|Battle of the Sixes
Author: Me PM
The Rugrats visit Dennis’ neighborhood. His verbal battle with Angelica leads to a series of boy vs. girl games. But, Angelica may drive girls’ team captain Margaret crazy before it’s over. Moving to crossovers after a short time in each.Rated: Fiction K - English - Words: 6,253 - Reviews: 1 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 05-07-09 - Status: Complete - id: 5046437
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
As the Rugrats visit Dennis' neighborhood, his verbal battle with Angelica leads to a series of boy vs. girl games. But, Angelica may drive girls' team captain Margaret up the wall before it's over.
A/N: Completing the trifecta ("Peanuts," "Calvin & Hobbes") of comics with fun kid characters who work well with the Rugrats, so this will be my last Rugrats fic, though I'll have a few others elsewhere. Others either have kids who are too old to match well, characters aren't developed well enough, or I just don't know them well enough.
So it's more even with Dennis, Angelica is a year older than in cartoons, which lets Nanny Taffy be there & makes Chuckie and Joey close in age. Joey can be understood, so Churckie is, too; older kids can be translators, as my older cousins were for younger siblings. Sorry, Phil and Lil fans, I couldn't find a place for Susie in my Peanuts or Calvin and Hobbes crossovers, & it was too crowded with them, too. Their lines in "The World Serious" should make up for it. :-) Finally, I've not found a name for Joey's sister. Catherine could be a middle name and they call her Cathy. Or, it could be a nickname after Chatty Cathy, a popular doll when Dennis came out, if she babbles a lot.
Battle of the Sixes
"Here comes that inventor you was talkin' about, Dad!" Dennis Mitchell, five and a half, shouted to his dad one morning during spring break.
The 15-passenger van with the Rugrats in it came down the street. The kids of that neighborhood excitedly ran up to it, urged on by Dennis, who exuded excitement. However, that often led to his getting into mischief, as he didn't often think of what he was doing. Hence, the nickname "Dennis the Menace."
Henry Mitchell said he couldn't wait. Dennis' mom had her mind elsewhere. "They're bringing young children; I'm sure you'll be a good example," Alice reminded her son.
"Aw, Mom, do I hafta be? They got girls!" Dennis complained.
"They can't all be like Margaret, son," Henry said with a knowing look. Alice wasn't so sure of that advice, but he remembered being a boy that age. "Maybe one's like Gina."
"I'll be the judge of that," Dennis said as people piled out. Stu Pickles introduced his wife Didi, and the others. "Aw, Mom, this'll be a snap. 'Cept for that one," he said, pointing at Angelica Pickles, almost five, Stu and Didi's niece. She sounded bossy. That reminded him too much of Margaret, seven. Angelica's parents both worked, and her mom was always especially busy, so she had had to tag along. He didn't see Susie Carmichael, also almost five, at first because she was helping with Tommy and Dyl Pickles, almost three and almost one, respectively. Susie was sweet and caring, the opposite of Angelica. This was aided by her mother being a doctor and always emphasizing the need for that.
"As I said, be a good example," Alice emphasized. While Dennis was great with Joey, his best friend of about four, he didn't always give the best advice. For instance, she'd gotten a call recently that Dennis had so knotted up Joey's shoelaces that Mrs. MacDonald had had to cut them off.
The adults spoke about – among other things – Stu's presentation to the aeronautics firm where Mr. Mitchell worked. Meanwhile, the children mingled. Besides Tommy, Dyl, Angelica, and Susie, two others in the Pickles' home daycare had come - Chuckie Finster, near his fourth birthday, and his stepsister Kimi, a year younger.
"One thing you gotta know," Chuckie warned Joey. "Angelica can be a menace."
"That's what they call Dennis. And he's real cool," Joey said proudly of his best friend.
Chuckie didn't think the two could go together; Angelica was the opposite of cool. She could be really mean, though the teenager they'd hired to help when Didi went back to school, named Taffy, had toned her down some, as a nanny to Angelica. "He's called a menace, too?" Chuckie said with uncertainty. "Maybe I used the wrong word."
