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About the Author
Stephen Gilpin graduated from the NYC School of Visual Arts where he studied painting and cartooning. He is the illustrator of the Who Shrunk Daniel Funk series and The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Boy series. Stephen currently lives in Hiawatha, Kansas. Visit him at SGilpin.com.
Read an Excerpt
The Funkster's Funky Fact #1: Americans eat 350 slices of pizza per second.
It all started with the pizza.
"Daniel! I'm ordering," my sister Robin said, sticking her head into my room. "What do you want?"
I was sitting in my La-Z-Boy, playing a quick round of predinner video games.
"Triple sausage, double pepperoni, and meatball," I muttered without looking up from the screen.
"Ever heard the word vegetable?" Robin asked, speed dialing Village Pizza on her cell.
"Ever heard the word meat lover?" I answered. I wasn't going to let her lay that "Vegetarians rule" attitude on me.
She came in and flopped herself down on my bed, then shot up really fast when she realized she had flopped herself right onto my sweaty baseball jersey.
"Daniel, you are so gross!" she screamed.
"Hey, can I help it if I have overactive armpits?" I said, firing the word armpit right into her face to really gross her out. She got even, though.
"Hello, Village Pizza?" she said into her hot pink cell phone which I truly believe grows out of her left ear. "This is Robin Funk at 344 Pacific Lane. We'd like a large veggie pizza, hold the cheese. Oh, and extra tomatoes."
Here's a tip: If you have an older sister, never let her order the pizza. You'll wind up getting nothing but salad on a crust. It's a known fact that females order four times more vegetable toppings than guys.
"You left out the meat!" I hollered, lunging for Robin's phone.
But good old Robin, being the star of the eighth-grade volleyball team, has quick reflexes, which meant she escaped into the hall before I could grab her cell. I popped out of the chair and bolted after her, running smack into one of my other sisters, Lark. She was walking down the hall with her Web cam, shooting a boring segment for her boring video blog that no one watches because it's so...well...boring. Did I mention it was boring?
"Daniel, do you have anything to say to the camera?" Lark turned and focused her egg-shaped mini Web cam on me.
I got real close to the lens and stuck my tongue out. I'm not proud of it, but I confess, I actually licked the lens.
Check that out, bloggy girls!
"Eeuuww, you stink!" my little sister Goldie said as she shoved by me on the way from the bathroom to her room.
"I hope you're planning to take a shower before dinner," Robin chimed in. Wow, this was turning into a "Let's criticize Daniel" session, like always.
"It's stupid to shower before dinner," I answered. "My face will just get all dirty again."
"Most humans eat by putting food in their mouths and not on their faces," Lark said, moving the camera around so she was shooting her own face talking. I guess she wanted her audience, all two of them, to see her being a ninth-grade know-it-all.
I went back in my room, closed the door, and took a deep breath. Thank goodness there were no girls there. I live with two teenage sisters, one younger one, one mom, one grandmom, and one great-grandmom. Our dog is female. So is the cat. Even our Siamese fighting fish is a girl.
If you ask me, and I know you didn't, that's a lot of girls in one house. Way too many.
I climbed back into my La-Z-Boy, reclined to the medium position, and burped. Sure, it smelled a little like Granny Nanny's goulash, which I had eaten cold as a postbaseball snack. But I didn't mind. I was glad to be alone in my room where a guy can enjoy his own body odors in peace.
That's when it happened. Bamo-slamo, just like that.
You know how your stomach growls when you're really hungry? That's how it started, except the growling wasn't coming from my stomach. It was coming from behind my eyeballs.
Then my nose felt like it was blowing bubbles.
My fingers started to buzz. My knees whistled.
This was definitely not normal.
"Help!" I screamed.
But my voice wasn't normal either. It was the voice of a small person. A very very very small person. Copyright © 2008 by Lin Oliver
The Funkster's Funky Fact #2: When you sneeze, air rushes out of your nose at one hundred miles per hour.
I had no idea what was happening to me. I felt like I was disappearing. I checked myself out to see if I was still there.
