Just Stupid!
walls and the cheery decorations. There’s a big pink octopus in the corner and two teddies in a hot-air balloon hanging from the roof. And at the side of the room there’s even a little hook with my name on it. I guess there are plenty of worse places I could be.

       I sit down. I wait until Mrs Baxter’s back is turned and I draw a line down the centre of the table.
       I grab Bradley by the collar.
       ‘Cross that line and you’re dead meat,’ I say.
       He nods.
       There are going to be a few changes around here.

t’s Lisa Mackney’s birthday party. Lisa and all the girls are in the corner of the room looking at her presents. Danny and I are standing at the food table staring at the biggest bowl of marshmallows we have ever seen.
       ‘Bet I can fit more marshmallows in my mouth than you can,’ says Danny.
       ‘Bet you can’t,’ I say.
       ‘Wanna make a million dollar bet?’
       ‘No,’ I say.
       ‘Why not?’ says Danny, looking disappointed.
       ‘You haven’t got a million dollars.’
       ‘I don’t need a million dollars,’ he says. ‘Because I’m going to win.’
       ‘As if!’ I say.

       ‘Am too,’ says Danny.
       ‘Are not,’ I say.
       ‘So are you in?’ says Danny.
       ‘No way,’ I say.
       ‘Suit yourself,’ says Danny. ‘You’re out!’
       ‘But I wasn’t in!’
       ‘All right,’ says Danny, ‘if you’re going to whinge about it then you’re in—but I’m warning you, you’re testing my patience.’
       He picks up a marshmallow from the bowl.
       ‘Danny!’ I say. ‘For the last time, I’m not playing Chubby Bubbies.’
       Danny’s face drops.
       ‘You’re just trying to act mature in front of Lisa,’ he says.
       ‘Am not,’ I say. But he’s right. I’ve been trying very hard to be mature and grown-up since I ended up in my undies in front of her at the school social. It’s been going pretty well too. Not that she’s talked to me that much, but she did invite me to her party, which is a good sign.
       ‘Know what else I think?’ says Danny.
       ‘What?’ I say.
       ‘You’re a wuss.’

       ‘Am not,’ I say.
       ‘Wussy boy, wussy boy,’ chants Danny. ‘Andy’s a wussy boy.’
       ‘Quit it,’ I say.
       But Danny doesn’t let up. He’s getting louder and louder. There’s only one way to stop him.
       I take a marshmallow from the bowl and put it in my mouth.
       ‘One Chubby Bubby,’ I say.
       Danny looks me in the eye and smiles. He takes two marshmallows from the bowl and puts them both in his mouth.
       ‘Two Chubby Bubbies,’ he says.
       It’s on.
       I take two marshmallows from the bowl and put them in my mouth. The marshmallows are making my mouth water but there’s no way I’m going to swallow them. I can’t afford for Danny to start singing the wussy boy song again. Lisa might hear him.
       ‘Three Chubby Bubbies,’ I say.
       ‘Four Chubby Bubbies,’ says Danny.
       I look across at Lisa and the other girls. They are busy with the book I gave Lisa for her birthday. It’s called How To Find Your Perfect Partner Through Palm Reading .
       It’s not a very good book because when I checked my palm against the picture of the perfect lover’s palm it looked nothing like it. It does now, though. I fixed the picture up with a black pen. When Lisa comes to check my palm—which I know she will because girls are very curious about that sort of stuff—she’s going to discover that I’m her perfect partner!

       But first I have to shut Danny up.
       ‘Come on,’ he says. ‘Your turn!’
       I put two marshmallows in my mouth.
       ‘Five Chubby Bubbies.’
       It’s getting very hard to say ‘Chubby Bubbles’, but then that is the point of the game.
       Danny picks up a handful of marshmallows. He counts them out and stuffs them all into his mouth.
       ‘Ten Chubby Bubbies!’ he says, although

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