Mayor Hubble Is in Trouble! (3 page)

BOOK: Mayor Hubble Is in Trouble!
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It was Mayor Hubble!

“I heard you were running for president of the third grade, A.J.,” he told me. “I came to help you win the election.”

“How did you know we would be holding our supersecret strategy session up
here
?” asked Ryan.

“I was a boy once, you know,” said the mayor.

“Just once?” I said. “I'm a boy
all
the time.”

“Look, A.J.” said the mayor. “Let's get
down to business. You don't like Andrea, do you?”

“No!”

“You want to
beat
her on Election Day, don't you?”

“Yeah!”

“You want to
humiliate
her, right?”

“Yeah!!”

“You want her to wish she was never born!”

“YEAH!!!”

“Well, I have a plan to help you win the election,” said the mayor.

“What is it?” we all asked.

“I'm not going to tell you,” said the mayor.

“Why not?” asked Neil.

“Okay, okay, I'll tell you,” the mayor said. “But you have to wait until the next chapter.”

“Why can't you tell us in
this
chapter?” asked Ryan.

“Because this chapter is almost over,” said Mayor Hubble. “There's no room.”

“Why don't you just make this chapter a little longer,” asked Michael, “and tell us
now
?”

“Wait a minute,” Alexia said. “Why are you guys talking about chapters? Are we in a book or something?”

“Of
course
we're in a book,” I told Alexia. “It's a series called My Weirder School.”

“Never heard of it,” Alexia said.

“That's because you're new,” I told her.

“It doesn't matter,” said Mayor Hubble. “A.J., the point is that if you do what I tell you to do, you'll beat Andrea in the election.”

“Why do
you
care whether or not I win the election?” I asked.

“Because if I help you beat Andrea,” said the mayor, “maybe you can do something for
me
. You scratch my back, and I'll scratch yours.”

“What does back scratching have to do with anything?” I asked. “My back doesn't even itch.”

“A.J.,” said the mayor, “after I help you win the election, the only thing you need to do is tell all the parents to vote for me.
Can you do that?”

I looked at Ryan. Ryan looked at Neil. Neil looked at Michael. Michael looked at Alexia. Alexia looked at me.

“It's a deal,” I said.

“Great,” said the mayor. “Let's keep this our little secret.”

“My lips are sealed,” I said.

But not with glue or anything. That would be weird.

When I got to school the next day, kids and parents were sitting all over the front steps. There were posters, banners, and signs hanging on the fence.

Ryan, Michael, and Neil the nude kid were standing around in black T-shirts with their arms crossed in front of them and scowls on their faces.

“What's up with you guys?” I asked.

“We're your bodyguards,” Ryan told me. “We have to look mean.”

“Yeah,” said Neil the nude kid. “Somebody might try to attack you.”

“If somebody messes with you, we'll take care of them,” said Michael, punching a fist into his open hand.

“Who told you to dress like that?” I asked them. “And who made all these signs?”

They all looked over at the sidewalk, where Mayor Hubble was leaning against a telephone pole. He winked at me, and I went over to him.

Andrea was up at the top of the steps, standing at a podium.

“… so in conclusion,” Andrea said, “that's why you should vote for
me
to be the president of the third grade. Thank you.”

The kids sitting on the steps clapped and cheered and waved little flags for Little Miss Perfect.

“Great job, Andrea!” said Mr. Klutz. “Now it's time to hear from the
other
candidate for third-grade president … A.J.!”

What?! I didn't know what to say. I didn't know what to do. I had to think fast.

“Nobody told me I had to give a speech,” I whispered to Mayor Hubble.

“Don't worry about it,” he said, slipping me a sheet of paper. “Just read this.”

“What is it?”

“It's your stump speech.”

“You want me to speak to people with no legs?” I asked.

“Not
that
kind of stump,” the mayor said. “A stump speech is a standard political speech that you give over and over again.”

I climbed the steps and stood behind the podium. Everybody was clapping and cheering like crazy.

I was nervous! I had never given a speech before. I started to read from the piece of paper Mayor Hubble gave me.

“Four score and seven years ago,” I said, “I had a dream. I had a dream that the ballot was stronger than the bullet. The pen was mightier than the sword. And those who stand for nothing fall for anything. Now, fellow students, I've been to the mountaintop, and I can tell you this. Ask not what your school can do for you; ask what you can do for your school. The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Give me liberty or give me death! Read my lips! Tear down this wall! The time for change has come! No man is an island. But if you vote for me, life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness shall not perish from this earth. Thank you.”

Everybody was going crazy. Alexia was the first one to congratulate me.

“That was terrific, A.J.!”

“What did I just say?” I asked her.

“Who cares?” she replied. “Listen to that applause!”

On the other side of the steps, I saw that Andrea was going around shaking hands with everybody. So I figured I had to do that too. My bodyguards surrounded me as I walked around shaking hands with people on the sidewalk. That's when the weirdest thing in the history of the world happened.

Some lady stuck a baby in my face!

“Ahhhhhhhhhh!”
I screamed. “What is this baby doing here? It's too young to be in school.”

“Never mind that, A.J.,” Alexia whispered. “Kiss the baby.”

“I'm not kissing a baby!” I replied. “I don't even like kissing my
mother
when people are around.”

BOOK: Mayor Hubble Is in Trouble!
8.85Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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