Battlepanda: Introducing Lance and Darla


Always trying to figure things out with the minimum of bullshit and the maximum of belligerence.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Introducing Lance and Darla

(This is another excerpt from my beloved 5th-grade reading workbook, The Scratch Papers, now out-of-print.)

Wilbur was no good at being dumb. He practiced being stupid for hours at a time. No matter how much he practiced, though, he would always get discouraged when he saw someone like Lance Lugfarm. Lance had no trouble being stupid at all. He didn't even have to practice. Lance could do anything he wanted and still be as stupid as ever.

There was a girl in school with Lance and Wilbur named Little Darla Wentworth. She was ten years old, just as they were. Darla would cheer for Lance at baseball games and such. But she didn't like Wilbur at all, even though Wilbur couldn't see anybody but Darla. Lance wasn't interested in much of anything except himself and sports.

Two things happened to Wilbur on Valentine's Day that made him feel very bad. First, he got his shirt caught in the pencil sharpener just as Lance Lugfarm was coming to sharpen his pencil. Wilbur always tried to act very cool and tough around Lance. But it is hard to act cool and tough when your shirt is caught in the pencil sharpener.

Lance didn't pay much attention to Wilbur, though. All he said was, "Tough luck, kid," and went off to use some other pencil sharpener.

Later, Wilbur sneaked a special valentine into Little Darla's desk. He had written this special poem on it:

Roses are red; violets are blue;
I hope you don't get a cold
or the flu.

Hiding behind trees so she wouldn't see him, Wilbur followed Darla after school. About a block from her house Darla dropped Wilbur's valentine by accident, and Wilbur found it in the street. He felt very sad. It also started to rain about that time, and he was all wet before he got home.