iDon't Own Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide or any other of the shows or works of arts used for this story.
fluff, family, adventure, mystery, drama, friendship.
The story occurs in the identified universe of a huge variety of current or past live action shows produced for Nickelodeon channel, including, but not restricted to True Jackson VP, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Drake & Josh, Zoey 101, and it makes heavy use of a variety of members of their casts.
The story starts with season 3 of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, coinciding with season 3 of Drake & Josh and Unfabulous, season 2 of Zoey 101. All other shows' canons are predated.
True is interested in her grandma's heritage and comes to live with her cousin Simon Nelson Cook for a whole year, accompanied by Lulu and Ryan.
Lulu encounters a lost monozygotic twin sister, and she proves her mathematical genius.
True becaomes the driving force of James K. Polk Middle School's textile creation club, and she often needs to talk some sense into her old and new friends.
Ryan becomes a respected cheerleader, but he also causes a lot of chaos and turmoil, especially when working with Simon.
The decisions of True and her friends influence the story line of many Nickelodeon shows.
True Jackson / Jerome Crony, Ryan Laserbean / Missy Meany, Lulu / Albert Wormenheimer, et alii.
The story is written for Prompt Hopechest for Livejournal community Taming The Muse.
Chapter 1 Pilot
1.2 Dr. Lowe
1.3 The School Yard
1.5 Reading With Girls
1.6 Ryan The Cheerleader
1.7 The Judgment
1.8 Retiring Princioal
1.9 Messing It Up
1.10 Patti Park
Chapter 2 True Fall
2.1 List Of The Popular
2.3 The Worminator
2.4 Romeo And Juliet
2.5 The Performance
2.6 Halloween is coming!
2.7 The Haunted Mansion
2.8 Child Labour
2.9 Trash And Art
2.10 Harold Joiner
Chapter 3 True Winter
3.3 The Bimbo Barber
3.5 Voluntary Week
3.6 The Student Booth
3.7 Shock From Lakewood
3.8 Fernão Fortin
3.9 Traffic Control
3.10 The Rules
3.11 The Interrupted Kiss
3.12 Return Of The Culprit
3.13 Back To Brazil
3.14 The Promise Ring
3.15 Oh Suzanne!
3.16 Should Auld Acquaintance
3.17 True Robots
Chapter 4 True Spring
4.1 Out Of Money
4.4 Golden Ticket
4.5 Spring Fling
4.6 Plans For Spring Break
4.7 Hotel Chambrolay
4.8 Milo Creery
4.9 Gender Defenders
4.10 The Balance
4.11 The School Coordinator
Chapter 5 Finale
5.1 Graduation Ball
5.2 Homewards Bound
Chapter 1 Pilot
Hello, my nanme is Lauren Peckinpaw[1:1], but you should just call me Lulu, like everyone I know, OK? I am an American woman with ancestry mostly from the Philippines.
I grew up in the city of cities, the city of eternal freedom, the city of the empire, the city of the broadest of all broad ways, the city everyone around the world would love to be part of, the city of the immortal song of Frank Sinatra:
New York! New York!
I went to an elementary school in Manhattan, and I would have been regularly bound for the corresponding middle school in the same district, had there not been some strange event … one day, my best friend True Jackson had been sent into the storage room down in the basement of her apartment block. She discovered an old cache which, upon asking her mother, had turned out as the hope chest of her grandmother who had been living in California before moving in with grandpa in New York city. True would not have been overly curious, but our friend Ryan Leslie Laserbeam seemed to be of a different opinion. The reason was that his grandpa had immigrated from across the sea and left lots of memories behind that are lost forever, and thus Ryan was more interested in discovering his friends' memories of the past generations.
True's mother had got the idea of sending True for a year to their Californian branch of the family, as their older kids had just moved away for college, and left a lot of space. But True was not willing to move away without us, her two best friends, and thence she was absolutely reluctant. But according to Mrs. Cook, the cousin of True's mom, there was even enough place left down there for three kids. And for that reason, we were now on opur way to Santa Clarita, a town in the outskirts of Los Angeles and thus not too far from Hollywood.
By the way, I had got remote relatives in that region as well, a second cousin or something like that was studying at a boarding school at the beach of Malibu. The school was known as Pacific Coast Academy, and that relative was officially known as Wayne Gilbert, although he insisted in being called "Fire Wire". He was really creepy for he cackled most of the time like an idiot, even for very poor reason. He also collected action figures and was obsessed with superhero cartoons.
What I did not know back then was that I had even got a monozygotic twin sister in the rural part of Los Angeles county, a certain Suzie Nakamura[1:2], who had been given away in adoption by my mother for some obscure reason. Not even mom knew anything about the adoptive parents, and that was good so, otherwise she would hardly have allowed me to join True to a nearby location for a whole year.
Our flight to Los Angeles was exciting, at least for me as it was my very first flight … flying down the staircase does not count, does it? Well, unfortunately things like that often occur to me due to being born with attention deficit syndrome, whatever that was. I really believe that kid shrinks just make up stuff in order to screw more money put of the poor parents, school boards, and churches. Talking about that, I was forced to go regularly to the therapist at James K. Polk, a man whose name was Dr. Leonard Lowe[1:3], and already that disgusted me as thoroughly as can be. But I was still going to encounter him and meet many other pupils and staff members for the first time. OK, attention deficit is no fun, except for the onlookers, of course, and I had to experience this once again here aboard the plane when inadvertedly knocking out an air hostess. Fortunately, it had not been the pilot, or else the whole plane, complete with Ryan, True, and myself, would have crashed into some sky scraper. Ryan, on the other hand, did not really obey to the board rules, and he road his skateboard down the aisle, for one day he would be a great skateboard artist. True just spent her time with trying to knot some new outfit for the following months, and to calm down the fellow passengers who were horribly upset by my own and by Ryan's mistakes.
The grey above New York City had been cloudy, but here above Los Angeles, everything was a bright and blue, and the red hot sun was burning mercilessly the Sierra and the coastal regions of California. Now our plane came down from the morning sky, touching the grounds of the city of most passionate dreams and of most glaring vanity: Los Angeles.
Simon Nelson Cook, or — as he preferred to be called — Cookie, was already awaiting us, along with his two best friends, Jenifer Mosely and Edmond Bigby. Really, Jennifer was more commonly known as "Moze", but she hated that, which apparently did not prevent her friends from doing so. At the same time, Edmond was most well-known as "Ned". The three of them were now eight graders, and thus two years older than the three of us.
It was now a warm late summer Saturday in Santa Clarita, and school was about to restart on Monday, so there was not all that much time left. But what exactly would our life at James K. Polk be like?
Following Cookie, we new kids stumbled into the hallowed halls of James K. Polk middle school, and there were those lockers whose colour — or so said Cookie — had been changed over the summer break. OK, each school had got locker halls, or at least all those I knew, and thus this was not exciting, but I had not got one assigned. For this avail, I would have to go to custodian Robert Gordon alias "Gordy" and fetch mine. The same was of course the case for True and Ryan, and for most of our class mnates as James K. Polk was a school for sixth, seventh, and eight grades.
Cookie was in a hurry because he wanted to sneak up to his secret crush, Lisa Zemo, and thence he sent us straight down the hall into our homeroom where we would be advised a bit more by some homeroom teacher … what an ugly word, really, nobody right in his mind would feel at home here in the school hall. Ryan stepped once more onto his skateboard, although it was — or so I guessed — illegal to do so, and, indeed, he was rebuked after five yards by a stern teacher with a diabolic pair of spectacles, a teacher who would later be known unto us as Mr. Sweeny, a teacher for chemistry, physics, and biology here at James K. Polk, and he would usually, had it not been the first day of the new academic year, have awarded Ryan with a day of detention.
So, this was our so-called homeroom, and there were so many other sixth graders, which was a bit annoying. Well, it would have been actually a lot of fun, had there not been a homeroom teacher named Mr. Wright.
But before anything else, our principal, Mr. Pal, was about to greet us new kids. He was already about seventy years old and up to retuiring as soon as only possible, the school's superintendent had just not yet decided on a successor for him.
Finally, Gordy rendered the keys for the lockers unto us, and mine had got the number "1066", also known as the battle of Hastings which had taken place that year. Ryan had got "999", and he was desperate because he was not sure how to remember that number. "Does the second 'nine' belong before or after the first 'nine'?" Gordy appeared very funny, as already insinuated during the weekend by Simon Nelson. So, the keys were in our hands, and it was time to get our lockers rigged and ready for daily usage.
1.2 Dr. Lowe
This was the great recess, but I better used the time in order to comply with the prescription to visite the school's psycho creep, Doc Lowe. Those minutes were really awfukl for me, as I got distracted so easily by a whole host of various things going on in this hall.
So, this was the shrink's office? It looked pretty much patched and disorderly, and this guy wanted to talk some sense into us kids? This did not really seem right, did it?
And as it happened, I was not alone in the office, but afirementioned Ned Bigby appeared to have been called into this room for some reason. He claimed to be totally innocent, though, but he was apparently not believed. Ned had been caught after having knocked put William Loomer, the leader of the school's most infamous bully gang in a moment where he was not protected by his two henchmen, Jerome Crony[1:4] and Buzz Rodriquez. According to Ned, it was all an accident, and Loomer had just stumbled without any impact. But the shrink was unwilling to believe it and forced him into some anger management thingy. More precisely, he gave him a puppet named "Stan" which he was supposed to punch instead of his fellow pupils.
I complained about Lowe's stupidity, as it was so obvious that this Loomer guy had just been stumbling. And I deemed that doll inefficient. "Puppets have got feelings, too! It is not fair to beat them." Ouch, wghat was I talking about? Now I would certainly pass as crazy.
But fortunately. Lowe seemed to have remorses as well, and he remembered how his last dioll, a certain Regilius Powers, had disappeared from his office and run away with one of his patients, Robert Shapiro, a gifted ventriloquist of some sort. Needless to say, the poor boy was nowadays even more screwed up than before the therapy, and he always held ongoing conversations with his puppet. I would meet Robbie a few years later, but at that point, I was not even able to imagine how cruel such a life must have been, on the one hand being addicted to the doll, on the other hand being terrified by it. And all of this was the result of the inept therapy conducted by no other than Doc Lowe.
Dr. Lowe now started doubting his own abilities, and he was no longer convinced of being a decent shrink. "Maybe I should give it up and restrict to harmless things like driving busses or selling foam fingers in the football stadions." He stomped and walked away, probably straight into the principal's office in order to give up on his job.
I shrugged carelessly, for this would just have meant that the schools of this county would need a new school shrink.
1.3 The School Yard
I was sneaking back to the school yard when something furry rushed by me, brushing my feet. Looking twice, I recogniced a little mammal which would turn out as a weasel, or, rather, a ferret which was just a trained weasel, after all, wasn't it? I was flabbergasted and started screaming like a fury. Fortunately, Leonard Lowe was already gone and it was now not possible for Vice Principal Crubs, the most unpleasant man at this school, to send me to the school shrink.
Cookie explained that the weasel had been around for a few years nowm, and that custodian Gordy had ever since tried hard to catch it and get rid of it, but he had hitherto failed as miserable as can be. These were not really pleasant prospects, as I was afraid of weasels, and even more of little doves ... long story, but who cares?
Oh no, Edmond Bigby had knocked out Loomer again, he was a really bad boy, while Loomer started losing his reputation of being the most reckless bully of Santa Clarita. Suzanne Crabgrass, the not-so-secret crush of Edmond Bigby, was consternarted and started hating Ned for being such a raw and brute guy, and she started pitying Loomer for being a helpless victim.
Cookie was still hankering after Lisa, yet without much success. For the last two years, Lisa had been trying to get to date Simon, but she was usually rejected because of her breathing problems. That was a really shallow attitude exhibuited by Simon Nelson — or so I must say. An d this year, Lisa had replaced her nerdy spectacles with contact glasses and found some efficient medication in order to put up with her breathing problems, and — bang — Simon Nelson starts lusting for her. I was only able to shake my head upon recognising this demeanour.
Finally, the bell sounded for the last time of the day, and we were sent home again. Life at Santa Clarita appeared to be a lot more exciting than back in New York City, but I don't know why, and I better did not waste my time wondering.
Ryan was impressing some girls with his "magical" and acrobatic tricks, but this did not appear to work out very well, at least by now. I shook my head as well.
True, unlike Ryan and myself, had got less troubles finding new friends at our new school ... oh, I envied her for this ... and she was pretty soon in the centre of the attention.
Of course, joining clubs would help new pupils getting a better start into life at a new school, and thus we were looking at the sign up lists near the lockers.
Apparently, True Jackson was keen on fashion creation, and she urged us to follow her into the textile creation club.
Ryan and I signed up with her, but just inorder to please her, although Ryan had already also thought about hot girls in this club which was otherwise most likely — or so we guessed — an absolutely boy-free zone.
I was more into something intellectually stimulating ... oh, there was a mathletic club, and I wondered whether to join it or not ... the probleem was the fear of becoming totally unpopular, of course, as this club was only for freaks, wasn't it? And who, pray tell, wanted to be considered a freak?
Ryan, on the other hand, was hell bent on becoming the first male cheerleader at this middle school. A year ago, Simon Nelson had tried, and he had already hired Claire Sawyer, a class mate that was up to making it to a law school and become a shark, in order to sue against the discrimination of male postulants. But of course he also had had to try out, and he had messed up his cart wheels badly. Was Ryan going to be significantly more lucky? He was also looking for a club for magic tricks, but this was not really going to be successful, was it?
1.5 Reading With Girls
But there was at least one club much more suited for me, and this was Jennifer Mosely's book club for girls only. True Jackson had also been talked into joining, but this was not too hard as she was a big fan of Jane Austin, some dead novel writer. Granted, there was another club of that sort already, but that was a fake and much more of a chitchat club. For that reason, and also in order to be closer to his crush Lisa Zemo, Cookie wanted to make it into Jennifer's book club, but she was very stern and did not allow boys to join.
Ryan was immediately up to following Cookie's quest and to join the very same club, not because he was in any way interested in reading anything, comics excempted, but because he expected some of the hottest girls of the school participating in that club.
And this was the first session of the club since the start of the year, and it was initiated by a long speach by Jennifer who complained about today's youth's lack of literacy. Then she started making a reading list, and it was up to us to make suggestions.
True held up a book she had found in the dowry chest of her grandma, the one that had been the cause for our transition to California. It had been written by Jane Austin, which was really impressive, at least for me as I had always assumed it to be a contemporary author, which was of of course not the case, and it had been one of the old lady's favourite books named Pride And Prejudice.
Jennifer was truly impressed as she had never seen such an old edition of a masterpiece of a work from the good old time of English novels written by a female author that was just in her league. She formally asked the other students, but she would not really have tolerated any contradiction, so the main target of this term was fixed.
During all this, I heard some annoying noises come forth from a cardboard chest standing next to me, a container filled with books, or so it looked like. But there was also some sort of a sneezing sound, and this one was extremely treacherous ... telling me that there was someone hiding in the box, dug under a layer of dusty books ... and this someone was Ryan Laserbeam.
I was so close to screaming, but I had been shut up by the girl in front of me, a very snotty blonde known as "Missy Meany". Her proper name was Mercedes Griffin[1:5], and she was most unlikely here in the club in order to read and learn about literature, but in order to boast with her expensive outfit, jewelry, hair style, cosmetics, and many other things like that, everything that made me shudder for disgust.
Fortunately, Jennifer Mosely had not yet been noticing anything, for she would otherwise have removed Ryan rudely from this place.
later I would also come to kn ow that Ryan was using a special microcam developed by Cookie in order to spy on the ongoing club sessions and thus not having to miss out on anything. In addition, Ryan was supposed to push every now and then some paper sheets with instructions into my direction, allowing me to ask question on the behalf of the two boys, such as about Jane Austin's phone number and so on.
I wondered why Ryan and Cookie did not try to sue their way into Jennifer's book club, just as Cookie had already hired Claire Sawyer in order to be admitted to the tryouts of the cheerleaders during the last year, of course making a complete joke of himself. There should have been a law ahainst gender discrimination in clubs at this district school, a law that was perfectly applicable also here, right?
1.6 Ryan The Cheerleader
And this leads us quite forcelessly to the question about Ryan Laserbeam's efforts directed towards the goal of becoming the first male cheerleader at Kames Middle School. Last year, Cookie had failed miserably in performing cartwheels and similar standard exercises for cheerleaders, and, honestly, I assumed strongly that Ryan would not do any better. But True and I had decided to watch the trials, and if for no other purpose than being able to laugh about his miserable failure.
Well, we were not the only ones looking forward to this, some of the established cheerio girls did the same, especially aforementioned Mercedes "Missy Meany" Griffin and her best friend Candy Manderson.[1:6] Both of them were the official captains of the cheerio team, and they made fun out of Ryan in every imaginable manner.
Dirga, the coach of the cheerio team and of many other gym classes as well, was looking very stern, and she was painfully reminded of last year's scene when Cookie had tried out in and failed in the most embarrassing manner ever.
Ryan closed his eyes and took a deep breath before talking some nonsense, but poor excuses and jokes would not take him any further, even less his futile attempt of impressing Dirga with a magic trick that had been well guarded in his family, something with making something disappear in his hands.
Missy was laughing her but into the next millennium when watching Ryan's stupid attempt, and she started chanting the battle cry of the "Wolves" along with Candy. The wolf was, by the way, a mascot of the school, and messing with mascots was not to be recommended unto anyone lest he was up to facing the wrath of the cheerio troop.
But now the unexpected happened, and Ryan Laserbeam performed, pout of nothing, a perfect backward somersault into the air, ending up safely on his feet.
This time, Dirga was thoroughly impressed, and she decided, against the protests of Mercedes and Candy, to accept Ryan into the cheerio squad.
Ryan stuck his tongue triumphantly into the direction of the cheerio captains, making them go all pale and consternated.
1.7 The Judgment
Victorious Ryan had also not hesitated accepting my suggestion and hiring Claire Sawyer in order to follow the same road as Cookie had tried last year with respect to the cheerio squad, and the responsible teacher, a woman that was only seen on a TV screen, decided finally for the sake of the challengers.
In other words, Jennifer Mosely was forced to open her club also for boys, which made her almost puke as she had fought hard for this truly boy-free zone. And then she had to return the old example of Pride And Prejudice back to True, as Ryan had suggested a different book by a certain Jadie Hawthorne,[1:7] a book faboured by many other pupils here as well.
True sighed deeply, and she was acting in a very careless manner when receiving the precious book, careless enough to let the leather-bound thing slip from her hands and drop onto the desk ... granted, it was also a bit my fault ... very much my fault, indeed. I had been distracted and poked True's arms with my fingers, of course not on purpose, but the result was the same.
I moaned when I watched True, who looked at me in a very badly disturbed and frowning manner, picking up the book, noticing some piece paper dropping from the precious object.
We had already assumed it to be a loose page, but this was not the case: A sheet containing private notices by her grandmother had been hidden between two pages. Of course this made us very curious. But was it right to continue and read the messages? We d3ecided that it was better to ask Claire Sawyer who knew a lot about testaments and heritage stuff. With some lucks, there were a few hidden treasures to be unvieiled.
1.8 Retiring Princioal
As aforementioned, Principal Pal was about to retire, and the board of our school district had already announced a date for the decision on his succession, which got many pupils worried, especially those who were convinced of Pal being better than any successor. But his old age suggested a replacement already, for being a principal at a middle school meant incredibly much stress, although it was such a pity.
Some teachers were applying in order to fill in the looming vacancy, such as Sweeny and especially Vice Principal Crubs which would have been a downright catastrophe. Cookie and his friends had decided that if anyone here cousl replace Pal, it would be Mr. Wright who had obatined the best diploma from Harward fro middle school pedagogics.
True, Ryan, and I were not in a position to judge the values of the teachers here at this school, but we were not able to help wondering about the teachers from our old school in New York City. I have already mentioned Mr. Jamerson who was fortunately no such thing as a principal yet, this office was still firmly in the hands of no other than Ruckman.
But a certain Ms. Park had always been dreaming of being a headmaster of a middle or high school, and this soon available was like made for her, at least in some sense. Of course she was not my dream of a principal, but, hey, we would only be students here at Kames K. Polk for one year and then return to New York City where Ms. Park was probably going tp await us as a new homeroom teacher. Thus Ryan had got the brilliant idea of informing our old school and especially Park about the impending vacancy, although he would hardly become popular among the students that would have to bear Patti Park for the rest of their life, er ... middle school career. But I had not though about this peril which should have been so obvious, and I was blindly supporting Ryan's activity.
True, on the other hand, was aware of the fact that our current fellow students here in Santa Clarita were most likely to hate us for our suggestion, and we would have to keep it a secret. Unfortunately, my skills of keeping a secret were not really famous,[1:8] and this was now a very tricky situation.
1.9 Messing It Up
In order to make it impossible for Vice Principal Crubs to become the new headmaster, Ned Bigby and his gang had locked him into some secret place, with the help of the key of Custodian Gordy. This way, the Vice Principal would not be able to appeare in time to the interview with the superintendent and not be considered for the succession.
But, unfortunately, Ryan and I had heard the hapless wannabe headmaster's screams and freed him from his gaol, using the second key which Gordy must have left littering around, thinking honestly but incorrectly to have performed a good deed.
Only a few minutes later did True, Moze, and Ned inform us about the actual situation, and then Ryan and I looked pretty stupid. We might as well have signed pur own death sentence when releasing Crubs, for now there was nothing to prevent the superintendent from hiring the worst possible option for the upcoming vacancy. In other words, everything was lost.
1.10 Patti Park
Honestly, Ryan and I had hoped for Miss Park to show up only a few months later, right in time for applying for the next year, but we were thoroughly mistaken, and the teacher from our old school was standing in the hallway. I decided to hide behind a column, but this spot was unfortunately already occupied by Ryan Laserbeam, and the inevitable collision was hurting both of us to quite some degree.
I had supposed that New York City and Los Angeles were far enough from each other to make it hard to execute a transfer within just a few days, or even weeks, but in the case of Patti Park, things were different, as she had got a cousin living in Malibu, and he would host her for a certain time.
Said cousin was a certain Kazu, owner of a sushi bar located on the campus of aforementioned Pacific Coast Academy, the boarding school of my cousin Wayne "Fire Wire" Gilbert.
Fortunately, the distance between Malibu and Santa Clarita was big enough for being safe from daily visits by my not so welcome cousin Wayne, but it was also too big for a daily trip to the sushi bar. Ryan loved Sushi ... well, what sort of things to eat did he not love, anyways?
So, the interview of the superintendant and Crubs was now all done, and the current Vice Principal was in a situation of considering himself confidently the new Principal. This, of course, would leave the office of the vice principal vacant, and Miss Park was in the right place in order to apply for filling the looming gap. She shook hands with the superintendent and was ready for the interview.
I stomped my feet because the formerly assumed worst scenario was not as bad as the now probable scenario: Crubs as the new principal, Park as the new vice principle, and I and Ryan as the kids responsible for this whole disaster. I asked True, "where may we order our tomb stones, and what are you going to write onto them?" She glared at me aghast and was all pale already, and she was probably trying to pretend that she had never seen me and Ryan before.
The interviews were now all over, and the superintendent congratulated Crubs and Park for their jobs as the new principal and vice principal, respectively, or, in other words, he was pronouncing the death sentence for both Ryan and me.
Crubs and Park started discussing the future policy of their office, and they agreed on the necessity of stern discipline, as today's youth was too loose-mannered and spoiled, from head to toe.
The pupils watching the scene moaned in anticipation of increasing oppression and dictatorshop, as the two responsibles agreed on everything and condemned everything fun for us kids.
Then a class mate whom I had ignored hitherto, a certain Matthew Palmer Noid,[1:9] started whistling innocently. According to Ned, Matthew was a fairly tricky prankster who had once upon a time already achieved making Sweeny lose his pants. And all of a sudden, the shoelaces of Crubs and Park intertwined, tying the boots of the new admin duo tightly together. Then Matthew made an annoying noise, forcing Park and Crub to startle, flounder, slip, and land with a thud on the floor.
Gordy was unable to avoid remarking, "wow, the new couple does not lose any minute, congratulations!"
Crubs and Park had got a hard time standing up again, as their shoelaces were still tied, and then they had to find a reply for Gordy's ruthless conclusions. Matthew Palmer Noid was heard whistling innocently again when the two "good examples for the youth of today" started kissing in front of our eyes. They were really a cute couple, but it was almost a miracle, given that it had started really fast.
As a consequence, Crubs and Park would marry and leave for honeymoon only a few weeks later, which implied that they would not be able to perform their duties as a principal and a vice principal for the next few weeks ... months ... years ... the more, the merrier.
The superintendent was thus forced to reconsider and to revise his decision, and he made Mr. Wright the new principal and Mr. Munroe, teacher for life science and for textile creation, the new vice principal., certainly a decision that was easy for us students to live with.
Chapter 2 True Fall
2.1 List Of The Popular
A few days later, we stumbled into something that turned out to be as a list of the most popular pupils at James K. Polk Middle School, well, a list of all students sorted by popularity, to be more precise. The list was anonymous and signed by someone using the code name "The Worminator".
I sighed when I was somewhere near the very end, but that was maybe because I was not yet really well known, and I would march up towards the top duri ng the following weeks. New students were always supposed to be on the botton. Ryan was somewhere in the middle, but True was ... number fifteen ... "not fair!" This left me in a really stinky mood. The top of the list included Jennifer Mosely, Mercedes Griffin, and a certain Seth Powers.
The letter was a tall blond rake who was dumber than some pink cartoon starfish from Spongebob Squarepants[2:1] and who was almost always seen spinning a basketball on his fingers. Was he in any way related to Regilius Powers, afirementioned puppet formerly used for therapeutical purposes by former school shrink Doc Lowe? I was not able to answer the question, but it would not have surprised me at all if Seth had just been a cute doll in disguise, he certainly was no smarter than a marionette.
Jennifer and Cookie concluded that such a list did really involve a lot of efforts and knowledge about mathematical statistics, and similar stuff. Only a true number genius was able to deal with those data.
All of a sudden, a book was landiing between my feet, and it was definitely nothing from the reading list of aforementioned book club, but it was a textbook for college or university mathematics and statistics. Opening the book and looking at the verso of the cover, it was reveiled that the book belonged most likely to a certain Albert Wormenheimer, some student here at James K. Polk Middle School. But I decided to ignore the fact that the book was already owned for a while and started reading the first pages. Already as a baby I had been fascinated by numbers and figures of all sorts, and this had made me learn calculating things faster than anyone else in my old school district, including class nerd Mikey Jay. This book was above anything I had ever heard about, and I could by absolutely no means help feeling a lot of admiration for whoever used this book, videlicet Albert Wormenheimer ... whoever it was.
So far, I had naïvely assumed that probability was just the ratio of possibilities. A die had got six faces, and three of them showed even numbers, so the probability of rolling an even number was the quotient of three and six, or one half. But this book made all of it look so much more complicated, and it was taking me some efforts understanding it all. Maybe after having worked through the book I would be able to make my own list of most anything.
I was most fascinated by various concepts of convergence floating around in that book, such as a convergence almost everywhere, a convergence in measure, a convergense in mean, an essentially uniform convergence ... again, I had always assumed naïvely that converging just meant getting closer and closer, but there were so many senses of getting closer to something, and confusing them would lead to disastrous consequences.
True caught me with the book in my hands, and she wondered why I was so eagerly reading it, especially as it was not my book.
I looked aghast, asking "how do you know?" But this wasobviously due to the fact that she had seen the verso of the cover, and I was not Albert Wormenheimer.
True sighed and remarked, "this book had been used in order to make the list of popularity, and it must have been someone with a really sick mind ... Worminator ... Wormenheimer ... you get it?"
I appeared completely dumbfounded because I had not thought about this in the first place, but now that True had pronounced this, it was no longer much of a mystery for me.
True urged me to return that book to its owner and to urge him to stop and withdraw from this apparently obnoxiuous activity. Ryan was already making a complete monkey of himself in his attempt of becoming more popular and to be at the same table as Seth Powers, and so was Cookie. We had to feel it every evening at home.
2.3 The Worminator
After asking Cookie, I was directed straight to Albert Wormenheimer, known as the geeky captain of the mathletic team, in my mission of returning the book, and there he was, "The Worminator", complete with typical nerdy classes and an attitude of flicking his nose periodically, a really obnoxious attitude. And he had probably already been looking everywhere for his book and cursed whoever had dared to steal it, someone who happened to be poor little me.
OOps, maybe I was not the one to judge him for that, given that I used to chew the ends of my own hair whenever it was long enough to fit between my teeth ... obviously! I bowed down deeply when returning the book, expecting some harsh words for having borrowed it without asking. "Sorry, but it was really fascinating to read, about all those limit theorems ... in measure, almost everywhere, and all that stuff."
Albert just shrugged and nodded, "yes, it is very interesting ..." He was apparently a bit shy and talkative, but totally disciplined in all things intellectual, much more thatn I was accustomed from anyone at my old school. I wondered, "may I borrow the book once again?" This was probably a daring question, given that I had not asked him previously. "Or we may read the book toogether, than you would not have to leave it in the hands of someone whome you can't trust,"
The Worminator just shrugged, "OK, I am at chapter 25, Bayesian Networks, drop in any time in order to read through it with me."
I had been stuck a few levels earlier when True forced me to return the book, so I would have to fill the gap as soon as can be, but I gladly accepted the offer, oops, did that mean that we were now dating? I blushed deeply and did not want to be seen by True or Ryan while pondering this possibility.
Of course, with a boyfriend like Albert Wormenheimer, whom mI was not dating, I would have dropped even further to the bottom of the list of the popular kids at James Middle School, and I would be doomed to be stuck there forever and one eternity, but popularity was not all that important, after all, for I had finally found someone to share my main interests with. And I was going to be in the mathletics team of the school, so most likely not popular, but maybe fairly successful.
The other students would have to learn about the vanity of all the popularity crap, sooner or later, and Ryan was probably bound for doing so the hard way, given that Missy Meany and her other popular friends kept on making fun of him for the next days ... weeks ... months ... years ... lives ...
2.4 Romeo And Juliet
Los Angeles was known by many people around the world as a suburb of Hollywood, the global centre of the entertainment industry. And even here in Santa Clarita, the shades of fame were felt from time to time.
The father of "Missy Meany" Mercedes Griffin, a certain Arthur Griffin, was, for example, a rich producer and banker at Hollywood, responsible for the finances of important enterprises such as Rocque Records and Reese Movies. He was, on the other hand, divorced from Mercedes' mom and had already been married several times.
The latter enterpriese was owned by the father of Logan Reese, a class mate of my ncousin Wayne Gilbert.
Many other students here were — with more or less justification — dreaming of a career at Hollywood and maybe ready to do something for their goal.
Like most other schools in the country, including my old one in New York City where many kids were dreaming rather of the Broadway than of Hollywood, James K. Polk Middle School had got a drama club in order to practise and perform plays, sometimes well-known classic ones, but sometimes also plays written by students.
This time around, club adviser Combover had decided to perform a very classical and forever popular love tragedy, videlicet Romeo And Juliet by immortal William Shakespeare from Straton in good old England. Combover himself looked a lot like all those eighteenth and nineteenth centuries composers, Mozart ... Beethoven ... whatever, and he was also responsible for the school choir and musical education at our school. He had studied at the college of the Los Angeles Philharmonics and worked together with Hollywood to some degree, like most drama club teachers in this county. More precisely, he had been a mediocre and not really famous actor and theme writer for some not really successful productions, just mentioned in small print in the credits and, for his own good, ignored by most critics.
By the way, I had once upon a time tried to pick up the violin, and Combover must have heard about this from some pernicious traitor ... wait, I had told him accidentally, for no good reason ... bear with it! And now I was forced to join the school orchestra and to participate in the play as a violinist playing suitable tunes in order to make the performance of the actors more impressive. Why had I not been able to keep my mouth shut in the moments when it came down to it?
Of course the most important rôles were those of Romeo and Juliet, as already suggested by the title of the play, right? And filling these rôles with appropriate actors was probably the most critical task for anyone directing this play, including Combover. And the latter had decided that none of the boys at James possessed the abilities of performing as a hero of a play like this one. He had in particular learned from a love comedy performed last year by students at Pacific Coast Academy[2:2] where the male hero — aforemrntioned Logan Reese — had been an incredible jerk. Learning from the mistake committed by his friend Mr. Fletcher, responsible for the school plays at Pacific Coast Academy, Combover had done the right thing and chosen a professional "Romeo".
Spencer Danforth[2:3] was a high school freshman at nearby Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Art and a student of infamous Mr. Sikowitz, the greatest of all acting teachers of Hollywood — or so was it rumoured. But even worse rumours claimed that Spencer was most definitely the best-kissing teenage actor of Los Angeles, and that meant probably the whole world, as all really good kissers made it sooner or later to Hollywood stars.
Suzie Crabgrass, the aforementioned inappropriate crush of Ned Bigby, had been cast as Juliet, and she was thus going to smooch with Spencer
Excruciatingly overmotivated Jennifer Mosely, who had recently been scared by discovering that afirementioned teacher that only appeared on the TV screen was more or less an adult copy of herself, was not ready to slow down, and she had taken over the stage direction in a completely ambitious manner, hell bent on delivering the perfect performance of Romeo And Juliet.
For me that implied the necessity of playing the same tune on my violin over and over again, accompanied by the oboes of two monozygotic twin sisters sitting behind the stage.
But for Ned this was really horrible, as he had been degraded toplaying part of a horse that was needed on the stage, and he had to watch his crush and girls' heartthrob Spencer making out on the stage, something he was unlikely to survive.
True, on the other hand, was responsible for the costumes, given that she was now the captain of the textile creation club who was in a critical situation since it was obvious that Mr. Munroe was about to be come the next vice principal and thence have to cut down on his actovities as a teacher or an adviser. But she was also in a stuinky mood because the most eager member of the club was aforementioned Jerome Crony, member of the bully gang of William Loomer and thus hardly a pleasant fellow to keep up with.
I had retired from the sewers' club because the mathletic team and studying advanced probability theory with Albert Wormenheimer would not leave me all that much time for anything else, especially not for stabbing my fingers with needles and running into the nursery every other minute in order to fix a poultice, or something similar. True was a bit annoyed by my lack of attentivity when dealing with needles and pins, but she had to bear with it because I was still her best friend, and now she did not have to bear my bleeding accidents any longer, although she hated seeing me less often.
Ryan Laserbeam, on the other hand, had left the textile creation business pretty early in favour of cheerleading, and he did not want to be one of the few boys there, the obly one next to Jerry Crony, to be precise. But he had challenged Jennifer Mosely and was now up to taking over her job as the stage director which caused quite a few discussions, and now Combover decided that Ryan was more suited, as jennifer was already engaged in too many other clubs and voluntary activities just like her involuntary example to live up to, the aforementioned teacher seen only on the monitor screen.
This changed the situation rapidly, for Ryan showed mercy for the concerns of Ned, and he offered to get him the job as Romeo in the case of Spencer not showing up. There were of course two problems:
Edmond Bigby was much too lazy to read and memorise the rôle of Romeo.
Spencer Danforth was not going to recede voluntarily form his rôle.
A per the first concern, Simon Nelson Cook knew the text for Romeo very well or was a fast by-heart learner in any case, and Edmond trusted his best friend foreve. Simon would certainly not abuse the situation for the purpose of stealing Edmond's crush.
The second concern was more tricky, but Simon Nelson's crush Lisa Zemo suffered from some chronical problem with her aspiration, and it was possibly contagious to some degree. Last year at aforementioned Pacific Coast Academy, playwright Chase Matthews had been stuck in a similar situation when he had a crush on Zoey Brooks, actress of the main rôle, and he had just been the second choice for the male main rôle. He had tried to get the fiorst choice, aformentioned Logan Reese, sick, but it had backfired,[2:4] so this taught Ryan and Cookie to be a lot more careful.
I still thought that their planned action was really mean, but my opinion did not count zilch for those crazy boys.
2.5 The Performance
And this was the long-awaited hour of the performance.
I had already tuned my violin and was waiting for the number where the actors and actresses were marching in.
Jennifer looked really grumpy, as she had been turned by Ryan into the nanny of Juliet, a rôle which she truly detested ... beyond any description.
And there was Spencer Danforth, alive and totally healthy, so the boys had probably screwed up somewhat badly and poisoned the food of the wrong person.
Edmond saw his flags go down when he imagined Suzanne and Spencer make out on the stage, in front of gazillions off onlookers ... OK, there were only a few hundred, but it hurt no less.
Much to everyone's dismay, Suzanne Crabgrass was not here, and her mother had just called the school's secretary in order to announce that the girl was suffering from a sudden bad infection, the same that Lisa was often suffering from, and this would make it impossiblke for her to perform.
Now we needed a second choice, but there was none, except ... Cookie also knew Juliet's text by heart, and he would just have to be redressed appropriately. Ryan sighed when he had to pronounce this unwelcome conclusion that would inevitably make Cookie the laughing stock of the whole school for the rest of his middle school life.
True told them to calm down, and she suggested, "Lulu, stop fiddling when I am explaining things! Well, Cookie, isn't there an interweb database for suitable actresses? And there are many of them living in Los Angeles and so on. It should not be hard to find a perfect Juliet."
Cookie sighed deeply, as this proposal was probably his only salvation. He walked to his mobile device and connected to the interweb by means of wireless network access. Then he loogged into the database and waited for some decent suggestions. A few seconds later, the display was filling with a few suitable actresses, but only one of them appeared perfect. "Gloria Maria de l'Assuncion Martinez, living at Malibu, recently awarded for the best teenage Juliet ever."
Ryan cheered, "and she is so incredibly hot!" He urged Cookie to hand him the private number of the actress, but that was not possible.
Really, Lola Martinez was a freshman at Pacific Coast Academy, and she would be available in the late afternoon, so all we needed was to postpone the performance for a few hours.
Combover decided and announced "in the mean time, Lauren Peckinpaw and the Obo twins will entertain you with a little concert featuring Ludwig van Beethoven's collected symphonies."
I moaned for dismay, because that was really a mean torture, given that none of the pupils were keen on listening to it, barring maybe Matthew Palmer Noid who was easy to calm with the sound of the violin and the oboes.
Time was passing by like a slug, but finally the star actress showed up, and Ryan started hitting on her, but he was rebuked severely.
The performance was about to start, and there was a lot of chemistry between Lola and Spencer, preventing them from stopping to make out even after the end of the play ...
2.6 Halloween is coming!
zThe first weeks at James K. Polk Middle School had gone by really fast, and Halloween was in front of our doors.
Usually, halloween parties at this school used to be lame, due to the many rules imposed by Vice Principal Crubs and by Sweeny. Fortunately, the former creep was now almost gone for his honeymoon trip with Patti Park, and this was certainly not for the worse of us, but Sweeny was still around and making inappropriate restrictions to our fantasy.
But thye salvation was near, well, kind of, sort of near — at my cousin's aforementioned boarding school, there was an annual Halloween tradition, a haunted mansion organised by the high school freshmen for the elementary and middle school kids.[2:5] This year, Lola Martinez had got the glorious idea of inviting us over, as the haunted house was going to be particularly cool. Logan Reese, aforementioned son of one of the greatest Hollywood producers ever, had promised to deliver unto us the horror of our lives.
Thus we decided to make it over there, although I was by absolutely no means keen on the prospects of encountering my cousin Wayne Gilbert and would try tyo avoid him. Fortunately, a Halloween costume hand-taylored by True would make it much harder for "Fire Wire" — or so I hoped — to recognise me. True had to talor most of the costunes along with Jerome Crony who refused to take any credits for his work, because he did not want to loose his reputation as a bully and the support of his only friend William Loomer. Jerome was nervous because he had already been on their campus and made strange experiences.[2:6]
Pacific Coast Academy used to be a school for boys only until last year, and now girls are still a blatant minority.
For that reason, the school has invited girls from neighbouring schools in order to fill the obvious gap for events that required girls, such as shool dances and also for cheerleading, schools such as Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, Lakewood, Silver Spring, Palmwoods. Brewster ... and of course Polk's.
And so I had applied as a girl for the school dance because I had heard about a very gifted fashion designer over there, Zoey Brooks. The fake name was necessary in order to deceive William Loomer.
I was thus forced to dance with a boy who was apparently not pleased by this, but it was no pleasure for me to feign being some exotic creep unfamiliar with American customs. And I still failed in my attempt of talking to Zoey, and this hurts.
True had just completed a catsuit for Evelyn Kwong, an eighth grade nerd girl that was aggressively hitting on Simon Nelson Cook who still had got his eyes set on Lisa Zemo. Evelyn was now looking like fantasy action cartoon villain Catwoman.[2:7] which appeared to fit to her in a totally perfect manner.
I would be dressed as a devil, while Ryan would get a costume with angel wings, and True was going to wear a costume making her look like Eleanor Roosevelt.
The most fun part is that we were all allowed to trick and treat on the campus of Pacific Coast Academy, regardless of age, which would have otherwise been Cookie's problenm.
2.7 The Haunted Mansion
So, this was a boarding school? It certainly did look like a spa, yet the students appeared to get accustomed to this situation and turn able to learn in the middle of a bunch of pools and a beach.
True, Ryan, and I stumbled across the campus into Sushi Rocks, the sushi bar run by the cousin of Patti Park, but we had not got any time for a sushi, for finding our way across the campus would not be easy. Gloria Martinez was not around in order to guide us, as she was in town in order to shoot for some excruciatingly grisly horror movie produced by the one and only Malcolm Reese.
Cookie was not with us, either, well, at keast he had separated from us right upon pur arrival on the campus, as he was helping to assist Logan Reese with the technical aspects of the horror house, something the jerk was unable to do on his own and would otherwise have hired Wayne Gilbert for.
Logan was really the typical Hollywood coxcomb, and this scared even True to no end who would otherwise have deemed him cute and justified his renown as a girls' heartthrob. This made it a whole lot easier for us to find him and his haunted house, but much harder to stand his very presence.
There were so many kids standing in front of the mansion, and all of them costumed in a variety of manners.
Zoey Brooks, a blonde Mary Sue dressed as Marilyn Monroe, was not pleased by Logan's ambition to scare the living hell out of the younger kids, especially her little brother Dustin.
The only not-so-convincing costume was that of freshman Chase Bartholomew Matthews who was dressed — according to his own statement — as a vampire, but who passed — in the eyes of about every onlooker — as a sorcerer or mad doctor.
And the spook was about to start with our passage through the so-called "tunnels of terror", a most grisly adventure because Cookie's technologicak expertise and Loga's sick fantasy combined were totally creepy. Even Zoey Brooks who was hitherto keen on being there in order to protect her brother was going totally pale, and her lack of self confidence was excessively contagious.
Several elementary school kids had already passed out or were so close to this point, but Logan Reese showed absolutely no mercy, and he urged us all to face the ultimate crypt of doom. Ryan, on the other hand, faigned to be able to stand all the terror like a truly brave guy, and he talked a lot, although je was most likely more cowardly than the girls in here.
And there was the crypt, a dark room episodically illuminated by flashing lights from nowhere, and the crypt was inhabitated by ... a ghost ... or was it a mummy ... or a spectre ... whatever was the difference, I was totally scared and pressed myself almost violently against True who felt bothered, but was too much frozen for fear and had lost her heartbeat for a few seconds.
Suddenly the lights went on, and the wandering corpse, or spectre, or phantasm, turned out toi be no other than Lola Martinez, the Juliet from our school play, asnd she wondered naïvely, "oops ... have you been scared?"
Logan thanked Lola and explained that she was now sure going to get the main röle in his dad's upcoming series "The Teenage Mummy" for which this evening was sort of a test run, with the rest of us as unprepared laymen actors and actresses.
My heart was only up to recovering slowly from the horror and dismay I had gone through during the last half of an hour, and many other kids were still lifeless, but they would recover sooner or later, at least Cookie checked that they were not yet dead, something Zoey Brooks had feared when she petted her almost lifeless brother's head.
Logan also praised the performance of Ashley Blake,[2:8] the actress behind the other walking undead who was already a confirmed Hollywood child star, well-known from movies like The Kid Ghost.
OK, so I was almost dead, but this was by far the most exciting Halloween ever in my life, and it was not much different for Ryan and True. And I was lucky enough to avoid being spotted and recognised by my weird cousin Wayne Gilbert who seemed to be hanging out a lot with aggressive freak Evelyn Kwong alias "Catwoman", which was not much of a surprise for an obsessive fan of the cartoons where that supervillain was taken from. But would he be scared when seeing what was underneath her whole-body spandex costume? I hoped so, for he deserved it, qwelll, they fit actually fairly well together and it would keep her from keeping on hitting on Cookie and thus standing between him and Lisa Zemo.
2.8 Child Labour
Maybe it was a terrible mistake to listen to Cookie, but now this was all in vain and too late.
Only one week after the horror of Halloween, this was even worse when we sixth graders were made work for cookie who needed us in order to make all the Christmas gifts he had promised to his relatives, but for whose production he was way too lazy.
I would not have participated in this stupid action, and Ryan would not have either, as he did not want to be the laughingstock of "Missy Meany" and her gang, at least not more than he was already. But True understood this help as part of her family honour, and she had been blackmailing us into assisting lest we would no longer be her best friends.
What was worse: a bunch of other sixthgraders, including aforementioned Matthew Palmer Noid, were even joining this stupid project, and I wondered how Cookie had blackmailed them.
I was already so close to asking Claire Sawyer to assist us with her knowledge about child labour and similar stuff.
Usually, these gifts would have been made during arts classes, but they had been cancelled as of recently due to the lack of money, but said classes had recently been cancelled due to the lack of funds.
Was there no way of raising funds for the classes? Granted, True had already asked the eighthgraders about this fact, and they had received discouraging answers, such as about the problems during last year's car wash.
The teacher of art was now trying to sell a work by Edmond Bigby as a great work of art in order to make the necessary bucks. Actually, Edmond had actually tried to draw a fire brigades' van, but the teacher was seeing a pciture of a naked orange lady in it.
This was absolutely tasteless, wasn' it? We were a middle school and not a centre of pornography, so was there nobody to stop the nonsense? I tried to tall to Mr. Munroe, our new vice principal, in an attempt to stop the fraud. And indeed, a few days later, the inept and perverse art teacher would get fired, not by Munroe, but by aforementioned superintended who had got no understanding for the concept of selling dirty art in order to finance art classes.
True was certainly a much better artist, as she had taylored all the wonderful costumes for the Halloween party, hadn't she? But she appears to have lost most of her confidence in those excellent skills.
In addition we were now left completely without a competent teacher for art classes, doubling the problem, for there was no budget left for hiring a new one.
According to an interweb research, the greatest and most popular American artist of those days was a certain Harold Joiner[2:9] who was organising expositions of his own and other artists' works throughout America, including especially Los Angeles.
Of course it was a bit daring to expect a big artist to become the art teacher at a school as insignificant as James K. Polk middle school, but we had to try hard.
2.9 Trash And Art
Munroe imagined that a demonstration of the great artist talents of our students would help us to impress the most popular sculptor of the nation and let him at least consider taking over our art classes.
Unfortunately, True was no longer convinced of her abilities as a perfect fashion designer, not since she had heard about and finally also encountered Zoey Brooks, the most gifted one ever. The blond Mary Sue's deeds were already too many to count for us, starting with her wonderful design of the new outfit of teenage rock idol Drake Parker,[2:10] and then she had designed some wonderful school backpacks[2:11] who were, unfortunately, no longer produced or sold, at least not on the campus of Pacific Coast Academy, as Zoey was too busy with a whole lot of other things. The most noteworthy fact was that Zoey had constructed her first fashionable backpack from a terribly spoiled and stained example of the formerly official Pacific Coast Academy backpack.
Strangely, there were backpacks for sale on our campus by someone who was just known as "Backpack Boy", and Claire Sawyer knew him too well as the perverted creep had kept on hitting on her during the whole last academic year, and at least one of them looked very much like Zoey's work.
According to Ryan, some Russian spy must have plagiarised that fashionable container and sold it to our backpack boy for a lot of bucks, again st the will of Zoey Brooks, which was of course not so cool and required some harsh intervention.
Talking about trash as a source for art was interesting, as Simon Nelson Cook had almost achieved something similar during the last year with plastic rubbish collected for the annual recycling action organised by Sweeny.[2:12] Cookie had been so close to selling the sculpture for even quite some decent price, but the bully gang had ruined his business just a few moments before the art dealer would have bought the impressive work.
Ryan suggested that he could perform as an illusionist artist which — or so he assumed — was very creative art, too. Well, it would have been if his tricks had actually worked, like those of the great Henry Doheny[2:13] But with his usual potential for laughable failure, this would have been a huge risk, and I had learned a lot about cost-risk analysis when studying the aforementioned statistics book together with Albert Wormenheimer.
But I suggested for now that Simon Nelson and True should work together on a fashionable sculpture dressed with fashionable clothes, all made of torn rugs and other sorts of rubbish found in the trash bins. Gordy would certainly allow us to use the school's junk yard in order to look for valuable raw materials. And Ryan was a veritable junk digger, allowing us to perform this task pretty fast before the deadline until which the superintendent would allow us to find the resources and a teacher for art classes.
In addition, Jennifer Mosely would contribute some wooden carvings to the quest, as she was a perfect woodshop student.
2.10 Harold Joiner
True was working on the last draft of her sculpture when she startled because of someone approaching her workshop from behind, and when she saw the intruder she could only stammer "Jo ... Jo ... Jo ..."
The guest completed, "Joiner, but you should call me 'Harry'!" He had actually received our mail, and he was fortunately near Los Angeles, allowing him to visit our school.
Mr. Munroe marched in in order to talk to Harry Joiner who looked very pleased by the exposed works of supreme arts. "Yeah, there is something to them, and they are not bad, but ... the skills of the kids need to be hone a bit."
Claire Sawyer jumped into the room and rubbed a contract of five hundred pages against the face of the master sculptor, commanding hin to sign at the cross. "Then you should take over these art classes and hone those kids, such as True Jackson and so on."
Joiner gasped, as he had not expected to be hired by the school, he had rather thought that he was needed in order to give a recommendation for a contest between schools, or something, and he was indeed jealous of the great skills of True Jackson. If honest, he would have stated that True was already perfect and would not have needed any instruction, but he was top jealous of True's talent to admit to that. But now that he had stated the necessity of art classes, there was no longer a way out for him, and he just needed to sign Claire's carefully worked-out standard contract.
And with Joiner's contacts, it would not be hard to find sponsors for our art classes, the grandmaster was especially targetting the big Hollywood producers such as Malcolm Reese and Arthur Griffin, the dad of "Missy Meany". If everything went well, there would even be a job for one of the costume designers in it.
True still did not want to believe it, as Zoey Brooks was — in her eyes — still the much better and more gifted fashion creator, but that would have been a pity. True was certainly the most gifted at all, whether she believed it ot not!
But the sculptures created by True and Simon Nelson were in any case perfect as Christmas gifts for their relatives.
Chapter 3 True Winter
The halls of James K. Polk Middle School were located a few miles away from Simon Nelson Cook's home, and most of the time we would have to take a bus in order to make it there.
Simon Nelson Cook was very much worried about his perfect presence record, and this one was in danger when the bus was a bit late, as was the case this ver morning.
I was still sitting on a bank at the bus station holding my copy of chapter 45 of the book that I was reading along with Albert Wormenheimer firmly in my hands, reading about insurance mathematics, in particular about insurances for accidents. According to Ryan was very funny, as I used to be — according to his opinion — so awfully prone for accidents. Honestly, I did not know what he was talking about, as I was hardly ever involved in accidents ... oops! All of a sudden, the arm of the bank where my right hand and the pages from the textbook were resting on broke loose and crashed with a noisy thud to the pavement. Ryan started laughing like a kingfisher, and, while doing so, he stepped onto a banana peel lying on the floor, slipping and sliding against an oak tree and hurting his useless head in a fairly noisy manner. Of course, I had got an excuse because I was diagnosed with ADHS, but Ryan did not have anything like that, or at least not officially and he was not sent to a school shrink for that avail.
True shook her head and called the two of us extremely childish, remarking that middle school kids should no longer be like this.
By the way, Doc Lowe was still out of sight and was unlikely to return to James K. Polk, so there would probably soon be a new school shrink, a certain Marty Klemish[3:1] from Seattle in the state of Washington which, as Ryan refused to believed, was not near the city of Washington, D.C.
Simon Nelson Cook started worrying, as the bus was already four minutes late, and there was only a buffer zone of six minutes between the schedules arrival of the school bus in front of the site of James K. Polk Middle School and the start of classes. He had optinised the way from the bus exit to his locker, and the way from his locker to the first classroom, but his computer had told him that this was too late. Fortunately Evelyn Kwong was no longer hunting him all over the place because she was now dating my cousin Wayne Gilbert, a fact that saved Cookie from the worst possible case ... wait, Evelyn was equally keen on keeping her perfect record and was by no means up to wasting her time on hankering after Cookie when she was already late, except in an attempt to spoil his record as well as her own when there was otherwise no chance left to keep hers. Being nowadays an expert for the calculation of risks and win expectations, I was trying to calculate the probability that Evlyn was already waiting for him at Polk's in order to destroy his record.
Today, the bus was driven by Mitchell Kwest[3:2] who was usually also our adviser for the computer room and the school's homepage, let alone our role play club. And we were still in the contest for the award for the middle school with the best homepage in the county, if not the whole state of California, but with Kwest driving a rusty bus instead of caring about our school computers, any remaining chances were about to dwindle to naught within the following weeks.
And of course the role playing club was of uttermost priority as there was soon going to be a role play match against the teams of Pacific Coast Academy, Silver Spring, Brewster, and Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts.
I would neither have had the time nor the need for thinking about all that if the bus had alreasy arrived which, apparently, it had not, and which caused Ryan to have a "good" idea, more precisely he he suggested to go to school with his skateboard.
Now, this sounded totally crazy, as Ryan was a real berzerk on the rolling board and I did not have my protective equioment with me which was necessary in order to reduce the probability of a deadly accident during a ride with Ryan to an amount of less than one percent. True decided to wait for the bus, anyways, but I could not help following Ryan and Cookie in their ride. Cookie had recently fine-tuned Ryan's board into a really fast high speed skateboard, thrice as fast as an average board.
Wheeeeeh! I was sanwiched by the boys, thusly reducing the chances that I was hit by obstacles from the front or from the back, and now we were rushing swiftly across the streets of Santa Clarita, past old ladies and little children, past red traffic lights, past construction sites ...
A few policemen seemed to have noticed us, but the turbo button allowed us to rush past them without getting even recognised — or so we thought. But a few days later, we would get a letter form officer David Alejandro Vega, the chief of Los Angeles county police, announcing a due fine of over one hundred bucks. According to Ryan, officer Vega was a Russian spy, but this did not help us, at least not now, and Ryan would have to research the situation more closely if he wanted to prove his wild assumption.
Now we have reached the school building, but we needed to stop somehow, but how ... unfortunately, Simon Nelson Cook's turbo skateboard did not have a system of turbo brakes, or whatever was used in order to halt such a "vehicle". Fortunately, custodian Gordy had already been waiting for us and anticipated such an attempt, and he was standing at the entrabce of the school with some huge net.
Bang! Inspite of being caught by Gordy's giant weael hunting net, our crash into the locker hall still hurt to some degree, and we were dragged into the school's infirmary in order to get checked by Nurse Hunsucker.
Unfortunately, Sweeny had measured our speed, and we had broken all hitherto beknownst speed records here at James K. Polk which was going to result in quite some detention, at least if Sweeny's threats came true. But, fortunately, vice principal Munroe was usually quite generous and, as it was my first "crime" here at this school, I would get away with writing one eight hundred words about thibgs not to do on the school yard. Butb for Cookie, this was already the second detention, and he would have to start worrying about his folder for the college applications, as multiple detentions during middle school life were not really welcome by the universities.
True was now visiting us, and she shook her head, as the bus had been too late, but Principal Write had thus been a bit late, too, and the start of the classes was delayed by ten minutes. But the pains in my legs after the violent crash into the locker hall was noy going to be delayed or ignored ... ouch!
As of recent, Edmond Bigby's hair had been in a really miserable state, and his mom had just given him some twenty bucjs in order to go to the barber's shop and get a new heircut, which was of course not all that much, as decent hair stylists required higher pays than that. Ned would really have preferred to save his bucks for a dinner or a cinema visit with Suzanne Crabgrass. Honestly spoken, Ryan would have been more bearable — at least visually — with a decent haircut than with his current outfit.
There was some sort of a solution, but it was not a totally clean and easy one, more precisely, there was some guy at James K. Polk High School which was located across the street from the middle school who was a great haircutter and who did not charge any money for it. The hitch was of course that our middle school students did not get a pass in order to sneak out during class time or the recess just in order to get a haircut.
There were other pupils at James K. Polk in a similar situation, videlicet in dersperate need of a better haircut, and this included especially Jerry Crony who was still True's sewing slave. His haircut was really abvominable, and he knew that, and especially True insisted in a thorough remake.
Fortunately, the dangerous trip across the road was not the one and only chance to get a cheap and decent haircut, and we knew it since our visit on the campus of Pacific Coast Academy for the Halloween party and had heard about the best friend of Zoey Brooks, a bimbo wench from Kansas named Nicole Bristow. The latter had not bee with us in the tunnels of doom or so, but she had loitered on the campus hunting after cute boys. Unfortunately, the boys were all hidden under costumes, and Nicole had apparently not been lucky identifiying the guys underneath the mask, but this was not our problem. The thing that did matter were the great skills of Nicole with a pair of scissors and a comb.
So we needed to arrange an evening over at Pacific Coast Academy where said Nicole had got the time to take care of the guys at James K. Polk Middle School with unbearable hair.
Unfortunately, I had not anticipated that the bimbo talk of a certain chick from Kansas was even harder to bear than the look of Ryan's and Edmond's unorderly hair.
3.3 The Bimbo Barber
It was not hard to find an evening in which Nicole had got the time to take care of our less beautiful guys, such as Crony, Ned, Ryan, and a certain "Coconut Head", but there was yet another hitch.
Quinn Pensky, a nerdy student at said prep school, had just mesmerised Nicole, and she was no longer perceiving boys as what they were really. More precisely, the bimbo had got extreme difficulties in concentrating on school matters when there were cute boys around, and Quinn had suggested Nicole, by means of hypnosis, to see all cute boys as her grandpa.
Fortunately, Ryan was nowhere near cute and thus utterly safe from being mistaken by the barber girl as a grandpa, was he?
There was also a guy named Chase Bartholomew Matthews, apparently a friend of Zoey and Nicole, and he was the one who needed most definitely a decent haircut because the shrubbery on his head was already growing as wild as the Peruvian jungle, that's where those dangerous puff peppers are from which had recently caused kidney failure in San Diego.[3:3] There have also been rumours about a Peruvian baseball league to be founded,[3:4] and some players dropped out from the farm team of one of New York City's greatest baseball club were ready to join them. Oops ... now I was a bit off topic, but that's the result of Attention Deficit Syndrome. Unfortunately, Chase was obstinate and refused Nicole to cut his hair, maybe this was because he knew better about Nicole's habits, and this should have made me worry?
"Coconut Head" was the first to get his useless hair restyled, and Nicole had already sharpened the blades of her scissors. Noe the latter cut clean through the hair of the student, and Nicole started talking all the way forth and back again about cute boys, the beach, the pools, and had she already mentioned all the cute boys?
My ears hurt already, and I hoped that the torture would not last all that long, but it did until there was no hair left on the "coconut" head. At least he looked better bald headed than with his uncomely previous haircut.
Ryan was the next victim, and he tried hard to talk as much as the bimbo wench, which was o good for me, either, but it made Ryan look really cute, and then the worst case happened ... Nicole called him her teethless grandpa, and she ran away because she had imagined that he was asking her for a plate of oatmeal. Ryan shrugged and grinned before standing up.
Quinn admitted that her hypnosis had gone a bit awry, and she would have to revise her strategy severely. And she had already heard about my attention deficit problems, so she suggested to treat me, once more by means of mesmerising with a pendulum.
I was not sure whether that was a good idea, given that mesmerising Nicole had had those ugly site effects, but I had already heard bad things about Marty Klemish and I wanted to avoid his stupid attention management classes, and so I agreed albeit reluctantly with Quinn's suggestion.
Nicole had calmed down and completed her work somewhat as Quinn had changed strategy and suggested Nicole hypnotically to see cute boys as her grandpa only during classes, enabling the bimbo wench to complete the hair cuts. More precisely, her class mate Zoey had been given codewords that allow her to control the beginning and the end of the phase during which Nicole was forced to ignore cute boys.
So now it was my turn to receive the benefits of a mesmerian treatment, and for that avail, Quinn was swinging a pendulum in front of my nose. My eye lids were supposed to turn heavy, but I always had to ask questions about the equations of the movement, because they were so much fun.
Quinn was in deed able to answer the questions, boring everyone else asleep. Then she returned to the proper purpose of the session, suggesting me to concentrate better on things. The word sassafras would thence allow me to concentrate on something without getting disturbed. If I needed to change focus, True or whoever was with me would have to use the word alpaca.
Wether this strategy was going to work out I was not able to tell back then, but it better would, or else ...
3.5 Voluntary Week
Principal Wright had introiduced a very ugly week at James K. Polk Middle School, a couple of days going by the ridiculous misnomer "Voluntary Week" which was by absolutely no means a matter of the free will of us students, but they were forced jobs imposed upon us by the school's administration. Fortunately it was only for the eighthgraders, but we would be involved because we were still living in the same home as True's cousin Cookie and were thus exposed to his complaints even after the end of the classes.
Simon Nelson Cook was forced to run a student shop in the locker hall, but he was not the only one forced to do this, his worst rival, Evelyn Kwong, was made to do exactly the same crap, so there would be two booths, one next to the other, selling goods unto us students.
His best friends were not excempted from the force to perform excessively humiliating taskes: Jennifer Mosely was doomed to beautify the school's backyard along with the three members of the bully gang videlicet William Loomer, Jerome Crony, and Buzz Rodriguez. Edmond Bigby was even worse off because he had to take care of some helpless ladies in an asylum for the elderly.
As "Missy Meany" was also condemned to perform some "voluntary" task, Ryan had been made the captain of the cheerio squad for the same week, and there was some important softball match against the team of Lakewood High School.
Albert Wormenheimer, my sweetheart, was also abused for some dirty purposes, he had to clean the city park, together with some guys from the local youth prison. Principal Wright was so mean, he should never have been pushed into this office ... oops, Crubs would have been even worse.
3.6 The Student Booth
I walked along the hallway down by the staircase when I spotted the booths run by Evelyn and Simon Nelson, respectively, and things were going worse and worse. Of course there had been a huge rivality from the early start, but they were really going out of their way when trying to sell things.
Unfortunately there were no advanced algebra books which I had been looking for since a week along with Albert, and this was such a pity as Evelyn and Cookie kept on lowering the prices over and over again. In a few hours — or so I supposed — they would pay the students in order to take the goods off them, and that would be totally cool.
Along came True who had just been in the backyard in order to talk to Crony about the upcoming sessions of the textile creation club in which, by the way, they were now the only students left, as the club had run out of money for threat and yarn, and True and Crony appeared to be the only ones passionate enough to go and buy their own supplies. True had ordered more yarn from an online haberdashery run by a certain Nevel Papperman — what sort of name was that? The work in the backyard was really tedious as Loomer was totally unable to see any necessity of cleaning anything, and Jennifer was thus almost left on her own. Now True saw a new crazy biro pen and bought it on site for ... zero bucks!
The message spread like wildfire, and students started stormig the booth within the next few minutes, even slamming Gordy mercilessly out of their way. The custodian shrugged with his shoulders and declared that the repair of everything was up to the nightshift. By the way, there was no such thing as a nightshift at James K. Polk Middle School.
Principal Wright would soon show up, whether alerted by the mayhem in the hallway or by some students that had alerted him explicitly, and he was hardly going to be pleased by the news about the things going on right here. Now Simon Nelson was probably in need of a very good lawyer, but Claire Sawyer was most likely stuck in some dirty job for which she had not been volunteering, either.
Suddenly my cousin Wayne stumbled into the locker hall, which was very strange as he should have been in his classes, but he did not care and walked up straight to Evelyn's booth. A few days ago, they had given the impression of already being a couple, but now I was not sure that Evelyn used Wayne just in order to make Cookie jealous or punish him in some other way.
In any case, Evelyn increased the prices to their normal values in order to make it look as if she had been able to sell all the junk inspite of higher prices and to impress Wayne this way.
My cousin just cackled and shook his head, and he announced that the robot team[3:5] of his school was soon going to challenge and destry that of James K. Polk, and he was the captain of his team. He was still a bit too stupid to accept that girls were able to be good scientists and thus doubted Evelyn's abilities of beating him, but he would soon learn his hard lesson, wouldn't he?
I shouted, "wolves! Yeah, go wolves!" Ryan had taught me a variety of battle cries of this school that he had been forced to learn as a cheerleader.
Evelyn and Simon Nelson understood that they would have to work together, lest they would not be able to win the Californian War Robot contest.
Maybe Albert and I would be involved as well, as the control and optimisation of the robot moves was a task for experts in algebra, and I had recently learned a lot about three dimensional linear algebra and analytic geometry.
3.7 Shock From Lakewood
In the evening, Ryan returned from the match, and he had actually been able to cheer the wolves to their first victory against Lakewood, which was very impressive as last time, the team of James K. Polk had been erased from the face of this earth, as the cheerios of Lakewood under the lead of one Roxanne[3:6] had shouted the hell out of "Missy Meany" and her friends.
This seemed great news, but there was something excessively scary.
Ryan had tried to flirt with excruciatingly hot Roxanne, without being really sucessful though, and for that avail snuck behind the lines of the Lakewood guards. And there — or so he said in an extremely excited manner — he had stumbled into a girl that looked exactly like me. He had been confused a little bit and then been caught by the guards and removed from the campus of Lakewood, but he had been there long enough in order to hear the girl's name: Mazie Nakamura.
I had never heard about a Mazie Nakamura, and I was not far from deeming Ryan crazy because he was stoked beyond any reason by his task as a cheerio captain. But the thought of a girl looking like me, even possibly a lost relative, would not escape from my mind that fast, and I would grow more curious from day to day.
3.8 Fernão Fortin
Since some time, Jennifer Mosely had got a new kind of sort of boyfriend named Fernão Fortin, an exchange student from Rio De Janeiro in Brazil. Fernão was actually a great soccer player and was just on the brink to the junior national team.
In y estimation, he was too old for being a middle school boy, though, and Ryan deemed him even a Russian spy, as he had been unable to find a Brasilian dictionary. Actually, he would have had to look for a Portuguese dictionary, of course, but Ryan's head was full of thin air, and even a lot more of it since he had been a successful cheerio captain, earning even the respect of Mercedes Griffin and Candy Manderson, as nobody had ever been able to embarrass aforementioned Roxanne.
But after the end of the voluntary week, Ryan was once back on the bottom of the cheerio pyramid, forced to bear the pointy heels of Candy and Mercedes on his broad shoulders.
But on top of language problems, there had also been many other obstacles popping up every now and then between Fernão and Jennifer, preventing them from meeting and making out right in the locker halls or esewhere on our campus as the ways were thoroughly stuffed during the big recess, let alone the smaller ones, the lunch break, and before the start or after the end of the classes.
3.9 Traffic Control
Not only because of Jennifer's aforementioned troubles, Simon Nelson Cook had started designing a monitoring system in order to watch and steer the traffic in the endlessly long corridors of James K. Polk Middle School.
Much to the dismay of Gordy it would probably not be possible to tell the weasel where to go at which time of the day, but the students were expected to accept any hints in order to avoid collisions, and he was interested in finding the safest way in order to get to Lisa Zemo while avoiding the danger of stumbling straight into Evelyn Kwong.
Cookie was a great expert for the technological stuff, but I was at least rigged and ready to assist him with some mathemetical considerations related to the problem of optimising the traffic, as the algorithms were likely to get very complicated, and, while Simon Nelson was a decent programmer and certainly able to implement complicated algorithms, his abilities in devising and improving the latter were a bit limited ... he was a typical cyborg, which was of course good for the upcoming war droid contest.
I had come to adore so-called evolutionary algorithms for control systems since I was studying the depths of statistical analysis with Albert Wormenheimer.
3.10 The Rules
Sweeny had been really angry as of recent, and he had forced Edmond Bigby who had messed up too many things at our middle school, so he assigned him as the new hallway guard for the time of his own absence from the grounds of James K. Polk. It was thus Edmond's task to enforce all the hallway rules, but letting a student do this was blatantly against the rules of the school, rules made by the board and the administration for all of use to obey, including Sweeny.
OK, so the prospects of Ned as a hallway overseer sounded really cool and fun, but the hitch was of course his utter lack of responsibility which would inevitably lead to an increasing amount of accidents in the corridors of our school.
Also, Jennifer forced her friends to bend the rules and manipulate the forecasts for traffic jams in the hallways in a way that made it easier for her to meet Fernão in some "romantic" spot in the hallway as fast as possible.
So far, my algorithms appeared to work perfectly, and the monitoring was OK. I watched the screen with cookie in order to confirm that this was the case, but what did I also see? Students started throwibg away the remains of the snacks they had eatean during the big recess carelessly around, littering the floor in no time. Even more, the jocks played soccer, hockey, or baseball in the locker halls, using open lockers as goals or whatever that was called.
And Ryan was the worst of all, he had quickly gathered the cheerio girls and was now cheerleading for either side of the ongoing matches. Candy and "Missy Meany" stood once more on Ryan's aching shoulders, swinging their batons merrily around and crying their lungs into nothingness.
One of the footballs kicked by bully William Loomerwas a bit flying astray ... more than just a bit ... bang! What sort of noise was that, so I wondered while Cookie adjusted the monitor in order to zoom in on the weasel and pick his cellular phone in order to call custodian Gordy.
But suddenly, the alert bells yelled, for whatever reason, and it was from somewhere near the dating site of Jennifer and Fernão.
3.11 The Interrupted Kiss
The alert had been for the infirmary, and Nurse Hunsucker was already on her way, dragging Gordy by his left ear and causing him to squeal. The poor custodian was responsible for the carriage that served for transporting the injured after some bad accident.
And there was the site of the evil ... Jennifer Mosely and Fernão Fortin had tried to kiss under an archway, but then been struck, in a lightning-like manner, by the aforementioned stray football. The latter was now stuck right between their lips and was not easy to remove.
The turtledoves were still awfully dizzy and needed to be carried into the infirmary in order to get examined by means of an x-ray and other painful things ... those syriunges were painful, were they? They better were, for I had always suffered from them, and it would be unfair if Jennifer and Fernão would not feel the torture of the needle.
True was not pleased by my thoughts, and she used the words sassafras and alpaca in order to control me.
Finally, Gordy achieved pulling the football stuck between the mouths of the two lovebirds and took a closer look at it. "Jennifer uses a new sort of lip balm, doesn't she?"
Nurse Hunsucker had already loaded her syringe, and now it was time to inject the icky liquid into Jennifer's and Fernão's venes ...
"Arrgghh!" The screams were heard all over the place, making the whole hallway tremble like after an earthquake ...
3.12 Return Of The Culprit
Finally, Sweeny was back, and he was not exactly pleased by the things going on in the locker halls, especially not by the football games and similar stuff, and he yelled at Edmond Bigby for having abused his office which, accordin to the rules, no student should ever have had.
Vice principal Munroe saw it the same way, and he condemned both Edmond and Sweeny to being the nightshift for the whole next week and clean all the mess. He hated having to be that stern, but there was no way around it, given that really bad things have happened, such as the incident with Jennifer and her loverboy.
Miss Mosely was by the way in a very angry mood, as she had still not kissed Fernão and figured whether his kisses were better than some accidental kiss she had shared once upon a time with Edmond Bigby.
Fortunately, this was not my concern, but I was really worried by the existence of said Mazie Nakamura.
And where had True been all the time? Well, her job as an internist as a fashion designer for Malcolm Reese was keeping her as busy as can be, so she needed each free minute in order to taylor her recent designs, preventing at least her from loitering in the hallways.
3.13 Back To Brazil
Jennifer was increasigly addicted to her Fernão when some really bad news struck.
His parents had been here in Santa Clarita and were talking about moving him back to Rio De Janeiro, next to the dreamy beach of Copacabana where music and passion were always the fashion.[3:7]
Jennifer would have been bound for suffering greatly from the separation, as seen from the last accident,
The kids may comeup with a plan to keep Fernão here in California, but on the long run, his ambitions to become a soccer professional would call him back to Brazil, or, worse, to Europe where they pay even more for that stupid game, especially England, Spain, or Italy.
For that reason, True simply suggested Jennifer to learn Portuguese and to apply as an exchange student in order to follow her loverboy.
At first glance, Jennifer seemed annoyed, because she was of the opinion that any boy who wanted to be with her would have to follow her around, and not the other way. But after having complained for half an hour, she started fancying the picture of herself and Fernão kissing down by the sandy beach of Rio DE Janeiro. Granted, there was a lot of sandy beach here in California as well, but that of the Copacabana was deemed magical.
Unfortunately there were no Portuguese classes at James K. Polk Middle School, and there were also no textbooks for learning that language available in our library.
Fortunately, Mrs. Enstile, one of our favourite teachers, had got partly Portuguese ancestry and was ready to teach Jennifer the absolutely necessary amount of words she needed in order to get started.
Of course, Jennifer was still extremely ambitious and she was looking for the opportunities of becoming a vollyeball star in Brazil. That had always been her favourite sport — as I could tell — and she did have everything needed for becoming a professional. She figfured that it would be easier to settle with beach volleyball, though, a top popular sport at the Copacobana. She was now feeling really ashamed because she had not discovered this possibility long ago, and only my suggestion and Simon Nelson Cook's research in the interweb had helped her along.
Now there was nothing left in order to stop "Moze", not even her silly nickname, and not even a song sung very poorly by wannabe rock idol Edmond Bigby.
Her name was Mosely
She was a volleybabe
With yellow ribbons 'round her head
And a swimsuit so drop-dead.
She did the blocking
She did the smashing
She sent her foes left and right crashing
At the Copa, Copacabana
The hottest spot south of La Habana
At the Copa, Copacabana
Smashing and blocking
Would always be rocking
At the Coba
Moze hit the sands, yeah!
I better stuffed my ears with ... what ... Ryan's chewed bubble gum? Eeew! I had to run away, screaming for excessive disgust.
3.14 The Promise Ring
Cookie was already thinking about the possibility of becoming the manager of star athletes Jennifer and Fernão after graduating from high school when he was hit by some other news.
Evelyn Kwong had actaully been giving hinm a promise ring, something that he had not wanted by any means, and in virtue of Jennifer's impending departure from California, he simply made up a lie by claiming that he was going to move with his parents to Hawaii where his dad would work in a coconut factory. Probably he had been inspired by "Coconut Head" walking past us.
I was feeling no less startled by Evelyn's deed because I started now even pitying my cousin Wayne who really appeared to have liked her, which was scary as he was usually afraid of girls and only hitting of those who would clearly run away from him without a minimal shred of hesitation, such as Lola Martinez or Zoey Brooks. And Cookie siuffered so much from Evelyn's crush because he was still lusting crazily for Lisa Zemo.
Alas, I screwed up his lie and told Evelyn accidentally, well, carelessly, the truth about Simon Nelson Cook's plans, as True had not been around in order to say "sassafras".
But Evelyn would not release him thereupon, because she started now admiring Simon Nelson for being really tricky.
3.15 Oh Suzanne!
For a whole week, Suzanne Crabgrass had been trying to tell Edmond something important, but something had always been standing inbetween, preventing her from spreading her message, whatever it was. But now it hit Ned like a sledge hammer right into the face. "I am moving away! My dad has started working elsewhere, and my new home will be much closer to his job." She released a sigh deeper than the Marianna trench.
This was too much for Edmond to bear, and he started vomiting his tripe into the next millennium, for a world was coming toi an end for him, given that he had been hankering after Suzie for almost his entire middle school time, and he was now ready to start some really sag song.
Oh, Suzanne, why do I cry for you?
You left Santa Clarita
Without a Ned Tattoo.
But Jennnifer's example had fortunately taught him to do the right thing and look for a way of following Suzanne for a placve that was not so far away, especially when compared to Rio De Janeiro in Brazil.
And, indeed, his parents would sent him for one or two years to a new place, the same as Suzanne Crabgrass's, just as True, Ryan, and I had been sent to California by our parents for this year.
3.16 Should Auld Acquaintance
So it was up to us to celebrate a party upon the departures of our dear friends, Edmond and Jennifer, who were about to leave Santa Clarita in order to be with the people they loved the most ... wasn't that really dreamy?
Tears were filling the eyes of Edmond, Jennifer, and Simon, enough to make it necessary for Gordy to intervene by mopping the floor. He was of course sad as well, but he declared, "one day, I will mop this floor with the fur of the weasel, as sure as my name is Gordy!"
The choir, consisting of "Coconut Head" and the "Oboe Twins", performed Robert Burns' good old good-by song, making everyone burst into tears.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
For auld lang syne.
For auld lang syne, my jo
For auld lang syne
Let's tak a right goode willie waught
For auld lang syne.
I could not help weeping like crazy, although I had only known Jennifer, Edmond, Fernão, or Suzanne for a few months.
Well, the thought that one Mazie Nakamura was potentially my twin sister made me sob a bit as well, we would have been separated for so many years now. I had been alone as far as I was able to remember back in time, and that was at least until I started calculating with my fingers, which I had started earlier than most other kids. So her departure from my family must have been pretty early, and according to Simon Nelson's interweb research, Mazie Nakamura had been living in California at least since starting elementary school, and her dad, if it was a dad indeed, was one of the leading politicians of the county, running eventually for the office as the mayor of Lakewood.
But what if Mazie was a disgusting jerk ... would that make me regret having ever thought about looking for her?
Wayne had offered performing a genetic test, but this required some samples of our desoxyribonucleic acid ... whatever that meant ... in order to make a comparison, but how were we supposed to get at it?
Claire Sawyer suggested suing the hospital for messing up and switching babies at birth, but what if there had not been such a mistake and it had been a legal adoption?
3.17 True Robots
So, Edmond Bigby and Jennifer Mosely were now gone in order to be with their respective loves, with Fernão and Suzanne, respectively ... out of sight, but not yet out of mind.
But for our robot war team it was now time for the ultimate efforts in order to go for the Californian trophy in ronot war which was a task I had been working hard for, side by side with Albert Wormenheimer, for several weeks.
The other members of our team eincluded Simon Nelson Cook, Evelyn Kwong, and Lance Widget, and, as far as we had heard, there was no bigger team in whole California, but quantity did not necessarily imply quality, did it?
Recently, Simon Nelson Cook had had troubles with his overcharged credit card, and he had brought himself into serious troubles. This implied that he was now very shorton money, and True had been assigned by his mom to watch closely over him and prevent him from spending money for sweet nothings, including flowers for Lisa, which hurt a lot given the vicinity of Valentine's and the necessity of proving his crush that she, and not Evelyn, was the one for him.
Cookie had indeed made a complete fool of himself when he tried to find out about Lisa by crossdressing as a girl, with the side effects of getting William Loomer to hit on "her" or him, whatever.
The battle dome used for the contest was located in downtown Los Angeles, a really impressive arena that struck awe into the heart of everyone entering it for the first time, almost like the ancient colisseum of Rome.
Our opponents were supposed to be very much motivated as well, not only Wayne's team from Pacific Coast Academy which suffered brutally from conflicts between my cousin and his archenemy Quinn Pensky. Ryan feared — or so he claimed — that Quinn would be able to use hypnosis in order to defeat me, as she knew my weaknesses very well after having started treating me for the attention deficit syndrome. In any way, Simon Nelson Cook insisted in being the operator of our robot which was called "Worminator" because most of the calculations necessary for moving it had been performed by my sweetie Albert Wormenheimer.
Another dangerous opponent was the team of aforementioned Lakewood school lead by some Felic Garcia and assisted by some Étienne.
But the most important foe was from San Diego, right at the Mexican border, with a dangerous droid named the "Blonowitzer" because it had been assembled from trash by a certain Eric Blonowitz with thye help of his best friend Craig Ramirez. But the real leading scientist of that group had not yet been reveiled.
One more ambitious opponent was the team from Brewster School, represented by elementary school kid Nelson Baxter, which was a really tough challenge for us because losing to an elementary school kid would have destroyed our serious reputation among our fellow pupils and turned us into worthless freaks.
The unpire of the whole event was no other than ... Mr. Jamerson, our good old science teacher from Manhattan, which was of course the reason for a whole lot of troubles, for losing in front of his eyes would have been totally embarrassing, and for that avail, I would have to try to hide behind some shrubs or underneath some table for most of the time.
Cookie took the remote control and moved proudly into the centre of the battle arena, like a true gladiator, and he was followed closely by the "Worminator" and cheered by the onlookers that had come hereto from James K. Polk Middle School.
His first serious opponent was Joshuah Nichols, the captain of the team of San Diego, a guy who twitched each and every other second like a complete idiot, but a cute idiot.
Jamerson who still had not spotted me under the bleachers blew the whistle in order to start the deadly combat.
The Blonowitzer fired some sort of a grenade which sounded really dangerous, but the projectile was missfired and ended up in the wrong place instead of hitting Cookie's robot because Joshuah had twitched once more.
Treue's cousin squealed fanatically, "now you are finished, it would take yoyu at least five minutes to reload the the cannon, but my speedfire plasma gun will blast you in five ... four ... three ... two ...
A teenage girl walked up to Joshuah and tore the remote control off his hands, yelling at him "you idiot! let me handle this!" Ignoring her comrade's screams, she took over the control over the "Blonowitzer" and appeared to activate some turbo recharger or some other weapon the thing had. But she also shocked the onlookers from Pacific Coast Academy, especially Zoey Brooks. According to the reactions of Josh and Eric, the girl now in control was known as Melinda Crenshaw, and she seemed to be the most competent with the battle droid of the school from Belleview. All of a sudden, a laser beam ... sorry, Ryan, but this was not you ... shor forth from some invisible whole somewhere in the skin of the droid and disrupted our droid, making it impossible for Simon Nelson Cook to control the fast firing mechanism.
I sighed deeply while still hidden under the bleachers Ryan found me and remarked, "look what I have found ... whatever it is ..." The thing he held in his left hand looked a bit weird, and all of a sudden it blew up because it was the misfired grenade. The bleachers were gone, but fortunately our faces were covered now with soot and splinters, making it impossible for Jamerson to recognise us on site.
Simon Nelson Cook gave up on the match in order to be able to repair our robot together with our master engineer Lance Widget before the next match which would see us facing the team of Pacific Coast Academy. Fortunately, Evelyn Kwong was not hitting on him because she did not want to endanger out success by distraction, but maybe because she was also watched by Wayne Gilbert.
This was the right moment for me to intervene bravely and make Evelyn fess up, but even with my dirt-covered face I was not able to scare her into tremblindg and shivering, unlike planned. True showed up in order to support me, as she was equally not at ease with the way in which Evelyn used to treat Cookie, and she grabbed Evelyn's collar in an attempt to force her to listen when she tried to talk some sense into the grumpy nerd.
Evelyn Kwong finally sighed deeply and had to admit that she like Wayne and Simon Nelson equally, and she had never been able to help it, and still wasn't.
Again, True had to talk to her and she made it clear that Simon was so obviously into Lisa Zemo, while Wayne Gilbert was not even respected by any other girl, and this should make "Catwoman" Evelyn stick to him. And a few days later, it would actuually be obvious that Evelyn followed the advice of my best friend and go for "Fire Wire" all the way.
But this was not really going to help for now, as the next opponent, Quinn Pensky from team Pacific Coast Academy, had no qualms making the "Worminator" blowing up on site, the reason beong probably because Simon Nelson Cook was not concentrating on his job but just fancying how to impress Lisa with a fast victory. And this was inevitably resulting in a very fast defeat, as was now all too obvious, reducing Simon Nelson's chances to zilch — or so he feared. We would even lose badly against elementary school kid Nelson Baxter, for the very same reason, which, as aforementioned, would turn us into the absolute laughing stock and make us have wasted all of our bucks on a war droid that did not work really well.
The big finale of the contest was between the teams of San Diego and that of Pacific Coast Academy, as both Mindy and Quinn had devised all those photon cannons that were impossible to evade. As aforementioned, Melinda Crenshaw appeared to be very sacry to the pupils from Pacific Coast Academy, and she looked like being up to some revenge when readying the Blonowitzer for the lethal combat.
Indeed, Mindy had been a student at Pacific Coast Academy for a few weeks only[3:8] and plagiarised Zoey's backpack design, for which she got expelled later on upon the blond Mary-Sue's request from the illustrous boarding school. Wait ... plagiarised backpacks ... like those for sale at our school by "Backpack Boy"? This was no good, and it was now up to Claire Sawyer to sue someone, realy, wasn't it?
In any case, Quinn Pensky was still consternated by Mindy and she was thence unable to prevent the "Quinnterruptor" from getting destroyed by Mindy's mighty photon cannon[3:9] and her power magnet.[3:10]
The only victory Simon Nelson Cook was able to secure was one against Felix Garcia from Lakewood Middle School, the insititution of aforementioned Mazie Nakamura, and fortunately those visitors from there did not notice me because of my all over polluted face. Of course asking the visitors from there right away about my doppelganger would not really have been a good idea — or so told me True — and it would not have made persuaded her into leaving us some of her genetic informations. But Ryan had promised to sneak into lakewood and get the required stuff. He would not have to heard Mazie for that, would he, because if she was my monozygotic twin, I would have felt the same pain, right?
Chapter 4 True Spring
4.1 Out Of Money
As aforementioned, the school was often enough low on resources, and it was thus necessary for looking for new ways in order to finance the upgrade of our gym which was in a desolate state at least. But fund raising had always been a trouble here at Santa Clarita, starting with car washing and similar crap.
The worst case of the last year was when it turned out that only ruined equipment would be replaced, not just worn down or outfashioned one, as this had resulted in a wave of deliberat destruction, even by otherwise harmless Lisa Zemo who had trashed Munroe's old video recorder in order to get a decent one to be purchased.
Similar problems had occurred at Pacific Coast Academy where Zoey Brooks had tried to hire Drake Parker for a spring concert and used a car wash for fundraising, with the result of trashing the car of their executive chairman because she had no clue about switch sticks and brakes and stuff. Fortunately, she had saved the concert by selling Drake the sweatshirts with the current logo of the band. I wonder whther True would be able to do the same, but she insisted in going the old-fashioned way and try to sell the chocolate bars.
In addition, some guys like Simon Nelson Cook were still stuck in debts and left without a credit card, making it impossible to impress Lisa any further, if she had not started hating him completely for having blown all of his money and loans from his mom on useless junk, including a war droid that got even defeated by an elementary school kid. And the letter was even more in desperate need of bucks because there was a concert of one of his favourite bands to come by the end of the month, a concert he did by absolutely no means want to miss out on, as this would make him — or so he fancied — even more uncool for Lisa Zemo's purposes.
According to coach Dirga, we were now supposed to sell chocolate bars like pedlars in order to gather the money needed in order to upgrade the gym, and there were even rumours about a coupon for a new tv monitor to be hidden in one of the bars ... of course it was not so evident which one.
I suggested Simon Nelson Cook to invent a machine in order to look through the covers of the chocolate bars in order to spot the hidden ticket. But Simon lacked the bucks for inventing a new machine duet to the aforementioned troubles after the war robot. As a consequence, Cookie and Ryan just ate the chocolate bars in order to find the tickets., with no success, as those were probably hidden in someoe else's bar.
But Ryan and Cookie had got a different, maybe better or worse, idea, as they wanted to perform some escapist tricks in the tradition of aforementioned Henry Doheny ... among many others, but this one they were now hell bent for, inspite of the advices of True Jackson to refrain from doing exactly this. And in order to perform their trick of sawing a virgin, they needed me as their poor victim. Their main trick was that of Cookie trying to free himself from a locked chest withing thirty seconds, or else the spectators would get their money all back.
Even aforementioned Joshuah Nichols was interested in this session, for he was a great adorer of the great Doheny and could not miss out on this event.
Another plan for fundraising had been gone awry on site when Ryan and Cookie had tried to make money by a free thow contest. In order to get the other kids to spend bucks on free throws, they had to promise a prize, and this award was won by former "Coconut Head" who achiecved scoring weven blindfolded and with both hands tied to the back, or something similar. Later it would turn out that Matthew Palmer Noid had directed the ball by means of psychokinesis, something really scary. But the result was the same — the debts of Cookie and Ryan kept on increasing.
Matthe Palmer Noid could only shake his head because of the feable attempts of the wannabe Doheny alikes, including Joshuah Nichols. He admitted to having been tempted to use his telekinetic abilities in order to help in the droid battle combat, but he had been dissuaded by a certain Megan Parker, his new girlfriend who happened to be a step sister of Joshuah Nichols and a sister of Drake Parker. Matthew had tried to talk the boys into some real magics where he wanted to cause me to fake my death during the performance and stand up during my funeral in order to shock the living hell out of everyone, but this was so scary, given my memories of the Halloween party over at Pacific Coast Academy where Lola Martinez and Ashley Blake had made the blood leave my face for several minutes by feigning to be walking corpses.
So the old fashioned trick would have to do, and I was already rigged and ready in my box when Simon Nelson and Ryan started using a giant chainsaw which made me shiver for fear, although I knew that the tool was made of rubber ... wait ... was it really? I had never had any reason to believe Ryan when it came down to details like this one, and I cried like a fury, until True intervened and stopped the performance of the trick, causing all the sadistic onlookers to protest and run away with the bucks they had already paid, and Claire Sawyer was going to threaten severe actions in the case of fooling the audience again with unkeepable promises.
Ryan decided to do something he had never thought to have to resort to and ask Mercedes "Missy Meany" Griffin for credit, which of course was terriblr brcause Cookie and Ryan were already deep in the debts.
True had tried hard to sell candy bars, but she did not make it completely, and she tried hard to dissuade Ruyan from borrowing bucks from the mean blond poison of a cheerio girl.
Ryan insisted that Mercedes was by absolutely no means as mean as everyone, especially true, supposed her to be, and he was going to prove her wrong, just for the hell of it.
Desperate enough, True decided to give in and to design some wolf shirts in order to do the fund raising, but would Zoey's trick in order to get some cheap or even gratis concert tickets work as well? Not every band was in desperate need of a new outfit design as had been in the case of Drake Parker's guys about one year before — this had been a fairly rare occasion.
But due to the help of Malcolm Reese, there was actually another chance for True as Seattle-based group Cuttlefish[4:1] was supposed to come to Los Angeles just a few days later, and they were desperately looking for a decent outfit. Unfortunately, Zoey Brooks was already booked out completelty because she had to manage all the stress between her friends and was not left with any time for a task as complicated as designing the outfit for a cool boy band.
This way, we would not only get tickets for a concert of cuttlefish, but, much better, the band would help us raising the funds necessary in order to stuff a few holes that had accumulated in the treasury of James K. Polk Middle School.
4.4 Golden Ticket
So, what had happened to the golden ticket that had been hidden inside one of the many candy bars that Coach Dirga had told us to sell in order to gather the necessary bucks for the gym upgrades? Well, when half of the tickets had gone away, Quinn Pensky showed up on the campus and checked the remaining bars with a new device which she called a "quinnocular"[4:2] and which appeared to look like a set of five telescopes tied together, enabling it sometimes to look through things, reveiling for example that Ryan was wearing bunny boxers.
The golden ticket happened to be in the last remaining chocolate bar tp be sold by True Jackson, and Quinn had not hesitated buying it off my best friend forever and obtaining the hidden treasure, letting True look truly upset.
Ryan was equally messed up, as he and Simon Nelson had borrowed money from Mercedes Griffin in order to come up for the debts they had made by eating all of their chocolates, including the costs for the dentist and the doc treating their subsequent digestion problems. And now it was time for them to pay back, but Mercedes would hardly show any mercy whatsoever, would she?
4.5 Spring Fling
Like in the last two years, Seth Powers, aforementioned tall blond basketball jock, organised a big party in his parents'department when they were away from home, and the whole school was invited ... the whole school except Simon Nelson Cook who had screwed it up last year and set the whole mension ablaze in some way I better avoid even thinking about. But True's cousin was of course absolutely willing to show up there, as he could not bear the thought of Lisa Zemo dancing with other boys, especially with hot rakes like Seth, and this implied the necessity of making a plan in order to sneak in there, as there were those gorillas standing in front of the front door preventing any persona non grata from entering. Ryan and Cookie did not want us girls to hear about them, as I used to screw it all up when I was not focussed on keeping it a secret, and True would not desist from trying to talk any sense into them until she succeeded.
The presence of Cuttlefish was supposed to make the party even more interesting when compared to the same event from the last two years, as there had been nothing like life music. At the same time, True was using the party in order to raise funds, as the guys were wearing for the first time their new outfits, really fashionable stuff, if I only had been able to describe it ... it was pink, no it was silver , or something inbetween, with a giabt smiling cuttlefish depicted on the front and the crest of Seattle on the back. Simon Nelson had thus got one more reason to make it here, as the boys from Cuttlefish were very hot, or so many girls said, and that made Simon Nelson believe that Lisa would dance with them.
Talking about the dance thing ... I wanted to show up with Albert Wormenheimer, but unfortunately he was not a big dancer, at least not yet, so he would possibly show up later when the music was a bit less noisy and stuff. He was very much annoyed by loud music, or so I had figured recently, so that was a bit understandable. True had suggested him to take lessons in dancing, and she even wanted to teach this as a surprise for me, but this would have awfully backfired, for if I had spotted them before the spring fling, I would have accused my best friend of stealing my boyfriend, which would have been ugly. So it was better that my sweetie had refused, anyways, and would only show up with the end of the loud music.
There was, on the other hand, no problem for me and for True to get into the hall, and Ryan was invited as well, but he had disappeared all of a sudden, which made True believe that Ryan was up to planning something in order to let Simon Nelson sneak in, but Ryan would never be up to such a plot, would he? Actually, Simon Nelson Cook had wanted to sneak in crossdressed, just as back then when he had ridiculaously tried to gain Lisa's confidence by pretending to be a girl, and he wanted True to taylor him a suitable outfit, but she had refused to do so, as she would have been able to get Simon to look like a girl, but not to dispose with his not-so-girl-like manners and habits which would have betrayed him sooner or later, right?
OK, so this was the home of Seth Powers, a typical upper middle class mansion, and the tall blond rake was a dumb but propular party host, or so it seemed, especially among the girls. He had already tried to seduce and abuse Jennifer Mosely, Suzanne Crabgrass, and Lisa Zemo ... and now he was hitting once more on the latter, ouch, Simon Nelson would most definitely not want to see this.
Mercedes "Missy Meany" Griffin was very grumpy because she was lookig for Ryan without finding him, apparently she had forced him to be her date for this party or the upcoming middle school graduation ball ... strangely, Ryan had always wanted something like that since he had stumbled upon the spoilt lass for the first time in the locker hall, although she was older by two years. Hell, the same goes for Albert, so bear with it. But now Ryan was not even around, and Missy was already starting to look for him everywhere, and I wpuld not have wondered if she picked up some heavy axe in order to smash every door and every table into pieces in order to look for him. This was so much fun ... Ok, it wasn't, as True remarked.
Now, Missy was still unarmed when a big bang was heard from the bedroom of their parents, and True was shaking her head, relating the crashing noises somehow to Simon Nelson Cook's intentions to sneak into the mansion of Seth Powers. But many others simply ignored the sound because it was no louder than the drummer solo of Cuttlefish, anyways. Especially Seth did not seem to care, as he was perversely hitting on Lisa Zemo, along with Martin Querly, another weird student over here, and with former "Coconut Head". Even Loomer and the other bullies were hanging out near her, something which would have made Simon Nelson walk through the roof ... oops ... there were ventilation tunnels above us, and rumours were heard from there. True achieved at least to make Jerry Crony refrain from even encouraging Loomer to follow his dirty business.
True concluded that Ryan and Cookie must have planned to sneak in by using the ventilation tunnels of the mansion, but did not Ryan have claustrophobia ... no, that must have been someone else, well, crawling up and down those narrow corridors must have been as terrible as only possible.
And then there was another bang from the next room, so True grabbed my wrists and dragged me along in order to watch whatever was going on. The door was fortunately not locked and we opened it most carefully, seeing Cookie and Ryan lie in the matrimonial bed, in the middle of a heap of rubble and dust that had been coming — or so True concluded — from the whole in the ceiling near the ventilation fan.
Ryan sighed deeply, as the breaking walls had not been envisioned, they had been accidental, although anyone knowing Ryan for several years would most certainly have seen such a thing coming.
"Missy Meany" happened to spot Ryan as well, and she wasted no time grabbing and undusting him readily with her handkerchief and cheerio tassels, making him squeal and moan for whatever reason.
Cookie was now even more in trouble than last year, but he was now hiding under some linen sheet and trying to crawl into the lounge in order to spy on Lisa and the huge bunch of boys around her. True was still trying hard to talk any sense into him, but this was for absolutely naught, as Simon Nelson was hell bent on getting what he wanted, videlicet Lisa Zemo.
Seth Powers walked in and saw the mess, but he just smiled and started throwing his basketball into yje opening in the ceiling, welcoming the opportunity of practising a few free throws. Unfortunately his parents would not judge the situation in a similar manner and thus be a whole lot less pleased.
At least the music was now all over, and this meant that Albert was going to show up in order to see me. I was already waiting at the entrance door and ready to receive him, and there were already approaching footsteps. I closed my eyes in order to take him into my arms, when a voice similar to my own yelled at me, "how dare you to look like me?" I startled and opened my eyes, getting to see Mazie Nakamura from Lakewood.
Seth Powers explained that his dad and Mr. Nakamura from Lakewood were working closely together in the county's council, so he had not been able to avoid inviting her as well when she requested it.
Mazie had heard rumours about her doppelganger , that was me, living in nearby Santa Clarita, and she wanted to check out the situation.
Claire Sawyer jumped to mi side and declared to represent my legal interests although I had never asked her to, but maybe this was better because I really did not know what to say.
Mazie was shocked by the possibility that such an ordinary person like me was opotentially related to me, and she insisted in getting it tested as soon as possible in order to make it official.
Evelyn Kwong seemed to have waited for something like that, as she held a portable laboratory in her hands which she had been given by her eternal rival Quinn Pensky. Then she pinched a hair off my nostrils, and she did the same to Mazie. Too bad the action made both of us sneeze, coviering Seth's wall painting with the contents of our nose.
The basketball star had not got any suitable cloth or handkerchief in his hands, so he could not avoid ripping some off the cloth that was covering Cookie, reveiling the illegal intruder. That smelled like a lot of trouble for the geek guy.
Two minutes later, everything was made clear by Evelyn Kwong who determined that Mazie and I were actually monozygotic twins, meaning that at least one of us was not living with their biological parents. Unfortunately there were so many different possibilitie, and Claire Sawyer had already stated that she was going to look into the scandal and claim my legal rights, whatever they were.
Simon Nelson Cook and Ryan Laserbeam, on the other hand, would soon be banned from the whole quarter of Santa Clarita, as the damage caused by them would turn out a lot bigger than evident: Half of the house would collapse the next day, fortunately after the departure of almost all the party guests.
4.6 Plans For Spring Break
A few days off school were welcome by most of us pupils, and Simon Nelson Cook would use them in order to visit Edmond Bigby in his new home, although he would have preferred top spend those days with Lisa, but she had turned him down after the whole mess he had caused upon the party of Seth Powers.
I would have been looking forward to shopping with True in Los Angeles, something we had been up to since we had been confirmed to go to California for a whole year without yet finding the time to do for real, but True had all of a sudden got other plans. More precisely, she was invited to the summer residence of the Reese family in Santa Barbara county, along with a bunch of kids from Pacific Coast Academy: Lola Martinez, Nicole Bristow, Quinn Pensky, Logan Reese, Michael Barret, Chase Matthews, and Dustin Brooks. But Quinn was furiously jealous and she had seen Lisa Zemo getting too close to her boyfriend Mark del Figgalo — or so she had believed to see — and was now no longer able to leave him unsupervised, thus she had insisted vigorously in Mark coming with her to Santa Barbara instead of the blond Mary Sue's little brother who was way younger than the other kids. Finally, Zoey was upset and broke out of the whole enterprise. She was now on a camping tpur with Dustin and dormitory adviser Coco Wexler. Malcolm had chosen True as theone to fill the vacation left by Zoey.
Albert Wormenhemer was now on a trip to relatives in northern California, so there was no way to spend the spring break with him. Everything was so totally injust, wasn't it? I was better off avoiding any further encounter with my freshly recovered relative videlicet Mazie Nakamura and left all the becessary legal steps to Claire Sawyer. It was not easy to research stuff like switching at birth, adoption, abduction, and similarly perverse stuff. But Mazie Nakamura was by absolutely no means someone I was proud to be related to.
So, apparently I was stuck to exploring Los Angeles with Ryan Laserbeam, and that was certainly not going to be much fun but rather a lot of trouble and turmoil.
4.7 Hotel Chambrolay
We were participating in a guided tour through the outskirts of Los Angeles and reached Santa Monica where we were ready to visit one of the most famous hotels of the county: Chambrolay.[4:3]
We were not allowed to walk around in there on our own, but Ryan did not care, and he must somehow have achieved persuading me — against my better judgment — into following him.
In this moment, a limousine halted in front of the luxury inn — probably not quite unusual here — and released a girl that was not all the way unfamiliar to me. More precisely it was Megan Parker, little sister of young rock legend Drake Parker and step sister of Ryan's dorky fellow wannabe magician, and also girlfriend of our class mate Matthew Palmer Noid.
Ryan guessed that Megan and Matthew were Russian spies, and it would be our patriotic duty to follow and observe them, and then inform the FBI in order to get them arrested. "The FBI is granting huge rewards."
I kind of sort of doubted that, but Josh's complaints about his diabolic little step sister were really convincing, she had already pranked the living hell out of him and Drake for over two years. And Matthew had done the same to many pupils, teachers, and staff members at our school, so there was certainly something going on.
Megan had booked the Presidential Suite, a perfect meeting point for Russian spies, and Ryan talked me into observing her by means of using the ventilation system of the hotel, just as he had done on the mansion of Seth Powers. But the manager of the hotel, or whoever was responsible, appeared already suspicious, and I had to hide anyways, so I followwd Ryan readily into the ventilation tunnels who were not as uncomfortable as I had feared.
4.8 Milo Creery
And this was the ventilation tunnel above Presicential Suite in fabulous Hotel Chambrolay, a really cool place in the heated heart of Santa Monica, well, the electric fan was totally busy and helped us to have that impression. Fortunately it was also loud enough to cover the sounds of our conversaation as Ryan kept on observing Megan.
And there were bisitors indeed, but it was not Megan's fellow Russian spy — in the imagination of Ryan — Matthew Palmer Noid, but there were Drake and Josh, and they must have been looking for Megan for over an hour. From their conversation it would become obvious what they were really doing here in Santa Monica.
Megan had been up to flying to Colorado in order to visit some friend, but Drake hhad stuffed her into the wrong flight, the one to Los Angeles. Once here, Megan had decided to book a suite in this hotel as all further flights to Colorado were cancelled because of insane weather conditions over there. Drake and Hpsh had been following her to this place, but they were annoying "boobs", as Megan used to call her.
Josh was, by the way, trying to get a better opportunity for a concert for Drake, something the rock idol had got problems believing in.
Now Megan was away for the showers, but Drake and Josh kept on hanging around, and they got evenmore visitors whom Ryan identified — or so he claimed — readily as Russian spies. Those guys here looked really dangerous, though, so Ryan was probably right, at least once in a life time. One of the mean guys must have seen Josh already during their flight to Los Angeles, and they had probably mixed up their belongings in a way that Josh was now holding some sort of electronic device that was rightfully that of the scary intruder, and vice versa. A closer look reveiled that the brute guy's device contained a secret sketch of something whicg Ryan identified as the Pentagon or the White House. "They are planning an onslaught. I will delay this creep, while you call the police, the FBI, and the CIA!" Unfortunately, my cellular phone was in True's handbag, and Ryan had lost his in the foyer of the hotel, so I needed to crawl back through the ventilation tunnels.
The security guard in the lounge had now got a hard time believing my story, but they called officer Vega, chieftain of the police of Los Angeles county, anyways in order to arrest me and interrogate me. I told them to say nothing without my lawyer, videlicet Claire, but I needed to save Ryan, Drake, and Josh from the Russian terrorists, no, I needed to save the president and the whole free world.
Officer Vega arrived, and he remembered me and Ryan from the race on the skateboard across the streets of Santa Clarita, so I told him, "yes, I admit it, my henchman is Ryan Laserbeam, and he is hiding in the Presidential Suite, so better get him there!" The trick seemed to work.
Then the cops dragged me back to the suite, and fortunately through the staircase instead of the ventilation wormholes, making us finally see the luxury residence again, but through the front door. Ryan, Drake, and Josh had actually overcome three mean guys with big guns and without pants. The latter fact was beyond any doubt the work of Matthew Palmer Noid who had used his telekinetic abilities in order to make things easier for Drake and Josh. Officer Vega recognised the mean guys as the henchmen of no other than internationally wanted Milo Creery, the head of organised crime from Los Angeles to New York City and partner of a certain Carmine Puckett,[4:4] the head of the Cosa Nostra. Their speciality was faking bank notes, and the electronic device contained the details necessary for counterfeiting those.
This way, Ryan and I were awarded with some bucks by the FBI, just enough to pay the fine for intruding into the hotel and the ventilation tuynnels which was still strictly illegal. I also noticed Megan and Matthew sneaking around the corner and laugh insanely, so the two of them used the occasion to enjoy a few hours together until the next flight to Colorado. After all these dangerous and exciting adventures, we had got quite a few things to tell True ...
4.9 Gender Defenders
So what had True been doing at Santa Barbara? Well, Malcolm Reese had used the kids for the pilot of his new game show Gender Defenders[4:5] which featured a duel between a girls' team and a boys' team.
Of course the girls had beaten the living hell out of the boys, first in some sort of a treasure hunts with scattered messages, and then in some creative dressing contest, which was of course easy for fashionista True and hairstyling freak Nicole against four boys with no sense for esthetics, culminating in Mark Del Figgalo.
And of course the pilot of Gender Defenders was shown on TV and would be our favourite video for quite a few months ... True's and mine, of course, as Ryan was not quite happy about the fact that boys were so awfully much inferior to us girls.
4.10 The Balance
As already mentioned, the school was always out of money, but the reasons for this have not yet been discovered, so I wondered whether it was possible to check the books of the school that register expenses and intakes, like those of a free enterprise, in order to find the financial leak, as this sounded like a perfect task for a number-savy kind of person like me.
Of course I was not allowed to check the books without the permission of the school administration, and this was going to be a big problem. Fortunately, Mr. Munroe was not opposed to my suggestion, as he had always wondered about the same thing during the last years when all the financial impasses had started to emerge from naught. "The school's newspaper should cover something like this, not the colour of the new basketballs or similar stupid junk! But nobody has apparently got the guts to do so!"
I sighed deeply, as Simon Nelson Cook had just started something completely different, and more precisely the horoscope corner of said journal, which was of course absurd, for who believed in horoscopes anyways? Certainly not scorpions like me ... oops! I used to refuse to believe because almost everything I had ever heard about astrology was from cousin Wayne's cartoons about weird heroes and villains, and everyone knew that those were surely invented, but Matthew Palmer Noid's scary telekinetic abilities had made me reconsider a bit, and I had already heard about a great psychic mistress in Manhatten named Kreuftlva[4:6] who was able to perform strange things with a crystal ball, scary indeed, more than everything Wayne had ever read in his stupid toons. So I decided to ask Matthew Palmer Noid to control Simon Nelson Cook here although my class mate was not necessarily going to obey to my commands.
Unfortunately, our inept school journalists were not able to write about it because they sensed troubles, so we were better looking for a reasonable teenage journalist from some other school. The choice reduced pretty fast to one between Jeremiah Trottman from Pacific Coast Academy and Robert Shapiro from Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, the guy with whom Doc Lowe's former aggression troll Regilius Shapiro had run away. According to the statements of Zoey Brooks, Jeremiah was by absolutely no means to be trusted, so the choice was fairly clear, and we would have to contact Robbie in order to publish the results of my research about the cause of the debts of James K. Polk.
4.11 The School Coordinator
It was not easy to get at the reklevant folders containing the school's reports about the expenses and the intakes of the last years, even with the explicit permissiobn of Mr. Munroe, as there were everywhere warning such as "Danger — Venomous Bugs!" or similar horrors. But equipped with thick gloves and other security equipment, it was finally possible for me to make it somewhere.
There we were ... five hundred pages of small prints, chock full with strange abbreviations which I could not really make much sense of, and which Ryan identified readily as secret code of Russian spies. Once more he wanted to inform the FBI and the CIA about these incidents in order to earn some serious rewards. So, was the Russian government really the reason for the financial shortcomings of James K. Polk, which would have been totally crazy, but Ryan was insisting in this possibility with all vigour.
Claire Sawyer was in the meanwhile checking the laws concerning the bookkeeping of disctrict school in California, and she was now assisting me in my insane efforts of making sense of the remarks and shortcuts which I had got so many difficulties with. Pretty soon it became clear that the main responsible for administrating the finances of Polk and the other schools of Santa Clarita was a certain Hal E, Burton[4:7] whose proper office was that of a school coordinator.
For Ryan Laserbeam, Burton was now a safe canditate for being reveiled as a Russian Spy, and he was already thinking about formulating a letter to the FBI, no, to the Pesident or the First Lady in Washington DC in order to get Burton untarnished and eliminated, whatever that meant. Unfortunately he was not all that good of a writer, especially of documents to be sent to highest authorities, and he needed Claire's help for that avail, but she refused to do anything based on that little evidence.
