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LarryBoy and the Awful Ear Wacks Attacks

Bob Katula


August 26, 2002

LarryBoy and the Awful Ear Wacks Attacks is the second LarryBoy chapter book. It features a lesson in listening.


"Ear wacks have attacked Bumblyburg! LarryBoy’s fiendish nemesis, Alvin the Onion, is behind it and has unleashed the awful ear wacks to interfere with being a good listener. When LarryBoy falls into Alvin’s awful trap and he can no longer listen, it’s up to Junior Asparagus and LarryBoy’s faithful butler and mentor, Archie, to foil the evil plot. What will come of Bumblyburg now that their superhero is under Alvin’s awful spell? Will Junior and Archie be able to convince LarryBoy to listen to them in time to save Bumblyburg? Will LarryBoy’s super-suction ears be saturated with evil for all time? Alvin’s out to rule the city and LarryBoy forever!"


It's another average day in Bumblyburg as LarryBoy is on patrol, slowly driving the Larrymobile while looking for signs of crime or superhero-needing situations, but while he normally likes going on patrol, he is actually bored while doing so. LarryBoy complains about how there's nothing happening and that if he doesn't see any trouble soon, he'll go home and make himself a peanut butter sandwich. However, LarryBoy sees something coming over the hill, which is a giant slimy purple blob creeping over the hill, LarryBoy recognizing it as a giant purple slime monster. LarryBoy finds himself unable to attack because he's afraid of giant purple slime monsters. LarryBoy parks the Larrymobile and hides behind the bushes as the giant purple slime monster comes over the hill. LarryBoy thinks to himself that Bumblyburg is doomed and that they need a superhero to stop it, before realizing to his detriment that he is that hero. Despite being afraid, LarryBoy has to stop the giant purple slime monster because Bumblyburg depended on him. The giant purple slime monster passes the bushes where LarryBoy is hiding, just as LarryBoy fires a Super Suction Ear at the monster. However, the giant purple slime monster then yells out about being "plungerized". This rings alarm bells within LarryBoy, because he didn't expect the giant purple slime monster to talk, before realizing that it didn't sound anything like a giant purple slime monster should sound. When the monster yells about getting the plunger off of it, this causes LarryBoy to realize that the giant purple slime monster doesn't sound like a giant purple slime monster at all, but rather like Wally.

It turns out that that Herbert and Wally were actually carrying the largest plate of grape-flavored gelatin that LarryBoy had ever seen. After LarryBoy releases Wally from his Super Suction Ear, Herbert and Wally explain to him that they had filled the city swimming pool with grape gelatin and now they were taking the whole thing home to eat, not even minding that there was a pair of swim fins and a life preserver suspended in the middle of the giant gelatin mold. LarryBoy quips that that's a lot of gelatin but while he is admiring the huge blob of gelatin, young Angus Mushroom zooms by on a scooter going way too fast while he yells out that he's coming through. LarryBoy jumps out of the way, but accidentally bumps into Wally, which causes him and Herbert to lose their grip on the gelatin mold and drop it on top of LarryBoy, while he was also stuck in a life preserver. Herbert asks LarryBoy if he's okay, LarryBoy answering that he is, saying that it takes more than getting mucked up with gelatin to stop him, before also adding that Angus Mushroom might cause more accidents if he doesn't stop him. LarryBoy goes over to the Larrymobile and pulls out a rocket-powered skateboard and a helmet, before taking off on the skateboard, called the Larry-Board, but isn't so good at skateboarding. Even in spite of this, LarryBoy is able to catch up to Angus, telling him to stop, but Angus misunderstands, thinking that LarryBoy is calling him Scott. LarryBoy is about to tell Angus to stop again, but is so busy trying to get Angus to stop that he ends up running into a barrel of Mexican jumping beans that Pa Grape was carrying, with some of the beans getting into LarryBoy's suit.

LarryBoy gets back onto the Larry-Board again and chases after Angus again, catching up to Angus again and telling him to halt, but Angus misunderstands again, saying that he would like a chocolate malt. LarryBoy tries to correct him again, but this time, ends up crashing into a big hat display, which sends hats everywhere, as a flowered hat lands on LarryBoy's head. Even in spite of these setbacks, LarryBoy knows that he has to stop Angus before he causes even more accidents, but ends up running into a wall. Fortunately, Chief Croswell, who is volunteering to fill in for the school crossing guard, is able to get Angus to stop by holding out his stop sign while yelling to stop, which causes Angus to finally stop, asking why everyone keeps calling him Scott. LarryBoy rocks up on the Larry-Board and runs into a mailbox, at the same time that the jumping beans in his suit were starting to tickle him, as he starts jumping around. Chief Croswell and Junior Asparagus look at LarryBoy, as Junior asks LarryBoy if he's okay, LarryBoy answering that he is, before wondering why Junior asked. While Chief Croswell is trying to get things sorted out, a dark figure watches from a nearby alley, doing his best to keep himself cloaked in darkness, before it is revealed that the dark figure is LarryBoy's arch enemy, Awful Alvin. Awful Alvin then tells his sidekick Lampy to turn off his light because he'll give away their location, but when Lampy doesn't respond, Awful Alvin turns off the light for him. Awful Alvin then says that they can't let LarryBoy and Chief Croswell see them, after his test on Angus Mushroom worked perfectly, and that soon he will be able to unleash his awful plan, saying that LarryBoy and all of Bumblyburg will listen to only him, before he lets out an evil laugh, but Lampy doesn't laugh along.

