Candace raced down the stairs, fully-dressed and ready to go. "It's a beautiful morning, family!"
Her brother Phineas and her step-brother Ferb raised their heads from their cereal. Her step-dad nodded cheerily from behind his newspaper. Perry their pet platypus made his usual chattering sound. Her mom turned from the sink to greet her. "Isn't someone cheerful this morning?"
"Yes!" she agreed, practically skipping to the table. "Today we're going to the Danville Summer Extravaganza!"
Phineas and Ferb just looked at each other quietly. Mom frowned. "Oh, honey..."
"What?" Candace's face fell. "We aren't? Why?"
"Your step-dad and I have to go get my agogo bells polished today. I'm sure I told you about it last night."
Flashback to Last Night
Candace stood in front of her mirror trying on outfit after outfit, carrying on a rapid-fire conversation with Stacy over her cell phone.
Mom knocked on the door, "Candace? Candace?"
"What, Mom?" she asked, her thoughts elsewhere.
"We have to put off the Danville Summer Extravaganza until Saturday. My band has an emergency gig at the—"
Candace was not listening. "Oh my gosh, Stacy, this is the best outfit ever!" Stacy's delighted screams blocked out the rest of her mother's explanation.
"So can you be in charge tomorrow?" No answer. "Candace?"
"Can you do it tomorrow?"
"Of course, Mom! I've been planning on it for weeks!"
"Huh," Mom said to herself. "That went easier than I expected."
End of Flashback
Candace had her head in her hands. "Oh, noooo. And I had picked out the perfect outfit, too!"
Mom came to stand beside her and placed her hand on her daughter's shoulder. "You can wear it Saturday, I promise."
Phineas piped up. "Yeah, I hear Saturday's going to be the best day! The pillow-fighting contest and the lemon-eating race..."
Candace just sighed sadly. "I'm already wearing it, I can't wear it twice in one week."
"It won't be so bad," Mom consoled. "If we get home in time tonight, maybe we can watch the nightly fireworks from the roof."
"Can we? Cool!" Phineas said. "They look so much closer up there. I bet Perry will even like them!" He looked around the kitchen then, face puzzled. "Hey, where's Perry?"
♫ Doo-bee-doo-bee-doo-wah, Doo-bee-doo-bee-doo-wah... ♫
Perry, around the corner from the kitchen, looked around surreptitiously. No one was watching. He stood, donned his fedora and crept into the formal dining room. After tapping a staccato rhythm on one of the potted plants, a doorway opened and Perry slipped inside.
He crawled through a short underground tunnel, to a waiting fireman's pole. Sliding down it, he hit the floor of the secret mission room and cartwheeled gracefully three times to land in his chair.
♫ Perry! ♫
"Agent P!" Major Monogram said with relief. "Good, you're here. We've been monitoring Doofenshmirtz's activity lately and we think he's up to something."
Perry lifted his hands as if to say, When is he not up to something?
"You're right, Agent P. But on a scale of one to complete anarchy," Monogram was replaced with a chart on the screen, covered in wavy lines and pictures of food items, "I think we might be looking at around an 8.6." Monogram appeared again and turned to Carl offscreen. "Why did you use corn dogs to represent lower threats and candy apples for the higher ones?"
Karl answered, face unseen, "It's the Summer Extravaganza today! I've got carnival food on the brain. Can we go? Pleeeease?"
"Not now, Carl! We already talked about this," Monogram said in a low, annoyed tone. "First work, then play." He quickly cleared his throat. "Anyway, Agent P, go to Doofenshmirtz's lab and find out what he's really up to. Major Monogram out." The screen went black.
"I know what we're going to do today."
Ferb turned toward his step-brother, curious.
"We're going build our own carnival."
Ferb raised a green eyebrow. "It's so one month ago."
"We built a giant Ferris wheel and a roller coaster... and a water ride... and a spinning ride... but I mean the whole works! Games and food, rides and entertainment, everything!"
Ferb thought for a moment and then shrugged. He went over to his desk for just a moment, and returned with several sets of blueprints.
As Ferb spread them on the table, Phineas commented, "Wow. Great job, bro!"
"I find it's best to be prepared for any eventuality."
