Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"They'll make you eat rotten vegetables! You have to watch out for those theater people!" BSC #18: Stacey's Mistake (1988)

Just when you thought you'd gotten rid of Stacey permanently after book #13, she gets a book while living in NYC. Because of a meeting about the homeless problem, five families need babysitters. Since Stacey can't babysit 10 kids at a time, she instead invites Claudia, MA, Kristy and Dawn to the city for the weekend. They spend the whole visit embarrassing her. They're too touristy, too loud, too scared. Eventually they make up and have a good time on the sitting outing to a museum and Central Park, and they meet up with Laine for a night of dinner and theater.

Interesting tidbits
And we get to start the book with a letter from Claudia to Stacey, complete with misspellings! I'am (I am), exited (excited), frist (first), woud (would), speding (spending), musims (museums). She also uses their instead of there and attempts to spell Bloomingdales a couple times before saying, "that big huge department store."
Bad start for book: Stacey starts off by discussing roaches.
I hate when books start in the middle of the plot and then the narrator stops and says, "You must be so confused. Let me explain." Lazy, lazy writing.
Interesting: when they don't live in Stoneybrook, both Dawn and Stacey go to private school. I can see it for NYC, but Dawn lives in a nice suburban area of LA, where you'd presume the public schools are pretty decent.
And right after roaches, we get a long essay on the issues of homelessness.
When I read these books, I have visualizations of many of the characters, like the BSC members and some of the parents and sitting charges. Some of them come from book covers (Logan), or super special illustrations (Stacey's mom); others come from the descriptions of the characters in the books. Stacey's dad straightens his glasses in this one, and I was thrown off. I haven't read this one since circa 1991, and I always pictured Stacey's dad as being one of those guys who looks younger than he really is (colors his hair, wears a goatee, etc). I think this comes from reading the later books where he has a girlfriend/fiancé whose name is Samantha, which makes him sound like he's robbing the cradle. Glasses so did not fit into my image of him.
Stacey says she quit perming her hair and let it grow out. This makes me laugh because it's 1988 and the height of mall hair. She should have a perm that's about a foot high.
Stacey describes Kristy as sort of cynical. Sounds about right.
The second Stacey sees her friends, she's instantly embarrassed by them. I get her freaking out over MA acting too touristy--she's right that it will make them a target--but she's worried because they're 15 minutes late; embarrassed because they're loud (they're teenaged girls! or crying out loud!); and embarrassed by Kristy's collie hat and Dawn being a big worrywart.
Dawn read the news about NYC the night before and freaked out because two people were murdered and a building collapsed the night before. Kristy jumps in and the following exchange takes place:
            "And then," added Kristy, "someone fell down an open manhole and was attacked and eaten by alligators and sewer rats."
            "Really?" said Dawn, her eyes widening.
            "I'm making it up!" cried Kristy.
            "You are? But I've heard that there are alligators in the sewers. And pickpockets--"
            "In the sewers?" asked Kristy.
In this era of the books, they've made the relationship between Kristy and Dawn a little bit combative. They spend a lot of time calling each other on their shit.
Stacey's also embarrassed because Claudia's giant suitcase is on wheels. These days, I won't buy a suitcase if it doesn't have wheels. (I'm reading this while watching Degrassi Junior High, so I keep trying to capitalize Wheels. Right now, he's bugging Shane and Spike, who are just about to "do it" and get pregnant. Broomheads!)
At the Hard Rock Café, the girls get seated at a table labeled Chubby Checker and none of them know who that is. Considering AMM's obsession with 1950s and 1960s music in these books, I'm surprised.
After the Café, they all debate where to go. Claudia wants to go to a museum, but everyone else wants to go to Bloomingdales. Even Kristy, which I find a little suspicious.
More Claudia misspellings: peopel, magazin, modles, sox, arested, allmost, siting, apratment (apartment). She also writes New york and misspells Mary Anne.
