Salley's Comet passes by only once every 70 years. In two weeks the comet will appear in the sky again, so Arnold and Gerald use that time to earn a children's telescope by collecting 50 coupons from Sugar Chunk cereal boxes. Since there's only one coupon to collect per box of cereal and they have only collected 25, they invite their friends and neighbors over to help them consume the remaining 25 boxes of cereal. After collecting the 50 coupons and sending them to the cereal company, they wait four days for the telescope to arrive. When Arnold and Gerald first use the telescope on Arnold's rooftop, they note that virtually no stars are visible in the sky. Grandpa explains that no stars are visible because the city lights are too bright; the only way they'll see anything is if everyone in the city turned off their lights. Grandpa then goes on to tell of how 70 years ago, he and his father viewed Salley's Comet from that very rooftop, but how there was far less light in the city then.
Arnold and Gerald decide to inform people about the comet's appearance by handing out flyers and spreading the word at the corner of the Green Meats grocery store. However, nobody appears interested in the comet, and their efforts are ignored. When their plan to inform people about the comet fails, Gerald suggests viewing the comet from an apparently secluded area called Hawk Mountain. Grandpa confirms that the mountain would be a great location from which to see the comet and even goes on to explain how he's had many memorable experiences there. When Grandpa attempts to drive Arnold and Gerald to Hawk Mountain, he is stopped by a thick traffic jam; it is announced over the radio that Hawk mountain is "filled to capacity and the roads are closed." As they head back home, the radio station (known as MJZZ ) announces that according to a recent poll, they are the most listened to radio station in the city. Suddenly, Arnold and Gerald get an idea.
They have Grandpa drive them to the radio station in an attempt to convince the DJ, Nocturnal Ned, to inform people of Salley's Comet. Nocturnal Ned turns out to be a clutz who drops his donut and says he cannot allow the announcement to be made. As Ned searches for the donut under his desk, Arnold and Gerald take advantage of the opportunity by secretly turning on the microphone and "practicing" the announcement for Ned, thus informing the entire city of Salley's Comet and asking everyone to turn off their lights at 8:16 PM (the time the comet will pass by). Arnold and Gerald proceed to Arnold's rooftop with Grandpa and wait eagerly with their telescope. Then, at precisely 8:16 PM, all the city lights begin to turn off in rapid succession, beginning with the clock tower. Finally, Salley's Comet passes through the city sky and Arnold, Gerald, and Grandpa all enjoy the rare sight of the comet soaring through the sky as Grandpa announces, "Boys, you're going to remember this for the rest of your lives!"
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