I do not own the Macdonald Hall series.
Remember how in Macdonald Hall Goes Hollywood Bruno invites Jordie Jones to a poker night and Boots recalls how Wilbur nearly trashed their room when he lost and The Fish raided the game? Well, here's my take on that.
First Poker Night
"Bruno, I still don't think this is a good idea," Boots O'Neal muttered, perched on his bed and casting nervous glances at the closed door. Bruno Walton, his roommate and best friend, was in the middle of the room, crouched on the floor and dealing out cards to Pete Anderson, Mark Davies, Sidney Rampulsky, Larry Wilson and Wilber Hackenschleimer, who were arranged in a circle on the carpeted floor.
"Come on, Boots, lighten up! What could be better than a guy's poker night?" Bruno said cheerfully. He threw the empty card pack on his bed and took his place in the circle.
"I can't believe I agreed to this," Larry said with a groan.
"I came for the food," Wilber stated.
"Alright, ante up!" Bruno threw a packet of breath mints into the middle of the circle. Soon three cookies, a hunk of cheese, half a chocolate bar and peanut butter crackers joined the mints. Boots let out a resigned sigh and took his place beside Bruno and picked up his cards. He instantly wrinkled his nose and threw some potato chips into the pile of food.
"You have a terrible poker face," Bruno informed. Boots rolled his eyes and waited for Larry, who was to the left of Bruno, to open betting. Larry stared at his hand and after a moment's thought added a slice of French bread.
They went around the circle until Pete, Mark, Sidney and Larry folded. Wilbur, Boots and Bruno stared each other down before slowly revealing their cards.
"Dang it!" Bruno frowned when a grinning Boots raked the food towards him. His straight beat Bruno's two of a kind and Wilbur's three Jacks.
"So, whose poker face is the worst?" Boots teased.
The game continued in a similar fashion, with Bruno winning a few hands and Mark as well. After another deal, they went around the circle and everyone was still in the game, each certain that they could not be beat. It came as a shock when a triumphant Sidney revealed his Royal Flush.
"I can't believe it!" Mark cried. Sidney threw up his arms in victory. There was a loud pop, and he shrieked in pain.
"Quiet!" Bruno hissed. "What's the matter?"
"I just dislocated my shoulders!"
"You can't be serious!"
"It's Sidney," Wilbur reminded Mark.
Boots ran a hand through his blonde hair. "So...what do we do?"
"Grab an arm and pop it back," Bruno stated matter-of-factly.
Larry and Mark each took hold of Sidney's arms and relocated his shoulders. Sidney cried out in agony and everyone in the room froze as the tell-tale footsteps of the Housemaster came stomping towards them.
"Hide!" Bruno hissed, hastily grabbing the sheet stuffed under the doorway and the blackout curtain and diving under his sheets. Pete and Larry shoved each other as they scrambled into the bathroom, Mark peeked out from underneath Bruno's bed, Wilbur took the food and cards into the closet, and a whimpering Sidney crawled under Boots' bed.
"What's going on in here?" Mr. Fudge snapped, opening the door and swinging his flashlight about.
"Whatever do you mean sir?" Bruno asked, trying to sound sleepy.
"I heard shouts, Walton." Mr. Fudge's eyes drifted to the bathroom. "Why is your bathroom door shut?" he asked suspiciously.
Bruno mentally cursed Larry and Pete for being so careless. No one shuts a bathroom door unless they're using said bathroom!
Boots tensed as Mr. Fudge sauntered across the room and threw the bathroom door open. He peered inside for a moment, frowned and came back out. He glared at the two forms snuggling under their covers before growling, "Keep it down and get to sleep, alright?"
"Yes sir," Bruno and Boots chorused.
Mr. Fudge left, and after a few minutes Bruno got up and knocked on the closet door. Wilbur got out and dumped the food back on the floor. "I never realized how small the closets were."
"You idiots!" Bruno snapped, standing in the bathroom doorway with his hands on his hips. "You never shut the bathroom door! That's a rookie mistake! We've been through too much to make mistakes like these!"
"You mean you've been through too much," Larry corrected.
"Let's just get back to the game. I'm getting hungry." Wilbur plopped onto the floor and the others joined him.
