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I’m very excited that you’re holding the Kindle edition of 
Diary of a Wimpy Kid in your hands. 

When I read my first e-book on a Kindle, I was amazed at 
the possibilities. Carrying a whole library around with me on a 
device I could fit in the palm of my hand? Amazing. 

What’s been very rewarding to me as an author has been 
seeing kids carrying their dog-eared copies of Diary of a 
Wimpy Kid with them. The Kindle allows kids to have the 
whole series at their fingertips, and the reading experience 
is crisp and clean every time . . . with no chance of today's 
breakfast staining the pages. 

Thank you for purchasing Diary of a Wimpy Kid on your 
Kindle. I hope it gives you lots of laughs and you have as 


much fun reading it as I did writing it. 



Jeff Kinney 




OTHER BOOKS BY JEFF KINNEY 


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules 
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw 
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days 
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth 
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever 
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel 


The Wimpy Kid Do-It-Yourself Book 
The Wimpy Kid Movie Diary 



DIARY 


of 0| 

V/Wy Ktcl 


GREG WEFFLEY’S JOURNAL 



Jt-f-f Kihhe 


/ 


'7'n wn 
O 


* • 


AMULET BOOKS 

Hew York 


PUBLISHER'S NOTE: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and 
incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, 
and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, 
events, or locales is entirely coincidental. 

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data: 

Kinney, Jeff. 

Diary of a wimpy kid / Jeff Kinney, 
p. cm. 

Summary: Greg records his experiences in a middle school where he and his best 
friend, Rowley, undersized weaklings amid boys who need to shave twice daily, hope 
just to survive, but when Rowley grows more popular Greg must take drastic measures 
to save their friendship. 

ISBN 978-0-8109-9313-6 (paper over board) 

[l. Middle schools-Fiction. 2. Friendship-Fiction. 3. 

Schools-Fiction. 4. Diaries-Fiction. 5. Humorous stories.] I. Title. 

PZ7-K6232Dia 2007 
[Fic]-dc22 
2006031847 

Wimpy Kid text and illustrations copyright © 2007 Wimpy Kid, Inc. 

DIARY OF A WIMPY KID®, WIMPY KID™, and the Greg Heffley design™ are 
trademarks of Wimpy Kid, Inc. All rights reserved. 

Book design by Jeff Kinney 
Cover design by Chad W. Beckerman and Jeff Kinney 

Published in 2007 by Amulet Books, an imprint of ABRAMS. 

All rights reserved. No portion of this book may be reproduced, stored in a 
retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, mechanical, 
electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission 
from the publisher. Amulet Books and Amulet Paperbacks are registered 
trademarks of Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 


Amulet Books are available at special discounts when purchased in quantity 
for premiums and promotions as well as fundraising or educational use. 
Special editions can also be created to specification. For details, contact 



specialsales@abramsbooks.com or the address below. 


ABRAMS 

THE ART OF BOOKS SINCE 1040 

115 West 18th Street 
New York, NY 10011 
www.abramsbooks.com 



TO MOM, DAD, RE, SCOTT, AND PATRICK 


September 


Tuesday 

First of all, let me get something straight: This 
is a Journal, not a diary. I know what it 
says on the cover, but when Mom went out to 
buy this thing I specifically told her to 
get one that didn’t say “diary” on it. 


Great. All I need is for some jerk to catch me 


carrying this book around and get the wrong idea. 



The other thing I want to clear up right away 


is that this was mom’s idea, not mine. 


But if she thinks I’m going to write down my 


“feelings” in here or whatever, she’s crazy. So 


just don’t expect me to be all “Dear Diary” this 


and “Dear Diary” that. 


The only reason I agreed to do this at all is 


because I figure later on when I’m rich and 
famous, I’ll have better things to do than 
answer people’s stupid questions all day long. So 
this book is gonna come in handy. 


GREGORY? 
TELL US 
ABOUT 
YOUR 
CHILDHOOD? 


WERE YOU 

ALWAYS 

SO SMART 
AND 

HANDSOME? 





Like I said, I’ll be famous one day, but for now 
I’m stuck in middle school with a bunch of morons. 




MORONS 





Let me just say for the record that I think 


middle school is the dumbest idea ever invented. 
You got kids like me who haven’t hit their 
growth spurt yet mixed in with these gorillas who 
need to shave twice a day. 



And then they wonder why bullying is such a big 
problem in middle school. 

If it was up to me, grade levels would be based 
on height, not age. But then again, I guess 
that would mean kids like Chirag Gupta would 
still be in the first grade. 




Today is the first day of school, and right now 


we’re just waiting around for the teacher to hurry 
up and finish the seating chart. So I figured I 
might as well write in this book to pass the time. 


By the way, let me give you some good advice. On 
the first day of school, you got to be real careful 
where you sit. You walk into the classroom and just 
plunk your stuff down on any old desk and the 
next thing you know the teacher is saying — 


I MOPE YOU ALL LIKE 
WMERE YOU'RE SITTING, 
BECAUSE THESE ARE YOUR 
PERMANENT SEATS. 



So in this class, I got stuck with Chris Hosey in 


front of me and Lionel James in back of me. 


4 


Jason Brill came in late and almost sat to my 


right, but luckily I stopped that from happening 


at the last second. 



Next period, I should just sit in the middle of a 
bunch of hot girls as soon as I step in the 
room But I guess if I do that, it just proves 
I didn’t learn anything from last year. 


/GREG, WILL 
f YOU PLEASE 
PASS THIS 
\ NOTE TO 
V SMELLY? 




Man, I don’t know what is up with girls these 


days. It used to be a whole lot simpler back in 
elementary school. The deal was, if you were the 
fastest runner in your class, you got all the girls. 

And in the fifth grade, the fastest runner was 
Ronnie McCoy. 


o & <9 o 



Nowadays, it’s a whole lot more complicated. Now 
it’s about the kind of clothes you wear or how 
rich you are or if you have a cute butt or whatever. 
And kids like Ronnie McCoy are scratching their 
heads wondering what the heck happened. 

The most popular boy in my grade is Bryce 
Anderson. The thing that really stinks is that 
I have always been into girls, but kids like 


Bryce have only come around in the last couple 


of years. 

6 


I remember how Bryce used to act back in 


elementary school. 


/I DON’T TVIINKN 
GIRLS ARE 
\STINKY POOS!/ 



But of course now I don’t get any credit for 


sticking with the girls all this time. 


Like I said, Bryce is the most popular kid in our 
grade, so that leaves all the rest of us guys 
scrambling for the other spots. 

The best I can figure is that I’m somewhere 
around 52nd or 53rd most popular this year. 

But the good news is that I’m about to move 
up one spot because Charlie Davies is above me, 
and he’s getting his braces next week. 



7 


I try to explain all this popularity stuff to my 


friend Rowley (who is probably hovering right 
around the 150 mark, by the way), but I think 
it just goes in one ear and out the other with him 



Wednesday 

Today we had Phys Ed, so the first thing I 
did when I got outside was sneak off to the 
basketball court to see if the Cheese was still 
there. And sure enough, it was. 






8 



That piece of Cheese has been sitting on the 


blacktop since last spring. I guess it must’ ve 
dropped out of someone’s sandwich or something. 
After a couple of days, the Cheese started getting 
all moldy and nasty. Nobody would play basketball on 
the court where the Cheese was, even though that 
was the only court that had a hoop with a net. 


Then one day, this kid named Darren Walsh 
touched the Cheese with his finger, and that’s 
what started this thing called the Cheese Touch. 


It’s basically like the Cooties. If you get the 
Cheese Touch, you’re stuck with it until you 
pass it on to someone else. 



Cheese Touch is to cross your fingers. 


But it’s not that easy remembering to keep your 


fingers crossed every moment of the day I ended 
up taping mine together so they’d stay crossed 
all the time. I got a D in handwriting, but it 
was totally worth it. 


This one kid named Abe Hall got the Cheese 
Touch in April, and nobody would even come near 
him for the rest of the year. This summer Abe 
moved away to California and took the Cheese 
Touch with him. 


I just hope someone doesn’t start the Cheese 
Touch up again, because I don’t need that kind 
of stress in my life anymore. 

Thursday 

I’m having a seriously hard time getting used 
to the fact that summer is over and I have to 
get out of bed every morning to go to school. 


My summer did not exactly get off to a great 


start, thanks to my older brother Rodrick. 


to 


A couple of days into summer vacation, Rodrick 


woke me up in the middle of the night. He told 
me I slept through the whole summer, but that 
luckily I woke up just in time for the first 
day of school. 



You might think I was pretty dumb for falling 
for that one, but Rodrick was dressed up in his 
school clothes and he set my alarm clock ahead to 
make it look like it was the morning. Plus, he 
closed my curtains so I couldn’t see that it was 
still dark out. 


After Rodrick woke me up, I just got dressed and 
went downstairs to make myself some breakfast, 


like I do every morning on a school day. 


11 


But I guess I must have made a pretty big 


racket because the next thing I knew, Dad was 
downstairs, yelling at me for eating Cheerios at 
3:00 in the morning. 



It took me a minute to figure out what the heck 
was going on. 

After I did, I told Dad that Rodrick had 
played a trick on me, and He was the one that 
should be getting yelled at. 


Dad walked down to the basement to chew 


Rodrick out, and I tagged along. I couldn’t 


wait to see Rodrick get what was coming to him. 


12 


But Rodrick covered up his tracks pretty good. 
And to this day, I’m sure Dad thinks I’ve 
got a screw loose or something. 



Friday 

Today at school we got assigned to reading groups. 


They don’t come right out and tell you if 
you’re in the Gifted group or the Easy group, 
but you can figure it out right away by looking 
at the covers of the books they hand out. 


EINSTEIN 

ASA 

iiii r\ 


Bink 

5 AYS 


LHILU 
2 * 


I was pretty disappointed to find out I got 


put in the Gifted group, because that just means 
a lot of extra work. 


When they did the screening at the end of last 
year, I did my best to make sure I got put in 
the Easy group this year. 



Mom is real tight with our principal, so If 1 bit 
she stepped in and made sure I got put in the 
Gifted group again. 


Mom is always saying I’m a smart kid, but that 


I just don’t “apply” myself. 


14 


But if there’s one thing I learned from Rodrick, 
it’s to set people’s expectations real low so you 
end up surprising them by practically doing 
nothing at all. 


RODRICK, I WANT YOUR 
DIRTY UNDERWEAR OFF 
THE KITCHEN TABLE 
BEFORE I GET HOME 
FROM WORK. 



LATER 


• • • 







15 


Actually, I’m kind of glad my plan to get put 


in the Easy group didn’t work. 


I saw a couple of the “Bink Says Boo” kids 
holding their books upside down, and I don’t 
think they were joking. 

Saturday 

Well, the first week of school is finally over, so 
today I slept in. 


Most kids wake up early on Saturday to watch 
cartoons or whatever, but not me. The only reason 
I get out of bed at all on weekends is because 
eventually, I can’t stand the taste of my own 
breath anymore. 




:: -:o 


SEMc/c 

i 

^ { 

SM/lC/c < 

/ V 




l| 


dk 


O 




Unfortunately, Dad wakes up at 6:00 in the 


morning no matter what day of the week it 
is, and he is not real considerate of the fact 
that I am trying to enjoy my Saturday like 
a normal person. 



I didn’t have anything to do today so I just 
headed up to Rowley’s house. 

Rowley is technically my best friend, but that is 
definitely subject to change. 

I’ve been avoiding Rowley since the first day of 



school, when he did something that really 


annoyed me. 


17 


We were getting our stuff from our lockers at 
the end of the day, and Rowley came up to me 


and said — 


WANT TO COME OVER 
TO MY HOUSE AND 

PLAaYyY? 



I have told Rowley at least a billion times that 
now that we’re in middle school, you’re supposed 
to say “hang out,” not “play.” But no matter 
how many noogies I give him, he always forgets 
the next time. 


I’ve been trying to be a lot more careful about 


my image ever since I got to middle school. But 


having Rowley around is definitely not helping. 


18 


I met Rowley a few years ago when he moved 


into my neighborhood. 


His mom bought him this book called “How to 
Make Friends in New Places,” and he came to 


my house trying all these dumb gimmicks. 



EXCUSE ME? 


f THERMOS BE SOhlE\ 
WAY TO TICKLE 
\YOUR FUNNY BONE?/ 



WHAT?/ 



I guess I kind of felt sorry for Rowley, and I 


decided to take him under my wing. 


It’s been great having him around, mostly because 


I get to use all the tricks Rodrick pulls on me. 


19 


DID YOU KNOW THAT IF YOUR WAND 
IS BIGGER THAN YOUR FACE IT’S A 
SIGN OF "LOW INTELLIGENCE"? 




f W 

ME 
\ AGAIN 


ft 



Monday 


You know how I said I play all sorts of pranks 
on Rowley? Well, I have a little brother named 
Manny, and I could never get away with 
pulling any of that stuff on him. 


Mom and Dad protect Manny like he’s a prince or 
something. And he never gets in trouble, even if 
he really deserves it. 


Yesterday, Manny drew a self-portrait on my 
bedroom door in permanent marker. I thought 
Mom and Dad were really going to let him have 
it, but as usual, I was wrong. 


