The Tweenage Rugrats In: "Back To The Old Country"

By Birch Griesse & Nicky Kozma

It was the first day of Summer Vacation. Tommy, Dil, and all of there friends were having an "Out of School Party" in the Pickles backyard. Stu had just installed his latest invention: The Deluxe StuSprinkler 5000. The kids were having fun playing in the sprinkler, drinking lemonade, sucking on Popsicles, listening to music, playing games, making sandcastles in the sandbox, sunbathing, and just relaxing and having a great time.

Just as Dil and Tommy were about to put a bunch of ice cubes down the back of Angelica's swimming suit, Didi popped her head outside and said, "Tommy, Dil, telephone!"

Dil and Tommy ran toward the house, but Didi stopped them at the porch.

"I don't want you to get your muddy feet all over my brand new, freshly cleaned carpet!" she said, handing them the portable phone.

"It's Grandma Minka and Grandpa Boris." Tommy and Dil held the portable phone that they shared next to their ears.

"Hi, Grandma!" said Tommy.

"Hi, Grandpa!" said Dil.

"Hi, kinderlach!" said Minka, "I hear you're out of school."

"Yep," said Dil, "For three months! Twelve weeks! For, ummmmm, hold on let me get a calculator...."

"Ve vere thinking you could spend some time with us this summer," Boris said, "Ve have reserved a cabin in Lac St-Jean."

"Uh, that'd be, uh, great, Grandpa," Tommy lied.

"Good," said Minka, "Can I talk to my Didulah now?"

"Sure!" said Dil, handing the phone back to Didi. Then Tommy and Dil went back to stuffing the ice down Angelica's back.

Later that night, while the Pickles were having supper, Didi and Stu had news for Tommy and Dil.

"We've talked with Grandma Minka and Grandpa Boris," said Didi.

"And we've decided that we are going to visit Lac St-Jean for a family vacation. They're going to be there anyways," Stu completed the sentence.

"We'll leave a month from today, and stay for two weeks," Didi added. Tommy and Dil groaned.

"Also," said Stu, "the other parents have agreed to come as well, so you'll have your friends with you."

"Oh," said Tommy.

"Can Emica come, too?" Dil asked.

"No," said Tommy, Didi, and Stu together.

"Uh, who all is coming?" Tommy asked.

"The Carmichaels, the Devilles, the Finsters, Angelica's family, and, of course, us," Didi told him.

Time passed and before long it was almost time for the Rugrats to go on their visit to Lac St-Jean. The adults were gathered together, making a list of what to bring. Meanwhile, the Rugrats were making a list of their own.

"Alright," said Kimi, "Here's our task: what ten recreational items would you take on a trip to the middle of nowhere if you could only take ten?"

"We can only take ten things?" Angelica cried in disbelief.

"No!" said Kimi, "WE can only take ten RECREATIONAL items!"

"Oh, I knew that," said Angelica, "Who's going to write all the stuff down?"

"I will," Susie volunteered.

"Alright, here's how it works," Tommy explained, "We each make a list of ten recreational things we want to take on the trip, and Susie will write them down. We'll choose the ones we like best and take them as our ten recreational items. We'll start with Kimi and go around in a circle."

"Hmmmm," Kimi said thoughtfully, "Volleyball and net, uh, Emica CD collection and CD player, um, Game Dude and games,

hmmm, bikes, let's see, board games, uh, scooters, um, books, and, hmmm, let's see, books on tape."

"Alright, Angelica?" Tommy said.

"Well..." Angelica began listing the recreational items she wanted to take along.

They continued going around the circle until everyone had had a turn.

"Now we need to vote for the ten we like best. OK, for the thing we want to take along the most..." The voting took almost as long as the listing, but finally the Rugrats gang was ready to show their parents the list.

"Mom," said Tommy, "here's a list of the top ten things we want to bring on the trip."

"Let me see," said Didi, taking the list. It said:

"Well," said Didi, "We'll get this together. You go pack your clothes and things."

So the kids went off and packed everything else.

Then next day, everyone left in Stu's huge RV. Angelica sat in the 'upstairs' part of the van, secretly playing with her Cynthia doll. Nobody knew that she still had it.

"Oh Cynthia," she whispered, "I don't want to go to Lac St-Jean. It's going to be boring and stupid there!"

