A/N: This grew out of numerous requests for a sequel involving margaret of Dennis' universe, especially, as one said, w/moer Hobbes. Thanks to RadHobbes for encouragement with this idea. It may be my last story here, I'm starting to feel led to be a missionary for a short term basis, anyway.

In reading some old Dennis the Menace books I own from the '50s-early '70s, I've realized that he's really calmed down, & that maybe that's one reason Bill Watterson quit while he was on top. The old Dennis did things Calvin never even did: Quite a bit of of fighting w/other kids ("I almost whupped a second grader" he declares once); Vandalism on Calvin's level plus thievery (A split that had me laughing again thinking of his mom's thoughts of the fight he might have had - Henry says "You say the other kid had one ear and Dennis had an ear in his pocket?" before the 2nd half shows his dad promising to pay for the corn & making sure it wouldn't happen again); and, of course, sneaking out at night.

Calvin would come out on top. Dennis always seemed pretty innocent even at his roughest, whereas Calvin could get malicious. Dennis only has a vivid imagination being a cowboy, Calvin has a very wide range. But, it wouldn't be a 55-10 blowout. A good comparison would be Super Bowl XXI, the Broncos played the Giants close & led 10-9 at the half before a second half blowout made it 39-20, Giants, or maybe the first, where the upstart Chiefs held the mighty Packer dynasty to a 14-10 halftime lead before Max McGee's interception turned the 2nd half into a romp & a 35-10 Packer win, their 2nd of 3 straight league titles.

Okay, enough analysis, now Calvin's famiy visits Maple street, where Calvin learns...

The G.R.O.S.S. is Always Greener

"O-Oh Gro-oss!" came the terribly off key singing of the six-year-old boy and his best friend, a tiger. Calvin, the boy, complained bitterly that, "You can't keep in key!"

"Me? You're the one who was so far out of tune your vocal chords belong on some Egyptian mummy!"

Calvin grabbed Hobbes and said, "Oh yeah? Maybe you could use someone to knock those windpipes back in tune!"

"You need a lot of sense knocked into more than just your windpipes!"

Soon, boy and stuffed tiger were scuffling on the floor of their treehouse. Unbeknownst to them, a girl - the "enemy" of Get Rid Of Slimy girlS, or G.R.O.S.S. - named Susie Derkins was happily strolling along near their treehouse.

When she spied a basket filled with water balloons, she decided that, knowing Calvin and his tricks, she'd better take them. It sounded like there was some "secret plan" to hit her with them, from what the two were saying during their "fight." She left the basket, however. Just to make sure Calvin would come down looking for more balloons. She knew with him, you had to strike first.

After a few minutes, Calvin and Hobbes stopped wrestling, having forgotten why they began. And, Dictator For Life Calvin and President and First Tiger Hobbes hoisted up the basket of balloons, only to find...

"Where are the water balloons?!" Calvin demanded.

Hobbes furrowed his brow, placed his hands on his hips, and scolded, "Don't look at me, you're the one who was supposed to get them this time."

"I was not! It was your stupid job, and you get fifteen demerits for being such a lousy leader," Calvin decalred as he began to climb down the rope toward the ground. He wasn't going to take any backtalk from Hobbes this time; it was the middle of a sweltering day in July, and he was determined to have the last word. He would deal with Hobbes after refilling his arsenal.

A sudden sense of dread hit him as he neared his house. He had indeed gotten the balloons. His eyes widened, and he gulped in horror, just as Susie pounced out from behind the corner of his house and pelted him with one, two, three, four water balloons.

"That wasn't fair!" Calvin shouted at her.

"Oh, yes it was. You may as well admit it. I heard you and Hobbes shouting to each other about what you'd throw at me." Susie skipped away joyfully.

Calvin began to slouch back toward the clubhouse when his mother steped out back. "Oh, Calvin...my, you're all wet. Did you run through someone's sprinkler?"