AWWWW^J 





CCD 



4 - 


21 


But the thing that bugs me the most about 


Manny is the nickname he has for me. When he 
was a baby, he couldn’t pronounce “brother,” 
so he started calling me “Bubby.” And he 
still calls me that now, even though I keep 
trying to get Mom and Dad to make him stop. 


Luckily none of my friends have found out yet, 
but believe me, I have had some really close calls. 



/hey, THIS ONE 
SAYS IT'S TO 
V "BUBBY”.* 




A 


C NUSTBE^ 
A MISTAKE^/ 



Mom makes me help Manny get ready for school in 


the morning. After I make Manny his breakfast, 
he carries his cereal bowl into the family room and 
sits on his plastic potty. 


C IS FOR COOKIeN 
AND COOKIE IS J 
FOR ME! J 



And when it’s time for him to go to day care, he 
gets up and dumps whatever he didn’t eat right in 



Mom is always getting on me about not finishing 
my breakfast. But if she had to scrape corn 
flakes out of the bottom of a plastic potty 


every morning, she wouldn’t have much of an 


appetite either. 


23 


Tuesday 


I don’t know if I mentioned this before, but I 
am super good at video games. I’ 1 bit I 
could beat anyone in my grade head-to-head. 

Unfortunately, Dad does not exactly appreciate 
my skills. He’s always getting on me about going 
out and doing something “active.” 

So tonight after dinner when Dad started 
hassling me about going outside, I tried to 
explain how with video games, you can play sports 
like football and soccer, and you don’t even get all 


hot and sweaty. 




But as usual, Dad didn’t see my logic. 


24 


Dad is a pretty smart guy in general but when 


it comes to common sense, sometimes I wonder 
about him 



I’m sure Dad would dismantle my game system 
if he could figure out how to do it. But luckily, 
the people who make these things make them 
parent-proof. 


DAG NAES\ 
THESE FANCY ) 
^GADGETS? / 


— * 



25 


Every time Dad kicks me out of the house to do 


something sporty, I just go up to Rowley’s and 
play my video games there. 


Unfortunately, the only games I can play at 
Rowley’s are car-racing games and stuff like that. 

Because whenever I bring a game up to Rowley’s 
house, his dad looks it up on some parents’ Web 
site. And if my game has any kind of fighting 
or violence in it, he won’t let us play. 



I’m getting a little sick of playing Formula One 
Racing with Rowley, because he’s not a serious 
gamer like me. All that you have to do to beat 


Rowley is name your car something ridiculous at 


the beginning of the game. 


26 


And then when you pass Rowley’s car, he just 
falls to pieces. 



Anyway, after I got done mopping the floor 
with Rowley today, I headed home. I ran 
through the neighbor’s sprinkler a couple times to 
make it look like I was all sweaty, and that 
seemed to do the trick for Dad. 



\ 



27 


But my trick kind of backfired, because as soon 


as Mom saw me, she made me go upstairs and 
take a shower. 


Wednesday 

I guess Dad must have been pretty happy with 
himself for making me go outside yesterday, 
because he did it again today 


It’s getting really annoying to have to go up to 
Rowley’s every time I want to play a video game. 
There’s this weird kid named Fregley who lives 
halfway between my house and Rowley’s, and 
Fregley is always hanging out in his front yard. 

So it’s pretty hard to avoid him 


( WANNA SEe\ 
l MY "SECRET 
\FRECKLE "? J 



28 



Fregley is in my Phys Ed class at school, and he 


has this whole made-up language. Like when he 
needs to go to the bathroom, he says — 



Us kids have pretty much figured Fregley out by 
now, but I don’t think the teachers have really 


caught on yet. 



Today, I probably would have gone up to Rowley’s 



on my own anyway, because my brother Rodrick 


and his band were practicing down in the basement. 


29 


Rodrick’s band is really awful, and I can’t 
stand being home when they’re having rehearsals. 

His band is called “Loaded Diaper,” only it’s 
spelled “Loded Diper” on Rodrick’s van. 


You might think he spelled it that way to make it 
look cooler, but I bet if you told Rodrick how 
“Loaded Diaper” is really spelled, it would be news 
to him 



Dad was against the idea of Rodrick starting a 
band, but Mom was all for it. 


She’s the one who bought Rodrick his first 




drum set. 


30 


I think Mom has this idea that we’re all going 
to learn to play instruments and then become one 
of those family bands like you see on tv. 



Dad really hates heavy metal, and that’s the 
kind of music Rodrick and his band play I don’t 
think Mom really cares what Rodrick plays or listens 
to, because to her, all music is the same. In 
fact, earlier today, Rodrick was listening to one 
of his CDs in the family room, and Mom came in 
and started dancing. 




31 


That really bugged Rodrick, so he drove off to 


the store and came back fifteen minutes later 
with some headphones. And that pretty much 
took care of the problem 



Thursday 

Yesterday Rodrick got a new heavy metal CD, 
and it had one of those “Parental Warning” 
stickers on it. 

I have never gotten to listen to one of those 
Parental Warning CDs, because Mom and Dad never 
let me buy them at the mall. So I realized the only 
way I was gonna get a chance to listen to 
Rodrick’s CD was if I snuck it out of the house. 


Thismorning, after Rodrickleft, I called up Rowley 


andtoldhimtobringhis CDplayerto school. 


32 


Then I went down to Rodrick’s room and took 



You’re not allowed to bring personal music players 
to school, so we had to wait to use it until after 
lunch when the teachers let us outside. As soon 
as we got the chance, me and Rowley snuck 
around the back of the school and loaded up 
Rodrick’s CD. 

But Rowley forgot to put batteries in his CD 
player, so it was pretty much worthless. 

Then I came up with this great idea for a game. 

The object was to put the headphones on your 


head and then try to shake them off without 


using your hands. 


33 


The winner was whoever could shake the headphones 


off in the shortest amount of time. 



I had the record with seven and a half seconds, 
but I think I might have shook some of my 
fillings loose with that one. 


Right in the middle of our game, Mrs. Craig came 
around the corner and caught us red-handed. She 
took the music player away from me and started 
chewing us out. 



1 



_L 


l — 


34 



But I think she had the wrong idea about what 


we were doing back there. She started telling us 
how rock and roll is “evil” and how it’s going to 
ruin our brains. 

I was going to tell her that there weren’t even 
any batteries in the CD player, but I could tell she 
didn’t want to be interrupted. So I just waited 
until she was done, and then I said, “Yes, ma’am.” 


But right when Mrs. Craig was about to let us 
go, Rowley started blubbering about how he doesn’t 
want rock and roll to ruin his “brains.” 




Honestly, sometimes I don’t know about that boy. 


35 


Friday 


Well, now I’ve gone and done it 


Last night, after everyone was in bed, I snuck 
downstairs to listen to Rodrick’s CD on the 
stereo in the family room. 


I put Rodrick’s new headphones on and cranked 
up the volume really high. Then I hit “play.” 


ft EB 



First, let me just say I can definitely understand 
why they put that “Parental Warning” sticker 
on the CD. 



But I only got to hear about thirty seconds of 


the first song before I got interrupted. 


36 


It turns out I didn’ t have the headphones plugged 
into the stereo. So the music was actually coming 
through the speakers, notthe headphones. 



Dad marched me up to my room and shut the 
door behind him, and then he said — 


LET'S YOU AND 
ME HAVE A TALK, 

FRIEND. 



Whenever Dad says “friend” that way, you know 


you’re in trouble. The first time Dad ever said 
“friend” like that to me, I didn’t get that he was 
being sarcastic. So I kind of let my guard down. 


[\ _ - /I 



I don’t make that mistake anymore. 

Tonight, Dad yelled at me for about ten minutes, 
and then I guess he decided he’d rather be in bed 
than standing in my room in his underwear. He 
told me I was grounded from playing video games 
for two weeks, which is about what I expected. 


I guess I should be glad that’s all he did. 


The good thing about Dad is that when he gets 


mad, he cools off real quick, and then it’s over. 


38 


Usually, if you mess up in front of Dad, he just 
throws whatever he’s got in his hands at you. 


GOOD TIME TO SCREW UP: 




Mom has a totally different style when it 
comes to punishment. If you mess up and Mom 
catches you, the first thing she does is to take 


a few days to figure out what your punishment 


should be. 


39 


And while you’re waiting, you do all these nice 


things to try to get off easier. 


I JUST DUSTED 
THE DINING 
ROOM FOR THE 
HECK OF IT* 



But then after a few days, right when you 
forget you’re in trouble, that’s when she lays it 
on you. 


ARE YOU 
HAVING FUN? 




40 


Monday 


This video game ban is a whole lot tougher than 
I thought it would be. But at least I’m not the 
only one in the family who’s in trouble 

Rodrick’s in some hot water with Mom right now, 
too. Manny got ahold of one of Rodrick’s heavy 
metal magazines, and one of the pages had a 
picture of a woman in a bikini lying across the 
hood of a car. And then Manny brought it into 
day care for show-and-tell. 



Anyway, I don’t think Mom was too happy about 
getting that phone call. 

I saw the magazine myself, and it honestly wasn’t 


anything to get worked up over. But Mom doesn’t 


allow that kind of stuff in the house. 


41 


Rodrick’s punishment was that he had to answer 


a bunch of questions Mom wrote out for him. 



8xi 

/orrvccfejL ^° <JL 

Islo. 

8xjl rrr^oJkjL /Uou. m vo'Lg. 

-pofxJUn. ast^cKool^ 



}^loar cfi©- you. ^urfL oJlyoixk, Jha/fir*^ 

OwW. thin. rtYva^o^rLe. 

rruyur ? 


X feel 



jQo' (joa Aav€ areyju^^yrv^ 
ujgjvX* X& Aojl^ X& jjj&rryjirc 


42 


)\cj^rirr^c^ OUT7 \&dL jJuA, 


Xm sorry w°rnen 



Wednesday 


I’m still grounded from playing video games, so 
Manny has been using my system Mom went out and 
bought a whole bunch of educational video games, 
and watching Manny play them is like torture. 



The good news is that I finally figured out how 
to get some of my games past Rowley’s dad. I 
just put one of my discs in Manny’s “Discovering 
the Alphabet” case, and that’s all it takes. 



m 

umm» 




Thursday 


At school today, they announced that student 
government elections are coming up. To be honest 
with you, I’ve never had any interest in student 
government. But when I started thinking about 
it, I realized getting elected Treasurer could 
totally change my situation at school. 

/WE CHEERLEADERS^ 

( ARE TIRED OF RIDING \ 
TO GAMES IN THE 
\ SAME BUS AS THE / , 

\NERDS IN THE BAND? J \ 

( HMM... LET\ 

' ME SEE \ 

\ WHAT I J 

V CAN DO... J 


44 




And even better ... 


/WE JOCKS JUST 
[ NEED AN AIR PUMP 
TO INFLATE OUR 
V ONLY FOOTBALL. 




Nobody ever thinks about running for Treasurer, 
because all anyone ever cares about are the big- 
ticket positions like President and Vice President 
So I figure if I sign up tomorrow, the 
Treasurer job is pretty much mine for the taking. 


Friday 

Today, I went and put my name on the list to 
run for Treasurer. Unfortunately, this kid named 
Marty Porter is running for Treasurer, too, and 


he’s real brainy at math. So this might not be as 


easy as I thought. 


45 


I told Dad that I was running for student 


government, and he seemed pretty excited. It 
turns out he ran for student government when 
he was my age, and he actually won. 


Dad dug through some old boxes in the basement 
and found one of his campaign posters. 


INTEGRITY 

HONESTY 

KNOW-HOW 



Frank Heffley 

FOR ' 

SECRETARY 


I thought the poster idea was pretty good, so 
I asked Dad to drive me to the store to get 
some supplies. I loaded up on poster board and 


markers, and I spent the rest of the night 




making all my campaign stuff. So let’s just hope 


these posters work. 


46 


Monday 


I brought my posters in to school today, and I 
have to say, they came out pretty good. 


Do You V\|an+ 

MARTY PORTER 

+o be your 

TREASURER? 



/hey, YOU'ReN 

f DROPPING ALL 
l OUR MONEY, / ; 
\YOU FOOL/C 






o _ o 



Remember in second ^rade bow 



l^drty ror+er bad bead lice; 



ITCH 

ITCH 









nmi 


o 


Do you really wan+ him 

touching YOUR money? 


I started hanging my posters up as soon as I 


got in. But they were only up for about three 
minutes before Vice Principal Roy spotted them 


? 



Mr. Roy said you weren’t allowed to write 
“fabrications” about the other candidates. So I 
told Mr. Roy that the thing about the head lice 
was true, and how it practically closed down the 
whole school when it happened. 


But he took down all my posters anyway. So today, 
Marty Porter was going around handing out lollipops 


to buy himself votes while my posters were sitting at 


the bottomofMr. Roy’s trash can. I guess this 


means my political career is officially over. 


48 


October 


Monday 

Well, it’s finally October, and there are only 
thirty days left until Halloween. Halloween is 
my fAVori te holiday, even though Mom says 
I’m getting too old to go trick-or-treating 
anymore. 


Halloween is Dad’s favorite holiday, too, but for 
a different reason. On Halloween night, while 
all the other parents are handing out candy, 

Dad is hiding in the bushes with a big trash 
can full of water. 


And if any teenagers pass by our driveway, he 
drenches them 




49 


I ’m not sure Dad really understands the concept 


of Halloween. But I’m not gonna be the one who 



Tonight was the opening night of the Crossland 
High School haunted house, and I got Mom to 
agree to take me and Rowley. 

