"smunday" original air date 05/14/00in a new record, my brothers and i had less than a day of freedom between groundings. we had just finished our sentence for giving away dewey's bike in exchange for watching circus eat a dog food sandwich. it seemed like a good idea at the time. we never knew how mom found us out. we had a good alibi . dewey cried and everything. anyway, mom had been sick and crusty all weekend. she doesn't get sick very often, but when a germ does get through she was so out of it that when we went to say goodbye to her monday morning, she thought it was still sunday. i saw an opportunity and went for it. i played along and pretended it was the weekend, so we could stay home from school. it was brilliant, until i started working it through. we had to pretend we were still grounded, what were we going to do when dad got home? why don't i think of this stuff beforehand?
things got more exciting after we learned a new trick. in her weakened state, mom would answer all our questions truthfully. (reese isn't adopted. damn.) that's how we learned it was francis who told her about the bike. we couldn't believe he would betray us like that. there was a letter arriving for mom that day about something really bad francis did. he had wanted us to hide it from her, but now it seemed like a useful bargaining chip. the letter must have been pretty serious because francis sent his dumb thuggy friends over to get it from us, when we threatened to turn him in. we were only bluffing to punish him, but then mom got her hands on the letter anyway. it was kind of our fault. and it turns out that francis only ratted on us because he wanted to come home. we felt really bad and decided to make up for it by doing something that was so terrible, it would distract mom from whatever francis did. let's just say the wreckage was spectacular. dad coming home sick in a porsche, just in time to receive some collateral damage was a nice touch. too bad we were so doomed we couldn't really enjoy it.
"bots and the bees" original air date 05/07/00
i never thought i'd say this, but i can't wait until mom gets home. dad has gone crazy without her. she left a few days ago to visit francis because his appendix ruptured. the academy almost didn't believe him since francis used that excuse last month. dad was now in charge and i couldn't believe my luck. i had just discovered something actually cool i could do with the krelboynes building killer robots and if mom were around, there was no way she'd let us make one. but if she were gone...
everything was going great. dad let us do whatever we wanted and we were having fun. then he just started acting really weird. he took over our robot project. he added saws and lasers and all kinds of weapons to it.
that sounds cool, but it was actually kind of... well, dangerous. i caught dad dancing in his underwear there may even have been howling. the last straw came when dad stopped going to work and started threatening his boss. nothing i said would make him stop, so i called mom's co-worker, craig, but he was no help. dad just sat on him, waiting for him to cry "uncle." i didn't know what else to do, so i turned the robot on dad. i didn't want to hurt him or anything, just make him quit acting so crazy. i'm not sure exactly what happened, but the next thing i knew, the button was pushed and tons of bees came shooting out of the cannon. now that dad is covered with bees, things seem to have settled down. at least he won't move until mom gets home. i just hope her flight doesn't get delayed.
"water park" original air date 05/21/00
today was supposed to be so cool. dad got these waterslide park tickets from work and we were all going to go, except dewey, who had to stay home because of an ear infection. i was looking forward to it, but then reese had to go and open his big mouth and remind mom that i had to wear a nose plug because of my sinuses. he did it out of nowhere. i didn't do anything to him. the jerk actually brought the plugs with him, so then i was stuck wearing them for the entire day. he had to pay.
to make matters worse, i couldn't bring myself to go down the liquidator, the largest and most dangerous slide in the whole park. so instead of having fun, all i did was chicken out, get laughed at and try to one up reese.
i got him pretty good, though. i made him admit in front of that girl he likes, april, that the only reason he likes her is because he heard she kisses with tongue. but then he got me back by throwing a wet jock strap on my face. things kept escalating between us and i may have gone a little too far. i pulled down reese's trunks in front of everyone, including april. reese's eyes rolled back in his head and he chased me to the top of the liquidator. i was trapped. then mom showed up and started yelling at us. i'm not sure what came over me. she was standing so close to the edge. it was just so easy. i can't believe i did it, but i pushed her down. it may have been the most amazing moment of my life, a life that is going to be short judging by the look on mom's face.
now the three of us are stuck at the park's manager's office. looks like another lifetime ban. dewey's lucky. he got to stay home with a nice babysitter all day.
"traffic jam" original air date 11/05/00
as if the lifetime ban from the water park wasn't bad enough, the car ride home sucked. it was so hot my skin was sticking to the seat, plus we had to run the heater to keep the radiator from boiling over. it must've been, like, 110 degrees! then a truck jackknifed in front of us, which was actually kinda cool.
so we were stuck in this huge traffic jam in the scorching heat, with no food and nothing to do. it totally sucked. then, reese went ballistic on this ice cream truck because the guy wouldn't sell us any ice cream. he totally embarrassed me, but it was okay, because that's how i met jessica.
jessica is cute, smart and she thought reese was a complete idiot. how could i not like her? she also lied to the cops so we could check out the crash site. later, we went for a walk and she told me i was a complainer, but given the situation, why wouldn't i be complaining? she pointed out that without the traffic jam we never would've met and then (this is the best part) she pushed me down the hill! isn't that great? it figures that she was from canada and that i'd never see her again.
finally, mom hijacked the crane and they opened the road. for a day that was pretty miserable, it was the most fun i've ever had. i was even happy to see dewey!
"lois' birthday" original air date 11/12/00
i'm pretty sure that when you make your own mom run away from home, it makes you a bad son. it wasn't entirely my fault. i mean, she gave reese and dewey and me money to buy her a birthday present and all three of us spent most of it on candy. i thought she'd like the eyeglass repair kit. guess not.
anyway, she was so upset that she stayed in her room until dad got home. then, when he realized he forgot her birthday too, they both kinda lost it. even francis gave us this big lecture about how we hurt mom's feelings. we all felt horrible, but what could we do?
reese started making a list of eligible women in the neighborhood for dad, but after a few hours, francis tracked mom down at the batting cages. when we got there, we hijacked some kid's birthday cake and clown and sang "happy birthday." but mom wasn't going to make it that easy. she made us agree to all these things -- like picking up dirty laundry and, you know, remembering her birthday. then, the clown had to go and butt in.
he called mom a "wide ride," so dad decked him. it was great, the cake went flying. then the other birthday clowns jumped in -- so francis, reese and i all started kicking some clown butt! mom was horrified at first, but i think deep down she might've been impressed. i thought her birthday turned out pretty cool. we showed her in our own way that we really do care.
