Monday, September 1, 2014

“Thus speaks the famous Dr. Stacey McGill, child psychologist.” BSC #55: Jessi’s Gold Medal (1992)

I had this read a week ago but had some problems posting it. Oh well, it means you get two for the price of one this week!
Jessi, in the place of gym class, is taking synchronized swimming. Her partner is a girl named Elise who, of course, is never seen again after this book. (I think the Mafia is involved.) The two of them enter the SMS Sports Festival and come in first, but both decide they prefer their other activities—ballet and swim team. Kristy and Alan are also in competition, while Mal actually injures herself while faking an injury to get out of being in the Festival
Meanwhile, the BSC decides to put on a mini-‘Lympics (my term) for their sitting charges. There’s a bunch of stuff going on with that, but it’s boring. Most of the main plot points will be in the tidbits.
Interesting Tidbits
The cover: That’s Jessi and her partner, Elise, doing their synchro. Interestingly, Elise is described as being black haired in the book. Also, I feel like most swimmers wear swim caps.

“Horses sweat, gentlemen perspire, ladies glow!” Thank you for that tidbit, Mme. Noelle. (I wonder what it would sound like with her awful fake French accent.)
Who the hell buys their daughter a ‘plain white’ swimsuit? See-through much? Even Becca thinks so, because she colors hers with markers.
Remedial swimming sounds awesome. Do they have floaties on for that?
I’m trying to figure out the logic of this. The summer Olympics are usually in August, right? Well, this book takes place during the spring, so I guess AMM and Peter Lerangis were just hoping we wouldn’t notice the difference between August and April.
Becca wants to know if the Olympics will ever be held in Stoneybrook. If I were on the Olympic Committee, I’d vote for it!
Jessi comes into a BSC meeting and finds Kristy and Stacey stretched out on Claudia’s rug…doing the breast stroke. With Claudia’s room being such a rat hole, I can only imagine the kind of things they’re stirring up.
“A week of personal service.” Alan bet Kristy that he could beat her at any event, and this is their wager. And of course, my mind didn’t go straight into the gutter. Not at all.
Mistake: Kristy says Linny is eight. He’s nine.
Poor Andrew. He’s complaining he’s not good at anything. He’s only four, and all the other kids can run faster, throw better and jump higher. I bet he wouldn’t feel so bad if they put him in a contest with a bunch of other four year olds (Jamie, Archie, Nina, Jenny, etc.) He’d be pretty even-steven. But of course Linny and Bill and that lot are going to make him feel small and useless, since they’re so much older.
Jessi’s talking about ballet moves (I won’t repeat them, because they might put me to sleep) and Elise responds, “I thought they were French pastries.”
At one point, Mama is spelled as Mamma.
Kristy says “right” with a mouth full of pretzels and apparently, it comes out “wood”. That doesn’t even sound accurate, but I’m not going to stuff my mouth full of food and talk just to test it out.
Jessi keeps worrying about being the worst in her synchro class, but she just joined a few weeks before. All the other girls had been there for at least a few weeks longer than she had. Of course they’re better at it than she is. I mean, I know the BSC are all super-awesome and way talented at everything they do, but it’s not realistic for her to expect to pick up all the synchronized swimming moves in just a few weeks.
Claudia spelling! Beleive, twelv, thru, Saterday, laest, intacked (intact), Olimpyks, acident (that was after she tried twice to spell casualty) sessin, extpretion. She also uses their for there, may be for maybe and pour for poor.
Mallory actually tries to sprain her ankle so she doesn’t have to take part in the sports festival. Why doesn’t she just do what Mary Anne did and say she doesn’t want to take part? Jessi says she is a terrible actress. (I am not surprised by that last fact.)
This sounds like a conversation between me and my friends when I was Jessi’s age:
            Jessi: Maybe we should run away.
            Elise: Or hire doubles to take our place.
            Jessi: Or secretly drain the pool!
Elise and Jessi are so paranoid that they look terrible and are going to embarrass themselves, but a guy walks by and tells them they look fantastic. Instead of taking that as a compliment, they assume the guy doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
This Sports Festival makes no sense. It’s not mandatory, which is fair enough. But it happens during the school day, one event at a time. So the kids who enter are in an event and everyone else (including lots of parents…during the day…on a Wednesday) sit around and watch. That sounds very poorly planned for any number of reasons.
Umm, why are they building a concession stand right before the festival starts? Doesn’t SMS already have a concession stand, and if not, then why wait until minutes before the event starts, when all the concessions are already…concessed?
I need to reread this book and count how many times they use the term ‘synchro.’
Kristy gets embarrassed? I didn’t know such a thing was possible.
Charlotte doesn’t want to be involved in the Mini-‘lympics, but Stacey tries to talk her into it. When Stacey realizes Charlotte thinks she’s mad at her, she gets Mary Anne to call her. (‘Cause MA doesn’t want to be in the festival, get it?) But what’s interesting is that when MA calls Char to talk about how it’s okay to not be a jock, Charlotte is the one to point out that MA sounds mad about it. She convinces her to support her friends and not be upset because she’s too un-jocky. Or klutzy or sensitive or whatever.
Of course, Elise and Jessi win first place. Duh. I mean, the title of the book is “Jessi’s Gold Medal,” not “Jessi’s Last Place Finish” or “Jessi’s Horrible Embarrassment.”
Because Kristy won the race and the “week of personal service,” she makes Alan come to the BSC ‘lympics and set up for her. She also makes him call her ma’am. This is almost disappointing compared to some of the dirty thoughts I had about it. Although, she does make him clean up when Jamie throws up in his potato sack.
I’m disturbed that Richard knows who Alan is. I mean, I know MA’s known him since kindergarten or so, but unless he used to throw birthday parties for Mary Anne where her whole class was invited, how does he know Alan? It’s not as if MA would invite him over or anything.
There’s something funny about Mallory using a cane to deal with her sprain. I keep waiting for her to wave it and shout ‘Get off my lawn, you kids!’
The ‘lympics seem really badly organized as well. Basically, there’s someone running each event (a BSC member or parent) and then kids just go wherever they want and do whatever they want whenever they feel like it. I guess that’s better than having 4 million kids sitting around while one event at a time runs, but it’s hard to give awards when you can’t see everyone at every event.
Poor Andrew. He enters everything and ends up basically in last place in everything he does, even a ‘cross country’ race with only other kids his age. He winds up crying. But he does feel a lot better when he wins the “Most Determined” award.
And then Dawn gets the “deep” award for pointing this out: “They’re just kids, but sometimes you can really learn things from them.” Um, you’re just a kid, too, Dawn. Don’t forget that.
And the ending is so stupid, I just want to smack Kristy. YECH!
I’m getting irritated with the wiki source that I used to order my books. This one advertises Logan’s Story as ‘coming soon’, while that title mentioned SS#8 as ‘coming soon.’ Oh, well. I’m in the right general order, right? But the OCD in me is showing through.
Claudia: pastel-green shorts, Hawaiian shirt, sandals criss-crossing up her legs (Claudia loves these sandals but they don’t sound comfortable); electric pink (it’s electric, boogie-oogie-oogie) track shorts with turquoise stripes and matching shirt, hightops without socks, pink floral suspenders, silver Olympic symbol hair clip

Coming up next: Mystery #5 Mary Anne and the Secret in the Attic. I haven’t read it since about 1993, but I remember laughing at MA a lot.

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