Phineas scanned the plans quickly. "Hmm, looks like we're going to have to call in a few favors." He picked up the phone and tapped a few buttons. "Isabella?"
"Yes?" she answered, but instead of being on the other side of the line, she was at the kitchen window.
"That was fortuitous! How did you do that?"
Isabella grinned. "Working on my prognostication badge, naturally."
"Cool! You're going to have it in no time."
"Thanks!" Her grin turned into a wide smile.
"C'mon on in," he gestured, "we've got a lot of work to do."
♫ Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated ♫
Doofenshmirtz looked up from his comfy chair, where his head was bent in concentration. "What, Vanessa?"
"I'm going out."
Doofenshmirtz's eyes narrowed. "Where? The punk rock club? The biker malt shop?"
Vanessa folded her arms petulantly. "No."
"All Blacks, the hybrid Goth clothing and rugby store?"
Her face brightened momentarily, then fell. "Sadly, no."
Her father sighed. "Are you really going to make me guess? I'm busy right now, can't you see?" He held up a pair of knitting needles with the beginnings of a tiny scarf between them.
This time, Vanessa's eyes narrowed. "Who is that even for? Perry?"
He quickly hid the scarf behind his back, embarrassed. "No-No one! It doesn't matter. Are you just going to tell me or what?"
"Fine," she said. "I'm going to the library."
"Oh, okay, then. Are you sure you're not going downtown?"
She shrugged, and walked toward the door. "I might."
"You know how I disappr—" he began, but it was too late.
Doofenshmirtz scowled for a moment. "Teenagers."
Suddenly, Perry the Platypus burst through the wall beside the window.
"Perry the Platypus! Why do you always do that? You know there's a window, don't you?" Doofenshmirtz asked, looking up from his project. He sighed. "Never mind. I was just catching up with my knitting. Did you know that you can close mitten tops using a Kitchener stitch?"
Perry stood unmoving in front of the hole he had created, silent as always.
"I know I sure didn't! I was a little tired of always using the Mattress stitch and leaving bumps. The yarn gets so lumpy! But there are only so many times that you can ask the Ravelry forum for help. So many trolls, you'd think it was a macrame site." He stood. "Anyway..."
Suddenly a giant knit cap fell through the ceiling and covered Perry completely.
"Ha ha, Perry the Platypus, I tricked you! You thought that I was just rambling on and on in my usual way, trying to throw you off of my actual plans, when I was really trying to see whether you were a knit wit! (You really should try it though, it's so relaxing.)"
There was a muffled thump as Doofenshmirtz pulled a long string of yarn and yanked the knit cap shut. Perry fought bravely inside.
"I know what you're thinking, Perry, this should be a snap to escape from! But this is no ordinary yarn! It is made from fibers of one thousand times the tensile strength of ordinary fiber! (It was a complete pain in the tush to work with, if you know what I mean.) But no matter!"
Doofenshmirtz triumphantly marched to the window and pointed outside. "Do you see that, Perry the Platypus?" He looked back at the struggling lump of yarn behind him. "No, of course you can't. You'll just have to imagine, okay?"
The banners and festive lights of the Danville Summer Extravaganza filled the streets of downtown. Booths and carnival rides, games and food vendors covered an area of several square blocks around Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated.
"The city of Danville's annual Summer Extravaganza! People from all over the Tri-State Area come to revel and frolic, to mingle and laugh, to celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Danville and its history!" he announced grandly, his arms outstretched. His arms dropped. "I hate it."
Doofenshmirtz went on. "I mean, it's games and food and friends and fun - except that I'm terrible at games and the food is so greasy it gives me hives in my armpits and I have no friends so I have no fun either. Except..."
Doofenshmirtz looked at the lump on the floor again, which had stopped moving.
"Maybe you and I could go? You are my nemesis and all, but surely it would be better than that time I went to the town festival as a boy..."
"Hey, little boy, wanna play Wilhelm Tell?" a grizzled old man asked from behind the booth. Many lovely prizes hung from the edge of the awning, things like lederhosen, sauerkraut-flavored gummi bears and a dungeon Lego set.
"Boy, would I!"
Next thing he knew, he found himself the target...
