Just in time to give you a warm and cuddly holiday feeling, here’s Chapter 2 of The Best “Best Christmas Pageant Ever” Ever.
I’m going to replay Chapter 1 again, in case you’ve forgotten the details:
The Best “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” Ever
by Sam Riddleburger
We had been practicing for about three weeks when my friend Mackie called me at home and said, “Lindy, you’re not going to believe this!”
And their show was going to be in the big Shinkleman Performance Hall, which has a real stage.
Our group, “Kids’N’Action,” only gets to do shows at Holy Rock Church of Faith. It’s a big place, but we have to do the show around that thing the preacher stands behind.
The next day at rehearsal, somebody’s mother suggested that we switch to a different play, like doing ”The Littlest Angel” again.
“Hell, no,” said our director, Ms. McTwine, who wants everybody to call her Cassie.
And I was glad because, I got the role of Imogene , which, if you’ve read the book, you know is the most awesome role possible.
“We just have to make sure,” said Cassie, “that ours is the BEST ‘The Best Christmas Pageant Ever.’”
“Or,” my best friend Mackie whispered, “we need to make sure that their’s is the WORST “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” ever!”
I kind of think Cassie over heard him, because she kind of glanced in our direction, but I also kind of think she approved.
“The Herdmans were absolutely the worst kids in the history of the world.”
That’s the first sentence of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, but it’s just not true. The Herdmans are mean and nasty, but at least they don’t treat you like you’re trash. They blow stuff up but they’re not snobs and I think snobs are worse.
I KNOW Tyler d’Bowles is worse.
Nobody is really sure how her family managed to get the “d’” in front of Bowles. Tyler thinks that “d’” makes her the greatest hot dang high class celebrity-to-be in the world.
And worst of all, she’s that type of kid that not only thinks she’s hot snot but somehow makes adults think she’s hot snot, too.
Tyler d’Bowles always gets the biggest role in whatever kid play the Crickenburg Theatre Arts does every year. She’s been Anne of Green Gables, Madeleine, Dorothy and Toad from Wind in the Willows. Toad isn’t even a girl’s part!
Back before he joined Kids’N’Action, Mackie had auditioned at Crickenburg Theatre Arts to be Toad and he didn’t get anything. Not even Weasel #3 or something like that.
So, he sort of has a sour grapes reason to hate Tyler.
Not me. I never tried out for anything over there and I still hate her and her “d’.”
So just the idea of Tyler and the rest of those Theatre Arts kids doing the same play as us was an insult.
“They must have known we were doing the play already!” said Mackie.
“Yeah and they’re so sure that theirs’ is going to be better that they didn’t even care,” said Tonye`.
We were drinking watery kool-aid from paper cups and eating Little Debbies down in the Holy Rock social hall, which is also the basement. We usually rehearse for about 20 minutes then eat refreshments for half an hour or so.
“They’re going to care when we get through with them,” I said. “Mackie has a plan.”
“What kind of plan?”
“I see it as a two-phase scenario,” said Mackie. “Phase 1: Our play rocks. Phase 2: Their play sucks.”
“Yeah, but there play will rock,” started Tobias. “It’s at the Shinkleman. It’ll have real sets by the theater people there. And probably real costumes. And sometimes they even bring in an actor from New York to play the lead adult role. And Tyler d‘Bowles really IS good. And the newspaper always covers it. ”
“Tobias,” said Mackie, “do you know what the Ancient Warlord Sun Tzu would say about all that?”
“First he would cut off your head for that traitorous talk about Tyler d’Bowlegs and then he would say that an enemy’s strengths are his weaknesses.
“What does that mean?”
“It means we vandalize the sets, steal the costumes, kidnap the New York actor, humiliate Bowlegs and then read about the disaster in the newspaper.”
My stomach clenched up and I started to feel guilty already. Because I knew he wasn’t kidding. And I knew I was going to help him do it.
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