Monday, July 28, 2014

“Funny, I thought only we could prevent forest fires.” BSC #52: Mary Anne + 2 Many Babies (1992)

I’m back and my kidneys are (almost) back to normal! This was one of my favorites as a kid. I wanted to be a babysitter and I totally wanted to take the “Modern Living” class featured within. I haven’t read this one since probably 1995, but I’m betting it’s full of ‘delicious’ egg puns, which you can bet I’ll report for you.
So. The SMS eighth graders are taking the aforementioned class, which isn’t really about modern living so much as about being married and having children…which not everyone does. Mary Anne and Logan are (conveniently) in the same class, so they ‘marry’ each other and have to be parents to an egg baby. Of course, all the BSC take this very seriously and learn life lessons from their eggs.
Interesting Tidbits
The cover. Slap some yoga pants on Mary Anne (instead of her very early-90s leggings) and she could be a soccer mom on her way to watch Logan, Jr.’s team lose. (This actually happens in the book, down to the twins’ outfits, with one exception: The Salems have a side-by-side stroller.)

Deep thought time: Mary Anne says she loves Jeff, but she doesn’t spend much time with him. How well does she even know him? He hasn’t been her stepbrother very long, and she only gets to see him during about every-other school break. I guess that’s a better way of phrasing it than, “I guess I like Jeff; I kinda have to, because he’s my stepbrother.”
Ooh, an incident of Sharon-itis! She put the hedge clippers in the bread drawer. MA also mentions finding her sweater in the freezer and the remote control in the bathroom. Honestly, anyone could do the last one…or maybe that’s just me. (Actually, I usually find it next to the fridge when I’m looking for it.)
Heh. Mary Anne suggests that the opposite of outgoing is ingrown. It’s like Ten Things I Hate About You: “I know you can be overwhelmed and I know you can be underwhelmed, but can you ever just be whelmed?” “I think you can in Europe.”
Mary Anne thinks she and Logan are ready to get married. Um, really? I could see that attitude if she were seventeen, but she can’t even drive a car for three more years. And I realize she and Logan have been together, on and off, for 42 books, but it’s not even a whole school year, technically.
Shawna Riverson is an idiot. She doesn’t know the difference between a wedding and a marriage or between a condiment and a commodity. She also never heard the phrase, “Better to be silent and be thought a fool than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt.”
Ooh, scandalous! The school’s allowing same-sex marriages, as there are four more boys than girls in the class. (Connecticut actually was one of the first states to legalize it, but not until 11 years after this book was published.)
Ah, Logan the misogynist. He and MA are given a homework assignment to figure out whether they can be financially independent. (They flip out after discovering they can’t even afford one month’s rent on a two-bedroom apartment with their current, 13-year-old pay.) Logan insists they HAVE to live at his house, because he’s the man.
Actually, wouldn’t it have been funny if he’d tried to convince his parents to let Mary Anne stay over, because they were married? There’s never any insinuation of sex in these books. Real teenagers would be dealing with ‘how far to go’ and hormones. These girls barely kiss most of the time.
Ah, Smokey the Bear jokes. Those never get old. (See the title quote.)
When Mary Anne refers to her egg-baby as ‘her,’ Logan asks how she knows it’s a girl. Um, I know that they were just told to treat the eggs as babies and refer to them as children, but it’s a flippin’ egg. I would have sarcastically replied, “I looked in her diaper.”
I’m trying to remember all of the eggs’ names. I know Mary Anne and Logan name theirs Samantha, Sammie for short. Kristy is married to Alan (natch) and their son is Izzy. Stacey’s is named Bobby and someone else’s—Dawn, I think—names theirs Skip. It’s really disturbing that I remember that. I think what actually disturbs me even more is that I remember being really irritated at not knowing what Claudia named HER baby.
For the record, here are some things I would have considered naming MY egg baby, if I ever had one: Eggbert (actually the title of a Degrassi Junior High episode on this topic), Eggberta, Eggidio, Eggeria, Egguskina, Omelet, Overeasy, Poached, Scrambled, Chicken-Embryo. (The non-food-ish ones are actual names, just with an egg-stra G added by yours truly.)
I remembered this, too: Kristy and Alan get way over-involved in their egg baby, trying to stimulate its brain cells and worrying over whether its nervous when Kristy takes it on a sitting job. She talks on the phone so long over their egg’s social development that she actually loses her sitting charges…and the egg.
And suddenly, I love Linny and Hannie. They’re taking the ‘missing’ Izzy situation about as seriously as I am. Linny: If I were an egg, where would I go? Hannie: How about the refrigerator?
Then they start with the puns. (Actually, Mary Anne says they started “cracking jokes” so I think she beat them to the puns.) The two of them (and Kristy, once she discovers Sari is playing with the egg) use egg-sactly, egg-cellent, egg-zample, egg-citement and egg-straordinary. Linny also says he hopes no one cooked and ate Izzy.
Logan and Mary Anne decorate their egg with flowers. Wouldn’t a face make more sense?
Kristy actually makes Dawn smell Izzy to make sure the egg isn’t spoiled.
I’m actually glad I read the notebook entry that leads up to Stacey’s sitting job for Bobby and Alicia. She mentions that she went through a phase when she was afraid of pigeons “for no good reason.” I’ll give you several good reasons to be afraid of pigeons. They’re fat and grisly. They’re rats with wings. And if they can’t find a better perch, they’ll land on your head. You have to trust me on this. I have photos, and I'm hoping my mom will scan them so you can laugh.
Exhibit A:

