Cartoon Kid Strikes Back!, страница 1
Go, Dad, Go!
The Talking Cake
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 – SUPERCHARGED!
CARTOON KID STRIKES BACK!
DOCTOR BONKERS! (A COSMIC PYJAMAS ADVENTURE)
GIANT JIM AND THE HURRICANE
THE HUNDRED-MILE-AN-HOUR DOG
THE HUNDRED-MILE-AN-HOUR DOG GOES FOR GOLD!
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
JEREMY STRONG’S LAUGH-YOUR-SOCKS-OFF CLASSROOM CHAOS JOKE BOOK
This is for all the
amazing superheroes you
can find in every class of
Go, Dad, Go!
That’s the noise our teacher makes when we do something brilliant, like a perfect cartwheel.
‘He’s doing his nut,’ said Mia, who sits at our table.
‘No,’ grinned Big Feet Pete, ‘he’s doing his butternut!’
We fell about laughing because that’s our teacher’s name – Mr Butternut. (Except when he’s cross with us and then we call him Horrible Hairy Face because of his beard.)
In case you are wondering who Big Feet Pete is, I will tell you. He is my best friend ever. He lives next door to me and he’s got feet as big as surfboards AND, guess what? He’s in love with Mia. Ha ha! I bet they get married. (And they’re only nine!)
And now I will tell you why Mr Butternut was so excited. It was because our friend Cameron had just jumped from – which is a very long way indeed.
I bet Cameron could jump as far as Saturn if he wanted to. He is very good at jumping because he’s as tall and lanky as … um … er … a tall lanky thing.
Anyhow, long legs must be very useful if you are doing the long jump. I bet if you had short legs you could only do the short jump. There should be a competition for who can do the shortest jump. I bet I could do a millimetre, which is about as wide as the full stop at the end of this line. This is a drawing of me jumping a millimetre.
See? I jumped such a short way you didn’t even see me move, did you? I’m pretty good at drawing. The other kids in class call me Cartoon Kid because I draw all the time. (Even when I’m not supposed to – hee hee!) I like drawing my friends, especially my biggest best friend ever, Pete. He has a humongous nose, as well as those mega-sized feet! I’ve got lots of friends and they are ALL superheroes because that’s what our teacher, Mr Butternut, told us when we joined his class. He jumped on to his desk and yelled –
That Mr Butternut is pretty cool, I think.
Anyhow, Pete and I invented superhero names for most of the class. That’s why I’m Cartoon Kid and my friend Pete is Big Feet Pete. Mia is Curly-Wurly-Girly because she has THE MOST curly hair.
She looks as if a giant plate of spaghetti has fallen on her head. And Cameron – the tall boy with the long legs who had just jumped from
– is called Big Friendly Cameron or the BFC, because he’s big and friendly, like the Big Friendly Giant, only he’s Cameron. Obviously. Cameron is friendly to everything. He even hugs trees. And lamp posts. He hugged one of the dinner ladies once. She was so astonished she screamed and almost fainted from the shock. She had to go home early to recover.
Mr Butternut was mightily pleased when Cameron jumped all that way. That is because we have Sports Day coming up and everyone is practising like crazy. There are people jumping all over the place and running everywhere. It’s like the school has been taken over by hundreds of giant rabbits. Jump jumpity jump. Hop hippity hop. Run bunnity run.
I’m in the obstacle race. We do it in teams and I’m with Pete, Mia and Lucy. Lucy has ginormous braces on her teeth that make her lisp. We call her The Mighty Munch and she’s amazing at gym. She can do backflips without getting dizzy. The last time I tried to do a backflip I crashed into Pete and gave him a nosebleed. He wasn’t very pleased.
Anyhow, at breaktimes we’ve been practising doing obstacle races in the playground. You have to clamber up to the top of the climbing frame and down the other side, scrabble under the bench nearby, race round the teacher on playground duty, leap across the school pond and scoot back to the start as quickly as you can. Then the next person goes.
It’s good fun – or at least it was good fun until Masher McNee caught sight of us. Masher’s got a gang called the Monster Mob and he looks like a bulldozer on legs. He behaves like one too. He even makes bulldozery noises.
‘What are you doing?’ Masher demanded.
‘Playing,’ I said.
‘Playing playing,’ I said.
Masher drilled me with his dull eyes. ‘That’s stupid,’ he told me.
‘Yeah,’ I nodded, because you never argue with Masher unless you want to be mashed into the messiest mash ever by him and his Monster Mob.
Bingo! He’d finally managed to work out the obvious. Then he began chuckling to himself. It wasn’t a nice chuckle. It was a sort of hurr-hurr-hurrr laugh, a sneaky laugh, a THREATENING laugh.
‘Hurr-hurr! Practising won’t do you any good cos you’re all a bunch of wimps. We’re going to win everything.’
Mia stepped forward. ‘You can’t win the parents’ and teachers’ race because that’s only for parents and teachers,’ she pointed out.