First I looked down at my hands. Even though my fingers were buzzing like crazy, they looked normal. Five on each hand, with my usual chewed-up fingernails. (I know, I know. I shouldn't bite them, but this is no time to discuss that!)
Then I inspected my knees. They looked regular well, as regular as knees can look when they're whistling. My left one still had that Z-shaped scar from when I jumped off the skateboard ramp I built in the driveway. (Okay, so maybe it was a little more of a fall than a jump, but this is no time to discuss that either!) And the other knee had the scab I got after I skinned it sliding into home in the game against the Padres. (By the way, if you ever run into that homeplate ump, tell him I was totally safe and he needs glasses.)
My feet looked normal, too. I brought them up to my nose and gave the toes a sniff. I won't go into details, because I don't want to gross you out so early in this book. Let's just say that my nose told me those were definitely my feet. Enough said.
But when I looked around my room, I realized that everything else had changed. Big time.
All the objects were HUGE.
Like, my TV was gigantic I mean, as big as a movie screen. The video game controller was the size of the gym at my school. I had to tilt my head way back to see the red and blue action buttons on the top.
I peeked over the edge of my La-Z-Boy. The floor was down there, all right, but way down there. I felt like I was sitting at the top of a humongous roller coaster. Last time I was on a roller coaster I barfed up my tuna sandwich, so I decided it would be best not to continue looking down.
I shot a glance over at Stinky Sock Mountain. It was so big, it seemed like Mount Everest, which I had just seen in a National Geographic special in science. I felt like I should climb it and plant a flag in the purple soccer sock at the top.
Creepiest of all was Creature Condo Corner, the table where we keep a lot of our family pets. Cutie-Pie, the Siamese fighting fish, looked like a giant mutant creature from the black lagoon. (I need to mention in a big fat hurry here that I didn't name her Cutie-Pie my little sister Goldie did.) Lizzie the Lizard (thank you, Goldie, for another totally girly name choice) had teeth as big as a T. rex. And my hamster, Brittany, was the hugest, scariest, hairiest rodent you ever saw. (I know you're thinking it's just like Goldie to name a hamster Brittany, but actually the whole family voted for it. It was six votes for Brittany, one for Rat Face. You guessed it. I was the Rat Face vote.)
What was going on here? Either everything in my room had grown really huge, or I had grown really little. Let's be honest. I was scared.
To calm myself down, I looked into the mirror above my dresser, hoping everything would look normal again. I saw the shelves with all my sports trophies on them. I saw the poster of the red Porsche Carrera on the wall. I saw my blue La-Z-Boy chair.
But I didn't see me!
I stared hard into the mirror. Where was I?
Wait a minute! I did see something on the chair. It was a tiny speck of a thing. It was wearing gray baseball pants and a red T-shirt, just like me. It had dark blond floppy hair, just like me. It was staring into the mirror, looking like it had just seen a ghost. And it was about the size of the fourth toe on my left foot.
Holy macaroni, it was me!
A mini me, but me!
I had shriveled up like a raisin, clothes and all.
"Somebody help me!" I screamed.
There were thundering footsteps outside my room, like a giant thumping down the hall. Then I heard my sister Robin.
"Daniel!" Her voice echoed around my room like the announcer at a supersized football game. "Dinnertime."
"Robin! I'm here. In the blue chair!" I called out, yelling so loud I thought my lungs were going to explode.
But she turned and walked away. Oh no, she couldn't hear me! No wonder, I thought. If I'm so tiny, my voice probably is too.
Here's a tip: When you're the size of a toe, don't count on anyone normal size hearing you.
Suddenly, my nose started to get that bubbly feeling again. I rubbed it hard. Then it began to itch, and I mean itch with a capital I. I was going to...going to...going to...
I sneezed so hard I thought I might actually blow myself across the room, clear out the window onto Mr. and Mrs. Cole's patio next door.
And then, before anyone could even say "Bless you!" I found myself sitting in my blue chair and back to my normal size.
Just like nothing weird had ever happened. Copyright © 2008 by Lin Oliver