Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot (Book 16) (7 page)

BOOK: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot (Book 16)
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135
Even though the elementary-school hall is our
home court, it’s not like we have a home court
AD
V
ANT
A
GE
. First of all, the hall is about
seventy years old, and there are all sorts of dead
spots on the f
loor. So even when someone on our
team would try to get something going they’d end
up losing their dribble.
Plus, there’s bubblegum and other crud caked on
the f
loor. And on a fast break Jabari Bruce
actually lost a shoe running down the court.
Whoever designed the hall did a lousy job, because
there’s no room between the sidelines and the
walls. So anyone trying to save a ball from going
out of bounds is risking their
LIFE
.
On top of that, the doors to the restrooms are
close to the baseline. And in the first quarter
there was a line for the ladies’ toilets.
137
To make matters worse, the guys who used the
men’s toilets kept leaving the door open. And at
one point someone threw a bad pass and the ball
landed in the
U
RI
N
AL
.
One of the refs washed the ball off in the sink
and then dried it with some paper towels. I don’t
know what
they pay those guys,
but whatever it
is it’s not
ENOU
GH
.
138
Believe it or not, my team managed to score a
handful of buckets. But when the buzzer went
off, the score was 38—6. I was just glad that
Coach Patel didn’t put me in, because if he had I
guarantee we would’ve lost by even
MORE
.
I’ve played enough sports to know that when the
game’s over you’re supposed to shak
e ha
nds
with
the
other team and say it was a good game. So
that’s exactly what I
DID
.
But I wish someone had told me we were only at
HA
LF-TIME
, because maybe then I wouldn’t
have made such a fool of myself.
139
Coach Patel told us to meet in the locker room
so we could get ready for the second half. But
the elementary school didn’t
H
AV
E
a locker room,
so we had to settle for the men’s restroom. And
unfortunately it was occupied
,
so we didn’t even
have it all to ourselves.
But that
didn’t stop
Coach Patel
from launching
into his
half-time speech
as soon
as he
stepped
into
the room.
I
was
a little
bummed
out
that
Coach was
making
us
listen to
a
speech
at half-
time. Because,
if
you
ask me,
I
think
half-time
should be
a
break
from the
game.
140
But Coach Patel started
by going over everything
we were doing wrong,
and all the adjustments
we
needed to make in
the second half if
we wanted
to win.
Then he told us
a story about this
group of
Scottish warriors from a
long time ago. He
said
they were surrounded by
their enemies and were
totally outnumbered, but they
won the battle by
sticking together and fighting
with everything
they had.
141
He said, if we
followed the game plan,
maybe
WE
could get a victory,
too. And, I have
to admit, it
was a pretty good
speech, because by the
time we
left that restroom we
were ready to go
to
WA
R
.
There were still a few minutes to go before the
second half started, so everyone used the chance to
rehydrate.
The Woodleys were responsible for supplying the
drinks for the first
game, so we all
helped ourse
lves
to bottles of water from the cooler.
142
But I guess the Woodleys never cleaned out their
cooler from the summer holidays, because there
were some
LEFT
O
VERS
in there, too.
There were
even a
half-filled bottle
of ketchup
and
a full
bottle of
mustard in
the cooler,
but Yusef
and
Ruby weren’t
too choosy
about their
refreshments.
I guess they figured they’d take every bit of fuel
they could
GET
.
143
Coach kept
Yusef in for
the whole first
half,
and he
was so sweaty
that he had
to wring
out
hi
s j
ers
ey
. But I wished he hadn’t wrung it out
into the
COOLER
, because there were still some
bottles of water in there.
Like I said, everyone was fired up after that
speech by Coach Patel. But I guess those guys in
Scotland had something we
DIDN

T
, because the
second half of the game started off a lot like the
FIRST
.
144
Things got so out of control in the fourth
quarter that Coach Patel put me and the rest of
the bench in. But, if he was hoping we’d give our
team a spark and turn things round, he must’ve
been pretty disappointed.
To be honest, I
can’t even remember what
the
final score was. All
I remember was that
on
the ride home Mom
said our coach should’ve
run
different plays and that I should’ve got more
playing time.
The only thing Dad
said was that if
this was
GOLF
we would’ve won,
because we had the
lowest
score. I guess they
were both trying to
make me
feel better, but it
didn’t really work.
145
Sunday
Mom’s always saying how
sport brings people
together, but I think
she might actually be
wrong
about that. Because in
my experience sport just
tears us
AP
AR
T
.
The people in my
town don’t like the
surrounding
towns because they always beat us in sports. But
the town we hate the most is Slacksville, because
those guys always
DES
TR
OY
us.
