Heather persuades Melinda to go to the Winter Assembly so that she does not need to sit alone (the Marthas have yet to invite her to sit with them). She gives Melinda bell earrings as a Christmas present, and Melinda notes that she will now have to buy Heather something—perhaps a friendship necklace. She comments that the bell earrings are a useful present because shaking them allows her to drown out Principal Principal’s voice as he gives a speech to the student body.
In a rare moment of friendship, Melinda actually likes the present Heather has given her. The reason she enjoys the bell earrings, however, is that they allow her to ignore the boring speech of Principal Principal—yet another example of her disengagement, and lack of respect for authority figures.
Principal Principal announces that 32 people have voted for the Wombats, while most of the other votes are “write-ins or ineligible.” Melinda mentally mocks the name, and is delighted when Raven Cheerleader and Amber Cheerleader are upset about the new mascot (they don’t know how to rhyme it).
In yet another example of the absurdity of high school, only a tiny fraction of students have actually voted for a new mascot. Melinda, however, enjoys the ridiculousness of the Wombat because it will make the cheerleaders’ lives harder.