“Jingle Bells, The Squash Smells, But He Smells Real Good!” sang Eugene Spratt as he placed the Christmas cookie and milk on the fireplace. There had been five gingerbread cookies on the plate for Santa, but four of them had mysteriously vanished. It was a mystery worthy of the greatest gourd-based superhero, The Squash, but he was on vacation. Christmas vacation! After defeating a cakepire, Triffid, Ladybug Lady and many other crazy creatures whose adventures will be recounted another time, Eugene was ready for a break. Plus, Christmas was exciting enough. Sitting by the fireplace, the glow of the multi-colored Christmas tree lights the only illumination, he dreamed of the morning to come. What presents would he open? A life-size ice cream truck? A banjo? A cheese and sausage basket? A travel coffee mug? A fake moustache kit? Who knew, except for Santa Claus. And that was Eugene’s cue.

“Time for bed,” he said, just as his parents came in to suggest that very thing. Eugene had to be careful with his Squash-like powers (such as ESP, or Extra-Squashlike-Perception), since his parents didn’t know about his superhero identity. “I’m just so excited,” he added, cleverly covering up his faux-pas.

“Off to bed with you,” his mother laughed. “Wait, what happened to Santa’s cookies?”

“Boy, am I tired!” Eugene said, making his way to his bedroom. Stomach full of cookie, head of dancing sugar plums, Eugene crawled into bed. “I cannot wait for Christmas day, I don’t know how I’ll-“ he started.

The next thing he knew, the house was dark and quiet. Almost quiet. There was a scratching at Eugene’s window. For a moment, Eugene was disoriented. His eyes adjusted, and his brain unfuzzed and he realized it was still Christmas Eve night. He went to the window to see what the scratching was, only slightly afraid of what he’d find.

“Ho, ho, ho! Hello there!” the familiar figure in the tree called out. “Eugene Spratt, it is I, Santa Claus! You remember, from the mall and the street corner. I’ve crashed my sleigh into your birch tree, and I could use your assistance.”

“Hi, Santa. First of all, big fan. Second of all, I’m not sure what I can do to help you in your predicament. I mean, I’m just a small boy in the fourth grade. What can I do to help you?”

“Ho, ho, ho! Please, Eugene, you forget. I am Santa, I see all. I know of your super-heroic exploits. I’ve read about them on a blog.”

“You’re the one who reads that blog?”

“The one and only, but listen Eugene! I need you to help me out of this tree. Otherwise, you see, I’ll be unable to deliver presents and Christmas will be ruined. Ho, ho, ho!”

Eugene thought quick. Throwing on his robe and slippers, he leapt from his bedroom window onto the snowy lawn. Shooting a vine from his hand, he pulled the branch back as far as he could, and let go. The sleigh flung through the air, freed from the tree. “Thank you, Squash! And Meeeeerry Christmas! Ho, ho, ho! Green Giant away!”

“Thank you, Santa! Have a Happy New Year!” Eugene said. And they did.

POSTSCRIPT: Eugene had an awesome Christmas! A life-sized banjo! A moustache basket! An ice cream kit! The End!