End of Flashback
"But what am I blathering about? You can't go anywhere when you're all tied up!" He chuckled. "Did you see what I did there? Said 'tied up' and you're in a knitted cap?" Pulling a long, thin laser pen from his jacket, he squatted in front of the trap. "Here, this is set to a special frequency which can break apart the strands..."
Doofenshmirtz pulled apart the threads to find.... no Perry the Platypus. "What? Where did you go?"
Perry zip-lined down a strand of super-yarn from the ceiling, knocking Doofenshmirtz with his webbed feet onto his back. The laser went flying from the evil scientist's hand. With the end of the string, Perry speedily wrapped the thread around Doofenshmirtz, pinning his arms to his sides.
"Oh, man, I guess you got me. And all before I could reveal my secret weapon..."
Perry's eyes scanned the room, noticing nothing out of the ordinary.
"Oh, don't worry, Perry the Platypus, it's here. I just can't reach the—" Doofenshmirtz scooted a couple of inches forward, his fingers wiggling beneath the yarn. "—man, this really does have one thousand times the tensile strength. If you could just get it for me... no, the other control panel... the green button... well, maybe the cyan button, I don't know why the contractor insisted on that color..."
Perry pressed the indicated button, and a wall slid open to reveal a large green ray-gun with the words "Despise-inator" emblazoned across the side. It whined with power. "Behold my newest invention! Anyone who is hit with this beam automatically despises whatever they are doing! If I turn the Despise-inator on the people of Danville below, no one will want to participate in any silly festivals any more. In fact, I can dissuade them from all manner of entertainment, until all that is left are things I like to do! Ha ha ha!"
Perry moved with determination and leapt atop the device. He pressed the large "OFF" button on the side. Nothing happened.
"Ha ha! That will not work, Perry the Platypus! Only I may control the Despise-inator. It is coded to respond only to my DNA." He wiggled his fingers under the yarn again. "And as you can see, I'm a little incapacitated right now. You'd have to free me fiii-iiirst."
Perry shrugged. Then he tumbled end over end to the skein of yarn beside Doofenshmirtz's comfy chair.
"Oh, what are you—"
Perry fashioned it into a lasso and hogtied his nemesis in a flash.
"Hey, wait, you have to—"
Perry paid him no heed. He dragged Doofenshmirtz over to the device and pressed the scientist's thumb to the off switch.
Instead of powering down, the Despise-inator's whine rose in pitch. "You see, what I was trying to tell you was the Despise-inator also responds to a password. You really should let me finish my evil exposition before you try to stop me." He tsked. "It's just bad form."
Perry's eyes went wide as the device began to shoot a beam of energy, swiveling slowly around to face the two.
"Now, there you go, if you'd only let me finish completely, I'd have told you that I built in a fail-safe. If the machine detects my genetic signature but no password, it automatically turns on!"
Perry ducked the beam, but before he could redirect the device, the bright green ray shot out the windows of the laboratory, as well as Perry's hole in the wall. Colored light rained down on the citizens of Danville.
Children in line for the Tilt-A-Whirl suddenly looked at each other and frowned. Sticking out their tongues, they said, "This is lame. Let's go skateboarding."
Others, testing their luck at the balloon pop, stuck the darts into the counter, saying, "Feh, I never win anyway."
Cheese rollers stopped in their tracks and let the waxed wheels of dairy roll down the hill without them.
Roger Doofenshmirtz, the mayor of Danville, suddenly slumped in his chair at the judging booth and turned to his assistant. "I think I'm going home to watch Hannah Montana."
Within minutes the rides had shut down, the workers were leaving their stations, the whole downtown ground to a lazy halt.
Inside the laboratory, Perry the Platypus was dividing his time between shaking Doofenshmirtz for information, trying random password combinations and dodging the more and more erratic beam.
"Hehehe, I bet you'll never cut corners again, Perry the Platypus!" he said. "This may be my most devious invention yet! I'll go on to make—"
At that moment, the beam hit Doofenshmirtz square in the back. "Ehhh," he said. "Building evil devices is sooooo boring. Maybe I'll just nap."
Perry quickly tried to shake him again, but it was no use. He suddenly saw the power cord for the machine and raced to yank it from the outlet...
