Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot (Book 16) (4 page)

BOOK: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot (Book 16)
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64
If you can
throw a baseball
at 100 miles per
hour,
you’
ll make millions of
dollars and kids will
have your
poster on their wall.
But if you’re the
person who ends up
curing cancer,
you’
ll
be lucky if you
get a pat
on the back.
65
I’ve always
wondered how
sports got
started in
the
FIRS
T
place.
In ancient
times, people
were
always
at
war,
and
I
guess
they
decided
they
needed to
figure out
a way
they could
settle
thei
r
differences without
KILLING
each
other. So
someone came up with
the idea of sports
as a more
peaceful solution.
But, over time, sports
E
V
OL
VED
, and nowadays
you’ve got team mascots
and cheerleaders and
professional athletes.
66
I’ve only been to one professional sports match in
my life, and that was when my dad to
ok
m
e
in
to
the city
to watch
a foot
ball game.
To be
honest,
I don’t remember much
about the game itself,
but
I do remember everything
ELSE
about that day.
Dad didn’t want to
spend money to park
near
the stadium, so we
ended up about a
mile away in a
muddy field. He broke
out his portable grill,
and we
cooked burgers, which was
actually kind of fun.
But I drank
W
AY
too much soda, and on our
walk to the stadium I knew I had to find a
bathroom or I was gonna wet my pants.
67
Dad didn’t want to stop at one of the Portaloos
because the lines for those were too long. But I
told him I didn’t think I could make it all the
way to the stadium, so I begged him to let me
pull over.
I had
to wait
twenty minutes
in line,
and finally
it
was
my turn. But I
wished Dad had given
me
a little advance warning about what those things
were like inside, because I would’ve just
HELD
it.
68
It was a smart move making that pit stop,
though, because when we got to the stadium there
was
ANO
THER
long line for security. And we
missed the whole first quarter of the game waiting
to get in.
When we finally got
inside and found our
seats,
there were some guys
sitting in them. And
it
to
ok
forever to sort
THA
T
out.
69
I don’t know why
they even bother to
have seats,
because no one was
SITTING
in them anyway.
And most of the
people in our section
were too big
for somebody my height
to see around.
Since I
couldn’t see
the field,
I had
no idea
what
was happening.
And Dad
was too
wrapped up
in
the game
to tell
me what
was going
on.
Eventually I
realized I
could see
the game
if I
just watched it on the Jumbo
tron, which is this
giant screen that hangs high above the pitch.
70
Whenever there was a pause in the action, they
turned the cameras on the fans.
They had this thing called “Fan of the Game”,
where you could win a prize by acting crazy when
they put you up on the screen. And some people
were really
GO
ING
for it.
71
I knew there was no chance of me winning Fan
of the Game if I was behind a bunch of people.
So during a time-out I stepped into the aisle and
really hammed it up for the cameras.
But I guess I
was embarrassing Dad, so he
gave
me some money and
told me I should go
up to the
concourse and
get some snacks
and a
souvenir.
72
I spent my money on popcorn and one of those
giant foam fingers. But when I turned to walk
away from the souvenir stand there was a loud
noise that shook the whole stadium.
Apparently when the home team scores, they
shoot off a
C
ANNON
. But I wished
Dad had
warned me that might happen, because I seriously
thought we were in
DANGER
.
73
After I was sure
the coast was clear,
I we
nt
to
find Dad. But I
couldn’t remember which section
we were sitting in, and Dad was the one who had
our tickets.
I started to panic, because there were 80,000
people in that stadium, and everyone looked the
same from
behind. Plus,
the game
was tied,
and the
fans were
too distracted
to help
some lost
kid.
Luckily an
usher
saw
me wandering
around
the
concourse and
took
me
to the
Child
Finder
Station.
74
They
asked
me
a
few
questions
about
who
I
was
and
where
I
last
saw
my
father,
but
by
then
I
was
so
sh
ook
up
I
could
barely even
remember my
own
name.
The next thing I knew, I had a camera in my
face and they put me on the Jumbo
tron.
Then I realized this
was my chance to win
Fan of
the Game, so I
made the most of my
opportunity.
75
The good news was
that our team won in
the last
second. The bad news
was that Dad didn’t get
to see it because
he had to come get
ME
. And,
believe it or not,
I
DID
win Fan of
the Game,
and we got two
free tickets to the
NEXT
match.
But I
don’t remember going
to another
game after
that, so I think
Dad must’ve taken Rodrick.