Eugene Spratt had been warned. Several times, in fact. But while Eugene was a model student (if a little boastful), a dutiful son and an exemplary superhero, when it came to food he lost control of his senses. Eugene had an insatiable appetite and could not help himself from consuming any and all food set in front of him, or anywhere near him. It was, in fact, how he gained his squash super powers. But while that yielded positive results, this situation was pure evil.
It had begun innocently enough. A new bakery had opened in the only slightly conspicuous location of the middle of the woods a block from the Spratt home. No one knew where it came from; no one recalled builders or movers. It just appeared out of nowhere. Eugene was first to discover it, early one summer morning. He had been dreaming about vanquishing foes and smooching girls, when the most delicious aroma crept in his bedroom window. It was pie. Cherry pie- no, raspberry pie. Or was it strawberry rhubarb pie? Eugene’s Super Squash Sniffer was stymied. What kind of pie did he smell and whence had it come? He dressed, brushed teeth and polished his silver spectacles, and followed his nose.
The bakery was a small brick storefront, between two poplar trees. Light gray paving stones led the way to the dark wood door. Bake Shoppe was stenciled on the front glass window, which was still shaded, even though the little black sign hanging from it declared OPEN in bold red letters. There was only one window letting in light, and it was at the edge of the storefront. Eugene entered, finding three pies cooling on the front counter, next to a glass display holding a variety of cookies, bars and cupcakes. “So, that’s it,” Eugene said. “It was cherry, raspberry and strawberry rhubarb. No wonder my Squash Super Sniffer was so stymied.”
“Ah! A customer!” a voice from the back room said, in a thick accent that reminded Eugene of the old Dracula movies. An elderly woman entered, all dressed in black. Black robes wrapped around her short, ample frame and a black babushka was tied around her perfectly round head. Her nose was craggy and populated by stubbly black hairs. One eye was foggy and perpetually gazing to her left, while the other appeared all black and pierced you to your soul. She was such an upsetting sight, it was almost enough to put Eugene off his appetite. Almost.
“Good eeevening!” she said, baring her yellow teeth.
“It’s six AM,” Eugene said.
“Ah, yes, forgiving me, I am new to your country and the, how you say, time zone is still a little confused of me.” She cackled, sounding like she was passing a small woodland creature through her esophagus. “But I am digressing. Welcome! You, little boy, have the honor of being first customer. This is very prestidigous, and earns of you all of which you can eat except. So, please! Be in with the diggings!”
Eugene jumped for joy. “You mean I can really eat all I want?”
“All you can eat except, little boy. And bottomless coffee besides.”
“All you can eat except? Except what?”
“Ah, the old woman said, scratching the prominent wart on her chin. “You may eat anything in the store, excepting of that cake.” She pointed a bony finger over Eugene’s shoulder. He turned. On a marble pedestal, under glass, was a triple tier white cake. It was frosted with little red laces along the bottom of each tier. Apart from the fact that it was set aside from all the other baked goods, in the shadows, there didn’t appear to be anything special about the cake.
Eugene desperately wanted to eat it.
The old woman cleared her throat, apparently attempting to dislodge the woodland creature. “Now, little boy, I must be making of the goodies, yes? You eat all you want EXCEPT the cake, yes?” Eugene nodded, hypnotized by the illicit cake. “YES?” the woman repeated, more forcefully. Eugene started.