"dinner out" original air date 11/15/00
i knew going to dinner with stevie's family was a bad idea, but mom thought that maybe some of their sophistication would rub off on us. wrong. it was going okay until reese let stevie in on the circle game.
basically, you have to make the other guy look at your hand while you're making a circle below your waist. then you get to punch him. it's kinda stupid, but at least you get to hit people. except stevie was such an easy target that reese spent most of dinner pummeling him. it was so bad that even reese got bored with it. i tried to get stevie to quit, but he was determined to stay in the game.
at one point, stevie started to cry and said he was going to go sit in the car. but really, he just tricked reese into looking at the circle he was making with his fingers. when stevie hit reese, he sent reese flying backward into a table. it was amazing. who knew he had such strength? then, stevie went to help reese up and got him again! that was about the time mom came over. but it wasn't our mom that went psycho, it was stevie's. can you believe it? mrs. kenarban actually flipped her lid.
so, dinner went like this: stevie beat the crap out of reese, his dad got drunk and his mom threw a screaming fit in the restaurant. i think we're contagious.
original air date 11/08/00
francis says that as long as you carry the spirit of vandalism and destruction in your heart, every day is halloween. according to him -- and he's the expert -- halloween isn't a holiday, it's a state of mind. reese and i tried our best, but without francis, halloween sucked. luckily, he came home the following week and brought the coolest thing ever.
at first, i thought it was just a bunch of tubing and a funnel. but really, it was this incredibly powerful slingshot capable of launching stuff two blocks. how awesome is that? reese was so impressed, he cried. we decided that no ordinary rotten eggs or water balloons would do the job. so we gathered a complete arsenal of the grossest stuff we could find: cheez whiz, gutter sludge, dirty diapers -- a little bit of everything. then we constructed this huge launching tower on the roof.
my job was finding targets. and i found the perfect one. the krelboynes were all on stevie's balcony trying to spot some meteor shower or something with stevie's new telescope. it was like they were begging to be slimed. we aimed. we fired. direct hits every time. it was so much fun. francis is the best. then, something totally unexpected happenedthe krelboynes fired back.
i should've predicted that they would build a better slingshot. after all, they're krelboynes. when we were totally covered in tofu goo, we tried to surrender -- but they didn't stop. oh, well, at least halloween wasn't a total waste.
"convention" original air date 11/22/00
at first, when mom and dad said they were making us have a babysitter for two days, reese and i put up a fight. we booby-trapped the entire house with snakes, firecrackers and other cool and dangerous stuff. then we saw her -- the most beautiful girl ever and her name was patty.
after reese, dewey and i undid all the booby traps, we just sat in awe of her. she was tall, blond and made us lots of snacks. she kept talking about how cute francis was, but i knew i could win her over. then i did what any kid with an incredible woman in his bedroom would doi invited the krelboynes over to check her out. later at dinner, i tried to impress her with my mad cow disease story, but it didn't go so well. reese countered by burping patty's address, which was totally lame. then dewey started doing some goofy dance and she loved it. stupid dewey.
the worst part was that dewey kept charming her and started hogging patty all to himself. she even gave him a bath. reese and i thought that if we got him all dirty again, patty would get mad at him. so we covered him with the glue and glitter he was using to make her a card. but she thought he looked cute, and gave him another bath! later, patty was upset, so i went to find out what was wrong and, you know, hopefully make her feel better. stupid reese wanted to do the same thing, so we got into fight. meanwhile, dewey's lame dance totally cheered her up. why does he have to be so cute?
that night, the cuteness wore off when dewey faked having a nightmare and got to sleep in mom and dad's bed, with patty! i thought i was supposed to be the genius? reese and i snuck outside mom and dad's room to lure dewey into the garage, but he locked us out of the house. can you believe it? luckily, reese fell into the backyard cesspool so the night wasn't a total loss.
"casino" original air date 11/19/00
i should know by now that when my parents say "vacation" they really mean "disaster." we were going to spend two days at this great resort on an indian reservation. all mom wanted to do was relax and dad couldn't wait to try out his latest gambling techniques. reese and i were totally ready to hang out at the pool.
then we found out that you can't go to the pool without an adult, so we got stuck in the stupid run-down arcade. it didn't take long for dad to lose all his money. then when i told him about basic blackjack "strategy," he decided it was time for some father-son bonding. next thing i know, we are in the manager's office and dad is handing over the three grand we won. is it my fault i have a natural card-counting ability? to make things worse, dad got banned from the casino and had to figure out a way to keep the whole thing from mom.
so the next day, he volunteered to take us on a hike to some stupid ghost town, but dewey got freaked out by the idea of ghosts and stayed behind. of course, we got lost in the middle of the desert with no food or water. we climbed over a fence because we thought it might lead us somewhere, but when we saw a real cougar blow up in front of us, we started to get really worried. dad, reese and i went into a little house for help, but then i noticed that the people sitting at the table were stiff and had targets on their chests. we were in the middle of an army artillery range and had to run for our lives while being shot at with live ammo!
the army finally rescued us and we all ended up in the commander's office getting yelled at for the second time in the same vacation. dad tried to call the hotel to get mom to pick us up, but dewey hung up on him so we had to walk. next time mom says we can't afford to go on vacation, i will definitely be okay with it.
