A lively story about doing nothing, being bored, not having a bike, and being ""a nonely child."" Just moved to a nowhere town in New York State, Noah spends half his time trying to avoid his pompous, slogan-making, efficiency-mad father's chore assignments and the other half enjoying his father's frequent business-related absence. Mom's a good egg but not much good at present, as she's writing a thesis and wearing ear plugs to help her concentrate. The preschooler next door seems unable to talk, and his sister Bib, Noah's age, is assertive, nosy (they meet when he wakes up to find her in his room), and overtalented. But suddenly all the things that haven't happened start happening, hilariously. Father is being promoted and transferred to Indiana, to Mom's and Noah's dismay. But then he brings home his irritated boss (they've missed a plane), whom Bib mistakes for the pizza man and Mom in her earplugs dismisses as a vacuum-cleaner salesman. As a result of the mixups Dad is out of a job--but an alternative job in their present town is safe because Noah failed to mail Dad's letter of rejection. (Instead, he has accidentally sprayed it with the hose and then, trying to dry it, burnt it in the toaster-oven.) Mom is so happy she gives Noah money for a bike. Also, she's pregnant, ending Noah's ""nonely child"" status. The little kid next door likes the cartoons Noah's been creating (he wants to be a professional cartoonist), and even Bib admires his card-trick talent. Narrator Noah's wry tone and the kids' fresh exchanges make of all this a bright diversion.