did it himself. [Image: A cartoon of a boy showing his report to his mother. ] 48 This has been going on for a few years, and I guess Mom decided she’s going to put an end to it. So tonight she told Dad that Rodrick was going to have to do his OWN work this time around, and that Dad wasn’t allowed to help out. Rodrick went in the computer room after dinner, and you could hear him typing about one letter a minute. I could tell the sound of Rodrick typing was driving Dad totally bananas.

On top of that, Rodrick would come out of the computer room every ten minutes and ask Dad some dumb question. [Image: A cartoon of a boy asking his father a question. ] “Where’s the space bar again? ” 49 After a couple of hours, Dad finally cracked. Dad waited for Mom to go to bed, and then he typed Rodrick’s whole paper for him. So I guess this means Rodrick’s system is safe, at least for now. [Image: A cartoon of a boy lying down and listening to music and another boy working hard on the type writer. ] “Type type type” I have a book report due tomorrow, but I’m really not sweating it.

I found the secret to doing book reports a long time ago. I’ve been milking the same book for the past five years: “Sherlock Sammy Does It Again. ” 50 There are about twenty short stories in “Sherlock Sammy Does It Again,” but I just treat each story like it’s a whole book, and the teacher never notices. These Sherlock Sammy stories are all the same. Some grown-up commits a crime, and then Sherlock Sammy figures it out and makes the person look stupid. [Image: A cartoon of a boy scolding the old men. ] “Your first mistake Mr. Beasley, was when you forgot to convert celsius to fahrenheit! Greek! I’m kind of an expert at writing book reports by now. All you have to do is write exactly what the teacher wants to hear, and you’re all set. 51 Man, Sherlock Sammy is so smart, and I’ll bet that’s cause he reads so many books. I’ll bet you’re right! There were a bunch of hard words in this book, but I looked them up in the dictionary so now I know what they mean. I guess you’re a bit of a “sleuth” yourself! 52 OCTOBER Monday There was a kid named Chirag Gupta who was one of my friends last year, but he moved away in June. His family had a big going-away party, and the whole neighborhood come.

But I guess Chirag’s family must have changed their mind, because today Chirag was back in school. Everyone was happy to see Chirag again, but a couple of us decided to have a little fun with him before officially welcoming him back. So we basically pretended he was still gone. [Image: A cartoon of three boys all talking at the same time. ] “Boy, I sure do miss chirag. Yeah… I wonder how he’s doing? Hey, guys! I’m right here! ” 53 I have to admit, it was pretty funny. [Image: A cartoon of two boys talking to each other as the third boy looks at them. ] “Did you just hear something? Nope must have been the wind! At lunch, Chirag sat next to me. I had an extra chocolate-chip cookie in my lunch bag, and I made a big deal about it. [Image: A cartoon of three boys having their lunch in school. ] “I wish chirag was here. Oh, how he loved chocolate-chip cookies. But I’m sitting right next to you! I’m not even that hungry… ” 54 OK, so maybe that one was a little cruel. [Image: A cartoon of a boy crying and the two boys looking at him. ] “(Gobble Gobble Smack Smack)” I guess we’ll probably let Chirag off the hook tomorrow. But then again, this Invisible Chirag thing could turn into the next “P. U. ”

Tuesday OK, so the Invisible Chirag joke is still going, and the whole CLASS is in on it now. I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself or anything, but I think I might have Class Clown in the bag for dreaming this one up. In Science, the teacher asked me to count the number of kids in the classroom so she’d know how many pairs of safety goggles to get out of the closet. 55 So I made a big show of counting everyone in the room except Chirag. [Image: A cartoon of a boy counting the children in the class. ] “… 33… 34! There are 34 people in this class” Well, that REALLY set Chirag off.

He got up and started yelling, and it was really hard to stare straight ahead and act like he wasn’t there. [Image: A cartoon of a boy talking to the children in the room. ] “I… am… a… human being … too! ” 56 I wanted to tell him that we never said he wasn’t a human being, it’s just that he’s an INVISIBLE human being. But I managed to keep my mouth shut. Before you go and say I’m a bad friend for teasing Chirag, let me just say this in my own defense: I’m smaller than about 95% of the kids at my school, so when it comes to finding someone I can actually pick on, my options are pretty limited.