"therapy" original air date 11/29/00
as if school wasn't miserable enough, the krelboyne class just had medieval week. we all had to wear these lame costumes -- mom made me a jester hat out of socks and christmas bells. talk about humiliating. plus, we all had to learn this stupid harvest dance to perform in front of the entire school. i was willing do anything to get out of it, and then i got a great idea.
a couple of kids kept getting out of stuff by going to the dentist. when one kid went to the dentist three times in one week, i asked lloyd about it. he told me that "dentist" was the code for "therapist." so during our harvest dance rehearsal, i faked an outburst. you know, "oh, i can't do anything right. i suck." blah, blah, blah. it totally worked because i got sent to the school therapist, miss gilbert. i figure with the family i have, it's only a matter of time before i really need therapy anyway, so why not start early.
miss gilbert was really nice and i got to play video games. the tricky part was making her think i needed help without having her put me on medication. pretty soon i was spending more time researching childhood behavioral theories than doing actual homework. then i found out that the krelboynes were going on an awesome field trip to the museum of torture and that i'd have to miss it because of my "dentist" appointment. i had to have a real breakthrough, fast.
luckily, i knew enough to fake a passive, "healthy" dream about a purple butterfly, which convinced miss gilbert i was better. then stupid reese had to show up and ruin everything. he was trying to get in on my therapy scam, but had no clue what he was doing. because of him, miss gilbert came to our house! she made me confront mom with my "anger issues." mom knew what reese and i were up to, but played along just to torture us more. the weird thing is i think i did have a real breakthrough. i realized that mom and dad put a lot of pressure on me with school and stuff. when i started talking about it, i couldn't shut up. mom cried. i cried. even reese cried. and we all felt a lot better. i guess therapy's not so bad after all.
"high school play" original air date 12/10/01
people just assume that the krelboynes are social rejects with nothing to do but volunteer for their stupid projects. okay, so it's true. like the other day, this cute girl from the high school asked for a volunteer to be in the high school play. when i found out it meant getting out of class for two weeks, i was the first one to raise my hand. actually, i was the only one.
i totally forgot about these secret krelboyne meetings we'd been having to build a rocket, but i figured i could do both. not only did i get out of class, but i got to hang out at the high school. it was so cool. there were all these pierced, brooding types wearing weird clothes and walking around like they didn't care about anything. i was supposed to play the changeling boy in shakespeare's "a midsummer night's dream," but when the guy playing puck, the lead fairy, didn't show up, i filled in. they loved me! so, not only did i get out of the krelboyne class and get to hang out with beautiful high school girls, i got the lead in the play.
i got so caught up in rehearsals and keeping track of the latest high school gossip that i missed a few of the secret krelboyne meetings. i felt bad because stevie, lloyd and the guys were getting mad at me. so i whipped up some calculations for them that i thought were accurate. when i saw a rocket flying over my head later that day, i knew i had totally messed up. luckily, no one was hurt when it crash-landed at school. and i'm pretty sure it had nothing to do with our teacher giving birth in the parking lot.
the night of the play, my entire family was there, and the krelboynes came too. but when they lowered me onto the stage, all i could remember were the rumors, stories and tidbits i'd been hearing all week at rehearsals. i totally froze. it was horrible. then an amazing thing happened. lloyd saved me. he came onstage and did my lines and was a huge hit. i just hung there like an idiot the entire time, but it made me realize something: even though the high school kids were cool, my true friends stood by me even after i let them down. maybe shakespeare was right when he said, "what fools these mortals be," or something like that.
"krelboyne girl" original air date 1/14/01
starting my week debating boxers versus briefs with my mom shouldve been a sign of other horribly humiliating things to come. there was this new girl in the krelboyne class -- cynthia. she was kinda weird, but what krelboyne isnt? i mean, she made up this bizarre story about her family and had a strange laugh. plus, her hair was always a mess and she burped a lot. i really wasnt sure what to make of her.
one day i stayed late at school to use the computer and she was waiting for me outside. i tried to walk away, but she kept following me. she wound up chasing me all the way home. like, really running after me! of course, my mom invited her to stay for dinner. all night, stupid reese kept calling her my girlfriend; i wanted to kill him.
the next day, she sat by me at lunch and announced that we were going to be lab partners. when did i agree to that? reese showed up to mock us and cynthia did this secret israeli army move that had reese pinned in seconds flat. it was so great! i started thinking that maybe she wasnt that bad. she was kinda funny and interesting.
anyway, she started acting weird again, but told me she thought i was cute. i was totally confused. did i like her or did she freak me out? i called francis for advice, but he just kept warning me to keep mom out of it. whatever that meant, it wasnt very helpful. when i told cynthia i didnt want to be lab partners, she seemed okay with it. a little too okay. the next day, she ate lunch with some other kid, which was fine. except the only way to explain why i threw a brick through her window is because i got jealous or something. i know, totally stupid. mom wasnt furious, but she had to go and tell cynthias dad that i had a crush on cynthia. being put on restriction wouldve been better than that humiliation. but then, cynthia told me she liked me back and so, well, i tried to kiss her. (you know, after our parents left.)
of course, instead of actually kissing her, i started acting like a complete idiot. its like i couldnt shut up about my mom and francis and cynthias bra and ugh! she finally used a new army move on me and left me on the floor moaning in pain. i think i might really like this girl after all.