“Yes, of course,” he said. “Thank you, Miss… what was your name again?” He turned to ask, but she had disappeared. Eugene decided to dig in, grabbing a plate and fork and slicing himself a piece of raspberry pie. It was a pretty poor raspberry pie. Though it appeared fresh baked, the crust was tough and stale and the raspberries tasted off. He tried a chocolate chip cookie. It was worse! Burnt on the bottom, underdone on the top. How could one even do that? He spat the cookie out into a napkin and tossed the rest.
He was on his way out the door, afraid to try anything else, when a voice asked, “Are you sure you don’t want to try me?” Eugene jumped. A cursory glance around the shop showed no one else there. He thought perhaps the old woman had returned, as the voice sounded similar to hers, but deeper. Definitely a masculine voice.
“I must be hearing things,” he said and continued to the door.
“You are not hearing things, my boy. Except my voice, that is,” the voice said. Eugene spun around. This time, he found the source of the voice. It was the cake. “As I said, you should try me, don’t you think?”
“I was told I couldn’t,” Eugene said.
“A mere technicality,” the cake countered. “You signed no contract, made no blood oath. And believe me, I am much more delicious than any other food here, if I say so myself.” The cake had a point. Eugene hadn’t signed any agreement stipulating he wouldn’t eat the cake. Besides, it looked delicious. What harm could it do to just taste it? He’d never tried talking cake before. He carefully removed the glass case.
Immediately, the cake leapt from the pedestal, sprouting bat-like wings of cake and frosting. It dove for Eugene’s neck. The second tier lifted to reveal a set of sharp fangs. The cake hissed. Eugene, thinking quickly, shot a vine at a nearby stool and knocked the cake off course. “What in the name of Jacques Pepin is that?” it said.
“You picked the wrong chubby kid to attack, you-you… what are you?”
“I am a vampire cake, or cakepire. What’s your excuse?”
“I am the Squash! Defeater of Evil! And you will taste my wrath, evil cake!” The Squash, his feet conforming to their bulbous squash shape, swung at the cakepire, who barely flew out of his way. Eugene smashed into a wastebasket. The cakepire cackled, swooping down to Eugene’s neck. Eugene rolled out of the way just in time, leaving the cakepire to chomp on air.
“Curse you, squashboy! I will eat you yet!” the cakepire shouted.
“It’s the Squash, not squashboy, vampcake,” Eugene said.
“It’s cakepire! Get it right, my future meal,” the cakepire hissed. “Stand still, boy, and accept your fate as a vampire pastry.” Vampire pastry, Eugene, thought, that’s it!
“All right, come and get me, if you can,” he said, standing and staring the cakepire directly in the top tier. “I dare you.”
The cakepire cackled, crumbs falling from its makeshift mouth. It flew straight at Eugene, fangs bared. Eugene did not move. “Prepare for comestible eternity!” it shouted as it swooped in for the kill. Eugene ducked, shooting a vine at the blind covering the front window. The blind rattled upward, bathing the bake shop in the morning sun. The cakepire let out a high-pitched squeal and disintegrated into crumbs.
From the back room, the old woman came running. “You did it! You killed the cakepire! My master is dead! I am finally being freed from his flour thumb, to live of my own lives!” She grabbed Eugene’s head and laid a big wet smoocheroonie on his brow.
“It was my pleasure,” Eugene said, inching away from the old woman.
“Now, I can pursue my truthful passion, living out of my dreams as a, how you say, ESL instructor. Thank you, little boy! Thank you!” She planted more and more kisses on his forehead. Eugene squirmed away, nodding and smiling. Back home, a fresh pot of coffee would be brewing right about now. And he could get the taste of that cookie out of his mouth.
The next morning, out of curiosity, Eugene wandered back to the spot in the woods where the bakery had been. It was gone. No sign was left that it had ever been nestled between the poplars. Aside from a lone chocolate chip cookie, laying on the ground, untouched by man or beast.


