Authors: Dan Gutman
My Weird School #4
Ms. Hannah Is Bananas!
I Hate Andrea Young
Finger Painting with Ms. Hannah
What a Mess!
The Secret of the Teachers' Lounge
The Museum of Hanging Garbage
The Friendship Picture
Mr. Klutz and the Secret Drawer
The Big Stupid Art Contest
“Miss Daisy! A.J. hit me!”
“I did not,” I said.
“He did too! He bumped his elbow against my elbow!”
Andrea Young is so annoying. I barely touched her stupid elbow. She was moaning and holding her arm like an elephant stepped on it.
I wish an elephant would step on her
. Andrea has been bothering me since we were little kids. And that's a long time, because now we're in second grade.
“I saw A.J. do it, Miss Daisy,” said Emily. She is Andrea's friend and is just as annoying. But in a different way.
“Am I going to have to send anyone to Mr. Klutz's office?” Miss Daisy asked.
Mr. Klutz is the principal, and that means he is like the king of the school.
“No,” me and Andrea said.
“Good, because it's time for us to go to art class. I don't want you to miss it. Our art teacher, Ms. Hannah, is really nice, and I'm sure she has some fun activities planned for you.”
“Art?” I said. “I hate art.”
“Oh, you hate everything, A.J.,” said Andrea, who thinks she knows everything.
It just so happens that I do
hate everything. I don't hate football. I don't hate skateboarding. I don't hate trick biking. I don't hate monster movies. Especially when the monsters crush cars and stuff. But I do hate school, and I especially hate Andrea.
art,” Andrea announced, like anybody really cared. She took out a big art box she had brought from home. It had crayons and colored pencils and other stuff in it. “When I grow up, I want to be an artist. My mom thinks I'm really
creative. I like to create things.”
“She should create an empty space where she is right now,” I whispered to my friend Ryan, who sits in the row next to me.
“Hahahaha!” Ryan laughed, but Miss Daisy made a mean face at him and he shut up.
“Let's go, second graders!” she said. “Single file to the art room. Ms. Hannah is waiting for us.”
Drawing pictures is for babies, if you ask me. And art is stupid.
Emily was the door holder. My friend Michael who never ties his shoes was the line leader. The art room was all the way on the other side of the school. We had to walk about a million hundred miles to get there. Michael told Miss Daisy it was like walking across the Grand Canyon, so
she let us take drinks from the water fountain outside the art room.
That's where Ms. Hannah was standing. She was the funniest-looking lady I ever saw. She was wearing a dress that looked like it was made from a bunch of different-colored washcloths that were sewed together. On her hands were these big mittens that my mom uses when she has to take hot dishes out of the oven.
Ms. Hannah looked weird.
“Good morning, second graders,” she said as we filed into the art room. “Do you like my new dress? It's made from
used pot holders that I bought on eBay. I stitched them together.”
Ms. Hannah spun around so we could get the full effect of her new dress.
“It's beautiful!” Andrea said. She is always complimenting (that's a big word!) grown-ups on everything. Andrea was born old. Personally I thought it was the stupidest-looking dress in the history of the world. I went to sit with my friends Michael and Ryan, but Miss Daisy stopped us.
She told Ms. Hannah that
people should not sit next to other
people. I knew what that meant.
“Boy-girl-boy-girl,” Miss Daisy said,
pointing to where we should sit. I had to sit at a table between Andrea and her crybaby friend Emily.
Miss Daisy gave each of us a name tag to wear so Ms. Hannah would know our names. Then she told Ms. Hannah she would be in the teachers' lounge in case there was any trouble.
The teachers' lounge is where the teachers go when they don't have to teach.
I've never been in there. No kid has
been in there in the history of the world, because kids aren't allowed inside. The teachers' lounge is like a secret clubhouse for teachers only.
My friend Billy from around the corner who was in second grade last year told me that they have big parties in the teachers' lounge all day long. He said the teachers dance around and play Pin the Tail on the Donkey and eat cake and take target practice with BB guns. Then they try and think up new punishments to give us kids when we misbehave.
That sounds cool. Maybe when I grow up, I'll be a teacher so I can hang out in the teachers' lounge all day and have fun.
After we sat at our tables, Ms. Hannah
took off her pot-holder mitts and picked up a piece of black paper.
“Can anyone tell me what
is?” she asked.
Any dumbhead knows that. I raised my hand, and she called on me. “It's a piece of black paper,” I said. “Duh!”
be a piece of black paper, A.J.,” Ms. Hannah said. “But maybe it's a black cat in a coal mine. Maybe it's a crow flying in the middle of the night.”
It was a trick question! I
trick questions! My ears felt like they were on fire. I didn't look at anybody, but I knew everybody was looking at me and laughing to themselves.
