It was Sunday, September 21, 2003. It was evening, and I and Steve were watching Cartoon Network together in Steve’s bedroom. “Hey, I think PowerPuff Girls has got to be the greatest superhero TV show of all time.”, Steve commented.
“The PowerPuff Girls? Greatest superhero TV show of all time? Seriously?”
“What? What’s wrong with three little girls fighting the forces of evil?”
“Nothing’s wrong with it. Now, don’t get me wrong, it is a cool show and everything. But I wouldn’t rank that show as the greatest superhero TV show in the entire history of television.”
“Because PowerPuff Girls is just another cartoon. There have been many other great, and probably legendary, superhero television shows since forever. I doubt this show would be able to handle all that competition.”
“Yeah, you may be right, but I still stand by what I said.” “Speaking of cartoons, they are pretty cool. I don’t know what I or you would do without them.” “What if our lives were a cartoon?”
“If our lives were a cartoon, we’d probably look like two random kids from The Fairly OddParents.”
“Yeah, probably.” “I think it’d be pretty awesome if our lives were a cartoon.”
“But who would want to watch our everyday lives?”
“Possibly, everyone. I think our lives are pretty cool even though we’re just typical fourth-graders.”
“What if both of our lives were a children’s novel?”
“Everyone knows you can’t turn text into cartoons.”
“Hey, since the week just started, I wonder what our first day of the new school week would be like if it was to be played out in 2-D.”
***IF THE 00’S WERE A CARTOON***
It was Monday, September 22, 2003. At Robert Burns Elementary School, the whole gang (without me and Kevin) was sitting together in the school lunchroom having lunch. “So, anyone been listening to any good music lately?” Steve asked them.
“Does classical music qualify as good music?” Brad asked him.
“Ummmm, no times a thousand.”, Steve replied. “Okay, anyone saw any good new or returning TV shows this September?”
“Does Cartoon Network count?” Nathan asked him.
“Of course, it does.”, Steve replied. “You know, me and Jamal had this interesting conversation about that channel.” “We were discussing what our lives would be like if it were in a cartoon.”
“I think a better question to ask is this.”, Jessica replied. “What if both of your lives were a nicktoon?” “Cartoons on Nickelodeon are way better than that other channel.”
Steve replied, “We’d probably look like random kids from The Fairly OddParents. Jama’s words. Not mines.”
“What about SpongeBob SquarePants or The Simpsons?” Ariana asked him.
Steve replied, “The Simpsons isn’t a nicktoon. That show isn’t on Nickelodeon.”
Amanda replied, “I think I kinda like the idea of you and Jamal’s life as a cartoon. Every time we hug, kiss, hold each other’s hand, etc., there could be pink hearts floating all around us.”
Ariana replied, “You could say the same thing for me and Steve.”
Then everyone stopped talking and continued eating.
It was Tuesday, September 23, 2003. Back at my place, I and Amanda spent our time talking. Then Amanda went ahead and said something to me.
“So, my birthday is this Saturday.”
“I know. I haven’t forgot about your birthday.”
“Do you want to come to my birthday party this weekend to help me celebrate the big one and zero?”
“Sure, I’d love to come. Mother permitting, of course.”
“Okay, sweet!” “Also, I was wondering what you are gonna get me for my birthday.”
“Oh, your birthday present is gonna be a…a…ummmmmmmmm…”
Then an idea suddenly came to existence in my head.
“A…a…ummmmmmmmmm…surprise!” Yeah, that was the word I was looking for.”
“Ooooooooh! I love surprises!”
“Yep, surprises sure are fantastic.”
“And if you can’t get me anything for my birthday, I’ll totally understand. It won’t be a big deal, and you’ll still be mine. Because you’re one of the greatest birthday presents a girl could ever have.” “So, what romantic nicknames should we start calling each other from now on?”
“Can I call you, baby?”
“Of course.” “Now, what should you call me?”
“How about Lemon Meringue Pie?” “Because your beautiful, long and blonde hair is such sweet and yellow eye candy for me.”
“Hmmmmmmmm, I don’t know. That nickname seems like it might be a bit long. But I don’t mind you calling me that every now and then. I like that nickname.”
“What about Blondie?”
“Nah, that one reminds me too much of the famous singer.”
“What about Blonde Girl, Blonde Wonder, or just Blonde?”
“Wow, you really suck at romantic nicknames.” “You know what?” “We don’t need fancy nicknames to express our very deep passion for one another. You can just call me whatever feels right. And I’ll do the same for you.” “Deal?”
Then our time spent together continued as we both continued talking.
It was Wednesday, September 24, 2003. After school in the evening, Two Seconds to Detroit got together again in the basement of the apartment complex to perform. I was there as well to do the filming.