"I really appreciate you and Mrs. Mitchell helping, Mrs. Wade," Didi told Margaret's mom. "I'm doing research for a paper. Dr. Carmichael is meeting with prospective residents who graduate medical school this year and got selected to do their residency where she works," Didi said, pointing to Susie's mother. "Her husband and Mr. Finster are already golfing with Susie's brother." He was a preteen. "And, of course, Mrs. Finster and I will be shopping."
"I've got a doctor's appointment this morning, but I'm sure Mrs. Wade can watch them all for a while," Alice said.
Dennis rolled his eyes and said, "Oh brother," as Margaret clapped with glee.
"Wonderful. I'd like to be a teacher when I grow up," the seven-year-old redhead with glasses said happily. "This will be excellent practice." To herself, she said she could especially work on Dennis, who she wanted to change into a real gentleman.
"I ain't practicin' nothin' with you unless there's cookies involved," Dennis protested.
"That goes for me, too," Angelica shouted, with her hands on her hips. If there could be cookies involved, she wanted them – all to herself, of course.
"Huh?" Dennis looked at Angelica, suddenly taken aback. "She agreed with me," he told his faithful sidekick, Joey.
"Maybe she likes you, Dennis," Joey suggested.
Dennis shook his head. "I got a dog. What else do I need?"
Angelica harrumphed. "Who needs dogs? I've got a cat at home."
"Hey, you got a cat too, Dennis," Joey reminded him.
Dennis looked oddly at Joey. "Whose side are you on? You heard how bossy she was. I don't want no girl makin' me follow her around!"
"Hey, Dennis, my mom's making pizza for all our guests at noon," Gina, also seven, said as she jogged out of her house toward the group.
"Now, if a girl makes food, I'll follow that," Dennis quickly corrected himself. He didn't mind Gina, who tended to be a tomboy and let him be himself. He'd once asked her if she was sure she was a girl.
Margaret knew she had to match Gina. "All right, I'll make cookies. We've got stuff for five dozen." Gina was stunned at how fast Margaret said that. She didn't want it to seem like she was trying too hard to win Dennis' favor; Gina was a good friend, too. "My mom just happened to say that's how much we had." Being young yet, Gina and the others bought it. "I'll get the stuff out, Mom." She ran home to get ready to start baking.
"I think Margaret and Gina each have a little schoolgirl crush on Dennis," Alice said out of Dennis' hearing.
Chuckie overheard. "Wow, I don't wanna go there if they're gonna crush anyone," he said worriedly to Tommy.
Susie assured him, "That means they like him. My brother talks about those. Except he's old enough, he gets real ones. His palms get sweaty and his heart starts pounding."
"Is that what a crush feels like?" Kimi asked.
"Mommy says it means that, or you're having a heart attack," Susie answered.
The other adults left, and the children went to Margaret's. Joey brought his baby sister, Cathy - under a year, like Dyl - as Mrs. MacDonald had errands to run, too.
"All right, class, my name is Miss Wade, and I'll be your teacher," Margaret said. "Are there any questions?"
"Yeah, when will the cookies be ready?" Dennis quipped.
"Dennis! All right, first comes reading. Does anyone have a request?"
Angelica raised her hand, as she'd been taught in preschool. Margaret was impressed, and said so as she walked to her bookshelf. "I want chocolate chip," she piped up.
"I meant book requests," Margaret said tiredly. Regaining her smile, and wanting to get a little jab in at Dennis, she pulled out a book. "Speaking of creatures with bad eating habits, let's read 'The Three Little Pigs.'"
Dennis blurted out, "Yeah, where the pirates come and take the loot from the first two houses. An', then their parrots use the twig house to make nests."
"What?!" Margaret shrieked.
Tommy turned to Chuckie. "That must be a new version."
Chuckie agreed. "It might be okay, if they're less scary than the Big Bad Wolf."
"For your information, Dennis," Margaret lectured, "there are no birds in this story."
"'Course there are. Why else build a house of twigs unless it's for the pirates' birds?" Dennis asked adamantly.