A half hour later, Angus' mother, Gladis Mushroom, shows up to take her son home, at the same time that LarryBoy is still jumping around and bumping into walls while still wearing the lady's hat. Gladis asks LarryBoy if he's okay, LarryBoy answering that he is, asking again why everyone keeps asking him that. Chief Croswell tells Gladis that he's glad she showed up, telling her that they've been questing Angus for half an hour, but he wouldn't tell them why he was riding his scooter so recklessly, and that he just wouldn't listen to them. Gladis frowns at Angus, before he asks her why she looks so mad, saying that he was only doing what she told him to, which Gladis is confused about. Angus then tells his mom that she told him to "take your scooter and play in traffic", but Gladis says that she said no such thing, and that she actually said for him to "get some sugar for making taffy", before telling Chief Croswell that she loves to make taffy and that her specialty is chicken-flavored taffy. LarryBoy ends up tripping and falling into a puddle afterwards. A recap is then shown of how awful Awful Alvin truly is, as well as naming off the crimes that he did, such as in the Tropics where he replaced Apple Strudel's sunscreen with olive oil and burned his crust, or when he scared the Pumpkin brothers half to death by filling their beds with fake seeds and orange Silly String while they slept. When Awful Alvin and Lamp return to their lair, Awful Alvin tells Lampy that the test was a success, and that the Ear Wacks worked perfectly.

The Ear Wacks are a device that cause people to not listen to what others tell them, before it is revealed that Awful Alvin had snuck into Angus's room while he was asleep and placed the box with the Ear Wacks beside his bed, while also leaving him a note asking him if he's tired of having to listen to what adults tell him what to do and only want to hear what he wants to hear. Even in spite of this, Awful Alvin is now after the big prize, which is LarryBoy, while also revealing what he called the Extreme Ear Wacks, which are the size of softballs. Awful Alvin then states that when they are placed in the Super Suction Ears of LarryBoy, he will only listen to him for the rest of his days, before laughing evilly again and stating that his plan is so brilliant that if he hadn't come up with it himself, then he wouldn't have believed that someone could come up with a plan so brilliant. At the Daily Bumble, Bob sits at his desk while drinking coffee from his "World's Sauciest Editor" mug, while thinking off all the reasons that it's fun to be at editor of the Daily Bumble, one of the reasons being that he can have all the hot coffee he wants, and that if he had feet, he could put them upon his his desk and no one would tell him, and that he can sit around thinking of useless lists and that it looks like he's working. Junior then comes into the office, surprising Bob so much that he ends up knocking over his cup of coffee on his desk. Because of this, Bob yells for someone to get Larry the janitor in the room, before telling Junior never to burst into his office while he's 'working'. Junior apologizes, before telling Bob that he got a great lead story, telling him about how Angus Mushroom wasn't listening to his mother, but Bob stops him, asking when it is news that a kid doesn't listen to his mother and that it happens every day.

Bob further explains, without letting Junior get a word in edgewise, that when a dog bites a person that's not news, but when a person bites a dog, that's news, which hardly ever happens, except with his Grandpa Ed and his dog Rusty, which is the exception, then tells Junior that he can't cover a story about kids not listening. Because of that, Junior sulks out of Bob's office, but knows that there's more to this story, deciding that he shouldn't give up, because he hadn't given up when he was writing stories for the Bumblyburg Elementary Reader. After all, his determination allowed him to break the big story on suspiciously shorter recesses, and he had to work hard to get some of his other stories published such as "Turbocharge your Gerbil Wheel", the much talked about article that explained how to popularize motor sports with domestic rodents. Junior then decides that this not-listening story had to be covered, before deciding to go interview Angus Mushroom... right after school. Back in Bob's office, he is annoyed that Larry wasn't in his office yet, and is about to place an ad for a new janitor, when Gladis Mushroom comes in while calling out "Yoo-hoo!" Bob asks Gladis what she's doing in the Bumble, Gladis answering that she just made a batch of her famous chicken-flavored taffy and was wondering if Bob wanted some.

Bob is about to answer, when Larry comes into the room, asking Bob what it is, asking if one of the printing presses needs its thingamabob adjusted, a massive roll of newsprint is off its doohickey, or the folding mechanism all cattywumpus, before Bob tells him that it's coffee, saying that Larry's mop should do the trick, then tells Larry to clean up, while he goes to have some taffy. Larry has cleaned up the last of the coffee spill, when his mop handle begins to vibrate, which causes Larry to quip that his mop has had a little too much caffeine before remembering that his trusted friend and butler, Archie, had installed a digital communications device into the mop handle so he could contact LarryBoy when necessary. Archibald calls Larry, asking him if he can hear him, Larry answering that he can, while saying that he's coming in loud and clear, that the broom is the coolest thing and is the best thing to hit the janitorial world since blue toilet water. However, Larry can't find the handy video screen, so Archibald cannot hear Larry, before asking Larry if he's talking directly into the mop and that he needs to speak directly into it, which causes Larry to remember that he was supposed to turn the mop upside-down and talk directly into it. However, Larry can't because his mop is in the bucket and the bucket had coffee in it. Fortunately, he is able to solve this problem by pouring the coffee into a nearby mug, then flipping the bucket and mop over his head, asking Archibald if he can hear him now. Of course, because Larry had the bucket over his head, it caused an echo that caused Archibald to grit his teeth into a distorted grin, before telling Larry to take the bucket off his head because it creates an echo, which Larry does, allowing the screen to come into focus.

Archibald then tells Larry that he wanted to remind him about his superhero class at the Bumblyburg Community College, before telling him that he'll see him after class. Larry is ecstatic, asking Archibald if he'll be in the hall when he comes out of class, but Archibald replies that he won't, because he'll be at home, which causes Larry to realize that, technically, Archibald won't see him right after class, which Archibald confirms. Larry then realizes that even in good traffic with the Larrymobile, he won't be able to get there, which Archibald understands, before telling Larry that he'll see him moments after he arrives home. Larry then ecstatically asks Archibald if he'll be waiting for him at the door, but Archibald tells him to just get back to his janitorial duties before he arouses suspicion, which Larry does after saying goodbye to Archibald. Junior is trying to ask Angus what's causing his listening problem, but Angus misunderstands, telling Junior that he's not "pausing to a whistling album". This causes Junior to beat his head against his reporter's notebook, telling Angus that that's not what he said at all because he's asked the same question every time, even having it written down. When Angus sees the question written down, he finally understands, saying that he doesn't have a listening problem, but he does have something really cool, which is his new Ear Wacks. Junior becomes disgusted, thinking that Angus is taking about actual ear wax, before realizing that even though Angus was having trouble listening, he could read just fine.

Angus then explains that his mom was really mad when he got home, and made him wash his ears out really good, even having to take his Ear Wacks out, but put them back in when he was done. Junior is still disgusted at the thought of ear wax being yanked out of and put back into someone's ears, before writing another question, asking Angus why he would want to do that. Angus answers that it was so he can hear whatever he wants to, and that it was easy, he just reached in and pulled the Ear Wacks right out, then he stuck them right back in again. Junior becomes a little green around the stalk when Angus tells him all of this, but knows that a good reporter shouldn't let his feeling in the way, before writing down another question, asking if it came out in one big chunk. But Angus tells him that it's little, before asking Junior if he wants to see it, which Junior is a bit nervous about, but when Angus showed him the small blinking Ear Wacks devices, his reporter's instincts took over. Junior asks what these devices are, Angus answering that they're Ear Wacks, telling him that that's what he's been telling him all along, before showing Junior the box they came in, while Junior reads the note that came with them asking the recipient if they're tired of always having to listen to adults telling you what to do, and to try the new Ear Wacks, able to fool parents and teachers into thinking that they're listening when they're actually only hearing what they want to hear. This causes Junior to realize that these gizmos are called Ear Wacks, and that it wasn't ordinary ear wax that was causing the listening problem, but Ear Wacks.

Junior asks Angus where they came from, before Angus explains that they were right on the table next to the open window when he woke up that morning, because someone had planted them there while he slept. Junior then asks Angus if you don't hear anything with them in, Angus answering only when you don't want to, before putting the Ear Wacks back, further saying that you only hear what you want to hear. Junior starts thinking about what this means, thinking about all the times that kids didn't want to listen to something important: directions, rules, guidance, and all sorts of information that came from teachers, parents, doctors, and even God, thinking that it would be very tempting to just stop listening to what you didn't want to hear, but the consequences could be disastrous. Junior knows that the Ear Wacks are serious threat to Bumblyburg and that he has to stop them from getting into anyone else's ears, before turning the box over to see if there was anything else written on it. On the bottom are the initials M.M., just as Gladis comes in, asking if anyone wants some taffy. Angus wants taffy, but Junior politely turns down Gladis's offer, telling her that he has to get the story down to the Daily Bumble right away so that he can warn everyone about the mysterious M.M. before he plants any more Ear Wacks. After Junior has left, Gladis is confused, wondering why anyone would want to plant ear wax.

At the Daily Bumble, Bob is heading down the hall on his way back to this office, all while daydreaming again, this time thinking about how much fun it would be to play in a pool filled with grape gelatin, and that you could bounce all over the place, play bouncy bowling, and turn somersaults. However, he is suddenly interrupted by Junior calling out for him, telling Bob about how Ear Wacks are what's prevented Angus Mushroom from listening. Once again, Bob misunderstands and becomes disgusted, thinking that Junior is talking about regular ear wax, then asks if that's a little "ear-regular", then chuckles at his own joke and sarcastically says that he's glad that they got to the bottom of that big story. Junior tries telling Bob that it's a big story and that they have to warn people before everyone has Ear Wacks. Of course, Bob tells him that most folks already have ear wax and that he doesn't think it's a good enough story for the Daily Bumble, before saying that he has some important "work" to do. When Bob comes back to his office, he is pleased when he sees Larry working and that the coffee spill had been cleaned up, while also glad to see that Larry even brought him a new cup of coffee. Bob then drinks the coffee from his "World's Sauciest Editor" mug, not realizing that he was drinking the mopped-up coffee, which causes him to become green around the gills, which Larry notices. When Bob doesn't respond, Larry can only shrug before walking out into the hall, where he runs into Junior.