‘That’s what you think, spaghetti-head, hurr-hurr-hurrr. We’ve got plans.’ And he went sloping off and the Monster Mob sloped off after him, with their shoulders all hunched up like vultures waiting to pounce on something. That Masher McNee is BAD NEWS.
We looked at each other. What did he mean? What sort of plans did he have? Then the bell went for the end of break. We went back to class and soon forgot all about it because Mr Butternut asked us if we had ever heard of someone called Jesse Owens.
Well, we all sat there looking completely dumb because of course we hadn’t heard a peep – except for Sarah Sitterbout. She knows EVERYTHING. I don’t understand how Sarah Sitterbout’s brain fits inside her head. Maybe she spreads bits of her enormous brain round her body.
So Sarah shoved her hand in the air and told us all about Jesse Owens, and Mr Butternut grinned and said that was just how it was and that Jesse Owens was one of his heroes. And then Pete stuck up his hand and asked if that meant Jesse Owens was a superhero like us, and Mr Butternut did that mad thing he does sometimes and he made ALL of us jump on to our desks and shout out –
After school Pete and I went home together. We have to go home together because we live next door to each other. Also, it’s because
Uncle Boring is not Pete’s uncle at all – he’s Pete’s mum’s boyfriend. His name is Derek and I have to tell you he is the most boring person in the WHOLE WIDE WORLD. He is always telling Pete what to do, or talking about buses he’s been on, or hats he likes.
So Pete came to my house and we went upstairs to my room. I got my pet chameleon out of his tank and we all stared at each other. Chameleons are very good at staring because they’ve got bulgy eyes and they can look in TWO different directions at the same time. How weird is that? VERY weird, that’s what. My chameleon is called Colin and he eats flies and other insects.
I said to Pete, ‘Do you think chameleons ever think: I wish I knew how to make some nice gravy to go with this fly.’
‘No, Casper,’ Pete answered. ‘I don’t ever think that. But I do often think you are a knobbly-kneed twig-creature from another planet called Bumble-Wumble.’
‘Thank you,’ I said, because Pete’s my best friend and I don’t mind what he calls me because I just tell him he’s got feet like a penguin. Then he tries to kill me and I kill him back, so we’re even. Anyhow, his nose is as big as a podgy potato AND he’s got eyes that go all bulgy when he’s excited and look like they’ll go SPING! right out of his face.
Pete’s got a pet too – Betty the hamster. She’s always escaping and running off and eating the cushions.
‘I think we should practise for the obstacle race,’ I said. ‘We could start downstairs, race round the dining table, run across the sofa and leap off, up the stairs two at a time, dash into Abbie’s room, jump on her bed –’
‘Why do we have to go into your big sister’s room?’ Pete interrupted.
‘To annoy her. Obviously. So we jump on her bed and hopefully she’ll be in it, and then zoom back to my room and jump on my bed.’
Pete grinned. ‘OK. Let’s do it.’
We practically tumbled downstairs and went to the front room.
‘I’ll shout GO!’ I said. ‘Whoever gets back to my bed first is the winner. OK? GO!’
The first thing Pete did was try to push me over, the flaming cheat! I whizzed after him.
We bundled round the table,
bounced across the sofa,
thundered up the stairs,
and burst into Abbie’s bedroom.
Abbie looked like she wanted to murder us on the spot so we dashed out – straight into MY DAD. Ooops!
‘I’ve never heard such a row! Are you trying to destroy the entire house?’
I was going to say: ‘No – just Abbie’s room,’ but I am NOT Mr Stupido and I kept quiet and tried to look innocent of all crimes.
‘Sorry, Mr Jenkinson,’ muttered Pete.
‘Whose idea was this?’ bellowed Dad in his army sergeant voice.
Pete jumped in. ‘Mine.’
Well, it certainly wasn’t, was it? I was going to own up, but an amazing thing happened. Dad shut his mouth for a moment and calmed right down. He took a deep breath and told Pete that it wasn’t a good way to behave in someone else’s house and Pete wouldn’t do it again, would he? Pete shook his head. Dad glared at me, turned on his heel and went back downstairs.
I let out a sigh of relief and turned to Pete. ‘Why did you say it was your idea?’
Pete put a hand on my shoulder. ‘Don’t you understand anything? If you said it was your idea he would have killed you, right? He’s not going to kill me, though, is he, because I don’t live here. I guess I ought to go home anyway. Mum’s probably made supper. With a bit of luck I might be able to frighten Uncle Boring away by putting a dead hippo on his plate.’
‘Have you got a dead hippo?’
‘Yes, I have, my tiny twiglet pal. I’ve tucked it under my bed. But I’ll tell you something, do you know what Uncle Boring is planning to do? He wants to take part in the parents’ and teachers’ race on Sports Day.’
HOW EMBARRASSING IS THAT??!!
‘But he can’t do that,’ I gasped. ‘He’s not a parent or a teacher! He’s just your – I don’t know, your boring uncle, I suppose.’
