Authors: Dan Gutman
Mrs. Cooney Is Loony!
Â I Was a Genius!
Â Mrs. Cooney Is Loony!
Â My Big Decision
Â The Last Straw
Â Checking for Headlights
Â Ryan and Michael Go to the Nurse
Â The Truth About Mrs. Cooney
Â Spying on a Spy
Â Vowel Movements and the Third Degree
Â I Thought She Was Gonna Die
Â The Stakeout
Â Good-bye to Mrs. Cooney
My name is A.J. and I hate school.
The worst part about second grade is math. I don't get it. If we have calculators, why do we need to learn math? That's like walking to school when you could ride your bike. It makes no sense, if you ask me.
“Who can tell me what two times ten
equals?” asked my teacher, Miss Daisy.
A few kids raised their hands. I didn't. Miss Daisy called on this crybaby girl Emily, who has red hair.
“Miss Daisy, I don't feel very well,” Emily said. “Can I go to the nurse's office?”
“Rest your head on your desk for a few minutes, Emily,” said Miss Daisy. “If you don't feel better, you can go see Mrs. Cooney.”
Emily put her head on her desk.
“Now who can tell me what two times ten equals?” Miss Daisy asked again. “A.J.?”
I had no idea what two times ten
equalled. I didn't know what to say. I didn't know what to do. I had to think fast.
I knew that two plus two is four. And I knew that two times two is also four. So I knew that addition and multiplication were pretty much the same thing.
I also knew that two plus ten equals twelve. So two
ten must equal twelve too.
“Twelve?” I guessed.
“Sorry, A.J.,” said Miss Daisy.
“Oooh, I know!” said Andrea Young, this really annoying girl with curly brown hair. She was waving her hand back and forth like it was on fire. “Call on me, Miss
Andrea thinks she knows everything. I wish I could punch her.
But nah-nah-nah boo-boo on her, because Andrea didn't get the chance to answer. At that very moment, the most amazing thing in the history of the world happened.
Emily got up from her seat really fast. She ran to the window.
And then she threw up!
It was cool. Me and my friends Michael and Ryan looked at each other and tried not to laugh. I was glad that I wasn't walking under that window when Emily threw up.
After she finished puking her guts out, Emily ran out of the room crying.
“Go to Mrs. Cooney's office, Emily!” Miss Daisy yelled to her. Then Miss Daisy
went to the intercom and told Mrs. Cooney that Emily was on her way down there.
It took a few minutes for all of us to stop talking about what had happened. I mean, it wasn't every day that a kid tossed her cookies out the window. I was sure Miss Daisy would forget all about math after that.
But no way.
“Now, A.J., try to figure it out,” Miss Daisy said. “Two times ten. Two tens. We went over this. Think hard.”
So I thought hard. I thought and I thought and I thought.
This is what I thoughtâEmily is going
to get to go home. She doesn't have to sit through math. That lucky stiff.
My friend Billy around the corner who was in second grade last year told me about this kid in his class who got to go home from school after he sneezed with his eyes open and his eyeballs fell out. Right out of his head!
I wasn't sure if that was true, but I
know one thing. If you get sick, you get to go home. I didn't want my eyeballs to fall out of my head, but I wanted to go home. I wanted to get out of math.
I started moaning.
“A.J., are you okay?” asked Miss Daisy.
“I don't feel well,” I said. “I think I
might have to throw up out the window. I think I'm gonna die.”
“There must be something going around,” said Miss Daisy. “Go to Mrs. Cooney's office! And hurry!”
I was a genius! On my way out of the class, I winked at Ryan and Michael.
“So long, suckers!” I whispered. “Have fun in math!”
I had been to the nurse's office a few times before. Once I fell off the monkey
bars in the playground and landed on my head. I had to go to the hospital and everything. It was cool. The doctor took an X-ray of my brain, but he told me he didn't find anything. Then he laughed even though he didn't say anything funny.
Getting out of math wasn't the only reason I wanted to go to Mrs. Cooney's office. There was another reason.
But I can't tell you what it is.
I shouldn't be telling you.
Okay, I'll tell you. But you have to promise not to tell anybody else or you're going to die as soon as the words leave your lips.
Here it is.
