Monday, June 10, 2013

"I know I looked miserable. This was because Dawn said, 'You look miserable, Jessi.'" BSC #36: Jessi's Baby-sitter (1990)

So, the infamous Aunt Dictator--Aunt Cecelia--moves in with Jessi's family when Mrs. Ramsey goes back to work. So Aunt Cecelia treats the girls like babies, and instead of being mature and talking it out, Jessi and Becca get passive aggressive and start playing tricks on her. They're surprised when she doesn't tattle on them. In the end, Jessi talks to her parents and everything starts running more smoothly...and Aunt Cecelia gets even with Becca and Jessi by playing tricks on them.

The subplot actually ties directly into the main plot for once. Jackie Rodowsky wants to enter the science fair by making a volcano. Jessi tries to help him and ends up taking over the project and doing everything for him. After he's humiliated at the science fair, Jessi realizes she's been doing the same thing to him that AC's been doing to her! Wow! So that's why she talks to her parents about it.

Interesting Tidbits

The cover: Footie pajamas! And Jessi's wearing an awesomely ugly sweater, complete with matching socks and turtleneck. (If she was wearing jeans instead of a skirt, she'd be Black Kristy.) She's also giving Aunt Cecelia a major bitch face. But my favorite part is how Aunt Cecelia is waving a spoon at Jessi. It's such a cliché.

Totally off topic, but it really bugs me that it's spelled Cecelia. Usually the name is Cecilia, because it's an offshoot of Cecil. I keep typing it wrong and having to go back and fix it. So I'm just going to call her AC from now on.

Heh. Jessi relates her plot from SS#4--how she was put in charge of Becca and Squirt while her parents were out of town, and how she had to call AC because Becca and the others WENT MISSING! Jessi uses this sentence in regard to AC: "She thought something was seriously wrong with our family." Yeah, well, so do I.

Another funny AC comment: "I'd come home to...Aunt Cecelia. (I always imagined scary music playing when I thought of her name.)" I'm hearing the dramatic organ from 60's soap operas.

Jackie R ponders the singular of galoshes while his foot is stuck in one. Heh.

Mallory's brothers are playing Wandering Frog People, which Jessi says is a game they made up. So how come back in #14, Margo and Nicky were fighting over a toy that was really part of the triplets' Wandering Frog People set?

The Ramseys, like Ms. McGill, own a station wagon.

OMG, another banner. This one says WELCOME AUNT CECILIA! And they spelled her name wrong on purpose.

Yay! Jackie and Jessi are building his volcano out of Plasticine. I love Plasticine.

Both Mallory and Kristy are helping their younger siblings with the science fair projects also, but specifically make a point to point out, "I'll help you, but I won't do it for you." As if Jessi taking over Jackie's project wasn't enough of a "moral of the story" face slap.

Stacey mentions not feeling well, which is probably a realllllly long set up for #43.

Charlotte is also working on a science of the old standards about plants listening to music. She has one plant listen to Vivaldi and another plant listen to Duran Duran. ("Talk amongst yourselves. I'll give you a topic. Duran Duran is neither a Duran nor a Duran. Discuss.") I don't think most BSC readers these days have heard of Duran Duran.

Heh. Mallory and Jessi are trying to make the world's longest gum wrapper chain. Mal wants to make the longest friendship bracelet next. When Jessi asks what the point is, because no one could wear it, Mal's all, "Well, what about the world's biggest pancake? Do you really want to eat something five hundred other people have touched, and skated across wearing butter pat skates?" (I'm paraphrasing, but that's the jist of it.) She manages to gross out Mary Anne. Later, she brings the pancake back up again, to ask how they mixed the batter.

Aunt Cecelia grounds Jessi from a BSC meeting because she was ten minutes late coming home from a sitting job...and because she was a sass mouth when AC complains about it. Jessi and her friends all think it's completely unfair, but honestly, I don't think AC was asking too much. She just wants Jessi to respect her rules. If Jessi had been ten minutes late but had then apologized and promised to call if she was going to be late in the future, AC probably wouldn't have punished her.

Mr. Ramsey has a secretary named Ed.

AC confesses that one of the reasons she was so strict and was babying Jessi and Becca so much was that she was concerned that she wasn't as good a babysitter as Jessi. Wait, what? She was intimidated by the sitting skills of an eleven year old? Not to mention the fact that a live-in, adult sitter isn't the same as a kid who watches your kids sometimes. You expect entirely different things out of the two of them. A part time sitter is going to try to be fun and coax the kids into doing things, while a live in sitter is like an extra parent and has to lay down the law on many occasions.

More foreshadowing: Mal's dad's company is going to be doing layoffs. Paging #39!

The story ends on a cheesy note. Let's just leave it at that and I'll spare you the misery.


Claudia: short skirts; tight pants; off the shoulder sweatshirts; leopard skin vest, blouse, blue leggings, five papier-mâché bracelets

Stacey: tight black Capri pants with silvery buttons, long, soft blue jacket; sleeveless blouse

Mallory: jeans, sweatshirt, beaded high tops

Next week: #75 Jessi's Horrible Prank

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