Rowley showed up at my house wearing his Halloween 
costume from last year. When I called him earlier 
I told him to just wear regular clothes, but of 



course he didn’t listen. 



I tried not to let it bother me too much, though. 


I’ve never been allowed to go to the Crossland 
haunted house before, and I wasn’t going to let 
Rowley ruin it for me. Rodrick has told me all 
about it, and I’ve been looking forward to this 
for about three years 


Anyway, when we got to the entrance, I 
started having second thoughts about going in. 



But Mom seemed like she was in a hurry to get this 
over with, and she moved us along. Once we were 
through the gate, it was one scare after another. 



There were vampires jumping out at you and people 


without heads and all sorts of crazy stuff. 


51 


But the worst part was this area called Chainsaw 


Alley. There was this big guy in a hockey mask 
and he had a reAl chainsaw. Rodrick told me 
the chainsaw has a rubber blade, but I wasn’t 
taking any chances. 

^ r rR r Rr r r r rR r 

Right when it looked like the chainsaw guy 
was going to catch us, Mom stepped in and 


bailed us out. 



(rM SORRY>\ 
\ 1 V MA’AM? J 



Mom made the chainsaw guy show us where the 


exit was, and that was the end of our haunted 
house experience right there. I guess it was a 
little embarrassing when Mom did that, but I’m 
willing to let it go this one time. 


Saturday 

The Crossland haunted house really got me thinking. 
Those guys were charging five bucks a pop, and 
the line stretched halfway around the school. 


I decided to make a haunted house of my own. 
Actually, I had to bring Rowley in on the deal, 
because Mom wouldn’t let me convert our first 
floor into a full-out haunted mansion. 


I knew Rowley’s dad wouldn’t be crazy about the 
ide a, either, so we decided to build the haunted 
house in his basement and just not mention it to 
his parents. 


Me and Rowley spent most of the day coming up 


with an awesome plan for our haunted house. 


Here was our final plan: 


MALL OF 
SCREAMS 



LAKE OF 
BLOOD 
4 





KNIFE 

ALLEY^ 




-IT 



''MAZE OF 
1,000 
SKULLS 

« ' 

u HAND 

MALL 


BOTTOM- 
LESS PIT 



\ 

RAT TUNNEL 

^ DEATH 
SLIDE 



EXIT 


I don’t mean to brag or anything, but what 
we came up with was WAy better than the 
Crossland High School haunted house. 


We realized we were gonna need to get the word 


out that we w ere doing this thing, so we got 


some paper and made up a bunch of flyers. 


I’ll admit maybe we stretched the truth a little 


in our advertisement, but we had to make sure 
people actually showed up. 


HAUNTED 



32 SURREY STREET 
ADMISSION: 500 

3*00 p .rr\. 


By the time we finished putting the flyers up 
around the neighborhood and got back to 
Rowley’s basement, it was already 2:30, and we 
hadn’t even started putting the actual haunted 


house together yet. 


So we had to cut some corners from our 


original plan. 


55 


When 3:00 rolled around, we looked outside to 


see if anyone had showed up. And sure enough, 
there were about twenty neighborhood kids waiting 
in line outside Rowley’s basement. 

Now, I know our flyers said admission was fifty 
cents, but I could see that we had a chance to 
make a killing here. 

So I told the kids that admission was two bucks, 
and the fifty-cent thing was just a typo. 



The first kid to cough up his two bucks was 
Shane Snella. He paid his money and we let him 


inside, and me and Rowley took our positions in 


the Hall of Screams. 


56 


The Hall of Screams was basically a bed with me 


and Rowley on either side of it. 



I guess maybe we made the Hall of Screams a 
little too scary, because halfway through, Shane 
curled up in a ball underneath the bed. We tried 
to get him to crawl out from under there, but 
he wouldn’t budge. 


I started thinking about all the money we were 
losing with this kid clogging up the Hall of Screams, 
and I knew we had to get him out of there, quick. 


Eventually, Rowley’s dad came downstairs. At 
first I was happy to see him, because I thought 


he could help us drag Shane out from under the 


bed and get our haunted house cranking again. 


But Rowley’s dad wasn’t really in a helpful mood. 



Rowley’s dad wanted to know what we were 
doing, and why Shane Snella was curled up under 
the bed. 

We told him that the basement was a haunted 
house, and that Shane Snella actually PAiD 
for us to do this to him. But Rowley’s dad didn’t 
believe ns 


I admit that if you looked around, it didn’t 
really look like a haunted house. All we had time 


to put together was the Hall of Screams and the 


Lake of Blood, which was just Rowley’s old 


baby pool with half a bottle of ketchup in it. 

58 


I tried to show Rowley’s dad our original plan 


to prove that we really were running a legitimate 
operation, but he still didn’t seem convinced. 



And to make a long story short, that was the 
end of our haunted house. 



The good news is, since Rowley’s dad didn’t 


believe us, he didn’t make us refund Shane’s 


money. So at least we cleared two bucks today. 


59 


Sunday 


Rowley ended up getting grounded for that whole 
haunted house mess yesterday. He’s not allowed to 
watch tv for a week, and he’s not allowed to 
have me over at his house during that time. 


That last part really isn’t fair, because that’s 
punishing me, and I didn’t even do anything 
wrong. And now where am I supposed to play 
my video games? 


Anyway, I felt kind of bad for Rowley. So 
tonight, I tried to make it up to him I turned 
on one of Rowley’s favorite tv shows, and I 
did a play-by-play over the phone so he could 
kind of experience it that way. 


WOW* LOOK AT THE SIZE 
OF THAT FLAMETHROWER* 



I did my best to keep up with what was going on 


on the screen, but to be honest with you, I’m 
not sure if Rowley was getting the full effect. 



Tuesday 

Well, Rowley’s grounding is finally over, and just 
in time for Halloween, too. I went up to his 
house to check out his costume, and I have to 
admit, I’m a little jealous. 


Rowley’s Mom got him this knight costume that’s 


WAy cooler than his costume from last year. 


61 


His knight outfit came with a helmet and a shield 
and a real sword and eVerytHinG. 



I’ve never had a store-bought costume before. 

I still haven’t figured out what I’m gonna go as 
tomorrow night, so I’ 1 prbbablyjust throw 
something together at the last minute. I figure 
maybe I’ll bringbackthe Toilet Paper Mummy again. 

But I think it’s supposed to rain tomorrow 
night, so that might not be the smartest choice. 



In the past few years, the grown-ups in my 


neighborhood have been getting cranky about 
my lame costumes, and I’m starting to think it’s 
actually having an effect on the amount of candy 
I’m bringing in. 



But I don’t really have time to put together a 
good costume, because I’m in charge of planning 
out the best route for me and Rowley to take 
tomorrow night. 


This year I’ve come up with a plan that’ 1 gdt us 


at least twice the candy we scored last year. 


63 


Halloween 


About an hour before we were supposed to start 
trick-or-treating, I still didn’t have a costume. 

At that point I was seriously thinking about 
going as a cowboy for the second year in a row. 


But then Mom knocked at my door and handed 
me a pirate costume, with an eye patch and a 
hook and everything. 



Rowley showed up around 6:30 wearing his 
knight costume, but it didn’t look AnytHinG 
like it looked yesterday. 


Rowley’s mom made all these safety improvements 


to it, and you couldn’t even tell what he was 


supposed to be anymore. 


64 


She cut out a big hole in the front of the helmet 


so he could see better, and covered him up in all 
this reflective tape. She made him wear his winter 
coat underneath everything, and she replaced his 
sword with a glow stick. 





I grabbed my pillowcase, and me and Rowley 
started to head out. But Mom stopped us before 
we could get out the door. 

/i WANT YOU TO\ 

TAKE MANNY 

V^W itm you; y 






Man, I should have known there was a catch 


when Mom gave me that costume. 

I told Mom there was no WAy we were taking 
Manny with us, because we were going to hit 152 
houses in three hours. And plus, we were going 
to be on Snake Road, which is way too dangerous 
for a little kid like Manny. 

I should never have mentioned that last part, 
because the next thing I knew, Mom was telling 
Dad he had to go along with us to make sure we 
didn’t step foot outside our neighborhood. Dad 
tried to squirm out of it, but once Mom makes up 
her mind, there’s no way you can change it. 




Before we even got out of our own driveway, we 


ran into our neighbor Mr. Mitchell and his kid 
Jeremy. So of course tHey tagged along with us. 


Manny and Jeremy wouldn’t trick-or-treat at any 
houses with spooky decorations on them, so that 
ruled out pretty much every house on our block. 


Dad and Mr. Mitchell started talking about 
football or something, and every time one of them 
wanted to make a point, they’d stop walking. 


BLAH BLAh\ 
BLAH BLAH ) 
BLAH BLAH/ 


/BLAH BLAH\ 
BLAH BLAH 
\BLAH BLAH/ 



So we were hitting only about one house every 


twenty minutes. 


67 


After a couple of hours, Dad and Mr. Mitchell 


took the little kids home. 

I was glad, because that meant me and Rowley 
could take off. My pillowcase was almost empty, 
so I wanted to make up as much time as possible. 

Alittlewhilelater,Rowleytoldmeheneededa 
“potty break. ” Imade himholdofffor another 
forty- five minutes . Butby the time we gotto my 
grarmna ’ s house, itwaspretty clear thatifldidn’ t 
letRowleyusethebathroom,itwas gonna getmessy. 

So I told Rowley if he wasn’t back outside in 
one minute, I was gonna start helping myself to 


his candy. 











C\ ! 




l) *** 

o 





^ ^ 0 





68 




r rw v K 


After that, we headed back out on the road. 


But it was already 10:30, and I guess that’s 
when most grown-ups decide Halloween is over. 


You can kind of tell because that’s when they 
start coming to the door in their pajamas and 
giving you the evil eye. 



We decided to head home. We made up a lot of 
time after Dad and Manny left, so I was pretty 
satisfied with how much candy we took in. 


When we were halfway home, this pickup truck 


came roaring down the street with a bunch of 


high school kids in it. 


69 


The kid in the back was holding a fire extinguisher, 


and when the truck passed by us, he opened fire. 



I have to give Rowley credit, because he blocked 
about 95% of the water with his shield. And if 
he hadn’t done that, all our candy would have 
gotten soaked. 


When the truck drove away, I yelled out something 
that I regretted about two seconds later. 






The driver slammed on the brakes and he turned 


his truck around. Me and Rowley started running, 
but those guys were right on our heels. 


The only place I could think of that was safe 
was Gramma’s house, so we cut through a couple 
backyards to get there. Gramma was in bed 
already, but I knew she keeps a key under the 
mat on her front porch. 


Once we got inside, I looked out the window to see 


if those guys had followed us, and sure enough, 


they did. I tried to trick them into leaving, but 


they wouldn’ t budge. 


WELL, I GUESS NOW 
THAT WE’RE SAFE IN 
OUR OWN HOUSE, 
YOU CAN’T GET US.' 






After a while, we realized the teenagers were 


going to wait us out, so we decided we were just 
gonna have to spend the night at Gramma’s. 

That’s when we started getting cocky, making 
monkey noises at the teenagers and whatnot. 


Well, at least I was making monkey noises. 
Rowley was kind of making owl noises, but I 
guess it was the same general idea. 



I called Mom to tell her we were going to crash 
at Gramma’s for the night. But Mom sounded 
really mad on the phone. 


She said it was a school night, and that we had 




to get home right that instant. So that meant 


we were gonna have to make a run for it. 


72 


I looked out the window, and this time, I didn’t 


see the truck. But I knew those guys were hiding 
somewhere and were just trying to draw us out. 


So we snuck out the back door, hopped over 
Gramma’s fence, and ran all the way to Snake 
Road. I figured our chances were better there 
because there aren’t any streetlights. 

Snake Road is scary enough on its own without 
having a truckload of teenagers hunting you 
down. Every time we saw a car coming, we dove 
into the bushes. It must’ve taken us a half 
hour to go 100 yards. 




But believe it or not, we made it all the way 


home without getting caught. Neither one of us 
let our guard down until we got to my driveway. 



But right then, there was this awful scream, and 
we saw a big wave of water coming toward us. 



. n r 


74 



Man, I forgot all about Dad, and we totally 


paid the price for it. 



When me and Rowley got inside, we laid out all 
our candy on the kitchen table. 

The only things we could salvage were a couple of 
mints that were wrapped in cellophane, and the 
toothbrushes Dr. Garrison gave us. 

I think next Halloween T 1 j list stay home and 
mooch some Butterfingers from the bowl Mom 


keeps on top of the refrigerator. 


November 


Thursday 

On the bus ride into school today, we passed by 
Gramma’s house. It got rolled with toilet paper 
last night, which I guess was no big surprise. 



I do feel a little bad, because it looked like it was 
gonna take a long time to clean up. But on the 
bright side, Gramma is retired, so she probably 
didn’t have anything planned for today anyway. 

Wednesday 


In third period, Mr. Underwood, our Phys Ed 



teacher, announced that the boys will be doing a 


wrestling unit for the next six weeks. 


76 


If there’s one thing most boys in my school are 


into, it’s professional wrestling. So Mr. 
Underwood might as well have set off a bomb. 


Lunch comes right after Phys Ed, and the 
cafeteria was a complete madhouse. 


