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Larryboy and the Crusty Crew
Big Idea Books / LarryBoy
By Kent Redeker
ZONDERVANCopyright © 2003Big Idea, Inc.
All rights reserved.
THEY CAME FROM THE SEA
It started with screams. Lots of screaming. Then the swimmers at Bumbly Bay Beach started running, scrambling for shore.
Was it a shark attack? A monster? A deranged beach ball? Mutant lifeguards running in slow motion?
No! It was worse. Much worse.
It was a kiwi fruit.
A crazed kiwi was driving his jeep right across Bumbly Bay like a motorboat. The amphibious jeep sliced through the water, scattering swimmers, and then roared out onto the beach, swerving wildly to avoid sunbathers.
Behind the wheel was none other than that dastardly driver, Outback Jack. And in the seat next to him was his evil sidekick, Jackie, who was busily reading a best-selling book, The Doofus' Guide to Treasure Hunting.
"Oy, love! We made it!" boomed Outback Jack, who was as much Australian as kangaroos and crocodiles. He wore a khaki shirt and bush hat and talked with the gleeful excitement of a little kid.
"G'day, Bumblyburg!" Outback Jack shouted, as the jeep veered onto a street. "Outback Jack's the name, and fortune hunting's me game!" Throwing his head back, he roared with laughter.
"Hmmmm—that's the last time I let you drive us across the ocean," said Outback Jack's evil sidekick from behind her book. "Look what it's done to my hair!"
She lowered her book, revealing the most sinister sidekick in the long history of sinister sidekicks. She was hideous. She was shocking. She was ...
A sock puppet?
Yes, it's true. Outback Jack's sidekick was none other than Jackie, the Sock Puppet. But she wasn't just any old sock puppet plucked warm from the dryer. She looked like a crocodile with a pink pillbox hat.
Outback Jack had a very special relationship with the sock puppet perched on his right hand. He spoke to her, and she spoke back. (But truth be told, Outback did all of Jackie's talking for her, speaking in a very high-pitched voice.)
This kiwi had clearly spent too much time alone in the outback.
"We're going to be the richest blokes in the world once we steal the legendary Treasure of Bumblyburg," grinned Outback, as he made a sharp right turn and nearly ran over two gourds.
"We'll show 'em, Jack," said the puppet. "We're going to steal the treasure, and then we'll ... AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!"
The crocodile sock puppet stared straight ahead, open-mouthed with terror. The jeep was about to plow over Ma Mushroom. The little old lady had stepped off the curb and right into traffic, while casually licking her three-scoop ice cream cone.
Outback Jack slammed on the brakes just in time. The jeep came to a skidding, squealing stop—inches before flattening Ma Mushroom.
Outback Jack couldn't help but stare at Ma Mushroom as the little old lady strolled in front of him, still licking her ice cream. In an excited whisper, he said, "Blimey! It's a flat-out Granny Crossing!"
Outback Jack crawled onto the hood of the jeep for a closer look. "Look how slow she moves," he gawked. "This is incredible! I've never seen a granny up close like this. They must be a very endangered species."
"Um ... pardon us," Jackie the Sock Puppet crooned to Ma Mushroom in the sweetest tone. Then, in a voice that could shatter rock, she added, "But could you please move it, sister!"
Jackie's yell was so loud that the force lifted Ma Mushroom off her feet and blew her backward. Her ice cream cone flew out of her hand and landed on the head of a cucumber standing on the corner. As for Ma Mushroom, she landed upside down in a nearby trashcan.
"'At's tellin' the old toadstool, Jackie!" laughed Outback Jack. Then he put the jeep in gear and tore off, leaving the smell of burned rubber hanging in the air.
"Whippersnapper!" Ma Mushroom called after him from inside the can.
Meanwhile, the cucumber on whose head the cone had landed, paused to lick the ice cream streaming down his face. "My favorite flavor—vanilla cheese crunch!"
Yes, you guessed it! That cucumber was none other than Larry the Cucumber, and standing beside him was his trusted manservant, Archibald. (Larry calls him "Archie" for short.)
"I don't like the looks of this, Master Lawrence," said Archie.
"You're right. Vanilla cheese crunch stains easily," said Larry. "Do you think you can get it out of my shirt?"
"No, I mean that crazy kiwi," Archie clarified. "I think he's up to no good."
"Oh, right. That too," Larry agreed as he tossed aside the ice cream cone. "This looks like a job for Larryboy!"
Larry whistled for a taxi, which came screeching to the curb. He flung open the door and leaped inside. With tires spinning like an Indy 500 racecar, the taxi sped ahead for ... well ... just about three feet. Then it came to another screeching halt, and the back door sprang open again.
Out leaped the caped cucumber. The defender of victimized vegetables. The purple, plunger-headed protector of ...
"We get the point," urged Archie.
It was Larryboy!
"I AM THAT HERO!" Larryboy shouted as he hopped off in hot pursuit of Outback Jack.CHAPTER 2
THE KING OF CHAOS
Wherever Outback Jack went, chaos followed, and pandemonium was about to descend on Bumblyburg.
Outback drove his jeep straight to the offices of the Daily Bumble newspaper—and I do mean straight. If there was a building in his path, he drove right through it, scattering shoppers, pulverizing mannequins, and wreaking havoc along the way.
As the crazy kiwi and his sock puppet pulled up to the newspaper building, Outback hopped onto his jet-powered, boomerang-shaped glider. Riding the boomerang like a flying skateboard, he soared right through the open window of Bob the Tomato's office on the top floor.
"WHAAAAA ...?" said Bob, diving for cover.
With madcap glee, Outback Jack began to tear apart the offices of the Daily Bumble and made a monstrous mess as he hunted for information about the infamous Treasure of Bumblyburg.
"Hey! You can't do that!" shouted Bob, the newspaper editor.
"Try to stop me, tomato-face!"
Rifling through Bob's file cabinet, Outback Jack flung papers in the air. Bob scurried around trying to catch them as they rained down upon his office.
But Larryboy was right behind him!
Our superhero had used his fruit-seeking radar to track the crazed kiwi right to Bob's office—although all he had to do was follow the trail of destruction. He raced through the door and skidded to a halt as he struck a heroic pose.
"Halt, you evil ice-cream-cone-wrecking, file-snatchers!" Larryboy announced.
"I'll handle this," whispered Jackie into Outback's ear. Then she turned toward Larryboy and batted her big, beautiful eyelashes. "My, my, but you're a dashing cucumber," she smiled coyly. "You know, I was just saying to my friend Jack that toilet plungers are the one fashion accessory you don't see enough of these days."
Larryboy grinned at the compliment. "Oh ... well, they're not only good looking, but they're practical as ... " Larryboy paused and scowled. Pointing a plunger in Outback's direction, he proclaimed, "Flattery won't help you escape the long plunger of the law."
"Perhaps not, mate, but this will!" Outback said as he aimed Jackie at Larryboy's purple noggin.
You see, Jackie is more than Outback's silly sidekick sock puppet. She is also The Power Glove of Doom! Inside her pretty pink hat are some of
Excerpted from Larryboy and the Crusty Crew by Kent Redeker. Copyright © 2003 by Big Idea, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of ZONDERVAN.
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