It was Sunday afternoon at the Finster house. Everyone had just finished eating dinner when suddenly, the doorbell rang.
"I'll get it" said Kira. She stood and walked to the front hall.
As she reached for the doorknob, the door suddenly burst open.
"Kerima, darling!" said a woman outside, "so good to see you!"
Outside, stood two people wearing fancy clothes. They were Kimi's french grandparents.
"I thought I told you two never to come back! And I'm to be called 'Kira', not 'Kerima'," said Kira.
Anita rebuffed, "You're Kerima, and you'll always be Kerima! Those who call you Kira are nothing but commoners! Girls should be called only by the proper, regal names they were born with."
"Well we have big news" said Pierre.
Just then, Kimi came into the front hall, stopping when she saw her much hated french grandparents.
"Oh no, not you again!" she said.
"Good to see you again" said Anita. "But that is no way to greet your guests."
"You weren't invited!" said Kimi.
"Well me and my wife have great news" said Pierre. "Get everyone into the living room."
A little later, the Finsters and their friends were all in the living room.
As everyone arrived, Pierre and Anita played some classical music on the phonograph.
"Turn that off!" said Angelica.
"What's that?" asked Pierre.
"I said, `turn it off!'" said Angelica.
"How rude!" said Anita. "You're even worse than Kimi."
Soon, everyone was seated. Anita turned the phonograph off.
"You're probably all wondering why we called you here?" said Pierre.
"You got that right!" said Kimi.
"We've sold our mansion in Paris and just moved here" said Anita.
"Isn't that exciting?" asked Anita.
"Do I look excited?!" said Kimi.
"Don't interupt!" said Pierre.
"Haven't you two learned your lesson!" said Kimi as she stood. "You weren't invited! Who do you think you are, barging into my life, again?!"
Pierre glared at his granddaughter, looking her over.
"What a rude, and badly dressed little girl you are."
Kimi frowned even more.
"You know Kerima, you should teach your daughter a little respect for her elders! But that would mean you wouldn't have anything to teach her at all now would you?!" said Pierre.
"Speaking of teach" said Anita, "Pierre and I opened up our own etiquette school!"
"What are you talking about?" asked Kira.
"And guess who's going to be attending?" asked Anita. She and Pierre glanced at Kimi.
"I know what you're thinking" said Kimi, "and the answer is `forget it'"!
"Well its too late" said Pierre. "We've already enrolled you. You need to work on your social skills."
"While we're at it" said Anita, "why don't we enroll these poor excuses of her friends too?"
"You can't make us!" said Angelica.
"Well to tell you the truth" said Drew, "Angelica could use a little more manners."
"Then it's settled" said Anita. "Tomorrow, the kids start etiquette school."
"But we have school tomorrow!" said Tommy.
"You'll go after school, every weekday for the next month" said Pierre.
Chazz said, "Okay, you can send these kids to your etiquette school, provided that they want to go, and if they get parental permission. Speaking of which, we are reluctantly giving permission for our kids. But if we and the other parents want to pull them out, we shall do so. And if you refuse, or if you hurt them in any way, your next address will be the county jail. Capiche?"
Anita said, 'What is capiche?"
"It means 'understand'," said Chazz.
Anita said, "Yes, we understand. But I said it before and I'll say it again -- she'll learn manners by our terms!"
"This is going to be a long month" grumbled Kimi.
"I heard that!" said Pierre. "You'll be going an extra week Kimberly!"
"Make that two extra weeks!" said Anita.
Kimi gently sighed.
Anita said, "Make that three weeks, including Saturdays and Sundays! Do you want to try for four?"
Kimi lightly frowned. It almost looked like a straight face.
"Four it is," said Anita.
The next day, after school, a limo drove up to the Finster home, picked up the kids and drove them off to etiquette school.
Upon arriving, Pierre and Anita supplied everyone with new fancy clothes and led them to their classroom.
"And remember" said Pierre, "one little rude remark and you have to stay longer."
They closed the doors behind them.
The kids sat in their seats along with other students.
"This sucks!" said Phil. "Going to two different schools in one day!"
"This is going to be a long day" grumbled Angelica.
A middle aged woman with curly hair and wearing fancy clothes came into the classroom.
