My name is Thomas Arthur Jackson, but my friends call me Tommy. I’m seven years old, and I’m the president of the Boys Are Great Club.
Our club doesn’t allow any girls to be members unless they are willing to say the motto, which is this: “Boys are Great. Girls are Not Great.” So far no girls are coming to join.
My big sister’s name is Penny. She tried to start a Girls Are Great Club, but when she made up her flyers, she noticed the initials were GAG, so she threw them all away. Mom said that was a waste of color ink and printer paper.
I told Penny at dinnertime that the GAG thing proves what I’ve been saying all along about girls. They can’t even get their initials straight. Mom said I should speak nicely to my sister and also I should eat my peas.
I said I don’t like peas, but Mom said I should do what I’m told or I’ll end up like her brother, Uncle Mick.
I asked what would be wrong with that.
“He’s loud and lazy,” Mom said.
“Do you love him?” Penny said.
“Of course I love him, but he’s loud and lazy.”
I said, “How loud? How lazy? Does he sleep all day? Does he shout?”
Mom said to eat my peas, and she didn’t want to have to tell me again!
I started mashing the peas into a green blob on my plate, and then I poked holes in my smooshy pea-pile with my fork. Then, after a minute I thought of something super smart. I said if he sleeps all day, maybe he has sleeping sickness.
“Hey, I’m getting that sickness too!” I said. “I’m so sleepy, I’m going to fall out of my chair. I’m so sleepy, I can’t eat my peas!”
Mom turned around and walked over to me. Real quietly she said, “Son, you will now eat your peas while I watch you.”
After I finished my peas, I said, “How loud is Uncle Mick? Does he always shout? Even on the telephone? Did he make someone go deaf? Does he yell like this?” Right there I started to yell really loud like this: “ya-ya-ya-ya-ya!!!” as loud as I could.
I ran around yelling for a minute, and then I sat back down and said, “Now I know why Uncle Mick is so sleepy. It’s hard to run and yell for a long time.”
Dad said, “Hmmm,” and looked at me funny. Mom came over and ruffled up my hair so I knew it was sticking straight up. She kissed me and said, “Your turn to wash. Penny dries.”
Me and Penny did the dishes, and I only yelled a few times just to see how it feels to be like Uncle Mick. I couldn’t do the lazy part though, because Mom said I should do my homework instead of having sleeping sickness.
I yelled a few times while I wrote some plusses. One plus one and one plus two all the way up to one plus nine.