"old mrs. old" original air date 1/07/01
you know how there's always one mean old lady in the neighborhood who hates kids? ours is mrs. griffin. the other day a bunch of us were playing some game that reese invented when i whacked the ball into mrs. griffin's yard. normally when that happens, we just get another ball. but this time, i decided to hop the fence and get it back. it was a matter of principal.
i had just found it when mrs. griffin came out of nowhere and grabbed me. she wouldn't let go of my hair, so i pushed her (i know, i know, i pushed an old lady). i was just trying to get away -- i didn't mean to hurt her, i swear. but i sort of broke her arm.
mom gave me this huge lecture and then made me promise to go over to mrs. griffin's house every day after school to help her until her arm got better. the first time i went, i hoped that deep down, mrs. griffin was just a sweet old lady who needed some company. boy, was i wrong. she was a horrible racist who kept calling me names while i rearranged all the junk in her house. as if that wasn't bad enough, the fan blew open her robe and i saw, well, the unspeakable. it was totally traumatic and there was no way i was going backuntil mom made me.
while i was rubbing lotion on mrs. griffin's crusty corns and listening to her drunken rant, i snapped. i told her how much i hated her and how gross her feet were, but she passed out. i guess alcohol and prescription drugs don't mix. i did what any responsible kid would doi called the krelboynes. once we determined that she was still alive, but would be unconscious for a while, we decided to have some fun.
fun only lasts so long when you're stuck in an old lady's houseso we did something really stupid. we stole (more like borrowed) mrs. griffin's car. it was really great, until mom drove by and saw me behind the wheel. by the time i got back to mrs. griffin's, i was in a total panic. i thought for sure i was dead. but when mom showed up, an amazing thing happened. mrs. griffin covered for me and said i was driving her to the hospital. mom couldn't believe it, and neither could i. that's when mrs. griffin mentioned that i'd also volunteered to drop by before and after school every day, just in case something else happened. it made me wish i'd taken mom's punishment instead. we don't call her mean old mrs. griffin for nothing.
"the bully" original air date 12/17/00
reese finally figured out a way to beat the snot out of people without getting in trouble. he joined the wrestling team and he was actually good at it. we were just getting used to the whole "being proud of reese" thing, when it completely fell apart. in the middle of this big match, reese had to wrestle a girl, which normally wouldn't be a big deal, except that he lost. and he didn't just lose, but he got totally humiliated in front of the entire school. i felt bad, but at the same time, it gave me material for years to come.
everyone at school thought reese would overcompensate by being extra mean, but the opposite happened. reese had this spiritual awakening or something, and became really nice. he said that without the glory of wrestling, he needed a new way to make people proud of him. i couldn't believe reese was going soft -- and neither could everyone at school. for a little while, it was amazing. no lunches were stolen. no krelboynes were terrorized. school was actually fun. i should've known it was too good to last.
without reese around, new bullies stepped in to fill the void. and for some reason, i was their prime target. i guess they had mistaken my humor for insults over the years. i thought i was being funny. lloyd said i was more, like, caustic, arrogant, bitter and sarcastic. who, me? being held upside down with my head in the trash really helped me realize that i was getting laughs at other people's expense.
after dad gave me some lame pep talk about making amends, i tried apologizing to all the kids i'd made jokes about. that completely backfired; plus, the playground was in total anarchy anyway. everyone was a bully and it was open season on krelboynes. meanwhile, reese was selling his material possessions and planning to join a cult. luckily, the krelboynes convinced him that the only way to restore the school's power structure was if reese reinstated his reign of terror. when he saw stevie getting harassed, something in reese just snapped. three punches, two stomps and one knockout later, he had single-handedly restored order -- and realized his true calling as the school's alpha bully.
"robbery" original air date 11/26/00
i never would've guessed so much could happen on a school night. i was enjoying my favorite part of the day: the twilight between school ending and parents coming home. the time when kids rule the earth. then dad came home all excited about something he found in the trash. it was this huge, junky armoire that he wanted to fix up for mom for their anniversary. naturally, we all had to help.
it weighed a ton, but we managed to drag it into the living room with minimal damage (it was an ugly lamp anyway). when dad opened the huge double doors, he thought the thing was filled with hundreds of bow ties. that seemed pretty weird. we looked closer and realized it was really filled with bats! reese screamed like a girl when they all flew out and scattered throughout the house. okay, we all screamed like girls, even dad.
when dad found out how much an exterminator cost, he decided it was up to us to catch all of the flying rats before mom got home. we covered up from head to toe and armed ourselves with baseball bats, fishing nets and hockey sticks. reese thought it would be funny to throw mom's bra at me and scare me into thinking it was bat. ha, ha. what was hilarious was when a real bat landed on reese's shoulder and dewey and i got to beat the crap out of him. you know, to scare the bat.
for a while we camped out in a tent in the living room. but the bats found us there, too. that was the last straw for dad. we launched a full-blown bat assault and got rid of every last one of them using the vacuum, silly string, and we even used dewey as bait. then all we had to do was clean up the house before mom got home. i think fighting bats was easier.
"hal quits" original air date 2/04/01
i can't believe i never noticed that dad got up every morning and went to a job that he hated with every fiber of his being. i honestly don't think he realized it either, until he volunteered to speak to dewey's class on career day. at first he was really excited and even made me come and help with all his pie charts and stuff. but when the little 6-year-olds kept asking him why he works at such a boring job, he kinda lost it. one kid made him cry. the next day, dad quit!
technically, he took a leave of absence due to "illness." mom tried to talk some sense into him, but dad insisted that now was the time for him to pursue his "art" and paint some painting he'd been dreaming about for years. he stocked up on tons of paint and brushes. meanwhile, francis was home for spring break and was working at the lucky aid with mom. so, while dad was becoming this free-spirited, happy jobless guy, francis was becoming a product of corporate america - bitter, angry and frustrated. and i was starting to worry about my future. i didn't want to wind up like dad, stuck in a job i hated for 20 years.
after i found out that the krelboynes already had their career paths mapped out, i decided to take a vocational test at school. i figured that would narrow down my options, you know, based on the junk i was good at. turns out i'm pretty much good at everything. that may sound great, but it's not helpful. according to the test, i could be a pro-golfer or a neurosurgeon, so my choices were still endless. i tried to picture myself in various jobs - businessman, construction worker, bus driver - but nothing clicked. then dad decided to unveil his work of art that he'd been slaving over for weeks. it was huge and had, like, 500 gallons of paint on it.
mom forced dad to admit that he still didn't think it was finished and after they fought about it for a while, dad became inspired. he added a few splotches here, a smidgen of paint there, and voilá! it was truly amazing. even francis was impressed. but there were so many layers of paint that the whole thing peeled off and crashed on top of dad. so much for his masterpiece. he went back to his "real job" the next day.
mom forced dad to admit that he still didn't think it was finished and after they fought about it for a while, dad became inspired. he added a few splotches here, a smidgen of paint there, and voilá! it was truly amazing. even francis was impressed. but there were so many layers of paint that the whole thing peeled off and crashed on top of dad. so much for his masterpiece. he went back to his "real job" the next day.
