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|Andrew came out of the school after 30 minutes.
"Well, how did everything go?" Carrie asked.
"It went fine," replied Andrew. "Coach Everson had lots of suggestions for good football schools for me to apply to. He wants to talk to you on Monday Steve, about your scholarship."
"Thank you Andrew," said Steve. "But I think Carrie meant the interview."
"Oh that," remembered Andrew. "It went well too. Coach was right: the recruiting process should be greatly accelerated by my feats of strength."
"Good, good," remarked Steve, looking at his watch. "Well, we'd better get going."
"Why, where are we going?" asked Andrew, as Steve began steering him to Andrew's car. "Hey, let go of me," he laughed, effortlessly tearing out of Steve's grasp.
Steve staggered back and almost fell, thrown off balance by Andrew's awesome strength.
"Sorry man," said Andrew, pulling Steve upright again. "I guess I'm too strong for you."
"Yeah," agreed Steve. "But that brute strength will get you into a great football school. I only hope I can get into a good one too."
"Don't worry," said Andrew, as he got into the car. "You will."
"So where are we going?" he asked Steve, as they left the school parking lot.
"Fitness Depot," replied Steve. "You said you needed a new bathroom scale, remember?"
"Oh right," remembered Andrew. "The needle went past 300 pounds on the last one."
"300 pounds of solid muscle, you mean," Steve corrected him. "You're a huge muscle freak!"
"You don't really think I'm a freak, do you?" asked Andrew seriously.
He looked so sad that Steve lay a hand on his shoulder and said, "No man, I think you're a huge awesome jock! You'll crush the other teams when the games start!"
"Thanks man," said Andrew. "That's good to hear. I just scare myself sometimes; I've grown so much stronger over the summer. I have more than doubled my strength."
"Wow," said Steve in amazment. "Is that the benchpress?"
"Yah, I can lift the whole stack on all the machines," bragged Andrew. "I could lift the machines themselves and bend them into knots if I wanted to!" he joked.
"I'd like to see that," said Steve seriously. "That would be an amazing strength test for the collge recruiters."
"Good idea," agreed Andrew. "Well, here we are."
He pulled the car into the Fitness Depot parking lot, and noticed the cars of other teammates in the parking lot already. A suspicion began to form in his mind, but he kept it to himself.
"We'd better hurry before the store closes," remarked Steve, getting out. "Let's go, Andrew."
Andrew followed him across the parking lot and into the store. Once inside the front doors, Andrew was mobbed by the entire football team. They slapped his shoulders, shook his hand, and yelled stuff like " Way to go man!" and "That game trophy is ours this year!"
Andrew tried to act modest, but he couldn't help getting excited by all the attention. He flexed his beceps and pulled off his shirt so everyone could be amazed.
"Wow, look at that 8-pack!" said Ralph in amazement. "You're ripped man!"
"Your shoulders are like bricks!" gasped Connor. "They're huge!"
"How do you like my 30 inch biceps?" gloated Andrew, flexing them for everyone to see. A few of the braver teammates poked them and were amazed at how rock hard they were. "Not bad, hunh?" sneered Andrew, putting on the arrogant jock act that everyone loved so much. "And you..."
Steve suddenly gasped in fright as Andrew grabbed his shirt front and dragged him to within an inch of his face.
"You planned this whole thing, didn't you?" Andrew growled. "Speak up little man!" he snapped, giving Steve a shake.
"Yes- yes sir, I did!" yelled Steve, terrified by how quickly Andrew had turned angry. "Please don't hurt me!" he cried, playing along as Andrew winked at him.
Everyone gasped in shock, but then laughed as Andrew turned to them, grinning hugely. "Just getting in character for the upcoming games," he said. "Don't worry."
"You had us scared for a minute there," said Ralph. "But that was just your little joke for this surprise, wasn't it?"
"Yah man, don't worry," Andrew assured him. "I'm glad that none of you are jealous of me."