“And put it in the oven for me and me,” Eugene said, sliding the chocolate-coconut confection he had just finished mixing into the oven. It was six in the morning on what was shaping up to be a potentially perfect Saturday. Saul Spratt, Eugene’s grandfather, was just getting up himself and headed into the kitchen to brew the first of many pots of coffee. Eugene’s parents liked to sleep in on the weekends, but Eugene and Saul liked to rise as early as possible to get a jump start on the day. They were simpatico in many ways like that. Also, they were the only ones who knew Eugene’s secret: he had consumed an entire plate of radioactive squash and thus gained the proportional strength, speed and agility of said gourd. He fought crime, injustice and bullies under the name The Squash! “I hope I didn’t wake you making this birthday cake,” Eugene said.
Saul shook his head. “Not at all, Eugene, not at all. Who’s birthday cake?”
“No one in particular,” Eugene replied. “I was just making it for breakfast, you know; get a head start on my sugar consumption for the day. You’re welcome to a small piece, if you like.”
Saul was about to reprimand his grandson for eating poorly and not sharing more of his delicious cake, when the house was shaken by an extraordinary BA-DOOM! This was followed by a series of large KA-KLANKLEs and a smattering of PUH-WOWses. “What the Sam Hill was that?” Grandpa Saul said.
The house shook with a SPLUH-FWOOSH and GER-SCHMICKLE. Saul ran to the front window to see what the Sam Hill could be causing all this shaking and sound effecting. What he saw turned him white as a sheet. Eugene didn’t like seeing his grandpa scared, as it rarely happened. “What is it?” he asked in a trembling voice.
“We’ve seen these before. Remember that midnight movie we watched the other night, at midnight? The Day of the Triffids?” Eugene nervously peeked through the front window drapes. Grandpa Saul was right. A Triffid was a giant plant creature whose arms and legs were ferocious gnarled roots, and whose mouth was a knot with sharp teeth and a long vine which shot out like a tongue. It supposedly carried poisonous venom.
The Triffid was smashing cars with its feet and whipping poor innocent bunnies with its tongue. At least they wouldn’t be eating the peppers, Eugene thought. “We should seek shelter,” Grandpa Saul said from the kitchen, where he’d retreated. “Who knows what that- that thing is capable of.”
“You’re right. You should lock yourself in the basement with Mom and Dad. But I need to face that monster. For I am The Squash! And no one scares me, except for this creature quite a bit. Besides, he ruined my coconut cake. And no one ruins my coconut cake without facing the consequences!” Before Saul could protest, Eugene raced out the door and looped a vine around the nearest non-monster tree. “Eat Squash, creature! Take that! And that! And more of that! And then a scoche of this!” The Squash pummeled the Triffid with a potpourri of pummels.
The creature didn’t notice The Squash’s fists at all. He continued poking and prodding the neighbor’s vehicles and homes. Eugene decided he needed to take a new tactic. Looping another vine around the eaves of Mrs. Dumont’s house, he swung upward, conforming his legs to the bulbous squash shape, and smashed the creature between what appeared to be the eyes. This caught the creature’s attention.
“I say!” he shouted in a surprisingly British accent. “What the deuce do you think you’re doing, chap?” Eugene was taken aback. He hadn’t anticipated the Triffid being able to speak, let alone sound posh.
“Uh…. I’m defeating you, foul creature?” he said.
“That’s not very sporting, is it? Do you see me trying to defeat you? I should say not!” The creature’s hands were on his hips, and his wood-grain eyes looked more disappointed than angry.
“You defeated my coconut cake. And you’re defeating my neighborhood, too. What’s that all about?”
“Oh, dear. Dreadfully sorry, my lad, I had no idea. You see, I was having a spot of a rampage. Being a Triffid, it only comes natural, you see. However, it never occurred to me that there were consequences. Please do accept my apologies, Mister…”
“I am The Squash, righter of wrongs, doer of good, and hero of super!” Eugene crowed. The Triffid, delighted, clapped his tree root hands.
“Oh, jolly good, I’ve never met a real live super hero before! Do show me your powers, please.” And Eugene gave him a presentation of his superheroic gifts. “Good show, Squash, good show!”
“Thanks, Mr. Triffid.”
“The name is Cyril, actually. Cyril Triffid. I come from a planet very far away. And it’s taken me so long to get here, and I intended on visiting the Canary Islands, instead of this godforsaken… Urgh!” Cyril was waving his Triffid arms wildly in frustration.
“Careful, Cyril, you just about knocked the power lines down there,” Eugene said. It was clear he needed to keep Cyril calm or his rampage would begin anew. “How would like some tea?” he asked.
“Why, yes, tea would be splendid,” the Triffid said. “Have you any Lapsang souchong?”
“I’m afraid we only have Tummy Mint,” The Squash replied. Tummy Mint always came in handy after eating an entire coconut chocolate birthday cake.
“Tummy Mint? Tummy Mint?” Cyril the Triffid obviously did not approve of this, and his tongue lashed out, nearly smacking Eugene on the forehead with a hearty SMOO-BWACKUM! Eugene rolled away just in time, but the DuMont’s sedan across the street was crushed under the Triffid’s arm.
Cyril stopped suddenly, growing withdrawn. “Oh, dear,” he mumbled. “There I go again. I do apologize. Perhaps it’s best if I just made my way back home.” Eugene nodded. The Triffid shuffled down the street, where a giant meteor had crashed. He hopped into one of its craters. There was the sound of an engine sputtering to life, and gears grinding into place, and the meteor backed out of the crater, into a tree (“Sorry!”) and blasted into space.
Eugene surveyed the damage to his block. To say it was extensive would be an understatement. But the nimble mind of The Squash was already concocting a solution to this mess, something that would reassure the whole neighborhood, and make everything all better. There was just one problem.
He was going to need a lot more Tummy Mint Tea.