When Larry asks Junior what's up, Junior tells him that he has to think of a way to convince Bob that there's a serious threat to Bumblyburg, and that he's not talking about the return of polyester. Larry tells him that Bob doesn't seem to be talking to anyone just now, then asks Junior to just tell him about it. Junior brings out the box that has the Ear Wacks, telling him about the Ear Wacks that came out of Angus Mushroom's ears. Larry becomes disgusted, thinking that Junior is talking about real ear wax, but when Junior shows him the Ear Wacks, he becomes amazed at the small blinking dots. Junior then explains to Larry what he learned about the Ear Wacks and the M.M. initials, and also how it's important to warn everyone before the Ear Wacks got out to the general public. Larry then proclaims that this is a job for LarryBoy, which Junior agrees with, saying that someone should tell him. Larry then says that he's that someone, realizing that it has to be the work of one his arch-enemies, but he can't think of anyone with the initials M.M., other than former NBA star Moses Malone, being certain that it wasn't him, knowing that he has to get a piece of Ear Wacks to Archibald for analysis. Larry asks Junior if he could have the Ear Wacks, explaining that he has some equipment in his janitor's closet that could give them some answers, also adding that "you'd be surprised what I can do with a good plunger and some duct tape". Junior reluctantly agrees with Larry, saying that if his equipment doesn't work, then be sure to get it in the hands of LarryBoy, which Larry confirms before he disappears around the corner.

After LarryBoy gets the Ear Wacks to Archibald, he goes to his superhero class at the Bumblyburg Community College. Bok Choy, the teacher of the class, makes his way to the front of the classroom when LarryBoy's belt buckle starts beeping. This causes the other superheroes to look at their belts to see if their belt radios were beeping. Larry tells the other superheroes that it's his before apologizing them for the interruption but he has to take this. After going into the hall, LarryBoy asks Archibald what's up, Archibald telling him that he's determined that the Ear Wacks have a tiny microchip that somehow interferes with the user's ability to listen, and according to the computer, the initials stand for 'Masked Messenger'. LarryBoy is relieved that it's not Moses Malone, before Archibald tells him that he'll have to look elsewhere for the Masked Messenger. LarryBoy states that he could be hard to spot and that he might be wearing a mask, which Archibald confirms, saying that he could even be in the class posing as a superhero, then tells LarryBoy to be on his toes, which confuses LarryBoy about how he could do that, before he becomes excited about the prospect of a villain in superhero class, wanting to tell the other superheroes about it, but Archibald tells him that he can't let the Masked Messenger know that he's on to him and for him to say nothing to anyone. When there's no response, Archibald realizes that LarryBoy took his advice a little too literally, before clarifying that he meant for him to say nothing to anyone in class. LarryBoy returns to class just as Bok Choy was already speaking as he tells the class to turn in their Superhero Handbook to Section 20, Paragraph 1, Line 5, which has the lesson they are discussing; "Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance."

LarryBoy stands in the doorway and scans the classroom while looking at the masks the superheroes were wearing, wondering if any of them could be the Masked Messenger. Bok Choy then asks Electro-Melon to tell them why listening is so important. Electro-Melon then answers that even though they're all superheroes with super gadgets and super powers, they don't know everything there is to know, and that they can always learn from someone else, whether they're young or old, as Bok Choy praises him afterwards, saying that everyone can teach them something. LarryBoy still looks around before seeing something very disturbing; there's not just one superhero with the letters M.M. on his mask, but two. Bok Choy continues his lesson, explaining that the second part of the message is to let the discerning get guidance, explaining that that means we also need to be careful to whom we listen, then asks another superhero named Raisinboy if he could elaborate on that. Raisinboy answers that it means that it's important to listen to those who want what's best for us, like our parents, our teachers, and God to name a few, Bok Choy praising him, also saying that it's also important that we can trust the people to whom we listen.

