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Cartoon Kid--Emergency!
 

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Cartoon Kid--Emergency!


  ILLUSTRATED BY

  STEVE MAY

  PUFFIN

  Contents

  VAMPIRE ROBBERS

  FAIRIES

  COWS!

  JEREMY STRONG once worked in a bakery, putting the jam into three thousand doughnuts every night. Now he puts the jam in stories instead, which he finds much more exciting. At the age of three, he fell out of a first-floor bedroom window and landed on his head. His mother says that this damaged him for the rest of his life and refuses to take any responsibility. He loves writing stories because he says it is ‘the only time you alone have complete control and can make anything happen’. His ambition is to make you laugh (or at least snuffle). Jeremy Strong lives near Bath with his wife, Gillie, four cats and a flying cow.

  ARE YOU FEELING SILLY ENOUGH TO READ MORE?

  THE BEAK SPEAKS

  BEWARE! KILLER TOMATOES

  CARTOON KID

  CARTOON KID – SUPERCHARGED!

  CARTOON KID – STRIKES BACK!

  CHICKEN SCHOOL

  CHRISTMAS CHAOS FOR THE HUNDRED-MILE-AN-HOUR DOG

  DINOSAUR POX

  DOCTOR BONKERS! (A COSMIC PYJAMAS ADVENTURE)

  GIANT JIM AND THE HURRICANE

  THE HUNDRED-MILE-AN-HOUR DOG

  KRANKENSTEIN’S CRAZY HOUSE OF HORROR

  (A COSMIC PYJAMAS ADVENTURE)

  KRAZY COW SAVES THE WORLD – WELL, ALMOST

  LOST! THE HUNDRED-MILE-AN-HOUR DOG

  MY BROTHER’S FAMOUS BOTTOM

  MY BROTHER’S HOT CROSS BOTTOM

  THERE’S A PHARAOH IN OUR BATH!

  JEREMY STRONG’S LAUGH-YOUR-SOCKS-OFF JOKE BOOK

  JEREMY STRONG’S LAUGH-YOUR-SOCKS-OFF EVEN MORE JOKE BOOK

  This is for two REAL superstars,

  my grandchildren, Sam and Ben.

  That’s the noise the packed-lunch trolley makes when it’s being pushed from our classroom and across the hall to the dining area. The BRRAANNG!! bit is when it crashes into the school piano halfway there. The trolley always crashes into the piano because it’s got a wonky wheel. It’s also got another wheel that keeps sticking and goes whizz whizz whrrrr SPLRRRRR! and grinds to a halt.

  That packed-lunch trolley is in a bad way, if you ask me. Someone should take it to the Trolley Hospital. It probably needs an operation.

  Nobody in our class likes pushing that trolley. When I say ‘nobody’, I mean nobody except Hartley Tartly-Green. Hartley is such a goody-goody he’d throw himself off a cliff if a teacher asked him to.

  Most of us in our class have a packed lunch. This is what some of us get.

  My lunch box.

  Pete’s lunch box.

  Mr Butternut’s lunch box.

  Mia’s lunch box.

  Sarah Sitterbout’s lunch box.

  Hartley Tartly-Green’s lunch box.

  Tyson’s lunch box.

  Cameron’s lunch box.

  As you can see, Pete’s hamster, Betty, is in his lunch box. Betty has eaten half his sandwiches too. Pete often finds her in strange places because she’s always escaping. Pete’s swimming trunks have also escaped – from his legs and into his lunch box. They’d been missing for days before they turned up here. Pete’s like that, which is why I call him Super Conk. (And many other things.)

  Pete is my best friend. He has a BIG NOSE and the most ENORMOUS feet. They are even bigger than the Titanic! (And they don’t float either.)

  I’ve got a pet too. His name is Colin and he is EXOTIC. Exotic means unusual and strange. Colin is a chameleon and his tongue is longer than my ruler, which definitely makes him VERY strange.

  Did you see what Mr Butternut has in his lunch box? Champagne! That’s because teachers drink champagne ALL the time, AND they eat strawberries and cream. They keep it all in the staffroom. You know those big water coolers you can get a drink of water from? Well, the teachers have one of those, only it’s full of champagne. IT’S TRUE! You ask one. (Dare you!)

