Mixed Up Mr Max

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Children Stories  |  House: Booksie Classic


Mixed Up Mr Max

 

 

Mixed Up Mr Max put his trousers over his head and his t-shirt over his legs. He put his gloves on his feet and his socks on his hands, put his shoes on his head and put his hat on his feet. He used his umbrella like a walking stick and used a walking stick like an umbrella. He was all ready for going to teach at his local school, dressed for a winter’s day, but outside it was a hot day. He left his house through his back door, climbed his garden fence, walked through the neighbour’s gardens, took a man’s newspaper, got into a woman’s car, got out of the car at the traffic lights and waited at the bus stop. Then he realised he wasn’t at the school. So he sat on the train and got off at the next station, then took a short cut through the park and walked around it three times and getting lost looking for the short cut. He then looked at his watch and realised it was 6:45. Or was it 8:30?

 

‘Oh, dear! I’m so late for school! The children will be wondering where I am!’ he spluttered as he tried to drink his croissant and chew on his coffee. ‘I had better hurry up!’ To make up for lost time, he started walking backwards, and then running backwards, hoping he could travel back in time so he wouldn’t be so late.

 

‘What a relief!’ he said as he arrived at the school gates. He looked up and realised he had wandered through the hospital gates. A cleaner corrected him and pointed to the school. ‘What a relief!’ he said as he really did arrive at the school gates. He looked at his watch. ‘It’s only 7:50!’ It was really 9:40.

 

Mr Max burst through his classroom door and his students all stared at him and laughed.

‘Be quiet!’ He moaned. He wrote the date on the board and spoke to the class:

‘Today’s date is Sunday the 34th of March, 2202. Or is it 2022? Today is Sunday the 43rd of March, 0222. Please open your textbooks to page 5014, no, page 501.4, no, page 145,  no, page 5, and start reading backwards from the bottom of the right-hand page. And now, please hand in next week’s homework about last week’s arithmetic and maths problems. What colour is my red car? Please put your hand down if you want to speak!’

 

‘Mr Max, I think you are a bit mixed up,’ said a girl called Winnifred, who had raised her hand. She should have had a more girly name like Winnifrancesca. Fred is a boy’s name, so she was also mixed up.

 

‘Mixed up? Me? I’m not up mixed!’ said Mr Max. ‘Today I was on time and late, I got out of bed and fell out of the window, and I fed my dog cat food and fed my cat to the dog. I waved down a taxi and drove the taxi driver to work. I gave yesterday’s newspaper to the newspaper shop. I am completely fine, thank you very much! Now turn your focus back to the wall and carry on reading upside down.’

 

Suddenly, the school bell sounded. All of the children began to pack their bags and they prepared to leave.

‘Where are you all going?’ barked Mr Max. ‘Sit down!’

All of the children sat quietly, and Mr Max tidied his desk, collected his things and left. The children looked out of the window and watched him skipping on the school field, eating an apple and playing tag with himself. It wasn’t even recess.

‘Somebody has to help him,’ said a boy named Christabella (another silly name because Chris is a boy’s name and Bella is a girl’s name).

‘Yeah, we should help him,’ said Winnifred. ‘We need to find out what happened to him.’

 

* * * * *

 

After school, Winnifred and Christabella followed Mr Max to the supermarket, where he took out his house keys and tried to unlock a watermelon. He then tried to go to the toilet in a big fridge, and took some toilet roll from the shelf to wipe some melon juice which he thought was pee. He thought the checkout woman was a beggar, and he gave her $10, which Winnifred and Christabella took back.

 

‘Mr Max?’ they said after leaving the supermarket. Mr Max jumped like he’d been bitten in the bottom.

‘What on earth are you doing following me?’ He said. ‘Don’t you children have homes to go to?’

‘Mr Max, we are concerned about you,’ said Winnifred.

‘You’ve been acting very strange recently,’ said Christabella.

‘What nonsense! I’m absolutely fine! Now, where are my library books? I must post them.’

Mr Max reached for his library books to put inside the letter box, but Winnifred and Christabella stopped him.

‘Stop interfering, you two!’ he shouted. ‘My goodness, I don’t need your help! Now run along home! Your pets will have cooked your dinner, and they will be worried if you don’t get home soon enough!’