And besides, I’m not 100% to blame for dreaming up this idea. Believe it or not, I got the idea from Mom. This one time when I was a kid, I was playing under the kitchen table, and Mom came looking for me. [Image: A cartoon of a child hiding under the table as his mother searches for him. ] “Has anyone seen Gregory? ” 57 I don’t know what made me do it, but I decided to play a joke on Mom and stay hidden. Mom went all around the house calling my name. I think she must have finally seen me under the kitchen table, but she still pretended she didn’t know where I was. Image: A cartoon of a woman looking out of the window and a child hidden under the table. ] “Poor Gregory, all alone in the show oh, boo hoo hoo. ” I thought it was pretty funny, and I probably would’ve stayed hidden under there for a little while more. But Mom finally got me to crack when she said she was gonna give my gum-ball machine to Rodrick. 58 So if you want to point fingers on the Invisible Chirag joke, now you know who’s really to blame. [Image: A cartoon of a boy crying and running towards his mother wanting to be hugged. ] Thursday Well, yesterday, Chirag pretty much gave up on trying to get anyone in our class to talk to him.

But today he found our weakness. [Image: A cartoon of a boy talking to his friends. ] “Rowley do you think I exist? Nope! I can’t even hear you or see you or see you! ” 59 I forgot ALL about Rowley. When the joke first started up, I made sure to keep him away from Chirag, because I had a feeling Rowley would blow the joke. But I guess I kind of got too cocky and let my guard down. Chirag started working on Rowley at lunch, and he came really close to getting him to crack. [Image: A cartoon of a boy offering corn to his friends. ] “If you say I exist, this corn dog is yours! I could tell Rowley was about to say something, so I had to act quick. I told everyone there was a floating corn dog hovering above our lunch table, and then I plucked it out of the air and ate it in two bites. 60 So thanks to my quick thinking, we were able to keep the joke going. [Image: A cartoon of boys teasing their friend . ] “(Gobble, smack. ) not as good as the regular kind, though. ” But that REALLY made Chirag mad. He started punching my arm, but of course I had to pretend like I didn’t notice. And let me tell you, that wasn’t easy to do. Chirag might be small, but that kid can really punch. Image: A cartoon of four boys having fun. ] “Is there a flea breathing on me? Because it feels like a tiny little flea is breathing on me. ” 61 Friday Well, I guess Chirag must have complained to a teacher about my little joke, because today I got called down to the front office. When I got to Vice Principal Roy’s room, he was pretty mad. He knew all about how I started the joke, and he gave me a speech about “respect” and “decency” and all that. But luckily, Mr. Roy got one crucial fact wrong, and that was the identity of the person we were playing the joke on. So that made the apology part a whole lot easier. Image: A cartoon of a teacher looking at a boy apologizing to another. ] “I am deeply sorry, and now I do indeed admit that you exist, Sharif. ” 62 Mr. Roy seemed pretty satisfied with my apology, and he let me go without even tacking on any detention. I’ve always heard that when Mr. Roy is done chewing a kid out, he sends them off with a pat on the back and a lollipop. And now I can tell you firsthand that it’s true. [Image: A cartoon of a boy looks at the other boy and a man standing in the doorway. ] Saturday Rowley’s birthday party is tomorrow, so Mom took me to the mall to get him a gift.

I picked out this cool video game that just came out, and I handed it to Mom so she could pay for it. But Mom said I had to buy it with my OWN money. 63 I told Mom that first of all, I have zero money. And second of all, if I DID have any money, I wouldn’t be wasting it on ROWLEY. [Image: A cartoon of a boy talking to his mother. ] Mom didn’t seem too happy with what I said, but it’s not MY fault I’m broke. I actually had a job this summer, but the people I worked for stiffed me, so I didn’t earn a single penny. We have these neighbors named the Fullers who live a few doors up, and they go away on vacation every summer.

They usually leave their dog, Princess, in the kennel, but this year, they told me they’d pay me five bucks a day to feed Princess and take her out. I figured I’d earn enough to buy a whole pile of video games with that kind of money. 64 But I guess Princess is gun-shy about going to the bathroom in front of strangers, so I ended up spending a lot of time standing around in the hot sun waiting for this dumb dog to hurry up and go. [Image: A cartoon of a boy trying to pull the dog towards him. ] “Come on! ” I’d wait and wait and nothing would happen, and then I’d just take Princess back inside.

But EVERY time I’d leave, Princess would make a big mess in the foyer, and I’d have to clean it up the next day. Toward the end of the summer I got smart and realized it would be a whole lot easier to just clean up all of Princess’s messes at once instead of doing it every single day. 65 So I fed her and let her do her business on the foyer floor for about two weeks. Then, the day before the Fullers were due back, I headed up the hill with all my cleaning supplies. [Image: A cartoon of a boy whistling happily as he carries all his stuff in his hands. ] But guess what? The Fullers cut their trip short and got home a day EARLY. Image: A cartoon of a boy surprised as he looks at the couple inside the house. ] I guess they didn’t know it’s polite to call ahead and let people know when your plans have changed. 66 Tonight, Mom called a house meeting with me and Rodrick. She said that the two of us are always complaining that we don’t have any money, so she came up with a way for us to earn some cash. Then she pulled out some play money she must’ve dug up out of a board game, and she called the money “Mom Bucks. ” Mom said we could earn Mom Bucks by doing chores and good deeds and stuff like that, and we could trade them in for REAL money.

Mom handed us $1,000 each to get us started. I thought I had struck it rich. But then she explained that each Mom Buck was only worth a penny of REAL money. [Image: A cartoon of a woman talking to two boys. ] Mom told us how we should save up our Mom Bucks, and if we were patient, we could buy something we really wanted. 67 But Rodrick cashed in his whole stash before Mom was even done talking. [Image: A cartoon of a boy showing his money to his mother and brother. ] Then he went down to the convenience store and blew his money on some heavy-metal magazines. If Rodrick wants to waste his money like that, he can go right ahead.

But I’m gonna be smart with MY Mom Bucks. Sunday Today was Rowley’s birthday party, and he had it at the mall. I’m sure I would have thought it was a lot of fun if I was about seven years old. [Image: A cartoon of a Birthday Party. ] 68 That was the average age of the kids at Rowley’s party. Rowley invited his whole karate team, and most of those kids are still in elementary school. I just wish I would have known what the party was gonna be like so I could have skipped it. We started off playing these dopey party games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey and stuff like that.

The last game we played was Hide-and-Seek. My plan was to just hide in the ball pit and stay there until the party was over. But some OTHER kid was already in there. [Image: A cartoon of two boys playing in a ball pool. ] It turned out this kid wasn’t from Rowley’s party. He was from the LAST birthday party that happened an hour earlier. 69 I guess he must have hid in there during Hide-and-Seek, and nobody ever FOUND him. So Rowley’s party had to be put on hold while the staff tried to track down this kid’s parents. [Image: A cartoon of a woman talking on the phone as a child cries loudly in the birthday party. After that situation got cleared up, we had cake and watched Rowley open his gifts. He mostly got a bunch of kids’ toys, but he seemed pretty happy about it. [Image: A cartoon of a man clicking pictures of the boy opening his birthday gift in the party. ] “Yaaay! ” 70 Then Rowley’s parents gave him their present. And guess what? It was a DIARY. It kind of ticked me off, because I knew Rowley asked his parents for a diary so he could be just like me. After Rowley opened his present he said: [Image: A cartoon of two boya talking to each other. ] “We can call ourselves the “Diary Twings”! I let him know exactly what I thought of that idea by slugging him in the arm. And I really don’t care that it was his birthday, either. [Image: A cartoon of a boy looking at the other one who is hurt. ] “Owww… ” 71 One thing I will say, though. I used to be mad at Mom for getting me a journal that looked too girly. But after seeing Rowley’s diary, I’m not so mad anymore. [Image: A Diary with ‘Sweet Secrets Diary’ written on the cover. ] “Sweet Secrets Diary” Lately, Rowley has been TOTALLY riding me. He reads the same comic books I read, drinks the same kind of soda I drink, you name it.

Mom says I should be “flattered,” but to be honest with you, it’s totally creeping me out. A couple days ago, I did an experiment to see just how far Rowley would go. 72 I rolled up one of my pant legs and tied a bandanna around my ankle and went to school that way. Sure enough, the next day Rowley came to school wearing the same exact thing. And that’s how I ended up in Vice Principal Roy’s office for the second time in a week. [Image: A cartoon of a man, in the window, talking to the two boys outside. ] “There are some thugs outside my house sporting “Gang Colors”. ” Monday

I thought I was totally in the clear for the Invisible Chirag thing. But, boy, was I wrong. 73 Tonight, Mom got a call from Chirag’s DAD. Mr. Gupta told Mom all about the prank we were playing on his son, and how I was the ringleader. When Mom questioned me, I told her I didn’t even know what Chirag’s dad was talking about. [Image: A cartoon of a boy talking to his mother. ] Then Mom marched me up to Rowley’s house to hear what HE had to say. Luckily, I was prepared for this kind of thing. I had already drilled Rowley on what to do if we ever got busted, and that if we both just denied everything, we’d be OK. Image: A cartoon of a boy talking to his friend. ] 74 But the second Mom started asking Rowley questions, he broke down. [Image: A cartoon of a boy and his mom in front of a house. The boy at the door is crying loudly. ] So after our visit to Rowley’s house, Mom drove me over to Chirag’s to apologize. And let me tell you, THAT wasn’t a whole lot of fun. [Image: A cartoon of two boys with their respective parents. ] Mr. Gupta didn’t seem too impressed with my apology, but believe it or not, Chirag was actually pretty cool about it. 75 After I apologized, Chirag invited me inside to play video games.

I think he was so relieved to finally have one of his classmates talking to him again that he just decided to forgive me for the whole incident. [Image: A cartoon of Two children playing a video game on the T. V. ] So I guess I forgive him, too. Tuesday Even though Chirag let me off the hook last night, Mom wasn’t done with me yet. She wasn’t really that mad about the joke or how I treated Chirag. She was just mad that I LIED about it. So Mom told me she’ll ground me for a MONTH if she catches me lying again. 76 And that means I better watch my step, because Mom’s not gonna forget what she said.

When it comes to my screwups, Mom has a memory like an elephant. [Image: A cartoon of a mother scolding her son in the kitchen. ] “That’s the second time you tracked mud into the kitchen! ” (FIRST TIME: SIX YEARS AGO) Last year Mom caught me lying, and I paid the price for it. Mom made a gingerbread house a week before Christmas, and she put it on top of the refrigerator. She said nobody was allowed to touch it until Christmas Eve dinner. 77 [Image: A Gingerbread House. ] But I couldn’t help myself. So every night, I’d sneak downstairs and pick off a little piece of the gingerbread house.

I tried to only eat a tiny piece each time so Mom wouldn’t notice. [Image: A cartoon of a boy on a stool picking a gumdrop from the Gingerbread house on the fridge] It was really hard to limit myself to one gumdrop or one little crumb of gingerbread each night, but I managed to do it anyway. 78 I didn’t know how much I had actually eaten until Mom took it down off the fridge on Christmas Eve. [Image: A cartoon of a family at dinner on Christmas eve. The mother is uncovering the gingerbread house. ] When Mom accused me of eating all the candy, I denied it. But I wish I just fessed up right away, because that fib totally backfired on me.

Mom had just gotten hired to write a parenting column for the local newspaper, and she was always looking for material. So that incident pretty much made me into a local celebrity. [Image: A cutting of the mother’s article. With her picture. ] ” When your child is being deceptive Susan Heffley The weeks leading up to Christmas can be source of stress for a child and can harbor unforeseen temptations. My son Gregory found that” 79 You know, now that I think about it, Mom isn’t exactly squeaky clean when it comes to being honest HERSELF. I remember when I was a kid, and she found out I wasn’t brushing my teeth every night.

She faked a call to the dentist’s office. And that call is the reason why I still brush my teeth four times a day. [Image: A cartoon of a boy listening to his mother who is talking on the phone. ] “Dr. Kratz, do you have dentures for a little boys? Oh, only wooden ones? I guess that will have to do , then. ” Friday Well, it’s been three days and I’ve kept my promise to Mom. I’ve been 100% honest the whole time, and believe it or not, it’s not that hard. 80 In fact, it’s kind of liberating. I’ve been in a couple of situations already where I was a lot more honest than I would have been a week ago.

