Cheesie Mack Is Not a Genius or Anything

Cheesie Mack Is Not a Genius or Anything by Steve Cotler

Book: Cheesie Mack Is Not a Genius or Anything by Steve Cotler Read Free Book Online
Authors: Steve Cotler
there’s only enough for two kids.”
    She couldn’t do anything except stick out her tongue. What a baby! Insult canceled. No points for her.
    Meanwhile, Dad and Mr. Sinkoff were setting up stuff in the den for their monthly poker game. I think there are eight men who play, but they do it at a different house each time, so they’re only at my house one and a half times each year.
    (Okay. I know that it’s impossible to be at my house
a half of a time
. But twelve months divided by eight men does equal 1.5, so … Aha! I just called GlennPhilips. He said I am right, but there’s a better way to say it:
They’re only at my house three times every two years
. If you don’t understand, Glenn’s explanation is on my website. You can look at it there.)
    By the time we finished our éclairs (I had to wash my face!), a couple of my dad’s friends had arrived, so we went upstairs to my room. I flipped the light switch, which turned on the lamp on my bedside table. Deeb was lying in the middle of the room. Georgie took two steps in, spun halfway around, and did a huge back-flop onto the bed. Deeb jumped up beside him. Georgie held his nose and pushed her off. I sat in my desk chair and called to her. She settled down next to me.
    No one said anything for a while. Finally Georgie gave out a big sigh and said, “Cheesie, when we go to The Toad tomorrow …” And then he stopped and pulled a pillow over his head.
    “You afraid?”
    “Of what? A little old lady? Heck no!”
    He threw the pillow at me, but I batted it down. There was another long silence while I booted up mycomputer and Georgie tossed the tennis ball that I keep next to my bed up toward the ceiling.
    (Sometimes when I’m reading in bed, I squeeze that tennis ball over and over. I have developed a very strong grip for someone my size. You should try it.)
    The movement of the ball got Deeb’s attention. She lifted her head and followed it with her eyes, but her body never moved.
    “Georgie, we should give the penny back,” I said.
    “What if there’s, like, a curse on it?”
    “A curse (toss)? Get serious (toss).”
    “That would explain the invisible writing.”
    “There was no invisible writing (toss).”
    “Sort of was. Eureka, remember?”
    “Cheesie, listen (toss). The note we left didn’t say
what
was in the envelope (toss). It just said there was
something
(toss). The necklace is enough. Ol’ Prott will be thrilled.” Georgie put the ball down and pulled the coin store receipt out of his pocket and read aloud, “ ‘Lincoln Head cent—1909-S.’ I really want to keep it. It’s the coolest thing I ever found in my whole life.” He dropped the receipt on the bed.
    Goon must have been lurking and spying in the hallway because she suddenly zipped into my room and snatched up the receipt. “What’s this?”
    “None of your beeswax!” I said, grabbing for it. The receipt ripped, leaving me with just a scrap showing the coin store’s name and address. “Give it back!” I shouted, but she ran across the hall into her room and locked the door.
    (Granpa taught me to say “none of your beeswax.” He says it’s what kids used to say when he was a boy.)
    I banged on her door. “Gimme that piece of paper! If Dad comes up here … If I tell him … You’re gonna be in big trouble again.”
    The door opened suddenly. “I hid it.” She grinned. “Tell me everything, or else you’ll never find it.”
    “There’s nothing to tell,” I said. “It’s a penny. That’s all.” Georgie stood right behind me nodding his head.
    “Don’t fib me, runt. I read what’s on that paper. It’s really old. Where’d you get it? You stole that coin, didn’t you?”
    “Shut up. Georgie found it in his basement. It’s nobig deal. It’s only worth three bucks. I’ll prove it.” I spun around and went back into my room, plopped down in my desk chair, and pulled up the website that showed how much old Lincoln cents were worth. I started to

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