"Will not!" Dennis Mitchell shouted, his freckled cheeks pink with frustration.
"Will too!" Margaret Wade countered, her chipped front tooth evident as her mouth opened wide with her yelling.
"WILL NOT!" Dennis screamed as loud as he possibly could. His eyes squeezed shut with effort.
"I'm telling you, Dennis, we're going to get married when we grow up whether you like it or not!" Margaret assertively stated, one of her thin red eyebrows crooked above her round framed spectacles.
"Over my dead body, Margaret!" Dennis said with his eyebrows furrowed.
"Why? What's wrong with having me as a wife?" Margaret asked, obviously offended.
"I'll tell ya what! You're so darn bossy that I couldn't even stand under the same roof with ya for one second!" Dennis explained angrily.
"I am NOT bossy!" Margaret interjected, before demanding "You take that back right now!"
"See? There ya go already!" Dennis said, wagging his index finger rapidly at Margaret as if it where a wet noodle.
"Okay, FINE! I wouldn't want to marry someone as rude as you anyway!" Margaret spouted furiously, before turning quickly on her heel and stomping away with a huff of breath and her nose held high in the air.
"GOOD RIDDANCE, BOSSY BETTY!" Dennis blared out loud, his voice beginning to squeak. Before he himself turned and began to walk homeward.
"DUMMY!" Margaret screamed from afar.
"PRISSY PANTS!" Dennis countered, turning his head back.
"I DON'T WEAR PANTS, I WEAR A SKIRT, YOU NITWIT!" Margaret's voice yelled back, clarifying the issue of her attire.
Dennis merely ignored her, grimacing on his way back home.
Dennis was about two blocks away, when who should come skipping along with a jump rope but neighborhood heartbreaker Gina Gilotti. Gina, a very pretty tomboy with olive complected skin and had long, shimmering raven black hair. She was dressed quite fashionably in a solid red T-shirt, blue bellbottom jeans and black sandles.
Dennis' face lit up immediately. He was always happy to see her. "Howdy, Gina!" He cheerfully greeted with an enthusistic wave of the hand.
Gina returned the smile, and stopped her skipping, and replied "Ciao, Paisano! How you doin' dis bellisima day?"
Dennis blushed slightly and grinned from ear to ear, saying "Gosh, Gina, I love it when you talk that Italy stuff."
Gina just smirked slyly and walked over to Dennis, briskly patted him on the back and said in a soft, even voice "Grazie, Paisano."
Dennis continued smiling, his blush continuing to cover his face. "Um, Gina, would you like to hang out with me?" He asked.
Gina grinned. "Of course, Dennis, I be happy to."
Dennis grinned back and said "Great! Then let's go!"
The two then merrily walked off towards the park.
At the park's colorful playground, Gina hung by her legs from the bright blue monkey bars, her long ebony hair shimmering in the morning sunshine. From the other end, Dennis suspended himself by his short, chubby arms.
"Isn't the weekend great, Gina?" Dennis asked reflectively.
"You got that right." Gina responded.
Dennis stared at Gina, admiring her. He knew it should seem icky, seeing as how she was a girl and all, but Dennis didn't get that feeling from her at all. In her, he saw a good friend, a loyal buddy. But was she something more? Dennis gulped nervously as he decided to find out.
"Uh, Gina? You..um..You ever gonna get married?" He timidly asked.
Gina giggled and said in a playful voice "Yeah. Maybe someday. Why you ask?"
"Uh, well. I was ju..um..just wondering" Dennis stuttered with uncertainty, before continuing "if..um..you'd like to m..marry me?"
There was a short silence, which was broken by Gina's loud boisterous laughter. "Sure, Dennis! You an' I get married someday! You're a nice guy! I like you, kiddo!" Gina answered between giggles.
"Okay! You wanna get married today?" Dennis eagerly asked, his heart racing with joy.
"Sure! Why not? It sound like a good idea to me!" Gina warmly replied. "I go get ready my wedding dress and I tell my Mama and Papa that I'm a gonna marry you. They be so happy."
At this, Dennis hopped down from the monkey bars, and pointed off in the direction of his block. "Okay, Gina, I'll go buy a ring and round some of the guys up as guests."
Gina repositioned herself and dropped down as well, before shrugging her shoulders and asking with a concerned face "Okay, but what we gonna do about a cake?"
Dennis squinted his eyes and put his thumb and forefinger on his chin, concentrating on a solution. Suddenly an idea came to him! "I know! My Mom can bake one!" He announced with a snap of his fingers.
"Okay! My Momma showed me how to make spaghetti. I can bring some to the..Hey!" Gina said, realizing something. "Where we gonna get married, anyway?" she asked.
