Help! Somebody Get Me Out of Fourth Grade

Help! Somebody Get Me Out of Fourth Grade by Henry Winkler Read Free Book Online

Book: Help! Somebody Get Me Out of Fourth Grade by Henry Winkler Read Free Book Online
Authors: Henry Winkler
him. I told him how totally great that was, how there were people in any city in the world who would kill to have those tickets.
    Then I recited all the reasons on my list of why he should go.
    Correction. I didn’t just recite the reasons. Nope, I acted them out like I was auditioning to star in a Spider-Man movie. With feeling. With guts. With all my heart.
    My dad sat there and listened to me. He nodded thoughtfully. If you just looked at him, his head going up and down, a little smile curling up at the corner of his mouth, his chin resting calmly in his hand—you’d be 100 percent sure you were seeing a yes.
    But if you opened your ears and listened, you would have heard him say one of the smallest words in the English language that goes a little something like this:

    MY MOM’S DAD is named Papa Pete, and he is not only the nicest grandpa in the world, he is one of the smartest too. Papa Pete always tells me that a “no” is just an opportunity for a “yes.” So when my dad said no, that he had absolutely zero interest in going to a rock concert in Philadelphia or anywhere else in the world, I took it as an opportunity to turn that little tiny no into a big, fat yes.
    â€œBut, Dad,” I said, running after him as he stomped off into the kitchen, “you’ve got to be open-minded to the possibilities of new adventures. Isn’t that what you always tell me when I don’t want to eat one of Mom’s new food experiments?”
    â€œHank, there is a big difference between you taking a bite of your mother’s meatless papaya trail-mix burgers with crushed cashews, and me standing in a stadium full of lighter-waving, leather-pants-wearing fans shaking their rumps to music without melody that gives me a headache.”
    â€œDad, can you honestly look me square in the eye and tell me you want to miss out on all that fun?”
    â€œYes,” he said, looking me square in the eye. “That’s exactly what I’m saying. Aren’t you perceptive?”
    â€œSometimes, Dad, you shock me, because knowing you as I do . . .”
    â€œHank,” my dad interrupted. “I am not going to the rock concert in Philadelphia. End of discussion.”
    He left the room and went into the kitchen. I could hear him opening the refrigerator to get out the cranberry juice and club soda. He mixes them together to make a half-and-half, a drink that to me tastes really sour, but he says is ahh . . . so refreshing.
    I turned around to see Frankie and Ashley creeping into the living room. They had obviously been standing by the door, listening.
    â€œOkay, so that didn’t work out so well,” Ashley said.
    â€œNo problem,” I answered. “We’ll just move on to Plan B.”
    â€œYou’re a man of action, Zip,” Frankie said. “That’s what I like. Now, what is Plan B?”
    â€œI have no idea.” I shrugged. “I was hoping you had one.”
    â€œThere’s got to be something that’s going to make him want to go to Philadelphia,” Ashley said. “We just have to figure out what that is.”
    â€œMy dad says people travel to see something they love,” Frankie said. “Like when we went to Zimbabwe to see the village where my ancestors came from.”
    â€œAnd my dad went to Moscow to look at videos of small bowel function,” Ashley said.
    By the way, you should know that Ashley’s dad is a doctor and not some kind of nutcase who loves to watch movies of people’s guts in action.
    â€œWhat are the things your dad loves?” Frankie said to me as he plopped down into my dad’s easy chair. “Besides crossword puzzles, which we all know he loves more than cranberry juice itself.”
    â€œHe loves my mom,” I answered.
    I sat down on the couch next to Cheerio, who was asleep on his favorite pillow. Without even waking up, he cuddled up next to me and put

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