Excerpt for Life of the Potty: The Adventures of Peter Potty, Intergalactic Exchange Student by , available in its entirety at Smashwords




LIFE OF THE POTTY:


The Adventures of Peter Potty, Intergalactic Exchange Student


by

Arlen Grossman




Smashwords Edition

Copyright © 2017 by Arlen Grossman

All rights reserved.




CHAPTER ONE



You think your life is tough? Imagine how difficult your life would be if you were a toilet.

Or ask Peter Potty.

While it may be perfectly normal to be a toilet on Latrinius, Peter’s home planet, it’s a whole different matter on other worlds. Here on Earth, for instance, to be a toilet who is a person (or is it the other way around?) presents special challenges.

Peter found this out the hard way during the year he spent as a seventh-grade exchange student in West Commode, Florida.

The morning of the first day at W. C. Middle School went smoothly, which was a great relief to the worried young toilet who, like any kid, just wanted to fit in.

Lunch period was an entirely different matter.

“How’s it going so far?” John Sharmin, whose house Peter lived in, poked a fork at the chicken nuggets on his tray. His red hair, medium-length and slightly disheveled, nearly matched the bold letters on his Animal Kingdom T-shirt.

“Pretty good, I think, for the first day of school,” Peter replied. “I like Mrs. Plummer, my English teacher.”

“Yeah, she’s not bad, for a teacher.” John gestured toward his tray. “Look at these rocks—I mean chicken nuggets. My dentist will get rich if I bite into these.”

He stopped talking when three older boys came up to their table and stopped in front of Peter. Being a white porcelain bathroom fixture in a world of humans, Peter was used to the stares, but these were glares, and he sensed trouble.

Anybody looking at Peter would see a handsome (for a toilet) face staring out from his upraised lid. With his blue striped T-shirt over his tank, khaki trousers and white sneakers, and with flexible arms and legs, he could easily—from a mile away, on a foggy day—be mistaken for a typical West Commode student.

The biggest of the boys finally spoke. “Dude, what kind of weirdo are you?” Then he quickly glanced over his shoulder. Peter followed his gaze outside.

Mrs. Tydibole, the cafeteria monitor, stood outside, yelling into her cell phone. The big kid turned back to Peter. “Hey, Pottyboy, you don't belong here. Are you from another country, or another planet?” He and his buddies giggled.

“As a matter of fact, he is from another planet,” John responded. “He's a space alien. So give him some slack, okay?'“

“We ain’t talking to you, knuckle brain,” snapped the largest kid. The cafeteria lights reflected off his spiked purple and orange hair.

By this time, eating and conversation in the lunchroom had halted, with all eyes focused on this brewing conflict.

The skinniest of the gang, with greasy black hair and a black T-shirt, turned to the biggest member of the trio, who seemed to be their leader. “Hey, Harry, I think the square one’s a toilet, and the other one’s a urinal.” The bullies all laughed.

“Yeah, I think you’re right,” said Harry, “but they both smell like a sewer.” The bullies laughed heartily.

John stepped forward, but Peter grabbed his arm. “It’s okay,” he whispered. “I’ll handle this.”

Peter turned to the bullies, struggling to keep his voice calm. “I’m a toilet,” he said with an awkward smile. “My name is Peter Potty.” He held his breath, reaching out to shake their hands.

The three toughs looked at his outstretched hand, then glanced at each other. “Peter Potty?” they shrieked, bursting into laughter.

After Harry stopped chuckling, he declared, “That’s a dumb name!” Winking at his buddies, he leaned forward. “Can I sit on your seat, Pottyboy? I need to relieve myself.” He snickered and elbowed the chunky third boy, who hesitated for a second before realizing he was supposed to laugh.

Peter’s jaw tightened and his lid/face reddened. “I wouldn’t sit down if I were you… you might squash your brains.” There was an audible gasp from the onlookers in the lunch room.

Harry clenched his face. He yanked Peter’s tray from the table, flipped up his toilet seat, banging it against the startled alien’s face. Then he dumped the contents of the tray into Peter’s porcelain bowl.