It was too late. Perry was hit and he stopped where he was. With a sigh, he removed all of his spy gear and tossed it to the floor.
Perry's communicator watch lit up from the floor. "Agent P! What's going on?" Major Monogram's face filled the tiny screen, the Summer Extravaganza in the background. "There are odd green rays falling from the sky. Is this the work of Doctor Doofenshmirtz?" He looked frantically around him for a place to hide. "Agent P, come in!"
A green light washed over the screen, and Major Monogram's face twisted in disgust. "Aw, what am I doing? I'm going to go get a pedicure." The screen distorted with static and then went off.
Upstairs, Candace was laid out flat on her bed, moping. "It's so unfairrrrrrrr," she moaned. "Everyone else will be there! And today was the cheese rolling contest!" Candace turned over onto her face, screaming quietly into the pillow. Quiet for Candace, anyway. "Why is it not next summer? When I'll be sixteen, and have a car, and go where I want, when I wa—"
Her cell phone rang. She laconically reached over to pick it up, but the moment she saw who it was, she sat up straight. Candace punched the talk button excitedly. "Jeremy?"
"Hi, Jeremy." Her eyes glittered as she looked out the window toward the carnival rides in the distance.
"You going to the festival today? I've been working the Mr. Slushy Dawg booth all week, but I thought it would be fun to just enjoy it today."
"No, I have to stay home and watch my brothers. Again. Mom says she might take us tomorrow." Candace tried to play it cool, as she suggested, "I would take them myself if I could drive..."
"Ah, man. That's terrible. I was actually hoping I could catch a ride with you. My car's in the shop. Needs new windshield wipers."
"Oh, I heard those can be pretty tricky to install," she commiserated in a serious voice. Then it hit her - Jeremy couldn't take her to the festival. She slumped on her bed. "I guess we're both stuck at home."
"We could still hang out. I could always come over there on my bike."
Candace brightened up. "Okay! I guess with you over Phineas and Ferb wouldn't get into as much—" At that moment, Candace looked out the window. She screamed, and the phone fell from her nerveless fingers. The backyard was covered in tent fabric and machinery. Snatching back up the phone, she said, "Jeremy, I gotta go. But still come over, okay? Bye!"
"See ya then, Cand—" he started to say, but Candace was already rushing out of her room, speed-dialing Stacy as she went.
"Stacy! Jeremy's coming over today, isn't that awesome?" she shrieked, and Stacy shrieked in return. "Tell you all about it later, okay? I got a couple little brothers to bust."
By the time Candace made it into the yard, the place looked like a full-blown carnival. A miniature version of the Danville Summer Extravaganza. Fireside Girls were manning the booths, calling out for business like seasoned carnies. That didn't phase Candace - they probably had a badge to earn, she could respect that.
"Phineas! Ferb!" she yelled, but the sound of the Test Your Strength bell drowned it out.
"Great job!" Baljeet praised nervously from Buford's side.
"Of course it was, dweeb," Buford said. "What'd I win?"
"A giant teddy bear!" The Fireside Girl gestured as if she were a model on a game show. "Or a giant squid!"
"Hmm," he said, scratching his chin. "Pass. How about a free hot dog?" he asked, pointing to the food stand behind her.
"I suppose you could trade it..."
"Cool," he said, grabbing both prizes and dragging them toward the food booth. Baljeet followed behind, throwing an apologetic glance at the girl.
Candace suddenly noticed how large the crowd was. "How can all of these people be here already?!"
Candace turned to see Jeremy getting off of his bike, and removing his helmet. "Jeremy!" she said with delight, all irritation about her brothers' activities forgotten for the moment.
"This is... pretty wow."
Candace's expression was dreamy. "Yeah..."
"I mean, it's totally cool how your brothers are making up for the fact that the festival was closed today."
"Yeah..." Candace snapped out of it. "Wait, what? Closed?"
"Didn't you hear? It was all over the Tri-State Area news. They think the power went out. Downtown is like a ghost town."
Candace's eyes narrowed. "Really. How convenient."
"It sure is! Wanna try to win a giant platypus?"
"Okay," she answered cheerily, all suspicion fleeing her thoughts.