"Good afternoon" she said. "I'm Mrs. Peacock your teacher."
The kids giggled. They Mrs. Peacock was a funny name.
"I just got back from a weekend visit to a mansion belonging to Mr. Boddy" said Mrs. Peacock.
"Before we left, someone accidentally conked Mr. Boddy in the Kitchen with the wrench!"
"Maybe it's time Mrs. Peacock buys a 'clue'," said Dil. (rimshot)
"Let's get started on our first lesson" said Mrs. Peacock.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the door.
Mrs. Peacock opened it. Outside, stood five people, two women and three men.
"Ahhh, so nice of you all to come" said Mrs. Peacock. She led the men and women inside the classroom.
"Class, I want you to meet my five friends who also work here. They are also good friends of Mr. Boddy."
The three men were dressed in suits and ties while the women wore dresses. One of the men wore a green suit and tie. Another wore a yellow suit and tie with a monocle over one of his eyes. The third man wore a purple suit and tie while smoking a cob pipe. Since he wasn't wearing any pants, everyone could see his purple underwear. One of the women wore a Scarlett dress while the other woman wore a white dress.
"Please introduce yourselves to my class" said Mrs. Peacock.
The man in the green suit said, "my name is Mr. Green and I'm the principal of this school."
The man in the yellow suit with the monocle said, "I'm Colonel Mustard. I'm the discipline instructor here."
"Be careful what you all say around him" said Mrs. Peacock.
"Insulting me?!" demanded Mustard. "I challenge you to a duel!"
"How rude!" said Mrs. Peacock. "Colonel, not in front of the kids!"
"Oh sorry" said the colonel.
The man in the purple suit said, "I'm Professor Plum. I'm the therapist here at this school."
"Professor, where are your pants?" asked Mrs. Peacock.
Professor Plum looked down at his underwear.
"I don't know" he said.
The kids laughed.
"Please don't mind him" said Mrs. Peacock. "The professor is very absent minded. Why things are always getting stolen from beneathe his nose."
Plum was bewildered. "Has someone stolen my mustache?"
The woman in the red dress said, "I'm Miss Scarlett. I'm in charge of the clothes you wear."
"And I'm Mrs. White" said the woman in the white dress. "I'm the nurse here. I'm also Mr. Boddy's housekeeper and maid."
"Well, now that that's taken care of" said Mrs. Peacock, "get to your business everyone."
The other five people left.
"And Plum, please, put some pants on!" said Peacock.
The kids laughed.
"Before I continue" said Peacock, I should go make a quick stop at the ladies room. I'll be back in a few minutes."
She walked out of the room.
"Man, I thought she would never leave" said Phil.
"This is going to be a long month" said Lil.
"At least you guys get off easy" said Kimi. "I have to go for an extra month!"
"Look on the bright side guys" said Tommy, "at least we may have fun. After all, that Plum guy sure is funny."
"Yeah," agreed Phil, "But I feel like I'm on a living Clue game!"
Everyone laughed. Just then Mrs. Peacock came back from the bathroom.
"Did you say something, Phillip?" she asked.
"No," Phil lied.
"Please, come to the front of the class immediately, Phillip," Mrs. Peacock said briskly. Phil stood clumsily up, forcing his chair into the desk of the girl behind him.
"Oops," he said. Mrs. Peacock walked formally back to Phil's desk.
"First of all, Phillip," said Mrs. Peacock, "We do not say, 'Oops', we say 'Pardon me ma'am, I did not mean to hit your desk with my chair.' Try it."
"Uh, pardon me ma'am but I did not mean to hit your head with my hair. Try it," Phil said. The class laughed.
"No, no, Phillip, 'Pardon me ma'am, I did not mean to hit your desk with my chair.' And omit the 'Try it' -- you don't have to say that part," Mrs. Peacock corrected him.
"Pardon me ma'am, I did not mean to hit your desk with my chair," Phil repeated.
"Now," said Mrs. Peacock, "Stand up again, but this time a little less melodramatically."
"What does that mean?" asked Phil.
"Just do it," Mrs. Peacock sighed. Phil stood again, very slowly. Mrs. Peacock sighed again.
"Now come to the front of the room. I am going to ask you some questions," she said. Phil, confused, followed Mrs. Peacock to the front of the classroom.