"There aren't any pirates in the story, either!" Margaret shouted back.
Kimi asked Dennis, "Is that what happens?"
"Sure it is," Joey said of his role model. "Dennis is so smart! He knows everything!"
"I bet he can't read," Angelica said. "You're a bunch of dumb babies to listen to him!"
"Are you gonna let her talk about you like that?" Joey asked mildly.
"Calm down," Dennis told Joey. "I know what I'm doin'." Dennis put his hands on his hips as he turned to Angelica. "Listen, just 'cause I can't read don't mean I don't know my stuff!"
Angelica copied Dennis. "I say it does. And for your friend's information, I can talk any way I want. I'm almost five. There's no way he's smarter than me! And the rest of them, some of them aren't even potty trained. They can't even talk. How stupid is that?"
Joey usually was quite timid, and Angelica could tell; he had a lot of the qualities that Chuckie did, though not nearly to the extent Chuckie did. However, now he was mad. "Hey, that's my sister you're talkin' about," Joey said somewhat loudly. When Angelica kept baiting him by teasing "dumb little babies" like his sister and Dyl, Joey insisted that he was going to put a stop to such insults.
"Oh yeah? You and whose army?" she shouted.
Having tried in vain to get their attention back, Margaret threw "The Three Little Pigs" behind her and turned to Gina. "Maybe I'll be a rocket scientist. It would be easier."
Dennis held Joey back. He recalled the time when he'd made a crack about Joey's sister being a girl – Joey had shocked him by decking him! Dennis had proudly said Joey was learning to box. But, this was different. "Joey, you never wanna hit a girl. It ain't fair to go slugging them; ever!" He himself had gotten in a few fights, but had always known never to hit a girl; not even Gina, who had hit him a time or two.
"Really?" Joey said, feeling like backing down. Dennis sensed this and let him go. In a way, Joey was glad; he didn't want to hurt anyone.
Angelica remarked again about his being a "dumb baby" like Chuckie and the others. Dennis finally stepped in between the two and shouted "Hold it!"
Margaret walked up to Joey. "Look, there are better ways to solve this. Like games."
"Yeah, good idea, Margaret," Dennis said happily. He paused and added, "Don't get too used to me agreein' with you, though."
"What's that supposed to mean?" Margaret inquired testily.
"It means I don't believe in agreein' with no girls!"
Margaret harrumphed. "You boys think you're so superior. You want to put pirates in every story!"
"Well, it's better than girl stuff. You girls don't like anything cool; you'd never have frogs or snakes or nothin' anywhere in the world," Dennis countered.
It was Gina's turn to get mad. "Hey, I like that stuff, remember?"
Mrs. Wade had heard the commotion, and come in to investigate. She could tell there was a major argument about who was best, boys or girls. "Look," she said, getting their attention since she was an adult, "if you're going to try to see who's best, why don't I get some stuff set up, you can use some of the other big yards around here, and make it like the Olympics. That way, it'll be fun, instead of all this fighting."
"Thanks, Mom," Margaret said with relief.
Dyl and Cathy were in a large playpen a short time later. "Hello, sports fans," Dyl said, entering the magical world the Rugrats did at times, as they were suddenly announcers, since they were too young to participate in the actual events. "We span the globe, to bring you the best in sports. The thrill of victory, and the agony of the feet," he finished.
Cathy continued for him. "I'm Cathy MacDonald, and this is Dylan Pickles. And, we're here to settle the age old question. Do boys rule, and girls drool, or do girls rule, and boys drool?" Cathy said.
"Well, we both drool. But, that's 'cause we're babies," Dyl said.
Cathy nodded. "Right, Dyl. These games will be a true 'Battle of the Sixes.' Why do they call it that if nobody here is six?" She'd heard Mr. Wilson, the Mitchell's neighbor, call it a "battle of the sexes," but misheard the term.
"Prob'ly the first to do it were six. Anyway, the boys and girls will pick one person from their team to compete; or two or more if it takes that many," Dyl explained.