"Jealous, don't be silly!" everyone said. "You're going to put our town on the map! One day, you'll be a famous NFL player, if we give you enough exposure now!"
"Aww thanks a lot you guys," said Andrew wiping his eyes. "That means a lot."
"He's crying!" laughed Connor. "What a big softie!"
"Who you calling softie, pal?" Andrew growled, flexing his huge rock-hard bicep right in Connor's face.
"None sir!" squeaked Connor in a high voice, as he played along. "Certainly not you!"
"Okay, what's going on here?" asked the Store Manager, making his way through the crowd. He saw the huge figure of Andrew staring down at him, and he gulped loudly. "What- what can I do for you sir?" he asked hesitantly.
"You can find me a bigger weight scale," suggested Andrew, abandoning his cocky jock act. "My weight has exceeded the limit of my old one. If it wouldn't be too much trouble," he added.
"No trouble at all sir," the Manager assured him. "Right this way, sir."
"You don't have to call me sir," Andrew said, as he was led over to the scales.
"Whatever you say, Mr. Pearson," the Manager corrected himself. "So what model would you like?"
"How about the one that goes up to 500 pounds," replied Andrew. "And I would prefer it if you called me Andrew. My father's name is Mr. Pearson."
"Okay, Andrew," agreed the Manager hesitantly. "Well, let's put this in a box for yoy. "It's no charge of course; your father helped fund this place."
"I couldn't accept it as a gift," protested Andrew. "I should pay for it. I won't bite," he said, trying to put the Manager, Mr. Smith, at ease.
"How about you give me your game schedule and we'll call it even," said Mr. Smith. "Anything I can do to help you get into the NFL will only help this store's business."
"Okay," agreed Andrew, reluctantly. "But if you ever need any heavy lifting done, don't hesitate to call me."
"You'll be the first to know," said Mr. Smith. "Have a good day sir. I mean Mr. Pearson," he stammered, as Andrew glanced back at him. Andrew's eyebrows furrowed and Mr. Smith gulped out "I meant Andrew!"
"Goodbye Mr. Smith," Andrew said, as he exited the store with all the other players. "Well, that was weird."
"Don't worry about it," said Ralph. "We've been telling everyone we've come across about your upcoming news story."
"You what?" asked Andrew in shock. "You didn't tell anyone I benchpressed a car, did you?"
"Are you kidding?" asked Connor. "Of course we did! Face it, you're a big hero and sports star now! Live it up man!"
"Yah, be confident in your strength," Steve agreed. "Embrace the success it will give you and appreciate the attention it will generate."
Everyone said goodbye to Andrew and Steve, and then they all went home. As Andrew drove Steve home, Steve noticed that Andrew seemed to be smoldering in fury.
"What's wrong man?" Steve asked. He went to lay a hand on Andrew's shoulder, but one look at his face stopped him. Man, he's so scary when he's angry, he thought. I wouldn't want to be his opponent on the field.
"I am really embarassed by all this attention," Andrew began. "I know it is necessary to get noticed so I can get into a good football school, but it seems like the whole team has Andrew Fever. My modesty cannnot be maintained. But I'm afraid that if I give in to the jock act, I'll become a bully and use my strength to hurt others."
"You're too kind and gentle to do that," Steve reminded him. "Didn't you see how you almost cried in there? Your'e a big teddy bear!" He put his hand on Andrew's shoulder and said, "You're my hero man!"
At Andrew's house, he put the scale on the floor in his bedroom, stripped down to his boxers and stepped on. The dial spun and stopped at 325 pounds.
"Yeah, I'm a tank!" Andrew sneered to himself. He struck a pose in the mirror and said," Those opposing players had better watch out because Andrew the Tank is coming for them!"
"Andrew!" called his mother from downstairs. "The news is coming on! You're the top story!"
"Coming Mom!" he called down as he got dressed again. As he started down the stairs, he said to himself, "I've only got one thing to say to the sports world. Get ready!"
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