Fizzopolis #2: Floozombies!, p.1Patrick Carman
For Karen, Sierra, and Reese—my three favorite girls
in the whole wide world
For Samanthaa and Jenna—my little angels
with Daddy’s sense of humor. So proud . . .
Excerpt from Fizzopolis: Snoodles! Chapter 1
About the Author and Artist
About the Publisher
I’m Harold Fuzzwonker and I’m sitting in my classroom where Miss Yoobler is about to start a movie. Miss Yoobler has terrible taste in movies, and she never gives out popcorn. And she makes us take notes! Who takes notes during a movie?
“Now, class,” Miss Yoobler droned. “The History of Flour is an informative and exciting documentary that will change the way you think about hot dog buns and pizza crust. Prepare to be moved.”
The History of Flour was part four of a series we were watching. These movies make me feel like my eyeballs are going to fall out and roll around like marbles on the classroom floor. We’ve already completed The Story of a Chicken, Butter My Toast, and Super Cobs: The Amazing Journey of Corn.
Miss Yoobler turned off the lights and started the movie. The screen filled with rows of swaying wheat and the sound of a tractor.
My best friend, Sammy, leaned slightly toward me and said, “I thought this movie was about pizza.”
“And hot dogs,” I added.
“You two are total airheads,” Jeff Flasky said. Flasky had an enormous head and big, round eyes. He was also the smartest kid in class.
“What does a field full of whatever that stuff is have to do with pepperoni pizza?” Sammy wondered. Flasky rolled his eyes as Miss Yoobler took three long strides toward us.
“Zip it, Fuzzwonker,” Miss Yoobler said. She was the strictest teacher in the entire United States of America. Unfortunately, Sammy was in a talkative mood and she kept yammering about pizza and hot dogs. Miss Yoobler took three more steps and loomed over my left shoulder like Frankenstein.
Garvin Snood was sitting two desks over. He was always trying to figure out the secret of Fuzzwonker Fizz, so we had to be extra-super careful around him.
“You boneheads are in for it now,” Garvin sniggered. He laughed like a hyena.
Miss Yoobler tapped her foot on the linoleum. It was like Chinese water torture.
“Harold Fuzzwonker, come with me,” she finally said.
“Take me!” Sammy said. “I’ll gladly go to the principal’s office! Last time I went there they had donuts and better movies.”
I picked up my backpack and Miss Yoobler marched me to an empty desk in the farthest back corner of the class. Sammy waved at me with a faraway look like we were separated by a giant river filled with crocodiles.
“Let’s see if sitting in Siberia will help you concentrate, Mr. Fuzzwonker,” Miss Yoobler said. She stood next to me for a while, but then Garvin Snood threw a wad of paper at Jeff Flasky and hit him in the side of his huge head.
“Garvin!” Miss Yoobler yelled, and then she was on the move toward Garvin’s desk.
I looked down at my backpack sitting on the floor. It was squirming wildly like a tennis ball was bouncing around inside. There were also muffled noises coming from under the flap.
“Oh, great,” I said. I nudged the side of the bag with my foot and made a shhhhhhhh sound. For a second everything was calm, but then the whole bag rolled over on its side and flopped forward. I heard the sound of laughing in there. I grabbed my backpack and hauled it under my desk before it could flop and roll any farther away.
“Calm down, little buddy!” I whispered. “I’m already in enough trouble as it is.”
In case you don’t know about my best good buddy who lives in my backpack, his name is Floyd. How he got there takes a little explaining, but since we’re watching a mindless movie about flour, I can take a second to fill you in.
The super-short story of how Floyd got in my backpack, by me, Harold Fuzzwonker (sure to be more interesting than The History of Flour):
My dad is Dr. Fuzzwonker, and he keeps a top secret laboratory under our house. It’s the biggest laboratory you’ve ever seen—like several football fields—because some of what my dad makes needs a lot of space to roam. He creates Fuzzwonker Fizz, the soda pop that produces the biggest burps in the world. It’s extremely popular stuff that comes in about one hundred flavors. You should try some!
Classroom status update: I need to speed this up because Floyd is sucker punching me in the solar plexus. Ouch. I advise reading the next paragraph at double speed!
Dr. Fuzzwonker uses a machine he calls the Fizzomatic to make Fuzzwonker Fizz, but he also used it to make Floyd. Floyd is a Fizzy, and he’s not the only one. There are at least a hundred different Fizzies in my dad’s humongous secret space under the house, which is probably why he calls it Fizzopolis. Floyd just happens to be the smallest one and the biggest troublemaker.
And that’s why he has to go with me in my backpack to school. If he stays in Fizzopolis without me, he misses me too much and that makes him go bonkers. He makes huge messes and causes colossal problems. So every day when I leave for school I carefully pack Floyd into my backpack and hope he stays quiet. This almost never happens, so I spend a lot of time struggling to keep Floyd a secret.
See how short that was! And trust me, you didn’t miss anything important about flour. You’re all good. I can’t say the same for myself. While you’ve been busy reading all about Floyd, I’ve been freaking out.
My backpack was flopping toward the front of the class like a sack of potatoes rolling down a hill.
