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Phineas L. MacGuire . . . Gets Cooking!
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Phineas L. MacGuire . . . Gets Cooking! chapter one
My name is Phineas L. MacGuire. A few people call me Phineas, but most people call me Mac. My list included:

1. Lithosphere (the outmost shell of a rocky planet)

2. Lunar Eclipse

3. Light-Year

4. Labrador Whisperer

Unfortunately, the L in my name does not stand for any of those things. It stands for Listerman, which was, like, my mom's great-aunt Tulip's last name or something. My mom is very big on family traditions, but even she's not allowed to call me Listerman.



Or at least sort of the best.

The last thing on my list has to do with a certain Labrador retriever named Lemon Drop. It was awesome.

The fourth grade has been my best year as a scientist ever.

1. Gotten an honourable mention in the fourth-grade science fair.

2. Grown my own slime and established the Phineas L. MacGuire Mould Museum in my bedroom.

3. Performed important dog slobber experiments that prove, when you get down to it, slobber is alive.

4. Attended Space Camp and ridden the Mars roller coaster without throwing up.



For most people, that would be enough for one year, but when you're a scientist like me, you want to do scientific stuff all the time.

The problem is, sometimes you run out of good ideas.

Yesterday my teacher, Mrs. Tuttle, put one of the rubber frogs from the jar she keeps on her desk on top of my head. She was trying to make me laugh.





At lunch my best friend, Ben Robbins, who is a genius artist, drew a bunch of pictures of me as a superhero scientist. It was really cool-looking, but it didn't cheer me up.

During recess Aretha went out and found three dried worms to give me for my dried worm collection. And it sort of did make me happy, but only for about ten minutes.





My mom has been grumpy a lot lately too. She's a naturally irritable person, but that's not the same thing as being grumpy. Being irritated is a reaction to a situation. Being grumpy is a state of mind.

You'd think the pounds would just fall off."

My stepdad, Lyle, reached across the table and grabbed a slice from the box. "You look great, Liz."

"That might help."



My mom's expression was 50 percent grumpy and 50 percent irritated. "Mac, we've been through this. So's Lyle."

"

"I can't tell you how often I wished the workday was like a school day—you know, home by three, plenty of time to get everything done. If I got home at three every day, I'd be able to—"

She paused. She looked at me for what seemed like a really long time. And then she got this smile on her face. A very scary kind of smile.

After she was done, she said, "There! Problem solved!"



My mom lost her grumpy expression. In fact, she looked downright happy. That sort of scared me, if you want to know the truth.



"

By Sarah, she means my babysitter from outer space. Going anywhere with Sarah was not high on my list of things to do.

"Why.

My mom smiled. "Because from now on, you're going to cook dinner, Mac."

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