MY LINE OF STARS IS ABOUT AS LONG AS THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA AND THERE'S NO WAY IN HELL ANYONE'S GOING TO CATCH UP TO ME. I'VE SPENT MOST OF THIS YEAR MAKING SURE I'M WELL AHEAD OF THE COMPETITION (JEFF) BECAUSE MRS. MENEZOS SAID AT THE END OF THE YEAR THE STUDENT WITH THE MOST STARS WILL GET A SURPRISE. AND I LIKE SURPRISES.

ANYWAY SO WE'RE IN THE WOODS HEADING TOWARDS THE DRIVING RANGE. 'PEET' IS ENTERTAINING US WITH HIS FRENCH ACCENT, TELLING US ABOUT THE TIME HE COULDN'T FIND HIS SHOES, WHEN WE HERE A SWISHING NOISE AND A GOLF BALL HITS THE TREE RIGHT IN FRONT OF KEVIN. WE STOP DEAD IN OUR TRACKS. FRENCH GOLFERS ARE NASTY PEOPLE AND A GOLF BALL CAN GIVE YOU A GODDAMNED CONCUSSION IF YOU AREN'T CAREFUL.

ONCE YOU'RE BACK IN THE WOODS SECURITY/RANDOM GOLFERS USUALLY STOP GIVING CHASE, AND YOU CAN CAREFULLY PICK YOUR WAY BACK TO THE GATES. THEN THE WHOLE PLAN IS TO TAKE YOUR SPOILS DOWN TO THE HIGHWAY AND START THROWING THEM AT CARS, BIKERS, PEOPLE, ETC. IT WAS A GOOD WAY TO PASS THE LUNCH-HOUR.

THIS RINGS A VERY SMALL BELL. A YEAR AGO IN GRADE TWO THE SAME GODDAMNED THING HAPPENED, ONLY WITH MY SISTER - SHE HAD BEEN STUNG BY A BEE AND SPENT A SOLID HOUR IN THE PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE BLUBBERING AWAY AND GENERALLY PERPLEXING EVERYONE IN SIGHT UNTIL THE SECRETARY FINALLY WAS ABLE TO MAKE OUT THE WORDS "I.. WANT.. DAVE!!"

SO WHEN I WAS LIKE 4 I WENT WITH MY MOM TO DC TO VISIT MY GRANDMOTHER AND ONE DAY WE ALL WENT OUT TO THE PARK AND I LOST MY FUCKING TEDDY BEAR. I'M PRETTY SURE HIS NAME WAS 'BEARY' BUT ANYWAY I LEFT HIM ON ONE OF THOSE HORSES MOUNTED ON THAT GIANT INDUSTRIAL SPRING THAT LITTLE KIDS RIDE ON. YOU KNOW WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT.

KYLE FINDS THE FIRST CLUE AND JUST FUCKING ERUPTS. "DAVE!!! DAVE!!!" HE YELLS AT ME. I HAVE COYLY STAYED A FEW FEET AWAY AND AM GUILELESSLY KICKING AT THE GRASS PRETENDING TO MIND MY OWN BUSINESS. "DAVE!! DAVE!!! LOOK AT THIS!!!"

WHOA I FORGOT ABOUT THIS. I'LL HAVE TO THINK. OR MAYBE JUST END THE THREAD ON A HIGH NOTE. WELL NOT REALLY A HIGH NOTE. A REGULAR NOTE.

KYLE ISN'T EVEN LISTENING TO ME. HE'S STARING DOWN HIS SWIM SUIT AND STARTS SAYING "OH GOD DAVE, WHAT SHOULD I DO? SHOULD I JUMP IN THE POOL? SHOULD I JUMP IN THE POOL?". HE'S GETTING PROGRESSIVELY LOUDER SO OUT OF DESPERATION I SAY "YES!" IN HOPES THAT HE'LL BE TOO PREOCCUPIED BY SWIMMING TO REMEMBER TO CRY.