"No, Susie...never mind, this is a day of total humiliation for G.R.O.S.S.."

Calvin's mom decided discretion was the better part of valor in asking what that meant, as was often the case with her ultra-mischievous, very odd boy. So, she didn't ask what he meant. Instead, she told him, "We get to have a little family getaway. Guess where we're going?"

"The Triassic Period?" Calvin asked hopefully, his eyes brightening tenfold.

"Sorry, we plan something a little more pedestrian than bringing the first dinosaurs back home with us and breeding them." By now, she was used to giving glib answers to such wild comments; Calvin had a vivid imagination, more vivid than anything she'd ever seen. And, she'd been kind of wild as a kid herself. "Instead, your dad has a conference with his job out in Wichita, and since they live in the area, we've decided to save on hotel costs and room with the Mitchells, that family we met at the farm last month."

"Oh, cool, where Hobbes and Dennis and I tipped that cow over?"

Happy to be the straight man for once in the little comedy routine that was life with her son, Calvin's mom replied, "Yes, since we worry you'll cause us to have to pay someone damages anyway, we have to save on hotel expenses."

"Why not let me stay and torment...I mean stay with Rosalyn?"

"For several days? She'd charge more than a luxury suite each day!"

"Oh? Well, in that case, count me in. I'm going to recruit new members for G.R.O.S.S.. Because, Hobbes is a disgrace."

Calvin's mother decided not to ask what Hobbes had done. She only hoped that this experience would help Calvin learn to make more normal - that is, human - friends.

Several days later, five-year-old Dennis Mitchell was happily squirting water into his wading pool in his front yard, along with his nearly four-year-old friend, Joey MacDonald. Dennis saw a car pull into the family driveway, and turned to wave - but kept hold of the hose. Calvin's dad quickly got out of the car - and stepped right into the hose while in his business suit.

"Dennis!" Alice Mitchell cried.

"Sorry," Dennis said as Joey gasped in horror, then ran to turn the hose off. Calvin, meanwhile, was fitfully laughing. "I didn't think you'd get out so fast."

"Well, I was in a hurry, but now I suppose I'm going to have to change into my spare suit anyway," Calvin's dad mumbled.

"Oh, don't...ha, ha, ha...apologize...woo hoo...for that! Oh, man, that was funny," Calvin said as he and Hobbes hopped out of the car.

"Hey, great to see you here, Calvin. You remember Joey, don'tcha? Hop into your bathing suit real quick and we can have some fun."

"In a minute." He looked around, then - seeing no girls - he said in a hushed tone, "You got a clubhouse?"

"Sorta. It's just a little thing my friends and I put together over at Tommy's house. Why, you wanna make a club?"

"Yeah, we got one, in fact. Hobbes and I need a place to have a meeting. How would you like to be a new member of G.R.O.S.S.?"

"What's that?" Dennis asked.

"It stands for 'Get Rid Of Slimy girlS,' our purpose statement is to annoy the heck out of every girl by virtue of their innate sliminess," Hobbes expounded.

"I don't wanna do that!" Joey cried.

Sensing his friend's fears, Dennis reassured him. "Don't worry Joey, he's not talkin' about girls like your sister." He put a hand on the younger one's back. "I'm sure he means just annoying ones like ol' Margaret."

"You have a sister? How old?" Calvin asked.

"About nine months," Joey said.

"He's right; we don't bother with babies. They're not worth it."

"Hey, don't say that about my sister," Joey said defensively.

Hobbes noted that Calvin looked taken aback. So, he came to the rescue by nothing, "What Calvin mean is that babies are actually kind of cool. They spit up on their parents' best clothes, they need changed when you least expect it, and some have been known to eat dirt. They're rather gross at times. And, that's a positive trait."

"Yeah, see, Joey. They'd like your sister."

"Well...okay," he said hesitantly. "I guess I'll be in your club, then."