It took several hours to reach the Lac St-Jean campgrounds.

In her diary, Angelica kept track of everything that happened during the trip:

All in all, it actually took them about 12 hours before they got there. They checked in with an elderly lady wearing a simple dress. After they checked in, Stu drove the RV through the wooden gates into the Lac St-Jean campgrounds.

"OK," said Stu, "According to Grandma Minka and Grandpa Boris, our cabin should be the fifteenth cabin in the fifteenth row."

They stood facing a row of cabins. "Row 1" was painted on the side of the first one. There was about a foot between the wall of one cabin, and the wall of the next. Ten feet behind the first row was the second row.

The cabins were small, scrappy, and painted white. They were made of logs stacked clumsily one on top of another and held together with thick mud. The mud had fallen out in chunks in many places on the cabins. The families stood for quite awhile and stared.

"Mr. Pickles?" said Susie, "Did Boris and Minka rent us one cabin, or five?"

"Just one, I think," Stu admitted. Angelica had officially had enough outdoors.

"Mom, can I borrow your drivers license? I'm leaving."

"Angelica!" said Charlotte, "You are going to stay here for two weeks and you are not going to complain, or you will not have any new clothes for two months! I am entirely fed up with your wise cracks, young lady! Do you understand?!"

"Y-yes ma'am," said Angelica, who looked like she was about to cry.

"What?" Lil whispered, "You never seen an angry grown-up?"

"I've never seen my mom that mad at me," Angelica whined. Then they pulled their luggage, with great difficulty, up to their cabin.

Minka and Boris were waiting for them there.

"Vat took you so long?" Minka asked.

"Twenty bathroom breaks (two by the side of the road), one lunch break, seven gas stops, and three construction areas with long, slow lines of traffic," Angelica answered, looking in her diary.

"Vell zat explains a lot," said Boris, "De kinderlach have cabin 15. Ve have cabin 16."

All the kids poured into their cabin. They claimed corners and laid out their sleeping bags. Angelica claimed the corner farthest from Phil and Lil. She hung up posters of Emica and the Teen Rage cast on the wall around her corner. She pulled some stickers from her backpack and stuck them all over her area. Kimi, Lil and Susie hurried over to use some of the stickers. Angelica used her alphabet stickers to spell: "Angelica's Corner Keep Out". The other kids decorated their areas similarly. Angelica unpaked a fold-out chair and set it up on the lawn. Tommy and Dil each had one two. Kimi unrolled a beach blanket for herself, Phil, Lil and Chuckie. Susie set a bean bag chair on the ground for herself to sit in. She had another one in her corner of the tiny cabin.

"I'm thirsty," Chuckie camplained.

"Don't you have a waterbottle?" Tommy asked.

"I drank all of my water on the way down," Chuckie confessed.

"I'll ask my mom where we can get water," Susie told him, "I drank all of mine, too." Susie went over to the adults.

"Mom?" Susie asked, "Where can we get water?"

"Umm..." said Lucy, Susie's mother.

"At the spigot," Minka answered.

"Where and what is a spigot?" Angelica asked from her pink lawn chair.

"It's a vater pump," Minka answered, "Atop that hill," Minka replied, pointing beyond the cabin to a steep hill, "And viile your dere, fill these buckets with water so ve don't have to go back and forth for vater so often." She handed them each a heavy wooden bucket.

"I feel like we're Jack and Jill," Chuckie said.

"Yeah," Susie agreed, "Susie and Chuckie went up the hill to fetch two buckets and two waterbottles of water." Chuckie and Susie giggled at the comparision. They filled their bottles and the buckets and dragged them back to the cabins. There, everyone was roasting potatoes and hot dogs over a bonfire. Chuckie and Susie grabbed some food and started roasting. After everyone had finished eating, Minka announced that it was time for bed.

"But it's only 7:30," said Lil, checking her watch.

"Exactly," said Boris, "Ve have to get up early tommorow morning."

"Light's out at 8:00," the parents told them.

Once in the cabin, Kimi set to work hanging a huge towel around her area.

"What are you doing?" Phil asked.

"This is the girls changing room," Kimi explained, "We change into our PJ's in here, while you boys change out there. We promise we won't look." So they changed into their pajamas.

