The Tweenage Rugrats in: "The Contest"

By Birch Griesse

It was Saturday afternoon, and Tommy, Chuckie, Phil, Lil, Dil, and Kimi sat in front of the TV watching Teen Rage. It was just starting.

On TV, host Jimmy Brooks introduced the show:

"Hello, I'm Jimmy Brooks, and welcome to Teen Rage, America's favorite teen rock program. This week, we'll have the latest from The Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, plus a new hit from Canada's newest girl group, Mona and the Vampires, followed by a video from the latest teen craze from Sioux City, Iowa -- Zoo Crew. And later, we'll go back into the Teen Rage archives with a number from Herman's Hermits from 1965. Plus, our regular 'Rate-A-Disc' and 'Teen Rage Scramble' features. All this, and more, when Teen Rage rages on... right after this."

An announcer gives a product plug: "Teen Rage... is brought to you by Southern Crackers, The Dryyyyy Cracker; and by Cracker Crisp cereal -- now you can have crackers for breakfast."

A commercial came on.

"How would you like to become a superstar?" the commercial announcer boomed, "Well, now is your chance! Just enter the Cracker Crisp Superstar Sweepstakes! All you have to do is write a creative song and you could win backstage tickets to a Zoo Crew concert for you and five friends! Send your songs with your name, age, address, and phone number to the address on the screen and you could be a superstar too! Being famous has never been this easy! For official rules and details check specially marked boxes of Cracker Crisp cereal, or visit online at the address on the screen. No purchase necessary; void where prohibited. Many will enter; few will win. Cracker Crisp! Have crackers for breakfast! From the Southern Cracker Company of Springfield, makers of The Dryyyyy Cracker."

Another commercial came on.

"I have got to win that contest!" Kimi screamed.

"Totally!" Lil agreed.

Dil said, "How about if we all enter, so if one of us wins they can take the rest of us with them because it said 'You and five friends'."

The others decided this sounded quite reasonable.

"We'll need to buy the Cracker Crisp cereal so we can know the rules and stuff," Tommy said.

None of them particularly liked the cereal. It tasted weird.

"Why don't we meet at the local supermarket, find the box, and read the rules? After all, no purchase is necessary," suggested Chuckie.

With that decided, the kids continued watching television.

Three days later, the Rugrats huddled at a local supermarket's cereal aisle, reading a box of Cracker Crisp cereal

The box had a photograph of the three singers, the keyboarder, the drummer, and the guitarist that made up the Zoo Crew band.

Phil reads the box. "Grand Prize" was printed in big letters on the back. Below it was written: 'If you win, you will receive backstage tickets to a Zoo Crew concert for you and five friends. You will also be singing your song with the band and will get to meet them afterwards.' Below was a photograph of a kid on stage singing with the Zoo Crew band behind her.

"Sweet!" Kimi cried.

Below that, "1st prize" was printed. It said below: '100 1st prize winners will receive a Zoo Crew official sing-along CD player and the three newest Zoo Crew CDs.' Below was a photograph of a kid who appeared to be singing into a microphone attached to a CD player. Next to it was a picture of three CD's, one next to another.

Underneath, "Runner Ups" was printed and below was written: '500 runner ups will receive a personal CD player and a Zoo Crew CD carrying case.' Below was a photograph of a CD player next to a circular blue cloth CD carrying case.

And underneath that, "All eligible entrants will receive coupons for a free box of Cracker Crisp cereal -- available in graham, wheat or saltine -- and a free box of Southern Crackers, 'The Dryyyyy Cracker'."

"Wow!" Chuckie exclaimed.

The kids went home and set to work writing (or trying to write) their songs. Before any of them could come up with one they liked, their trash can was overflowing with crumpled up papers. But, finally one by one, they came up with a song they liked and sent it in.

Several weeks later, when the kids were beginning to think that if they won, a letter would have come by now, a letter appeared in the Finsters' mailbox. The letter was for Kimi. After Kimi had opened the letter and read the contents, she screamed. Chas and Kira ran into her room.