 

Mr Max turned away and Christabella and Winnifred looked at each other.

‘It’s really serious, isn’t it?’ said Christabella.

‘If we don’t help him now, then who knows what he will do tomorrow?’ said Winnifred.

‘He might poop in the sink and cook dinner in his toilet.’

‘He might sleep on his bag and bring his bed to school.’

 

Mr Max took out his keys to unlock his front door, when Winnifred and Christabella sneaked around the side of his house, poking their eyes out from the neighbour’s wall. Moments later, Mr Max appeared in his garden wearing rubber gloves and a salad bowl on his head.

‘Time for a lovely bike ride before dinner,’ he said. He got on his bicycle and pedalled it into the fence, where he crashed and fell into some bushes. When he got up, he got a shock when he saw two familiar children standing close to him.

‘Freddiewin and Bellachris!’ he yelled. ‘Get out of here before I cry for the police!’

‘Mr Max, please stop!’ said Christabella. But Mr Max stormed off. He collected his football. He then kicked the ball over the fence into the neighbour’s garden, but the ball didn’t come back.

‘Come on! Kick it back to me!’ said Mr Max. He then climbed the fence and disappeared. A few seconds later, he crashed through the fence holding his ball, with a dog growling and biting his trousers.

‘Hey! That’s a foul! Referee! Referee!’ he protested.

 

By this time, Winnifred and Christabella had gone inside Mr Max’s kitchen.

‘Look,’ said Winnifred, motioning to a cup of half-drunk brown liquid. ‘What’s this?’

‘It smells funny,’ said Christabella. ‘Could it be something he’s drinking that’s making him act weird?’

Winnifred opened the cupboards and saw a strange looking bright bottle glaring at her. Christabella reached up and brought it down. He shook the contents and it made a funny giggling sound. The label read, ‘COFFEEHEEHEE’.

‘What the hell is Coffeeheehee?’ said Christabella.

‘I don’t know, but I bet it’s as horrible as it sounds,’ said Winnifred. ‘I bet it’s this stuff that has been making Mr Max go crazy. Let’s dispose of it before he comes…’

 

Suddenly, a figure wearing swimming trunks, a big towel, a snorkel and goggles burst through the living room door.

‘Who’s coming with me on an undersea diving adventure?’ said Mr Max. ‘We’re off to see the octopuses who live in buildings! We’re going to swim with catfishes and dog sharks. We’re going to build new homes for little starfish! We’re going to find the seaweed monster! What do you say?’

‘Mr Max, you must stop drinking this coffee,’ said Winnifred in a serious voice. ‘It’s making you upside down, inside out and back to front. And we are nowhere near the ocean! Where on earth will you go swimming?’

‘Oh, no!’ muttered Christabella. ‘He’s not seriously going to the…’

But before Christabella could finish, Mr Max had already sprinted out to the street wearing a pair of flippers. Cars crashed into each other as their drivers stared at the man who began to run in the direction of the local swimming pool.

 

* * * * *

 

‘Quick, you have to help us!’ said Winnifred as she and Christabella ran into a shop.

‘Do you mind? There’s a Q,’ said the shopkeeper.

‘A what?’ said Christabella.

‘A Q!’

Suddenly, a large letter Q walked to the front and huffed at the children. ‘I was here first,’ it said. It paid for its items and left.

‘Now I can help you,’ said the shopkeeper.

‘This is a funny shop,’ said Winnifred.

‘Hahaha, yes it is,’ said the shopkeeper.

‘Our teacher has been drinking this stuff.’

Winnifred placed the jar of Coffeeheehee on the counter.

‘Oh, dear. Is it that Mr Max?’

‘Yes, how did you know?’

‘Everyone knows Mr Max. He’s the most serious person in this town. He’s always coming in here, looking at the shelves and never buying anything. He always complains about how expensive my items are. I got frustrated because he never spent any money, so I sold this coffee to him as a joke. I didn’t think he would actually drink it.’

 

Just then, a large letter A and an even bigger letter I entered the shop.

‘I’ve told you before,’ said the shopkeeper. ‘Only one vowel can come in at a time!’

‘I saw U in here,’ said A.

‘I’m always in here,’ said the shopkeeper.

‘No, not YOU,’ said A. ‘U.’

