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Stop in the Name of Pants!, Page 2

Louise Rennison

Ellen said she had to get her cardi from Jas’s rucky and tottered off to sit next to her. Hahahahaha. I am without doubtosity top girlie at red herringnosity.

  4:00 p.m.

  Dropped off at the bottom of my road. By some miracle we have arrived home not maimed and crippled by our coach “driver” and school caretaker Elvis Attwood. He hates girls.

  I don’t think he has a driver’s license. When I politely asked to see it after a near-death experience at a roundabout he suggested I remove myself before his hand made contact with my arse. Which is unnecessary talk in a man who fought for his country in the Viking invasions. I said that to him, I said, “You are only letting yourself down by that kind of talk, Mr. Attwood.”

  two minutes later

  Walked up the drive to Chez Bonkers.

  Opened the door and yelled, “Hello, everyone, you can get out the fatted hamster, I am home!!!”

  two minutes later

  No one in.


  I don’t know why they ramble on so much about where I’m going and what time I will be in, when they so clearly don’t give two short flying mopeds.


  I’m starving.

  Nothing in the fridge, of course.

  Unless you like out-of-date bean sprouts.

  four minutes later

  Slightly moldy toast, mmmmm. I think I am getting scurvy from lack of vitamin C, my hair feels tired. Perhaps Italian Luuurve Gods like the patchy-hair look in a girlfriend. I wonder if he has left a message on the phone for me?

  five minutes later

  I really wish I hadn’t listened to the messages—it is a terrifying insight into the “life” I lead.

  Then it was some giggling pal of Mum’s saying that she had met a bloke at a speed-dating night and had got to No. 6 with him. How does she know about the snogging scale? My mum is obviously part crap mother and part seeing-ear dog.

  The next message was from Josh’s mum, saying, “After Josh came home with a Mohican haircut I don’t think it is a good idea that he comes round to play with Libby again. I am frankly puzzled as to why she had bread knives and scissors in her bedroom. Also I cannot get the blue makeup off his eyes. I suspect it is indelible ink, which means the word ‘bum’ on his forehead will take many hours to get off.”

  There was a bit more rambling and moaning, but the gist is that Josh is banned from playing with Libby.

  Dear Gott in Himmel.

  And that was it. No message from the Luuurve God. It’s been a week now. I wonder why he hasn’t called?

  Has he gone off me?

  Maybe I did something wrong when we last saw each other.

  one minute later

  But it was so vair vair gorgey porgey.

  one minute later

  He said, “We like each other. It will be good, Miss Georgia.”

  one minute later

  What he didn’t say was “I will call you as soon as I get there.”

  one minute later

  Or “I will pay your airfare to Rome, you entrancing Sex Kitty.”

  ten minutes later

  God, I am so bored. And my bottom still hurts from my falling in the river fiasco. So I can’t even sit down properly.

  one minute later

  I wonder if Dave the Laugh will tell Emma about our accidental No. 4 episode. Probably not. After all, it didn’t mean anything and as he said, we are mates in a matey way. And what goes on in the woods stays in the woods.

  thirty seconds later

  Hmmm. He also said in the woods that he’d really liked me. Maybe he means that in a matey type mate way.

  one minute later

  Will I tell Masimo?

  one minute later

  If he doesn’t ring me, I won’t have to make the decision. Anyway, it was an accidental No. 4. It could happen to anyone.

  one minute later

  It could happen to Masimo and his ex-girlfriend, what was her name? Gina. Yes, it might happen if for instance she happened to be in Rome.

  one minute later

  Even if she is not there I bet he and his mates will be roaring around Rome on their scooters smiling at all the girls in their red bikinis or whatever it is they wear there. Probably nothing. They probably go to work in the nuddy-pants because they are wild and free Pizza-a-gogo types. They don’t have inhibitions like us, they just thrust their nungas forward proudly and untamed. Probably.

  in my bedroom looking in the mirror

  The only thing that is really thrusting itself forward proudly is my nose. Even Dave mentioned it.

  one minute later

  Perhaps it has grown bigger and bigger in Masimo’s imagination in the week he has been away. He hasn’t even got a photo of me.