At the same time, LarryBoy is worried, wondering how he would ever be able to figure out which superhero with an M.M. on their mask was the real Masked Marvel, deciding that he would have to talk to them, but the problem is how to do that with Bok Choy in the room, knowing that Bok Choy would probably catch him talking. LarryBoy does not want to go stand in the corner again, because that dunce hat really clashed with his costume, then comes up with an idea, which is that he would distract Bok Choy and get him out of the room, then he could weed out the real villain. LarryBoy runs into the room pretending to be in distress, calling for Bok Choy, telling him that there's a terribly emergency and that some superhero must act. All of the other superheroes are prepared to take action, but LarryBoy tells them that only Bok Choy can handle this emergency. When Bok Choy asks LarryBoy why this is, saying that there are plenty of capable superheroes here, LarryBoy tells him that this emergency is taking place in the teacher's lounge and that only teachers are allowed in there, because they're out of coffee. Bok Choy is shocked when he hears this, claiming that this is a "caffeine catastrophe", then tells the superheroes to stay there while he takes care of this. Bok Choy then leaves the room while giving off her personal heroic cry, which is, "Bok-Bok-Bok-Bok-Bok Choy, away!" After Bok Choy has left, LarryBoy comes up to the first superhero with an M.M. on his mask, telling him 'nice mask', and introduces himself, before asking this superhero who he is. The first superhero introduces himself as Muskie Melon, while LarryBoy tells him that that explains the smell, while sounding a little disappointed that he wasn't the Masked Messenger. Muskie apologizes, saying that he's a little ripe and that he didn't have a chance to shower after his tie-bow class. When LarryBoy questions this, Muskie explains that some superheroes who wear capes were having trouble keeping them tied when chasing after villains, learning some new bows that won't come undone as easily. Before Muskie can continue his explanation, LarryBoy cuts him off, telling him that it was good to meet him but he has to go now. One down, LarryBoy goes to check out the other superhero.

LarryBoy goes to check out the other superhero that also has M.M. on her mask, complimenting her for her nifty mask and asks her if it's new. The female superhero answers that it is, while also explaining that her old mask was a poly-blend and gave her a horrible rash when she got hot chasing villains, while her new mask is high-tech Cottonesque, which wicks away the perspiration. LarryBoy suggestively tells the female superhero that he gets the message which causes the female superhero to reply that she's very good at messages. LarryBoy then has his own message for the female superhero, which is, "It's not nice to mess with the ears of Bumblyburg!", before shooting his Super-Suction Ears at the masked potato. The other superheroes hear the commotion, which causes them to instinctively activate all of their super-gadgets, with the room now filled with ropes, grappling hooks, nets, hoses, smoke, bungee cords, squid ink, foam, slingshots, boomerangs, and a saxophone. Bok Choy re-enters the room, telling LarryBoy that there's plenty of coffee, before noticing the mess, asking what's going on. LarryBoy explains that he discovered a super-villain infiltrating their class, the Masked Messenger, and that her evil plan was to interfere with the ability of their fine citizens to be good listeners and to create chaos and confusion. The female superhero tries to say something, but one of LarryBoy's Super-Suction Ear is covering her mouth. Bok Choy tells LarryBoy not to jump to conclusions and to listen to what the female superhero has to say before trying to whip her into shape. LarryBoy releases his plungers, before the masked potato says that she should have stayed in Boise, then says that she's not the Masked Messenger, but the Mashed Marvel, which causes everyone else to gasp. The Mashed Marvel explains that when she said she was good with messages, she meant mental messages, meaning that she can read minds with her super powers. LarryBoy thinks to himself that he bets she can, but the Mashed Marvel reads his mind, saying that she really can and further tells LarryBoy that if he would have been a good listener, then none of this would have happened, the other superheroes agreeing with the Mashed Marvel. Bok Choy then says that they've all learned a valuable lesson, then tells the class to go out and be good listeners, before dismissing class.

LarryBoy feels horrible for what happened, all because he wasn't a good listener, and that he had lost the respect of his fellow superheroes. However, a voice tells him to chin up, before the voice is revealed to belong to Awful Alvin, who had been in class all along disguised as Marineboy, with him and LarryBoy now the only ones left in the classroom. Awful Alvin says that LarryBoy had a tough night and that it happens to everyone and that he's sure that the other superheroes will forget all about it in 10 or 20 years. LarryBoy laments that he feels so foolish and that he wishes he was a better listener. Awful Alvin is gleeful that LarryBoy is walking right into his trap, and tells LarryBoy that he has just the thing for that, explaining that he made these devices specifically to help people listen. While standing behind LarryBoy, Awful Alvin takes out two glowing orbs, the Extreme Ear Wacks, from a box on the floor, then tells LarryBoy to tilt his head back and that he'll be a better listener in no time. Awful Alvin, needing a little more light to make sure the Extreme Ear Wacks were placed securely, reaches over and pulls Lampy from his position near the wall. LarryBoy casually greets Lampy, before realizing that Lampy was in view, but before he can react, Awful Alvin had already attached the Extreme Ear Wacks to LarryBoy's Super Suction Ears. As soon as the Extreme Ear Wacks are placed in LarryBoy's Super Suction Ears, he suddenly hears the squeal of high-pitched tones like a radio dial being tuned to a distant station, at the same time that Awful Alvin removes the mask and costume that he had stolen.

Awful Alvin tells LarryBoy that they meet again, while LarryBoy asks Awful Alvin if he ever heard of breath mints, but LarryBoy can't even hear his own words. The static and squealing then stops before LarryBoy can now only hear the sound of Awful Alvin's voice, who tells LarryBoy that he will hear only what he wants him to hear and that he will ignore hearing all that is good and that he may even have him sing the Awful Alvin theme song that he just finished and that it's not as awful as one might suspect. Awful Alvin further explains to LarryBoy that he thought he might be onto his plan, so he put the letters M.M. on the box to throw him off the trail. LarryBoy tries hard not to listen to Awful Alvin's words, even figuring out the words to the Awful Alvin theme song, which is, "More than just an onion/He's a super onion sneak/He's a really rotten stinker/So you don't dance cheek to cheek". However, it is no use because the villain's words have taken over and that they are the only thing LarryBoy could hear. LarryBoy knows that he had to fight it and to think of a way to contact Archibald and stop Awful Alvin, but how? The next morning, Archibald is very worried because Larry's pajamas were neatly folded, his bunny slipper next to his bed, and his hair brush is in plain sight, becoming clear that Larry had not come home after Superhero Class last night. Archibald doesn't get any answer on any of LarryBoy's communication devices; his Mop-Video-Phone, his Belt-Buckle-Radio, his Transistor-Toaster Pastry or even his Digital Toothpick, before fearing that LarryBoy was in the clutches of the Masked Messenger. Archibald then calls Bok Choy at the Bumblyburg Community College, while Bok Choy tells him about the unfortunate incident that happened during superhero class. Archibald then asks if it's possible that LarryBoy was just too embarrassed to come home, while Bok Choy confirms that it's possible, but at least LarryBoy had someone to talk to when he left, which was the superhero from Bumbly Bay, Marineboy. Archibald thanks Bok Choy and turns his attention to the police scanner for possible news of LarryBoy's whereabouts.

The Bumblyburg station answers, as car 54, before Archibald asks, "Car 54, where are you?". Car 54 answers that they're on the outskirts of Bumblyburg in the Villain's Lair district, and that they picked up an avocado that they found wandering around. Car 54 further explains that the avocado claims to be a kidnapped superhero from Bumbly Bay, but won't reveal his superhero identity, though did say that his costume was stolen by Awful Alvin. Archibald puts two and two together; LarryBoy was seen last with Marineboy from Bumbly Bay, then a superhero from Bumbly Bay claimed Awful Alvin had stolen his costume. This causes Archibald to realize that Awful Alvin must have been posing as Marineboy when Bok Choy last saw LarryBoy, and that LarryBoy has fallen into the awful clutches of Awful Alvin... and Lampy. In the skies above Bumblyburg, an onion-shaped blimp is positioned over the Veggie Valley Elementary School, and in the blimp's gondola are Awful Alvin, Lampy, and LarryBoy, as well as hundreds of small velvet boxes rigged with tiny, tear-shaped parachutes. Normally LarryBoy would have been uncomfortable with his current situation, but this time, he was not acting like himself, acting less like a superhero and more like an un-superhero, with his eyes half-closed and his mind only registering the constant villainous cackling of Awful Alvin. Awful Alvin explains that each of the parachutes will carry a pair of Ear Wacks to the unsuspecting playground below, and when the kids at Veggie Valley place the Ear Wacks in their ears, they would only be able to hear one thing... Awful Alvin's own hideous commands, and that the kids would become his drones. Awful Alvin then announces that they are over the drop side before telling Lampy to release the Ear Wacks, but Lampy just stands there, while Awful Alvin tells him that this is no time for second thoughts. Lampy still stands there, before Awful Alvin decides to let LarryBoy pull the lever and drop the Ear Wacks to the school children of Veggie Valley. LarryBoy does as Awful Alvin tells him, pulling the lever and letting the Ear Wacks fall to the children of Veggie Valley Elementary School.

Back at the Larry-Cave, Archibald paces nervously just as the Larry-Alarm goes off, the Larry-Radar having detected an unknown object in the skies above Bumblyburg. Archibald then yells "To the Larry-Scope", before realizing that there was no one there other than Larry's rubber duckie and that he was talking to himself again. Archibald regains his composure and presses a button that causes a high-power telescope to emerge from one of the turrets on the mansion. Since it was a clear day, it didn't take long to spot the onion-shaped blimp in the sky over Bumblyburg. Archibald zooms in on the blimp, realizing that LarryBoy has fallen into Awful Alvin's clutches, asking what he's done to him, before noticing LarryBoy's glassy-eyed stare and the glowing orbs in his ears. Archibald zooms in on the orbs with full magnification, able to make out several small words, which are "If you can read this, you have a really good telescope", then pulls back a little on the zoom function and reads the larger letters: "Extreme Ear Wacks". This causes Archibald to realize why LarryBoy hadn't been responding on his communicator, because he was under the control of the Ear Wacks. Archibald is worried, saying that the Ear Wacks are extremely powerful and that if he doesn't find a way to neutralize them, then the damage could become permanent. Archibald takes out the smaller set of Ear Wacks that LarryBoy have given down to the Larry-Lab to study them and to find a way to disarm the Ear Wacks, because the future of Bumblyburg was at stake.