Following Kimi's example, Angelica hung a towel around her area too. After everyone had settled into their sleeping bags, Kimi stepped out of her area and announced:

"For the next thirty minutes I will be hosting a party in my area. Addmission is free!" When everone tried to crowd in at once, Kimi realized the first problem: Not everyone would fit! The space was too tiny! She had to think of a quick sollution. Then she had an idea.

"You can't all fit at the same time..." she began.

"Duh," Angelica interupted.

"As I was saying," Kimi continued, "You have to get in groups of two. You'll come in one group at a time, for ten minutes each." Phil and Lil were in a group, Tommy and Dil were in a group, and Chuckie and Susie were in a group. Angelica went back in her area saying she didn't want to go to Kimi's party because she was a dumb preteen. Susie and Chuckie were the first group. They entered Kimi's area. She had Kimi Rocks and Emica in alphabet stickers on her wall. She had bought a flashlight with a normal light, a siren, a green light, and a red light. Right now it was on red. She'd hung a mirror in the center of the wall. She popped an Emica CD in her portable player and gave Susie and Chuckie some snacks that she had sneaked into the cabin. After they ate, they played "Monopoly", and the ten minutes was over. After everyone had had a turn, it was time for lights out.

The next morning, the Rugrats gang was awakened at 6:00 by the loud call of a rooster. Kira's sleepy face appeared in the window of their cabin.

"Wake up sleepy heads!" she said, "It's time for breakfast." The kids dragged themselves out of bed and changed into their clothes.

Then they went outside for breakfast.

"What's for breakfast?" Angelica asked her mother, Charlotte.

"Dry cereal," Charlotte informed her. Angelica made a face.

"After breakfast Ve clean the cabins!" Minka declared. The kids groaned.

So after breakfast, the Rugrats cleaned the cabin, grudgingly.

At 7:00 PM Angelica wrote in her diary,

6:00 Wake up.
6:30 Eat breakfast.
7:00 Clean cabin.
7:30 Get water.
8:00 4-hour walk.
12:00 Put a yucky juice in Minka's famous Old Country lunch.
12:30 Had to get water for an hour.
1:30 Walk.
2:00 Look at the sky for 2 hours.
4:00 15-minute fishing.
4:15 Check the weather for 15 minutes.
4:30 Go find more food in the woods.
5:00 Do a boring nameless thing for 2 hours.
7:00 Half-hour before bed. And it's below average because 8-9 is average.

Tommy said "What a stupid place!"

Dil took the page in Angelica's diary that she just wrote. Dil said " 6:00 Eat Breakfast..."

Angelica said " Don't read that!"

15 minutes later...

Dil said "Gulp. 15 minutes before bed."

Tommy said "I have an idea! Let's throw out all the clocks then they'll won't know what time it is!"

The others said "Great idea!"

Tommy said " Let's go to bed early!" to the adults.

Minka said "Okay."

All the adults were asleep. The tweenagers are not.

Tommy got rid of the clocks, quiet as a mouse. Tommy whispered his idea worked to Dil.

Tommy whispered "My idea worked."

In the morning...

The adults were still sleeping but the Rugrats were awake. The rooster got taken but the kids were the only ones with an alarm.

Susie said "Let's sneak out."

The others said "Okay."

Chuckie stared at the spigot.

"Hey!" Chuckie said "If we get enough water from the spigot, we can flood the cabin!"

"Good idea," said Tommy. But in order to make a big flood, how do we bring the water down?"

Kimi said "Do you see what I see?"

The others said "Large pots!"

Each one took a large pot and filled it with water. They spilled it into cabin 16. The sleeping grownups woke up and dashed out of the cabin.

Minka said "I Vergot to Vix Vat leak."

Stu went to the office to talk to the manager.

A few minutes later, stu returned, and called a conference.

Stu said, "Gang, as you know, our cabin got flooded last night. The problem was that there was a major leak in the roof. After that happen, we did not know what to do..."

Tommy said to his friends, "We get to go home!"

Stu continued, " I talked to the manager and, admitting their mistake, decided to put the grownups in cabin 17. Also, they're giving us an extra week for free! Isn't that great? We took a bad situation and made it into a good thing."

Tommy said to his friends, "No they didn't -- they took a bad situation and made it worse."

To Be Continued

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