For example, the other day I had a conversation with this neighborhood kid named Shawn Snella. [Image: A cartoon of a boy talking to a child. ] “When I grow up, I’m Gonna be a professional basketball player! Think again, Shawn! Neither one of your parents is taller than five-foot-two and you’re the only 200 pound six year -old I know! [Image: A cartoon of a man and a crying child and a boy. ] “Waaah! I cannot tell a lie. ” 81 And yesterday, Rowley’s family had a birthday party for his grandfather. [Image: Cartoons of boys together at the table before cutting the cake. ] “Next year, I want a chocolate cake!

That is if you’re alive next year! Hey, I’m just trying to be realistic! ” Most people don’t seem to appreciate a person as honest as me. So don’t ask me how George Washington ever got to be president. 82 Saturday Today I answered the phone, and it was Mrs. Gillman from the PTA, looking for Mom. I tried to hand her the phone, but she whispered for me to tell Mrs. Gillman that she wasn’t home. I couldn’t tell if Mom was trying to trick me into lying or WHAT, but there was no way I was going to break my honesty streak over something as dumb as THIS. So I made Mom go out on the front porch before I said a word to Mrs.

Gillman. [Image: A cartoon of a lady waiting outside the door and a boy talking on the phone. ] “My mother is not inside the house right now. ” 83 And from the look Mom gave me when she came back in the house, I kind of get the feeling she’s not gonna hold me to that honesty pledge anymore. Monday Today was Career Day at school. They have Career Day every year to get us kids to start thinking about our future. They brought in a bunch of adults who had all these different jobs. I think the idea is that us kids will find out about a job we like, and then we’ll know what we want to be when we grow up.

But what REALLY happens is that you just find out which jobs to rule out. [Image: A cartoon of a man teaching the children. ] “And that’s why I love being an electrical engineer! Electrical Engineer Formulate Concept of Operations Write Plans and Procedures Integrate Plan and Procedure” 84 After the presentations, we had to fill out these questionnaires. The first question was, “Where do you see yourself in fifteen years? ” I know EXACTLY where I’ll be in fifteen years: in my pool, at my mansion, counting my money. But there weren’t any check boxes for THAT option. [Image: A cartoon of four children enjoying in and near a pool. The questionnaires are supposed to predict what kind of job you’re going to have when you grow up. When I was finished, I looked up my job on the chart, and I got “Clerk. ” Well, there must be something wrong with the way they set these forms up or something, because I don’t know any clerks who are billionaires. 85 Some other kids were unhappy with the jobs they ended up with, too. But the teacher said we shouldn’t take these things too seriously. Well, try telling that to Edward Mealey. Last year, he got “Sanitation Worker” on his job chart, and the teachers have been treating him different ever since. Image: A cartoon of a lady scolding the two boys. ] “Edward, could you please cleanup this juice spill? ” Rowley got “Nurse” on his job chart, and he seemed pretty happy about it. A couple of girls got Nurse, too, and they were chatting away with Rowley after class. 86 Next year I have to remember to sit next to Rowley and copy his job form so I can get in on some of that action. [Image: A cartoon of a girl talking to the boys. ] Saturday Me and Rodrick were just sitting around the house today, so Mom sent us over to Gramma’s to rake her leaves.

Mom said she’d pay us $100 in Mom Bucks for each bag we filled. Plus, Gramma said she’d give us hot chocolate after we were finished. I really didn’t feel like working on a Saturday, but I needed the cash. Besides, Gramma makes really awesome hot chocolate. So we got some rakes and plastic bags from our garage and headed down to Gramma’s house. 87 I took one side of the yard, and Rodrick took the other. But ten minutes into the job, Rodrick came over and told me I was doing everything all wrong. [Image: A cartoon of a two boys cleaning up and collecting the dried leaves. ] “No, No, No! Rodrick said I was putting WAY too many leaves in each bag, and that if I just tied the bag closer to the bottom, I could get done a lot quicker. [Image: A cartoon of a boy pointing at a bundle and talking to his friend. ] 88 See, now this is the kind of advice you’re SUPPOSED to get from your older brother. After Rodrick showed me that trick, we went through bags like nobody’s business. In fact, we ran out in half an hour. Gramma didn’t seem too happy about forking over the hot chocolate when we came inside. But like they say, a deal’s a deal. [Image: A cartoon of a teacher and two boys in the class. ] “Ahhhh! ” Monday

Ever since Career Day, Rowley has been spending lunch with a bunch of girls who sit at the corner table in the cafeteria. I guess the group of them is like the Future Nurses of America or something. 89 Don’t ask me WHAT they talk about over there. They just whisper and giggle like a bunch of firstgraders. [Image: A cartoon of a boy trying to listen to his whispering friend’s sitting on the other table. ] “Psst Psst Psst! Hee Hee Hee! ” All I can say is, they better not be talking about ME. You remember how I said Rodrick is the only one who knows about that really embarrassing thing that happened to me over the summer?