“Okay, is everyone ready to get this thing rocking and rolling?” Steve asked them.
“Yep, looks like everyone here is all set and ready to go.”, Nathan replied.
“Okay, then. Let’s get this thing rocking and rolling.”, Steve replied.
“Alright, filming starts in 4…3…2…1…”, I spoke.
Then the band started playing Kids in America by Kim Wilde with Amanda singing the song’s lyrics. And Two Seconds to Detroit di an excellent job performing that song. It’s also a song that replates a lot to American childhood (including childhood in the 2000s decade). The rock band continued performing that song. And they continued performing that song some more. And they continued performing that song just a little bit longer.
Moments later, the band stopped performing that song. “Hey, that was awesome!” Brad exclaimed. “Why haven’t we chosen to play this song right after we became a rock band two years ago?” “I mean; besides, we are the kids in America.”
“Like Brad just said, that was pretty awesome.”, Steve replied. “Jamal, did you get all that?”
“I sure did.”, I replied.
“Hey, should we consider changing the name of the band to Kids in America?” Nathan asked.
“No, Nathan, we shouldn’t consider that. Alright, let’s go ahead and get started on our next song!” Steve exclaimed.
Then after that, the day continued.
It was Thursday, September 25, 2003. In the afternoon, Steve was hanging out with Nathan at Nathan’s house. Just outside of Nathan’s house, Steve and Nathan were playing one-on-one hockey without a goaltender. The first one to get to twenty goals was the one who was going to win the game. Then Nathan ended up scoring the game-winning goal.
“Good game, Nathan.”, Steve spoke.
“Hey, same to you.”, Nathan replied. “Hey, let’s do a hockey skills competition.”
“Okay, you’re on!” Steve exclaimed.
“Let’s go.”, Nathan replied.
Moments later, several targets were placed on the net. “This first round is called Shot Accuracy. Whoever can hit all the targets in the fastest time wins the round. I’ll go first. Here, hold this.”, Nathan instructed. Then Nathan skated to the front of the net on his roller skates after giving his stopwatch to Steve.
“This is gonna be totally embarrassing.”, Steve commented.
“Agree to disagree.”, Nathan replied.
“Okay.”, Steve replied. “Ready, set, go!”
Steve started the stopwatch. Nathan quickly went to work trying to hit all the targets in the fastest time possible. Steve was watching Nathan as more and more time passed by. Nathan almost had all the targets hit. Then, finally, all the targets were successfully hit. And Steve stopped the stopwatch.
“Great job, Nathan!” Steve exclaimed. “But that effort won’t be a good enough job for what I have in store.”
“Bring it.”, Nathan replied as he skated towards Steve. Steve gave Nathan his stopwatch and skated off to the front of the net.
“Ready, set, and go!” Nathan exclaimed. When Nathan began the stopwatch, Steve quickly went to work. And after Steve was completely done, he skated back over to Nathan.
“Well, looks like your shot accuracy wasn’t quick enough to win that round.”, Steve commented.
Nathan replied, “Time for, Hardest Shot.”
“You’re on.”, Steve replied.
Moments later, all the targets were removed from the net. And the second round was about to begin. Steve skated up to the puck and shot it towards the net as hard as he possibly could.
Moments later, Nathan skated up to the puck and did the same thing Steve previously did. Nathan skated back to Steve. “And that, my friend, is how you get it done.”, Nathan commented after winning that round.
Moments later, the third and final round was about to begin. An obstacle course was placed in front of the net to test puck handling skills, stick handling skills, and speed. It was the round that was going to break the 1-1 tie between Steve and Nathan.
Nathan quickly got started in the third round. He did a variety of things while trying to get through the obstacle course as quickly as possible. After that, Steve did the same thing and ended up winning the entire hockey skills competition.
“Good game, Nathan.”, Steve spoke.
“I’m beating you next time. This isn’t over.”, Nathan replied.
“And by next time, I guess you mean February 30, 2004.”, Steve replied.
Then Steve and Nathan’s day continued.
It was Saturday, September 27, 2003, which was Amanda’s tenth birthday. In the afternoon, there was a birthday party taking place at Amanda’s house. All her friends were there. Cody was there as well. And I was there.
“Hey, Jamal. I’m so glad you were able to make it.”, Amanda spoke while sitting on the couch and smiling.
“I’m also glad I was able to make it to your party.”, I replied.
“Here, I reserved this spot just for you.”, Amanda replied.
I sat down next to Amanda. “So, you’re finally a tweenager.”, I told her.
“Yep, I sure am.”, she replied.
“So, what does it feel like to not only become a tween but to hit double digits as well?”
“It doesn’t feel any different from when I was nine.”