"Now," said Mrs. Peacock,"Do you have a sister?"
"Yeah, duh," Phil answered.
"That is incorrect," said Mrs. Peacock.
"What!?" cried Phil. Of course he had a sister!
"The correct answer is 'Yes, ma'am'," Mrs. Peacock told Phil, "Next question. What is your sister's name?"
"Lil," said Phil.
"Incorrect," said Mrs. Peacock.
"Lily?" Phil guessed.
"Incorrect," Mrs. Peacock replied.
"Lillian?" Phil tried again.
"Correct," Mrs. Peacock exclaimed, "Children, what you have
just seen demonstrated is called 'Proper English'. Who would like to go next?
After a while "Proper English" class was finally over.
"Now you may have a five minute break," said Mrs. Peacock, "while I prepare for your 'Table Etiquette Lessons'." The children gratefully took their break. Then it was time for "Table Etiquette Lessons".
Now," said Mrs. Peacock, "When you drink your tea, always extend your pinky finger gracefully, like this." She demonstrated.
"Who else would like to demonstrate?" Mrs. Peacock asked, "How about you, Thomas?"
"I suppose so, ma'am," said Tommy, straining to remember what he had learned in the "Proper English" class. He closed his fingers tightly around the handle of the teacup, extended his pinky, and took a big slurp of the tea. It tasted awful! Without thinking, he spit it out, right on Mrs. Peacock.
"What was the meaning of that, Thomas!?" Mrs. Peacock screamed, in spite of herself, "Do not slurp, and certainly do not spit tea on your hostess!?"
"I didn't mean to slurp, ma'am," Tommy protested, "And the tea. Uh, it tasted, uh, kind of bad."
Mrs. Peacock took a second to regain her composure
"That is still no excuse to be rude. You may see Colonel Mustard after school today," she said. And they continued with their "Table Etiquette Lessons". Then it was time for "Calligraphy Class"
"Now," said Mrs. Peacock, "Calligraphy is the art of beautiful writing. The trick is to get the lines to flow smoothly and freely on the paper. This will take much practice. Watch closely as I write the word 'now'."
The children watched as experienced fingers formed the perfect lines.
"Now you try, Kimberly," said Mrs. Peacock, handing the an ink-dipped feather to Kimi. Kimi tried to copy the teacher's lines, but Mrs. Peacock was still displeased.
"No, that is wrong," said Mrs. Peacock, "I would like you to practice your calligraphy on everyday papers."
"Yes, ma'am," said Kimi.
After school, Colonel Mustard made Tommy drink five cups of tea. Tommy groaned.
"Thomas!" cried Colonel Mustard, "By orders of Anita and Pierre, you are enrolled to one more week of Etiquette School, is that clear?"
"Yes, Sir," Tommy sighed.
Meanwhile, the Deville's were having supper....
"This is good chicken!" said Phil. Then he accidentally dropped his fork.
"Oops...er," he said, "Pardon me ma'am, I did not mean to hit your desk with my chair!"
"What?" Betty asked, confused.
"At Etiquette School, they told me to say that instead of 'Oops'," said Phil, his mouth full of chicken. Howard and Betty were puzzled.
Meanwhile, the Pickles were also having dinner....
Tommy arrived home just as Didi had laid out their supper. Dil was wearing a new sweater.
"I have a sweater for you, too, Tommy," said Didi, handing him a
sweater that looked just like Dil's, "It's very rare and expensive!"
Tommy slipped on the sweater and sat down at the table. He lifted his glass of milk, extended his pinky, like he had been taught to do in Etiquette School, and -- splaaaash! -- the three fingers grasping the glass slipped and it spilled all over his new sweater! Didi screamed.
About a week later at the Finster's....
Many of Kimi's papers from school had come home marked 'Unreadable'. Kira and Chazz looked, speechless, at the bundle of lines and curly cue's filling Kimi's papers.
"Mrs. Peacock told me to practice my calligraphy on everyday papers," Kimi explained.
Later, in Angelica's living room....
"Those Etiquette crackpots are teaching my kids nothin' but gibberish!" Betty told the other parents.
"Their "Table Etiquette Lessons" cost me a $500 rare antique sweater probably worth thousands!" Didi angrily put in.