‘No, I’m I,’ said I. ‘I never come in here.’

‘Anyway,’ interrupted Winnifred. ‘Can you give us something that will make Mr Max normal?’

‘Certainly,’ said the shopkeeper. He crouched and disappeared under the counter. He reappeared holding a new jar of coffee called, ‘WHOKNOWS’.

‘Whoknows Coffee,’ he said. ‘Who knows what will happen if you drink this!’

‘Don’t you have anything better?’ said Christabella. ‘Normal coffee? Normalite? Normaltine?’

‘I’m afraid I don’t have anything else. This is it.’

Winnifred and Christabella paid for the coffee and hurried to the swimming pool.

 

Meanwhile at the pool, Mr Max had already barged his way through security, walked through the gym, gone down the water slide and looked for octopuses in the deep end of the pool. Mr Max thought a man’s hairy legs were seaweed, and the man cried out as he swam as quickly away him as he possibly could. Everyone got out of the pool when Mr Max started thrashing around with his arms and legs, pretending that he had caught a giant dogshark.

‘It needs to be trained!’ he kept shouting. ‘It needs to go to obedience classes!’

 

That was when the police arrived, and shortly afterwards, so did Winnifred and Christabella. As the police were about to arrest Mr Max, the children broke through the police line and went to the waterslide with a great idea. They found Mr Max waiting there, looking for whales and dolphins. Winnifred climbed to the top of the slide with the coffee jar.

 

‘Now!’ cried Christabella, and Winnifred poured the entire contents of the coffee jar down the slide. The swimming pool water mixed with the coffee. Christabella called to Mr Max to get his attention, just as the police took her away. Mr Max turned to face the end of the waterslide. He sensed something was wrong. He sensed something was coming after him. The coffee had turned the water into a brown sludge as it mixed, and Mr Max saw the big brown wave tumble and crash and prepare to hit him.

‘Ahh!’ cried Mr Max, opening his mouth. ‘The seaweed monster did a pooooooo…’

The coffee water flew into Mr Max’s mouth. The force of the water pushed him to the side. The water turned brown and some people vomited. Mr Max choked and swallowed.

‘It’s ok!’ said Winnifred to the sick people. ‘It’s just coffee!’

 

Mr Max washed up like he would on a beach, but it was the poolside. He gasped and choked up some of the coffee.

‘Ohh, oh!’ he said, stumbling over his words. ‘I feel…’

‘Feel what?’ said Winnifred and Christabella.

‘I feel…normal again. Oh, thank you! Where have I been for the last three days? It all seems like a bad dream. Wait. Where am I? Oh, oh! I hate the swimming pool! What am I even doing here? Police! Oh, I hate them too! What’s going on?’

‘Stand aside!’ said a voice in the crowd. ‘I can deal with this. I’m a doctor, ok?’ The doctor approached Mr Max and checked him over. ‘This man is fine. He is a little bit chubby, but otherwise, he is fine.’

The doctor looked at the water and drank a sample. Then he too suddenly changed.

‘Oh, my God. I’m not even a real doctor,’ he said. ‘I’m a zookeeper. I’ve just been pretending too. It must have been that Coffeeheehee that I bought from the funny shop. It’s a miracle! I’m saved! But my patients are in trouble.’

The man who previously thought he was a doctor danced away and played in the pool, and a herd of wild rhinos burst through the doors and hugged him.  Meanwhile, Winnifred and Christabella took Mr Max home.

 

* * * * *

 

Winnifred and Christabella watched the local TV news that evening. It turned out that half of the police at the swimming pool weren’t even real police. They too had drunk the Coffeeheehee. Thankfully the town banned Coffeeheehee, and everyone drank Normalite or Normali-tea or Normaloffee to cure themselves of silliness.

 

The next day at school, Winnifred and Christabella watched as Mr Max arrived on time, feeling normal, dressed normally and looking normal, feeling happy, focused, making sense and not talking rubbish, and listening and responding to his students. The only thing that worried the students was that Mr Max had arrived wearing a pair of shoes on his head.

 

‘Well, you have to be a bit strange sometimes, don’t you?’ said Mr Max.


Submitted: June 16, 2022

© Copyright 2022 Richard C. Parr. All rights reserved.

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