Macdonald Hall:
Go Jump in the Pool

From the book:

The funny photo contest was received with an enthusiasm that even Bruno hadn't predicted -- the faculty trip to town brought back two cases of film ordered by the students. Mark Davies recruited several helpers in anticipation of a heavy workload.
To everyone's surprise, especially the Headmaster's, the first entry was made by Mrs. Sturgeon. She entered the picture of her husband winning the door prize at the talent show. As Boots put it, "Everyone can forget first prize. That's the funniest picture I ever saw in my life!"
But then a senior named Mario Brundia entered a picture of Wilbur Hackenschleimer, his mouth opened wide enough to drive a truck through, about to attack a triple-decker hamburger with the works, and Boots was not so sure.
Pictures began to pour in by the hundreds. Notable among these was a particularly good study of Coach Flynn lying on the floor in pain after demonstrating to the boys the proper way to use the vaulting horse. Someone had taken a camera to gym class. There was also a picture of Sidney Rampulsky in free fall over the newly-waxed floor of the infirmary, where he had gone for an aspirin and stayed for an ankle cast. Bruno Walton had even managed to capture on film the expression on the face of Mr. Hubert, the chemistry teacher, when someone accidentally dipped his beard in a beaker of acid. This picture was of such good quality that smoke could actually be seen rising from the tip of the beard.
And still the pictures poured in. There were so many in just five days that Bruno and Boots had to start on a second wall in the dining hall. And mealtimes at Macdonald Hall were scenes of raucous delight as the boys all rushed to see the day's entries.
To Bruno's chagrin, Boots entered a picture of his roommate in a state of peaceful slumber, the blankets in turmoil and the pillow partially over his face. To get even, Bruno snapped a still-life photo of Boots's open gym locker, crammed full of old sweat socks and wadded-up jerseys. Prominent at the top was the stenciled name, Melvin O' Neal.
Even Miss Scrimmage became enthusiastically involved. Unfortunately, however, she was under the impression that she was entering a serious photo contest, and when she set up her antique camera on its tripod one evening, it was to capture on film the beauty of a bowl of fruit. This was the first time in thirty years that Miss Scrimmage had used her camera, so she might be excused for grossly overloading the hand-held flash tray. She was humming happily to herself as she crept under the black hood and peered through the lens to focus.
Foom! The flash powder ignited the hood, the curtains and the upholstery. Dense clouds of white smoke poured out of the sitting room and into the hall.
"Fire!" screamed Miss Scrimmage.
Into the room burst Cathy Burton, wildly spraying foam from a fire extinguisher. She sprayed until a thick blanket of foam lay over everything, including the Headmistress. Then, satisfied that the fire was out, she whipped out her own small camera and snapped a picture of Miss Scrimmage amid the wreckage.
Diane Grant and two other girls came rushing in. "What happened?"
"Oh, nothing," Cathy said airily. "Miss Scrimmage has everything under control."

* * *

It was becoming apparent that a naturally funny picture was hard to come by and that artificial circumstances had to be created. These creations began to get a little out of hand.
"Elmer," said Bruno, "I want to buy that poster of the Pacific salmon from you."
"Oh, you can have it for free," replied Elmer. "I have fifteen more in my dresser. I'm really glad to see you're taking an interest in ichthyology."
"Right," Bruno nodded. He picked up the poster and smashed it over Elmer's head, leaving it hanging around his neck. Then he pulled out his instamatic and snapped a picture.

* * *

Pete Anderson was walking across the campus to his first class one morning when he was suddenly struck in the centre of the forehead by a suction-cup arrow which vibrated for a moment and stuck there. From behind a clump of bushes jumped Boots O' Neal., the bow over his shoulder, his camera in his hand. Snap.
And when a furious Pete began to chase Boots, Wilbur Hackenschleimer was on hand to capture the chase on film.

* * *

Perry Elbert was splashing happily in a bubble bath one evening when his roommate appeared, thrust a rubber duck into his arms and snapped a picture.
Things were getting worse. When Wilbur Hackenschleimer put his football helmet on at practice one afternoon, cold spaghetti spilled down over his head. Bruno Walton just happened to be there with his camera.

* * *

Mark Davies woke up one morning to find his face painted with peanut butter and jelly, and a slice of bread attached to his hair with a sprig of parsley and a toothpick. Another slice of bread was taped under his chin. His roommate photographed him in this state, and although he was angry, Mark was honour-bound to develop the picture for entry into the contest.

* * *

Miss Scrimmage's also had its share of troubles over the photo contest.
When Miss Smedley, the gym teacher, was showing her class how to jog without becoming exhausted, she failed to notice that Cathy Burton had attached a small smoke bomb to the back of her shorts. Miss Smedley ran around the cinder track leaving a plume of smoke behind her like the vapour trail of a supersonic jet. Cathy took the picture.
When Cathy was put on kitchen duty as punishment for this escapade, she didn't see Diane Grant sneak in and add half a box of detergent to the dishwasher. Diane took a picture of Cathy, knee-deep in suds, vainly trying to stem the overflow with her bare hands.
For revenge, Cathy knotted all Diane's underwear together and photographed her, perplexed and astonished, pulling miles of it out of her drawer.
There were also pictures of girls caught unawares arm-wrestling, smoking cigars and drooling toothpaste. No one was immune.

Copyright © 1979 Gordon Korman, used by permission

York Academy and Macdonald Hall have always been big rivals in both academics and their sports programs, but when Bruno Walton and Boots O' Neal. learns that Macdonald Hall is about to lose some of its best students to York because the Hall doesn't have a swimming pool, he goes on the warpath, determined to save the school.

Though the Fish (Headmaster Sturgeon) feels it would be nice to have a pool, the school budget is short on the construction costs by $25,000; in a weak moment he agrees to allow Bruno and the students to try and raise the necessary funds, and Bruno's wonderful but warped mind goes right to work.

Through rummage sales, talent shows, and contest entries, the Macdonald Hall boys are able to raise their first couple thousand dollars, but the campus is in an uproar ... and when Bruno announces a funny photo contest and the students start playing practical jokes on one another, the school is engulfed in total chaos.

Will the Fish decides he has had enough, and forbids all further fund-raising activities? How far will Bruno go to keep his friends at Macdonald Hall? No matter the length, nothing may be enough, and the Hall's survival may rest in the hands of Boots' mortal enemy.