"Great. Oh, we didn't bring our hats. We'll need to make some paper hats, then we'll get to work," Calvin said.

Calvin, Hobbs, Dennis, and Joey met in the clubhouse moments later. All were wearign hats made out of newspaper. "This meeting of G..S. will now come to order. President and FirstTiger Hobbes, any news?"

"Yes, I wish to report to the esteemed Dictator for Life the proposed membership of three new members - Dennis, Joey, and Tommy."

"Very well, raise your right hands." They did. "Do you swear to annoy girls wherever discovered?" Joey potested. "This is part of the ceremony, Joey, come on!"

"I would propose a change in the Constitution as a solution," Hobbes remarked. "A change that would limit our actions to girls over two years old."

"Two?" Calvin rubbed his chin. "Nope, has to be one."

"One?!? A one-year-old still drives their parents crazy enough they don't have time to pay attention to anything we do, they're a help, not a hindrance!"
Calvin stepped toward Hobbes, fists raised. "Listen, bub, sliminess begins way earlier than you think! You say two, next you'll want to say three because most two year olds aren't potty trained yet!"

"I say two, any one-year-old will be driving their parents so crazy they can't tell on us anyway!"

"I'm the dictator for life, and I say one!"

"Two!"

"One!"

At tlat point, Dennis whispered in Hobbes' ear, after which the tiger said, "One!"

"Two!" Calvin slapped his forehead and ground his teeth the minute he said it.

"Two it is." Hobess scribbed a note in the official club notebook. Once he explaiend to the others what had happened, Joey relented and accepted membership, as did the others.

Calvin wasn't buying it, though. "That was a dirty bit of cheating you pulled!"

"Oh, was it now? Well, maybe that's because I'm more clever than you!"

Joey tried to speak, but couldn't be heard above the din.

"You?! Impossible." Calvin turned to the other boys. "Men, I suggest that we demote Hobbes to Under-secretary of bug watching, and strip him of all honors!"

"Does he usually act like this at home?" Tommy asked. Dennis shrugged.

"I charge that it's the Dictator for Life who is incompetent, and he should be demoted to bug-watcher for life."

"Hey, here comes Margaret," Joey finally shouted.

"What?" Calvin glared at Hobbes. "If you hadn't been arguing so much we could have come up with a plan!"

"We? You're the one who tried to demote me, you insolent..."

"You hoo, boys! Who's your friend?" Margaret asked. She was a red- haired girl with glasses and the vocabulary and intelligence of a girl several years older than her seven. And, she never let anyone forget it!

"This is Calvin and Hobbes," Dennis expalined. "Guys, this is Margaret."

"Well, I see someone has taught you some manners," Margaret remarked. "So nice to meet you, Calvin. What an adorable stuffed animal you have."

"Don't get too close! He's a vicious, ravenous carnivore who would like nothing more than to bite your head off and chew it up!"

Margaret stepped back, stunned but intrigued. This Calvin sounded wild, but at least he had some smarts; maybe she could use that to make friends with him. She began to prattle off some of the facts she knew about tigers as Dennis rolled his eyes. "Tigers really are fascinating animals," she concluded.

"Joey, I don't think you would have had to tell us that that was Margaret," Hobbes said. "From Dennis' description, it couldn't be anyone else."

"Do you have a library card, Calvin? I use mine all the time."

Calvin had grown bored by the pratter, and in his mind was now Spaceman Spiff, Defender of the Galaxy. "I'm more intrigued by the new breed of slime that we've discovered here on Planet Q-86-G, known to its residents as Vorlia," Spaceman Spiff remarked.

Margaret harrumphed. "It figures. You boys are always getting messy." To Spiff, she'd said "pqow wpo psh wpohjf. Pwo qjapso xapsh."

"I was talking about you, Vorlian female."

"What?"

"Most similar creatures I've encountered in my travels through the galaxy, especially the creature known as a Susie, were slimy only because they liked cute stuff, wore pink, contained cooties, and hated gross things. You have apparently evolved to a level of sliminess heretofore unknown to man," Spaceman Spiff declared.