“Well, I think you look way hotter as a pre-teen.”
“Thanks.”, she replied.
I commented, “Must be those pre-teen looks starting to kick in.”
She replied, “I wonder if you’re flirting skills are good enough for a pre-teen.”
“Is that a challenge or something?”
“Maybe.”, Amanda replied with a smile.
“Well, I guess we’ll both have to just wait long after this party is over and find out.”
“I guess we will.”
Steve replied, “You know, I’ve already flirted a pre-teen while still in single digits. Therefore, Steve one. And Jamal zero.”
“So?” I replied. “I’m going to pull that off sooner rather than later.”
“Yeah, but I did it first, So, technically speaking, I won that battle.”
Steve sat down next to me and Amanda before drinking a bottle of root beer he was holding in his hand. He sat the root beer down at a nearby table.
“Oh, and by the way, happy tenth birthday.”, Steve told Amanda.
“So, did your boyfriend over there get you any birthday gifts yet?” Steve asked her before drinking again.
“Yes, and he gave me the greatest birthday gift ever.”, Amanda replied. “Love.”
“I also gave her joy and happiness.”, I added.
“Yeah, material things are so overrated.”, Amanda replied.
“Have you two ever heard of getting a room?” Steve asked us.
“Of course, we have, we weren’t born yesterday. Obviously.”, Amanda replied.
“And I was born less than ten years ago.”, I added.
Steve replied, “Fascinating. Oh, and just so you’ll know, my girl is gonna turn eleven next month. Therefore, not only will I be flirting with a pre-teen, but I will also be flirting with an eleven-year-old as well, and while I’m still in single digits. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be over there waiting for the cake to arrive.” Steve finished his root beer, set the empty root beer bottle down on the nearby table, got up, and walked away from us.
It was Sunday, September 28, 2003. Steve and his Mom were in the living room early in the afternoon. They were both about to go head-to-head in Madden NFL on Steve’s Sony PlayStation 2.
“Are you sure you wanna do this, Mom?” Steve asked her. “You have absolutely zero experience when it comes to Madden. And zero knowledge when it comes to football.”
“I’m positive.”, she replied.
“Okay, but don’t say I didn’t warn you.”, he replied. Then Steve and his Mom went ahead and started playing Madden. Throughout the game, Steve was dominating his own mother in Madden.
Anna got frustrated and sighed. “These controls are so confusing.” “How do you kids manage to play something like this?”
Steve and Anna continued playing Madden. And she was still getting dominated in Madden by her own son. Then the game ended.
Kevin walked into the living room just minding his own business until he saw the TV screen.
“Wow, sixty to nothing? Seriously, Mom?” Kevin asked her.
Steve replied, “I warned her not to go up against me in Madden. But hey, like that one song goes, parents just don’t understand.”
“I want a rematch.”, Anna replied.
Kevin added, “No, Mom, you really don’t. You should just quit now while you still have the chance.”
Steve replied, “Okay, Mom, but I’m only giving you one more match. I don’t wanna spend too much time totally owning you before the Lions game today.”
“Okay, then. Bring it on. Let’s see what you’ve got.”, Anna replied. Kevin smiled a little and shook his head before exiting the living room. Steve and Anna started playing Madden again.
Moments later, that second game was over. Steve won by a large number again. Steve replied, “Hey, if you want, I can make the next game shorter by decreasing the quarter length in the game. Then we can play one more game, but that’s it.”
“Oh, you’re so on right now! Let’s go!” She exclaimed. Moments later, Anna had no luck against Steve in the third game. Steve was leading again; Anna didn’t score any points and it wasn’t even close.
“Why in the world do I keep losing?!” she exclaimed.
“Because you’re not Madden material, Mom. Plus, you suck so much at this game that I’m not even trying my best. And even when I’m not trying my best, you still can’t beat me.”
“Oh, yeah?” she asked. “We’ll see about that.”
Later, Steve defeated his mother in Madden for the third straight time. Anna sighed again. “Why did I agree with the idea of playing video games with you in the first place?” she asked.
“Probably because it’s a Sunday, and you had nothing else better to do.”, he replied. Steve got up, stretched his arms out while holding the PS2 controller, and stopped stretching. Steve put down the PS2 controller on a nearby table.
“Well, that sure was fun. Now, it’s time for me to head back to my room and get ready for some Lions football. See ya later, Mom. Oh, and you might wanna spend some time putting some practice in if you wanna be Madden material.” Then Steve went ahead and left the living room. And Anna was left sitting there.
Kevin came back into the living room.
“Hey, Kevin, do you wanna-?” Anna asked.