"What's the matter?" Chas cried.

"Nothing's the matter," Kimi replied, smiling, "I won!"

Kimi had, indeed, won the Superstar Sweepstakes, so she called all of her friends saying,

"Important meeting, come to my house." The rugrats soon arrived.

"What's the meeting about?" Dil asked. Kimi handed her friends the letter.

"I WON!" Kimi cried as her friends excitedly read the letter.

In the letter it said the concert was in two weeks. To Kimi, it seemed like two eternities, but finally the night of the concert came. Since she would be performing on stage, Kimi thought it best to wear her super-duper best, nicest, most awesome clothes. So she wore: a tight, shiny, metallic yellow dress with long zip-up metallic purple boots and her hair in pigtail buns. Kira and Chas drove Kimi and her friends to the area where the concert was to be. They got there a little early. Kimi and her friends were showed to special backstage seats. The concert started with Zoo Crew singing their opening song, "Gorilla My Dreams".

The band screeched, ending the song. Then they proceeded to sing another song. As they did so, Kimi began to worry.

"What if I mess up?" she said to her friends, who weren't at all listening,"I get terrible stage-fright."

"You'll be fine," Chuckie told her half-mindedly. All to soon, it was time for Kimi to go on stage and sing.

"Now, it's time for the winner of the Superstar Sweepstakes to come sing her song with us! Come on out!" a girl with long black hair, wearing a black shirt, a black skirt, and black boots announced. Kimi managed to walk out on stage.

She walked to the girl in black, stage named Black Cat, and stood beside her.

"What's your name?" Black Cat asked Kimi.

"I...I'm Kimi," Kimi stammered.

"How about if I call you Kitty," Black Cat suggested. "Kitty" nodded.

"So," Black Cat went on,"What's the name of your song, Kitty?" Black Cat shoved the microphone in "Kitty's" face.

"It's, uh, called, um," "Kitty" said. She broke into a cold sweat,"it's 'What do you think about me'." "Kitty" sighed.

"Well, let's get singing!" Black Cat said brightly. They started to sing "Kitty's" song. As soon as she started singing,

"Kitty" wasn't afraid anymore. She felt free. The song went like this:

Baby, you know when you love someone so much, that you could crumble at their single touch,

But they don't even know that you exist, so, baby, what you do is this:

You try to let them know how much love for them comes from you,

Well, baby, that's how I feel about you.

My love for you is so great and divine, it could stretch around the universe a million times

We're meant to be together, that's the way it should be,

So tell me, baby, what do you think about me?

How can I make you understand, we'd be the happiest couple in this whole land

I know nothin' could stand between us, not even the sea

Just tell me, baby, what do you think about me?

My love for you is as great as the sky, and here's what I'll say if you ask me how or why:

'Cause that's all the love that nature will allow,

So tell me, baby, what do you think of me now?

With that, the song ended. The crowd whooped and hollered and clapped. "Kitty" got a standing ovation from every teen and preteen soul in the area. She and the rest of the band must have bowed 200 times before Black Cat silenced the crowd.

"Well, that concludes our concert!" she said, "See ya!"

The crowd began to leave. Kimi and her friends stayed. After everyone had left, the rugrats were brought into a fully furnished room where a woman with short red hair who wore glasses and a bright blue dress walked into the room.

"The band will be with you in a few minutes," she croaked.

Just as the lady had promised, the Zoo Crew band soon came into the room and introduced themselves.

"I'm Black Cat," Black Cat said.

"I'm White Dove," said a girl with blonde hair who wore a sparkling white outfit.

"I'm Falcon," said a girl with flaming orange hair in a shiny red outfit.

"I'm Leopard," said a boy wearing black shorts and a spotted vest.

"I'm Polar B," said a boy wearing a faux white fur coat.

"I'm Parrot," said a boy in a colorful outfit. The rugrats spent the rest of the evening with the Zoo Crew band. After that, their lives went back to normal.

But, for some strange reason, people kept asking Kimi for her autograph...

The End

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