That's me in Italy in 1989. I was eight. I am still afraid of pigeons to this day.
Ooh, Stacey’s turn for deep thoughts. She wonders what it must be like for her mom to be single with a “kid”. (I’m sure Stacey doesn’t think of herself that way, even though she is.) Before that, she was the only one not taking the egg project overly seriously. She now thinks it must be very scary being a parent.
Oh, and I’m convinced that the only reason the Gianellis ever became BSC clients was so they could make a few jokes about Bobby the egg meeting Bobby the human.
Please forgive any random typing or spaces you may see while reading this. I (inadvertently) adopted a new kitten recently and one of her favorite games is jumping on my laptop to try to catch the curser. It’s adorable…unless she does it while I’m writing a research paper or something like that. (On a side note, I am now officially a crazy cat lady.)
I was right; Dawn’s egg is named Skip. But Dawn wanted to name him Douglas, because Skip sounds like a cartoon chicken wearing a beanie. Well, Dawn, he is an egg…
Does anyone believe that the Pike boys would really agree to ‘marry’ their sisters and adopt egg babies? Yeah, me neither. Moving on.
Although I did laugh hysterically when Vanessa “killed” her egg baby trying to color it with a crayon. “Poor, poor nameless killed egg.”
Mary Anne and Logan actually contemplate what their teacher does with their egg babies after the class is over. Two words for you: trash can. Better yet, one word: dumpster.
Logan’s been ridiculously overprotective of their ‘baby’, but when he has to say goodbye to Sammie, he suggests that she’s been a good egg. And he’s back to being a regular teenaged boy.
Once again, Jessi is randomly spelled Jessie. I think one of the people who typed up the books (or edited it or something) had a friend/relative that spelled it that way.
That’s it, that’s all. There were NOT enough egg puns for my liking.
Claudia: sequined shirt, stirrup pants (“maybe black”), low black boots, turquoise earrings, sparkly nail polish (This doesn’t sound ‘wild and trendy;’ it sounds like 2/3 of the girls in my sixth grade class. Unless they were all wild and trendy too…)
New(ish) characters:
Bobby and Alicia Gianelli (7 and 4)—29 and 26 (this is the first time they’d appeared in a BSC book, although Bobby had already been in Little Sister books)

Next week: I get to re-blog #53 Kristy for President, almost exactly a year after I blogged it originally.


  1. So, good news on the health front? That would be egg-xcellent.

    I also wanted to do a class like this. The only person I know who has is my fourteen-year-old cousin, who just this past school year had one of those realistic dolls for a couple nights. She lives in Nevada.

    Hooray for a new kitten! And too funny about chasing the cursor. Sometimes I get typos in my posts from toddlers grabbing the keyboard.

  2. hi i would like you to conact me teekiejane