"In my backyard." Dennis nonchalantly answered.
"Okay, I bring the pasta to the backyard, then." Gina said.
"Okay. Well, you go get things ready, Gina, I'm gonna go buy your ring." Dennis said, starting to rush off towards his block.
"An' it better be a nice one, or I'm gonna leave you at the altar!" Gina shouted after him.
Dennis rushed like a bullet fired from a gun into his house "SorryMomIcan'ttalkgottabuyGinaaringcauseI'mgonnamarryher."
Dennis' Mother, Alice, watched as her son, a blonde and red blur, streaked by her. "What was that? I couldn't hear you!" She called out after him.
Dennis, now at the top of the stairs, stopped for a moment and called out to her "Sorry, I can't talk right now, I gotta buy Gina a weddin' ring!" Before disappearing into his room.
"A wedding ring? What's this all about, young man?" Alice demanded.
From inside his room, Dennis shouted out "Hey, which one of you's been goin' through my piggy bank? It felt heavier before!"
Alice, an angry scowl crossing her attractive face, yelled out to her son "Dennis Mitchell, you come down here and explain yourself at once!"
At this, Dennis appeared at the doorway of his room, and jumped onto the staircase's bannister, sliding backwards on his behind. "WHEEEEEE!" He exclaimed with joy, before reaching the end and hopping off to the floor. As he ran towards the front door, to his Mother's disbelief, he called out "Hey, Mom, could you bake a weddin' cake for Gina and me? Thanks!" Before rushing out into the neighborhood, loudly slamming the door behind him.
Alice simply looked upwards with a defeated expression, saying aloud to the empty room "What am I going to do with that boy?"
Dennis stood in front of a gumball machine that sold plastic toy rings in the local supermarket. He contemplated a particular ring that was still in it's protective plastic bubble, before dismissively saying "Nah, not sparkly enough." and tossed it aside, next to a little pile of other rings he had previously bought.
As Floyd Quigley, the store's manager, noticed Dennis' misbehavior and began to walk up behind him, as Dennis continued to pop nickles into the machine and retrieve the rings, before casting them away, "Jewel's not big enough." "This'd prol'ly get stuck on her finger." "Nah, looks too cheap." He said, judging each one.
One of the rings that Dennis flung back towards the pile hit Mr. Quigley in the face, knocking his glasses askew. He adjusted them and angrily shouted "DENNIS!"
Dennis immediately spun around with his eyes bugging out with surprise and asked innocently "Yes, Mr. Quigley?"
A small twitch was going off in Mr. Quigley's wrinkled left cheek, as he continued "Dennis, just look at the mess you're making! Now I want you to pick these rings up and get out of here!"
"But none of them's the right size." Dennis explained.
"I said pick them up!" Quigley ordered.
Dennis meekly obeyed as he muttered under his breath "Okay, but if she don't like any of 'em.." as he stuffed the plastic bubbles into his overalls' pockets.
"GET OUT!" Quigley screamed, pulling at his thinning grey hair.
"Alright, Mr. Grumpy!" Dennis scowled, before walking out the door, however, he stopped and held it open just as Quigley was turning his back on him. Dennis opened up one of the plastic rings, discarded the bubble, and took his trusty slingshot out of his back pocket. Then, placing the plastic ring into the rubber sling, he pulled back hard, sqeezed his left eye shut as he aimed for the back of Quigley's head, then let go! The ring sailed through the air on it's clear course, before smacking into the back of the manager's head with a satisfying *PLUNK*.
Quigley grabbed the back of his head with mild irritation, then spun around just in time to see the culprit making his escape across the parking lot. "DENNIS!" He called out furiously.
Dennis' friends, Joey, Margaret, Tommy, and Dewey were engaged in an invigorating game of hopscotch, when Dennis ran up to them, announcing "Guys! Guys! Gina and me are gettin' married! The weddin's in my backyard! There's gonna be cake and spaghetti! Let's go!"
"Cake? Pasghetti? Hooray! I wanna go!" Joey gleefully announced.
"Hey, Dewey, you're the oldest" Dennis said, turning to his tall, light blonde haired friend wearing a baseball cap. "could you be the Pastor?"
"Sure, Dennis. Let me run home and get my Bible real quick." Dewey said, before dashing off.
"Joey, you wanna be my best man?" Dennis asked the younger boy with a strand of black hair on his head.
"Yeth, I'd like that! Thank you, Dennith!" He happily lisped.
"You're welcome, buddy!" Dennis answered.
"Dennis Mitchell, you lamebrain! You're just doing this to make me mad!" Margaret said with a pout of her lips.
