“Mom!” I call out. “Guess what? I had a dream last night that I met the Hawk,” I say a bit cheerfully. “He told me I was going to be a great leader,” I continue as I look over at my Hawk baseball glove sitting on the kitchen floor. My mother replies back, “That is innnttteerrrressstingg,” she says slowly, as if she was thinking very hard before speaking. She slowly turns to face me, looking deep into my eyes and says, “There’s a new adventure every day, Dewey.” Hmmm, my friends from the toy chest say the same thing. I like their adventures, so I’m gonna stay 9 years olds for the rest of my life, I hope.
I gather my things off the kitchen floor, getting ready for another school-day. Why does what my mother said seem like a warning to me, I wonder. It was like a mother’s wit alert: a secret weapon only adults can possess. Does she know something I don’t?
Still hanging onto my mother’s words as I walk to school, I ask myself if it could be a warning. Most of the time I look forward to going to school. I love seeing all of my friends, spending time with Coach Morris, discussing this week’s game schedule and getting teacher-ly advice from Mrs. Cusamano. But today, not being able to rid my mind of my mother’s morning talk concerned me.
Feeling like a professional athlete, I hop up the front steps, two at a time. I grab the door handle and enter the Martha Horton Elementary School hallway. The large doors slowly closing behind me, trapping me like a can of sardines with hundreds of Martha Horton students. I move forward, my sneakers making skipping sounds along the newly waxed floor. There were incoherent voices chattering all around me. I continue to move forward through the crowd, hoping to see a recognizable face. No luck! What I did see instead? Signs with my name, taped all over the hallway walls. Each sign read, ‘Dewey Does 4 Prez.’ It didn’t take long for me to realize what all the commotion was about.
I couldn’t believe it. Fussie Fran did it again; getting me into another pickle. This may not have been such a big deal until I found out who I was running against. Ugh! The STAPE TWINS! Now I get Fussie Fran’s prank. She’s always getting me into some sorta mess with somebody.
The Stape Twins, as they are known around school, are fifth graders. I figure Ryan and Brian are okay (sometimes!). But, if there were ever bullies in Doseville, it would be the Stape Twins.
I always thought, if I were a superhero, the Stape Twins would definitely be my number one nemesis. Every kind of sport competition or school project I’m in, they are on the opposing team.
Throughout the day, students were walking up to me; some just staring at me, some wishing me good luck, as if I was going off to college or something, and others giving me unexpected high fives. Did I become cool, like my friend Trevor Sparkz, over night?
The feeling of excitement was in the air, but I wasn’t the one feeling the excitement. Students from all around Martha Horton I didn’t even know, now seemed to know who I am. This is crazy, I thought. I just want to hide under Mrs. C’s large teacher-desk until school was over, or maybe I could turn invisible, like Violet Parr, and walk out of school unnoticed.
Talking to myself, as I sometimes do, I asked, “What can I do to get out of this Fussie Fran mess?” I looked around, hoping for an answer but there was no reply. This is not a sport of any sort, I thought. “Face the music!” That’s how Grandpa Does would put it.
Fussie Fran was really pushing this president thing too far. There were signs all over Martha Horton; the cafeteria, the auditorium, the school yard and even the bathrooms.
Everybody was really getting into this, except me. The closer it came to 3 o’clock, the louder the chanting became. Students were in the halls yelling, “Go Dewey, Go Dewey, Go Dewey!” Of course, they were led by none other than my friend, Cindi Joy, who seemed to be relishing the moment.
Wow…this is embarrassing. This can’t be happening. I found myself hoping the Stape Twins would win just to end my misery. I don’t want to be president. Did my dream cause this? Was this what my mother or the Hawk were talking about? All these thoughts kept rushing through my mind.
Commented [KC1]: Same comment as the last blog- may want to spell this out.
All the votes had to be in before 3 o’clock. It looked like the entire student body of Martha Horton Elementary was participating. Mrs. Cusamano and Coach Morris were the vote counters. As they were counting off the votes, which seemed to take a lifetime, students were beginning to get antsy, moving side to side, up and down in their chairs. Some people were even falling asleep.
“Twenty-Two for Dewey; twenty-one for Ryan and Brian,” Mrs. Cusamano said, as she continued calling out the votes over the school loudspeaker.
The entire student body of Martha Horton was gathering in the auditorium. Everybody seemed to be holding their breath. The sleepers were now awake as Mrs. C’s hand was reaching closer and closer to the bottom of the box of votes. The vote count was so close but I didn’t really care. I just wanted to go home and put this day behind me.
Mrs. C’s arm going deeper and deeper into the vote box, pulling out a single piece of paper at a time. The bottom seemed to be nearing. “Five hundred and six for Dewey Does; five hundred and four for Ryan and Brian,” Mr. Morris’s deep baritone voice sang out over the loudspeaker. Cindi Joy still leading cheers, “Go Dewey, Go Dewey, Go Dewey…Dewey Does 4 Prez.” Students sang along with her.
Unusually silent, Fussie Fran sat alone in the corner of the auditorium, her note pad on her lap keeping score, as Mrs. C and Mr. Morris were calling out each vote.
Sitting on the other side of the auditorium, the Stape twins were giving each other high fives when they heard their names called. The auditorium looks like two sports teams on opposite sides, preparing for battle.
Suddenly, the loud auditorium goes awkwardly quiet. Mr. Morris taps the microphone three times, as if to make sure it was still working or maybe he was going to sing the winners name. He nervously clears his voice, a slight pause that seemed to last forever with silence filling the air, “IT’S A TIE, IT’S A TIE!” his voice carries throughout Martha Horton and probably across Doesville.
“WHAAAT?” The student body sings out simultaneously, sounding like a chorus in Carnegie Hall. There were looks of shock and surprise on everyone’s faces.
As I quietly walk out of Martha Horton carrying my book bag on my right shoulder and my Hawk baseball glove on the opposite hand, I could hear the students of Martha Horton, still inside the auditorium chanting, “recount, recount, recount.” “Not this time,” I said to myself, as I exhale a feeling of relief. I couldn’t get home fast enough to share my adventure with my toy chest friends. I couldn’t help thinking to myself: what adventure is Fussie Fran going to cook up next?
By Thomas M. Kinslow
Co-Author, First Day, In the groove, The Comeback
Contributor: Kim Cooper