“Sorry, Mom. Got no time to play. The Lions game is about to start.”, Kevin spoke as he was walking into the kitchen to get a glass of water before the game.
“Well, this sure was a total waste of my time.”, she spoke with the controller still in her hand. Then Anna got up, walked away, and the rest of that Sunday continued.
It was Monday, September 29, 2003. At Robert Burns Elementary School, Steve was in one of his classes with Nathan and Amanda. Some classmates were talking whole other classmates were trying to get some schoolwork done.
Steve was one of the classmates trying to get some schoolwork done. Nathan and Amanda weren’t trying to get any schoolwork done. Nathan and Amanda walked up to Steve in the classroom.
“Hey, Steve.”, Nathan began.
Amanda added, “We saw that you were pretty busy with schoolwork, so we just wanted to offer you some brain food.”
“Here.”, Nathan spoke while holding out a red gummy bear.
Steve saw the red gummy bear and took it. And Steve ate it. “Thanks. I really appreciate it.”, Steve replied.
“Oh, you’re more than welcome.”, Nathan replied.
“Yeah, totally.”, Amanda added.
“Well, we’re just gonna go ahead and leave you alone for now and let you get back to work.”, Nathan added.
“Alright, I’ll meet up with you two later on today or whenever.”
“Sounds like a plan.”, Nathan replied.
Then Steve went ahead and resumed doing his schoolwork.
Amanda and Nathan turned around and walked away with huge grins starting to show on their faces. “He ate it! He ate it! He actually ate it!” Nathan exclaimed.
“Right?!” Amanda asked. “I can’t believe he actually fell for that!”
Steve stopped working, looked up, and was listening to the new conversation going on between Nathan and Amanda.
“Fell for what? What did I just put in my stomach?” Steve asked them.
“A gummy bear.”, Nathan replied.
Amanda added, “That we dipped in poop in one of the school restrooms. You, my friend, just ate poop in the form of a gummy bear.”
Then Nathan and Amanda started laughing.
“Alright, I do have to say, you got me really good with that prank. I would’ve never saw that coming.”, Steve spoke while smiling. “However, I won’t be so stupid the next time you two try and pull another prank on me.”
Amanda replied, “Yes, you will. You just fell for something that was totally an obvious prank.”
“Yeah, whatever.”, Steve replied. “Now, can I get back to work if you don’t mind?”
“Okay, fine.”, Nathan replied. “Poop eater.” Then Nathan and Amanda walked away from Steve while laughing some more. And Steve shook his head and got back to work.
***IF THE 00’S WERE A CARTOON***
It was Sunday, October 5, 2003. In a live-action visualization, it was evening. Steve and Ariana were in Steve’s bedroom just talking while sitting on Steve’s bed.
Ariana checked her phone. “Hey, it’s getting kind of late. I should start heading back home since school starts tomorrow morning.”, she commented.
“Or maybe school can wait, and you can spend the whole week here in my room.”, he replied.
“Steve, I only asked my parents for one day to spend with you on my birthday. Not a whole week. It was still an awesome birthday.
“Would you say it was the best birthday ever?”
“Well, we did play PS2 games, watch Lions football, and your Mom eve made a special strawberry cake that was the bomb. All that pretty much says, ‘this was the best birthday ever’. And I hope my next birthday will be even better.”
“I’m sure it will be. And speaking of cake, I’m so glad I fully recovered from that sore throat I got from eating toilet candy last week.”
“Yeah, I would just stick with the food adults provide if I were you.”
“Thanks for that advice.” “And I guess that means no more red gummy bears from any of my friends.”
“I’ll always be your red gummy bear.”, she told him with a smile. Then Ariana leaned towards Steve’s face and gave him a quick kiss on the lips. And after the kiss, Steve went ahead and began sharing his thoughts with Ariana.
“Woah, that kiss was so-.”
“Sweet?” she asked. “I know.” “And besides, that’s how candy is supposed to taste.” “Well, I’ll see ya tomorrow at school.” Ariana smiled romantically at Steve. Then Ariana started walking out of the bedroom. And Ariana was fully out of the bedroom.
Steve just sat there for several seconds. Then Steve got one of the notebooks that were lying beside him on the bed. He also got a pencil that was lying on the bed as well.
He opened his notebook and started writing. “Steve, two. Jamal, zero.”, Steve spoke out loud as he wrote down what he spoke out loud inside the notebook. Once he was finished writing, he put his pencil down on the bed, closed the notebook, and put his notebook down on the bed.
“Wow, eleven-year-old girls kiss way better than ten-year-old girls. It should be three to nothing.”, Steve spoke out loud to himself. Steve got up off the bed. Then after that, he started walking towards his bedroom closet to put on his pajamas, get ready for bed, and get ready for school.