DAY THREE AT DAYTONA: MARK, JASON, CHRIS AND I ARE SITTING AROUND COMFORTABLY IN OUR HOTEL ROOM. THE DAY BEFORE JASON HAD BOUGHT A STUFFED CRAB FROM THE GROCERY STORE AND 'ACCIDENTLY' LEFT IT IN THE MICROWAVE FOR ALMOST HALF AN HOUR. THE RESULTING SMELL WAS SO BAD AND SO PERMANENT THAT WE WERE MOVED TO ANOTHER ROOM. THIS WAS JUST FINE AND DANDY, AS OUR OLD ROOM HAD A MALFUNCTIONING TOILET.

SO I WALK OVER AT AN INTENTIONALLY SLOW PACE AND WATCH WITH PLEASURE AS KYLE JUMPS AROUND ALL OVER THE GODDAMNED PLACE. "IT'S GOT TO BE TREASURE!! IT'S GOT TO BE TREASURE!! JUST LIKE THAT BOOK WE'RE READING IN CLASS!!!"

ADRIAN FOR SOME REASON DECIDES TO COMPLY, AND GETS THE POLE BACK UPRIGHT. THE BANNER CATCHES IN THE WIND AND ONCE AGAIN THINGS LOOK KIND OF NORMAL - ONLY NOW ADRIAN NEEDS TO MAKE A NEW HOLE FOR THE POST.

WHEN I GOT OUT OF THE CAR MY DAD WAS BUSY TAKING THE BUNGEE CORDS OFF THE ROOF. WE HAD ABOUT A BILLION THINGS UP ON THE CAR WHICH MY DAD HAD SECURED WITH AN UNNECESSARY AMOUNT OF BUNGEE CORDS. ANYWAY FOR SOME REASON I UNHOOKED ONE OF THE BUNGEE CORDS ON MY SIDE OF THE CAR. IT WHIZZED OVER THE CAR ROOF LIKE A METEOR AND CUT MY DAD DEEPLY IN HIS EYEBROW. WE HAD TO DRIVE TO THE HOSPITAL, THIS TIME WITH BLOOD STREAMING DOWN MY DAD'S FACE AND ME AND MY SISTER IN TEARS.

THE NEXT HOUR IS PRETTY MUCH LIKE THIS. OCCASIONALLY I'VE HIDDEN A 'CLUE' TOO WELL AND KYLE CAN'T FIND IT, BUT WHENEVER THIS OCCURS I MIRACULOUSLY STUMBLE ACROSS IT AND PICK UP THE SCENT AGAIN. KYLE IS PRACTICALLY WETTING HIMSELF HE'S SO EXCITED.

THEN SOME DUDES GOT LOST IN QUEBEC, THE BARTENDER DID SHOTS WITH ME, THERE WAS A BIRTHDAY AND SOME CONFUSION AND I WAS ACCOSTED AT THE FALAFEL PLACE.

SCRAWNY MESS: (SNIFFLING MISERABLY) BUT.. BUT.. YOU CHEATED ON ME?

AT SOME POINT I WILL GET INTO THE STORIES OF CAMP OPEMEKON AND SCOUT CAMP. HERE IS A QUICK SCOUT CAMP STORY:

ESMERELDA BEGINS TO HAGGLE. "LOOK, WHY DON'T WE CALL A CAB FIRST, AND THEN IF IT GETS REALLY BAD WE'LL CALL AN AMBULANCE" SHE SAYS DOUBTFULLY. CLEARLY SHE DOESN'T WANT AN AMBULANCE PARKED IN FRONT OF HER RAT-INFESTED MOTEL.

"I WANT TO BUY THREE CANS OF THIS TOMATO SAUCE BUT THERE'S ONLY ONE HERE. CHECK IN THE BACK!"

"SHOP" BASICALLY INVOLVES THIS TERRIBLY UNSAFE, RATTY STRUCTURE KYLE AND I HAD BUILT FROM THE REMAINS OF A ROTTEN FENCE. ORIGINALLY WE HAD MEANT TO BUILD A CLUBHOUSE BUT WE QUICKLY RAN OUT OF WOOD AND WE ENDED UP WITH WHAT LOOKED LIKE A SORT OF STAND. REALIZING THIS, WE QUICKLY TURNED IT INTO A STAND, WHICH IS WHERE THE LEMONADE SELLING PLANS CAME INTO PLAY.

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