"The girls' team consists of Margaret, Gina, Angelica, Susie, and Kimi. The boys have Dennis, Joey, Chuckie, and Tommy. Another Tommy Dennis knows is out of town," Cathy said. She heard Mr. Wilson speak. "Dyl, stand up; he said to rise for the National Ants 'Em. It's sung by someone named Victor Ola."
In the real world, Mr. Wilson had agreed to serve as a judge for these games, because he planned to educate the children of the neighborhood on some history. For one thing, he'd brought his old Victrola outside just this once, and played the National Anthem on it. He had his wife, Martha, quickly take it inside so it couldn't get broken.
"You know, this reminds me of the classic battle between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King," Mr. Wilson said. "When Billie Jean King won, it shocked quite a few people."
Dennis was stunned. "Why would it shock anyone? If Billy Jean was the king, of course he won."
Mrs. Wilson was back to hear that, after putting the Victrola away. She patted Mr. Wilson on the shoulder. "Don't worry, Dear, if you can't get them to learn this, you've got a head start on teaching them how a good straight man acts on old comedy teams."
"Yes, if only I wasn't the straight man every single time," he answered grouchily. "All right, the first event is soccer. Known to the rest of the world as football."
"What do they call football? Golf?" Tommy asked.
"Chuckie will be the boys' goalkeeper, and Angelica the girls'. Susie and Gina will try to get it into Chuckie's goal, between the stakes we've pounded into the ground, and Dennis and Joey will try to get it into Angelica's," Dyl said.
"Are you sure I can be goalie?" Chuckie asked worriedly.
Dennis, the boys' team captain, smiled. "Don't worry; they won't kick it too hard. It's not like they're professionals." He knew he and Joey would make a great team, and that Chuckie was timid, like Joey. So, this would help all of them. He had some natural leadership skills, but was secretly glad Angelica wasn't on his team.
The girls were good, but near the end of regulation, Dennis and Joey got a breakaway chance. Denis passed to Joey, who ran ahead. "Kick, it, Joey!" he shouted.
Angelica lifted one of the croquet stakes and put it right next to the other one. "Hey," Joey cried as he kicked the ball. Dennis shouted that it wasn't fair.
"Who says you can't move the goal around?" Angelica asked.
"It's gotta be in the rules somewhere," Dennis declared.
Margaret agreed. "The goal must be a standard width," she said.
"I was gonna move the other stake. He just didn't give me time," Angelica explained, trying to justify herself.
"Don't you know anything about being a proper lady? That's the lamest excuse I ever heard," Margaret shouted.
"Well, how do you know I wasn't?" Angelica inquired.
"Martha, I think that might have gone in if she hadn't moved it, but I'm not totally sure," Mr. Wilson said. He finally declared, "Let's compromise. Put the stake back where it was. Joey gets a free penalty kick," Mr. Wilson ordered, showing Joey where to stand.
Joey lined up for the free kick. However, just as he kicked it, Angelica picked the stake up and batted the ball away.
"What?! That goal belongs to the boys," Mr. Wilson complained.
Cathy turned to Dyl. "Diego Maradona had the 'Hand of God' goal. This will be the 'Miss Stake' goal.
"Yeah, as in, 'Margaret thinks having Angelica on her team is a mistake,'" Dyl quipped.
Margaret was correcting Angelica. "You are a lousy sport!"
"So? I helped us win," Angelica said.
"You helped us lose, that ball might not have gone in! And the referee almost gave you a red card," Margaret scolded.
"I wouldn't mind of it was pink."
"Angelica, a red card is when you're thrown out of the game," Gina explained. "And, Margaret's right, you really blew it for our side."
Dennis whistled. "A girl who can drive Margaret up the wall. This is cool," he told Joey.
Dyl was drawing something on a screen that was making lines on the TV screen, like John Madden would. "Joey's penalty kick would have just nicked it and bounced off, but his first kick would have gone in. Boom! Just like that! It was just inside the pylon."