"Now that Kimi is in Etiquette School, her grades have gone down because she's trying to write paper's using calligraphy," Chazz complained.
"Well Angelica's doing fine, right sweetie?" Drew said.
"Yes, that is correct, father. There have been no problems with my manners,"
Angelica said, "Except for the plain fact that I ABSOLUTELY HATE, er, extermely
dislike attending the Etiquette School. It seems as if it is too much for me
to have to do. Besides, I see no need for it, given that I do not enjoy being
obligated to be this proper and prim."
When she had finished, everyone in the room was staring at Angelica.
Angelica looked puzzled. "What are you staring at?" she asked.
"Let's not be too hasty in making a decision" said Stu. "After all, the kids have only been at that school for a week."
"And besides" said Chazz, "we did agree that we would pull them out if they were being hurt in any way."
"Well I'll tell you one thing" said Tommy, "Colonel 'Mustard Gas' made me drink five cups of tea last week. He said if I didn't, he would challenge me to a duel."
"And Mrs. Peacock did tell me to practise Calligraphy all the time" said Kimi.
"And she did teach us to say `pardon me ma'me, I did not mean to hit your desk with my chair."
"They do seem to be adopting well to their lessons" said Charlotte, "although we should do something before they do get too polite with this Etiquette."
"Yes" said Stu. "Tommy, you will only extend your pinky when drinking from a mug. Kimi, you will only write Calligraphy on papers not for school work. And kids, outside of etiquette school, you will go by your common names, not your real names, ok?"
"Yes sir" said the kids.
"Good" said Stu. "Tomorrow is another day at Etiquettette school. Remember the new rules we just set."
"Oh and one more thing" said Didi, "Since starting tomorrow is a new system here concerning this school. If you do well in your class for the next month, although we already know that Kimi has to go an extra month, each time you do well in your classes and use your Etiquette lessons here wisely and properly, we'll give each of you a big suprise after you complete your lessons. But if things don't go so well, we'll put you out of the school. Understood?"
"Yes ma'am" said the kids.
"Good" said Didi. "Since this last week was your first, we'll put all this behind us. Starting tomorrow, each time you make a mistake, here and at school, we'll put an `X' under your name. Each time you do well in your class, you get a circle. At the end of the month, if you all have more circles than X's, we'll give you all something to reward your efforts."
She put up a chart on the wall with eight names on it.
"Do we have an understanding?" she asked.
"Yes ma'am" said the kids.
"Good" said Stu. "Tomorrow is another day of your Etiquette school. We'll inform the principal of the school along with the rest of the staff. They will inform us of any trouble or anything else. Understood?"
"Yes sir" said the kids.
"Good" said Stu. "Now that we're in an agreement, this family conference is over."
The next day, at etiquette school, Mrs. Peacock very sternly entered the classroom. She said:
"Children. Today, I have received a call from one of your parents, telling us what we can and can't do. As long as you children are attending this class, you will do what we say. Thomas, you will use the proper holding procedure for all containers, not just mugs. Kimi, you will use actual everyday papers for your caligraphy, not just ordinary, blank paper. And I want all of you to be called only by the names you were born with. And any damage or inconvenience caused during the course of this class will be your responsibility, and yours alone. Anyone who steps out of line anytime during this course, whether here, at home, at their, ugh, 'normal' school, or anywhere else, will be punished. I don't care what your parents or your so-called 'teachers' think; you belong to me, as long as you are enrolled here. And, there is no leaving this course; you are finished when we say you are finished. Do I make myself clear?"
"Yes, Mrs. Peacock," said the class.
Meanwhile, back at the Finster's, Kira called Anita and Pierre. Anita answered the phone.
"Hello?" Anita said.
"Anita!", shouted Kira, "You both come down here this instant!"
"Excuse me?" asked Anita. "What did you say?"
"I said You both come down here this instant!" shouted Kira
"Kerima!", retorted Anita. "You are twice as rude as your daughter!"
"That's who we need to talk about!", exclaimed Kira. "We also need to talk about her friends as well!"
"Alright then," said Anita. "We are on our way."
Finally Anita and Pierre arrived. Everybody was gathered into the living room.