The three bullies whooped with delight and slapped each other’s upraised hands. Peter dropped his seat back down, revealing a red face and pained expression.

John, held with his arms behind his back by the two other bullies, yelled, “Don’t let him get away with that, Peter!”

The humiliated toilet hesitated for a second or two, then scrunched up his eyes. Water in his bowl started to bubble and swirl.

“Huh?” Harry leaned forward to investigate. With a loud “whoosh,” the entire contents of the toilet’s bowl splashed up, straight into Harry’s horrified face. His head and scruffy clothes were soaked with water, as well as the remains of Peter’s chicken nugget and mashed potato lunch.

The kids in the cafeteria exploded with laughter. Harry reached out and grabbed Peter by his hair. “I’m going to kill you, Pottyboy!” sputtered Harry.

Before he had a chance, Mrs. Tydibole showed up. “Harry, you are positively soaked! What’s going on here?”

“That stupid toilet!” Harry gestured toward Peter. “He barfed all over me…on purpose!”

John stepped in front of Peter and pointed at the three bullies. “They started it, Mrs. Tydibole!”

The skinny kid grabbed John by his T-shirt. “Liar!”

Peter stepped forward. “It was self-defense, Mrs. Tydibol,” he explained to the lunchroom monitor. “The tall guy dumped my lunch into my bowl.”

Mrs. Tydibole waved her hands in front of her in exasperation. “I don’t understand any of this, but I do know we can’t have this kind of behavior in the lunchroom. I’m afraid I’m going to have to send all you boys to the principal’s office.”

Harry startled Peter by putting his arm around the toilet’s tank. “Everything is cool, Mrs. T. This dude here is my homie. We’re good buddies. Ain’t that right, Peter?”

The young toilet opened his mouth to protest, but stopped. His desire to end the situation as quickly as possible prevailed. He nodded in agreement.

“Well…okay,” responded Mrs. Tydibole, “but please be more careful in the future.” She looked down at the floor and shook her head. “What a waste of good food.”

She sent Harry to the restroom to clean up. As the bully walked off with his buddies, he pointed at Peter and silently mouthed: “You’re dead, Pottyboy!”




CHAPTER TWO



When the three toughs returned from the boys’ room, they marched right back to Peter and John. Harry, considerably cleaner, but wetter, thrust his face two inches from Peter’s. “Your kind don’t belong here.” He turned to his buddies. “We don’t want any stinky toilets at our school, right, Arnold?”

His pudgy crew-cutted friend replied, “Well, uh, we do need some toilets…you know, so we can go to the…”

Harry punched him in the arm. “Shut up!” He turned his attention to Peter. “Go back to the stinky outhouse where you belong, Pottyboy. You’re going to pay for that stunt, but not here.” He slammed down the toilet lid (Peter’s face) and swaggered away with his buddies, once again wagging his finger threateningly in the toilet’s direction.

Peter flipped his lid back up and sighed. “Not a great way to begin my first day at W.C.”

A pretty girl, with long black hair nearly touching her lunch tray, walked up to the two boys.

“That was mean of those apes.” She looked at Peter. “Are you okay?”

He nodded. “I’m fine, thanks. I just need to get another lunch. Who were those guys, anyway?”

“I have no clue,” said the girl, who wore blue jeans and a yellow T- shirt. “I’m new at this school. Can I sit with you guys?” They said yes, so she set her tray down across the table from them and smiled. “My name is Lydia. I’m in your Algebra class.”

“Sure, I saw you,” said Peter, relaxing enough to return her grin. “You sat in front of me.”

“Welcome to West Commode,” said John. “Don’t worry. This kind of incident doesn’t happen every day.”

“I’m happy to hear that,” responded Lydia with a grin.

After the boys introduced themselves, John, who had been in West Commode schools since kindergarten, told them what he knew about the bullies. “The big guy is Harry Butz, the skinny one is Kyle Fartman, and the chubby boy is Arnold Stinkatori. They think of themselves as a middle school gang. They call themselves the Power Punks, and get their kicks picking on kids smaller than them.”

“I hope they leave us alone,” said Peter, even though he knew better.

Lydia shook her head. “You heard Harry’s last threat. They’re not done with you.”