  Mr Butternut is our class teacher and he is the coolest teacher in the universe. Well, most of the time. Sometimes he gets cross and then I don’t call him Mr Butternut. I call him Mr Horrible Hairy Face because he’s got a beard. Mr Butternut says we are all superheroes and can do ANYTHING.

  Actually, I don’t think Mr Butternut really means that. I mean, we can’t do ANYTHING, can we? For starters, we can’t tie Miss Scratchitt, our head teacher, to a post and bombard her with giant tomatoes.

  We’ve got superhero names too. I’m Cartoon Kid because I’m always drawing stuff. Pete is Big Feet Pete, of course. Mia is Curly-Wurly-Girly because of her hair. And Sarah Sitterbout is Big Bum Brain because she’s got a big bum AND a big brain. She is cleverer than the fattest encyclopedia in the library and knows EVERYTHING. She’s got so much brain inside her head I’m surprised it’s not falling out of her ears.

  Anyhow, most of us have a packed lunch and this is the noise you hear in the lunch hall when we are all eating:

  Mr Butternut says it sounds like feeding time at the zoo. That’s silly because most of the teachers eat in the lunch hall and that means they must be animals too. Pete and I have a great game where we watch the teachers eating and guess what animal they would be.

  So, just before lunch, two of us have to push the trolley across to the lunch hall. Yesterday it was the turn of Erin and Hartley Tartly-Green. Erin has only just moved to our school. She wears a nest on her head. Erin says it’s her hair, but I reckon it looks more like a pair of crows have been knitting cardigans from her hair – and, as you know, crows aren’t any good at knitting. Obviously.

  Erin wears socks that don’t match and fastens her buttons in the wrong buttonholes. She likes drawing (like me!), sticks out her tongue when she’s concentrating and hums. Hummm, hhhmmm, mmmmm – like that.

  Sometimes she sucks the end of her felt tips and ends up with assorted colours all round her mouth, like a rainbow has just crashed into her face. Also, she’s always dropping things. Apart from that, she’s quite normal.

  So, Erin and Hartley T-G had to take the lunch trolley across to the dining area. To do that, you go through our cloakroom and next-door’s cloakroom. This is always difficult because of the wonky wheel and the sticky wheel. The trolley crashes into everything.

  Erin and Hartley Tartly were squeaking and grinding their way through the next-door cloakroom when they got a nasty surprise.

  By the time they were discovered, all tied up and nowhere to go, it was too late. The lunch boxes had been opened and all the yummiest bits had gone.

  Mr Horrible Hairy Face was VERY cross. (Probably because his champagne had been stolen.) He looked at us grimly.

  ‘We must catch the packed-lunch robbers,’ he announced.

  Good idea. But how?

  Tyson waved his arm around like a flag. ‘Why don’t we mount some machine guns on the trolley, and when the robbers jump out we can go dugga-dugga-dugga-dugga-dugga and shoot them? Or hide a python in Hartley’s lunch box, and when the robbers open it the snake jumps out, squeezes them to death and eats them?’

  ‘I don’t want a python in my lunch box,’ complained Hartley Tartly. ‘It’s new, and it’s got Thomas the Tank Engine on it.’

  Mr Butternut rubbed his beard. ‘We do not shoot people or put snakes in lunch boxes, Tyson,’ he explained. ‘We have a big problem. I will sleep on it.’

  What? Why would our teacher want to sleep on a problem? Why not sleep on a bed?

  I wouldn’t sleep on a problem if you paid me.

  We all looked at each other and scratched our heads until Sarah Sitterbout explained (because she knows so much).

  ‘Mr Butternut means he’s going to think about it while he’s asleep,’ she told us.

  ‘How can y
ou think when you’re asleep?’ demanded Hartley Tartly. ‘That’s very silly.’

  ‘Hartley, you can’t even think when you’re awake,’ Cameron pointed out, and everyone fell about.

  We all tried to think of how to catch the robbers, but it was no good.

  It got to the end of the afternoon and Mr Butternut read us a story. He always reads to us every day, and it’s often the best time we have. Last week he told us a really cool story called ‘The Wooden Horse of Troy’. It was so exciting our mouths were open the WHOLE time. (Hartley was dribbling!)