Anita said, "May I ask why do we need to talk about your daughter and her poor excuses of her friends?"
Chazz said, "Well, first of all, her grades are going down becuase she has been writing calligraphy."
"Well that happens to be proper writing!" Anita exclaimed
Betty said, "You ettiquite crackpots are teaching my children nothing but gibberish!"
Pierre retorted, "Well for your information that happens to be proper English! And don't call us crackpots!"
Didi said, "Thanks to you and your Proper Table Manners lesson, my son spilt milk all over a $500 antique sweater I bought him!"
Pierre retorted, "So? You're saying it is our fault that we are teaching Kimberly proper writing? You're saying that we are taching Phillip and Lillian proper English and you are saying that It is our fault that we are teaching Thomas proper table manners?"
"Yes it is!", Kira demanded, "and we want to take our kids out of your ettiquite school!"
Pierre's face turned red and said, "The answer is no! We will teach your poor excuse of a daughter and her friends good manners whatever it takes!"
Chazz said, "When we first talked about it, I said that we parents have a right to pull your kids out of your school if it's affecting them negatively. And since it is, we have a right to pull our kids out."
Anita said, "We don't care anything about your lives! If she fails public school, she fails. If she costs you money, she costs you money. Your lives is only worth .000001% of our lives, maybe even less. Because of this, we will be keeping all your kids in etiquette school until they get 100% on the etiquette exams. If any of these kids even score only a 99.99%, all will take the course again, and keep going until all passes."
Pierre says, "And before you say anything about your Constitution and the Bill of Rights, I want to show you something."
Pierre shows Chazz the copies of the Constitution and the Bill Of Rights, and tears them up in his face.
"Well then, see you in court!", Chazz exclaimed.
Kimi said to Pierre & Anita, "Now you both listen here! Dad is turning over his grave with you making me live your boring life! And if we lose this court case your next address will be the insane asylum!"
Pierre, outraged at what she said, came up to her and slapped her in the face.
"Kimberly!" Pierre reprimanded as he pointed his finger at her. "Don't ever talk to us like that again! Ever!"
"Alright that does it!", Kira announced. "Both of you! Out! And Pierre, don't you EVER dare hit Kimi again!"
Kira opened the door.
Pierre retorted, "Your no good daughter needs to be taught respect for her elders! That's why we enrolled her in our ettiquite school!"
"Get out!" Kira yelled.
Kira shut the door. Kimi was still crying.
Kira said to Kimi, "Kimi, it is alright. They are gone now."
Kira noticed blood streaming down her face.
"Oh my goodness! Let's clean this up."
At that Kira took Kimi to the bathroom to clean her up.
"I am calling my attorney tomorrow morning!", Chazz announced. "I want them behind bars!"
"You go Chazz!" Betty exclaimed.
Jsut then Kimi and Kira walked out of the bathroom. Kimi had a bandage on her face from where Pierre hit her.
Chazz walked to Kimi and said, "Are you okay?"
"Yes I am okay. My face is still hurting me, though."
Chazz announced to everybody, "I would like you guys to go to court with us, since your kids are also enrolled in that ettiquite school."
"With pleasure!" Stu exclaimed.
"No problem!" Exclaimed Betty.
Later that night, Kimi couldn't sleep. She could not believe that her own grandfather had hit her. But most of all, she could not believe that the upcoming court case against her grandparents.
She said a little prayer: "Dad, if you're up there, I just need your help. My step dad is taking your parents your court for hurt us through this school. Well, I just want your help when I testify tomorrow. Thanks."
Later, she had a terrible nightmare that night. In the nightmare, Pierre, Anita, and the rest of the staff at the school kept shouting insults at her.
"You're a rotten little brat Kimi!" said Pierre.
"You and your friends are poor excuses to humanity!" said Anita.
"You're the rudest little girl ever!" said Mrs. Peacock.
"Ummmm, I forgot what I was going to say!" said Professor Plum. "Oh wait, I remember now! You're stupid! Oh wait, I am too!"
"I challenge you to a duel!" said Colonel Mustard.
"Your clothes are out of fashion!" said Miss Scarlet.
"I'm big and you're small! I'm smart and you're dumb! I'm right and you're wrong!" said Mr. Green.