“She’s right, Peter,” agreed John. “Hey, do you guys mind if we finish eating outside? It’s awfully messy here.”

“Sounds okay to me,” said Peter. “I’m going back to get another lunch. Go find a table and I’ll meet you out on the patio.”

After they settled at their new table, Lydia had more questions. “Peter, John told me how you’re staying with him and his family as an exchange student. How’s that work?”

“First off, John’s dad teaches astronomy at U.F.O. and…”

“What’s U.F.O.?”

“Sorry,” Peter said. “The University of Florida at Orlando. Professor Sharmin’s their foremost expert on outer space and extraterrestrials. He has contacts on other planets and arranged an exchange program with my home planet, Latrinius, in the Porcelano Galaxy. The Sharmins sent over one of their toilets and my planet sent me.”

“I love it!” exclaimed Lydia. “What a great idea!”

Peter made a face. “Except Latrinius feels a bit cheated. They can’t figure out why the Earth toilet doesn’t walk around or say anything.”

“You’re so lucky to have a space alien living with you,” said Lydia. I have a big sister and she just behaves like she’s from another planet.”

“Where do you live?” Peter asked.

“On Plunger Road.”

“Hey, we live on Flat Lance Avenue,” said Peter. “That’s two streets over from you.”

“You want to come over after school and see our house?” asked John.

“Sure,” she replied. “I’ll have to ask my mom first, but I think it’ll be okay.”

“I should warn you,” said John. “Our house is a lot different than any you’ve probably ever seen.”

Peter finished up his chocolate pudding. “Certainly not like any home I’ve seen in this galaxy.”

Lydia laughed. “I’ll take your word for it. I’ve never been in any other galaxies.”

A flash of light turned their attention to the sky.

“Wow!” John exclaimed. “Whatever that was, it sure flew by fast.”

Lydia squeezed her nostrils and waved her other hand in front of her face. “What is that awful smell?”

“Disgusting!” gasped John. “Those chicken nuggets didn’t agree with somebody.” All the other kids near them made faces and giggled about the stench.

“I wonder if there’s a connection between what flew over and the stink?” asked Lydia.

“Whatever that was,” replied John. “It zoomed by too fast to be an airplane, but…hey, Peter, why are you sweating?”

“Uh, it’s just a little condensation. But you know something, I’ve lost my appetite. I have to go to my locker anyway, so I’ll catch up with you guys later, okay?”

The young toilet felt sick to his stomach, but it had nothing to do with the chicken nuggets. He recognized the lingering smell and he knew trouble couldn’t be too far off.

Peter wiped his brow. He was a guest here on Earth, but if his fears came true, he could end up endangering the entire planet.




CHAPTER THREE



The Sharmin home was easy to spot: two stories high, encircled by a variety of antennae and satellite dishes, and with a roof covered with assorted electronic devices.

Peter, John and Lydia found Mrs. Sharmin in the living room watering a row of strange-looking flowers, several of which had faces. She raised the watering can when the kids walked in, which caused the flowers to squawk in protest.

“Hi boys. I see you’ve made a new friend.”

“Hi mom,” said John. “This is Lydia Escusado. She’s new at school.”

“Welcome, Lydia. You kids look like you can use a snack.” She pulled a little whistle from her pocket and blew it. They didn’t hear anything.

Moments later, a half-monkey, half-dog creature, wearing a green apron and walking upright, came into the room carrying a tray with lemonade and cupcakes.

Lydia stared with her mouth wide open at this extraordinary animal.

John laughed at her reaction. “This is Roscoe, our pet mog. Mogs come from the planet Monkabark. As you can see, they’re pretty much half dog and half monkey.”

“Mogs are wonderful pets,” added Mrs. Sharmin. “Roscoe is talented and helpful in so many ways.”

“How cool!” exclaimed Lydia, “I just have a goldfish.”

“Roscoe is terrific at fetching things from high cupboards,” said Mrs. Sharmin. “He’s also a wonderful cook and baby-sitter.”

“Roscoe’s a great watchmog, too,” added John. “Last year he caught a burglar in our house. He tied the bad guy up and held him until the police came.”


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