The Parent-Teacher Association was holding its annual summer carnival. The proceeds from the event were to go towards getting a new air conditioner for the cafeteria.
I feel like this is part of a viscous cycle. We have a public school system that pumps out easily-fooled idiots and doesn’t spend its money improving the quality of the education it offers. Instead, it spends its money on an air conditioning system. So we have a crappy school paid good money to have it kept relatively cool when it’s mostly empty.
Shortly after arriving, Encyclopedia and Sally met up with Benny Breslin, who explained that the worm race had been cancelled that year because too many of the racers had been stepped on. Bugs Meany himself had angrily stepped on five worms after the caterpillar he had made to look like a worm changed into a butterfly and lost.
Why cancel the race? It seems like the problem was that one kid cheated and acted like a sore loser when his scheme blew up in his face. It’s not like this was the first time Bugs had acted like an ass. Ban Bugs. Everyone just needs to ban Bugs from everything.
Bugs had been supposedly trying to make up being such a dick the previous year, so he got Adler’s Sporting Goods Store to donate a baseball glove to be raffled off. Bugs was going to run the raffle.
Bugs was spotted at the raffle table. When someone bought a chance at the glove, he handed them a paper with a number on it. The corresponding number written on a ping pong ball was dropped into a clear plastic tub. Under his chair was a thermos, but he seemed to be ignoring it. Instead, he was drinking from a root beer can on the table.
When it was raffle time, Bugs had Miss Spottswood, the school nurse, blindfold Duke Kelly to pick the winning ping pong ball. Right, because Duke Kelly has proven himself to be a trustworthy member of society.
Duke stirred the balls around for a few seconds and picked out number 81. Rick Larsen had the winning number. No one should be surprised here, but Rick was a friend of Bugs. Of course, it seemed that Bugs and Duke cheated, but how could Encyclopedia prove that?
The answer was in the thermos. Encyclopedia asked to feel the winning ball. As he suspected, that ball was colder than the others. He theorized that Bugs had kept the winning ball in the cold thermos until a few minutes before the drawing. That way, the blindfolded Duke could just feel for the cold ball and pull that one out. Encyclopedia was tipped off by the fact that Bugs had a thermos, but he hadn’t been drinking out of it.
Normally, I’d point out the possibility that Bugs had come to the carnival with a cold drink in the thermos, but had finished it and later bought a can of root beer at a nearby soda machine. And while those set of events aren’t all that unlikely, Bugs has gone a lot further in order to cheat, swindle or steal.
Of course, all of this leads to a simple question of why anyone would entrust Bugs with anything? Ever. If he ended up stealing every penny the raffle raised, the Idaville PTA would only have themselves to blame.