Back at Veggie Valley Elementary, Awful Alvin's plan is working perfectly, while Junior runs around trying to warn his classmates not to put the Ear Wacks in their ears, but they don't listen, excited at the prospect of only hearing what they wanted to hear. However, instead of hearing only what they wanted to hear, they end up hearing something that no one wanted to hear: The awful voice of Awful Alvin. Because of that, they end up becoming his unwilling servants, just like LarryBoy, before surrounding Junior, before even he had Ear Wacks in his ears. The blimp then lands on the ground while Awful Alvin gleefully shouts out "Touch down!", claiming that it's seven points for them, before becoming confused about if it's six now, but says that it doesn't matter and that he makes the rules now, so decides to say that it's seven. Awful Alvin then decides that they should get some cheerleaders, and maybe a mascot too, also adding that an onion ring might be nice, and that it has a nice 'ring' to it. Normally, LarryBoy would have to take Awful Alvin to jail just for making such a bad pun, but all he could do now was listen through the Extreme Ear Wacks. Awful Alvin then tells all the children and LarryBoy that it's time for them to do his bidding, and that he bids that they shall do awful things that will please him and only him. Awful Alvin then looks at LarryBoy and explains to him about how the children of Bumblyburg were now under his control, saying that he took away the authority of anyone they've ever listened to; parents, teachers, police officers, and even God, adding that they are all powerless in the eyes, or rather ears, of the children. Awful Alvin then has the kids line up and starts giving them awful commands that only his awful mind could ever have come up with. First, he commands them to stand on their heads, then to hop around like kangaroos, then to scratch that spot on his back that he could never reach, before finally commanding them to do something so awful that it was almost too awful for even Awful Alvin; which was country line dancing, while LarryBoy and the children can only helplessly obey his commands.

Back at the Larry-Cave, Archibald is working feverishly to find a way to disable the Ear Wacks, but without any success. Archibald picks up a tiny Ear Wack and carries it over to the electron microscope, passing near the communication console. When he does this, an ear-piercing screech echoes through the Larry-Cave, at the same time in the gondola of the blimp, LarryBoy and Awful Alvin also hear the same screech as well. Archibald flipped off the microphone switch, as everything goes silent once again, before he mumbles to himself that he must have left the microphone on when he last attempted to call LarryBoy, and that that screech was audio feedback from the microphone. Archibald had accidentally discovered a way to communicate to the Ear Wacks and that with some extra fine-tuning, then maybe he could reach LarryBoy, but how could he counter the effect of the Extreme Ear Wacks? That part would have to be up to LarryBoy, and that only LarryBoy could listen and learn by stopping to think about what he was hearing and from whom. He would have to discern whom he trusted and who was telling him what was best for him, which most certainly wasn't Awful Alvin.The ringing in his ears had subsided, just as LarryBoy was certain he had heard Archibald's distinctive voice, sounding like that he was yelling out in pain, though to Awful Alvin, it had sounded like the ringing of a thousand bells that were yelling out in pain. After being able to hear again, Awful Alvin asks Lampy what caused the malfunction and that he wants some answers now, but Lampy provided no answers, though he didn't claim there was any further threat either, just as long as the Veggie kids continued to follow Alvin's orders, everything seemed to be going according to plans. Awful Alvin then screeches that no one can stop him now, saying that LarryBoy will now be using his super-powers to help him do any awful thing he chooses, like taking cuts in lines at the movies, checking out with more than ten items in the express lane, driving alone in the car pool lane, swimming without a life guard at the community pool, and tearing off those "Do Not Remove" labels on mattresses. Awful Alvin picks up his Ear Wacks transmitter and tells the Children that it's time for more of their Awful Assignments and that the reign of Awful Alvin has begun, before he starts laughing.

The villain's maniacal laugh is still ringing in LarryBoy's ears when he again hears more high-pitched squeals, before Awful Alvin's voice suddenly seemed to be mixing with Archibald's, and that if there was ever a time LarryBoy needed guidance, it was now. LarryBoy thinks back to the lesson he'd heard in his superhero class, realizing that he had been listening in class, but he hadn't really paid attention. He starts thinking hard, "Let the wise... something... and get guidance", or maybe, "Guide the wise to avoid something", or maybe "Get the rice pudding if you have a yearning", which didn't seem right either. LarryBoy focuses all his concentration on the lesson, before remembering now only the words, but also the meaning, "Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance". This causes LarryBoy to realize that he just had to listen to the people he trusted, those who loved him and wanted what was best for him, before it is suddenly perfectly clear and that he could hear only Archibald. Archibald quietly tells LarryBoy that if he truly learned his lesson, then he should be able to hear him, before saying that he has a plan and for LarryBoy to listen carefully. Archibald goes through the plan with LarryBoy, who listens carefully to the guidance from his trusted butler and mentor, LarryBoy knowing that it was his only chance to defeat Awful Alvin and save Bumblyburg and that he had to break the spell of the Ear Wacks once and for all.

