In this story, his parents bring him to Third Street Elementary School. Gus is a wild child and thinks that the other students he meets will be just like him, but to his surprise everyone is acting well behaved in class, and Ms. Finster reads them a story. When recess begins all the children are quiet and nobody acts like they do in the future. Gus notices Gretchen just reads and never gives anyone ideas, Vince just runs around quietly, the digger twins just play in a sandbox, the Swinger Girl does not swing roughly or hang upside down and Spinelli is a timid little girl with a doll. Gus then meets one little boy with a red cap whose name is Theodore Jasper Detweiler. Gus befriends him and gives him his nickname: T.J..Ms. Finster is very shocked with Gus's behaviour.
Shortly afterward, Gus realizes that everyone is being neat and behaved because they are afraid of Mikey who acts as a monstrous bully, and Randall is the one who tames him. Gus is enraged and he later reveals the reason that Mikey acted like a monster is because Randall told him lies and said he was his only friend. Mikey is actually friendly and explains that Randall was behind everything because he wanted to take control of the whole grade and have everything belong to him.
Then Gus convinces all the Kindergarteners that they should be like him and be wild like a normal Kindergartener, then all the kid begin to act like their future selves, Vince becomes more active, Gretchen starts passing her theories to other kids, Spinelli realizes that she is a very tough girl and T.J. becomes brave and adventurous. Randall is horrified and quickly tells Ms. Finster that everyone is all messy. Miss Finster is furious and demands to know who did this. When she finds that it was Gus, she takes him to Principal Prickley's office. However, T.J. and the gang form a plan and rescue Gus, leaving Spinelli's doll in the chair he was sitting in. Gus is forced to leave the school the next day.