"You're always hungry..." Mark muttered softly.
Pete stared at his cards and then glanced at Larry. "Hey...what hand do I have?"
Larry slapped his palm to his forehead as Pete thrust the cards in his face. "You're not supposed to show me your cards!"
"But I don't understand-"
"Pete, what do you understand?"
"Never mind," Larry sighed and shoved Pete's hand away. "You might as well fold."
Pete obeyed. Wilbur stared at his cards intently for a minute before grinning broadly and slamming his jar of peanut butter in the middle of the circle. Boots arched an eyebrow and regarded Wilbur thoughtfully as everyone else folded.
"Three kings!" Wilbur boasted, spreading his hand on the floor.
Boots smirked and slapped his own hand down. "Flush."
Wilbur stared, dumbstruck. "AARRGGHH!" he screamed in anger and chucked the jar across the room. It shattered against the wall, cracked plastic littering the floor and peanut butter splattering against the walls.
"Chill out!" Boots cried, wiping peanut butter from his hair. Wilbur kicked the dresser and the lamp fell to the ground, sparking as the cord was ripped from the socket. The room was plunged into darkness and Wilbur chucked Bruno's pillow at Boots' shelf. His prized baseball zoomed off the shelf and went right through the window.
"He's on a rampage!" Bruno cried. The other boys stampeded into the bathroom as Wilbur raged about.
Mr. Sturgeon bolted upright as a howl echoed across the grounds. "What on earth?" he exclaimed, getting out of bed and wrapping himself in his bathrobe.
"William? What's the matter?" Mrs. Sturgeon whispered, peering at her husband in the dark.
"I don't know. But I'm going to find out." Mr. Sturgeon went downstairs and out the front door. He stood on the front porch and stared in the direction of Dormitory 3. Sure enough, he could see light streaming from the window as what seemed to be a blackout curtain billowed in the night breeze.
Bruno pressed his ear to the bathroom door. Boots bounced on his toes in agitation. "We have to do something!"
"Go right ahead," Mark invited.
Sidney nursed his throbbing toe, which he had stubbed in the mad dash to get out of Wilbur's way. "Where's Fudge when you need him?"
Bruno took a deep breath. "I'm going out there. Boots, on the count of three, we'll tackle him."
Boots paled at the very idea, but nodded. Bruno yanked open the door and the duo charged out. Bruno ducked the textbook thrown his way and counted, "One...two...three!"
Boots and Bruno leapt into the air and tackled the big student. Wilbur stumbled slightly under their combined weight before tripping over the bed and toppling to the ground with an almighty crash. The door was flung open and framed in the doorway stood an irate and furious Headmaster.
Bruno scrambled to his feet. "Mr. Sturgeon!"
His cold grey eyes scanned Wilbur and Boots, the trashed room, peanut butter covered walls and scattered playing cards. "Will you kindly regale me with what has been going on?"
"Er, well...we were having a poker night and-"
"Poker?" Sturgeon asked sharply.
"Not money sir! We use food." Bruno hesitantly glanced at Wilbur, who was shamefaced as he helped Boots up. "And things got out of control."
Mr. Sturgeon didn't need to hear anymore. He knew how Hackenschleimer was about his food, and so he fixed the large boy with a stern and cold stare. "I suppose this was all your doing?"
Wilbur surveyed the scattered food and broken possessions and winced. "Yes sir...sorry guys."
"Forgiven," Bruno said instantly.
Mr. Sturgeon was about to say something when shouts came from the bathroom. Glaring at the three boys, he stormed over and shoved the door open wider. "Anderson! Rampulsky! Wilson! Davies! Out here, now!"
The four boys scurried out the door. A shampoo-dripping Sidney told Bruno that the clumsy boy had accidently knocked over their shower shelf.
"Seven students awake after curfew, gambling and portraying un-sportsmen like behaviour. You will clean this mess up, which I will supervise, and tomorrow morning at eight o'clock you will report to my office with a story of tonight's events. Hackenschleimer, you will be paying for the window."
"Yes sir...sorry sir."
So the boys cleaned up under Mr. Sturgeon's watchful eye. Boots got permission to retrieve his baseball, and by the end they all silently agreed on one thing.
It would be their last poker night for a while.