"Come on, Double-D, we gotta get Eddy some corn chips!" Still toting Edd under one arm, Ed galloped around to the back of Eddy's house and headed for his door. "And also a tuba!"
"Ed, wait!" Ed squirmed out of Ed's grip just before Ed could use him to bang on the door. "A cumbersome brass wind instrument won't help him in any way right now, what he needs is our understanding and support as he comes to terms with this latest humiliating failure!"
Ed nodded enthusiastically. "Good idea, Double-D! Can I be the one he yells at this time? You always get all the fun!"
Ed's words caused Double-D to halt abruptly, his knuckles inches away from Eddy's door. Ed had a point, inadvertent though it may have been. Had he thought this through completely? Eddy had suffered two vastly painful blows to his ego this afternoon, in front of the whole cul-de-sac no less. He was sure to be in an even less hospitable mood than usual and could probably come up with myriad reasons why his friends should take the blame for the whole wretched experience. Edd pondered this. Perhaps he should give Eddy some time alone to heal his psychological wounds; yes, that would be for everyone's best.
But then again…he knew Eddy well, knew he didn't heal so much as brood when left to his own devices. Edd glanced at the window to Eddy's room but it was drawn tightly shut. Why, he was probably sitting in that gaudy, uncomfortable chair of his right now, all alone in the dark…the traumatic embarrassment of this afternoon playing over and over in his head…the other children's cruel, mocking laughter amplified in his ears until he was deaf to all other sounds…
Edd leaned against the door to steady himself as the waves of guilt threatened to knock him over. Eddy needed his friends right now. Wise or not, Edd just couldn't walk away. "Eddy? Eddy, are you in there?" There was no answer to his knock, so he tried the door; finding it unlocked he slid it open.
The raucous music that blasted out blew him halfway across the yard.
"Wa-hoo!" Ed hung onto the doorjamb, laughing as his feet flailed out behind him. "It is like floating on a cloud of rhinoceroses!" Suddenly he dropped to the ground as the throbbing disco music abated.
"Hey, guys!" Eddy sauntered over after turning down his record player. "What took ya so long? This hairdryer won't work itself, you know!"
Ed's eyes lit up as Eddy thrust an enormous hairdryer upon him. "Cool!" He held it up with both hands and began 'shooting' imaginary foes. "Are we going hunting for wild Arctic rice-cakes, Eddy?"
"No, Wing-nut, we're gonna get me looking sharp so I can go kiss Nazz in style!"
"'Kiss Nazz in style'?" By this point Edd had staggered back up to Eddy's door and now stood on the threshold staring incredulously at his friend, his earlier concerns suddenly replaced with a much more familiar type of concern. "Eddy, don't tell me you still haven't abandoned this absurdly ambitious aspiration of yours?"
"Yep." Eddy grinned and ran a comb through his hair. Suddenly he frowned. "I mean, nope – I mean – " he growled in frustration, dismissing the question entirely as he turned back to Ed. "Hey Lumpy, go polish my shoes for me, will ya?"
"You can call me on a Monday!" Ed turned on the industrial hairdryer, picked up the platform shoes lying by Eddy's bed, and put them in the current of the dryer's airflow. Much to his delight, they shot across the room and embedded themselves in the wall. "Shiny!"
Eddy turned back to Edd and gestured smugly towards his shoes, even as Ed began searching for more items to blow around. "Does that answer your question?"
"Better than I ever could have hoped, Eddy…" Edd watched apprehensively as Eddy returned to his primping. "So I only have one further question for you – and I hope you'll forgive me if I sound somewhat overemphatic here, but…well…WHAT THE SAM-HILL ARE YOU THINKING?!?" He waved his arms wildly. "I mean, really Eddy, we've already tried everything we could reasonably have come up with and then some!"
Eddy nodded in triumph. "That's it exactly, Double-D! We've tried everything you guys know – that's our problem!"
Edd blinked. "I'm not sure I'm following you, Eddy…"
"Then lemme put it this way, Einstein: If I wanna know all about boring stuff nobody cares about, I'd ask you, right?" Edd scowled, but bit his tongue and waited for Eddy to continue. "And if I needed to know about some stupid monster movie or stuff that smells really bad, I'd ask Ed."
Ed looked up from where he was using the hairdryer to blast Eddy's bed around the room. "Count on me for all your stupid stinky needs, Eddy!"
"Ed, please, you're likely to blow a circuit…" Edd eyed him speculatively, "…of that hairdryer, if your luck holds…" Ed just laughed and blew Eddy's lava lamp out the door. Giving in with a sigh, Edd turned back to Eddy and asked what he knew his friend was waiting for. "And just where are you going with this, Eddy?"
"Where I'm going, Sock-head, is straight on to Macho-land!" Eddy was all grins. "Like I was saying, I never had a chance that last time – you two don't know squat about kissing a girl!" Glancing at Ed, he reddened slightly. "Uh…well, at least you don't, Sock-head…"
Edd glared at the ceiling, growing somewhat red himself. "Always ready with a supportive word or two, aren't you, Eddy?"
But Eddy wasn't listening. "So if you guys can't help me, who can?" He pulled out a bottle of aerosol cologne and pushed the nozzle, disappearing in a miasma of pine-scented ego. When the cloud cleared, he breathed deeply and grinned at Edd's bewildered expression. "My brother, who else?"
"Y-your brother?" Edd blinked. He should have expected that. He really should have.
"Yeah, my brother! Who knows more about wowin' chicks than him? He's cooler than cool, he's hipper than hip, he – "
"He is more like a nacho than a baseball bat!"
"Shut up, Ed." But even Ed's outburst did nothing to dampen Eddy's spirits. "Lumpy's right – sorta – my brother's the Big Cheese, Double-D! And I'm just a chip off the ol' block, right? It just took me a while to remember that, but now that I have…" he winked at himself in the mirror. "Look out, ladies!"
Edd watched in dismay as Eddy pulled two outfits out of his closet and examined each in turn, trying to decide between a catastrophically paisley Nehru jacket and an olive-colored leisure suit with lapels wider than even Jonny 2X4's admittedly sizeable head. "Really, Eddy, this is just too much!" He followed Eddy around the room, ducking alligator belts and oversized gold medallions as Eddy collected his accessories and tossed them onto his bed. "Listen to me, Eddy, I know you don't want to hear this but perhaps this just isn't the right time for you to initiate amorous contact with the opposite sex! There's no sense in forcing the matter, these things happen in their own time, just like – like summer rains you never can predict, or – " Seeking inspiration for a convincing analogy, he turned around and suddenly gasped as he saw Ed facing the opposite wall with the hairdryer aimed directly at it. "Ed, no!"
But he was too late, for just then Ed flicked on the hairdryer and the force of the current caused a recoil that sent him tumbling, first into an unsuspecting Eddy, then into Edd as he was trying to scramble out of the way. Two of them yelling frantically, the third laughing in utter delight, the Eds careened into – and through – Eddy's wall and into the yard beyond, only stopping when they rolled into the fence and collapsed.
As the dust settled and the world slowly stopped spinning, Edd stared up at the sky and began plucking blades of grass out of his teeth. "A-as I was saying, Eddy, some things are only a matter of time…"
Eddy stood up woozily, but upon seeing Ed he shook off his dazedness. "And some things are a matter of MY FIST!!" With a growl he leapt on Ed.
Still not getting up, Edd shook his head and sighed as he listened to a series of thumps and crashes nearby. "If only Mother Nature were as predictable as the two of you…"