Well, Rowley knows the SECOND most embarrassing thing that ever happened to me, and I really don’t need him digging it back up. Back in fifth grade, we had a project in Spanish where we had to do a skit in front of the class, and my partner was Rowley. 90 We had to do the whole skit in Spanish. Rowley asked me what I would do for a candy bar, and I said I’d stand on my head. But when I tried to do a headstand, I tipped over, and my rear end went right through the wall. [Image: A cartoon of a boy doing a headstand as the teacher and the children look at him. ] “Estario Parado En Mi Ay-Ay-Ay! ”

Well, the school never bothered to fix the hole, so for the rest of my time in elementary school, my buttprint was on display in Mrs. Gonzales’s room. And if Rowley’s spreading that story around, believe me I’m gonna tell the whole world who ate the Cheese. 91 Wednesday Today I realized that if I wanted to know what Rowley and those girls are talking about at lunch, all I have to do is read his DIARY. I’ll bet he’s writing down all sorts of juicy gossip in that thing. The problem is, Rowley’s diary is LOCKED. So even if I got ahold of it, I wouldn’t have any way to open it. But then I thought of something.

All I had to do was buy the same exact diary HE has, and then I’d have a key. So I went to the bookstore tonight and got the last one on the shelf. I just hope buying this thing was worth it, because I had to cash in half of my Mom Bucks to pay for it. And I don’t think Dad was too thrilled with the idea of me buying a Sweet Secrets Diary, either. [Image: A cartoon of a boy with his father in a shop buying a diary. ] 92 Thursday After Phys Ed today, I saw that Rowley accidentally left his diary on the bench. So when the coast was clear, I used my new key on his diary, and sure enough, it worked. Image: A cartoon of a boy opening a diary with a key in the room. ] I opened it up and started reading. [Image: A page of a Secret Diary. ] “Dear Diary, Today I played with my Dinoblazer action figures again. It was Mecharex vs. Triceraclops and Mecharex bited Triceraclops in the tail Ow! Darn” 93 [Image: A page of a Secret Diary. ] “And then Triceraclops turned around and said oh yeah well how do you like that and he shot Mecharex right in the heinie. Ow No Fair. ” I flipped through the rest of the book to see if my name was in there anywhere, but it was just page after page of this garbage.

After seeing what’s going on in Rowley’s head, I’m kind of starting to wonder why I’m even friends with him in the first place. Saturday Things at home have been really good for about a week. Rodrick has the flu, so he doesn’t have the energy to bother me. And Manny has been at Gramma’s, so I’ve had the TV all to myself. 94 Yesterday, Mom and Dad made a surprise announcement. They said they were going away for the night, and that me and Rodrick were in charge of the house. [Image: A cartoon of a boy lying on the sofa as his parents and brother look at him. That was some pretty big news, because Mom and Dad have NEVER left me and Rodrick on our own before. I think they’ve always been afraid that if they go away, Rodrick is gonna have a huge party and trash the house. But with Rodrick knocked out with the flu, they must’ve seen their big chance. So after Mom gave us a speech about “responsibility” and “trust” and all that, they took off. 95 The SECOND Mom and Dad walked out the door, Rodrick jumped up off of the couch and picked up the phone. Then he called every friend he knew and told them he was having a party. Image: A cartoon of a boy talking to many friends. ] I thought about calling Mom and Dad to tell them what Rodrick was up to, but I’ve never actually BEEN to a high school party before, so I was curious. I decided to just keep my mouth shut and soak it all in. Rodrick told me to get some folding tables out of the basement and bring a couple of bags of ice out of the downstairs freezer. Rodrick’s friends started to show up around 7:00 and before you knew it, there were cars parked up and down the street. 96 The first person to walk through the door was Rodrick’s friend Ward.