"the grandparents" original air date 2/11/01
i don't see my mom's parents very much and i'm starting to think that's a good thing. they drove down from canada to "surprise" us and, well, it was more like a shock. i guess i didn't remember how "foreign" they are.
first of all, they only like reese. (i know, i know, it's totally weird.) second, grandpa pretends he can't hear, but i think he just hears what he wants to. plus, they constantly pick on mom and dad. like at dinner the first night. our refrigerator was broken, so we ordered pizza. dad and grandpa both went for the last piece and grandpa made some crack about dad not being able to provide for his family - so he didn't deserve the last piece. then mom got defensive. anyway, grandma and grandpa offered to pay for a new fridge. so, we got this awesome new one built with reinforced steel that made two different kinds of ice cubes - but then grandpa decided not to give mom and dad the money!
meanwhile, francis called and he was no help. he told me not to take anything our grandparents do personally. (i'm pretty sure grandpa spit on me.) he said they have stupid lizard brains and are threatened by anyone intelligent - which actually explains why they love reese so much.
when mom and dad started working a ton of overtime to pay for the fridge, we were stuck with the grandparents. i took a walk with grandma and tried to bond, but she wound up picking a fight with these kids and i got beat up! later, i asked mom if she liked her parents. she said it didn't really matter because she can't trade them in. i guess i can relate to that.
i tried again to talk to grandma, but she kept punching me. she said being able to defend myself was more important than reading books. i finally snapped. i told her that i was smart and was going to be successful so she should just leave me alone. it was a great speech until i slammed into a post. as if that wasn't bad enough, grandpa gave reese a live grenade and neither one could let go of it or it would explode. while they fought over it, the grenade flew onto the kitchen table. i grabbed it and tossed it into the new fridge. we got out of the house just as it blew up! luckily, the reinforced steel contained the blast and saved us all.
having live ammo in the house was the last straw. dad told mom to take us outside, and i'm not sure what he said to grandma and grandpa but they left right after. i guess "tough love" runs in the family.
"traffic ticket" original air date 2/18/01
it was a day that will live forever in history. it's the day that i found proof that mom was wrong. i know it sounds crazy, but it's true. she was actually wrong, for at least a week, anyway.
it started when we met mom at work to go get haircuts at the barber college. i hate the barber college; they always mess up. but it's free, so i guess you get what you pay for. anyway, as soon as we pulled out of the lucky aid, mom got pulled over and got a ticket. she got in a fight with the cop, got arrested for unpaid parking tickets and the car got towed away. it was actually kind of cool.
later, after dad bailed mom out, she told us that she was a victim of entrapment. she didn't give the cop a discount or something and so he was out to get her. but the parking tickets had francis written all over them. mom said he couldn't come home until he paid the $747 fines! she was so sure that the ticket was a sham that she insisted on taking it to court. dad didn't think this was a good idea, but when mom has her mind set on something, there's no use arguing.
the next day, i stopped by lucky aid so craig could give me a ride, and he was watching surveillance tapes from the store. (i think he just uses them to check out women in the store.) i realized he had a tape of the parking lot from the day of mom's "incident." the footage showed that she really did cut a car off! it was like the holy grail of videotape.
reese and i were so excited about mom being wrong we couldn't stop giggling. but when we saw mom, we chickened out about showing her the tape. francis told me i should cherish this opportunity to gloat, but i knew mom would kill the messenger - me! so, i showed dad the evidence and he was shocked. later when mom came home ranting about the cop, saying how he was "going down," dad showed her the tape. we all waited for her to explode, but she just kept insisting the tape was wrong.
somehow, dad convinced her that it was okay to be wrong and mom took on a whole new perspective. she was a lot nicer, for one thing. and she agreed to go to traffic school, instead of fighting the ticket. oh, and she told francis he could forget about the money.
everything was going great until stupid craig showed up with another videotape - from the convenience store across from lucky aid. it clearly showed that mom didn't cut that car off after all. what else could we do but destroy the tape and swear craig to secrecy?
"new neighbors" original air date 1/21/01
i used to think the house next door was haunted and that's why we got new neighbors so often. this past week made me think that maybe it was us.
dad got really excited when he noticed the moving van next door, especially when he saw the cool stuff they were unloading. mom said it was clean slate, a chance for us to make friends for a change. but we had to act fast, before the other neighbors got to them first. we wound up at a barbecue/pool party, which was going okay for a while. they had two kids. josh was my age and emily was younger than dewey. josh seemed okay, but then he told my dad that i spit on his hamburger. why would he lie? i didn't even know him. then, emily attacked reese and started biting him. she was out of control. when their mom didn't do anything about it, our mom got mad. and well, you know how that goes. the moms got into a huge fight and that was the end of the "clean slate."
the next day, i ran into josh and he seemed to be acting normal. then this cute girl from school walked by and he totally humiliated me in front of her. later, he spread a rumor around school that i had been born with both girl and boy sex organs and was raised as a girl for five years. what a jerk!
mom declared the new neighbors the worst ones we'd ever had. dewey was even scared of their lawn gnomes. even though dad and the other dad were becoming friends, things kept getting worse for the rest of us.
reese was being stalked by emily, and she's only 4! then the police showed up and accused me of being a peeping tom. stupid josh and more of his lies. reese finally came up with a plan for revenge. we stole a bunch of junk and were going to plant it on josh. i know it sounds stupid, but i was desperate. we climbed over the fence to plant the evidence and saw josh's mom in the hot tub with their gardener and they weren't discussing lawn care. she saw us and started screaming, which attracted the other neighbors' attention. everyone saw, it was great. she knew she'd been caught and the neighbors moved that week!
i feel a little sorry for dad, because he'd finally made a friend. but with the amount of new neighbors we get, i'm sure he'll be fine.
