It’s Raining Parmesan!

Sometimes when I visit a school, I’ll do a thirty-minute writing workshop with a small group of kids in which we create a story together. It’s impossible to write a story in a half an hour, of course. But the kids do learn how to create the framework for a story from scratch, everybody has a good time, and sometimes the stories turn out surprisingly good! Here are a few of my favorites…

(With help from 6th grade students at Rolling Hills School, Holland Pennsylvania)


Joshua screamed his head off. Why? Well, you would be screaming too if you had just fallen out of a plane.

Up until a few moments earlier, everything had been perfectly normal in Joshua’s life. He was flying from London with his beautiful Swedish girlfriend Olga, and his dad. They were coming to New York City, where Joshua and Olga were going to get married.

There was one more person with them. Well, not a person, actually. It was Randall Alexander III, the pet iguana that always sat on Joshua’s shoulder.

The plane was heading for JFK Airport in New York. That’s when everything went wrong.

Olga got up from her seat and took her baseball bat out of the overhead bin. She was a professional softball player and decided that this would be a good time to work on her swing. So there she was in the middle of the cabin when one of her practice swings “accidentally” whacked Joshua’s dad on the head.

The word accidentally has quotation marks around it because it wasn’t an accident at all. Oh, no. The truth is, Olga did it on purpose. Because Olga…was evil.

Olga hated Joshua’s dad. The old man was sick, and he would be living with them after the wedding. Dad didn’t approve of her either. No woman was good enough for his boy Joshua.

Olga wanted Joshua all to herself. So she decided to just get rid of the old man.

It took one swing of the bat for Joshua’s dad to crumple to the floor.

“Oh, dear! I feel terrible!” Olga said, as she picked Joshua’s dad up. Then she opened the emergency door and threw him out of the plane.

“Dad!” screamed Joshua.

But it was too late. His father was hurtling toward New York Harbor. He splashed down, not far from the Statue of Liberty.

Joshua’s dad somehow managed to crawl to shore at the tip of Manhattan, where, to add insult to injury, he was hit by a coconut. How a coconut got there is anybody’s guess. Strange things happen in New York. Maybe somebody bought one in a supermarket and threw it at Dad. It doesn’t really matter. The point is that Joshua’s dad was knocked unconscious.

Up in the plane, Joshua was in a panic. He grabbed an emergency parachute, strapped it on, and jumped out of the plane. He was desperate to rescue his dad.


Joshua screamed his head off. Why? Well, you would be screaming too if you had just fallen out of a plane.

Wait a minute, we said that already.

“Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!” screamed Randall Alexander III, Joshua’s pet iguana, who was sitting on his shoulder as he plummeted down.

Joshua’s parachute opened at the last instant. He and Randall Alexander III landed on the top of the Statue of Liberty. Joshua wriggled out of the parachute and broke a window in Liberty’s crown so he could get inside.

It is late. The statue is closed for the night. All the tourists have gone home. But someone is there.

A dog.

It’s a brown bloodhound. It must have been left behind by one of the tourists who was visiting during the day.

“Hey there, boy,” Joshua said to the dog, rubbing its fur.

“Don’t call me boy,” said the dog. “My full name is Maximum Dog. But you can call me Max.”

Yes, Max was a talking dog.

Tearfully, Joshua tells Max what happened to his father. Max promises to help him find the old man.

But for now, Joshua is exhausted, angry, and depressed. He doesn’t know if his dad is dead or alive. He is stuck on the top of the Statue of Liberty. And things are definitely not going well with his girlfriend Olga. Chances are, the marriage is off. Could he really love a woman who pushes people out of airplanes?

It’s a long way down to the bottom of Lady Liberty. Joshua decides to spend the night and begin the search for his father in the morning. For now, he needs sleep more than anything else.

Meanwhile, Olga has taken over controls of the plane and is circling over New York, planning something even more horrible.

The first person to see Joshua the next morning is a man named Nigel, who is the security guard at the Statue of Liberty. In fact, when he is not being a security guard, Nigel rolls with the gangsters. While Joshua is sleeping, Nigel takes his wallet and steals the money.

At that moment, Randall Alexander III jumps onto Nigel’s head and starts biting him. Nigel runs away, taking the wallet with him.

Once Joshua wakes up, he and Max and Randall Alexander III jump off Liberty Island and swim to Manhattan to search for Joshua’s dad. Using his amazing bloodhound powers, Max leads Joshua to a large cardboard box on the ground near the tip of Manhattan. A voice comes from inside the box.

“I’m hungry, so hungry!”

Joshua recognizes that voice. It’s his dad!

“Dad!” says Joshua.

“Joshua!” says Dad.

The two are about to embrace when guess who shows up? Yes, it’s Olga! And she’s not alone. She has the entire Swedish underground army with her!

Next comes the big fight scene. The Swedish army does not have conventional weapons like guns and bombs and heat seeking missiles.

No, they have cheese.

“I’m hungry, so hungry!” Joshua’s dad says.

The Swedish army throws a giant Gouda wheel at him, which does not satisfy his appetite even temporarily. It is certainly no fun getting hit by a flying cheese wheel. Anybody would rather just sit and eat cheese off a plate than have somebody throw it at you. Joshua’s dad is knocked to the ground and develops amnesia, which, in this case, could be a good thing.

It looks like it’s all over for Joshua, Max, and Randall Alexander III. The Swedish army is hurling cheese wheels at them like bowling balls. Olga is wearing a cheese generator necklace. She activates it, and Parmesan cheese begins to fall from the sky. It is literally raining cheese.

This could be the end. But guess who shows up?


Even though Nigel rolls with the gangsters, he felt a pang of guilt about stealing Joshua’s wallet. So he came back, and brought along some automatic machine guns. There is a big battle with Nigel and Joshua on one side, and Olga and the Swedish army on the other. It looks like the bad guys are winning, but then Randall Alexander III somehow gets hold of a rocket launcher. He climbs the Empire State Building and begins shooting rockets at the Swedish army.

In the end, cheese is no match for conventional explosives. The Swedish army runs away, Joshua is reunited with his dad, and Olga is mortally wounded.

“No matter what, I will always love you, Joshua!” Olga says.

Those were her last words. Then she dropped dead.

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