"You're so filthy! I ought to wash your mouth out with bleach!" said Mrs. White.
Kimi sat up in bed. "I gotta get those two out of my life!"
Early the next morning, Chazz called his lawyer Lionel Mason, the son of famous lawyer Perry Mason. And just like his dad, he never lost a case.
"So do you think I have a case?" asked Chazz.
"But of course Mr. Finster" said Lionel. "I can convince the court to shut down the school, for a small fee."
"I'll pay anything!" said Chazz. "Just as long as justice prevails and my wife's inlaws are put out of business!"
Later that day, at 6:45 p.m, everyone sat in a courtroom at City Hall.
Chazz and Kira were the only grownups not present. They had to be summoned into the courtroom when the time came. Also there were the staff from the school. The Rugrats sat in the front row.
"All rise! Criminal Court Part II is now in session; the honourable John Parker, presiding," said the bailiff.
A middle aged man came to the desk at the front. Everyone stood.
"You may be seated" said John.
"Bring in the feuding families" said John.
The bailiff said, "Charles Finster and his wife Kira Watannabe, are suing Kira's inlaws, Pierre LeClerc and Anita LeClerc for breaking a contract involving their kids."
Chazz, Kira sat at one table while Pierre and Anita sat at the other table. Unlike Chazz and Kira, Pierre and Anita were not represented by a lawyer.
"Now Charles, you and your wife are suing these two middle class showoffs?"
"Yes" said Chazz.
"Hey!" said Pierre, "don't call us showoffs! And we're not middle class! "
"Order, order!" said John hammering the table with his gavel.
"Bring up the children who were most negatively affected through this school" he said to the bailiff.
Tommy was called up first. He sat in the witness stand.
"Now, Tommy, you shall put your hands on the bible and swear the oath" said the bailiff as he put the bible before them.
The bailiff said to Tommy, "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?"
"I do," responded Tommy.
"Now Tommy, I will just as you some questions" said Lionel. "Understand?"
"Yes sir" said Tommy.
"Tommy, has this school ever physically hurt you?"
"Well, I was forced to drink five cups of tea last week."
"Because I spit some tea out on my hostess."
"And why did you do that?"
"It tasted awful."
"And you were forced to drink bad tasting tea as punishment?"
"Objection!" said Pierre as he stood.
"Quiet Mr. LeClerc" said John.
"Objection over-ruled" said John. "Please continue Mr. Mason."
"Tommy, why exactly were you forced to drink tea as punishment?"
"Well, Colonel Mustard threatened to challenge me to a duel."
"That's a lie!" said Colonel Mustard as he stood. "I challenge you to a duel right now!"
"In a courtroom?" asked John.
"I challenge you to a duel too! Pistols and sabres at dusk!"
"It's dusk right now" said John.
"Then let's duel right here and right now!"
"Mr. Mustard, not in my courtroom. Be quiet or you'll be in contempt of court."
"This is a courtroom, not 'Gunsmoke'!" said John.
"But this duel is European in nature," said Col. Mustard.
"I don't care!", said John.
Didi was called up to testify with Tommy.
"Mrs. Pickles, have your son's lessons ever been negatively affecting his home life?"
"Well he spilled milk on a $500 sweater I bought him. Now it's ruined!"
"Are you blaming good manners on a loss of money?!" demanded Anita.
"Order in the court" said John hammering the table with his gavel.
Phil and Lil were called up next. They swore the oath.
The bailiff said to Phil & Lil, "Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?"
"I do" said Phil.
"I do" said Lil.
Lionel said to Phil, "Phil what have you been forced to learn at school?"
"Well" said Phil, "I was taugh Math, English, Science..."
"I mean at Etiquette School."
"Oh" said Phil. "Well I was taught the proper way to speak Proper English."
As Phil spoke, he accidentally took off a piece of the wooden railing from the stand.
"Oops" he said, "umm, I mean, er...pardon me ma'me, I did not mean to hit your desk with my chair."
Lionel was puzzled.
"That's ok Phil" said John, "this is an old judges table."
"How about you Lil?" asked Lionel, "how were you hurt from this school?"
"Well, I wasn't really" said Lil. "Although once at table Etiquette class, Mrs. Peacock had told Plum to please pass the mustard, and he went and brought the colonel." (rimshot)
"I can see you were quite amused" said Lionel. "Do you hate the colonel?"