Mr. Wilson showed them how to play croquet, but Angelica kept kicking the ball and moving stakes. As Mr. Wilson gruffly declared that she would give the boys a win if this continued, Dennis smiled. "Boy, Margaret, Angelica is the best player on our team!"
"Well, you're welcome to have her," Margaret said in a huff..
"Hey, I don't wanna be a boy!" Angelica insisted.
"All right, let's go to the shot put. Margaret, Kimi, and Angelica will throw for the girls, Dennis, Tommy, and Joey for the boys," Mr. Wilson announced.
Dennis told Joey, "'Member how I taught you to skip a stone? Try to throw the ball like that. Where it lands counts, so Margaret doesn't have an advantage, since she's bigger."
Dyl looked at Cathy. "The person must run up, take the ball, and throw it in one motion. 'Cept that might be hard for the youngest two, they can throw while standing. Who do you think will win?"
Cathy looked oddly at him. "The one with the most points, silly."
The youngest children had their turns first. Then, Joey and Angelica went. Finally, Margaret made her throw. As Dennis was watching where it went, Angelica replaced the tennis ball they'd all used with a croquet ball. "Hey," Dennis shouted.
"Nobody said we had to use the same ball," Angelica said with a mischievous grin.
Dennis ran up to the ball, picked it up, and then ran halfway across the yard before throwing it. "We never said there couldn't be nothin' between picking it up and throwing it, either," he told Angelica triumphantly.
Margaret flailed her hands. "You are both violating the spirit of the games!"
"Isn't a spirit like a ghost?" Chuckie asked. Tommy nodded. "I hope it doesn't come out and scare us."
"Dennis gets a do-over. And if Angelica does that again her throw will not count, meaning Dennis will only have to throw it two feet for his team to win this round," Mr. Wilson remarked. Grinning, he turned to Martha. "Although it sure reminds me of when we were children," he said wistfully.
Dyl, suddenly a sideline reporter, turned to him. "Who was your coach? Knute Rockne?" Mr. Wilson sputtered that it wasn't nearly that long ago!
Dennis made the throw, but before it stopped rolling, Angelica ran up to it, and kicked it back toward Dennis. Dennis tried to kick it back, and soon all the children were kicking a tennis ball around like it was a soccer ball.
Cathy spoke from the broadcast booth as Dyl returned – he'd been getting his diaper changed. "They liked soccer so much, they're doing it again."
"Yeah, but playing football with a soccer ball is confusing enough. But, with a third kind of ball?" Dyl asked.
"That's why I didn't say the winner had to score the most runs. That would have made it worse," Cathy responded. Just then, Angelica pushed Tommy to the ground to get past him, and Mrs. Wade ordered her to go in and sit in the corner. "Including a penalty box is confusing enough."
Some normal competition went on in the events while Angelica was in the corner as punishment. At this point, Dennis' mom came home. When told what had happened so far, Alice rolled her eyes. Now I've got to help run this, she thought to herself.
"You shoulda seen it, Mom," Dennis said. "As crazy as it's been, it's been kinda fun. It's like havin' a baby sister." Alice groaned. "I'll take one of those, since you don't wanna get me no baby brother."
Joey looked oddly at Dennis. "Do you feel okay?" he asked worriedly.
"Yeah. I look at it this way, Joey. First," he began counting on his fingers, "she's buggin' Margaret like crazy. Second…"
"Hold it right there, young man; you are not getting a baby brother or sister!" Alice exclaimed.
"And why not?"
As if to answer his question, Angelica came from her punishment – and Mrs. Wade's lecture - and began criticizing Margaret. "I can run this team way better than you!"
"For your information, we won while you were gone," Margaret shot back.
"Anyone can beat those dumb babies; I wanna habilitate 'em!" Angelica meant humiliate.
Chuckie shook his head and told Dennis, "Bugging Margaret can't be worth having Angelica around."
A few contests later, Mr. Wilson spoke. "All right, the next game is three-on-three basketball. The MacDonalds have brought out a child-sized hoop and a nerf ball," Mr. Wilson announced. "We'll use their driveway as a court."
"The girls have a real size advantage here," Cathy spoke. "However, as with the soccer, Dennis and Joey work well together."