A bunch more people started showing up after that, and Rodrick told me we were gonna need more tables. So I went downstairs to get them. But as soon as I stepped foot in the basement, I heard the door lock behind me. [Image: A cartoon of a boy standing outside his house at the staircase. ] “Click” I pounded on the door, but Rodrick just cranked up the music to drown me out. So I was stuck down there. Man, I should’ve known Rodrick would go and pull something like that. 97 I guess it was pretty dumb of me to think Rodrick was gonna let me in on the action. It sounded like it was a pretty wild party.

I think some GIRLS even showed up at one point, but I couldn’t be too sure, because it was hard to keep track of what was going on from just looking at the bottoms of people’s shoes. [Image: A cartoon of a boy crawing up the stairs to his house. ] The party was still going strong at 2:00 A. M. but that’s when I gave up. I spent the night on one of the spare beds in the basement, even though there were no blankets on it. I practically froze to death, but there was no WAY I was gonna use a blanket from Rodrick’s bed. 98 Somebody must’ve unlocked the basement door overnight, because when I woke up this morning, it was open.

And when I walked upstairs, it looked like a tornado had touched down in the family room. The last of Rodrick’s friends wasn’t gone until 3:00 in the afternoon. And once everyone left, Rodrick told me I had to help him clean up. [Image: A cartoon of a boy standing at the door of a messy room. ] I told Rodrick he was out of his mind if he thought I was helping. But then Rodrick said that if he got busted for the party, he was taking ME down with him. 99 He said if I didn’t help him clean up the mess, he would tell all my friends about the thing that happened to me this summer. I couldn’t believe Rodrick would play dirty like that.

But I could tell he was serious, so I just got to work. [Image: A cartoon of a boy cleaning the room as the other goes on dirtying it. ] Mom and Dad were supposed to be back by 7:00, and we still had a TON of work to do. It wasn’t easy to erase all the evidence of the party, because Rodrick’s friends had left trash in all these crazy places. At one point, when I went to make myself a bowl of cereal, a half-eaten piece of pizza fell out of the box. 100 By 6:45, we had things pretty well wrapped up. I went upstairs to take a shower, and that’s when I saw the message written on the inside of the bathroom door. Image: A cartoon of a boy calling out someone from outside the door. ] “Hi Rodrick” I tried scrubbing the writing off with soap and water, but whoever wrote that thing must’ve used a permanent marker. Mom and Dad were gonna be home any minute, so I thought we were doomed. But then Rodrick had a genius idea. He said we could switch the door out and REPLACE it with a closet door from the basement. So we got some screwdrivers and went to work. 101 [Image: A cartoon of two boys unscrewing the door. ] “Rodrick” We finally managed to get the door off its hinges, and then we carried it downstairs.

Then we got the closet door from Rodrick’s room in the basement and brought it UPSTAIRS. [Image: A cartoon of two boys carrying the door downstairs. ] 102 We made it with no time to spare. Mom and Dad’s car rolled into the driveway right when we were tightening the last screw. You could tell they were pretty relieved the house hadn’t burned down while they were away. I don’t think we’re totally out of the woods just yet. Because with the way Dad was poking around tonight, I’m sure it won’t be long before he figures out about the party. [Image: A cartoon of a boy looking for something under the sofa with a torch light. “Sniff Sniff” Well, Rodrick might have lucked out this time, but all I can say is, he should be glad MANNY wasn’t there to see the party. Manny is a HUGE tattletale. In fact, he’s been telling on me ever since he could talk. He’s even told on me for stuff I did BEFORE he could talk. 103 When I was a kid, I broke the sliding glass door in the family room. Mom and Dad didn’t have any evidence that I was the one who did it, so they couldn’t peg it on me, and I was in the clear. But Manny was there when it happened, and two years later, he squealed on me. [Image: A cartoon of a child complaining about his brother to his parents. “Bubby thowed wock at big window. ” So after Manny started talking, I had to worry about all the bad things he saw me do when he was a baby. [Image: A cartoon of a hitting the child with his water gun. ] ” S quirt Squirt” 104 I used to be a big tattletale myself until I learned my lesson. One time, I told on Rodrick for saying a bad word. Mom asked me which word he said, so I spelled it out. And it was a long one, too. Well, I ended up getting a bar of soap in my mouth for knowing how to spell a bad word, and Rodrick got off scot-free. [Image: A cartoon of a mother looking at her son whose mouth is stuffed with soap. Monday Tomorrow, I have an English assignment due where I have to write an “allegory” That’s basically a story that says one thing but means something else. I was having trouble getting inspired, but then I saw Rodrick outside working on his van, and I got an idea. 105 Rory Screws Up by Greg Heffley Once upon a time there was this monkey named Rory. The family he lived with loved him very much, even though he was constantly screwing things up. [Image: A cartoon of a man looking angrily at the monkey. ] “Rory!!! ” One day Rory accidentally rang the doorbell, and everybody thought he did it one purpose.