O 



I don’t know what the school is thinking having 
a wrestling unit. 


But I decided if I don’t want to get twisted 


into a pretzel for the next month and a half, I’d 


better do my homework on this wrestling business. 


77 


So I rented a couple of video games to learn 


some moves. And you know what? After a while, 
I was really starting to get the hang of it. 


/does this\ 

VFEEL RIGHT?J 



YES! NO! 
HELP! 







If* 


^ / 


In fact, the other kids in my class had better 
look out, because if I keep this up, I could be a 
real threat 


78 




Then again, I better make sure I don’t do 


too good. This kid named Preston Mudd got 
named Athlete of the Month for being the best 
player in the basketball unit, so they put his 
picture up in the hallway. 





P. Mudd 

• 














w 





it 




Athlete of the 
# Month # 



It took people about five seconds to realize how 
“P. Mudd” sounded when you said it out loud, 


and after that, it was all over for Preston. 




Thursday 


Well, I found out today that the kind of wrestling 
Mr. Underwood is teaching is completely 
different from the kind they do on tv. 


First of all, we have to wear these things called 
“singlets,” which look like those bathing suits 
they used to wear in the 1800 s. 



And second of all, there are no pile drivers or 
hitting people over the heads with chairs or 
anything like that. 

There’s not even a ring with ropes around it. 


It’s just basically a sweaty mat that smells like 


it’s never been washed before. 


80 


Mr. Underwood started asking for volunteers so 


he could demonstrate some wrestling holds, but 
there was no way I was going to raise my hand. 


Me and Rowley tried to hide out in the back of 
the gym near the curtain, but that’s where the 
girls were doing their gymnastics unit. 



We got out of there in a hurry, and we went 
back to where the rest of the guys were__ 

Mr. Underwood singled me out, probably because 
I’m the lightest kid in the class, and he could 
toss me around without straining himself. He 
showed everybody how to do all these things 


called a “half nelson” and a “reversal” and a 


“takedown” and stuff like that. 


81 


When he was doing this one move called the 


“fireman’s carry,” I felt a breeze down below, 
and I could tell my singlet wasn’t doing a good 
job keeping me covered up. 

That’s when I thanked my lucky stars the 
girls were on the other side of the gym 



Mr. Underwood divided us up into weight groups. 

I was pretty happy about that at first, 

because it meant I wasn’t going to have to 

wrestle kids like Benny Wells, who can bench-press 


250 pounds. 



82 


But then I found out who I DiD have to wrestle, 


and I would have traded for Benny Wells in a 


heartbeat. 


/GREG, YOU'LL BE 
PAIRED UP WITH 
\FREGLEY HERE. 



Fregley was the only kid light enough to be in my 
weight class. And apparently Fregley was paying 
attention when Mr. Underwood was giving 
instructions, because he pinned me every which way 
you could imagine. I spent my seventh period 
getting WAy more familiar with Fregley than I 
ever wanted to be. 



(Wn ( ~y 



Tuesday 


This wrestling unit has totally turned our school 
upside down. Now kids are wrestling in the hallways, 
in the classrooms, you name it. But the fifteen 
minutes after lunch where they let us outside is 
the worst. 

You can’t walk five feet without tripping over a 
couple of kids going at it. I just try to keep 
my distance. And mark my words, one of these 
fools is going to roll right onto the Cheese and 
start the Cheese Touch all over again. 


U 




84 



My other big problem is that I have to wrestle 


Fregley every single day. But this morning I 
realized something. If I can move out of 
Fregley’s weight class, I won’t have to wrestle 
him anymore. 


So today, I stuffed my clothes with a bunch of 
socks and shirts to get myself into the next 
weight class. 

But I was still too light to move up. 



I realized I was gonna have to gain weight for 
real. At first I thought I should just start 
loading up on junk food, but then I had a much 


better idea 


85 


I decided to gain my weight in muscle, not fat. 


I’ve never been all that interested in getting in 
shape before, but this wrestling unit has made me 
rethink things. 


I figure if I bulk up now, it could actually come 
in handy down the road. 


The football unit is coming in the spring, and 
they split the teams up into shirts and skins. 
And I AlWAys get put on skins. 


I think they do that to make all the out-of-shape 
kids feel ashamed of themselves. 




If I can pack on some muscle now, it’ 1 bi a 
whole different story next April. 


/greg heffleyN 

l YOU'RE ON 
SKINS. 



Tonight, after dinner, I got Mom and Dad 
together and told them my plan. I told them I 
was going to need some serious exercise equipment, 
and some weight-gain powder, too. 


I showed them some muscle magazines I got at 


the store so they could see how ripped I was 


going to be. 





Mom didn’t really say anything at first, but Dad 


was pretty enthusiastic. I think he was just 
glad I had a change of heart from how I used 
to be when I was a kid — 



But Mom said if I wanted a weight set, I was 
going to have to prove that I could stick with 
an exercise regimen. She said I could do that by 
doing sit-ups and jumping jacks for two weeks. 


I had to explain that the only way to get 
totally bulked up is to get the kind of high-tech 


machines they have at the gym, but Mom didn’t 



Then Dad said if I wanted a bench press, I 


should keep my fingers crossed for Christmas. 



But Christmas is a month and a half away. And 
if I get pinned by Fregley one more time, I’m 
gonna have a nervous breakdown. 

So it looks like Mom and Dad aren’t going to be 
any help. And that means I’m going to have to 
take matters into my own hands, as usual _ 

Saturday 

I couldn’t wait to start my weight- training 
program today. Even though Mom wouldn’t let 
me get the equipment I needed, I wasn’t going 


to let that hold me back. 


89 


So I went into the fridge and emptied out the 


milk and orange juice and filled the jugs with 
sand. Then I taped them to a broomstick, and 
I had myself a pretty decent barbell. 



ironing board and some boxes. Once I had that 
all set, I was ready to do some serious lifting. 

I needed a spotting partner, so I called 
Rowley. And when he showed up at my door 
wearing some ridiculous getup, I knew I made 
a mistake inviting him. 








n- 







90 


I made Rowley use the bench press first, mostly 


because I wanted to see if the broomstick was 


going to hold up. 


He did about five reps, and he was ready to 
quit, but I wouldn’t let him That’ s what a 


good training partner is for, to push you 
beyond your limits 



I knew Rowley wasn’t going to be as serious 
about weight lifting as I was, so I decided to 
try out an experiment to test his dedication. 

In the middle of Rowley’s set, I went and got 


this phony nose and mustache Rodrick has in his 


And right when Rowley had the barbell in the 



Sure enough, Rowley totally lost his 
concentration. He couldn’t even get the barbell 
off his chest. I thought about helping him out, 
but then I realized that if Rowley didn’t get 
serious about working out, he was never going to 
get to my level. 




I eventually had to rescue him, because he started 


biting the milk jug to let the sand leak out. 


92 


After Rowley got off the bench press, it was 
time for my set. But Rowley said he didn’t feel 
like working out anymore, and he went home. 


You know, I figured he’d pull something like that. 
But I guess you can’t expect everyone to have 
the same kind of dedication as you. 


Wednesday 

Today in Geography we had a quiz, and I have 
to say, I’ve been looking forward to this one for 
a long time. 

The quiz was on state capitals, and I sit in 
the back of the room, right next to this giant 
map of the United States. All the capitals are 
written in big red print, so I knew I had this 



But right before the test got started, Patty 


Farrell piped up from the front of the room. 


TEACHER! 

TEACHER! 



Patty told Mr. Ira that he should cover up the 
United States map before we got started. 



So thanks to Patty, I ended up flunking the 


quiz. And I will definitely be looking for a way 


to pay her back for that one. 


94 


Thursday 


Tonight Mom came up to my room, and she had a 
flyer in her hand. As soon as I saw it, I knew 
eXActly what it was. 

It was an announcement that the school is having 
tryouts for a winter play. Man, I should have 
thrown that thing out when I saw it on the 
kitchen table. 


I BeGGeD her not to make me sign up. Those 
school plays are always musicals, and the last 
thing I need is to have to sing a solo in front 


q P 


of the whole school. 


But all my begging seemed to do was make Mom 


more sure I should do it. 


95 


Mom said the only way I was going to be 


“well-rounded” was by trying different things. 

Dad came in my room to see what was going on. 
I told Dad that Mom was making me sign up for 
the school play, and that if I had to start 
going to play practices, it would totally mess up 
my weight-lifting schedule. 


I knew that would make Dad take my side. Dad 
and Mom argued for a few minutes, but Dad was 
no match for Mom. 



So that means tomorrow I’ve got to audition 
for the school play. 

Friday 

The play they’re doing this year is “The Wizard 


of Oz.” A lot of kids came wearing costumes for 


the parts they were trying out for. 


96 


I’ve never even seen the movie, so for me, it 


was like walking into a freak show. 



Mrs. Norton, the music director, made everyone 
sing “My Country ’ is iff Thee” so she could hear 
our singing voices. I did my singing tryouts with 
a bunch of other boys whose moms made them 
come, too. I tried to sing as quietly as possible, 
but of course I got singled out, anyway. 




I have no idea what a “soprano” is, but from 


the way some of the girls were giggling, I knew 
it wasn’t a good thing. 


Tryouts went on forever. The grand finale came 
with auditions for Dorothy, who I guess is the 
lead character in the play. 


And who should try out first but Patty Farrell. 



I thought about trying out for the part of the 
Witch, because I heard that in the play, the 
Witch does all sorts of mean things to Dorothy. 


But then somebody told me there’s a Good Witch 


and a Bad Witch, and with my luck. I’d end up 


getting picked to be the good one. 


98 


Monday 


I was hoping Mrs. Norton would just cut me from 
the play, but today she said that everyone who 
tried out is going to get a part. So lucky me. 

Mrs. Norton showed “The Wizard of Oz” movie 
so everyone would know the story. I was trying 
to figure out what part I should play, but 
pretty much every character has to sing or dance 
at one point or another. But about halfway 
through the movie, I figured out what part I 
wanted to sign up for. I ’m going to sign up to 
be a Tree, because 1) they don’t have to sing 
and 2) they get to bean Dorothy with apples. 









99 


Getting to peg Patty Farrell with apples in 
front of a live audience would be my dream come 
true. I may actually have to thank Mom for 
making me do this play once it’s all over. 

After the movie ended, I signed up to be a Tree. 
Unfortunately, a bunch of other guys had the 
same idea as me, so I guess there are a lot of 
guys who have a bone to pick with Patty Farrell. 


Wednesday 

Well, like Mom always says, be careful what you 
wish for. I got picked to be a Tree, but I 
don’t know if that’s such a good thing. The 
Tree costumes don’t actually have arm holes, so 
I guess that rules out any apple-throwing 


100 



I should probably feel lucky that I got a 


speaking part at all. They had too many kids 


trying out, and not enough roles, so they had 


to start 


Rodney James tried out to be the Tin Man, but 
he got stuck with being the Shrub. 



Friday 


Remember how I said I was lucky to get a 
speaking part? Well, today I found out I only 
have one line in the whole play. I say it when 
Dorothy picks an apple off my branch. 



101 



That means I have to go to a two-hour practice 


every day just so I can say one stupid word. 


I’m starting to think Rodney James got a better 
deal as the Shrub. He found a way to sneak a 
video game into his costume, and I’ 1 bit that 
really makes the time go by. 



BDDP 

BEEP 

BDDP 


\W 


So now I’m trying to think of ways to get Mrs. 
Norton to kick me out of the play. But when 
you only have one word to say, it’s really hard to 
mess up your lines. 



I 



December 


Thursday 

The play is only a couple of days away, and I 
have no idea how we’re going to pull this thing off. 

First of all, nobody has bothered to learn their 
lines, and that’s all Mrs. Norton’s fault. 


During rehearsal, Mrs. Norton whispers everyone’s 
lines to them from the side of the stage- 



I wonder how it’s going to go next Tuesday 


when Mrs. Norton is sitting at her piano thirty 


feet away. 


103 


Another thing that’s screwing everything up is 


that Mrs. Norton keeps adding new scenes and 
new characters. 


Yesterday, she brought in this first-grader to 
play Dorothy’s dog, Toto. But today, the kid’s 
mom came in and said she wanted her child to 
walk around on two legs, because crawling around 
on all fours would be too “degrading.” 



So now we’ve got a dog that’s gonna be walking 
around on his hind legs for the whole show. 


But the worst change is that Mrs. Norton actually 


wrote a song that us trees have to sing. 


She said everyone “deserves” a chance to sing 


in the play. 


104 


So today we spent an hour learning the worst 


song that’s ever been written. 



Thank God Rodrick won’t be in the audience to 
see me humiliate myself. Mrs. Norton said the 
play is going to be a “semiformal occasion,” and 
I know there’s no way Rodrick is going to wear 
a tie for a middle school play. 

But today wasn’t all bad. Toward the end of 


practice, Archie Kelly tripped over Rodney James 


and chipped his tooth because he couldn’t stick 


his anus out to break his fall. 


105 



So the good news is, they’re letting us Trees 
carve out arm holes for the performance. 


Tuesday 

Toni ghtwasthebigschoolproductionof ‘The Wizard 
ofOz.” The firstsignthatthings were notgoingto 
gowellhappenedbeforetheplayevenstarted. 