Awful Alvin grabs a list of student names he had stolen from Veggie Valley Elementary School and begins giving out awful assignments. First, he tells Percy Pea to put 'Wet Paint' signs on all the benches, bushes, doors, sidewalks, trees, and streets, then tells Laura Carrot to mix the recyclables with the regular garbage, before also giving out more assignments to the other kids, such as drinking directly out of milk cartons at the grocery store, replacing #2 pencils with #3's, breaking the bottom tips off pointed ice cream cones, and losing the caps to colored markers, until only Junior Asparagus remained. Awful Alvin tells Junior that he has an especially awful assignment for him, to which Junior snaps to action, but instead of listening to Awful Alvin, he concentrates on what he had heard from his mom and dad, that they had taught him to listen only to the people who loved him - the people he would trust. This was his chance to help LarryBoy, before telling Awful Alvin that he won't listen to him and that he's only going to listen to the people who care about him, then asks LarryBoy if he cares about him. Junior's words get through to LarryBoy loud and clear, before he says that he does, and that Bumblyburg needs a hero before proclaiming that he's that hero. LarryBoy fires his Super-Suction Ears in rapid succession at Awful Alvin, but they fall to the ground and bounce at the villain's feet, while Awful Alvin gloats to LarryBoy that he deactivated his firing mechanism, and tells him to give him a little more credit than that. LarryBoy counters back by saying that he has plenty of other weapons to use against him, acknowledging Archibald, before remembering that Archibald can't hear him unless he turns on his radio, which he does, causing a tremendous screech of feedback to fill the air, which doesn't affect LarryBoy since the Extreme Ear Wacks no longer had any effect. But Awful Alvin ends up clutching his ears in pain while his inner-ear implants were still cranked to the max. Despite this, he manages to command the children to seize him and switch off his Belt Buckle radio, as the children surround LarryBoy.

LarryBoy protests to the kids that it's him and asks if they trust him, before telling them that they know that he wants best for all of them and they have to choose very carefully when you decide to whom you will listen. LarryBoy then says that he's the good guy while Awful Alvin is the bad guy and doesn't want to do what's right. Junior then turns off LarryBoy's Belt Buckle radio as he looks up at the hero and realizes that he trusts LarryBoy, because LarryBoy loved him and wanted what was best for him, while Awful Alvin did not. Junior understands the value of listening to the right people as he shakes his head hard enough to cause the Ear Wacks to fall out. The other children also shake their heads to get the Ear Wacks out, as they realize just how awful Awful Alvin was. While Awful Alvin slowly recovers from the bout with the screeching feedback, LarryBoy comes up with an idea, asking the children if they have chewing gum. The children are able to take out an assortment of gum out of their pockets: Squiggly's Spearmint, Palooka Pop, Molar Madness, Chewy Kablooey, Gooeylicious, Jaw Mashers, Tooth Tinglers, every kind of gum imaginable. LarryBoy quietly tells the children to start chewing, just as Awful Alvin struggles back to a standing position, then tells the children that when they get a good sticky wad, take out their Ear Wacks, stick them in the gum, and stick the gum to Awful Alvin. Everyone starts chewing frantically, including LarryBoy, who is able to gobble a whole pack of his favorite grape gum, Bubblyburst.

Awful Alvin turns to the kids despite his head still throbbing before telling the kids that he tricked them into wearing the Ear Wacks, but that doesn't mean that they still can't listen to him, before telling them that they listen to him, they will get to help him mess up the entire school, before asking them if no more school sounds like fun. The kids paused because messing up the school did sound like fun, but Junior tells them that LarryBoy is right, because Awful Alvin is a bad guy and if they listen to him, they'll end up doing bad stuff too and that they need to listen to those who care about them and care about doing what's right, like LarryBoy. Junior smiles at LarryBoy, who smiles back, but Awful Alvin does not smile when he gets hit on the forehead by some Palooka Pop gum, before he gets hit by a piece of Molar Madness gum, as more pieces of gum land on his head. Awful Alvin cries out to Lampy for help, but Lampy does not do anything, all while the kids are determined to bring the villain down by attacking him with colored wads of gum, each with the Ear Wacks inside, while Awful Alvin yells out for the kids to stop while he realizes that the Ear Wacks aren't working anymore, then starts backing away slowly as he grabs Lampy and looks for an escape route. Awful Alvin tries to run to his blimp to get away, just as LarryBoy sticks two extremely large wads of purple gum on either side of the villain's head.

LarryBoy then tells Awful Alvin that he has a little feedback for him, first telling him not to mess with Bumblyburg, then reaches down and switches on his Belt Buckle radio, which causes an ear-spitting pitch of feedback to emit from the hundreds of Ear Wacks that causes Awful Alvin and Lampy to get sent flying into the air over Bumblyburg until landing with a splash in the community swimming pool. With Awful Alvin defeated, LarryBoy quips, "Anyone for onion dip?", while the citizens of Bumblyburg cheer. At the Larry Manor, Larry tells Archibald that it's good to be home, while relaxing in his favorite easy chair, especially saying that it's good to have Bumblyburg back to normal, which Archibald agrees with. Larry then says that he sure learned a valuable lesson about listening, Archibald telling him that that's good news because he was going to tell him that it's time for him to get back to his janitor job. A glassy look then comes over Larry's eyes as he tells Archibald that he can't hear him because the Ear Wacks must be affecting him again. Archibald then starts chewing a piece of chewing gum all while threatening Larry that he has a big wad of Bubblyburst and that he's not afraid to use it. Because of that, Larry hops up out of his chair while saying that he was just kidding, before grabbing up his mop and rushing off to work.

Fun Facts[]


Real-World References[]

  • Moses Malone (1955 - 2015) was a former Basketball player in the NBA.
  • "Car 54, Where Are You?" was a 1961 sitcom that aired on NBC.