76
What really stuck with
me about that day
was how
they tried
to keep
things entertaining
for the
fans. And I think
our church could learn
a few
lessons from the professional
sports experience.
First of all, when they introduce the priest and
altar servers, they should dim the lights and play
some loud music. Because that would get everyone
HY
PED
.
Another thing they could do is have a mascot to
make the service more fun for little kids.
77
Sometimes you need to break things up to keep
people energized, so they could put in a half-time
show. And there’s all
SO
R
TS
of crazy stuff you
could do for entertainment.
78
But the biggest upgrade to the church experience
would be if they added a
J
U
M
B
OT
RO
N
. For
starters, it would help the people at the back feel
like they were closer to the action.
They could even have a random draw to let the
people who came in late get a seat at the
FR
ON
T
.
79
Plus, they could use the Jumbo
tron to encourage
people to be a little more generous when they pass
the donation basket around.
I’ve got a bunch of
O
TH
ER
suggestions, and I
actually took the time to write them down. Bu
t
I
guess the
people who
run our
church must
be pretty
busy, because
so far
nobody’s got
back to
me.
OC
T
O
BER
Tuesday
I was really hoping Mom would just forget about
making me join a team, but she’s been pressuring
me every single day.
I tried to tell her that in twenty years regular
sports will be replaced by e-sports, and athletes
won’t even have to leave their couches to compete.
But I guess she’s too old to get excited about
what things are gonna be like in the future.
81
One of the reasons
I haven’t decided on
what
sport to play is
because I’m
no
t r
eall
y that
GOO
D
at anything.
I’ve been racking my brain trying to remember a
time when I did something athletic to help figure
out which sport is right for me.
And all I can think of was the time at lunch
when I landed a balled-up napkin in Justin
White’s empty milk glass.
When I made that shot, the whole cafeteria went
NUTS
. And I’m pretty sure it’s the biggest
athletic achievement of my life.
82
Some people were even saying they should put a
plaque in the spot where I threw the napkin so
future students would know about it.
For the rest of the year, kids tried to re-create
my shot. And that turned lunch breaks into
a
NIGHTMARE
.
83
I thought my napkin
shot proved I had
some
T
ALENT
, and I told
Mom maybe I could
try out
for the basketball team.
Well, that got her all excited, because she said
she played basketball when she was my age, and
her team was really
GOOD
. Then she said maybe
basketball skills run in our family.
Mom said her team made it all the way to the
state finals one year. But when I asked her what
happened in the championship game she said it
wasn’t important.
84
Mom said what mattered was that I’d be part
of a
TEAM
. Then she went to her computer to
figure out how to sign me up to play.
I was glad Mom
was excited that I
decided on a
sport, but there was
actually
ANO
TH
ER
reason
I picked basketball.
I heard some kids
talking about tryouts at
school
today, and there are
only two teams for
my
whol
e
grade, with
ten players
on each
one. And
if you
don’t make
a team
you get
CUT
.
I’m sure
there will
be a
lot of
kids trying
out next
week, so
I don’t
stand a
CH
ANCE
of
making it.
And once
it’s over
I can
finally get
Mom off
my
back with
this sports
stuff.
85
Sunday
When I got to the gym for basketball tryouts
tonight, I counted twenty-eight kids. That
meant twenty kids would make one of the two
teams, and everyone else would get cut. So I liked
my odds.
Plus, most of the kids looked
W
AY
better than
me. A lot of
these guys have been playing
since
kindergarten, and they could dribble between their
legs and do other crazy stuff with the ball.
The only real experience I’ve had with basketball
was when we did a basketball unit in Phys Ed last
year. And that only lasted two days.
86
On top of that,
the school’s only basketball
was
def
lated, and the Phys
Ed teacher couldn’t find
the needle that went
with the pump. So
we had to
use balloons instead.
There were a handful of kids at tryouts tonight
who didn’t look like they were that good, which
made me a little nervous.
I was worried I could end up making one of the
teams by accident, and then I’d have to play a
whole season. So I
thought about actually doing
badly on
PURPOSE,
just in case.
87
But my plan went out of the window when Mom
came to watch tryouts. Because now I knew I’d
have to give it my best effort.
Tryouts started at 7:00 p.m., and they handed
each kid a practice jersey with a big number on
the front and back. And, from the way those
things smelled, I’m guessing they’ve never been
W
ASHED
.
BOOK: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot (Book 16)
9.54Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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