Unfortunately Claire had figured something even more important which was a comnnection between Burton and Nakamura, the "dad" of my monoxygotic twin sister who had also been — according to my future lawyer — and former cooperator of Burton in the county's committee for culture and education. Needless to say, Nakamura was — or so said Ryan — yet another "Russian spy", wasn't he? And this would have been really scary, for I did not yet know who was my biological dad and could not exclude Nakamura from being exactly that, making me the daughter of a dangerous Russian spy and thus equally target of the CIA's activities.
The following days saw Claire increased the evidence against Burton and Nakamura, at least with respect to their abuse of their office in order to divert moneys of the school district for private purposes unrelated to the properly intended purpose of the bucks. On the other hand, Ryan's dared hyp[othesis concerning them being Russian spies was not really confirmed which of course did not keep my friend from insisting in his assumptions.
Now Munroe and his freshly hired henchman Robert Shapiro, not to forget their stuffed assistant Regilius Powers who looked like a lifeless doll but had got feelings as well, started covering the scandal surrounding the ongoing financial crisis of James K. Polk. But our vice principal did not want to risk getting recognised by the school's authorities for his action, so he needed some sort of a disguise, and his idea was the pseudonym "Shadowwolf", based on the crest animal of James K. Polk. True and Crony were even designing a costume for that avail, a really shadowy-looking wolf — or so I supposed.
Principal Wright seemed pretty much uninterested in the whole mess, but this was probably because he was tired by the need to put up with the troubles of a principal. He had only assumed that office because Edmond Bigby and Jennifer Mosely had wanted him to, but this was now null and void since their departure from our county. He was going to retire at the end of this year, anyways, so he just wanted to be left in peace for the remaining weeks.
Munroe's and Shapiro's work progressed really fast, and a few days later, the school newspaper of Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Art would start publishing an article about the scandals surrounding the financial impasses of James K. Polk and other schools in our district, schools coordinated by Hal E. Burton. The latter culprit would be arrested by officer Vega, and talkative doll Regilius Powers would receive a honour medal from the hands of the governor of California for his civil courage.
But what happened to our own school newspaper, now renamed to "Wolf Gossip"? Robert Shapiro was officially chosen in order to teach our ineopt wannabe journalist how to take their business serious, something they were hitherto unable to, and this was especially the case for horoscope columnist Simon Nelson Cook who had abused his position in order to suggest other pupils and staff members to do him a variety of favours, especially certain gifts.
But Matthew Palmer Noid was an expert for astrology and had got no difficulties in reveiling him as a charlatan with no such thing as knowledge about the word of the stars. As a punishment, Cookie found himself running around without his pants, which caused all other pupils to laugh like crazy about him for the rest of his life. Lisa Zemo was particularly upset because Simon Nelso had told her by means of the horoscope to kiss him. But I doubted that he had finally learned his lesson from all the mess, inspite of a well-deserved moral preaching by True.
Chapter 5 Finale
5.1 Graduation Ball
For Simon Nelson Cook and his class mates, middle school time was finally coming to its well deserved end which resulted in the usual graduation ceremonies. Just as for the fabulous high school proms, our graduates wanted to go to the solemn event with partners, although this was not a formal or so. But here it was condsidered extremely cool to be as much as possible like the high school kids they would soon be for real.
Simon Nelson Cook would have been so close to being chosen as the valedictorian, but the faux pas of the horoscope corner had changed the opinion of Principal Wright in the last minute, making Cookie severely disappointed because he had lost it finally to his worst rival Evelyn Kwong and — even worse in his estimation — unworthy of going to the celebrations with Lisa Zemo.
The aggressive nerd girl did not waste any moment and showed no mercy for the sad loser in her valedictorian speech, pointing out Simon Nelson's miserable failures during the last three years, culminating with his double destruction of the mansion of Seth Powers. She was wholeheartedly applauded by Wayne "Fire Wire" Gilbert who was accompanying her to the big event.
True shook her head because she pitied her cousin Simon Nelson in this horrible situation. But how had she made it here to this event? Well, it was basically kind of sort of a bet with Jerome Crony in which she had promised him to be his partner for this "middle school prom" but only if he fessed up to being the most important member of the textile creation club which would have been dwindled to naught without hios efforts. As True would return wwith me and Ryan to New York City for the next fall, the destiny of textile creation at James K. Polk, both middle and high school, would have been sealed unless someone fessed up to being severely interested in this activity, amd Crony was totally gifted, but he had not dared yet to come out with his interest as he would otherwise have been trashed — or so he feared — by his only long term friends Loomer and Rodriguez. He had been several close to fessing up to his hobby, but he had always failed in the last moment due to a sudden loss of courage.
I was of course here with my sweetie Albert Wormenheimer ... wasn't he totally cute with his thick-framed glasses and his habit of drilling his nostrils with his finger? Well, now Principal Wright handed him the middle school report, with the usual handshake and a few boring words, but not as annoyingly boring as his speach at the beginning of this event, a sermon that almost had made me fall asleep. Albert was still no good at dancing, but he has improved a lot in tramploine jumping, and we would soon go and give that a shot, by the way.
It was now Jerome's turn to receive the diploma from the hands of Principal Wright, and he was eyed sternly by True who stuck both thumbs up. Crony panted heavily and looked around foir his bully pals in the queue of the kids. Loomer was rumoured to have "succeeded" in hitting the record of the worst middle school report ever at James K. Polk, and he was a hell of proud of it. True's suspense ioncreased when Jerome touched the official paper reached by the principal and started stammering a few words.
Wright shrugged and remarked, "oh Crony, you have to say something to the audience, well, that's certainly the right moment for doing so, the microphone is yours!" He reached him the tool and grinned nervously as he wanted to continue the ceremony.
True clenched her fists and showed them into Jerome's direction, commanding him to say whatever they had practised for this situation.
Jerome suspired thrice and sneezed even a bit, but finally he found his voice and his courage, exploding furiously into the world, "I am a proud member of the textile creation club and have been so for my whole three years at James K. Polk!" This was probably not exactly the same thing that many pupils here would have expected from Crony, the remorseless bully, but it was totally true. The reactions of the audience were totally contriversial, and especially William Loomer was upset and tried to hit his pal for having been a traitor and a deceiver during the last years. But True applauded fanatically, getting many hostile creeps to shut up.
Loomer would soon be arrested by officer Vega because it was not possible to stop the whole turmoil in any other manner, and he was also insulted because his silent pal Buzz Rodrigues was unable to say a single word to Loomer's defense. After a break of half an hour, order and discipline was restored here in the graduation hall.
Mercedes "Missy Meany" Griffin was the next graduate to receive his diplome from Principal Wright's hands, and she was cheered rhythmically by her greatest fan, Ryan Laserbeam. True shook her head, because she had always supposed that the spoiled lass would only play with Ruan's feelings, but this had apparently not been the case, as the female coxcomb smiled sweetly at Ryan, making the whole audience go "aw!"
The last diploma had been handed over, and it was time for the buffet and the celebrations proper. The food for the buffet had been prepared and arranged under the auspieces of Rosemary Pepper[5:1] who was regularly the lunch lady from our cafeteria, a place I have not yet mentioned because I was ashamed of Ryan's continued reckless behaviour in there, especially when it came down to hot spices and other things. I remembered his bets with Edmond Bixby about Ryan's ability to swallow concentrated Peruvian puff pepper pods[5:2] in one swipe. It was so ... embarrassing to be one of Ryan's friends when he started running around like a fury because he had underestimated the power of the spice which he had bought illegally from custodian Gordy. Those chili pods were infamous for causing kidney failure and chapped lips, oon top of being hotter than hell fire when prepared and conserved appropriately, as done by Gordy's upstream provider. Ryan had been condemned to cleaning the cafeteria after this unconely event which has caused a lot of damage in the lunch room, side by side with custodian Gordy who had tried in vain to charge the nightshift with this task..
Rosemary Pepper had been helped by Kazu, the keeper of aforementioned sushi bar on the campus of Pacific Coast Academy, an idea that Evelyn Kwong and my cousin Wayne had had and suggested in time, resulting in the first graduation at this school with a sushi buffet. Our lunch lady and Kazu appeared to get along terribly well, it appeared — or so rumoured Ryan. But it was not really an unreasonable thing to assume, for people in the kitchen need love as well, don't they?
OK, during the last days, I had been nervous due to the possibility of Mazie Nakamura, my evil twin sister, to show up and ruin my day. Well, fortunately this was not the case, but Claire Sawyer's private detective squad had figured things about Mazie: She had been given away in adoption by my parents right after birth, without a chance of seeing. This must have been a really cruel action, and it was hard to understand why my parents had done such an evil thing. Wayne annoiunced that he would tell Mazie about this fact, so I should not have to bother ... a nice sounding offer, but how reliable was my cousin really? Well, at least Mazie was his cousin as much as I, although she did not yet know about this, and so he seemed to care about the whole messy story.
Claire had also got news for True, and those were about the remains in her dowry chest, especially the notes in her example of Jane Austin's Pride And Prejudice which had indeed turned out as part of her testament that just needed to be combined with other notes found in the same hope chest. Claire had checked the claims in part, but if completely valid, True and Simon Nelson would inherit quite some bucks, enouh to allow Cookie to repay his debts and for True to open her own fashion label, well, a small label when comapred to , let's say, Mad Styele, but it would be possible. I was even more excited by these news than True, but what were those prospects looking like?
We kept on celebrating for several hours, almost forgetting that our departure from Los Angeles and return to New York Ciuty was only a few weeks away, something that made many of the students and teachers here very sad. I would have to separate from Albert, True from Crony, Ryan from Mercedes, but even more, Principal Wright would lose with True's departure the "only sane" student ... whatever that was supposed to mean ... and Gordy would lose his best pal, Ryan.
5.2 Homewards Bound
Armed with the testament of True's grandma, we were now waiting rigged and ready in the attendence hall of the big airport of Los Angeles in order to board the next plain to New York City, the city of cities. We knew that Claire Sawyer, a future student at Princeton Law School, would take care very well of the concerns of the legacy of True's ancestors.
Simon Nelson Cook was coming with us for at least one year, as his mother was incredibly worried by his stupid deeds such as abusing the credit card and getting the house of the Powers to burst into smithereens. True — or so said Mrs Cook — had got some good influence on him, so she thought it better this way. Simon would learn in New York City how to behave and then return as a more normal guy — or so the lady seemed to hope.
I would have to face my parents and talk to them about my most unpleasant discovery from my year in Santa Clarita which was obviously the encounter with Mazie Nakamura, my evil monozygotic twin sister, wait, or was I the evil one? Fortunately True Jackson was going to stand through this with me, no matter what, and I would most definitely need her support, for I was so angry about having us separated, and I had got a younger brother growing up with me who would be even more shocked by this consternating revelation.
Many kids and others had been waiting near us at the airport in order to wave us one last good-bye, but we would certainly return some day to this sunny place, not comparable to New York City's blood-drawing winters.
The plane took of into the clear blue Californian sky, and our middle school life seemed to be a never ending list of departures and of arrivals.
At the end of a long dispute with mom and dad, it turned out that, around my birth, my parents had been in a situation that had made it impossible for them to raise two kids at the same time, and this had been abused by an organisation trading kids for adoption. That had been arranged byt my nowadays deceased grandparents, but why and how was not known. Maybe rummaging through their belongings, such as in a dowry chest, would give me the hints neccessary for understanding the situation of the past, but it was not really so much of an interest for me, because making it undone would have been very hard, if not impossible, according to Claire Sawyer, it would also have disturbed both my life and Mazie's too much ... way too much!
My little brother was glad to have me back, anyways, and we would hang out much more together during the following years. He was also sort of an excuse for me for not having to grow up as fast as extremely responsible True.
My best friend forever had certainly got a good influence on Cookie, but this was not enough because of the bad influence that Ryan and I had got on him — or so she claimed — although I don't understand why.
True was busy starting her first own business from her inherited fortune, but she would soon be able to provoke the interest of the big players, especially Mad Style.
Of course the separation from California meant also losing Albert Wormenheimer from sight, but our common interest in numbers and statistics would really keep us closer and closer together.
True was sad about missing out on Crony, but she got him employed by Maximillian Madigan, the boss of Mad Style, as well. Crony's task would be that of advising Mad Style's customers in Los Angeles, and this meant especially the world of Hollywood, a market hitherto poorly served by Mad Style, but a really promising one. After having outed himself as a sewer and fashion creator, Crony was now much more respected in Los Angeles and able to negotiate with the responsibles of the movie business unto whom he had been introduced by Combover, such as Malcolm Reese, and to create fashion according to their special needs.
Missy Meany was much more shallow than Albert or Crony, and thus she would have lost Ryan easily, but she was in general too mean to boys in general, and it did really take the qualities of Ryan to perservere under those circumstances, and so Missy would not be able to cheat on our friend even if she tried hard to.
And we were now looking forward to our next short trip to Los Angeles in order to see all of our friends again ... and again ... and again.
Lulu has neither got an official surname nor given name. Our chosen surname is in accordance with same actress's rôle in Skinner and Bucket.
This is a guest character in The Troop: Green Czar.
Lowe is a guest character from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: New Grade, identified with Lenny Spodnick from Drake & Josh: The Foam Finger
Jerome Crony is identified here with Olivary Biallo from Zoey 101: School Dance.
This identifies Missy Meany with guest character Missy Meany from Bigtime Rush: Big Time Party.
Candy Manderson is a guest character from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: Pep Rallies.
Jadie Hawthorne is mentioned in Zoey 101: Favor Chain.
Cf. True Jackson VP: Amanda hires a pink.
Matthew Palmer Noid is a guest character from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: Upperclassmen.
This is some third-party owned cartoon series.
This alludes to Zoey 101: The Play.
Spencer is a guest character from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: School Play with a family name taken from same actor's rôle in third-party owned High School Musical.
Cf. Zoey 101: The Play
Cf. Zoey 101: Haunted House!
Cf. Zoey 101: School Dance!
from third-party owned DC series.
Ashley Blake is a guest character from Drake & Josh: Little Diva.
Harry Joiner is a guest character in The iCarly Show: iHeart Art.
This identifies Drake Bell's guest rôle in Zoey 101: Spring Fling with Drake Parker from Drake & Josh.
Cf. Zoey 101: Backpack!
Cf. Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: Recycling!
Henry Doheny is a guest star from Drake & Josh: The Great Doheny.
This identifies cameo character Marty Klemish from The iCarly Show: iBeat The Heat with the same actor's anonymous rôle as a shrink in Zoey 101: Anger Management.
This is the identification of Mr. Kwest from Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide with guest character Mitchell from True Jackson VP: Switcheroo.
Puff peppers are featured in Drake & Josh: Peruvian Puff Pepper.
A Peruvian baseball league is mentioned in True Jackson VP: Mystery In Peru.
Duels with little war robots are featured in Zoey 101: Robot Wars.
Roxanne is a guest character from The Troop: Pajama Game Of Death.
This alludes to third-party owned song Copacabana by Barry Manilow.
The song below is a spoof of it.
But note that the Copacabana in that song is a night bar in New York City, and not the popular beach in Brazil.
This identifies Mindy with the guest rôle of the same actress in Zoey 101: Backpack.
Cf. Drake & Josh: Mindy loves Josh!
Cf. Drake & Josh: Mindy is back!
This group is mentioned several times in The iCarly Show.
This tool is featured in Zoey 101: The Curse Of PCA.
This branch of Chambrolay is featured in Drake & Josh: Drake and Josh go Hollywood.
This is uncle Carmine who is mentioned in The iCarly Show: iLook Alike.
This show is featured in Zoey 101: Spring Breakup.
Kreuftlva is a guest character in True Jackson VP: True Parade.
Hal E Burton is a guest character of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide: School Newspaper.
The surname of "lunch lady" Rose is borrowed from the same actress's rôle in some third-party owned movie.
This spice is featured in Drake & Josh: Peruvian Puff Peffer.