Gary and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day
by MaryKate

Rating: G, as in, "Gee, what kind of a warped mind came up with this?"

Disclaimer:  If you actually think these characters are mine, then you must have stumbled across this by mistake.  GO!  Get thee to a television set and do not move from it until you've seen "Early Edition", because that's where they really belong.  Yes, I said it and I meant it--Crumb and Chuck belong on the show, along with dear Marissa and darling, exasperated Gary.  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day is a modern classic of children's literature and everyone from the age of two on up should own a copy, because we all have days like that and need to laugh about them.  It was written by Judith Viorst and not me and I don't know if this will make any sense to you if you haven't read it but hey, that's what libraries are for!  Go find it!

And now for something completely different...

...A little bit of a season one vignette...

...with PROFOUND apologies to Judith Viorst and a SINCERE exhortation to go read her delightful picture book if you haven't already....

...and GRATITUDE for the fact that parody is protected under copyright law...

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Gary and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day
by MaryKate

I went to sleep with a cat on my bed and now there's cat hair in my mouth and when I got out of bed this morning I tripped on my hockey stick and by mistake I spilled my coffee on the paper, including the grounds, and I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At breakfast Chuck found a twenty percent rise in his portfolio thanks to heavy trading in the foreign markets and Marissa found a note from her study partner saying they'd earned an "A" on their project but all I found was tomorrow's news and it was all bad.

I think I'll move to Australia.

In the cab the driver was trying to con me by taking the long way around and it smelled like smoke and stale booze and he pretended not to speak English when I tried to tell him about the shortcut. I said I was being ripped off. I said I was going to be late.  I said, if I don't get to the zoo by ten the elephants are going to escape. He didn't even answer.

I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

At school the teacher said a stranger shouldn't be on the playground when all I was trying to do was keep a kid from jumping off the monkey bars and landing on his head. At the El they said I yelled too loud when I tried to stop the purse snatcher from getting off the train. At lunch Marissa said I'd forgotten about the old lady's cat stuck in the tree.  I said, who cares about cats anyway? I could tell it was going to be a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

I could tell because Chuck said I wasn't his best friend anymore. He said that I couldn't be his best friend unless I let him see the sports pages and if I didn't he was going to go find a new best friend.  I hope you sit on a tack, I said to Chuck. I hope the next time you get a date with a supermodel you lose her phone number and you're late for your date and she gets so mad at you that she moves to Australia.

There were two guys who asked for Marissa's phone number and even though he didn't meet a supermodel Chuck had the waitress flirting with him. Guess who doesn't have a date this weekend?

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

That's what it was, because after lunch I tried to tell a pharmacist that he was giving a lady the wrong prescription and she would die from an allergic reaction and I had to yell at him to get him to listen and he said, come back next week and I'll give you something for that chip on your shoulder, buddy.

Next week, buddy, I said, I'm going to Australia.

On the way out of the pharmacy the automatic door closed on my foot and while I was waiting for Chuck to pick me up a bicycle messenger plowed into me and made me fall where it was muddy and then when I started complaining because of the mud Chuck laughed at me and while I was calling Chuck a jerk for laughing at me Marissa scolded me for being cranky and fighting.

I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, I told everybody. No one even answered.

So then we went to the grand opening of the new Home Depot to try to stop some robbers.  Marissa was the one-thousandth customer and she got a free toaster.  Chuck flirted with the check out girl and he got her phone number. I tried to tell the manager that he  should close before the robbers came, but he kicked me out and told me to have a nice day--somewhere else. The paper can make me go places to stop things, but it can't make me like it.

When we went to Detective Crumb's office to help him stop the robbers he said I wasn't supposed to be bugging him anymore, but I forgot. He also said to watch out for the coffee on his desk and I was as careful as could be, except for my elbow. He also said to stop getting him involved in my mumbo jumbo, but I think when he called in the cops to stop the robbery the mayor wanted to know why he was wasting department resources on a bunch of frat boys with incredibly realistic squirt guns.  Crumb said please don't try to help him anymore.

It was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

There was nothing in the kitchen for dinner but peanut butter and Ramen noodles and I'm sick of peanut butter and Ramen noodles. There were Congressional hearings on TV and I hate hearings. The hot water gave out during my shower, I got soap in my eyes, my laundry wasn't done, and I had to wear my hole-iest old sweats to bed. I hate my hole-y old sweats.  Before I went to bed Chuck called and said it was my fault his car got ticketed while we were in the store and I could just pay for it by giving him the Bears score on Sunday morning and I said he could stick it in his ear and he hung up on me and I stubbed my toe on the coffee table.  Chuck gave his extra Blackhawks ticket to his Uncle Phil, not me.

It has been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.

Marissa says some days are like that.

Even in Australia.


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