  To remind him that I am more than just a nose on legs.

  lying on my bed

  Ouch and double ouch. I can’t get into a comfy position to take the pressure off my bum-oley.

  five minutes later

  Perhaps because he is foreign he is a bit psychic. Perhaps he has a touch of the Mystic Meg about him and he knows about the Dave the Laugh incident.

  one minute later

  Jas has probably sent a message via an owl to let him know. Just because she has got the hump with me. AGAIN. About the stupid tent business.

  8:00 p.m.

  Lying on my bed of pain. And I mean that quite literally because Angus is pretending my foot is a rabbit. In a sock. If I even move it slightly he leaps on it and starts biting it. Also I think I may have actually broken something in my bottom. I don’t know what there is to break, but I may have broken it. I wonder if it is swollen up?

  Then I heard the phut phut of the mighty throbbing engine that is my vati’s crap car. Carefully easing my broken bottom off the bed and slapping at Angus, I went downstairs. Angus was still clinging to my sock rabbit foot even though his head was bonking against the stairs.

  As I got to the hall I heard the front door being kicked. Oh good, it was my delightful little sister.

  “Gingey, Gingey, let me in!!! Let me in, poo sister.”

  Then there was squealing like a pig was being pushed through the letter box.

  thirty seconds later

  It wasn’t a pig being pushed through the letter box, it was Gordy. I could see his ginga ears.

  Oh bloody hell.

  I said, “Libby, don’t put Gordy though the letter box, I’m opening the door.”

  She yelled, “He laaikes it.”

  When I got the door open it was to find Libby in Wellington boots and a bikini. Gordy was struggling and yowling in her little fat arms and finally squirmed free and leapt off into the garden sneezing and shaking.

  Libby was laughing. “Funny pussy. Hnk hnk.”

  Then she came up to me and started hugging my knees and kissing them.

  In between snogging, Libby was murmuring, “I lobe my Gingey.”

  Mutti came up the steps in a really short dress, very tight round the nungas. So very sad. She gave me a hug, which can be quite frightening seeing her enormous basoomas looming toward your head. She said, “Hello, Gee, did you have a larf camping?”

  I said, “Oh yes, it was brillopads, we made instruments out of dried beans and Herr Kamyer did impressions of crap stuff with his hands that no one could get except Jas. And as a pièce de résistance I fell in a pond and was attacked by great toasted newts.”

  She wasn’t even listening as usual, off in her own Muttiland.

  “We went to see Uncle Eddie’s gig at The Ambassador last night. It was like an orgy, one of the women got so carried away she stole his feather codpiece.”

  Is that really the sort of thing a growing, sensitive girl should have to listen to? It was like ear-porn.

  one minute later

  I watched her bustling about making our delicious supper (i.e., opening a tin of tomato soup). She was so full of herself burbling on and on.

  “Honestly you should have been there, it was a hoot.”

said, “Oooooooh yeah, it would have been great to have been there. Really great.”

  But she didn’t get it.

  Libby was still kissing my knees and giggling. She has forgotten that they are my knees; they are now just her new replacement friends for Josh. But then she must have had a lovers’ tiff because she biffed me on the knee quite hard and went off into the garden, yelling for Gordy.

  I said, “Mum, you didn’t take Libby with you to the baldy-o-gram fiasco, did you?”

  “Don’t be silly, Georgia, I’m not a complete fool.”

  I said, “Well, actually you are, as it happens.”

  She said, “Don’t be so rude.”

  I said, “Where’s Dad? Have you managed to shake him off at last?”

  And then Vati came in. In his leather trousers. Oh, I might be sick. Not content with the horrific-nosity of the trousers, he kissed me on my hair. Urgh, he has touched my hair. Now I will have to wash it.

  He was grinning like a loon and taking his jacket off. “Hello, no camping injuries then? No vole bites, you didn’t slip into a newt pond or anything?”

  I looked at him suspiciously. I hoped he wasn’t turning into Mystic Meg as well in his old age. I said, “Dad, are you wearing a woman’s blouse?”

  He went completely ballisticisimus.

  “Don’t be so bloody cheeky, this is an original sixties Mod shirt. I will probably wear it when I go clubbing. Any gigs coming up?”

  Mum said, “Have you heard anything from the Italian Stallion?”

  Dad had his head in the fridge and I could see his enormous leather-clad bum leering at me. I had an overwhelming urge to kick it, but I wasn’t whelmed because I knew he would probably ban me from going out for life.

  I gave her my worst look and nodded over at the fridge. I needn’t have worried, though, because Dad had found a Popsicle in the freezer and was as thrilled as it is possible for a fat bloke in constraining leather trousers to be.

  He went chomping off into the front room.

  Mum was adjusting her over-the-shoulder boulder holder and looking at me.

  I said, “What?”

  And she said, “So…have you heard anything?”

  I don’t know why I tell her, but it just came tumbling out.

  “Mum, why do boys do that ‘see you later’ thing and then just not see you later? Even though you don’t even know when later is.”

  “He hasn’t got in touch, then?”


  She sat down and looked thoughtful, which is a bit alarming. She said slowly, “Hmm—well, I think it’s because—they’re like sort of nervous gazelles in trousers, aren’t they?”

  I looked at her. “Mum, are you saying that Masimo is a leaping furry animal who also plays in a band, and rides a scooter? And snogs?”

  She said, “He snogs, does he?”

  Damn, drat, damnity dratty damn. And also merde. I had broken my rule about never speaking about snognosity questions with old mad people.

  I said quickly, “Anyway, what do you mean about the gazelle business?”

  “Well, I think that boys are more nervous than you think, he wants to make sure that you like him before he makes a big deal about it. How many days is it since he went?”

  “I don’t know. I haven’t been counting the days, actually. I’m not that sad.”

  She looked at me. “How many hours, then?”

  “One hundred forty.”

  We were interrupted by Gordy and Angus both trying to get through the cat flap at once.

  Quickly followed by Libby.

  in my bedroom

  9:00 p.m.

  I can hear Mum and Dad arguing downstairs because he hasn’t taken the rubbish out. And never does.

  On and on. I would never behave like this when I was married. Mind you, I will not be marrying a loon in tight trousers who thinks Rolf Harris is a really good artist. Who will I be marrying at this rate? I haven’t been out of my room for years and the phone hasn’t rung since it was invented.

  Why is no one phoning me? Not even the ace gang. I’ve been home for hours and hours—don’t they care???

  The trouble with today is that everyone is so obsessed with themselves, they just have no time for me.

  five minutes later

  At last a bit of peace to contemplate my broken bum. Oh no, here they go again. They are so childish. Mum shouted out, “Bob, you know that sort of wooden thing in the bedroom, in the corner? Well, it’s called a set of drawers and some people, people who are grown up and no longer have their mummy wiping their botties, well those sort of people put their clothes in the drawers. So that other people don’t have to spend their precious time falling over knickers and so on.”

  Dad said, “Your voice is like a soft burbling stream, Connie, very very soothing and your nungas are looking pretty damn attractive in their snug holder.”

  Uh-oh. Fight, fight!!

  Then I could hear him shambling into their bedroom and then singing, “One little sock in the drawer, two socks in the drawer and two pairs of attractive undercrackers on the head, then into the drawer, yesssss!!”

  How amazing.

  I shouted down, “Mum, is Dad on some kind of medication? Or have his trousers cut off the circulation to his head?”

  That did it.

  Vati hit No. 7 on the losing it scale (that’s complete ditherspaz). He yelled up, “Georgia…this isn’t anything to do with you!”

  I said, “Oh that’s nice, I thought we were supposed to be a lovely family and do stuff together.”

  He just said, “Anyway, where is your sister? Is she up there with you?”

  Why am I Libby’s so-called nanny? Haven’t I got enough trouble with my own life? I am not my sister’s keeper, as Baby Jesus said. Or was it Robin Hood? I don’t know, some bloke in a skirt, anyway.

  I said, “No. Have you tried the airing cupboard or the cat basket?”

  five minutes later

  Things have got worserer. Whilst Mum went hunting for Bibbsy, Dad unfortunately decided to check the phone messages.

  He heard Mum’s mate’s message. I could hear him tutting. And then it was Josh’s mum’s message.

  He had the nervy spaz of all nervy spazzes. Shouting and carrying on.

  “What is it with this family??? Why did Libby have a bread knife in her bedroom? Probably because you are too busy with your so-called mates throwing balls around to bother looking after your children!”

  That did it for Mum. She shouted back, “How dare you! They’re MY children, are they? If you took some notice of them, that would be a miracle. You care more about that ridiculous bloody three-wheeled clown car.”

  Mum had called his car a clown car. Tee-hee.

  Dad really lost it.

  “That car is an antique.”

  I shouted, “It’s not the only one.”

  Mum laughed, but Dad said, “Right, that’s it, I’m off. Don’t wait up.”

  Mum shouted, “Don’t worry, I won’t.”

  The door slammed and there was silence.

  Then there was the sound of the clown car being driven off at high speed (two miles an hour) down the driveway.

  And silence again as it whirred away into the distance.

  Then a little voice said, “Mummy, my bottom is stuck in the bucket.”

  9:30 p.m.

  Dear God, what a nightmare. This has taken my mind off the oven of luuurve situation. Libby had wedged herself into the outdoor metal bucket. We pulled her and wiggled her about but we could not get it off.

  Mum said, “Go get me some butter from the fridge, we can smear it on her and sort of slide her out.”

  Of course we didn’t have any butter. We had about a teaspoon of cottage cheese but Mum said it wasn’t the same.

  twenty-five minutes later

  In the end Mum made me go across the road and ask Mr. Across the Road if we could borrow some butter. She said I could lie better.

  Mr. Across the Road was wearing a
short nightshirt and I kept not looking anywhere below his chin. He was all nosy about the late-night butter scenario, though.

  “Doing a bit of baking, are you?”

  I said, “Er…yes.”

  “It’s a bit late to start, isn’t it?”

  I said, “Er, well, it’s emergency baking, it has to be done by tomorrow.”

  He said, “Oh, what are you making?”

  How the hell did I know? I was lying. And also the only kind of confectionary I knew were all the cakes I had got from the bakery of love. The Robbie éclair, the Masimo cream horn and then I remembered the Dave the tart scenario and quickly said, “Erm, we’re making tarts. For the deaf. It’s for charity.”

  He said, “Tarts for the deaf? That’s a new one on me. I’ll have to go down to the storeroom for some packets.”

  And he ambled off.

  And that is when Junior Blunderboy and fulltime twit came in. Oscar.

  He looked at me and said, “Yo, wa’appen’, bitch?”

  What was he talking about and also what was he wearing? He had massive jeans on about fifty sizes too big for him. He had to sort of waddle about like a useless duck to keep them from falling down. And pull them up every five seconds. How spectacularly naff and sad he was. I just looked at him as he waddled over to the kitchen counter. He reached up to get a can of Coca-Cola from a shelf and momentarily forgot about his elephant jeans and they just fell to his ankles. Leaving him standing there in his Thomas the Tank Engine undercrackers.

  I said to him, “Oscar, you are wearing Thomas the Tank Engine undercrackers. I know this because, believe it or not, your trousers have fallen off.”

  He said, “Yes, man, me mean to do that. Be cool, it is righteous.”

  And he shuffled off still with the trousers round his ankles.

  I will never ever tire of the sheer bonkerosity of boydom.

  back in bed

  It took us nearly half an hour to get Mr. Bucket off Libby. We greased as much of Libby’s bottom as we could reach like a little suckling pig. Eventually we cut through the top of her panties and managed to make a bit of leeway and free the bum-oley.

  For some toddlers, being greased up and pulled by brute force out of a metal bucket might have been a traumatic experience. But then not all toddlers are insane. Libby laughed and sang through the whole episode, amusing herself by gobbling stray bits of butter and smearing other bits on my head. Oh, how I joined in the merry times. Not.