Study Guide

Sideways Stories From Wayside School Chapter 27

By Louis Sachar

Chapter 27

Joy

  • Joy's problem: She forgot her lunch at home. Even worse, she doesn't have a meal ticket for one of Miss Mush's atrocious meals. But it turns out her problem is easily solved. Dameon has his lunch, and it's a really delicious one—so when he leaves his desk to get a glass of milk from the lunch room, Joy grabs his entire meal.
  • First she eats his turkey sandwich and discards the empty wrapper on Jason's desk. Next she chows down on a piece of chocolate cake—and leaves that wrapper on Allison's desk. And finally she eats Jason's apple, leaving the core on Deedee's desk. When she's finished, she puts Dameon's empty lunch sack on Calvin's desk.
  • When Dameon comes back from the lunch room, he discovers his missing lunch and tells Mrs. Jewls. Joy immediately jumps in. "Calvin took it" (27.13), she says, pointing out the empty lunch sack on Calvin's desk—so Mrs. Jewls reprimands Calvin and writes his name under discipline.
  • One by one, Joy incriminates her classmates for the missing lunch items. Even when Mrs. Jewls asks how she knew Dameon had a turkey sandwich, Joy dodges the question. "I'm just smart" (27.17), she says.
  • Mrs. Jewls asks Dameon to thank Joy for solving the mystery of his missing lunch. He does. And just then, Louis shows up with Joy's lunch, delivered from home. Joy immediately offers it to Dameon, because she's not hungry and her lunch is actually pretty awful.
  • Mrs. Jewls is thrilled with Joy and tells her to help herself to a Tootsie pop for solving the mystery and being so generous with her lunch. Joy helps herself to not one, but two. Look out, Joy—you're on the road to a life of crime.
  • All the names are eventually erased from the board, and everyone forgets about the missing lunch. But Joy doesn't forget. For the rest of the year, "every turkey sandwich, piece of chocolate cake, apple, and Tootsie pop tasted like Miss Mush's porridge" (27.37). Joy, that must be what guilt tastes like.