"reese cooks" original air date 3/04/01
remember cynthia? she was the new krelboyne girl that had some weird obsession with me. and then i, uh, threw the brick through her window. well, she decided to have a party. the thing is, krelboynes don't have parties. i mean, it's like an unwritten law or something. and if they do have parties, only krelboynes come and then, what's the point?
anyway, cynthia handed out like a million flyers for her "be my friend" party and she just seemed to be setting herself up for disaster. i thought the decent thing to do would be to set her straight. you know, save her the pain and disappointment of not having anyone show up. at first she was just in total denial. she said i was jealous because i can't make friends, so she told everyone we were co-hosting! i knew then that there was only one way to prove my point: the krelboyne wall of shame.
we're all on it. me, lloyd, stevie. an entire wall in the boys' bathroom is devoted to making fun of us. and cynthia's there too. i thought it would open her eyes to the dangers of krelboyne party planning. instead, i just made her cry. she cancelled the party the next day, which meant everyone was mad at me. couldn't they see i was trying to help?
meanwhile, dad thought if he spent more time with reese, reese wouldn't be such a screwup. so, they enrolled in this cooking class - and reese turned out to be a natural gourmet! it was really weird, but we had the best dinners ever. plus, mom and dad were so busy marveling at reese's new talent that they didn't notice my lame social life screeching to a halt.
the day the party was supposed to have been, i went to cynthia's house to apologize. not for telling the truth, but for being kind of harsh about it. i tried to tell her that she was a funny, unique, great person and that if other kids didn't appreciate her that was their problem. and then a strange thing happened. people started showing up. not just krelboynes, but other kids who heard about the party. pretty soon cynthia's house was packed with people. even the krelboynes were having fun. it was one of the few times i was happy to have been wrong.
"tutoring reese" original air date 3/11/01
we call it level 4 rage. when mom reaches that point there are only two ways to survive: you must avoid sudden movements and all eye contact. she and francis were arguing over fixing the roof. see, dad's afraid of heights, so mom told francis to climb up there, but he didn't want to. anyway, it wasn't long before she turned her attention to reese.
reese was flunking out of school. so guess who got stuck tutoring him? i didn't think it was fair that i was being punished for reese being an idiot. francis jumped in and told mom that not only should i not have to tutor reese, but he was too old to live by her rules. so, she kicked him out of the house and i started tutoring the next day.
honestly, reese seemed like a lost cause. i mean half his books were ruined and the other half were missing. i was totally losing patience when we had a mini-breakthrough. he wrote an essay that was easily a c-. that's a huge improvement! somehow he managed to get an f on it anyway. i couldn't understand it, and neither could mom. she was totally mad and thought we were slacking off, so we knew if he didn't pass his history test, we were doomed.
the day of the test, all of the krelboynes pitched in to help. lloyd figured the only way for reese to get a b was if someone took the test for him. now, i know that's cheating, but we were desperate. it seemed worth the risk if it would keep reese out of the remedial class - those kids were teased worse than the krelboynes. we used an a/v scam; you know where you bring in audio/visual equipment to block the teacher's view while you switch the tests. but, i was still in the hall filling out reese's test when the bell rang. stevie ran interference by knocking into reese's teacher, mr. woodward, and sending the tests flying. that's when i switched the tests back. i knew that test was a solid b, so i was shocked when reese got an f.
instead of telling mom, i confronted mr. woodward. he went off on some tangent about "kids like reese," and that's when i knew for sure he was out to get my brother. later, mr. woodward came to our house and tried to force reese into the remedial class. i couldn't let that happen, so i tricked mr. woodward into admitting he didn't even read reese's test. but then i stupidly let it slip that i wrote the answers. mom was back to level 4.
in the middle of her face/off with mr. woodward, francis showed up begging for forgiveness. so mom found the perfect punishment for all of us (including mr. woodward!)and the roof got fixed.
"surgery" original air date 2/25/01
bacon day is not the day you want to be sick. it's first come, first served and i was determined to get my share, but my stomach really hurt. i told mom, but she thought i was trying to get out of school. so, when i was still complaining on saturday, she rushed me to the emergency room.
the doctor said i had appendicitis - and that i needed surgery. i was kind of nervous and reese didn't help with his horror stories. he said sometimes when you're unconscious you can still feel the doctors cutting into you and stuff. plus, dad was freaking out because he has major hospital phobias.
then, i had to stay in the stupid children's ward. some little kid kept bugging me to play cards. before my family left, mom told reese to hug meand when he agreed to do it, it made me wonder if i was dying or something. later, the doctor dragged in all these interns to stare at me and poke me. i felt like some sort of experiment. that night, it got worse. i mean, i'm not a baby, but it was just creepy being in there. plus, there was this big scary male nurse named helmut. then some doctors came in and put my head in one of those metal halos thinking i needed brain surgery. they were ready to haul me off to drill into my head until they realized they had the wrong kid!
i tried to tell mom the next day, but she said i was overreacting and didn't believe me. then i found out that my family stayed up late playing games and even went to breakfast. our family never goes out to breakfast! after they left, the krelboynes came to visit, which was cool. they tried to convince me that surgery was the best way to guilt things out of my parents. maybe they had a point. then again, my stomach didn't hurt anymore and i was starting to think i didn't need an operation at all.
when the doctor moved up my surgery time i begged him to do a new blood test, but he wouldn't. helmut made me take sedatives, but i spit them in his face and made a run for it. an orderly agreed to give me my test results if i gave him a urine sample - something about a drug test. the test results proved i didn't need surgery. just about then, helmut caught me and dragged me off to surgery. luckily, i wrote my test results on my abdomen, along with a note threatening to sue for malpractice.
but once i got home (with my appendix in tact) things didn't get better. the hospital bill was huge and everyone blamed me for blowing our vacation money with my "fake" injury. maybe the hospital wasn't so bad after all.