After consuming an entire plate of radioactive squash at the John Cucumber Melon Camp, Eugene Spratt gained the proportional strength and agility of a butternut squash. After donning his costume and capturing notorious bank robber Farney Blarnsworthy red-handed, the Squash was born!
Eugene could not wait to go to school and show off his amazing new powers like producing vines from his hand and rolling on the bulbous bottom half of his body that replaced his legs. He could envision vanquishing bullies too quick to tease his horticultural hobbies and impressing the girls with his dashing feats and dazzling derring-do. He spent Sunday afternoon practicing his new powers and testing out heroic catchphrases such as, “Halt, scum!” and “Squash smash!” These admittedly needed some work.
Eugene’s grandpa Saul Spratt lived with him and his parents, and though Eugene loved him, his grandpa could sometimes test his last nerve. Saul was given to speeches that sounded profound but upon close inspection were nonsensical and contradictory. Saul shared Eugene’s passion for gardening, but had unusual and backward tips for planting, such as tulips should be planted bulb first, and placing bread crumbs and pig parts and mustard seeds in the ground next one another would result in a ham sandwich plant. So, it was unfortunate that Saul caught Eugene displaying his new squash powers. “Jumping Anaconda!” he exclaimed. “Eugene! How in the name of Ub Iwerks are you doing that?”
“I have super powers, Grandpa Saul! I am… The Squash!” And Eugene explained how he had come to acquire these powers and his heroic act of the previous day, and his plans for school Monday.
“No, no, no, no, no, no, no!” Saul said. “You mustn’t use your powers to show off to your friends or to impress dames. Sit down, Eugene, while I impart wisdom your way.” Eugene rolled his eyes, but he did as he was told. “You see, when you become very powerful, you are also forced to be very responsible. Do you see the President flying everywhere just to get a tenderloin sandwich? Or the greatest tenderloin sandwich maker denying the world of his creation for a billion smackeroos? No! Because they have a responsibility to use their powers for good, and only when the necessity arises. Do you follow my lead here?” Eugene did, and he also craved a tenderloin. But he promised Grandpa Saul never to abuse his amazing abilities, and to use them whenever it would benefit mankind, like the tenderloin sandwich maker.
Across town, a young woman two grades ahead of Eugene was making a startling discovery of her own. Her name was Elsa, and her father was one of the scientists whose experiment had resulted in Eugene’s squash powers. Elsa didn’t know it, but she had been part of a control group since infancy. Matthias Harwood, her father, had discovered the secret language of the ladybug, and spoke to Elsa in this language, commingled with English, all of her life. It consisted primarily of whispery ssh noises, indistinguishable from the sound of the outdoors without a high-powered microphone. Elsa wasn’t even aware of the difference, and Matthias would carry on regular conversation, such as “Pass me the horseradish, please, and keep your elbows off sh ssh shsh sh.” Do you see where he switched into ladybug speak? Elsa did not. But she would.
The fateful day was that same Sunday, and Elsa was hurriedly preparing a class project on public speaking. She needed to record her voice delivering the weather forecast, and in her search for equipment, she came across her father’s high-powered microphone and headphones. Stepping outside to assess the weather conditions, she switched the microphone on and placed the headphones over her ears, so she could hear herself. What she heard instead were hundreds of ladybug voices, frantically crying for help. Their ssh noises were clearly translated into “Help us! Please, someone, help us!” Elsa scoured the yard and found that her father kept hordes of ladybugs trapped in clear plastic crates in their shed. “You can hear us!” one cried out. “Please, let us out! We coccinellidae were not meant to be encased in plastic.”
