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Authors: Dan Gutman

Ms. Coco Is Loco!

BOOK: Ms. Coco Is Loco!
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My Weird School #16

Ms. Coco Is Loco!

Dan Gutman

Pictures by
Jim Paillot

To Emma

Contents

1
   Chillin' at the School Store

2
   National Poetry Month Is Dumb

3
   Sit Around and Do Nothing Month

4
   Shakespeare Was a Dumbhead

5
   My Secret Poetry Writing System

6
   The Kindergarten Trolls

7
   The Worst Poem in the History of the World

8
   Why Dead People Are Lucky

9
   Stalling for Time

10
   You Snooze, You Lose

11
   King of the School

12
   A Real Live Poet Who Isn't Dead

1
Chillin' at the School Store

My name is A.J. and I hate school.

The only cool part of Ella Mentry School is the school store. It's a little room near the office where they sell stuff. Mostly they have pencils and pens and junk like that. They never have anything useful, like skateboards or video games.
Still, it's cool to buy stuff when you're at school.

The school store is open in the morning before the bell rings. The only problem is, I spent all my allowance over the weekend on a new football because some kid stole mine. So I didn't even have a dime to buy anything at the school store. Bummer in the summer!

“Guess what I bought with my own money?” this girl with curly brown hair named Andrea Young whispered to her crybaby friend Emily. Knowing Andrea, it was probably an encyclopedia.

“What did you buy?” asked Emily.

“An encyclopedia!” Andrea said, all
excited. “It's an encyclopedia for kids!”

Ugh. Andrea loves reading and books and school and anything else that's boring. She keeps a dictionary on her desk so she can look up words and show everybody how much she knows. Andrea is like a human filing cabinet.

“You know what I'm going to do with my encyclopedia?” Andrea asked Emily.

Knowing Andrea, she would probably read the whole thing in
ABC
order so she would know everything in the world.

“I'm going to read it in
ABC
order,” Andrea bragged. “If I finish one letter every day, by the end of the month I'll know
everything
! Won't that be cool?”

Yeah, cool like an oven. I wish a set of encyclopedias would fall on Andrea's head.

The bell rang and we all rushed to class. Our teacher, Miss Daisy, told us to put away our stuff and get ready for circle time. That's when we sit around in a circle, so it has the perfect name.

Suddenly the voice of the school secretary, Mrs. Patty, came over the loudspeaker.

“Miss Daisy, please send Andrea and A.J. to Ms. Coco's room.”

“Oooooh!” my friend Ryan said. “A.J. and Andrea are going to Ms. Coco's room again. They must be in
love
!”

“When are you gonna get married?” asked my other friend Michael.

If those guys weren't my best friends, I would hate them.

2
National Poetry Month Is Dumb

Me and Andrea walked down the hall to Ms. Coco's room. She's the gifted and talented teacher at Ella Mentry School. That doesn't mean
she's
gifted and talented. It means she teaches
kids
who are gifted and talented.

Me and Andrea are the only ones in
Miss Daisy's class who are in the G and T program. Don't ask me how I got in. The only talents I have are burping the alphabet and making farting noises with my armpits. But we all had to take a dumb test, and afterward Ms. Coco decided I was gifted and talented.

I
hate
being gifted and talented. I don't want to be a gifted and talented nerd like Andrea.

“Guess what, Arlo?” Andrea asked, as we walked down the hall. She calls me by my real name because she knows I hate it.

“Your butt,” I replied.

(Any time anyone says “Guess what?” you should always say “Your butt.” That's
the first rule of being a kid.)

“I'm taking a speed-reading class after school, so I can read faster,” Andrea bragged.

Andrea takes classes in
everything
. If they gave a class in blowing your nose, she would take that class so she could get better at it.

“Wow,” I said, “it must be wonderful being
you
.”

That's called sarcasm. It's when you say exactly the opposite of what you really mean. Sarcasm is fun, especially when you're talking to somebody you hate, like Andrea.

“Arlo, did you know that aardvarks eat termites?” Andrea said. “And did you know that ants rarely live more than sixty days?”

She must have been working on the
letter
A
in her encyclopedia.

“Sure,” I lied. “Any dumbhead knows that stuff.”

We walked a million hundred miles until we got to the G and T room. Ms. Coco wasn't there yet. She has posters of geniuses like Albert Einstein and Thomas Edison and the Beatles on the wall. And there are signs all over the place that say things like
THINK!
,
CREATE!
, and
INVENT!

Finally Ms. Coco came running in. She wears tons of makeup on her face and her hair is always in place. I guess that's why she's late a lot. It must take a lot of time to make her look good.

“Hello!” she said to me and Andrea. “Do
you like yellow Jell-O? I can play the cello. Are you mellow?”

Ms. Coco is weird.

“Why are you talking in rhyme?” asked Andrea.

“Rhyme?” she said. “Is it a crime to talk in rhyme? I'd rather mime, but that takes more time.”

“I get it!” Andrea said. “You're talking in rhyme because
it's April. It's National Poetry Month!”

National Poetry Month?! You've gotta be kidding me. Poetry gets a whole month? I wouldn't give poetry five minutes.

How come there's no National Skateboarding Month? Or National Video Games Month? It would be cool to go skateboarding and play video games all month instead of going to school.

“I love poetry,” said Andrea, who loves everything teachers love. “I wrote a poem, and my mom put it on the refrigerator.”

Andrea's mom is weird. If she puts poems on the refrigerator, she probably puts food on Andrea's notebooks.

“If you ask me, there should be a National Sit Around and Do Nothing
Month,” I suggested.

“What a great idea, A.J.!” said Ms. Coco. “For homework I'd like each of you to write a poem. A.J., you can write yours about sitting around and doing nothing.”

“But I was just joking!” I protested. “I hate poetry.”

“Come on, A.J.,” said Ms. Coco. “You're a poet and you don't even know it.”

That is totally not fair. I wanted to sit around and do nothing, not write a
poem
about sitting around and doing nothing. Poetry is dumb. And now I had extra homework to do.

I wish I was in the U and U program—ungifted and untalented.

BOOK: Ms. Coco Is Loco!
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