Wednesday and Thursday. It’s a snow day, and Greg is excited about building the “world’s biggest snowman” with Rowley. Their snowball is so big that it tears up the turf on Greg’s lawn, angering Greg’s dad. Greg’s dad is annoyed even further when Greg throws snow at Manny, so he takes out his shovel and destroys Greg and Rowley’s snowball. Rowley is mad at Greg for getting them in trouble, so they get into a shoving match—until they are both hit by snowballs from a group of kids passing by.
Greg’s dad takes issue with Greg throwing snow at Manny because a toddler is too young to fight back. Ironically, he metes out similar behavior—destroying Greg and Rowley’s snowball with a shovel. Greg and Rowley are then hit with snowballs by other kids, demonstrating the way that kids in Greg’s life both perpetrate and are victimized by bullying behavior.
Wednesday and Thursday. The school announces an opening for a cartoonist for the school newspaper. Greg is eager to take the slot, since he thinks it will make him a “celebrity” at school. He once won honorable mention in a competition to draw a cartoon for an anti-smoking campaign, so he thinks he has a good shot. Greg and Rowley decide to write a cartoon together but have trouble coming up with actual jokes. Greg comes up with the idea to write a cartoon in which the punch line is always “Zoo-Wee-Mama,” which Rowley loves, even though Greg eventually gets tired of it.
As usual, Greg is motivated to do something because he thinks it will make him more popular and raise his status in the social hierarchy of the middle school. But although Greg tries out for school cartoonist because he wants to become a “celebrity,” he in fact shows significant enjoyment of comics and drawing. In this sense, his pursuit of popularity might be less effective than developing his own authentic interests.
Friday. Greg comes up with an idea for another comic called “Creighton the Cretin,” which makes fun of the “idiots” at his school. He turns in the comic to the teacher who runs the school newspaper, Mr. Ira, making sure to hide the comics he thinks might be better than his under a pile of paperwork on the teacher’s desk.
Greg is so desperate to become school cartoonist—and reap the ensuing social benefits—that he deceives Mr. Ira and hides the comics of other students, demonstrating once again his obsession with social status.
Thursday. Greg’s scheme backfires spectacularly when Mr. Ira chooses to publish his comic—but with some “minor edits.” These edits involve entirely changing the comic strip beyond recognition. In the original, Creighton the Cretin ate a math test, whereas in Mr. Ira’s version, Creighton explains fractions.