Philip and the Sneaky Trashmen
Philip and Emery Series
Philip begins his summer in a bad mood. His mother insists he clean his room. But when Philip allows Leon, the clumsy jinx-boy of the neighborhood, to help, it sends Philip and his best friend Emery off on the wildest summer adventure they’ve ever had. Missing jewelry, stolen pants, a crazy Aunt, and secret trips to the police station keep Philip and Emery hopping until the night when it all explodes!
Philip Felton sprawled on the grass in the backyard of his house. What a miserable beginning to summer vacation. He had gotten through fourth grade successfully and now looked forward to almost three months of glorious . . . well, glorious anything he wanted. So why did things have to start out so badly this morning?
“Philip, your room is a disgrace. I want it clean and neat by the end of the day.”
“Mom, I . . .”
“Mom, I nothing. Clean and neat. Or else. Your Aunt Louise will be here tomorrow, and if there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s my sister looking down her nose at my housekeeping.”
Philip tried to look down his nose. “Why don’t you just let her? It only hurts your eyes.” He tried again, and it hurt again.
“By the end of the day!”
He watched his mother stalk away and scratched his head. Why would his aunt even go into his room while she was here? Glumly, he made his way to the backyard lawn.
Philip heard a noise, lifted his head, and saw his best friend Emery Wyatt walking his way.
“What are you doing back here?” asked Emery. “Your mother said you were cleaning your room, but I knew you weren’t. You never do.”
Philip glared. “And you do?”
“No, I don’t clean your room. Why would I clean your room?”
Philip rested his head back on the grass. “Not my room, dummy. Your room. You don’t clean your room.”
“I do when I have to. I know when it gets messy enough to make my mother twitch.”
Philip raised his head again. “Your mother twitches?”
“When my room gets messy she does.”
“I don’t even know what that means.”
“It means I clean it before she goes from twitchy to screamy.”
Philip rolled his eyes and lay back. “Twitchy to screamy,” he mumbled. Aloud he said, “I gotta clean my room or else.”
“Or else what? Twitchy to screamy?”
“Something like that.”
“So clean it.”
“I hate cleaning it! After I clean it, I can’t find anything.”
“Don’t tell me that’s Leon,” said Philip.
“Yup. It is,” answered Emery.
Emery’s unlucky, clumsy cousin Leon came into the backyard, his wide smile showing off his chipped front tooth. He had once been jumping up and down on his bed, missed his landing, and went flying off into his bureau, leaving behind a pool of blood and a piece of his tooth.
“I thought I heard you guys talking. No school till September. Ain’t it great?”
“Yeah, great, Leon,” said Emery.
Leon stared at Philip lying on the grass. “What’s wrong with him? Got no bed?”
“His mother said to clean his room.”
“Who’d she say it to?”
Philip lifted his head and looked at Leon. “She said it to me, Leon. To me. Who else would she say it to?”
“My mother never says it to me,” Leon said proudly. “I’m a good cleaner. I heard my teacher tell my mother I can’t do much, but I’m a good cleaner. Mrs. Furfman let me do all the classroom closet cleaning this year.”
Emery gave a snort. “So you got 33% in spelling and 100% in closet cleaning?”
Leon gave his goofy laugh. “Yuk, yuk. They don’t give marks for closet cleaning. The spelling, though . . . Doesn’t matter. Mrs. Furfman passed me, didn’t she? You want me to help you clean your room?”
Philip sat up. “You mean it?”
“Sure. I’m a good cleaner. I already told you, didn’t I?”
Philip got to his feet.
Emery slid next to him and whispered, “I wouldn’t let Leon help me do anything. He’s a jinx, a disaster-maker. You know that.”
“Yeah, but I hate cleaning,” Philip whispered back. “Sure, Leon. You can be my cleaner.”
Leon started toward the back of the house. As he walked, his head went from side to side as he sang, “I’m gonna be Phil-ip’s cleaner. I’m gonna be Phil-ip’s cleaner.”
Philip and Emery shared a glance.
“You’ll be sorry,” said Emery.