Isabella appeared in front of them. "I bet the game you want to play is the Black Hole Bean Bag Toss!"
Candace and Jeremy looked at each other in surprise. "How did you know?" Candace asked.
"Call it a gift," she said. "Right this way!"
♫ Gaming montage ♫
An hour later, Jeremy's arms were filled to bursting with huge stuffed animals. Candace slumped against the side of a booth. "Whew! I'm exhausted. Feel like a slushie?"
"Sure!" he said, though his voice was muffled behind the stuffed paramecium.
"Dad, what the heck is going on up here?!" Vanessa asked, walking back into the laboratory two hours later. She found both Perry and her dad slumped on the floor. They had been hit by the Despise-inator beam so many times that the only thing they didn't hate to do was lie there inert.
She stepped carefully around the flying beams, and knelt beside her father. She shook him by the shoulders. "Dad? Dad! What evil scheme is this?"
"Evil?" he spat. "Evil is stupid."
Vanessa sat up in shock. "What?" She turned to Perry. "Why aren't you stopping this?"
Perry made a humphing sound and rolled over, closing his eyes.
"Now I know something is wrong."
She stood, then performed a complicated series of tumbling moves, all while wearing her high-heeled boots, to avoid being hit by the green rays. She landed atop the Despise-inator. "Now. How do you turn this thing off?"
She pressed a few buttons, to no effect. Then she noticed a large switch. But before she could press it, a beam ricocheted off of a metal panel and hit Vanessa full in the face.
Vanessa blinked a couple of times. She shivered for a moment. Then she reached again for the switch.
She flipped it, but there was no response. "Enter password?" she murmured. Glancing at her dad, she thought for a moment, then typed a phrase. The entire machine powered down.
Vanessa slid off to the floor. "'EvilIsAwesome', Dad?" she said with a dismissive flip of her hair, "You really should come up with better passwords."
Her father shrugged. "Why bother?"
Vanessa huffed. "Does this thing have a reverse switch?" She walked over and scanned the controls. "Ah, there it is."
The machine whined to life again, and began to spray an orange beam instead. She trained the beam on her father, and then Perry, who both came to themselves rather quickly.
Perry pointed urgently out the window toward the Summer Extravaganza. But Vanessa just turned off the machine with a shake of her head. "No, that's all you're getting from me. Isn't it your job to stop him?"
Perry looked abashed.
"Thank you, Vanessa! A daughter after my own heart!"
She gave him a flat stare.
"Well, um, okay," he relented, shrinking back. "A father can have dreams, can't he?" Vanessa turned to go, but Doofenshmirtz stopped her. "Why didn't the Despise-inator affect you?"
She shrugged. "I dunno. I already hate my life?" She shut the door behind her firmly.
"Huh." He scratched his chin. "Funny how that worked out. Now where were we, Perry the Platypus?"
He turned around to see Perry leaping at him.
From the streets of downtown Danville, if there had been anyone there to see it, one could see splashes of alternating green and orange light spilling from the upper windows of Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated.
The lights raining down from Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated were multi-colored now, a veritable rainbow.
Perry and Doofenshmirtz were still locked in intense combat over the controls as the light dimmed outside. Doofenshmirtz finally noticed this, and slumped to the floor. "Curse you, Perry the Platypus!" he croaked with his remaining strength. "I give up!"
Perry stepped back and tried to catch his breath, clearly relieved. He stumbled over to press the off button, then dragged himself over to the super-yarn and began to fashion a loop knot.
While he looked down for a moment to make sure it was tight enough, Doofenshmirtz pulled a remote control from inside his lab coat. "Ha ha! I tricked you again!" he whispered hoarsely. "This remote control is a fail-safe, it will destroy anything in its path! I know, I know, I always do that. But why mess with the classics?" He pressed the button weakly, and the machine hummed to life.
Perry gave him an alarmed look and worked faster.
"It is set to destroy only carnival equipment. Whatever the beam hits will turn to pretty, pretty exploding particles." The device fired off one short ear-splitting burst through the window, which sailed away across the city. "Totally harmless to people, though. I may be evil, but I'm no monster!"