Margaret was really incensed at the insults. "What are you saying?!" she shouted.

Hobbes chuckled. "And you said she was smart, Dennis; she didn't understand a word of that."

"I understood every word," Margartet screamed. "Number one, girls are not slimy. Number two, I am not some Vorlian female. Number three..."

Spaceman Spiff pulled out one of the water pistols the boys had carried to the club house, though to him it was a powerful ray gun "Egads, the Vorlian is attacking!" He squirted her in the face. As Margaret ran off, Calvin turned back into himself, to find the other boys doubled over in fits of laughter.

Dennis was the first to speak. "Boy, you sure handled Margaret good."

"Wait till we can actually come up with a plan," Hobbes added.

"You're right. I guess it did turn out okay." He pulled out some bottle caps. "Bottle caps of valor all around. As long as you come up with something good, Hobbes, I will even forget all your transgressions. I may have run that one myself, but you have always been a trusted President and First Tiger; I know you can handle anything."

"Aye aye, Sir." Hobbes saluted, and they taught the new members the G.R.O.S.S. theme song.

Later that night, Hobbes was awakened in the guest room by three pairs of feet. Dennis, in his sleeper, and his dog Ruff. "Hey, come on," Dennis said. "Let's go exploring."

"At this hour?!"

"Sure. Lots of cool stuff goin' on, and it's all ours. I don't know why nobody else gets up at this time."

"Perhaps because they are not nocturnal animals," Hobbes said with furrowed brow.

Dennis waved his hand. "Well, I can't sleep. Besides, I'm only a new member of your club; you're President and First Tiger, right?" Hobbes nodded and rubbed his chin. "Maybe we could sneak in an' do somethin' at Margaret's."

"A night operation?"

"Sure, doesn't Calvin ever do those?"

Hobbes shook his head as he got out from under the covers. "Are you kidding? As long as he's acting like a bump on a log, I can tell you, he was complaining just a few hours ago about monsters."

"I heard; he doesn't know what he's missin'," Dennis said as he, Hobbes, and Ruff snuck out the front door of the Mitchell house and began walking down the street. "I figured if I came in here you'd come, though." In reality, Dennis had "borrowed" Hobbes for fun on this mission, wanting to be a little more like Calvin, but also because he knew it would give some club-like formality to the mission.

"Don't you find this the least bit spooky?"

"Nah, not with a flashlight." Dennis was carrying Hobbes in one hand and a flashlight in the other as they walked toward Margaret's. The Wade home was completely quiet. "I dunno why, but some people keep their houses locked at night."

Hobbes could understand. "Most do in our neighborhood, too. It's not that small a town unlike here, but also, they know Calvin would barge in if they didn't. He was swimming naked in one woman's birdbath once."

"Cool, I've done that, too. I heard his mom talkin'. Now, what do we do?"

Hobbes was amazed as they looked around and Ruff laid outside, waiting. He'd never snuck into anyone's house before with Calvin. He'd gotten into Susie's, but she'd carried him there herself. "Hmmm, would she keep a diary?" Hobbes wondered aloud.

"Swell idea; wait a minute, I can't read too good."

"Oh, yes," Hobbes muttered, unsure of what to do next. However, just the audacity of being in here was astounding. "Isn't just the fact we're here good enough?"

"Nah, if we'd wanted to do that we'd go over to Gina's and grab some leftover homemade pizza."

"Another girl?" Hobbes asked.

"You bet; they're Italian. But, I kinda don't want to mess with them this late at night; she packs a wallop." Hobbes asked if Dennis had ever fought her. "No, I'd never hit a girl. But, boy, a couple times I made her really mad, and wham. Now, boys I've fought."

