Elrod McBugle on the Loose
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by Jeff Strand
Category: Young Adult/Humor EPIC eBook Award Winner
Description: A comedy for kids ... and adults who were warped as kids! The students at Greenwater Junior High have said they'll never forget this year, and Elrod McBugle is the reason. He's not a bad person. He doesn't TRY to get in trouble, cause mayhem, and occasionally blow things up ... it just happens. And it's going to happen again and again! Share Elrod's hilarious adventures as he faces the wrath of the Slurpy Gulp Beverage Company, tries to become a millionaire selling homemade bubble gum, survives a wild squirrel attack, tries to find out if his math teacher is an axe murderer, and much, much more! Watch out, everyone ... Elrod McBugle is on the loose! [Cover art by Dirk A. Wolf]
eBook Publisher: Hard Shell Word Factory/Hard Shell Word Factory, 2006 2001
eBookwise Release Date: October 2006
6 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [135 KB]
Reading time: 83-117 min.
"Jeff Strand has created a charming character with a keen sense of humor and a lively imagination. Wickedly funny. Students will howl at his antics while adults will recognize a little of themselves in Elrod and his friends."--Sharpwriter Reviews
"Very highly recommended! Jeff Strand's classically irreverent voice strikes again ... will launch hysterical laughter even in those who ordinarily refuse to give in to giggles."--WordWeaving
"A hilarious tale in the spirit of Judy Blume, J.K. Rowling, and Beverly Cleary, but with the unmistakable Strand touch."--The Blue Iris Journal
"A wonderful and hilarious book for all ages!"--Huntress Reviews
"I DON'T WANNA GO to school."
"Come on, get up. You have to go."
"No, I don't wanna!"
"Listen," I said, plopping down on the chair next to my friend Scoopy's bed. "Your mom is going to be up here any minute. You might as well get up now."
He rolled over, facing the wall, and pulled the covers over his head. "Go away."
Scoopy, my best friend, is not a morning person. He's not much of an afternoon person, either. He's more of a 5:00pm to 5:45pm person…on good days.
His real name is Hugh Casson, but in third grade he went through a phase where he wanted to try out various nicknames. First he asked us to call him "Truck," which we did. Then a few days later he asked us to call him "Scoopy," which we did. A couple minutes after that he wanted us to refer to him as "Wrench," but we were having too much fun calling him "Scoopy," and the nickname stuck. It's a combination of Scooby-Doo and Snoopy, and it really impresses the girls, even if they don't realize it.
I've known Scoopy since kindergarten, and he's always been the tallest boy in class. But it seems like every inch he grows takes away ten percent of his coordination, leaving him a very tall, very skinny, hopeless klutz. You wouldn't think the tallest kid in school would be picked last for basketball, but you haven't seen Scoopy try to dribble. It's scary.
His great height is accented by his hair, which tends to stick straight up in a gravity-defying spell that is only broken when Scoopy trips and falls. This happens often, since Scoopy usually manages to trip over things like ants, sand, his toes, and air. Because of this, his clothes (which were never all that fashionable in the first place) are usually dirty, torn, and ragged.
I, on the other hand, am built much like that fine politician Arnold Schwarzenegger, minus all that excess flab. I sort of look like a combination of Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson, if they'd had plastic surgery to improve their appearance. My voice is so manly that I've prevented eight or nine robberies just by saying "I wouldn't do that if I were you…punk."
No, I'm not lying, except for maybe the parts about Arnold, Tom, Mel, and the robberies. Actually, I'm average in appearance, if you exclude a few extra Twinkies I carry under my skin near the stomach area. I've got short black hair, wear wire-framed glasses, and have a face that contains two eyes, one nose, and a mouth, as well as some other features, including but not limited to eyebrows, a chin, some adorable dimples, and one of those little dents everyone has under their nose.
Now back to our story…
I glanced at my watch. "If you get up right now, you'll have a full six minutes to get ready before we have to leave. We can't be late our first day. They'll think we're slackers, which doesn't go with the fact that we're supposed to be nerds."
"I'm sick," said Scoopy, keeping his head beneath the covers. "I think it might be glomerulonephritis. Leave me alone."
Scoopy has been obsessed with glomerulonephritis ever since he read about it two or three years ago. It's some sort of kidney infection that Scoopy managed to convince himself was lurking behind every corner, ready to leap out and get him. I once made ten dollars by selling him some anti-glomerulonephritis medicine, which was actually some hamster pellets I colored with a magic marker. I am not proud of this.
Then I heard footsteps coming up the stairs. These were a special kind of footsteps heard only in the Casson residence. They were slow, forceful, and each echo sent out a very explicit message: This is your mother coming up to check on you, and if I don't like what I see things are going to be UGLY!
"Now you've done it," I said, wishing Scoopy had some extra pillows I could press over my ears to block out The Voice of Mom.
The door opened with a hideous creak, and Mrs. Casson entered. She's not a very large woman, but I swear that three-fourths of her body mass is pure lung. This was going to be bad. This was going to be very bad.
"HUGH CASSON WHY ON EARTH ARE YOU STILL IN BED?!?!?"
One of my eardrums passed out from sheer fright.
"I'm sick," said Scoopy.
"YOU MOST CERTAINLY ARE NOT SICK YOUNG MAN DO YOU WANT ME TO DRAG YOU OUT OF THAT BED BY YOUR HAIR?!?!?"
"THEN I WOULD ADVISE YOU TO GET UP RIGHT THIS VERY INSTANT AND I MEAN NOW!!!!!"
I would've been out of that bed before you could say the entire word "pain," but Scoopy barely moved. Oh yes, this was going to be bad indeed.
"I'm going to wait out in the hall," I said, hurrying out the door. I walked halfway down the stairs, until I could see Mr. Casson sitting at the dining room table, reading a newspaper.
"Good morning, Elrod," he said. "Looking forward to your first day of junior high?"
"Yes, sir," I said.
Upstairs, there was a very loud discussion regarding somebody being too far old for this kind of nonsense and somebody else being old beyond her years because of that specific nonsense.
"Are you nervous?" Mr. Casson asked.
I shrugged. "A little. Not too much."
There was a loud thump of a body falling to the floor and a sharp cry, followed by a discussion regarding the degree to which somebody was sick and tired of a certain behavior.
"You'll do fine," said Mr. Casson. "Do your homework and study for all the tests—that's the secret to a successful school career."
Copyright © 2005 Jeff Strand.