  SARAH SITTERBOUT’S BIT ABOUT THE TROJAN HORSE

  The Ancient Greeks were at war with the Trojans at Troy. The Greeks couldn’t get into the city, so they pretended to go away, leaving behind a gift for the Trojans – a giant wooden horse. In fact, the Greeks had hidden their soldiers inside the horse. The Trojans thought the wooden horse was wonderful and pulled the statue inside the city walls. (Q. Was that stupid, or what? A. Yes, it was.) That night, the Greeks jumped out of the horse and the Trojans were defeated. I bet it was really smelly with all those soldiers stuck inside that horse. Urrgh!

  That night we all tried to sleep on our problems like Mr Butternut said he was going to. Pete’s problem turned out to be Betty the hamster. She’d escaped again and was hiding in his bed. My problem was my big sis, Abbie, who started snoring at one o’clock in the morning.

  The next day we trooped into school and found Mr Butternut sitting on the edge of his desk waving his feet about and wearing a big grin. (I don’t mean his feet were wearing the big grin – it was on his face.)

  ‘Last night I had an idea of how to catch the lunch-box robbers, but I need your help,’ he explained. ‘I have thought of a way to trap them!’

  ‘Two or three of you are small enough to hide inside the trolley beneath some of the lunch boxes. When the trolley gets attacked, you all leap out. There would be enough of you to frighten the robbers, and we will hear your cries and come dashing out to help. Then we shall see who the robbers are at last!’

  What a brilliant plan! That Mr Butternut is mighty clever, if you ask me. It must be all that champagne.

  Sarah Sitterbout got very excited.

  She was right too! Of course she was. Sarah Sitterbout is always right. We all knew the story. We had even drawn pictures of it and mine was one of the best. That’s what Mr Butternut said.

  Pete said the only reason I could draw horses was because I was one. ‘You are a small, ginger, knobbly-kneed horse-twit,’ he said, using those exact words.

  ‘And your feet are submarines and your face is a secret submarine base and your nose is another submarine coming out of it,’ I told him, using those exact words.

  Then we hit each other a few times because we are best friends.

  ‘We’re going to have a Trojan Trolley!’ shouted Cameron. ‘Fantastic!’

  ‘I don’t want to hide in a trolley,’ murmured Tyson, who is frightened of everything, even his own teeth.

  ‘I’ll go in the trolley!’ Mia volunteered.

  ‘So will I!’ Pete immediately shouted. Do you know why he said that? Because Pete LOVES Mia! Mmmm, he does. Poor Pete’s in love! Mia has got freckles and masses of curly hair, which she hates. We call her Curly-Wurly-Girly.

  ‘Casper, how about you?’ asked Mr Butternut. ‘There’s still room for a smallish person.’

  Pete was madly shaking his head as if he had an owl stuck up his nose. (That’s how big his nose is!) ‘No, no, no, no, no, no, no room, no room for smallish people, not even ginger twiglet-type persons,’ he claimed.

  Mr Butternut ignored him and grinned at us. ‘The more people we can hide in the trolley, the better. Those pesky lunch robbers are going to get a big surprise!’

  So that was decided. Cameron and Sarah offered to push the trolley, and Pete, Mia and I clambered into it and had lunch boxes piled on top of us.

  Off we went –

  – bashing into the school piano on the way, as usual. I can tell you, it was a bumpy ride. It was pretty annoying too, because of Pete’s feet. They went everywhere, including in my ear. Twice. Meanwhile Pete sat there and gazed at Mia as if she was one big strawberry and vanilla ice cream. Mia pretended not to notice, but even her hair blushed.

  I was just about to poke Pete – because when you’re stuck in a trolley, all cramped up, you have to do SOMETHING; anyhow, I was just about to poke him when an earthquake began. So did the screaming.

  And then the lunch trolley EXPLODED! Well, obviously, it didn’t actually explode.

  What happened was that Pete and Mia and I leaped OUT of the trolley, and all the lunch boxes went flying up in the air and came clattering down all over the place.

  The three of us landed on our feet and shouted ‘HA!’ like the International Kung Fu Champions we weren’t and came face to face with Cameron and Sarah.

