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Presidential Problems – Chapter 1 Pickled Onions

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Thomas Norton

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Ben lay on his bed cold, tired, hungry and badly needing a wee. His whale of a stepmother Linda had sent him to his room for trying to eat one of her beloved pickled onions. You see, you may think this was harsh but not to Linda. Linda loved pickled onions more than her family, she even added them to her family tree. Linda ate pickled onions, she played games with pickled onions, she even smoked them in her pipe. Linda was a short, fat, mean and lazy lady, were Ben was a short, fair haired, skinny, loving, 10 year old boy. Linda was also extremely heavy.

Ben got up from his bed and the smell of pickled onions rushed up his nose. Even though he was used to that disgusting reek he still gagged. He walked over to the window and hopped out as usual to see his neighbour/best friend, but there was one tiny problem in Ben’s friendship… his neighbour, Mr.Eynolds was 83. Usually they would play drafts, chess or cards but what Ben liked the most was when he told Ben stories of his past. Mr.Eynolds used to be a world class jockey but what he was most famous for was the fact he won so many races with his blind and deaf horse Sprinkles. ”Oh yes Sprinkles was a little beauty,” he told Ben that day. ”I wouldn’t have swapped her with any horse for the world.”

Even though he was already really famous, Mr.Eynolds had his heart set on one thing and one thing only… being a politician. He would lead piles and piles of people to town with signs saying in big, bold writing SCRAP THE WATER CHARGES, YOURE RUINING OUR COUNTRY and WHY U DO DIS?!!!!!!!! “What exactly are water charges?” asked Ben. “Well boy, water charges are something the leaders of Ireland gave us so now every time you and I wash our hands or flush the loo we get charged money.”

They were each enjoying a hot, delicious cup of tea or as Mr.Eynolds would call it, “A good cup of jo,” and watching Dickinson’s Real Deal when suddenly….. “Are ya wit that old man again?” screamed Linda angrily from the other house. Cause if ya are I’m goin to giv ya a big cic up da bum!!!” “I’m not” Ben shouted back. “I’m sorry I’ve got to go” Ben said to Mr.Eynolds. “That’s fine young lad” Mr.Eynolds replied. Mr.Eynolds had a habit of never calling Ben, Ben. Ben rushed out of the house and quickly climbed up the ladder he had leaning against the side of his own house.” Wat are ya doin?!?!” called Linda from downstairs. ”Um, nothing,” Ben replied, “What about you?” ”None of ya business, but if ya really wan tha know, I’m stuffin meself wiv pickled onions and watchin T.V.” That wasn’t much of a surprise to Ben, that was all she ever did. ”Okay then, enjoy,” Ben said politely but of course Linda took this up the wrong way and shouted “Are you bein cheeky ya stupid child?!!!!!” ”No not at all,” Ben responded rapidly. This just made things worse and Ben was forced to pick her nose for her and after was sent to bed even though it was only half past five in the evening.

Ben was exactly as he was when our story started apart from the fact that he didn’t need a wee and that he wasn’t tired or sent to bed for trying to steal pickled onions from his fat stepmother, so maybe not exactly as he was, but there was definitely similarities. Anyway, Ben lay in his bed sad and missing his only friend well, actually he did have one other friend who is very, very, very, very, VERY important in this book.

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