‘He wants to take part,’ repeated Pete. ‘And I shall be even more embarrassed than I was when my trunks came off in the swimming pool last year. We’ve got to stop him.’
Sports Day arrived sooner than I thought and the whole school was on edge. Even the clouds in the sky looked excited. Horrible Hairy Face spent most of the morning telling us to calm down.
‘It’s like trying to teach a room full of monkeys,’ he complained.
Mia put up her hand. ‘Will you be in the parents’ and teachers’ race, Mr Butternut?’
‘I certainly shall, and I intend to win it.’
‘That’s what my dad said,’ Tyler announced.
‘And mine,’ added Cameron.
‘Mine too,’ I said hopefully, though Dad hadn’t said any such thing, but I wanted him to.
‘My father isn’t,’ blurted Hartley Tartly-Green. ‘My father says running is a waste of time.’
‘Not if Masher McNee is after you!’ Pete blurted and everyone fell about laughing.
Everyone except Hartley, who always wanders round with his nose in the air as if the rest of us have been made from fart gas.
Lunchtime came at last and we had a final chance to practise our obstacle race. Masher McNee came wandering past, looking very smug.
‘Just thought I’d let you know, my mum’s in the parents’ and teachers’ race. So, I guess the result is pretty much in the bag. My mum’s bound to win. Nothing could beat my mum.’
Pete must have felt mighty brave because he suddenly piped up. ‘Want to bet on that?’
Masher’s eyes narrowed to dangerous, knife-sharp slits. ‘Yeah, bet you.’
We all looked at Pete. He smiled calmly. ‘OK. I bet you ANY space rocket could beat your mum.’
We burst out laughing and Masher bristled with rage. ‘That’s cheating!’ he roared.
‘No, it isn’t,’ Pete answered. ‘You said nothing could beat your mum, but a space rocket could, easy-peasy.’
‘Yeah – or a cheetah,’ added Tyson, which was daring of him. He’s usually a real scaredy pants and wouldn’t say BOO to a cheese sandwich, let alone Masher McNee.
‘Or a Ferrari,’ Cameron put in.
‘Or my hamster,’ Pete suggested.
‘Of course my mum could beat your stupid hamster!’ bellowed Masher.
‘Not if Betty’s driving the Ferrari,’ Pete finished off.
‘RRRRRRRRRGGGGHHHHH!’ roared Masher. ‘You’re all stupid! You knew what I meant. Think you’re clever, don’t you?’
‘Hang on,’ I butted in. ‘We can’t be stupid AND clever.’
It was like watching a volcano struggling to erupt. ‘You wait until this afternoon,’ yelled Masher. ‘Then we’ll see who’s laughing!’ He went storming off to find his Monster Mob. Maybe they’d help him feel better. Maybe they could have a group hug.
The trouble was, we’d had a good laugh at Masher for once, but we knew that would only make him even MORE determined to spoil things in the afternoon.
After lunch the mums and dads began pouring on to the school field and lining the racetrack. All the classes went out and sat on the field with their teachers, waiting to be called for their events.
The parents cheered and so did we, especially when Cameron won the long jump with his biggest leap ever. He went from
But the obstacle race was a mess. We didn’t come first. We didn’t come second either. We came FIFTH, and there were only five teams! We had to crawl under some netting and Pete’s giant feet got all tangled up and he got stuck. Then Mia’s laces came undone on one trainer. She tripped over at the water jump and fell in.
Masher McNee stood at the side and laughed his head off. I wish his head really had come off. That would have served him right.
Then it was time for the parents’ and teachers’ race. Mr Butternut was there, jump
There were lots of parents too, including my dad! Yay! My dad!
‘Go, Dad, go!’ I shouted as loudly as I could, but I’m not sure he heard me. And there was Uncle Boring, wearing small, tight shorts, a vest and his cap, looking rather silly. Pete hid his face in despair.
I noticed Hartley Tartly-Green looking to see if his dad was there, but of course he wasn’t. For a second or two I felt quite sorry for him. And then I saw Mrs Masher McNee. Jeepers creepers, what a horrible heapers!
Mrs McNee had brought Jaws, the family dog. He has teeth the size of axe blades and bulging muscles and he looks remarkably like Mrs McNee herself, apart from the teeth. She handed Jaws over to Masher, scowled at everyone and got ready to run.
‘On your marks, get set, GO!’ yelled the starter, and they were off, hurtling up the field. Mrs McNee didn’t run – she clumped, she thundered, she stomped and bomped and blundered. She elbowed people out of the way as she surged forward.
Uncle Boring had a strange way of running. He held out his hands like pistons on a steam engine. I wouldn’t have been surprised to see steam coming out of his ears and a whistle – WHOOOoooo WHEEEEE! That Uncle Boring is VERY STRANGE.
But up at the front there was Mr Butternut and – guess what? MY DAD! Go on, Dad!