Reading level: grades 2-5
The world's smar people can't stop laughing. Is this the work of the crazy criminal Dr. Chuckles? Only Secret Agent Dingledorf (the country's grea agent, even though he is just ten years old) can find out.
Together, with super cool inventions (that always backfire), major mix ups (that become major mishaps), and the help of Splat the Wonder-dud, er, Wonder-dog, our hero winds up saving the day... While discovering the importance of respecting and loving others. (see preview below)
"The Case Begins…"
"Hey there. My name is Dingledorf. Bernie Dingledorf. At least that's what my parents named me.
Unfortunately, I have another name, too.
But I'm already getting ahead of myself…
It all started at morning recess. I was trying to make my friend, I.Q. play kickball. It was part of my plan to change him from a major geek into somebody majorly cool.
"Come on," I said. "Just step up to the plate and kick it!"
But I.Q. is not very good at sports. (Unless the sport involves turning on the computer, reading a billion books, or finding the cure to cancer).
"Please, don't make me." He sniffed and pushed up his glasses. I.Q. was always sniffing and pushing up his glasses. Probably because he had a ton of allergies and wore glasses the size of binoculars.
"If you don't go up there, you won't be cool," I said. "And if you're not cool, we can't be friends." It was kind of mean, but the only way I could get him to play.
He dropped his head, gave a sniff, and slowly walked to the plate. He was so scared he shook like a bowl of Jell-O on a jack hammer in the middle of an earthquake.
They rolled the ball to him.
He leaned back and kicked with all of his might.
The kick was pretty good. It would have been better if he had actually hit the ball. Unfortunately, he missed it and
landed flat on his back.
"I.Q.!" I ran to him. "I.Q., are you okay!?"
Nothing seemed too broken, except for his glasses.
After a moment he groaned and opened his eyes.
"I.Q., speak to me!"
It took all of his strength, but at last he moaned, "Can we still be friends?"
* * * * *
By the time recess was over, I.Q. seemed pretty okay. You'd never know he'd fallen except for the wad of tape we used to tie his glasses together. But that was all right. It was the third or fourth wad he'd used that week. (Like I said, he's not too good at sports).
Now we sat in Mrs. Hooplesnort's fourth grade class. We were bruising our brains over multiplication tables. That's when things got a little weird...
First, there was the baseball that came
through our window.
Of course there was the usual leaping for cover and hiding under our desks.
And, of course, all the girls screamed in fear (not to mention all the boys).
But where it got really weird was when Mrs. Hooplesnort didn't blow her stack.
She didn't go to the window and yell at the P.E. class outside.
She didn't even threaten to beat up the coach. (Don't laugh, being six feet five inches tall she could have).
Instead, she just looked down at the baseball as it rolled to a stop by her feet.
Then the weirdest thing of all happened.
She started to giggle.
Not a lot. At first it was just a little …
I glanced over to I.Q.
I.Q. glanced over to me.
Then it got a little bigger:
And a little bigger, again:
"Mrs. Hooplesnort?" I asked. "Are you all right?"
She grabbed her sides. She began laughing so hard she could barely breathe.
"Mrs. Hooplesnort, what's wrong?"
"HAAR! HAAR! HAAR!"
I leaped from my desk and raced to her side. "Mrs. Hooplesnort! Mrs. Hooplesnort!"
She dropped to her knees.
Tears streamed down her face as she laughed louder and louder… and louder some more.
But, try as she might, the poor woman could not stop!
* * * * *
Now you probably figure that's as weird as it gets, right?
After they loaded the giggling Mrs. Hooplesnort into the ambulance and after we all waved bye-bye, we headed to lunch.
And, what's so weird about lunch, you ask?
(You obviously haven't eaten our cafeteria food).
I grabbed a tray and stepped in line behind I.Q. "What are we having today?" I asked.
"It is difficult to tell for certain," he said. "It is either chopped liver and lima beans, or mashed potatoes and boiled Puppy Chow."
"Didn't we have that yesterday?" I asked.
"No," he sniffed. "That was either fried cauliflower or boiled kitty litter.
I watched as they dished up the goop and plopped it on our trays.
After loading up with the tasty treats we headed for our table. Well, we tried to head for our table. But I.Q. was too busy tripping over his shoe laces and accidentally dropping his tray
onto the floor. (No biggie. He does that a couple times a week).
Of course there was the usual clapping and cheering from the kids…and the usual red face from I.Q.
"I'm sorry, Bernie," he sniffed.
I reached down to help him up. "It's hard to be cool when you keep doing stuff like that."
"I'll try harder. Honest."
I nodded. "Just do what I do. Just think… cooool."
Before he could answer, one of the teachers from the teachers' table started to giggle.
We turned to him.
His giggle turned to a chuckle. It grew until he was laughing out loud.
Everyone in the room stared at him but he couldn't stop.
To make the weirdness even weirder, he picked up his own tray. Then he reached over and
dropped it onto the floor.
Unfortunately, it just didn't go, k-rash, it also went
as the liver and lima beans (or was it mashed potatoes and boiled puppy chow?) splattered up onto his sweater.
But he didn't get angry. Instead, he laughed all the harder…which made the woman teacher beside him also start to laugh.
He saw her and reached down to his tray. He scooped up a handful of the goop and smeared it in her hair…which made them both laugh all the more.
What was going on?!
Then she reached into her tray and smeared the tasty goop all over his face.
…which made the teacher across from them start to laugh…until the first teacher wiped the gunk from his face and threw it smack dab into the third teacher's face,
…which caused him to grab his food and throw it at another laughing teacher,
…which caused that teacher to throw it at another teacher,
…which - (well, you probably get the picture)
Soon, the entire teacher's table had broken out into a food fight. Chopped liver, lima beans, boiled Puppy Chow… you name it, it was flying.
And, the more it flew, the more the teachers laughed. Louder and louder. Harder and harder.
Of course none of us students were laughing. We just sat and stared.
What was happening? Why couldn't the teachers stop laughing?
A few minutes later we again stood in the parking lot waving bye-bye. This time it wasn't to Mrs. Hooplesnort. This time it was to a dozen different teachers being carted off in a dozen different ambulances.
But that didn't worry the teachers. No sir. They just kept on giggling and laughing.
Yes sir, things were definitely getting weird...
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