THE GREAT SMELLING BEE
Do I Look Tense?
I'm Bernie Bridges, and I usually walk around with a dazzling smile. Ask anyone. When I smile, it's sunshine. Sunshine! Not to mention my adorable dimples.
But today I wasn't smiling. Today my handsome forehead was wrinkled from heavy thoughts. Behind my glasses, my big brown eyes darted from side to side.
Tense? Was I tense?
Does a lizard change its spots?
Dude, I was tense. I had a problem.
A problem that could get me into major trouble. A problem that could get me booted out of school.
You probably don't have this kind of problem. Because you go home every day.
But I live at the Rotten School. It's a boarding school. That means I don't go home. I live here in a dorm with a bunch of other guys.
Actually, we live in an old house called Rotten House. A whole bunch of fourth and fifth graders live here, and we love it.
My friends and I claimed the third floor, because it's good for dropping things out the window on people.
Mrs. Heinie says it's against school rules to drop things on people. She knows all the rules. She's always sniffing around, snooping on us, telling us the rules we are breaking.
But that's her job. She is our dorm mother. She is in charge of all us guys who live in Rotten House, and she is our fourth-grade core teacher.
Mrs. Heinie has her own apartment in the attic. We think she has spy cameras up there. Because she always knows when we're dropping things out the window on people.
Mrs. Heinie is very nearsighted. Her glasses are as thick as ice cubes.
But she still knows everything!
That's why I'm afraid she's going to discover my secret. And then I'm DOOMED.
How did I get in this mess?
Well...that's a whole other chapter.