Authors: Jamie McEwan
Text copyright Â© 2008 by Jamie McEwan
Illustrations copyright Â© 2008 by John Margeson
All rights reserved. International copyright secured. No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any meansâelectronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwiseâwithout the prior written permission of Lerner Publishing Group, Inc., except for the inclusion of brief quotations in an acknowledged review.
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Minneapolis, MN 55401 U.S.A.
Scrubs forever / by Jamie McEwan ; illustrations by John Margeson.
Â Â Â p. ; cm.
Ages 8 and up.âSequel to: Rufus the scrub does not wear a tutu.âSummary: When Dan starts to win some wrestling matches, Biff and the “in” crowd let him be part of their group. This is what Dan has always wanted, and his attitude toward the other Scrubs wavers. Will Dan realize who his real friends are?
1. Middle school studentsâJuvenile fiction. 2. AthletesâJuvenile fiction. 3. Rock climbingâ Juvenile fiction. 4. Attitude changeâJuvenile fiction. [1. Middle school studentsâFiction. 2. AthletesâFiction. 3. Rock climbingâFiction. 4. Attitude changeâFiction.] I. Title. II. Author.
PZ7.M478463 Sc 2008
Manufactured in the United States of America
eISBN: 978-0-7613-8592-9 (pdf)
eISBN: 978-1-4677-6776-7 (ePub)
eISBN: 978-1-4677-3150-8 (mobi)
When the bell rang at the end of math class, Dan got down on the floor and started doing push-ups. Around him, students stood and picked up their books, getting ready to go to the next class.
His classmates just ignored Dan. That was because he had been doing push-ups after every class since wrestling season started. When Dan finished a set of pushups, he'd jump up and run to his next class, where he'd do sit-ups until it started. At first the other kids had laughed and made fun of him, but after a while, they'd gotten used to it.
But this time Dan's friend Willy stopped and said, “I think you should skip the push-ups today.”
“Why?” asked Dan. “âNo pain, no gain!' âNo guts, no glory!'”
“Because today's the last match of the season,” said Willy. “There's nothing to prepare for. You should rest up for the match.”
Dan frowned. “You're right,” he said, getting up and brushing off his hands. “Shoot. Last match. I've got to win it. Like the general said, âThere is no substitute for victory.'”
“Come on, you've won a bunch of matches,” said Willy. “Win or lose, you've already had a good season.”
“âGood is not enough when you dream of being great,'” quoted Dan.
“Dude,” said Willy, “don't you get tired of all the quotations? They wear me out, I know that.”
“âWhen the wise man speaks, the fool often sleeps,'” replied Dan.
“How many of those darned quotes do you know?” demanded Willy. “You sound like you swallowed a whole book of them.”
Dan smiled to himself. He wasn't going to tell Willy, but he'd made that last one up.
Â THE HANDS
That afternoon, Dan was nervous. It was the last match of the season!
Waiting for his turn wasn't much fun. Watching his teammates wrestle just made him more nervous. His wrestling uniform seemed too tight, and his shoes seemed too loose. Dan's heart was pounding, but his hands were cold. He couldn't seem to warm them up.
“Come on, Dan, relax,” said his big friend Rufus. “This is supposed to be fun, right?”
“Fun? This isn't fun. This is battle.”
“It was a wrestling match, last I checked,” said Rufus.
to win it. You know what they say: âWinning isn't everything. It's the
“That doesn't even make sense,” said Rufus.
“Makes sense to me,” said Dan.
Finally Dan's turn came. He shook hands with a tough-looking kid just his size. The whistle blew. Dan went right after him. He took his opponent downâbut then the guy reversed him. Dan put the guy on his back for a secondâand then the guy put Dan on his back. It went back and forth like that until Dan wasn't even sure who was on top or who was ahead.
But at the end of the match, after they shook hands, it was the other guy's hand that was raised over his head. Dan had lost.
In the locker room Dan was so mad he kicked a locker. He raised his fists to bang on it, too, but Willy and Rufus grabbed his arms to stop him.
“I worked so hard!” yelled Dan.
“Hey, take it easy,” said Rufus.
“Come on,” said Willy. “So you lost a match. You're the one who's always saying, âWhat doesn't kill me makes me stronger.' I don't think that's true of beating your fists on the locker, though. That just makes you injured.”
“Yeah,” said Rufus, “if you break your hands, you won't be able to go climbing tomorrow.”
“Okay, okay,” said Dan. He lay on his back on the bench. “Man, I've had it,” he said. “I've really had it. I give up. I'm tired of being the smallest kid in the class. I'm tired of getting chosen last when we play volleyball at recess. I worked so hard at football! And I was still lousy. I worked so hard at wrestling! I'm telling you, I give up.”
“Are you kidding me?” asked Willy. “You're the guy who's always telling us things like, âThere is no elevator to success; you have to take the stairs.'”
“And,” said Rufus, “âThe harder you fall, the higher you bounce!'”
“And, âIf at first you don't succeedâ'”
“Can it, guys,” said Dan, “I don't want to hear it.”
“What I say is,” said Willy, “that win or lose, the Scrubs still have fun. âWe came to play,' right?”
“No, I'm telling you, I'm tired of being a Scrub.”
“Hey, man, we're proud of being Scrubs!” said Rufus.
“Not me. I tell you, I'm tired of it,” said Dan.
Biff had come in from the showers while they were talking. “Yeah, you guys think you're so cool,” he said, “but you're too old for that stupid Scrubs stuff. Right, Dan?” Biff was an older kid, and one of the âin' group. He'd never been friendly with Dan.
“You think so?” asked Dan.
“Yeah,” said Biff. “You've outgrown it.”
TO PULL ORÂ
Â NOT TO PULL
When Dan got home from school, the house was quiet. He went into his room and put on one of his CDs. He sat in his chair and looked at his posters. There were national champion wrestlers and pro-football stars and top climbers and kayakers all over his walls.
He wondered if those guys had ever lost as often as he had.
After a while, he heard his father come home. Dan found him in the kitchen getting a snack.
“Sorry I couldn't make your match today,” said his father. “How'd it go?”
Dan shrugged. “Dad,” he said, “you're always talking about the power of positive thinking and focus and working hard. âWhatever you can dream, you can do.' Right?”
“Yeah, butâI've been really trying hard. I really have. And IâI lost the match today. I've lost a bunch this season.”
For a minute Dan's father just stared at him. Dan was afraid he was mad. But when his father finally said something, he didn't sound mad. He sounded tired.
“You know,” said his father, “I'll tell you a secret. I don't succeed all the time, either. But what are we going to do? Give up?”
“The guys say I try too hard,” said Dan. “That I should just have a good time.”
“I want you to have a good time,” said his father. “But can you try hard and still have a good time?”
Dan thought for a moment. “I'm not sure I could have a good time if I
try hard,” he said.
His father laughed. “There's your answer. I'm that way, too, you know.”
“So I should go ahead and do pull-ups every night like Mr. Kwan suggested?”
“He's the climbing instructor?” his father asked. Dan nodded. “You be careful out there rock climbing, okay?”