"No of course not" said Lil. "Who hates Mustard?"
"I always thought it was good on hot dogs!" said Plum. (rimshot)
Finally, the bailiff announced the last tweenager to testify.
Kimi sat at the witness stand. She swore the oath.
"Ok dad" she said to herself, "you can help me do this!"
"Kimi, how have you been hurt at this school?" asked Lionel.
"Mrs. Peacock forces me to write Calligraphy on everyday papers, even for schoolwork. Now my grades are dropping!"
"Mr. Mason, could I call someone to the stand?" asked Kimi.
"Certainly" said Lionel, "if that's ok with the judge?"
"Go on ahead" said John. "I see no harm in doing so."
Kimi called her grandfather up. Lionel sat down with Kira and Chazz.
Kimi stood before her grandfather, who sat in the witness stand.
"Now grandpa, why exactly did you and grandma enroll me in school?"
"Because you need to learn respect for your elders!" said Pierre.
"Objection!" said Lionel, "this can't have any relation to this case?"
"Care to respond Mr. LeClerc?"
"Yes!" said Pierre. "My granddaughter is rude, stubborn, and rotten!"
"Unlike anyone I know!" said Kimi.
Pierre was shocked.
"What did you say young lady?!" he demanded.
"You heard me!" said Kimi, "that's what you are! You and grandma as well!"
"How dare you raise your voice at me young lady!"
Pierre jumped out of the witness stand.
"I'm big and you're small! I'm smart and you're dumb! I'm right and you're wrong! And there's nothing you can do about it! So you might as well do as your elders tell you!"
"Why should I listen to you?!" said Kimi. "I don't want to become you! I got my own life! I got friends! And I don't care if I was born into a rich family! All I want is to live a normal life with my friends!"
"How rude!" said Pierre. "I'm enrolling you for a whole year!"
"You can't do that!" said Kimi.
"Oh yes I can Kimberly!" said Pierre. "Your father would be so ashamed if he could see you!"
"Don't talk about my dad like that!" said Kimi. "He was a great man! And he's my dad that I'm talking about! I can see why he had a heart attack and died! It was your strict rules that you're trying to enforce to me! Who's it gonna be next time?! My son?! My daughter?! My twins?! Or my boyfriend?!"
"Those aren't bad ideas" said Pierre.
"You got it all wrong grandpa! Your plans will never work! You may have been able to change me in the past, but you will never change who I am!"
Pierre only smiled. "Well I can try!" he said.
"Order in the court!" said John hammering the table with his gavel. "Calm down you two. This is a court of law, not a scene from `Oliver Twist'."
"You heard him grandpa" said Kimi.
"Do not talk to me like that you rude little monster!" said Pierre.
"I have freedom of speech! I can say what I want!"
"You watch your mouth young lady!" said Pierre, "or you're gonna get another slap in the face!"
The witnesses gasped.
"Way to give yourself away grandpa!" said Kimi.
"Mr. LeClerc!" said Mrs. Peacock as she stood, "hitting others is very rude! Not to mention against the law, except in cases of self defense. And if you strike a child, it's even worse -- child abuse! Which could put you in prison for a long time. And prisoners are an even lower class -- lower than the bums on the street! And before any of you kids think I'm terrible, remember this -- I take my orders from Pierre and Anita!"
"I'm not paying you to take a rude little girl's side!" said Pierre.
"Oh yeah?" said Mrs. Peacock, "you're not paying me at all! And I love children! I like to help them out, not torture them! I quit!"
"We quit too!" said Mr. Green.
"Well I've heard enough" said John. "I rule in favor of Chazz Finster!"
The grownups and their kids cheered.
"By order of this court" said John, "the city is closing down the Etiquette school owned by Pierre and Anita LeClerc! In addition, I also request a restraining order for the LeClercs -- if they go within 50 feet of Kimi Finster or her friends, they will be thrown in jail. This restraining order will continue until Kimi's parents say so."
"But then the school will go bankrupt!" said Pierre.
"Oh you mean the way you've morally bankrupted your dignity?" asked Kimi.
"Nobody insults me!" said Pierre. "Especially if that person is my only granddaughter!"