It wasn't fair! That stupid thing was a
plain old piece of black paper, and everybody knew it.
“It looks like a piece of black paper to me,” my friend Ryan said. Whew! I knew I could count on Ryan. I turned around and gave him the thumbs-up sign.
“I want you to open your imaginations, second graders,” Ms. Hannah said. “Art is everything and everywhere! It's all around us! We are all artists. A dentist is an artist. Your mouth is your dentist's canvas. A man fixing a roof is an artist. You can be an artist too.”
Not me, I thought to myself. Art is stupid.
Ms. Hannah put a big sheet of newspaper in front of each of us to cover the
table. She took a bunch of old T-shirts out of the closet and gave one to everybody to wear so we wouldn't get paint all over ourselves. Then she put paint in the middle of all the tables and gave each of us a piece of white paper.
“Today we are going to finger paint,” she said.
“I'm not painting
fingers,” I said. Some of the kids laughed, even though I didn't say anything funny.
“You silly dumbhead,” Andrea said. “Finger painting is when you use your fingers to paint pictures.”
I knew that. Andrea thinks she knows everything.
“What should we paint?” Emily asked
“Anything you like! Express your creativity. Paint what you love.”
“I love butterflies,” Andrea said. “I'm going to finger paint a picture of a happy family of butterflies.”
“I'm going to finger paint a picture of a tree in a forest where your butterflies can live,” said Emily.
“I'm going to finger paint a picture of a tree falling in a forest and crushing a family of happy butterflies until they are dead,” I said.
“That's mean!” Emily said. She looked like she was going to cry, like she does at every stupid little thing.
“Hey, I'm just expressing myself,” I said.
I turned around and saw that Ryan was finger painting an airplane. Michael was finger painting a house. Everybody was hard at work finger painting.
The finger paint looked yucky to me. I didn't really want to get it all over my hands. It was disgusting. I just sat there watching everybody finger paint. My piece of paper was the only one that was perfectly white.
“Why aren't you finger painting, A.J.?” Emily whispered to me.
“Mind your own business, dumbhead.”
“Ms. Hannah!” Andrea called out. “A.J. isn't finger painting.”
Andrea is a big tattletale. She stuck out her tongue at me as Ms. Hannah came over to our table.
“A.J., you haven't finger painted a thing,” Ms. Hannah said.
I didn't know what to do. I didn't know what to say. I had to think fast. “I did too finger paint something,” I said. “This is a picture of a white polar bear. He's playing in the snow.
snow. And he's eatingâ¦vanilla ice cream!”
All the kids were looking at me. Ms. Hannah was looking at me. I was afraid she was going to yell or go get Miss Daisy from the teachers' lounge to take me to the principal's office.
“Very nice finger painting, A.J!” Ms. Hannah said with a big smile on her face. “That's using your creativity!”
Hahaha! I stuck my tongue out at Andrea. She folded her arms across her front all mad-like.
It was great. It was not only great. It was the greatest moment in the history of the world. This was the next best thing to an elephant stepping on Andrea's head.
Pretty soon it was time to clean up. Ms. Hannah taught us a song about cleaning up. The words were, “Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere. Clean up, clean up, everybody do their share.”
It was a pretty dumb song, and me and Michael and Ryan changed the words to “Clean up, clean up, even in your underwear.”
Any time anybody says a word that rhymes with “air,” you should always change it to “underwear.” Everybody will laugh. Believe me, this works
Ms. Hannah peeled the sheets of painty newspaper off our desks and stuck them on a ball that was sitting on the win
dowsill. The ball was about the size of a beach ball.
“What are you doing, Ms. Hannah?” Michael asked.
“I'm making a newspaper ball,” she said.
“Why?” we all asked.
“Old newspapers with paint all over them can be art. This is my art. Like I said, art is everywhere. And this way, nothing goes to waste. I don't like waste. If you look
around, you'll see that I don't even have a garbage can in here.”
We looked around. It was true. There was no garbage can in the art room. Ms. Hannah didn't need a garbage can, because she never threw anything away. “That reminds me,” Ms. Hannah said. “For our next class, I would like you all to bring in things from home that your parents were planning to throw away.”
“So we can make them into art.”
I was still looking around for a garbage can. She had to have a garbage can
. Everybody needs a garbage can.
“It's a shame when people throw things
away,” Ms. Hannah said. “Everything in the world is beautiful. Everything can be used to make some kind of art.”
“Well, I just blew my nose,” I said, holding out a tissue. “Does that make my boogers artistic?” Everybody laughed even though I didn't say anything funny. Ms. Hannah took my tissue and stuck it to her big newspaper ball.
It was disgusting.