I couldn’t yell at Floyd or everyone would hear me and ask me who Floyd is. I glanced toward the door, where Miss Yoobler had stationed herself. At first I thought she’s staring down into her phone, probably texting some pro wrestler for advice about how to keep her class from disobeying her. But then I realize she’s fallen asleep and that gives me some extra courage.
I got down on all fours and started crawling as the bag moved forward, closer and closer to the front of the class.
I passed a couple of other kids who were sound asleep, and then Jeff Flasky, who was diligently taking notes. The next desk I was going to pass would be Garvin’s. Total disaster dead ahead.
The bag was getting dangerously close to Garvin’s mondo-sized foot, so I pulled a pencil out from behind my ear and threw it tomahawk-style at the back of Sammy’s head. Luckily, it hit her noggin eraser end first. Sammy is my super-duper palamino. She’s the only other kid in the world that knows about Floyd.
Sammy turned in Garvin’s direction and narrowed her eyes like a ninja ready to strike. But then she saw me, and I nodded toward the bag creeping across the floor. Her eyes darted from me to the backpack moving on its own, nearly at Garvin’s feet. Then she stared at Garvin.
“What are you looking at, weirdo?” Garvin asked.
Sammy sprang into action. In a matter of less than 1.3 seconds, she did five things in rapid succession:
She reached into her own backpack, pulled out a bologna sandwich, and took it out of the Ziploc bag.
She jumped into the air and did a roundhouse kick that landed squarely on my backpack! The bag (and Floyd inside) slammed into my face and knocked me onto
When Sammy landed, she stared at Garvin like she was going to hurl. Garvin had a look on his face that screamed: This kid is about to barf on me!
Sammy made a really loud BLAAAAAAGGGAAAAK sound and acted like she was throwing up all over Garvin.
She tossed her bologna sandwich at him and it bounced off his massive forehead. All the bread and bologna and lettuce came apart on his desk.
“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAUUAAAAAAUUUAAAAUUUUUAAAAA!” Garvin screamed. He was sure he’d been thrown up on and wow was he freaking out about it. It didn’t look like real barf. It looked like a bologna sandwich.
“Garvin stole my lunch!” Sammy yelled.
“Sammy barfed on me!” Garvin yelled.
The whole class went bananas.
There was a lot of laughing and shouting and running around the room.
“Order! Order, I say!” Miss Yoobler said. She stomped over to Garvin’s desk like an army sergeant. While all the chaos was going on in the room, I crawled back to my desk in Siberia and tied a bunch of knots on the bag flap so Floyd couldn’t escape, then I slung the pack on and cinched it down tight in case it tried to roll away again.
“She threw up on me!” Garvin said from the other end of the room. “On purpose!”
“You owe me a bologna sandwich!” Sammy said.
“Everyone sit down this instant!” Miss Yoobler shouted. She had that tone we all knew that meant we’d better do what she said unless we wanted to go to prison for ten years.
Everyone calmed down as Miss Yoobler put on her reading glasses and examined the sandwich.
“Mr. Snood,” she finally said. “You are a very strange boy.”
She picked up all the parts of the sandwich and put it back together and spoke to him like he was a very small child. “This is a sandwich. Do you understand? A saaaaandwich.”
“I know what a sandwich is!” Garvin said. He looked at Sammy. “She threw up on me!”
Miss Yoobler shook her head sadly and looked at Sammy. She held the sandwich out. “I’m sorry he doesn’t seem to understand. But at least this appears to be edible.”
“It touched his forehead,” Sammy said.
Miss Yoobler reeled back and held the sandwich as far away from herself as she could. She marched over to the garbage can and dropped it inside.
The class settled down and we returned to watching The History of Flour.
Floyd started bashing into me from inside my backpack. It felt like he was doing barrel rolls into my rib cage, so I squashed him against the back of my seat.
When school finally let out, Sammy and I ran to our bikes. We had to get out of there fast and figure out what the heck was going on with my best good buddy.
“Where to?” Sammy asked as we started off.
There was only one place where we could safely let Floyd out into the open. It was a place where no one from the outside world would see him.
“Fizzopolis!” I said, and we tore off into the neighborhood at triple speed.
“Oooooh, look,” I said when we arrived in the kitchen at my house. “Pancakes.”
“Stand back. I’m hungry!” Sammy said. “Miss Yoobler threw my lunch away.”
“Yeah, I saw that. Thanks again for saving my bacon.”
“It cost me a bologna sandwich, but it was worth it.”
There were nineteen pancakes in the stack (I counted them) and it teetered back and forth like a skyscraper in an earthquake. We took turns throwing them at each other like Frisbees and catching them in our mouths. Talk about a good time. I opened my backpack and dropped the last five inside, then cinched it tight again before Floyd could climb out.
“Come on, let’s get into Fizzopolis where it’s safe,” I said.
“Will do, super-duper palamino,” Sammy said. But she had a mouthful of pancake, so it came out like Fu fo, foofer foofer fafofifo.
We opened the refrigerator door and I leaned deep inside and found the hot sauce. I turned it like a lug nut.
“Hot SAWCE,” I said slowly, and the refrigerator moved about three feet to one side.