I was peeking through 
the curtain to check out 
how many people showed 
up to see the play, and 
guess who was standing 
right up front? My 




brother Rodrick, wearing 
a clip-on tie. 


-VTffi' 


1 I \ 


106 


He must have found out I was singing, and he 


couldn’t resist the chance to see me embarrass myself. 

The play was supposed to start at 8:00, but it got 
delayed because Rodney James had stage fright. 


You’d figure that someone whose job it was to sit 
on the stage and do nothing could just suck it up 
for one performance. But Rodney wouldn’t budge, 
and eventually, his mom had to carry him off. 



The play finally got started around 8:30. 


Nobody could remember their lines, just like I 


predicted, but Mrs. Norton kept things moving 


along with her piano. 


107 


The kid who played Toto brought a stool and a 
pile of comic books onto the stage, and that 


totally ruined the whole “dog” effect. 



When it was time for the forest scene, me and 
the other Trees hopped into our positions. The 
curtains rose, and when they did, I heard 




o o o o 


108 



Great. I have been able to keep that nickname 


quiet for five years, and now all of the sudden 
the whole town knew it. I could feel about 300 
pairs of eyeballs pointed my way. 


So I did some quick ad-libbing and I was able to 
deflect the embarrassment over to Archie Kelly. 



But the major embarrassment was still on the 
way. When I heard Mrs. Norton playing the 
first few bars of “We Three Trees,” I felt my 


stomach jump. 


I looked out at the audience, and I noticed 


Rodrick was holding a video camera. 


109 


I knew that if I sang the song and Rodrick 


recorded it, he would keep the tape forever and 
use it to humiliate me for the rest of my life. 


I didn’t know what to do, so when the time 
came to start singing, I just kept my mouth shut. 



For a few seconds there, things went ok. I 
figured that if I didn’t technically sing the 


song, then Rodrick wouldn’t have anything to 


hold over my head. But after a few seconds, the 


other Trees noticed I wasn’t singing. 


no 


I guess they must’ve thought I knew something 


that they didn’t, so they stopped singing, too. 


^ DO SPY A MAIDEN n 

FAIR AND Swee t# . • • 



Now the three of us were just standing there, 
not saying a word. Mrs. Norton must have 
thought we forgot the words to the song, 
because she came over to the side of the stage 
and whispered the rest of the lyrics to us. 




'l ■ 

Ok 

1 




i, 



i 


[U . 


WHILST WE ARE 
ROOTED TO OUR > 
SPOTS, SHE 
DOTH MOVE ON ! 
LIGHTER FEET . . . ' 




The song is only about three minutes long, but 


to me it felt like an hour and a half. I was just 
praying the curtains would go down so we could 
hop off the stage. 

That’s when I noticed Patty Farrell standing in 
the wings. And if looks could kill, us Trees would 
be dead. She probably thought we were ruining her 
chances of making it to Broadway or something. 



Seeing Patty standing there reminded me why I 
signed up to be a Tree in the first place. 




Pretty soon, the rest of the Trees started 
throwing apples, too. I think Toto even got in 
on the act. 


Somebody knocked the glasses off of Patty’s 
head, and one of the lenses broke. Mrs. Norton 
had to shut down the play after that, because 
Patty can’t see two feet in front of her 
without her glasses. 

After the play was over, my family went home 
together. Mom had brought a bouquet of flowers, 
and I guess they were supposed to be for me. 

But she ended up tossing them in the trash can 
on the way out the door. 

I just hope that everyone who came to see the 
play was as entertained as I was. 


T 4 K £ 

113 


Wednesday 


Well, if one good thing came out of the play, it’s 
that I don’t have to worry about the “Bubby” 
nickname anymore. 

I saw Archie Kelly getting hassled in the hallway 
after fifth period today, so it looks like I can 
finally start to breathe a little easier. 



Sunday 

With all this stuff going on at school, I 
haven’t even had time to think about Christmas. 


And it’s less than ten days away. 


114 


In fact, the only thing that tipped me off 


that Christmas was coming was when Rodrick put 


his wish list up on the refrigerator. 


& 




Rodncks IVish 
Lis-f 

1» VteW drurns 
2.* New Von 

3* Shrunken head 






I usually make a big wish list every year, but 
this Christmas, all I really want is this video 
game called Twisted Wizard. 


Tonight Manny was going through the Christmas 
catalog, picking out all the stuff he wants with 
a big red marker. Manny was circling every single 
toy in the catalog. He was even circling really 
expensive things like a giant motorized car and 


stuff like that. 



So I decided to step in and give him some good 


big-brotherly advice. 

I told him that if he circled stuff that was 
too expensive, he was going to end up with a 
bunch of clothes for Christmas. I said he 
should just pick three or four medium-priced 
gifts so he would end up with a couple of 
things he actually wanted. 



But of course Manny just went back to circling 
everything again. So I guess he’ll just have to 
learn the hard way. 

When I was seven, the only thing I really 


wanted for Christmas was a Barbie Dream House. 


And not because I like girls’ toys, like 


Rodrick said. 


116 


I just thought it would be a really awesome fort 


for my toy soldiers. 

When Mom and Dad saw my wish list that year, 
they got in a big fight over it. Dad said there was 
no way he was getting me a dollhouse, but Mom 
said it was healthy for me to “experiment” with 
whatever kind of toys I wanted to play with. 



Believe it or not, Dad actually won that argument. 
Dad told me to start my wish list over and pick 
some toys that were more “appropriate” for boys. 

Butlhave a secret weapon whenitcomes to 


Christmas. My Uncle Charlie always gets me whatever 


Iwant. I told himl wanted the Barbie Dream 


House, and he saidhe’dhookmeup. 


117 


On Christmas, when Uncle Charlie gave me my 


gift, it was not what I asked for. He must’ve 
walked into the toy store and picked up the first 
thing he saw that had the word “Barbie” 
on it. 


So if you ever see a picture of me where I’m 
holding a Beach Fun Barbie, now at least you 
know the whole story. 



Dad wasn’t real happy when he saw what Uncle 
Charlie got me. He told me to either throw it 
out or give it away to charity. 


But I kept it anyway. And ok, I admit maybe 


I took it out and played with it once or twice. 


118 


That’s how I ended up in the emergency room 


two weeks later with a pink Barbie shoe stuck up 
my nose. And believe me, Rodrick has never let 
me hear the end of tHAt. 



Thursday 

Tonight me and Mom went out to get a gift for 
the Giving Tree at church. The Giving Tree is 
basically a Secret Santa kind of thing where you 
get a gift for someone who is needy. 

Mom picked out a red wool sweater for our 
Giving Tree guy. 


I tried to talk Mom into getting something a 


lot cooler, like a tV or a slushie machine or 


something like that. 


119 


Because imagine if all you got on Christmas was 


a wool sweater. 



I ’m sure our Giving Tree guy will throw his sweater 
in the trash, along with the ten cans of yams we 
sent his way during the Thanksgiving Food Drive. 

Christmas 

When I woke up this morning and went downstairs, 
there were about a million gifts under the Christmas 
tree. But when I started digging around, there 
were hardly any gifts with my name on them. 





But Manny made out like a bandit. He got eVery 


single thing he circled in the catalog, no lie. So 
I’ll bet he’s glad he didn’t listen to me. 


/ S 

□ 



I did find a couple things with my name on 
them, but they were mostly books and socks and 
stuff like that. 

I opened my gifts in the corner behind the 
couch, because I don’t like opening gifts near 
Dad. Whenever someone opens a gift, Dad swoops 


right in and cleans up after them. 


121 



I gave Manny a toy helicopter and I gave 


Rodrick a book about rock bands. Rodrick gave 
me a book, too, but of course he didn’t wrap it. 
The book he got me was “Best of L’il Cutie.” 
“L’il Cutie” is the worst comic in the newspaper, 
and Rodrick knows how much I hate it. I think 
this is the fourth year in a row I’ve gotten a 


“L’il Cutie” book from him 



I gave Mom and Dad their gifts. I get them 
the same kind of thing every year, but parents 
eat that stuff up. 


THANKS. 




The rest of the relatives started showing up 


around 11:00, and Uncle Charlie came at noon. 

Uncle Charlie brought a big trash bag full of 
gifts, and he pulled my present out of the top 
of the bag. 



The package was the exact right size and shape 
to be a Twisted Wizard game, so I knew Uncle 
Charlie came through for me. Mom got the camera 


ready and I tore open my gift. 



123 


But it was just an 8 x 10 picture of Uncle Charlie. 



I guess I didn’t do a good job of hiding my 
disappointment, and Mom got mad. All I can say 
is, I’m glad I’m still a kid, because if I had to 
act happy about the kinds of gifts grown-ups 
get, I don’t think I could pull it off. 




I went up to my room to take a break for a 


while. A couple minutes later, Dad knocked on my 
door. He told me he had my gift for me out in 
the garage, and the reason it was out there was 
because it was too big to wrap. 



And when I walked down to the garage, there 


was a brand-new weight set. 


125 



That thing must have cost a fortune. I didn’t 


have the heart to tell Dad that I kind of lost 
interest in the whole weight-lifting thing when 
the wrestling unit ended last week. So I just 
said “thanks” instead. 


I think Dad was expecting me to drop down and 
start doing some reps or something, but I just 
excused myself and went back inside. 


At about 6:00, all the relatives cleared out. 

I was sitting on the couch watching Manny play 
with his toys, feeling pretty sorry for myself. 
Then Mom came up to me and said that she 
found a gift behind the piano with my name on 
it, and it said, “From Santa.” 



The box was way too big for Twisted Wizard, but 


Mom pulled the same “big box” trick on me last 
year when she got me a memory card for my 
video game syste m 

So I ripped open the package and pulled out my 
present. Only this wasn’t Twisted Wizard, 
either. It was a giant red wool sweater. 



At first I thought Mom was playing some 
kind of practical joke on me, because this 
sweater was the same kind we bought for our 
Giving Trpp giiy 


But Mom seemed pretty confused, too. She said 


she DiD buy me a video game, and that she had 


no idea what the sweater was doing in my box. 


127 


And then I figured it out. I told Mom there 


must have been some kind of mix-up, and I got 
the Giving Tree guy’s gift, and he got mine. 




Mom said she used the same kind of wrapping 
paper for both of our gifts, so she must’ ve 
written the wrong names on the tags. 

But then Mom said that this was really a good 
thing, because the Giving Tree guy was probably 
really happy he got such a great gift. 

/IT'S A\ 

( CHRISTMAS 
V MIRACLE? J 

< y mt 



128 


I had to explain that you need a game system 


and a tV to play Twisted Wizard, so the game 
was totally useless to him 



Even though my Christmas was not going that 
great, I’m sure it was going a whole lot worse 
for the Giving Tree guy. 



I kind of decided to throw in the towel for this 


Christmas, and I headed up to Rowley’s house. 


129 


I forgot to get a gift for Rowley, so I just 


slapped a bow on the _“L’ il Cutie” book 
Rodrick gave me. 


And that seemed to do the trick. 



Rowley’s parents have a lot of money, so I can 
always count on them for a good gift. 

But Rowley said that this year he picked out my 
gift himself. Then he brought me outside to show 
me what it was. 

From the way Rowley was hyping his present, I 
thought he must have gotten me a big- screen 


tV or a motorcycle or something. 


130 


But once again, I let my hopes get too high. 



Rowley got me a Big Wheel. I guess I would 
have thought this was a cool gift when I was in 
the third grade, but I have no idea what I’m 
supposed to do with one now. 


Rowley was so enthusiastic about it that I tried 
my best to act like I was happy anyway. 


(GEE^\ 
l THANKS ! ) 







We went back inside, and Rowley showed me his 


Christmas loot. 


131 


He sure got a lot more stuff than I did. He 


even got Twisted Wizard, so at least I can play 
it when I come up to his house. That is, until 
Rowley’s dad finds out how violent i t is. 

And boy, you have never seen someone as happy as 
Rowley with his “L’il Cutie” book. His mom said it 
was the only thing on his list that he didn’t get. 


Well, I’m glad someone got what they 
wanted today. 


* 

* 




132 


New Year’s Eve 


Incase you’re wondering whatFmdoinginmyroom 
at 9 : 00 p.m. onNew Year ’s Eve, letme fill youin. 


Earlier today, me and Manny were horsing around in 
the basement. I found a tiny blackball ofthread 
on the carpet, and I told Manny it was a spider. 


Then I held it over him pretending like I was 
going to make him eat it. 



Right when I was about to let Manny go, he 
slapped my hand and made me drop the thread. 
And guess what? That fool swallowed it. 

GULP 



Well, Manny completely lost his mind. He ran 


upstairs to where Mom was, and I knew I was 
in big trouble. 



Manny told Mom I made him eat a spider. I 
told her there was no spider, and that it was 
just a tiny ball of thread. 




Mom brought Manny over to the kitchen table. 
Then she put a seed, a raisin, and a grape on a 


plate and told Manny to point to the thing 


that was the closest in size to the piece of 


thread he swallowed. 


134 


Manny took a while to look over the things on 


the plate. 



Then he walked over to the refrigerator and 
pulled out an orange. 



So that’s why I got sent to bed at 7:00 and 
I ’m not downstairs watching the New Year’s 
Eve special on tV. 


And that’s also why my only New Year’s 


resolution is to never play with Manny again. 


January 


Wednesday 

I found a way to have some fun with the Big Wheel 
Rowley got me for Christmas . I came up with this 
game where one guy rides down the hill and the 
other guy tries to knockhimoffwitha football. 