Mrs. Cooney is the most beautiful lady in the history of the world.
“Good morning, A.J.,” Mrs. Cooney said when I walked into the nurse's office. She has a really soft voice that you can barely hear. “Miss Daisy told me you might be sick.”
sick. Sick of math. But I didn't tell Mrs. Cooney that.
“I think I have a headache,” I lied.
Mrs. Cooney has really pretty straight brown hair and blue eyes that look like the color of cotton candy yogurt. The kind with no sprinkles. And she was wearing a white nurse's uniform. And she is beautiful.
You want to know how beautiful Mrs. Cooney is? She looks like this famous movie star who I can't remember her name. But every time my mom sees a picture of this movie star, she asks my dad if he thinks she's pretty. And my dad says no, of course not. Then my mom gets mad. Then my dad spends like an hour trying to convince my mom that my
mom is just as pretty as the movie star.
Mrs. Cooney is even prettier than that movie star.
I decided that I didn't want to go home anymore. I wanted to stay in the nurse's office with Mrs. Cooney.
“Do you want to go home, A.J.?” asked
Mrs. Cooney. “Emily's mom just picked her up. I hope you don't have what she has.”
“Uh, no,” I said. “I feel a lot better now.”
“Well, if you feel better, you can go back to class,” Mrs. Cooney said.
“Can I stay here for a while?” I asked. “Just in case I might have to throw up?”
“Okay,” said Mrs. Cooney. “Sit down on the couch, A.J.”
There were about a million hundred Beanie Babies all over the couch. I sat down on it. Mrs. Cooney asked me what I had for breakfast, what time I went to sleep last night, what I was allergic to, and a bunch of other questions. She
sure is a curious lady!
Next to the couch, on the wall, there was this poster. It was a cartoon showing a kid who got some food caught in his throat. He's choking. So this other kid comes over and grabs him from behind and whacks him in the stomach. The food goes flying out of the first kid's mouth.
It was a cool cartoon.
“A.J., I have a cure for your headache,” Mrs. Cooney said. “Take this yardstick. I want you to balance it on your nose.”
“Huh? Why would that help my headache?” I asked.
“A.J., I'm a trained nurse,” Mrs. Cooney
said. “I know what I'm doing.”
I took the yardstick and balanced it on my nose.
“Like this?” I asked.
“Very good,” Mrs. Cooney said. “Now I want you to get up and hop on one foot while you keep balancing the yardstick.”
“What will that do?” I asked.
“I'm a trained nurse!” Mrs. Cooney said. “Just do it.”
So I got up and hopped on one foot with the yardstick on my nose.
“Does your head feel better now?” she asked.
“A little, I guess.”
I didn't want to say I was better,
because she would send me back to class.
“Good,” Mrs. Cooney said. “Now while you do that, I want you to cluck like a chicken.”
“Huh?” I asked.
So I clucked like a chicken while I hopped on one foot and balanced the yardstick on my nose. It wasn't really fun at all. It was hard to do!
“How do you feel now, A.J.?” Mrs. Cooney asked.
“I think maybe I'm all better,” I said.
“Good. See, I told you I had a cure,” said Mrs. Cooney. “There must be something going around. First Emily, and then you. That's two sick kids right there. If
two kids at the middle school got sick, do you know how many that would be?”
“Four kids,” I said.
“And what if two kids at the high school got sick too?” Mrs. Cooney asked. “How many would
I counted on my fingers.
“Six kids,” I said.
“That's a lot of sick kids!” said Mrs. Cooney. “And what if two kids at
different schools all got sick at the same time?”
I thought it over. I counted on my fingers. And then I realized something.
“Hey, this sounds a lot like math!” I said. “Are you trying to make me do multiplication?”
“Why would I do that?” Mrs. Cooney asked. “I'm a trained nurse. Now, just to make sure you are all better, I'd like you to blow up this balloon, rub it on your head, and sing âWho Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar?'”
Ugh. I hate that song.
“I feel fine now, Mrs. Cooney,” I said. “I think I'd better get back to class. Thank you.”
“Happy to be of service,” she said.
Mrs. Cooney sure was weird. But as I walked out of the nurse's office, I realized something else.
When I grow up, I want to marry Mrs. Cooney.