"Oh yeah?!" said Kimi, "I wish I never even had you and grandma as grandparents!"
"How dare you speak about us this way! I'm gonna have you severely punished Kimberly!"
"That's Kimi you middle classed, greedy, selfish, good for nothing..."
Kimi was interupted by another slap in the face from her grandfather, knocking her down.
The witnesses gasped.
"You were warned!" said Pierre.
John banged his gavel on the table. "Guards, take him away and have him locked up for the next thirty days!"
Two security guards grabbed Pierre and took him away.
"Get your hands off the suit you fiends!" said Pierre, "I am the richest French man ever!"
"Yeah, and I'm the prince of Spain" said one of the guards.
After Pierre was taken away by the guards, Chazz, Kira, and the rest of their friends, along with the tweenagers circled around Kimi. Kimi was just starting to stand. She had another nosebleed.
Chuckie helped his sister stand and hugged her.
"It's ok Kimi, it's over. We won!"
"Case dismissed" said John.
The next day, the morning paper had the whole story.
For breakfast, the Finsters ate pancakes with syrup.
"I just feel so terrible" said Kimi. "Grandpa's in jail because of me."
"Kimi don't blame yourself" said Kira. "You did what you had to do. Your father would be so proud."
Chazz who was reading the paper said, "listen to this. The city court has taken possesion of the Etiquette school. They're gonna auction it off to the highest bidder this afternoon."
"Don't mention that school anymore" said Chuckie.
"Ok I won't" said Chazz.
"I told that horrible man not to hit Kimi anymore" said Kira. "Nobody in higher class ever listens to commoners."
After school that day, the kids were walking down the block to watch the auctioning of the school By the time they arrived, the auction was over.
A man was standing near the school, talking on a cellphone.
"Who's that?" asked Chuckie.
"Let's go find out" said Kimi.
The kids walked up to the man, just as he turned off the phone.
"Hello children" he said. "I'm the new owner of this school. My name is Mr. Boddy."
"We've heard of you!" said Kimi. "We heard of you back in this school!"
"Yes" said Mr. Boddy. "Tomorrow morning, I'm having this school torn down to build a shopping mall."
"Wow! A shopping mall!" said Angelica.
"When I heard how the owners of the school were mistreating the children, I came to this town. I was gonna have them sued, but now, that's not possible. Instead, I'm having the school torn down to have a shopping mall built. Boddy's Department Store will make a big profit. And, so that they'll have jobs, I'll be hiring the old etiquette school staff, to help me run the store."
"Do you live here now?" asked Kimi.
"No" said Mr. Boddy. "I only came to do the right thing. I'll be leaving first thing tonight."
"Shame" said Tommy, "and we really wanted to get to know you better."
"Why don't we invite him for dinner?" asked Dil.
"That would be my pleasure" said Mr. Boddy. "But I got another thought. How about I take you and your parents out for dinner. My treat."
"That's gonna be expensive."
"Oh don't worry" said Mr. Boddy. "The tab's on me."
"Thanks" said Tommy.
They had a wonderful meal that night.
Kimi noticed that at one table was Anita, all alone.
"Grandma, do you want to join us?" she asked.
"Ok" said Anita. She stood and sat at the table by Kimi.
"These next few weeks are gonna be so lonely" said Anita. "With my husband in prison and the school closed down and scheduled for demolition tomorrow morning, I don't know what I'll do."
"Anita, we're sorry" said Kira. "But it had to be done. You and Pierre had gone too far with this school. From now on, the kids will live their life the way they are."
"I can see you still insist on having them raised your way" said Anita.
"Grandma, we're just kids" said Kimi. "We can live any way we want to."
"Maybe so" said Anita. "But as soon as Pierre is released from prison in twenty nine days, we'll be back! After all, we live here now."
Chazz said, "Right. But don't forget that restraining order. You can see Kimi and her friends, but only if we are there. And if you do anything to harm them, you can be thrown in jail, or worse -- you can be deported back to France."
Anita, said, "I agree. But how can we make Kimi more cultured with you and Kerima present?"
"It's Kira," Kira said.
"Here we go again!" said Kimi. But even Kimi knew that everything
was back to normal and she and her friends could live their own lives.
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