"Yes, and Angelica doesn't work well with anyone," Dyl quipped.
"We'll allow more traveling since you can't dribble as well," Margaret said with a smile.
Tommy shook his head. "It doesn't matter. We won't, anyway."
"Yeah, we can't cross the street," Kimi added.
Once Margaret explained what was meant, Mr. Wilson said the first team to 10 baskets would win. The teams played hard, but surprisingly well – Angelica was a bit more reasonable for the moment. The girls held a lead, but Chuckie soon got into a groove.
"He's going up for the winning shot…do you believe in miracles…yes!" Dyl shouted. "This is great! The boys' team has clinched a tie with one more game to go!"
Cathy glared. "Dyl, we're announcers. We're not supposed to be cheering."
"So? Maybe I'll grow up to be Harry Caray." The former Cubs announcer, who he'd heard about, had been a tireless "homer," always ending broadcasts with "win or lose, tie or suspended, I'm a Cub fan."
"You know, kids," Mr. Wilson explained, "the boys' miracle win there reminds me of the Miracle on Ice in 1980."
Chuckie was stunned. "They played basketball on ice? Wouldn't that be too slippery?"
Mr. Wilson was starting to enjoy the competition, as Angelica's meanness had been toned down. He explained. "The Miracle on Ice was the victory by the United States' hockey team over the very heavily favored Soviet team. I'll never forget the announcer's famous call. 'Do you believe in miracles?' It was a fairy tale ending."
"So, they had the 'Lympics at Disneyland?" Tommy asked.
Keeping with the Harry Caray theme, Dyl was suddenly doing what Caray always did. He led a crowd of stuffed animals in the playpen in "Take Me Out to the Ball Game." "It's stretch time, everyone. Up on your feet. A one, a two, a…what comes next?" Cathy told him "three." "A three …"
When he sang "I don't care if I ever get back" Cathy said, "Yeah, it's fun to stay up past your bedtime."
"Oh it's root, root, root for the Cubbies…"
"Which one of them's the Cubs?" Cathy asked.
"How should I know?" He kept singing, holding out the mike so the animals could be heard to shout "1, 2, 3" before he finished "strikes you're out at the old ball game!"
Cathy – who in real life was getting her diaper changed – was interviewing Susie. "Susie, reports say there's a lot of dissension on the girls' team. Can you comment on what might have started it?"
"Well, Cathy, we just need to learn there's no 'I' in team. And, that's a lesson that's hard for Angelica. However, if we take it one game at a time, though our backs are against the wall, I'm sure at the end of the day, we can pull one out of our hats."
"Or, at least use all the clichés you can think of," Cathy joked.
"'At the end of the day' – I think that would be nighttime.'" Dyl said as he walked up to Chuckie. "Chuckie, you had a great game. How did you make that winning shot?"
"We just had to believe in ourselves, and remember that anything is possible."
Dyl looked at his program. "Apparently, there's a cliché competition that wasn't on the original schedule. So, Chuckie, were you thinking about the fact you could clinch a tie?"
"No, we're just taking it one game at a time," Chuckie told Dyl.
"I just used that cliché," Susie told him nicely.
"Oh, sorry." Chuckie hummed, unable to think of one.
Tommy spoke up. "It really went down to the wire, but when the chips are down, uh…" He turned to Dennis and Joey. "Quick, we're down a cliché."
"That's okay, all it takes is teamwork," Dennis consoled him.
Angelica was miffed. "We've got to have this last game to force a tie," she told Margaret.
"I'm aware of the score," Margaret said politely. "But, remember, no matter how we do, it's not whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game."
"Where do you get such dumb ideas?" Angelica asked.
Dennis' head swirled as the girls argued. "Boy, I finally meet a girl who drives Margaret up the wall, an' she's startin' to drive me up the wall, too!"
Angelic stomped over near the playpen after her loud tiff with Margaret. Cathy, as a reporter on the sidelines, turned to her. "Before our last game, I'm here with a very disgruntled Angelica. Angelica, I understand you and your coach had some words."