Hobbes understood; he'd heard Mrs. Mitchell talking. Dennis might even be able to beat Moe in a fight; Calvin had no fighting skills, but it sounded like Dennis could beat at least a really dumb kid like Moe. Or at least come close; he'd almost whupped a second grader after all, and that fight was probably a draw.

In fact, as Dennis bragged about his fights and they walked into the kitchen for a drink of water, an idea began to form in Hobbes' mind. But first...

"Do you have any balloons?"

"Nope." Dennis paused for a second. "I guess that would have been a good idea, huh?"

"Well, you're a little light on the planning side, but your brazenness is quite apparent. Perhaps..."

"Dennis Mitchell, what are you doing here?" Mr. Wade shouted. Hobbes rolled his eyes. Too late, he told himself.

"Huh? Oh, Hobbes and me were just gettin' a drink and were gonna see if Margaret had any cookies left over in the fridge."

"It's 2:12 in the morning!" Margaret hollered down, asking if everything was okay. "Yes, it's fine, princess, you can go back to bed. It's just Dennis acting like a bum. Tell Mom." Mr. Wade fumed as he turned off the water, which had started to collect in the sink. "And you're lucky I don't call the police!"

Dennis said he didn't need the police. "I know where my house is."

Hobbes whispered, "Psst, I don't think that's what he means."

"Then you should be in your house!" Mr. Wade exclaimed.

"I suppose it would not be appropriate at this time to claim we were just thirsty and getting a drink of water," Hobbes said.

"No, it wouldn't! And I'm sure it won't work on your parents, who my wife is calling right now!"

"Hey, why are you bothering them; they need their sleep, ya know," Dennis exclaimed, not wanting to get in trouble.

Hobbes rolled his eyes, wishing he were back in bed. "That statement was so flooded with irony I'm afraid we will all drown." Now he knew why Calvin never went on night missions.

Margaret came downstairs in a robe and bunny slippers, loudly scolding Dennis even before she got to the kitchen.

"Gee whiz, Margaret, you're almost as mad as Gina gets sometimes," Dennis said.

"Why shouldn't I be; how would you like it if I broke into your house at 2 in the morning."

Hobbes answered for him. "I sure wouldn't like it."

"See, even he agrees!"

"Why, of course, you could spread cooties all over the place."

"I'm not talking about that," Margaret shouted. "I'm talking about the fundamental right to privacy that allows us to feel secure in our own homes!"

"Fun to what?"

Margaret folded her arms. "Oh, never mind."

"So, how long have you been slaying cute, cuddly animals just to warm your own feet?" Hobbes asked. "Those poor bunnies."

"For your information, my dad bought me these for Christmas."

"Ah, so it's your dad who's the killer of innocent creatures. Better watch, he might be after Bambi next," Hobbes cracked. Dennis enjoyed the momentary diversion as Hobbes was obviously infuriating Margaret even more.

As Margaret tried to defend her dad, stating that he'd never shoot something like that, Alice Mitchell entered the home. "All right, Dennis," she said as she hauled Dennis and Hobbes out the kitchen and out of the front door. "You're going to be spending quite a bit of time in the corner, young man, and I don't care if it is past your bedtime!"

"Boy, you sure needs lots of beauty sleep," Dennis shouted as they departed.

The next day, or rather what normal people would consider the next day, Dennis still managed to awaken early, during which time Alice helped him write a personal letter of apology to the Wades. Calvin, of course, slept in quite soundly till about 8:30.

Once he got up and dressed, Hobbes - and Dennis - told him all about last night. "It was one of the more successful operations in the history of G.R.O.S.S.," Hobbes bragged.

"What?! Why wasn't I awakened?"

"You're a scaredy cat," Dennis explained candidly.

"Now, wait just a minute, I am not a scaredy-cat!" More lowly, Calvin said, "There's just things I think will hurt me."

"Oh, like monsters that creep and crawl under your bed," Hobbes remarked sarcastically. "Calvin's a chicken, bawk, bawk, bawk, bawk," Hobbes sang.