Rowley was the first one down the hill, and I 
was the thrower. 



It’ s a lot harder to hit a moving target than I 
thought. Plus, I didn’t get a lot of practice. It 


took Rowley like ten minutes to walk the Big Wheel 


back up the hill after every trip down. 


136 


Rowley kept asking to switch places and have me 


be the one who rides the Big Wheel, but I’m no 


fool. That thing was hitting thirty- five miles an 


hour, and it didn’t have any brakes. 


/DO YOU WANT\ 
( TO WAVE A | 
l TURN NOW? / 
V(PANT, PANT)/ 




'NO TWANKS^X 
I’M NOT AS 
GOOD AS YOU// 



Anyway, I never did knock Rowley off the Big 
Wheel today. But I guess I have something to 
work at over the rest of Christmas vacation. 


Thursday 

I was heading up to Rowley’s today to play our 


Big Wheel game again, but Mom said I had to 


finish my Christmas thank-yous before I went 


out anywhere. 


137 


I thought I could just crank out my thank-you 


cards in a half hour, but when it came to actually 
writing them, my mind went blank. 



Let me tell you, it’s not easy writing thank-you 
notes for stuff you didn’t want in the first place. 

I started with the nonclothes items, because I 
thought they’d be easiest. But after two or 
three cards, I realized I was practically writing 
the same thing every time. 


So I wrote up a general form on the computer 
with blanks for the things that needed to change. 
Writing the cards from there was a breeze. 



138 



Dear /\un+ Lydid, 

Thank you so much for the awesome ehcyclopedfa ! 
How did you know I wanted that for Christmas? 

I love the way the encyclopedia looks on my shelf ! 

All my friends will be so jealous that I have my very own 

encyclopedia • 

Thank you for making this the best Christmas ever! 

Sincerely, Greg 


My system worked out pretty well for the first 


couple of gifts, but after that, not so much. 


Dear Lore+td, 

Thank you so much for the awesome patvhs ! 
How did you know I wanted that for Christmas? 

I love the way the pan-fs looks on my legs ! 

All my friends will be so jealous that I have my very own 

pcin+S 


Thank you for making this the best Christmas ever! 

Sincerely, Gre 3 

139 


Friday 


I finally knocked Rowley off the Big Wheel today, 
but it didn’t happen the way I expected. I was 
trying to hit him in the shoulder, but I missed, 
and the football went under the front tire. 



Rowley tried to break his fall by sticking out his 
arms, but he landed pretty hard on his left 
hand. I figured he’d just shake it off and get 
right back on the bike, but he didn’t. 


I tried to cheer him up, but all the jokes that 


usually crack him up weren’t working. 


140 


So I knew he must be hurt pretty bad. 


r UEY, LOOK AT ME! 
I’M YOUR DAD! 


\DARR DARR DARR. 


(SNIFF) 
HEH, HEH. 



Monday 

Chrishnas vacation is over, and now we’re back 
at school. And you remember Rowley’s Big Wheel 
accident? Well, he broke his hand, and now he has 
to wear a cast. And today, everyone was crowding 
around him like he was a hero or something. 



i 

141 


I tried to cash in on some of Rowley’s new 


popularity, but it totally backfired. 



At lunch a bunch of girls invited Rowley over to 
their table so they could feeD him 


What really ticks me off about that is that 
Rowley is right-handed, and it’s his left hand 
that’s broken. So he can feed himself just fine. 





Tuesday 


I realized Rowley’s injury thing is a pretty 
good racket, so I decided it was time for me to 
have an injury of my o wn. 

I took some gauze from home, and I wrapped 
up my hand to make it look like it was hurt. 

/ITS A RAGING 
f INFECTION CAUSED BY 
1 A SPLINTER THAT WAS 
\LEFT UNTREATED* 



I couldn’t figure out why the girls weren’t 
swarming me like they swarmed Rowley, but then 
I realized what the proble m was. 

See, the cast is a great gimmick because everyone 


wants to sign their name on it. But it’s not exactly 


easy to sign gauze with a pen. 


143 


So I came up with a solution that I thought 


was just as good. 



That idea was a total bust, too. My bandage did 
end up attracting attention from a couple of 
people, but believe me, they were not the type 
of people I was going for. 


CAN I PEEK 
AT YOUR 
INFECTION? 


144 




Monday 


Last week we started the third quarter at 
school, so now I have a whole bunch of new 
classes. One of the classes I signed up for is 
something called Independent Study. 


I WAnteD to sign up for Home Economics 2, 
because I was pretty good at Home Ec 1 . 


But being good at sewing does not exactly buy 
you popularity points at school. 


/HEY, LOOK, 

1 GREG HAS A 
XJPURSE! 


/actuallyN 

[ IT’S AN \ 
l EMBROIDERED I 
\BOOKBAay 


okT\ 

PURSIE^J 



Anyway, this Independent Study thing is an 


experiment they’re trying out at our school for 


the first time 


145 


The idea is that the class gets assigned a project, 


and then you have to work on it together with no 
teacher in the room for the whole quarter. 


The catch is that when you’re done, everyone 
in your group gets the same grade. I found out 
that Ricky Fisher is in my class, which could be 
a big problem 


Ricky’s big claim to fame is that he’ll pick the 
gum off the bottom of a desk and chew it if you 
pay him fifty cents. So I don’t really have high 
hopes for our final grade. 



Tuesday 

Today we got our Independent Study assignment, 
and guess what it is? We have to build a robot. 


At first everybody kind of freaked out, because 


we thought we were going to have to build the 


robot from scratch. 


146 


But Mr. Darnell told us we don’t have to build 


an actual robot. We just need to come up with 
ideas for what our robot might look like and 
what kinds of things it would be able to do. 


Then he left the room, and we were on our own. 
We started brainstorming right away. I wrote 
down a bunch of ideas on the blackboard. 


FT 


+\->e fob of would 


do myhomeWor/c 

do +be dishes 

moke my break - 
fas+ 

brusfi tee+h 



Everybody was pretty impressed with my ideas, 
but it was easy to come up with them. All I 
did was write down all the things I hate 
doing myself. 


But a couple of the girls got up to the front of 



the room, and they had some ideas of their own. 


They erased my list and drew up their own plan. 


147 


They wanted to invent a robot that would give 


you dating advice and have ten types of lip gloss 
on its fingertips. 



All us guys thought this was the stupidest idea 
we ever heard. So we ended up splitting into two 
groups, girls and boys. The boys went to the 
other side of the room while the girls stood 
around talking. 

Now that we had all the serious workers in one 
place, we got to work. Someone had the idea 
that you can say your name to the robot and it 


can say it back to you. 




But then someone else pointed out that you 


shouldn’t be able to use bad words for your 
name, because the robot shouldn’t be able to 
curse . So we decided we should come up with a 
list of all the bad words the robot shouldn’t be 
able to say. 

We came up with all the regular bad words, but 
then Ricky Fisher came up with twenty more the 
rest of us had never even heard before^ 



So Ricky ended up being one of the most valuable 
contributors on this project. 

Right before the bell rang, Mr. Darnell came 
back in the room to check on our progress. He 
picked up the piece of paper we were writing on 



149 


To make a long story short, Independent Study 



Well, at least it is for us boys. So if the robots 
in the future are going around with cherry lip 
gloss for fingers, at least now you know how it 
all got started. 

Thursday 

In school today they had a general assembly and 
showed the movie “It’s Great to Be Me,” which 
they show us every year. 

The movie is all about how you should be happy 


with who you are and not change anything 


about yourself. 


150 


To be honest with you, I think that’s a really 


dumb message to be telling kids, especially the 
ones at my school. 



Later on, they made an announcement that 
there are some openings on the Safety Patrols, 
and that got me thinking. 

If someone picks on a Safety Patrol, it can get 
them suspended. The way I figure it, I can use 
any extra protection I can get. 


Plus, I realized that maybe being in a position 


of authority could be good for me. 


151 


CAN WE PLEASE 
CROSS THE 
STREET NOW? 


NOPE. 


BUT WE'VE 
BEEN STANDING 
HERE FOR AN 



I went down to Mr. Winsky’s office and signed 
myself up, and I got Rowley to sign up, too. 

I thought Mr. Winsky would make us do a 
bunch of chin-ups or jumping jacks or something 
to prove we were up for the job, but he just 


handed us our belts and badges on the spot. 


152 



Mr. Winsky said the openings were for a special 


assignment. Our school is right next to the 
elementary school, and they’ve got a half-day 
kindergarten there. 

He wants us to walk the morning session kids home 
in the middle of the day. I realized that meant 
we would miss twenty minutes of Pre- Algebra. 


Rowley must have figured that out, too, because 
he started to speak up. But I gave him a wicked 
pinch underneath the desk before he could finish 



Icouldn’tbelievemyluck.Iwasgettinginstantbully 


protectionandafreepassfromhalfofPre- Algebra, 


andldidn’tevenhavetoliftafmger. 


153 


Tuesday 


Today was our first day as Safety Patrols. Me and 
Rowley don’t technically have stations like all the 
other Patrols, so that means we don’t have to stand 
out in the freezing cold for an hour before school. 


But that didn’t stop us from coming to the 
cafeteria for the free hot chocolate they hand 
out to the other Patrols before homeroom 



Another great perk is that you get to show up 
ten minutes late for first period. 


— 0 

WEL-LoAy 




I ’m telling you. I’ve got it made with this 
Safety Patrol thing. 

At 12:15, me and Rowley left school and walked 
the kindergartners home. The whole trip ate up 
forty- five minutes, and there were only twenty 
minutes of Pre- Algebra left when we got back. 


Walking the kids home was no sweat. But one of 
the kindergartners started to smell a little funny, 
and I think maybe he had an accident in his pants. 

He tried to let me know about it, but I just 
stared straight ahead and kept walking. F 1 1 

take these kids home, but believe me, I didn’t 
sign up for any diaper duty. 


155 


% M**«**»U^k t~*+~ * +* 

~J ~J -Ib-JS-\J9 ~c3b\M — 


February 


Wednesday 

Today it snowed for the first time this winter, 
and school was canceled. We were supposed to 
have a test in Pre- Algebra, and I’ve kind of 
slacked off ever since I became a Safety Patrol. 
So I was psyched. 



I called Rowley and told him to come over. Me and 
him have been talking about building the world’s 
biggest snowman for the past couple of years now. 


And when I say the world’s biggest snowman, 


I’m not kidding. Our goal is to get into the 


“Guinness Book of World Records.” 


156 



f MSH 



But every time we’ve gotten serious about going 
for the record, all the snow has melted, and 
we’ve missed our window of opportunity. So this 
year, I wanted to get started right away. 


When Rowley came over, we started rolling the 
first snowball to make the base. I figured the 
base was going to have to be at least eight feet 
tall on its own if we wanted to have a shot at 


breaking the record. But the snowball got real 


heavy, and we had to take a bunch of breaks in 


between rolls so we could catch our breath. 


157 


o 


o 



During one of our breaks, Mom came outside to go 
to the grocery store, but our snowball was blocking 
her car in. So we got a little tree labor out of her. 


O O O 



After our break, me and Rowley pushed that 


snowball until we couldn’t push it any farther. 



But when we looked behind us, we saw the mess 


we had made. 


158 


The snowball had gotten so heavy that it tore 


up all the sod Dad had just laid down this fall. 


I was hoping it would snow a few more inches 
and cover up our tracks, but just like that, it 
stopped snowing. 



Our plan to build the world’s biggest snowman 
was starting to fall apart. So I came up with a 
better idea for our snowball. 


Every time it snows, the kids from Whirley 


Street use our hill for sledding, even though this 


isn’t their neighborhood. 


159 


So tomorrow morning, when the Whirley Street 


kids come marching up our hill, me and Rowley are 


going to teach those guys a lesson. 



Thursday 

When I woke up this morning, the snow was 
already starting to melt. So I told Rowley to 
hurry up and get down to my house. 

While I was waiting for Rowley to show up, I 


watched Manny trying to build a snowman out of 


the piddly crumbs of snow that were left over 


from our snowball. 


160 


It was actually kind of pathetic. 



I really couldn’t help doing what I did next. 
Unfortunately for me, right at that moment, 
Dad was at the front window. 




Dad was Aire ADymad at me for tearing up 


the sod, so I knew I was in for it. I heard the 
garage door open and I saw Dad coining outside. 
He marched right out carrying a snow shovel, and I 
thought I was going to have to make a run for it. 





But Dad was heading for my snowball, not me. 
And in less than a minute, he reduced all our 


hard work to nothing. 



Rowley came by a few minutes later. I thought he 


might actually get a kick out of what happened. 



But I guess he had his heart set on rolling 
that snowball down the hill, and he was really 
mad. But get this: Rowley was mad at me for 
what DAD did 


I told Rowley he was being a big baby, and we 
got in a shoving match. Right when it looked like 
we were going to get in an all-out fight, we got 
ambushed from the street. 




It was a hit-and-run by the Whirley Street kids. 


* ** 



And if Mrs. Levine, my English teacher, was 
there, Em sure she would have said the whole 
situation was “ironic.” 

Wednesday 

Today at school they announced there’s an opening 
for the cartoonist job in the school paper. There’s 


only one comic slot, and up until now this kid named 


Bryan Little has been hogging it all to himself. 


164 


Bryan has this comic called “Wacky Dawg,” and 


when it started off, it was actually pretty funny. 


But lately, Bryan’s been using his strip to handle 
his personal business. I guess that’s why they 
-ga^e_hi mdhe-axe 


Wacky Dawg 


Hey, 
Wacky 
Dawg, say 
somethin' 
FUNNY! 


Actually, 
I have 
something 
serious on 
my mind 
today. 


Bryan Little 

Susan Lim, if you are reading this, 
Bryan is very sorry he kissed your 
best friend Rachel behind the 
lockers. He hopes you can find it in 
your heart to forgive him. 




P.S. Barry Palmer, 
you still owe Bryan 
five dollars, you 

BUM! 


As soon as I heard the news, I knew I had to 
try out. “Wacky Dawg” made Bryan Little a 
celebrity at our school, and I wanted to get in 
on some of that kind of fame. 


I had a taste of what it’s like to be famous at 


my school when I won honorable mention in this 


antismoking contest they had. 


165 


All I did was trace a picture from one of 


Rodrick’s heavy metal magazines, but luckily, no 
one ever found out. 



The kid who won first place is named Chris 
Carney. And what kind of ticks me off is that 


Chris smokes at least a pack of cigarettes a day. 



Thursday 


Me and Rowley decided to team up and do a 
cartoon together. So after school today he came 
over to my house, and we got to work. 



We banged out a bunch of characters real 
quick, but that turned out to be the easy 
part. When we tried to think up some jokes, 
we kind of hit a wall. 

I finally came up with a good solution. 

I made up a cartoon where the punch line of 
every strip is “Zoo- Wee Mama ! 

That way we wouldn’t get bogged down with having 
to write actual jokes, and we could concentrate on 


the pictures 


167 


For the first couple of strips, I did the writing 


and drew the characters, and Rowley drew the 
boxes around the pictures. 




'Hey, Timmy your 
rno+ber slipped on a 
\5anana peel, cina r*u* 

sY\e IS dead. 


ZOO - VE E\ 
MAMA ! ) 






Rowley started complaining that he didn’ t have 


enough to do, so I lethim write a few ofthe strips. 


168 


But to be honest with you, there was a pretty 


obvious drop in quality once Rowley started doing 
the writing. 


/ X Hove been 
yiail’in^ +bn»e 
boors +o 
d hamburger. 

7 ^ 



finally ? One 
hamburger, 

please ! 




Eventually I got kind of sick of the “Zoo- Wee 


Mama” idea and I pretty much let Rowley take 


over the whole operation. 


169 


And believe it or not, Rowley’s drawing skills 


are worse than his writing skills. 



A* ]eas+ tVs 
MUl le. 




/Tf-ay-ay! V 

l T+ is an acid / 

V — i 1 1 • / 





puddle! 
r: — 



f. n./zoo-weea 

^ I A. • TV MAMA f ) 


\ 1 |/ \ • 1/ \ • 
{hr ^T— 

y 




4 ^ — — v I 2 " 



I told Rowley maybe we should come up with 
some new ideas, but he just wanted to keep 
writing “Zoo- Wee Mamas.” Then he packed up 


his comics and went home, which was fine by me. 


I don’t really want to be partnered up with a 


kid who doesn’t draw noses, anyway. 


170 


Friday 


After Rowley left yesterday, 1 really got to work 
on some comics. I came up with this character called 
Creighton the Cretin, and I got on a roll. 




WAR WAR WAR WAR* 



? 1 

\ 




I must’ve banged out twenty strips, and I 


didn’t even break a sweat. 


I WONDER WHAT 
IS IN THIS CUTE 
LITTLE BOX? 

THAT'S NOT A BOX, IT'S A 
BRICK, YOU DUMB MORON* 

V 

-W 



a jTp 





OOPS. I HAVE BEEN TRYING 


TO OPEN IT ALL DAY. 


DOCTOR, COULD I 
HAVE A NEW BUTT? 
MY OLD ONE HAS A 
CRACK IN IT. 



CREIGHTON, I TOLD 
YOU A MILLION TIMES, 
EVERYONE’S BUTT HAS 
A CRACK IN IT? 



OH YEAH, I 
FORGOT. 


The great thing about these “Creighton the Cretin” 


comics is that with all the idiots running around my 


school, I will neverrunout ofnew material. 


172 


When I got to school today, I took my comics 


to Mr. Ira’s office. He’s the teacher who runs 


the school newspaper. 


But when I went to turn my strips in, I saw 
that there was a pile of comics from other kids 
who were trying out for the job. 


Most of them were pretty bad, so I wasn’t too 
worried about the competition. 


Girls 

RULE! 

by tabttha 
cutter and 
Isa russe 


don’t walk near 
our lunch table, 
tyler green! 

\ 




yeah, you’re 
not even 
cute! 

/ 

SL, 





ha ha ha ha ha 

ha ha ha ha! 

I I 



b=e^ 




-fefe — \=h 1 ,nr 







173 




One of the comics was called “Dumb Teachers,” 
and it was written by this kid named Bill Tritt. 


Bill is always in detention, so I guess he has a 


bone to pick with just about every teacher in the 


school, including Mr. Ira. 


174 


So I’m not too worried about the chances of 


Bill’s comic getting in, either. 


Mr. Ira, 
uou pooped 



5+tnk 

lines 

(fron +he poop.) 



There were actually one or two decent comics in 
the bin. But I slipped them under a pile of 
paperwork on Mr. Ira’s desk. 


Hopefully, those ones won’t turn up until I’m 
in high school 


_L 


SUP 


175 


Thursday 


Today, during morning announcements, I got 
,tho„ne.ws_L.w_as„hQpingToi' 




The paper came out today at lunch time, and 
everyone was reading it. 


I really wanted to pick up a copy to see my 
name in print, but I decided to just play it cool 
for a while instead. 



////'/, 



I sat at the end of the lunch table so there 


would be plenty of room for me to start signing 
autographs for my new fans. But nobody was coming 
over to tell me how great my comic was, and I 
started to get the feeling something was wrong. 


I grabbed a paper and went into the bathroom 
to check it out. And when I saw my comic, I 
practically had a heart attack. 



Mr. Ira told me he had made some “minor 
edits” to my comic. I thought he just meant he 
he fixed spelling mistakes and stuff like that, but 
he totally butchered it. 

The comic he ruined was one of my favorite ones, 


too. In the original, Creighton the Cretinis taking 


a math test, and he accidentally eats it. And then 


the teacher yells at him for being such a moron. 


177 


By the time Mr. Ira was done with it, you 


practically couldn’t recognize it as the same strip. 


Creighton the Curious Student by Gregory Heffley 


Teacher, if x + 43 = 89, 
then what would x be?^^ 


Creighton, x would be 46! 


y 77? 



<cf6%> "Hi 



ip rty 





■ ■ 



Thanks. Kids, if you want to learn 
more about math, be sure to visit 
Mr. Humphrey during his office 
hours. Or visit the library and 
check out the newly expanded 
Math and Science section! 


So I’m pretty sure I won’t be signing autographs 



178 



March 


Wednesday 

Me and Rowley were enjoying our hot chocolate 
in the cafeteria with the rest of the Patrols 
today, and there was an announcement on the 
loudspeaker. 



Rowley went down to Mr. Winsky’s office, and 
when Rowley came back fifteen minutes later, he 
looked pretty shaken up. 


Apparently Mr. Winsky got a call from a parent 
who said they witnessed Rowley “terrorizing” 


the kindergartners when he was supposed to be 


walking them home from school. And Mr. Winsky 


was really mad about it. 


179 


Rowley said Mr. Winsky yelled at him for about 


ten minutes and said his actions “disrespected 



You know, I think I might just know what this 
is all about. Last week, Rowley had to take a 
quiz during fourth period, so I walked the 
kindergartners home on my own. 

It had rained that morning, and there were a 
lot of worms on the sidewalk. So I decided to 


have some fun with the kids. 


180 



But some neighborhood lady saw what I was 


doing, and she yelled at me from her front porch. 


It was Mrs. Irvine, who is friends with Rowley’s 
mom She must have thought I was Rowley, 
because I was borrowing his coat. And I wasn’t- 
about to correct her, either. 


d */LEY JEFFERSON,' 
ME PRINCIPAL IS 
iOlNG TO MEAR 

ABOUT THIS’ 



I forgot about the whole incident until today. 


Anyway, Mr. Winsky told Rowley he’s going to 


have to apologize to the kindergartners tomorrow 


morning, and that he’s suspended from Patrols 


for a week. 


181 


I knew I should probably just tell Mr. Winsky it 


was me who chased the kids with the worms. But 
I wasn’t ready to set the record straight just 
yet. I knew if I confessed, I’d lose my hot 
chocolate privileges. And that right there was 
enough to make me keep quiet for the time being. 

At dinner tonight, Mom could tell something 
was bothering me, so she came up to my room 
afterward to talk. 

I told her I was in a tough situation, and I 
didn’t know what to do. 

I got to give Mom credit for how she handled 
it. She didn’t try to pry and get all the details. 

All she said was that I should try to do the 
“right thing,” because it’s our choices that make 
us who we are. 


182 



I figure that’s pretty decent advice. But I’m still 


not 100% sure what I’m going to do tomorrow. 


Thursday 

Well, I was up all night tossing and turning 
over this Rowley situation, but I finally made 
up my mind. I decided the right thing to do 
was to just let Rowley take one for the team 
this time around. 


I'M SORRY I 
TERRORIZED 
YOU CHILDREN. 



On the way home from school, I came clean with 
Rowley and told him the whole truth about what 


happened, and how it was me who chased the 


kids with the worms. 


183 


Then I told him there were lessons we could 


both learn from this. I told him I learned to be 
more careful about what I do in front of Mrs. 
Irvine’s house, and that he learned a valuable 
lesson, too, which is this: Be careful about who 
you lend your coat to. 


/IGUESS THIS HAS 
BEEN A LEARNING 
l EXPERIENCE FOR 

\BOTW OF US! 



To be honest with you, my message didn’t seem 
to be getting through to Rowley. 


We were supposed to hang out after school 
today, but he said he was just going to go home 
and take a nap. 


I couldn’t really blame him Because if I didn’t 


have my hot chocolate this morning, I wouldn’t 


have had much energy, either. 


184 


When I got home, Mom was waiting for me at 


the front door. 


/DID YOU DO 
( THE RIGHT 
V^THING? 



Mom took me out to get some ice cream as a special 
treat. And what this whole episode has taught me 
is that every once in a while, it’s not such a bad 


idea to listen to your mother. 



185 


Tuesday 


There was another announcement on the loudspeaker 
today, and to be honest with you, I kind of 
figured this one was coming 



I knew it was just a matter of time before I 
got busted for what happened last week. 

When I got to Mr. Winsky’s office, he was 
really mad. Mr. Winsky told me that an 
“anonymous source” had informed him that I 


was the real culprit in the worm-chasing incident. 


Then he told me I was relieved of my Safety 


Patrol duties “effective immediately.” 


186 


Well, it doesn’t take a detective to figure out 


that the anonymous source was Rowley. 


I can’t believe Rowley went and backstabbed 


me like that. While I was sitting there getting 


chewed out by Mr. Winsky, I was thinking, I 


need to remember to give my friend a lecture 


about loyalty. 



Later on today, Rowley got reinstated as a Patrol. 


And get this: He actually got a Promotion. 


Mr. Winsky said Rowley had “exhibited dignity 


under false suspicion.” 



I thought about really letting Rowley have it 


for ratting me out like that, but then I 
realized something. 


In June, all the officers in the Safety Patrols 
go on a trip to Six Flags, and they get to take 
along one friend. I need to make sure Rowley 


knows I’m his guy. 



Tuesday 

Like I said before, the worst part of getting 
kicked off Safety Patrols is losing your hot 


chocolate privileges. 


Every morning, I go to the back door of the 


cafeteria so Rowley can hook me up. 


188 


But either my friend has gone deaf or he’s too 


busy kissing the other officers’ butts to notice me 



In fact, now that I think of it, Rowley has been 
totally giving me the cold shoulder lately. And 
that’s really lame, because if I recall correctly, 
He’s the one that sold me out. 

Even though Rowley has been a total jerk lately, 
I tried to break the ice with him today, anyway. 
But even that didn’t seem to work. 



189 



April 


Friday 

Ever since the worm incident, Rowley has been 
hanging out with Collin Lee every day after school. 
What really stinks is that Collin is supposed to 
be my backup friend. 

Those guys are acting totally ridiculous. Today, 
Rowley and Collin were wearing these matching 
T-shirts, and it made me just about want to vomit. 




After dinner tonight, I saw Rowley and Collin 


walking up the hill together, chumming it up. 


190 


Collin had his overnight bag, so I knew they 


were going to do a sleepover at Rowley’s. 

And I thought, Well, two can play at tHAt 
game. The best way to get back at Rowley was 
to get a new best friend of my own. But 
unfortunately, the only person who came to mind 
right at that moment was Fregley. 


I went up to Fregley’ s with my overnight bag so 
Rowley could see I had other friend options, too. 


When I got there, Fregley was in his front 
yard stabbing a kite with a stick. That’s when 
I started to think maybe this wasn’t the best 
idea after alL 




But Rowley was in his front yard, and he was 


watching me. So I knew there was no turningback. 