"I had some words for her. I told her she needs to get me the ball, because only I can beat those dumb babies at these games! If she'd just show some respect, she'd see Angelica Pickles is smarter than those dumb babies, but she won't recognize the unique talent of Angelica Pickles," Angelica finished.
After a pause, Cathy said, "Obviously, that talent includes shifting to third person like some athletes do for who knows what reason."
Mr. Wilson whistled to restore order. "All right, before everyone has to go in for lunch, we have the final event."
"First, they'll line up alphabetically according to height," Dyl explained.
Cathy asked, "Are you saying that to copy Casey Stengel? Or is it just 'cause we're too young to really understand what an alphabet is?"
"A little of both," Dyl admitted.
A series of decathlon-type events were planned. However, as Chuckie and Joey were about to race Angelica and Susie, Angelica stole Chuckie's glasses.
"What are you doing?" Margaret shouted at Angelica. "You can't just take those!"
"I don't have his glasses," Angelica said, pretending to sound sweet.
"They're in your hand, Angelica," Susie countered.
"Well, who asked you?" Angelica demanded.
Gina took them and gave them to Chuckie. But, while she was doing this, Angelica started to try to tie his and Joey's shoelaces together.
Cathy, from the broadcast booth, said, "It's a good thing we're not playing baseball. She'd try to sharpen her spikes like they say Ty Cobb did."
"I don't think even Angelica would try to sharpen a dog," Dyl said. Their dog's name was Spike. "And, how do you sharpen a dog?" Cathy shrugged.
"Angelica," Margaret, commanded, "you should be ashamed of yourself!"
"It's none of your business how I treat Chuckie," Angelica protested.
Margaret put her hands on her hips. "It is my business because I am the captain, and I think you should be kicked off the team."
"You can't do that; I'm not joining the boy's team!"
Dennis agreed. "Yeah, I sure don't want her on our team!"
"Well, do something, then," Margaret ordered. When Dennis admitted he was having too much fun seeing Angelica drive Margaret crazy, she scolded him, "Dennis Mitchell, this is important! She is totally ruining our team and my day!"
Dennis smirked. "Bet'cha never thought a girl could do that to you, huh?"
Joey came up beside him as Margaret stomped away. "We gotta do something, though. Chuckie couldn't see anything without his glasses! And, look at what she's doin' to Margaret's and Gina's bikes!" he said, gasping as he pointed to them. Angelica was trying to unscrew something on each bike so they couldn't race.
Margaret, Gina, and Dennis confronted her. "If you won't let me play my way, I'll let the boys win," Angelica insisted.
"That ain't no way to win!" Dennis exclaimed.
"Kimi's a better sport than you," Gina added.
"She's just a dumb baby like all the others," Angelica countered.
Chuckie walked up to Dennis and agreed with Joey, while Margaret and Gina both tried to insist that Angelica apologize to her teammate for insulting her. They were clearly getting nowhere in trying to reason with Angelica.
Dennis rolled his eyes. "I'm not askin' Margaret for help," he told Chuckie, Tommy, and Joey. He had to admit, though, that Angelica was bugging Margaret so much it was starting to bug him. "I can't stand how she's talkin' about you guys, though," Dennis told his teammates. "She really is mean."
He recalled that Susie, who was trying to stay out of it, was supposed to be her best friend, so he walked up to her.
"Susie," Dennis asked, "you seem decent enough for a girl, I guess. Could you help me stop this, but not make it look like a girl helped?"
Joey tried to explain. "What Dennis means is, how do you talk to Angelica?"
Susie smiled sweetly at Joey. "Don't worry I understood. What Dennis said is still better than what Angelica says sometimes. Some days I can't get through to her," Susie said.
"Does anyone know how to get her to stop messin' up our games?" Dennis asked.
"Hmmm, her Aunt Didi's out shopping. But, her Uncle Stu's at your dad's office. Maybe you can call and get Nanny Taffy's number from him," Susie suggested.