  Except that Cameron and Sarah’s faces weren’t there any more because the robbers had bundled coats over them so they couldn’t see. Now the robbers were busily tying them up with skipping ropes.

  And the robbers were – THE VAMPIRE TWINS!

  Yes. It was Gory and Tory. I might have known. They’re always up to no good. They are BIG trouble too, and DANGEROUS. Mia and Pete and I looked at each other anxiously because now we had a BIG PROBLEMO!

  There were only three of us, not five, as Mr Butternut had planned. Our brilliant teacher hadn’t realized that Cameron and Sarah would be tied up and wouldn’t be able to help.

  There was only one thing to do. The three of us held hands, closed our eyes and yelled:

  In fact, Pete and Mia and I stood there like lemons, staring at Gory and Tory while they got on with ransacking the lunch boxes. Fortunately, we must have been heard back in the classroom because all of a sudden a whirling figure came crashing through the cloakroom. It was the new girl, Erin. She was waving her arms like windmills and screaming at the Vampire Twins.

  She hurled herself at the twins. They staggered back in surprise, and Pete and I quickly rushed in to help. Behind us the rest of the class came pouring out, and next-door’s class.

  In a few seconds the Vampire Twins were surrounded. They sat on the floor in the midst of a pile of squashed food, looking very sorry for themselves. The head teacher, Miss Scratchitt, was sent for.

  I must say that we were all pretty impressed with Erin. She had saved the day. Who’d have thought someone so messy could do that? Mind you, I’m a bit worried about Erin’s lunch. Egg and banana? What kind of sandwich is that? A very strange one, if you ask me.

  Miss Scratchitt was HUGELY cross with the Vampire Twins. Well, you know how cross head teachers can get. It’s a lot crosser than your class teacher. That’s why they get paid more.

  Did you know that before a teacher becomes a head, he or she has to go and have Cross lessons? Well, they do. They have Cross lessons in a special soundproof building hidden away at the bottom of a big council office. They have to roar as loudly as they can until flames come shooting out of their mouths. Then they get a certificate that says:

  CONGRATULATIONS! NOW YOU CAN BE A HEAD TEACHER!

  So the Vampire Twins stood there while Miss Scratchitt shouted at them until their ears were burned right off. (Just joking!) Then she made them clear up THE WHOLE LOT. Plus, for all the rest of the month, Gory and Tory had to serve US at lunchtime!

  It was brilliant! They had to wear frilly little aprons and bring us our food and ask us what we wanted very politely, and they had to be NICE to everyone.

  Wasn’t that good? Yes, it was!

  But I’m still not at all sure about those egg and banana sandwiches of Erin’s. Or the crows on top of her head.

  That’s the noise I make when I fall out of bed. Which I do quite often. I am also very good at falling off chairs, benches, walls and anything I happen to be sitting or lying on.

  I DON’T DO IT ON PURPOSE! I am not Mr Stupido! Falling off things just sort of happens to me.

  ‘One day, Casper,
my dad said, ‘I am going to put glue on your pyjamas. That should keep you in bed.’

  ‘But then I shan’t be able to go to school,’ I cheerfully pointed out.

  Dad didn’t have an answer to that! Ha ha!

  What happened was, I had a nightmare. I was run over by a police car full of elephants. (They were police elephants, of course – two in the back and two in the front.) I was lying on the road and lots of little animals came hurrying out to help – hamsters and guinea pigs and mice – and they were all made from Lego. The animals quickly built a stretcher and an operating table, from Lego, of course. They lifted me on to the table. (Obviously, I was tiny too.) Then the surgeon came in and he was a big tortoise. Made from Lego.

  And that was when I went

  Then I woke up and wondered what I was doing on my bedroom floor. My big sis, Abbie, came bursting in.

  ‘I thought you’d died,’ she grunted, sounding VERY disappointed because, obviously, I hadn’t.

  I love my big sis. She’s so nice. NOT. We’re always quarrelling and calling each other names. Here are two of my favourite names for her: FATBUM and SNOT-FACTORY. But the one I like best is GROTTY-BOTTY-POTTY-FACE. I can’t tell you what Abbie calls me because it is too RUDE. That big sis of mine is Bad News.

 
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