Elsa was stymied, but she unlatched the crate doors and threw them open. The ladybugs all rushed out to greet her, and to thank her. They swarmed around her, giving her ladybug kisses and swearing their loyalty. “Loyalty? But what can you do for me?” she asked.
“Anything you ask,” the one perched on the tip of her nose said. Elsa smiled. She could think of a thousand things to ask of her new subjects. A thousand things and more.
Monday morning came quicker than Eugene would have preferred, but as he ate his oatmeal and drank his coffee (everyone in the Spratt household drank coffee, even the cat) he felt a little better, and realizing he had a secret made him feel special. When he got to school and settled in for his math lessons, he was calm and satisfied. This was why he didn’t notice the screams right away.
Students and teachers alike were fleeing Mr. Tabey’s speech class, though on closer examination, they weren’t propelling themselves. Something was carrying them. Eugene used his enhanced squash vision to zero in on the culprits. He found that he didn’t have enhanced squash vision, so while the rest of the class hid under their desks, Eugene grabbed his magnifying glass and snuck out the door.
The first few ladybugs were disoriented by Eugene’s squash smell and stopped moving, causing a road block in the hallway. Eugene took this opportunity to inspect Genevieve Erwin, the poor sixth grader hovering in front of him. He was certainly familiar with ladybugs, trying desperately to keep the little pests away from his prized vegetables. What didn’t make sense was that they were attacking people, very unladybuglike. Then he heard Elsa, who had popped out of the classroom, making ssh noises into a microphone. The ladybugs nodded and proceeded out the door.
Eugene was stymied. Had that girl just issued a command to the ladybugs? And why was she now pointing at him? “You!” she yelled. “Get out of the hallway, or taste the wrath of Ladybug Lady!”
“Ladybug Lady? Isn’t that a bit redundant?” said Eugene. “Why not just Ladybug? Or Buglady?”
“Silence!” Elsa shouted, and then began making sh noises and a swarm of ladybugs surrounded Eugene. Without thinking, he unleashed a vine, wrapping it around the fluorescent light hanging from the ceiling. The ladybugs stopped as he propelled himself upward, whispering to each other about how unexpected that had been. “What?” said Elsa. Then, “Get him!” The ladybugs didn’t respond, and Elsa realized she hadn’t spoken in their language. She rectified the situation and the ladybugs flew up toward Eugene.
But Eugene was too quick, and swung away from the oncoming insects. With his squash-like intellect, he deduced the noises Elsa made were the ladybug language, and he said, “Ah-ha!” aloud as he made this discovery. “Never fear, Mr. Tabey’s speech class, no force is too strong for The Squash! Hail and farewell!”
And with that, he threw himself at Elsa, his lower body a round squash shape which knocked her backward. He quickly grasped the microphone and began making the same noises into it. Of course, since he didn’t speak ladybug, it came out as gibberish, such as, “Elbow spinach sweet bear hall lad ho brick envelope pies your love oyster oyster farthest bluish credo tongue, no?” Ladybugs are notoriously subservient; they will do anything you tell them to, which is why Elsa could so easily convince them to take part in her evil scheme. However, this was the first time they had been commanded to do something they had no idea how to do. Disoriented, they dropped their captives and flew in dizzying patterns, until, exhausted, they fell to the ground. Sadly, many were subsequently stepped on.
Elsa tried grabbing the microphone back, but Eugene tied her up vinewise, and turned the microphone over to Principal Masengarb for safekeeping. At home, he recounted his adventure to Grandpa Saul, who said, “Good lad, Eugene. But remember; only use your powers when absolutely necessary. Like a flashlight or red pepper flakes.” Eugene agreed, and finished his plate of spaghetti.
Across town, however, Professor Matthias Harwood was plotting revenge. He was missing his microphone, his daughter had disobeyed him, and he had been thwarted by his accidental test subject. Things were looking bleak.
And Elsa had no spaghetti to speak of.