"bowling" original air date 4/01/01
sometimes i wonder how different a day would be if just one decision was changed. like, the other night there was this bowling party with some kids from school - including this totally hot girl, beth. now either mom could drive me and reese or dad could. depending on which one of them drove, the night could be totally fun, or a total disaster.
mom would lecture us the entire way to the bowling alley about being on our best behavior. then she'd insist on coming in and making us share a pair of bowling shoes because she didn't have enough cash for two pairs. and when she found out no other parents were there she'd for sure stay to chaperone. i'd be so mortified by her behavior that i'd bowl terribly, and reese would have plenty of time to make a move on beth. by the end of the night, i'd be so humiliated by having to use a girl's bowling ball and lane bumpers that i'd completely lose it in front of everyone, including beth. my only hope would be that beth would take sympathy on me and kiss me at the end of the night - before mom made everyone go home.
now dad, dad would be fun. even though we'd get lost on the way to the bowling alley, he'd be excited about bowling. he'd also leave reese and me alone with our friends - including beth. of course, given free reign, reese would do something stupid like spit in beth's face, which would give me the chance to talk to her. plus, we'd all be bowling awesome. dad would bowl strike after strike, and i'd be pretty impressive myself. knowing how things usually go, reese would definitely get in a fight. i'd probably get beth alone behind the lanes and then have some stupid accident keep me from kissing her, while simultaneously ruining dad's chances at a perfect game.
it's a tough choice: have a bad time, but kiss beth. or have a great time, but don't kiss beth. i guess that's why it's best to leave these things to fate.
"flashback" original air date 5/20/01
this week, mom and dad were fighting a lot. it really didn't bother me, reese or francis, but dewey was kinda worried. he thought mom and dad might get a divorce. i tried to reassure him that mom and dad always find a way to work things out. like, i remember mom telling us about how each of us were born - and how, almost every time, her and dad were fighting over something.
i wasn't even born in a hospital! but, i'm getting ahead. i guess francis was a kind of a surprise, because mom went into labor with him during their wedding. she says she and dad used to have a beautiful, all-white apartment, until francis was born. i could totally picture francis wreaking havoc with a box of crayons. by the time francis was a screaming toddler, mom was having reese. the way she tells it, reese was a pain even before he came out. he was kicking and screaming through the entire delivery.
anyway, when mom was ready to have me, they had just moved into our house. she and dad got into a huge fight and he decided to go for a drive to cool off. i guess as soon as he left, mom went into labor. she tried to get reese and francis in the car to go the hospital, but once she got francis in, he locked all the car doors. it's funny now, but mom wasn't laughing when she gave birth to me on our front lawn.
all i remember about dewey being born is that i was trying to make invisible ink with my chemistry set. mom and dad were arguing because francis had just gotten dropped off by the police for joyriding on a street cleaner. i tried to warn them that i made chlorine gas instead of ink, but the toxic smoke cloud erupted before i could finish. we all ran outside and it started to rain. it was so cool. francis, reese and i were having mud fights when mom went into labor.
so, like i told dewey, no matter how much mom and dad argue, they always manage to work it out. i just hope they aren't planning on having any more kids!
"carnival" original air date 5/06/01
when reese, stevie and i realized that the tri-county fair was only in town for one more night, we knew we had to go. i never would've guessed that stevie would come up with the perfect plan: the double alibi. it's the classic sleepover scam. reese and i said we were staying at stevie's and stevie told his parents he was staying with us. (the kenarbans were a tough sell, but stevie used the old "it'll make me feel more normal" speech). it was all going smoothly, until dewey overheard us and blackmailed his way into the deal.
the express bus should have gotten us to the fair with at least two hours until it closed, but dewey had to go to the bathroom. by the time we finally got there, we only had time for one ride. we decided on the chamber of terrors and raced over there with five minutes to spare. even so, the stupid ride guy said it was closed and wouldn't let us in. so, of course we snuck on anyway. maybe it was just me, but it wasn't that terrifying. just some glow-in-the-dark skeletons and lame noises. then, in the middle of the ride, the power went out. that's when the real terror began.
meanwhile, back home, stevie's parents had gone to my house to check on him. so, naturally, both our parents figured out we were missing and were frantically trying to find us. they would never have guessed we were trapped in a stupid ride. after 20 minutes of fumbling around in the dark we finally found a way out. by then, the fair had closed, was totally deserted and we were locked in. it was like the beginning of every horror movie i'd ever seen.
stevie asked some drunken security guard for help - but he just got mad and chased us! somehow while we were trying to hide we lost dewey. then, the security guy snuck up behind us. reese and i took off, but the guard got stevie! reese was being a total baby. he wouldn't stop whimpering and he kept making up stories about how the guard was a psycho killer. just then, dewey jumped out and scared reese. (okay, i may have been a little startled too.) when we told dewey about stevie, he said his new "friends" could help.
his friends were all the carnival weirdos - you know, the bearded lady, the tattooed man. they were all really nice, especially gorac the fish man, their unofficial leader. they talked the security guy into letting stevie go, just as our parents pulled up in the kenarban's van i was glad to be going home, except that our parents made us walk!