“I love your house,” Sammy said. She reached down and picked up a nickel covered in dust bunnies and handed it to me.
“Thanks, I was looking for that,” I said, and pushed a button on the wall.
“Remember the most important rule of Fizzopolis?” I asked.
Sammy nodded as the elevator doors opened.
“Don’t tell anyone about all the cool stuff down there,” Sammy said. “Got it!”
I handed Sammy a huge stick of bubble gum and put another stick in my mouth. We chewed and chewed until the gum was nice and gooey and then we threw both wads into the elevator. They hit the floor with a slobbery slap. We jumped into the elevator and made sure to land with one shoe each on a wad of gum, so we were good and stuck.
“Here we go!” I said, and I pressed the button for Fizzopolis.
It felt like I was skydiving without a parachute as we plummeted underground.
“I can’t get enough of this elevator!” Sammy said. But then our feet slipped out of our shoes and we spent the rest of the trip stuck to the ceiling. Both of us tried to crawl down the side of the wall but only made it halfway before the elevator stopped. We fell face-first on the floor and lay there like two bags of rice.
“Note to self,” Sammy said as she sat up. “Always tighten laces before entering Fizzy elevator.”
“I feel like we’ve covered this a thousand times,” I said.
“Or two thousand,” Sammy said. “We’ve definitely covered it.”
“Always tie shoes super tight,” I said as we put our shoes back on and yanked them off the gum stuck to the floor. “Come on, let’s go find my dad.”
We started off through the vast expanse of Fizzopolis. There are giant looping trees everywhere. They’re purple and blue and green, and they rise hundreds of feet toward the high ceiling. There are caves and rock formations and a twisty-turny lagoon. There are conveyor belts by the hundreds, moving bottles of Fuzzwonker Fizz from place to place, and the gigantic Fizzomatic machine sits right in the middle of everything.
It’s loaded with pipes and buttons and levers. This is the machine that makes Fuzzwonker Fizz, the most popular soda pop in the world. Packed with twenty essential vitamins and minerals and 100 percent totally sugar-free, its signature feature is the burps it creates. They’re the longest ones in the history of burping, and if you get a rare one, they are also unbelievably loud. If you can imagine King Kong belching, it’s probably louder than that.
And like I said earlier, the other thing the Fizzomatic machine makes is Fizzies.
“Hi, Franny,” I said as we walked past the lagoon. “How’s the cleanup going today?”
Franny is one of the many Fizzies in Fizzopolis. She has a hose for a nose so she can suck up water from the lagoon. Franny made a whole bunch of watery snarfing noises.
“Sounds like it’s going great,” Sammy said. I thought so too, since Franny was making happy sounds. She went back to work and we kept walking.
We walked past more caves and trees and a Ping-Pong table. We said hi to a big yellow glob named George, and passed by Kevin, Stacy, and Phil—three more Fizzies who were too busy working to talk. All the Fizzies are different colors and if you pet them they crackle like their fur is carbonated.
There were Fizzies all over the place doing important Fizzopolis work like making sure the bottles got labeled correctly. They made sure if you purchased a bottle of Lucy Lemon flavor you didn’t end up with Larry Lime instead. Without the Fizzies to help get all the work done, there’s no way my dad could keep up with the skyrocketing demand for Fuzzwonker Fizz.
“I’m surprised Floyd hasn’t bugged me to use the bathroom,” I said as we stared up at my dad’s tree house laboratory.
Sammy leaned close to my backpack and listened. “He’s making a lot of weird noises in there. Should we
“You’re right,” I agreed, peeling off my backpack and setting it on the ground. “Better if Floyd freaks out down here than up there.”
I undid all the knots I’d tied in the strings holding the flap shut. There were at least ten, so it took a while.
“Better stand back,” I said. “He’s been in there a long time. He might go a little wacky.”
Sammy took two steps back as Floyd’s green head popped out. He had a rascally look on his face, never a good sign.
“Hey, little buddy,” I said. “What was all that about at school? You almost got me in big trouble.”
Floyd’s eyes darted back and forth like he was thinking about making a run for it.
“What are you hiding in there?” I asked.
Floyd spoke just loud enough for me to hear him. “Who, me?”
I tried to peek around him into my backpack, but he kept moving to block my view. “Come on, Floyd. What have you got in there?”
Floyd launched into the air three feet over our heads. He did two and a half somersaults and one twist in the pike position like he was in a springboard diving competition, and my bag was a swimming pool. He landed inside with a thud.
“He’s weird,” Sammy said.
Both Sammy and I leaned over and looked into the backpack. It was a tight fit for two of us, and we bonked heads. If Floyd tried to jump out of the bag again, he’d have to go through our faces. Double ouch.
“He’s trying to hide stuff,” Sammy said.
She was right. Floyd was pushing all sorts of things behind my binder and my calculator. It was dark inside the backpack, but it was obvious Floyd was up to no good.
“Come clean, Floyd,” I said in my most serious voice.
Floyd got all bashful and stared at his belly button. He stepped away from the corner of my binder and pushed it aside.
Fizzopolis #2: Floozombies! by Patrick Carman / Young Adult / Fantasy have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes