Superfudge Part 23

Previous superfudge part 22.

“I want to be a ghost for Halloween,” Fudge said. “A scary, scary ghost!”
“I think we can arrange that,” Mom said. She was feeding Tootsie purple mush from a jar. Tootsie lets half of every spoonful ooze right back out of her mouth, so that Mom has to scrape it off her face and start all over again. It takes three tries to finish off one baby spoonful. Feeding Tootsie can be an all-day project.

“What about you, Peter?” Mom asked. “What do you want to be for Halloween?”
“Sixth graders don’t wear costumes,” I said.
“Really?” Mom said. “when I was in sixth grade…”
“That was a long time ago,” I said, interrupting her.

“A hundred years or more?” Fudge asked.
“Not quite,” Mom told him.
“What’s Tootsie going to be for Halloween?” Fudge asked.
“A baby,” I told him.
“Ha ha, Pee-tah,” Fudge said, laughing. “You’re funny!”

Everytime Fudge laughs, Tootsie laughs, too. And when she laughs with her mouth full, she really makes a mess. So now she had plums all over her face, plums drooling down on to her bib, plums stuck in her hair and plums covering her rattle, which she banged on her tray as she laughed.

Turtle hangs around when Mom is feeling Tootsie. He’s developed a taste for baby food. Mom says it isn’t good for him. He needs to chew up hard food to exercise his teeth and jaws. And once a week I give him a special tablet to help his breath. Lately he has the worst dog breath! I’m glad Sheila Tubman isn’t around to tell me how bad my dog smells, because this time she’d be right.

Fudge says Turtle should rinse twice a day with Precious Breath, this new blue mouthwash that’s advertised on TV. Fudge is very big on commercials. He’s memorized all of them, and when we go to the supermarket he drives us up the wall, reciting his dumb jingles about why we should buy this product instead of that one.

My father spends his morning at the university library and works at home in the afternoon. “How’s the book coming?” I asked him one day, when I got home from school.

“Slowly, Peter,” he said. “Very slowly. I’m still gathering information. I hope to finish my research ny Christmas and start the actual writing after the holidays.”
Fudge stood in the doorway, nibbling a piece of cheese. “Dr. Seuss can write a book in an hour,” he said.

“how do you know that?” I asked.
“I don’t, but I’ll bet you he can,” Fudge said. “ ‘One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish…’ ‘Do you like green eggs and ham?… I do! I like them, sam-I-am!”
“Okay, okay… that’s enough,” I said.
“Boys, I’m trying to work now,” dad said. “Do you think you could move to another room?”

Later, we were watching the six o’clock news, when Fudge’s favorite commercial came on the air. “Oh, look,” he said, “it’s my dancing cats!” And he put down his Lego bricks and watched.

“Everybody nows that cats can’t really dance,” I told him. “It’s just a lot of fancy camera work.”
“Shut up, Pee-tah,” he said. Then, he turned to Dad. “They have cat food commercials and dog food commercials and people food commercials, so how come they don’t have bird food commercials?”

“That’s a good question, Fudge,” Dad said, without really answering it.
“Myna birds of the world unite…” I began, trying to think up a clever commercial for bird food.
“What’s unite?” Fudge asked.
“Never mind… never mind…”

“You sound like Uncle Feather when you say things twice,” Fudge said.
“It’s contagious,” I told him.
‘What’s contagious?”
“Forget it,” I said.
“We should feed Uncle Feather Choco,” Fudge said. “if you give it to the one you love, first thing in the morning, you don’t have to worry the rest of the day. It has forty-five vitamins.”

“No, no,” I sai. “That’s not it. It’s fortified with vitamins.”
“That’s what I said. Forty-five vitamins.”
“Not forty-five,” I told him. “Fortified.” And I spelled it for him. “F-o-r-t-i-f-i-e-d. it means that vitamins have been added.”
“It does?” Fudge asked.

“Yes,” I said. “And anyway, you shouldn’t believe everything you seen on Tv, right, Dad?”
“That’s right,” Dad said.
“You lie when you make up commercials?” Fudge asked.
“No, but we sometimes exaggerate,” Dad said.
“What’s exaggerate?” Fudge asked.

“We embellish to make our point,” Dad said.
“What’s embellish?”
“Sometimes Dad has to stretch the truth,” I explained.
“Thank you, Peter,” Dad said. “That’s a very good way of putting it.”
“How do you know so much, Pee-tah?”
“Partly because I’m sixth grade, and partly because I’m naturally smart,” I answered.

“then how come you got a fifty-eight on your geography test?” Fudge asked.
“Because Mr. Bogner tricked us with matching questions.”
“What matching questions?”
“it’s what teachers do to you, to prove you aren’t as smart as you think,” I said. “You’ll find out someday.”
“But I am as smart as I think,” Fudge said. “So there!”
I wasn’t about to get into an argument over that one.

Next superfudge part 24.