"Oh yeah, Margaret, I forgot to tell you, you're not invited." Dennis said, before instructing his other friends "Come on, guys, let's go!"
As Joey and Tommy followed after Dennis, Margaret cried out after him "Oh, yeah, Dennis? Well maybe I don't want to come to your stupid wedding! So there!" "And another thing," she continued "if you marry Gina, I'll never speak to you ever again!" But Dennis wasn't paying attention.
As soon as Dennis and his friends got back home, Dennis called out to his mother "HEY, MOM!" in quite a loud voice.
"Yes, Dennis? You don't have to shout!" Alice responded, walking into the room.
"Where's the cake for my weddin'?" Dennis asked with a look of unpleasant surprise on his face.
"Wedding? What wedding?" Alice asked incredulously, crossing her arms.
"I already told ya, Mom, I'm gettin' married to Gina in a few minutes. She's over at her house gettin' ready, and I need a cake."
Alice simply rolled her eyes and said "Well, you didn't make it very clear, so I couldn't make one in time. But I'll tell you what." She said, raising her finger "I've just made some cupcakes. Would those be alright instead?"
Dennis sighed and shrugged "I guess so."
"Great. I'll put a little table out for them." Alice said with a pleasant smile.
"Uh, Mom. You'd better wanna make it a bigger one." Dennis said sheepishly.
"Oh? Why's that?" Alice inquisitively asked.
Just then, there came a sudden and rapid tapping at the door. "Uh, I think that's the reason right now." Dennis nervously replied.
Alice walked over to the door and opened it. On the welcome mat stood Gina in a beautiful white lace wedding dress that was much too big for her, holding a large steaming hot bowl of spaghetti in her hands, partially obscuring her face. "Ah, Buon Giorno Mrs. Mitchell! Where you want I should put this bowl of spaghetti my Mama make?"
Alice put her hand over her eyes and moaned in a tired voice "Oh, Dennis.."
Once everything had been set up, the spaghetti and cupcakes on a medium sized table out on the Mitchell's somewhat spacious backyard, Dennis turned to Gina. "Gosh, Gina, that's a nice weddin' dress ya got there." He said to her in a happy voice.
"Grazie, Dennis." Gina said with a blush, squinting her eyes. "Is my Mama's. She let me borrow."
"You also smell really good too!" Dennis said, taking a big whiff around Gina. "Almost as good as peanut butter!"
"Si, is some special perfume I buy just for 'dis occasion." Gina said in a sultry voice.
"Well, should we get started?" Dennis asked Gina.
"Si, I think is time." Gina affirmed with a nod.
"Hey, Tommy!" Dennis called out to his friend "Can ya play "Here comes the Bride?""
"I think so." Tommy said, taking out his harmonica and blowing a few practice notes. "Yeah, I think I'm ready."
"Okay, go ahead!" Dennis said, walking over towards Tommy and Dewey
Tommy began playing "Here Comes the Bride", hitting sour note after sour note. None of the children seemed to mind, however.
Gina kept a smile on her face as she slowly made her way towards the others.
Standing in front of the back door, Dennis' parents, Henry and Alice were trying their best to grin through the off key timber. "Hope Tommy's harmonica doesn't give Dennis any Christmas present ideas." Henry muttered to Alice. Alice politely shushed him, aimed her Polaroid camera, and snapped a picture. Inside the house, Dennis' large dog, Ruff was howling and wailing along with the music.
Dennis' next door neighbor, George Wilson and his wife, Martha sat reclining on lawn chairs. The mutilated notes came to George's ears. "What in Sam Hill is that racket?" He exclaimed.
"Oh, it's just Dennis and his little friends having fun playing." Martha replied.
"Well, they're idea of FUN just sounds like NOISE to me!" George said angrily through clenched teeth. He then got up and walked over to the fence that divided their yards. "DENNIS! Cut that noise off right now!" He called out as he poked his head over the fence.
Dennis looked up at his neighbor and said "HI, MISTER WILSON! I'm gettin' married! Wanna come over?"
"Turn your volume down, Dennis! I'm not deaf..yet that is!" George replied. "And no, I do NOT want to come to your wedding. But please tell me when you're moving out so I can see you off!" Before walking back towards his chair.
"Oh, really now, George!" Martha scolded "Let the boy enjoy himself!"
George just looked at his wife with tired eyes, saying "Martha, If I did, the Neighborhood Watch would have to create their own "Dennis Unit".
Dennis merely shrugged his shoulders and said "Oh, well, his loss." At that moment, Tommy finally stopped playing, as Dennis and Gina stood in front of Dewey, who was standing on an apple box. Joey stood behind Dennis, although something seemed to have caught his attention.