It seemed like only yesterday, but in fact it was two days ago that Eugene Spratt gained his super powers. Being the most gifted botanist in his fourth-grade class (not his super power), the science teacher, Mrs. Fuentes, suggested a weekend seminar at the John Cucumber Melon Camp, on azaleas. Eugene jumped at the opportunity, literally. He leapt in the air a paltry three and a half inches, greedily snatching the brochure. “A weekend seminar!” he marveled. “I can’t wait!” Since botany was an unusual hobby for a fourth grader, Eugene had few friends and spent most of his weekends puttering around his garden, anyhow. This gave him the chance mingle with like-minded individuals, if not kids his own age. Besides, he’d never visited the John Cucumber Melon Camp.
It turned out to be much more complex than Eugene had expected. It was housed in a sprawling white building, with a gigantic green room in its center. When Eugene arrived Saturday morning at 7:30 AM sharp, teams of scientists were already hard at work, hustling this way and that, all hunched over clipboards or whispering to one another. Unfortunately, the room with the seminar was not clearly marked, and Eugene wandered the John Cucumber Melon Camp for almost an hour, until his stomach began to growl. As he entered a room with no sign on the door, he noticed a plate of squash, chopped up and steaming. No one else was in the room, and there were no “Free Sample” labels about, but he felt safe in assuming it was open to the public. He did not notice the laser beam mounted on the ceiling, still pointed at the plate of squash, until it was too late.
Eugene, it should be noted, has a voracious appetite. Put a plate of cookies in front of him and he will devour them all in a micro-second. And so it was with the squash. Before the scientists could dash into the room from their observatory, Eugene had consumed the entire plate. The two scientists burst into the room, panting, and looked at Eugene, then at the empty plate. “But-but-but… you ate the whole thing!” one of the scientists, the tall one with curly red hair stammered.
Eugene blushed. “I’m sorry, I can’t help myself. I have a voracious appetite.”
“Young man, that squash wasn’t meant for human consumption. We were conducting a mysterious experiment on it,” the second scientist, a short rotund bald man with rimless spectacles said. “We were testing to see how much radiation a squash can safely absorb before exploding. Surprisingly, it can take quite a wallop.”
“Radiation!” Eugene exclaimed. He didn’t feel so good and ran out of the room, racing for the exit of the building.
“Wait, kid! Wait! We need to test you!” the scientists shouted as they chased after him. But Eugene was faster, and as he reached for the door, a vine shot out of his hand. He curled the vine around the doorknob and pulled it open, pulling himself in the process. As he did so, he noticed his feet had conformed into a round bulbous shape. He skittered along the floor in a flash and flew out the door.
“Holy Caesar’s Mackerel, I have the proportional strength, speed and agility of a squash, apparently of the butternut variety,” Eugene said. “I should test my newfound powers out on some unsuspecting charlatans. But first, a costume.” Racing home, he snuck into the garage and found a red and white picnic blanket, swimming goggles and a green beret that was in the garage for some reason. He added these accoutrements to his white shirt and khaki cargo shorts and voila! The Squash was born!
As luck would have it, the Almost First National Bank downtown was being robbed. Using the innate super-knowledge of the squash, Eugene was aware of this and zoomed to the rescue. Just as the criminals were running out the front door with canvas dollar-sign bags of cash in hand, he swung from the awning, using his vine-making powers and slammed into the head criminal, Farney Blarnsworthy. His minions, Biff and Happy stopped to help him up. But The Squash unleashed a vine from his hand which coiled around the crooks, tying them together. “What in my name of crookedness am going on here?” Farney Blarnsworthy asked.
“I am what am going on here, vile scum!” Eugene said.
“You? But you am just a kid!” Farney said.
“Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong. For I am The Squash! Righter of wrongs! Doer of good! And hero of super! Exeunt!” And with that, Eugene (or should I say The Squash) rolled away just as the police drove up to apprehend the criminals.
“What the shillelagh begorrah happened here?” Officer Hamish McIrish asked.
“The Squash was happened,” Farney said. “The Squash was happened.”
“Scarlet O’Huh?” asked Officer McIrish.
And so, Eugene went to school that Monday more confident than before, now that he was a bona fide superhero. And he knew that no bullies would dare attempt their bullying ways on him. For if they did, they would have to contend with…