So they gave him some bananas as a reward. [Image: A cartoon of two people talking to a mankey. ] “You are so smart, Rory! EEE! EEE! ” 106 Well, now Rory was going around thinking he was some sort of monkey genius or something. And one day, he heard his owner say-[Image: A cartoon of a man talking to a monkey and a lady. ] “My dang car is broke! ” So Rory’s primitive mind raced to formulate a plan. And here is what he eventually came up with: [Image:. A cartoon of a thinking monkey. ] “Rory… fix… kar! ” Rory worked all day and all night, and to make a long story short, the end result was not a fixed car. Image: A cartoon of a man talking to the monkey near thecar] “Rory!!! ” 107 After it was all over, Rory had learned a very valuable lesson: Rory is a monkey. And monkeys don’t fix cars. [Image: A Monkey. ] “THE END” After I finished my paper, I showed it to Rodrick. I figured he wouldn’t get it, and sure enough, I was right. [Image: A cartoon of two boys in front of their truck. ] “Monkeys don’t understand English, stupid. ” Like I said before, Rodrick knows he’s got me under his thumb with this “secret” thing. So I have to get my licks in any way I can. 108 Wednesday

Today was Manny’s first day of preschool, and apparently it didn’t go so great. All the other kids in Manny’s school started back in September. But Manny wasn’t potty trained until last week, so that’s why he had to wait until now to make the jump from day care. Manny’s preschool was having their Halloween party today, so it wasn’t the greatest way to introduce him to his classmates. [Image: A cartoon of some small preschoolers. ] Manny’s teachers had to call Mom at work and have her come get him. [Image: A cartoon of two ladies in front of a cupboard. ] 109 I remember MY first day of preschool.

I didn’t really know anyone, so I was pretty scared about being around a bunch of new kids. But this boy named Quinn came right over and started talking to me. [Image: A cartoon of a boy talking to a small child. ] “Do you like Ice cream? Yeah! Then why don’t you marry it? ” I didn’t get that it was a joke, so it really freaked me out. [Image: A cartoon of a man scolding the child standing in front of an ice-cream cone. ] 110 I told Mom I didn’t want to go back to preschool, and I told her all about Quinn and what he said. But Mom told me Quinn was just being silly, and I didn’t need to listen to him. Image: A cartoon of a Mom talking to her son in the bedroom. ] After Mom explained the joke, I actually thought it was pretty funny. I couldn’t wait to go back to school the next day and try it out myself. But it didn’t really have the same effect. [Image: A cartoon of a boy talking to a playing child. ] “You’re gonna grow up and get married to some ice cream! ha! ” 111 NOVEMBER Monday It’s been over a week since Rodrick’s party, and I stopped worrying that Mom and Dad were gonna bust us for it. But remember that bathroom door we switched out? Well, I forgot all about it until tonight.

Rodrick was upstairs in my room bugging me, and Dad went into the bathroom. A couple seconds later, he said something that made Rodrick stop cold. [Image: A cartoon of two boys in the room. ] “Hey… Didn’t this door used to lock? ” I thought it was over. If Dad knew about the DOOR, it was just a matter of time before he found out about the party. 112 But Dad didn’t put two and two together. [Image: A cartoon of ywo scared boys in the room. ] “I must be losing my marbles. AHHHHH… ” You know, maybe it wouldn’t be so bad if Mom and Dad found out about the party. Rodrick would get grounded, which would be AWESOME.

So if I can figure out a way to spill the beans without Rodrick finding out, I’m gonna go for it. Tuesday I got my first letter from my French pen pal, Mamadou, today. I decided to adjust my at

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