"Hey, it's okay, Calvin, I'm scared of monsters sometimes, too, but usually just of the dream kind. You should try goin' out at night sometime, it's really cool," Dennis said, despite pleas from Calvin's mother not to give him any ideas.

Hobbes seconded the notion. "I think if we did that, those things under the bed that start drooling will get confused, they won't know where to find you."

Calvin glared daggers at Hobbes. "Listen, fleabrain, I'll have you know that I've watched many a movie at 2 in the morning...usually. Okay, sometimes. But going outside?"

"Hey," Dennis tried to console him, "it's okay. I'd feel the same way if I didn't have a flashlight with me. And, Joey's really scared of lots of stuff."

"Well, of course, he's only three." Calvin bit his lip, and swallowed a little pride. "All right. You can be Special Commander in charge of night operations."

"I think he deserves more than that," Hobbes remarked, now fully back under Calvin's control - but also representing Calvin's feelings that Dennis had gotten the better of him.

"What do you mean, more than that?"

"Well, it appears that Dennis not only managed to sneak into a girl's house and bug the bejeebers out of her at a ridiculous hour, he is able to do it without even being able to read, meaning that when he can read, sneaking peeks at diaries will be a snap. Also, there is the fact that unlike you, he could not only stand up to Moe, he would probably stand a fair chance of winning."

"What?!"

"Granted, if I had been allowed to do all the planning, we could have had the first launching of water balloons at our intended victims at night, and that really would have been a great success." Hobbes rubbed his chin. "I think we should have a vote on the leadership of G.R.O.S.S., as I'd like to be Dictator For Life, with Dennis as President and First Tiger."

"I can't be a tiger," Dennis said.

"Well, first...I'll think of something."

"What?! Why, you..." Calvin seethed, smoke came out his ear, and he balled up his fists. He pounded one fist into an open palm and shouted, "This is our club, I'm the dictator for life, and I'll have you know there will be absolutely no elections. Ever!"

"Oh, so then you admit you're not as capable as he is?"

Calvin fretted as he paced the floor. Why couldn't he do anything at night? Why couldn't he beat Moe up? Dennis could. And he was a whole year younger.

No! He couldn't let it happen. There had to be a way to show he was the rightful leader of G.R.O.S.S.. And he was determined to prove it. Maybe...yes. "All right, Hobbes, we're going to set up a lemonade stand."

"A what?!" Hobbes turned to Dennis. "Now I know he's flipped his lid."

"Oh, no I haven't. Just wait and see." He whispered in Hobbes' ear. "Sound good?"

"Hmmm, yes, if they fall for it?"

Dennis was curious. "What are you talkin' about?"

Calvin was still a little leery of Dennis; he didn't seem near as mischievous as he was. He might not go along; he knew Joey likely wouldn't. From the Michelle's descriptions, Joey was just too good. "Oh, nothing, nothing. Let's get the stand set up."

Later that day, around lunch time, Margaret came walking by with Gina. "Hi, boys," Gina said. Dennis introduced them.

"It's nice to see you're engaged in more noble pursuits this time," Margaret declared. "Especially one as American as a lemonade stand. You know, my mom said girls did that back in her grandmother's day. It's such a great way to learn about money, customer relations, and many other things." Dennis rolled his eyes. Here we go again, he thought to himself. "And how much is your lemonade?"

"$378.52," Calvin said.

"What?!"

"That's highway robbery," Gina remarked.

Calvin folded his arms. "A man's got to keep a healthy profit margin."

"I'm not paying all that for one glass of lemonade," Gina exclaimed.

Margaret said, "Make it something cheaper, like 50 cents."

Calvin smiled. "50 cents cheaper? Okay, you can have a glass for $378.02." Dennis laughed, even though he didn't quite understand. "See how much fun math's gonna be when you learn it?"

Hobbes asked, "If you're so good at that, why do you have such trouble subtracting 5 from 10 at the blackboard?"