"malcolm vs. reese" original air date 4/22/01
usually, when francis is home anything is fun. but this time, we were in a slump. dewey was busy catsitting for craig's precious cat, jellybean, so we didn't have him around to torture. and francis wasn't up for the usual prankster stuff. then, he scored tickets to the "rage in the cage" wrestling match. reese and i were totally excited - until we realized he only had two tickets. francis had decided to entertain himself by watching reese and i compete for the chance to see grown men in stupid costumes attack each other. i had to win!
first we had to do the lame "happy dance," but that was only the beginning of a long, humiliating process. we made him snacks. we brought him gifts. we even baked him a stupid cake. basically, reese and i were his total slaves. i mean, was wrestling worth all this? actually, yeah, it was. so when francis wanted to borrow mom's car and she said no, he offered to do a ton of chores knowing that we would do them. finally, i decided to use my god-given talents to edge out reese. while he was good at physical labor, there's no way he could write francis an "a" term paper. but then, a strange thing happened, reese had a strategy breakthrough. he decided the easiest way for him to win was to get me grounded.
now, the battle for tickets had become the battle to get each other in trouble with mom and francis was loving it. things got out of control when i destroyed my expensive microscope and reese beat himself up. we had hit bottom. we forced francis to pick a winner. then, out of nowhere, stupid francis told us he met a girl and he was taking her to "rage in the cage." a girl! can you believe it? that's when reese and i plotted our revenge.
here's how it went down: the night of the wrestling match francis and his date got about halfway there in mom's car - which reese and i had reported stolen. when they got pulled over, francis tried to show some i.d. - which we had stolen. then, when the cop made francis get out of the car, he heard strange noises coming from the trunk - which is where reese and i had stowed away, tied up like kidnap victims. francis got arrested, it was great! mom was upset, but it was totally worth it.
but it wasn't long before reese and i were slaves again, this time for craig. he moved in after mom, dad and dewey accidentally burned down his house. i guess the catsitting thing didn't work out. and i guess you could say francis' visit was pretty entertaining after all.
"mini-bike" original air date 4/29/01
craig has been living here ever since we burned his house down, and he's driving us all crazy. and really, i had nothing to do with the house burning down, so why am i being punished? plus, when dad left for father/son weekend at francis' school, craig decided he was the man of the house. yeah, right.
anyway, on the way to school, i found this totally cool, wrecked minibike in the trash. well, dewey says he found it, but we were all there. the garbage man made reese pay thirty dollars for it, but we knew if we fixed it up it would be totally worth it. we worked on it nonstop. at first, it was pretty cool that the three of us had a project together. we took parts off dad's lawnmower and tried to rework the bike's engine. but then, things got back to normal and we started fighting over who would get to ride it first. the insults started flying and by the time dinner rolled around, we were barely speaking to each other. with mom working late, craig tried to make small talk, but reese stormed back into the garage. the three of us kept working on the bike, but only because we really wanted to ride it. i had just finished the last repair and fired up the engine, when guess who showed up? mom.
she immediately chained up the bike and banned us from touching it. she kept saying it was motorcycle, but it was a mini-bike! it was so unfair. we tried everything to change her mind. dewey threw his best hissyfit ever. we even offered to wear geeky protective gear at all times, and only ride in the park. nothing seemed to work. then i found a picture of mom in her reckless youth. she was horseback riding when she was dewey's age, with no protective gear at all. that's totally dangerous! when faced with the evidence, she started to cave a little. but then, of course stupid reese had to blow it. he snuck out the minibike, crashed it and practically broke his leg! there was no way we could let mom find out or we'd never get anything ever again. we had to figure out a way to fool her, and still get reese to a doctor. it was so simple, i still can't believe it worked.
i told craig i had discovered the best ice cream in town, but needed a ride. when he backed out of the driveway, dewey put a rock under his tire, and reese faked like he'd been run over. it was brilliant! mom freaked and craig was so guilt-ridden that he moved out. later, mom admitted that she knew what we did. i guess the totaled minibike buried in the sandbox was a clue. she was just so happy to get rid of craig that she said we'd call it a wash.
"evacuation" original air date 5/13/01
i knew i was supposed to be home to help dad and reese with the new couch. but stevie and i were in the zone. we were cranking on our geometry homework and actually got two weeks ahead. i was an hour late, but c'mon it was for school! mom totally overreacted and grounded me for two weeks. no phone. no television. no friends. and no dessert. it was so unfair. i stormed off to my room, while dad and dewey went to take the old couch to the dump.
that night, some army guy showed up and said the whole neighborhood was being evacuated. a train derailed and caused some sort of toxic spill. he said that somebody had left a couch on the train tracks. anyway, we all had to stay in the gym at school, so i thought it would be cool to walk around. that's when mom informed me that i was still grounded. even in the gym! the krelboynes weren't even allowed to come talk to me. it was ridiculous. while i was stuck by myself, reese started a black market by stealing all the toilet paper and making people trade stuff for it. and dewey told everyone his parents died in the toxic cloud, and kept getting free sympathy stuff like food and toys. meanwhile, dad felt so guilty about the couch thing that he went out of his way trying to help people. when he found out about the "toxic orphan" he started a fundraiser - not knowing that it was actually dewey. everyone was having a blast but me, because i was "restricted" to the cot.
then this little kid started taunting me in front of some high school girls. when i tried to defend myself, mom yelled at me again. that's when i snapped. i told mom that i was too old for her lame punishments and that we needed to change the rules. i stood up to her in front of the entire gym and told her i wasn't afraid of her. i mean what would she do? spank me? that's when she threw me over her knee and started to actually spank me! i was totally humiliated. the good part was that everyone else in the gym thought mom was so mean, they had her kicked out. plus, dad, dewey and reese had just gotten booted for their black market/toxic orphan scams. not to mention that dewey let it slip that it was our couch that derailed the train.
so while my family was shivering outside the gym, begging me for blankets, i was just getting comfortable on my cot. after all, i was still grounded.