"Dearly Beloved" Dewey began, opening his Bible and pretending to read, in his most "Preacher-like" voice. "We are gathered together today to join these two people in Holy Macaroni. Dennis Mitchell, do you take Gina Gillotti to be your awfully wedded wife?"
"Yep!" Dennis eagerly replied.
"Um, Dennis, you're supposed to say "I Do."" Dewey flatly said.
"Oh, Okay." Dennis answered. Just then, he caught something out of the corner of his eye. "Joey! Don't eat that yet!" He shouted.
Everyone turned to see Joey, at the reception table, having a cupcake half stuffed in his mouth. "But I'm hungry!" Joey whined.
"Get back over here and be patient!" Dennis ordered.
"Okay." Joey reluctantly said, sulking his way back behind Dennis.
"*Ahem* Anyway, Gina Gillotti, do you take Dennis Mitchell to be your awfully wedded husband?" Dewey continued.
"Si! He's cute!" Gina exclaimed.
Dewey merely rolled his eyes in derision and said "Whatever. Now Dennis, give Gina the ring."
"Okay!" Dennis gleefully answered. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a plastic bubble and opened it, revealing the ring inside. "Here ya go, Gina! He said, and attempted to place it on her finger, however, it was much too small.
"Is too small." Gina said grimly. "Don't tell me I come here only for 'dis small ring."
"D-Don't worry, Gina, I-I've got lots more!" Dennis said nervously, beginning to perspire.
"Hey, guys, let's speed this up, okay? The Banana Splits are coming on soon." Dewey said in an irritated voice. "Now, if anyone here feels that these two shouldn't be married, let him speak now, or forever eat brussel sprouts."
"I DO!" a familiar voice proclaimed "He should be marrying me instead!"
Dennis spun around to see Margaret standing in the fence's doorway. "Margaret, I told you that you wasn't invited! Now get out of here!" he angrily shouted at her.
"Dennis Mitchell! You're so mean! I don't understand! What don't I have that Gina does?" Margaret yelled over to him.
"Fashion sense." Gina mumbled under her breath, referring to Margaret's drab black and white dress.
"Just ignore her, Dewey. Go on." Dennis instructed.
"Okay." Dewey said, before proclaiming "By the power festered in me by the state of Kansas, I now pronounce you Husband and Wife. You may kiss the bride."
"WHAT?" Dennis' voice fired like a blast from a shotgun. "I GOTTA KISS HER?"
"That's right, Dennis. Those are the rules! If you don't kiss her, you can't be married!" Margaret said with a wicked smile.
"Well if those are the rules, forget it! I don't wanna kiss no girl!" Dennis objected.
Gina's face turned beet red with anger as she gritted her teeth. "Traditore! You lousy pig!" She shouted and delivered a hard slap across Dennis' face, knocking him dizzy. "I wear my Momma's wedding dress for what? For nothing!" She shrieked as she stormed off in the direction of the gate's door.
"Uh, Gina, what about your bowl of pasta?" Dennis said, having recovered from the slap.
"Keep it!" Gina shouted furiously, slamming the fence door behind her.
After a short silence, Dennis announced "Who wants cupcakes?"
In response, all the children shouted "ME!" and rushed for the food table. As they began stuffing cupcakes in their mouths, Tommy asked Dennis "Dennis, aren't you upset that Gina's mad at you?"
"Nah, She's always like that, Tommy. If I know, Gina. And I do. She'll be cozyin' up to me again before the sun goes down."
"In the meantime, we could cozy up together. Right, Dennis?" Margaret said in a sugary sweet voice.
"Forget it!" Dennis angrily shot back.
"*Hmph!*" Margaret huffed.
"Hey, anyone want this spaghetti Gina left here?" Dennis asked his friends.
"No" "Naw" "Nah, I already ate." Was the concensus.
"Oh, well, Maybe Mr. Wilson wants it." Dennis figured, before turning to the fence and shouting "HEY MISTER WIIIILLLSSOOON!"
George popped his head back over the fence. "What is it NOW, Dennis?" He asked in an irritated tone.
"Catch!" Dennis shouted, flinging the bowl of pasta into the air towards him.
George looked up too late to see the large gooey bowl of wet noodles and tomato sauce splash right onto his head, creating a makeshift head of long hair atop his bald head.
"Gosh, Mister Wilson. You look like one of those Rock N' Roll singers!" Dennis exclaimed happily.
"DEEEEEENNNNNNIIIIIIIS!" George furiously screamed at the top of his lungs.
Dennis and his friends, Martha, and even Dennis' parents couldn't hold their laughter in, and began guffawing away at the humorous sight.