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As Greg rides the bus to school, he notices that his Gramma’s house was toilet-papered on Halloween night. At school, Greg’s physical education teacher announces that they will do a unit on wrestling. Greg watches professional wrestling on TV to prepare, but he later learns that the class will do traditional wrestling and have to wear singlets. Worse, they are paired by weight, which means Greg must wrestle another lightweight boy in class, Fregley, who ends up being pretty good. Greg wants to move up a weight class, so he approaches his parents for a bench press. They say that maybe they will consider one for Christmas, so Greg builds his own bench press with plastic jugs full of sand and an ironing board.
At school, things are tough. First, Greg fails a geography quiz. Later, Greg’s mother makes him try out for the school play, The Wizard of Oz, and Greg decides that being cast as a tree would be a good part because he will get to pelt Patty Ferrell (who is playing Dorothy) with apples. Greg does get cast as a tree, but he discovers that his costume has no arm holes. In addition, Greg only has one line—“Ouch!”—but must sit through two-hour rehearsals anyway.