I invited myself into Fregley’s house. His mom said 
she was excited to see Fregley with a “playmate,” 
which was a term I was not too enthusiastic about. 




Me and Fregley went upstairs to his room. 
Fregley tried to get me to play Twister with 
him, so I made sure I stayed ten feet away 
from him at all times 

I decided that I should just pull the plug on 


this stupid idea and go home. But every time I 


looked out the window, Rowley and Collin were 


still in Rowley’s front yard. 


192 


I didn’ t want to leave until those guys went back 


inside. But things started to get out of hand with 
Fregley pretty quickly When I was looking out the 
window, Fregley broke into my backpack and ate the 
whole bag of j elly beans I had in there. 


Fregley’ s one of these kids who’s not supposed 
to eat any sugar, so two minutes later, he was 
bouncing off the walls. 



Fregley started acting like a total maniac, and 
he chased me all around his upstairs. 


I kept thinking he was going to come down off 


of his sugar high, but he didn’t. Eventually, I 


locked myself in his bathroom to wait him out. 


193 


Around 11:30, it got quiet out in the hallway. 


That’s when Fregley slipped a piece of paper 


under the door. 


G 




I picked it up and read it. 






'pear Gregor/, 



XVn very sorry X 

chased you Wi+h a 
booder 0 n rny flower. 

fdere, X P 0 ^ i+ on 











This paper So you 

\ 


can ge+ rne back. 

\ 



That’s the last thing I remember before I 


blacked out. 


I came to my senses a few hours later. After I 
woke up, I cracked the door open, and I heard 
snoring coming from Fregley’s room. So I decided 
to make a run for it. 


Mom and Dad were not happy with me for getting 
them out of bed at 2:00 in the morning. But by 
that point, I could really care less. 



L 


Monday 


Well, me and Rowley have officially been ex-friends 
for about a month now, and to be honest with 
you. I’m better off without him 

I’m glad I can just do whatever I want without 
having to worry about carrying all that dead 
weight around. 


Lately I’ve been hanging out in Rodrick’s room 
after school and going through his stuff. The other 
day, I found one of his middle school yearbooks. 



Rodrick wrote on everybody’s picture in his 


yearbook, so you can tell how he felt about all 


the kids in his grade. 


196 



Every once ina while, I see Rodrick’s old classmates 
around town. And I have to remember to thank 
Rodrick for making church a lot more interesting. 



But the page in Rodrick’s yearbook that’s 
really interesting is the Class Favorites page. 


That’s where they put pictures of the kids who 



get voted Most Popular and Most Talented and 


all that. 


197 


Rodrick wrote on his Class Favorites page, too. 


MOST LIKELY TO SUCCEED 


















Jf m !r- 



/ — LL - J LJ - U ^ 



Bill Watson Kathy Nguyen 


You know, this Class Favorites thing has really 
got my gears turning. 

If you can get yourself voted onto the Class 
Favorites page, you’re practically an immor tal. 
Even if you don’t live up to what you got 
picked for, it doesn’t really matter, because it’s 
on permanent record. 


People still treat Bill Watson like he’s something 


special, even though he ended up dropping out of 


high school. 


198 


We still run into him at the Food Barn every 


once in a while. 



So here’s what I’m thinking: This school year 
has been kind of a bust, but if I can get voted 
as a Class Favorite, I’ll go out on a high note. 


I’ve been trying to think of a category I have 
a shot at. Most Popular and Most Athletic are 
definitely out, so I’m going to have to find 
something that’s a little bit more in reach. 


At first I thought maybe I should wear really 




nice clothes for the rest of the year so I can 


get Best Dressed. 


199 


But that would mean I would have to get my 


picture taken with Jenna Stewart, and she 


dresses like a Pilgrim 



Wednesday 


Last night I was lying in bed, and it hit me: I 
should go for Class Clown. 

It’s not like I’m known for being real funny at 
school or anything, but if I can pull off one big 


prank right before voting, that could do it. 


— X 7 - 

THUMB 

TACK 


May 


Thursday 

Today I was trying to figure out how I was 
going to sneak a thumbtack onto Mr. Worth’s 
chair in History when he said something that 
made me rethink my plan. 


Mr. Worth told us he has a dentist’s appointment 
tomorrow, so we’re going to have a substitute. 
Subs are like comic gold. You can say just about 


anything you want, and you can’t get in trouble. 


/GREG MEFFLEYX 
( WILL YOU PLEASE ] 

V do THIS PROBLEM? J s ^ 

V (your MAMA?) 

YOUR BIG 
FANNY GRANNY? 



YOUR SLAP- 
HAPPY 

GRANDPAPPY? 


/Y 



Friday 


I walked into my History class today, ready 
to execute my plan. But when I got to the 
door, guess who the substitute teacher was? 



Of all the people in the world to be our sub 
today, it was Mom I thought Mom’s days of 
getting involved at my school were over. 


She used to be one of those parents who came 
in to help out in the classroom. But that all 
changed after Mom volunteered to be a 


chaperone for our field trip to the zoo when 



I was in third grade. 


202 


Mom had prepared all sorts of material to help us 


kids appreciate the different exhibits, but all 
anyone wanted to do was watch the animals go 
to the bathroom. 



Anyway, Mom totally foiled my plan to win Class 
Clown. I’m just lucky there’s not a category 
called Biggest Mama’s Boy, because after today, 
I’d win that one in a landslide. 


YOU FORGOT 
YOUR LUNCH 
AT HONE* 


203 



Wednesday 


The school paper came out again today. I quit 
my job as school cartoonist after “Creighton the 
Curious Student” came out, and I didn’t really 
care who they picked to replace me. 


But everyone was laughing at the comics page at 
lunch, so I picked up a copy to see what was so 
funny. And when I opened it up, I couldn’t 
believe my eyes. 



It was “Zoo- Wee Mama.” And of course Mr. Ira 
didn’t change a single word of Rowley’s strip. 


Zoo- Wee Mama 

V\ey teao+^l 

lady do you 

wan+ +° 3° 
on a aa+e 
Wi+h me?. 


by Rowley Jefferson 


I am no -V a 
lady J am j u S+ 
°ne of -those docjs 
v/i+h long hair 
SO no -thanks 


200- WEE 
MAMA/ 





>s v+o +bq+ date./ 
T~ //>r r 



So now Rowley’s getting all the fame that was 


supposed to be mine. 



Even the teachers are kissing Rowley’s butt. I 
almost lost my lunch when Mr. Worth dropped his 
chalk in History class — 


ZOO-WEE 
MAMA? 





Monday 


This “Zoo-Wee Mama” thing has really got me 
worked up. Rowley is getting all the credit for a 
comic that we came up with together. I figured 
the least he could do was put my name on the 
strip as the co-creator. 

So I went up to Rowley after school and told 
him that’s what he was gonna have to do. But 
Rowley said “Zoo- Wee Mama” was all His idea 
and that I didn’t have anything to do with it. 


I guess we must’ve been talking pretty loud, 
because the next thing you knew, we attracted 
a crowd. 


( FIGHT? FIGHTS 
V" FIGHT? J 

— T"— y 


fT?\ 


FIGHT? FIGHT? 
FIGHT? y' 



T 




The kids at my school are AlWAys itching to 


see a fight. Me and Rowley tried to walk away, 
but those guys weren’t going to let us go until 
they saw us throw some punches. 

I’ve never been in a real fight before, so I didn’t 
know how I was supposed to stand or hold my 
fists or anything. And you could tell Rowley 
didn’t know what he was doing either, because he 
just started prancing around like a leprechaun. 



I was pretty sure I could take Rowley in a 
fight, but the thing that made me nervous was 
the fact that Rowley takes karate. I don’t know 


what kind of hocus-pocus they teach in Rowley’s 


karate classes, but the last thing I needed was 


for him to lay me out right there on the blacktop. 


207 


Before me or Rowley made a move, there was a 


screeching sound in the school parking lot. A 
bunch of teenagers had stopped their pickup 
truck, and they started piling out. 

I was just happy that everyone’s attention was 
on the teenagers instead of me and Rowley. But 
all the other kids took off when the teenagers 
started heading our way. 



And then I realized that these teenagers 
looked awfully familiar. 

That’s when it hit me. These were the same 


guys who chased me and Rowley around on 


Halloween night, and they had finally caught up 


with us. 


208 


But before we could make a run for it, we had our 


arms pinned behind our backs. 

Those guys wanted to teach us a lesson for_ 
taunting them on Halloween night, and they 
started arguing over what they should do with us. 





But to be honest with you, I was more concerned 
about something else. The Cheese was only a few 
feet from where we were standing on the blacktop, 
and it was looking nastier than ever. 



The big teenager must have caught my eye, 
because the next thing I knew, he was looking 
at the Cheese, too. And I guess that gave him 
the idea he was looking for. 

Rowley got singled out first. The big kid grabbed 
Rowley and dragged him over to the Cheese. 


Now, I don’t want to say exactly what happened 
next. Because if Rowley ever tries to run for 
President and someone finds out what these guys 
made him do, he won’t have a chance. 

So I’ll put it to you this way: They made Rowley 
the Cheese. 









I knew they were gonna make me do it, too. I 


started to panic, because I knew I wasn’t going 
to be able to fight my way out of this situation. 


So I did some fast talking instead. 


i would/but\ 

I’M ALLERGIC 
TO DAIRY* J 



And believe it or not, it actually worked. 



I guess the teenagers were satisfied they had 
made their point, because after they made 
Rowley finish off the rest of the Cheese, they 
let us go. They got back in their truck and 
took off down the road. 


Me and Rowley walked home together. But neither 
one of us really said anything on the way back. 

I thought about mentioning to Rowley that 
maybe he could have pulled out a couple of his 
karate moves back there, but something told me 
to hold off on that thought for right now. 


shudd^ 

shudder 

CZS-W y. 



212 


Tuesday 


At school today, the teachers let us outside 
after lunch. 


It took about five seconds for someone to 
realize the Cheese was missing from its spot on 
the blacktop. 



Cheese used to be. Nobody could believe it was 
actually gone 


People started coming up with these crazy theories 


about what happened to it. Somebody said that 


maybe the Cheese grew legs and walked away. 


213 


It took all my self-control to keep my mouth 


shut. And if Rowley wasn’t standing right 
there, I honestly don’t know if I could have 
kept quiet. 



A couple of the guys who were arguing over what 
happened to the Cheese were the same ones who 
were egging me and Rowley on yesterday afternoon. 
So I knew it wasn’t going to be long before 
someone put two and two together and figured out 
that we must have had something to do with it. 

Rowley was starting to panic, and I don’t 
blame him, either. If the truth ever came out 


about how the Cheese disappeared, Rowley would 


be finished. He’d have to move out of the state, 


and maybe even the country. 


214 


That’s when I decided to speak up. 


I told everyone that I knew what happened to 
the Cheese. I said I was sick of it being on the 
blacktop, and I just decided to get rid of it once 
and for all. 


For a second there, everyone just froze. I 
thought people were going to start thanking me 
for what I did, but boy, was I wrong. 

I really wish I had worded my story a little 
differently. Because if I threw away the Cheese, 
guess what that meant? It meant that I have 
the Cheese Touch. 




June 


Friday 

Well, if Rowley appreciated what I did for him 
last week, he hasn’t said it. But we’ve started 
hanging out after school again, so I guess that 
means me and him are back to normal. 



I can honestly say that so far, having the 
Cheese Touch hasn’t been all that bad. 

It got me out of doing the Square Dance unit 
in Phys Ed, because no one would partner up 
with me. And I’ve had the whole lunch table to 
myself every day. 


Today was the last day of school, and they 


handed out yearbooks after eighth period. 


216 


I flipped to the Class Favorites page, and 


here’s the picture that was waiting for me. 


CLASS CLOWN 












C 07 









rESffir /p 

~i 






Rowley Jefferson 


All I can say is, if anyone wants a free yearbook, 
they can dig one out of the trash can in the 
back of the cafeteria. 


You know, Rowley can have Class Clown for all I 


care. But if he ever gets too big for his britches, 


I’ 1 jiist remind him that he was the guy who ate 


the 


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 

There are many people who helped bring this book to life, 
but four individuals deserve special thanks: 

Abrams editor Charlie Kochman, whose advocacy for Diary 
of a Wimpy Kid has been beyond what I could have hoped 
for. Any writer would be lucky to have Charlie as an editor. 

Jess Brallier, who understands the power and potential of 
online publishing, and helped Greg Heffley reach the masses 
for the first time. Thanks especially for your friendship and 
mentorship. 

Patrick, who was instrumental in helping me improve this 
book, and who wasn't afraid to tell me when a joke stunk. 

My wife, Julie, without whose incredible support this book 
would not have become a reality. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR 


Jeff Kinney is an online game developer and designer, and a 
# 1 New York Times bestselling author. In 2009, Jeff was 
named one of Time magazines TOO Most Influential People 
in the World. He spent his childhood in the Washington, 


n n 


rvA A\/Ai 


C r» rrl a rv i rs 



a i era ai iu miuvcu new i_ i igi a i i in iyyj. oeri i 

southern Massachusetts with his wife and their two 


1 1 v ero 1 1 i 

sons. 




In Diary of a Wimpy Kid, author and illustrator Jeff Kinney 
introduces us to an unlikely hero. As Greg says in his diary: 




An imprint of ABRAMS 
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