"We athletes have to get in our zone," Calvin said smugly.

"Your 'zone' consists of solving 'what is ten minus five' with answers like pterodactyl!"

"So I think outside the box sometimes."

Gina muttered to Margaret, "He thinks outside the galaxy."

Calvin then pulled out a special cup, already filled with lemonade. "Well, Margaret, since Dennis here tells me what a good cook you are, while he was setting this stand up, I whipped up my own special batch just for you. It can be yours for just ten cents."

"Why, thank you." Margaret gave Calvin a dime, then grabbed the big glass. "Now, see, Dennis, you can actually learn a thing or two from Calvin." She drank down some of the glass, as it was hot that day, then made a face. "Hmm, it's...taste this." Gina took a sip. "It's almost like you washed the lemons with soap."

"Even Dennis wouldn't do that," Gina said. "Of course, that's because he hates soap," she added with a smirk.

Margaret examined the glass, then babbled on a moment. "Anyway, as I was saying, this is the kind of busniess where you learn a lot about...customer relations...and you're special batch tastes kind of funny, Calvin...and makes me feel funny..."

Gina gasped. "Margaret, you've got bubbles coming out your mouth when you talk!"

"I what?" She noticed a bubble. "Eeeek! Mom!!!" she cried as she ran home, with bubbles coming out of her.

"Calvin, what did you put in that?" Gina shouted.

"Just some soapy stuff." Calvin looked oddly at Margaret as she ran down the street and into her house. "Weird. You'd have thought I put a frog down her back."

"That wasn't very nice," Dennis exclaimed.

Calvin snickered. "Come on, you were giggling when you first saw the bubbles."

"Yeah, but you might have hurt her. Besides, I got my mouth washed out once, an' it's gross!"

"And a girl like Margaret getting hers washed out isn't funny to you?" Hobbes asked. "He may have gone overboard, but I must admit, he did something far beyond what you'd ever do. He clearly is the rightful Dictator for Life, and always will be."

Gina had run off to see if Margaret was okay; Dennis was following. Calvin's mom, meanwhile, hollered, "Calvin, get in here, some lady just called and said her girl's got bubbles coming out of her mouth because of you!"

A couple days later, Calvin and Dennis said goodbye. "It was real swell having you here," Dennis said.

"Yeah, it would have been more swell if I'd been allowed out of my room most of the last couple days. But, you held up quite well as a G.R.O.S.S. member; even if you did seem to care a little too much about those girls."

"Hey, you're lucky I did! I kept them away from you. They both wanted to come over and teach you a thing or two. And, I said you already knew enough, and you sure don't need to learn nothin' from any girl."

Hobbes agreed. "Yes, and he learned one very important lesson from all this."

"What's that?" Calvin asked.

Hobbes spoke as they got into the car. "Well, you thought after Susie pelted you with those balloons, some new blood in G.R.O.S.S. and a new place to play would be beneficial. Instead, you found out a five-year-old can do night operations whereas you can't, he might also stand a chance at beating Moe up, and making girls drink soapy stuff is very hazardous to your health, especially if you do it again, according to your parents."

"All right, all right. Let's not talk about the failures, let's talk about the successes. We had a member pull the first night operation in our history. We really annoyed a girl and not once did she get at us, and boy, seeing those bubbles come out of her mouth was funny!" They laughed together.

Calvin's mom heard him laughing about that as they got in. "And if you ever do that to anyone again, you'll be in such big trouble it'll make this time seem like a trip to a dinosaur museum!" Calvin shuddered.

"Well, Hobbes, I guess maybe parts...let's say they won't be duplicated."

"True. But, that just goes to show, the G.R.O.S.S. is always greener on the other side."

Calvin's parents sighed as they drove on amidst Calvin's complaints, not only of "Mom, Hobbes is touching me," and "Hobbes is reading my comic books," but also "Mom, Hobbes keeps making bad jokes!"