Dennis sighed and turned to Joey. "I don't wanna make it seem like I can't handle a girl, though. And yet, when I go over there, she gives me the same lip she gives Margaret."
"I'll ask," Susie offered. "I won't tell anyone you couldn't if you don't want me to."
"Thanks. I guess I don't mind so much you sayin' somethin'." Once Susie left, Dennis turned to Joey. "But, I don't want it gettin' around," he pointed out.
A few minutes later, Alice Mitchell called out. "Angelica; your nanny's on the phone!"
Angelica ran to the phone, not knowing that Mrs. Mitchell and Mrs. Wade had told everything. "Hello, Taffy. Oh, I'm being a perfect lady here." She gulped as Taffy revealed that she knew everything she'd been doing. Angelica especially shuddered when she learned Taffy had said any of the moms there could do whatever they thought necessary to discipline Angelica. "Yes, Taffy," Angelica muttered lowly. They spoke for a few more minutes, and Taffy finally said how incredibly she loved Angelica, and really hoped she'd behave. "I love you, too, Taffy," she said before sighing and handing Dennis' mom the phone. "I gotta sit in the corner now," she told Mrs. Mitchell, before she walked over and sat against the wall. Taffy had said Taffy would call back later.
Meanwhile, on the field, the boys were about to clinch the win. Dyl sang, "Turn out the lights, the party's over," like Don Meredith at the end of Monday Night Football games.
"Dyl, the only light is the sun. You can't turn it out," Cathy remarked. She said later, as they wrapped up their broadcast, "The great thing is, even if the announcing thing doesn't work out, you could still have a great restaurant like Harry Caray does. With a name like Dyl Pickles, you'll be a natural."
"From what I've heard we're about to have, I'll have to be sure to hire Gina's mom to make pizza," Dyl said, before thanking everyone for watching.
Later, as they played normal games like tag and hide and seek that afternoon, Margaret walked up to Dennis. "I just wanted to repeat my congratulations on the win today. You were an excellent team captain. You helped your younger members a lot."
"Don't mention it."
Margaret was a bit miffed. "When Gina said that at lunch, you said 'You're welcome' like a true gentleman!"
"She had pizza," Dennis explained.
Margaret fumed, but let it go. "Anyway, what I wanted to tell you was, it makes sense that her nanny was the one to talk some sense into her," Margaret rambled.
"What are you talkin' about?" Dennis inquired.
"Well, my mom said her parents are so busy, and never enforce limits. Anyone who shows the kind of love she needs can become like her mother, in her mind. My mom says Angelica wants to please Taffy, just as most children do their moms," she finished.
"Man, this is weird. That's twice in one day," Dennis said.
He'd drawn Margaret in perfectly. "What are you talking about?"
"This is the second time today I'm glad you said somethin'. Only this time, it's 'cause I'm glad you reminded me how dumb you girls sound, when you talk all the time," Dennis explained. Margaret harrumphed and walked away.
Soon, Mrs. Pickles and Mrs. Finster had returned from shopping, after picking up the others on the golf course. Henry and Stu were getting home at the same time, as was Dr. Carmichael. "I hope everything went well," Didi said to Alice.
Henry noticed the look – it was the same one she'd get when Dennis had been extra wild. "Between Stu getting a call, and my wife's face, that might not be a good question."
"Let's just say this afternoon, Angelica showed she knows how to play nicer. At least, once she knows her nanny will be keeping tabs on her," Mrs. Wade said.
"She was still kinda wild. But, at least she didn't drive me crazy no more," Dennis said.
"Well, you got a taste of your own medicine, for once," Margaret said.
Dennis pointed out, "You still need my help to keep Angelica from hoggin' the cookies you made."Margaret didn't feel like replying to that.
"And, this is a typical day in our neighborhood," Henry told the visitors.
"I'm not surprised," Tommy said as he and Chuckie listened in. "First with Charlie Brown and his friends, then Calvin, and now here, we've had some fun adventures with the other kids we've met." Chuckie said it had been lots of fun sharing them with him.
Dennis agreed. "It mighta been a bit crazy, but we had fun. That's the important part."