Jeremy held out his hand for Candace to help her down from the Ferris wheel. "Thank you, kind sir," she said with a giggling blush. The day had been absolutely fantastic. She'd never once felt like busting her brothers...
Her cell phone rang in her pocket. "Hello?"
"Candace!" It was Mom. "Just wanted to let you know that we should be home in about thirty minutes. It would be faster except that traffic downtown is a nightmare."
As she hung up, all Candace's good humor blew away - she had always wanted to bust her brothers, but when their Big Idea had given her a nearly perfect day... She made a decision.
"Phineas," she said to her brother, who was standing at the front of the line. "You'd better—"
"Last call for the Ferris wheel!" Isabella shouted through her bullhorn. "We have T minus 30 for take-down!"
Candace looked at Isabella in surprise. "Wow, you are good."
Isabella winked. But then she leaned close. "Could you do a girl a favor, though?" She whispered a heartfelt request.
Moments later, with Candace's hand on the controls, Isabella and Phineas were taking the final ride of the evening on the Ferris wheel.
Phineas gazed out over the city. "The sunset is really beautiful from here."
Isabella only had eyes for Phineas. "It sure is."
Phineas suddenly looked puzzled. "Have they started the fireworks already?" He could see the brilliant rainbow-colored rays shooting into the sky downtown.
From the car behind, Ferb answered. "Odd, that."
Isabella pointed ahead. "Not as odd as that!" An enormous light beam was streaking its way toward them.
She sprang into action. Pulling a grappling hook from her knapsack, she tossed it expertly to catch a nearby telephone pole. She grabbed Phineas by the hand, who caught on to Ferb, and the three of them sailed to safety just in time. The beam hit the Ferris wheel, and the ride disintegrated into showers of light.
People screamed and ran from the makeshift carnival as fast as they could go. The Fireside Girls, ever cool-headed, set to work directing people to safety. Candace ran with Jeremy toward the street, and they both watched in mixed horror and wonder as the entire shebang disappeared amidst fantastical explosions.
Mom and Dad pulled up just then, and Mom rolled down her window. "Are we in time for the fireworks?"
"I think you just missed them, Mrs. F.," Jeremy answered.
"Oh, phooey. Drat that traffic!"
Dad came around and put a consoling arm around her. "Don't worry, darling. There will be one tomorrow."
"I guess you're right." She smiled at her husband. "Anything to report today?"
Candace shook her head, not really believing she was doing this.
Mom narrowed her eyes. "Really. Nothing at all."
"Nope. It was the perfect day."
"Alrighty, then! Who wants lemonade?"
"Mom! Dad!" Phineas shouted from the roof. "The fireworks are starting!"
Mom and Dad looked at Candace and Jeremy suspiciously. "I thought you said..."
Candace just shrugged. "I've been wrong before."
Amazingly, or maybe not-so-amazingly, the fireworks committee had been hit with orange reversal rays at some point during the afternoon, and had managed to get everything back on schedule. As the sun finally sank below the horizon for the evening, the first rockets blazed into the sky.
They were easily visible through the windows of the laboratory at Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated. "Oh, come on!" Doctor Doofenshmirtz complained while he was being untied by his daughter. His Despise-inator lay in ruins behind him.
Back on the roof of the Flynn-Fletcher house, the assembled crowd, including the Fireside Girls and Jeremy, sighed in delight. "Oo... Ah..."
"Isn't this wonderful?" Candace asked no one in particular.
Jeremy took her hand. "It sure is."
Mom noticed this with a warm smile and grabbed her husband's hand. "I'm glad we didn't miss this."
"I'm glad you didn't, either, Mom," Phineas agreed.
Ferb, who was noticing Isabella's wistful glances toward Phineas, gently picked up Phineas' hand and pressed it into Isabella's. Phineas' eyes widened in surprise, but he didn't move his hand. He did blush a little.
"It's too bad Perry is missing this," he said instead.
Perry chattered beside him.
"Oh, there you are, Perry." With his free hand, he patted his beloved pet on the head.
They all stayed up there until the last chrysanthemum sparkled into nothingness. But no longer, because a day at the actual Summer Extravaganza awaited them tomorrow, and nothing was going to stop them from making the most of every epic day.