Mary Anne actually addresses a letter "Dear Dad and Tigger."
According to Stacey, Laine likes gourmet food and has eaten pigeon before. (I think a lot of people have: it's called a hot dog.)
Stacey obsesses over how old people look when they're dressed up. She says Claudia looks 15 and Laine looks 19.
Of course, Claudia and Laine hate each other almost instantly.
I don't normally spend much time feeling sorry for Dawn, but I did after MA tried to make friends with Stacey's NYC friends by making fun of her best friend.
Kristy signs a letter (full of lies) to her parents Ciao. It doesn't sound like her at all.
Oh, Claudia. More misspellings: Babbysiters club, forteen, yetserday, parnets, apratment (again). She also uses car instead of care, are instead of our and their instead of there. Oh, and she says luv, which is usually reserved in this series for teen romances. (MA luvs Logan, Stacey luvs Robert.)
Dawn says she didn't expect to sleep well, thanks to "burglies and ratties." But after the stressful day she had the day before, I'm sure she slept some. As silly as I think the plotline of Dawn being afraid of NYC is, I know how exhausting it is to worry and be afraid all day long.
Kristy tells Dawn to relax because there are things to worry about that she's never even thought up, like food poisoning and getting hit by a bus. Way to be supportive.
Stacey says Claudia is usually pretty neat. Has she forgotten what Claudia's bedroom looks like?
Stacey organizes her friends and the sitting charges for the walk to the museum, but they quit using it once they get inside...which is how they lose Henry inside the museum. Wouldn't it have been smarter if each of the sitters had been personally responsible for two of the children--the two whose hands they held on the way there?
In a letter, Kristy spells Nannie as Nanny.
The BSC is brave to take a child with a wheat allergy to a restaurant. I have a gluten allergy myself and it's difficult to find foods that don't have wheat in them. Luckily, Leslie is satisfied with a salad. Hope they remembered no croutons.
Even Stacey is surprised by a man riding a tricycle, with three Persian cats in the basket. I guess I'm immune to that kinda thing because when I was in college the first time, a guy used to ride by all the time on an oversized children's bike with a banana seat, sucking a pacifier.
Heh heh heh. Leslie doesn't feel good, so Dawn whisks her aside. Later, Stacey thanks her and reminds Dawn of how she feels about "the B-word." Dawn says she doesn't mind a little B. We use the same letter at work all the time, only it's a different "B-word."
Ooh, lucky us. Even more Claudia misspellings! I'me, whent (a favorite of hers), Centrle, remerber, scarry, adertiure (adventure), stachew (statue), climed.
MA writes a postcard to Logan and tells them the BSC rode in a limo...which, as she explains, is short for limousine. *eye roll*
Apparently, the BSC was so busy, they forgot to tell Stacey that Jeff moved back to California (despite the fact that Stacey actually mentioned this earlier in the book.)
Stacey actually agrees to let MA crank call Jeff in California.
Claudia, MA and Kristy are afraid of lox. I wish I had some lox right now.
Stacey says goodbye to her friends by yelling her mother's favorite line, Have fun and be careful.
Happy turkey day y'all. Gotta go. Lucy is just about to get "molested" by the substitute teacher...at Degrassi Junior High!
Kristy: white turtleneck with red and blue hearts, red sweater, jeans
Claudia: black sparkly outfit with stars (real descriptive)
Dawn: peach sweater dress, white lace stockings and flats (this sounds like it would be in style now)
Stacey: short yellow dress, white stockings, yellow socks
Mary Anne: long paisley skirt, white ruffly blouse, boots
Laine: black dress, stockings and shoes, silver bangle and squiggle pin, permed mallrat hair
New characters:
Leslie Reames (4)--28
Henry and Grace Walker (5 and 3)--29 and 27
Natalie and Peggie Upchurch (10 and 8)--34 and 32
Carlos, Blair (m), and Cissy Barrera (9, 7 and 5)--33, 31, and 29
Dennis and Sean Deluca (9 and 6)--33 and 30
Stacey's NYC classmates Jim Fulton, Read Marcus (f), Coby Reese, Carl Bahadurian (13)--37

1 comment:

  1. "Laine likes gourmet food and has eaten pigeon before. (I think a lot of people have: it's called a hot dog.):

    I had to stifle laughter at your parenthetical aside, because I don't want to wake up my kids. You are hilarious!