It’s been going on like this since before I was
born. And whenever an old-timer in my town
mentions Slacksville they always spit.
146
My town’s issues with
Slacksville go a lot
deeper
than
SP
O
R
TS
, though. About a
hundred years
ago, we were supposed
to get a jewellery
factory
in our town, which would’ve brought in a lot of
jobs and money. But
some bigwigs from Slacksville
swooped in at the
last minute and stole
the
factory from us.
These days, Slacksville’s got
ALL
the good stuff,
like a mall and two golf courses. And all we’ve got
to show for ourselves is an abandoned drive-in
cinema and Marconi’s Deli Bar.
So we’re
always looking for
ways to get
back at
those guys.
And, since we
can’t beat them
in
sports, we
have to be
CREA
TIVE
.
147
Last year, the state was planning on putting a
big garbage dump in our town. But we made some
changes to our zoning laws, so the state had
to put the dump in Slacksville instead. And I’ve
heard they’re not too
H
APPY
about it, either.
It seemed like things were gonna change a few
months back when the mayor of Slacksville called
our mayor saying he wanted to make a peace
offering. Every year, our town has a giant
bonfire in the park on the Fourth of Ju
ly, and
this year the people of Slacksville wanted to
donate the wood.
148
The timing was great,
because our town was
out of money for
recreational stuff and couldn’t
afford to do the
bonfire this year anyway.
So our mayor gave the plan the green light, and
a few days later trucks started showing up from
Slacksville with piles of timber. And they even set
it all up for
F
RE
E
.
149
But right
before
we
lit the
fire
on
the Fourth
of July
our
health
inspector came
by
the
town
park and
said
the
wood from
Slacksville
was
chemically treated,
so
we
couldn’t burn
it
because
it would
release
dangerous
fumes into
the
air.
The
next
day,
our
mayor called
the mayor
of
Slacksville
and told
him
he’d
have to
send
someone to
haul
the
wood away.
But
I
guess
their mayor already knew the wood was full of
chemicals and thought the whole thing was pretty
hilarious.
150
So now we’ve got a giant pile of rotting timber
in the middle of our town park, and this autumn
the pre-schoolers had to play their soccer games
AR
OU
ND
it.
But their soccer season
got cut short when
a bunch
of animals moved into
the woodpile, and everyone
agreed it was too
dangerous for kids to
keep
playing near it.
151
So I guess Slacksville has the last laugh, at least
for now.
The reason
I’m bringing
this stuff
up is because
today was
our first
away game,
and of course
it
was in
Slacksville. I
got a
queasy feeling when
we drove
past the
sign, because
I haven’t been
there in
YEARS
.
152
Our game was at
Slacksville High, and their
gym
was
W
AY
better than ours.
The court looked
brand new, and I
didn’t see a single
piece of gum
on the f
loor.
The gym was packed
before we got there,
and
people started booing during
warm-ups.
153
Only a few of our parents showed up to cheer
us on. I had to get a ride to the game with
Edward Mealy, because Mom said she needed to go
with Dad to Manny’s pre-school play.
But I kind of wonder if Mom bailed on me because
she knew what was in stor
e fo
r ou
r te
am i
n
Slacksville.
I was
pretty anxious
for the
game to
get started
so I
could take
my spot
at the
end of
the bench.
But there
were already
people sitting
in that
spot,
and there
wasn’t any
room for
ME
.
154
There was an empty
space a few rows
up in the
stands, so, when the
game started, that’s where
I went. But I
was afraid people were
gonna
notice that I wasn’t
from Slacksville and give
me a
hard time. So, whenever
the crowd booed my
team,
I did, too.
It was
actually
pretty
easy to
do,
because
we got
off to
another
terrible
start. Slacksville
started
the
game by
hitting
a
deep three-pointer,
and
then
they stole
the
ball
and hit
ANO
THER
one.
And
before long
they
were
ahead by
twenty
points.
I thought that once they built up a lead they’d
start to take it easy on us. But I guess everyone
in Slacksville is still sore over the garbage dump,
because they never let up.
They started
running a
full-court press,
which
meant we
couldn’t even
get the
ball past
half-court.
In fact,
we couldn’t
even get
the ball
in play
because those
Slacksville kids
were all
O
VER
us.
Coach Patel was yelling at our team from the
sidelines. But his voice was drowned out by the
Slacksville crowd.
156
Every once in a while my team would get the
ball inbounds, but then three or four Slacksville
players would swarm the kid who got the pass.
And we couldn’t even get any rebounds, because
their centre was so big he actually made Yusef look
SMALL
.
BOOK: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Big Shot (Book 16)
13.6Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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