Thursday, December 18, 2014

“Did a dinosaur follow you to school and sit on them?” BSC Special Edition Reader’s Request: Logan’s Story (1993)

This story gets the special distinction of being the only book in the whole series I’m going to refer to as both Extra Stupid and Extra Awesome.
Logan makes friends with a guy named T-Jam who is part of this gang of bad boys (cleverly named the Badd Boyz). They steal from lockers and shoplift at local stores. He starts hanging out with them and defending them to Mary Anne and company. Because he’s so clean cut, the Badd Boyz use him as a distraction to help them steal. Eventually, re catches on, so they blackmail and threaten him. He finds tickets to the ‘concert of the year’ in his locker, which MA sees and thinks he bought for her. He finally tells the truth and turns the Badd Boyz in.
Meanwhile, the eight and nine year olds in town are being demonized by a bully named EJ. The not-so-clever-or-original twist? EJ is a girl.
Interesting Tidbits
The cover: Who are those kids supposed to be? And why isn’t the one kid playing?

Also, the tagline says, “Is Logan too cool for babysitting?” Maybe Logan’s not cool enough for babysitting.
Apparently, breakfast at the Bruno house is chaos personified, with his parents yelling and his siblings arguing. Sounds rather normal to me, actually, but what do I know? My mom used to leave before I got up in the morning and my dad didn’t get up until after I left.
The first few pages of this book are chock full of awesome. First Logan refers to himself as Draculogan (which is totally how I will now refer to him for the rest of time. Or maybe just the rest of my lunch break at work.)
Then he says he’s a jock but not a stereotypical jock who can’t talk and walk at the same time and who carries a football to bed. I totally thought of Kevin from Daria, who is rarely ever seen without his football pads and pigskin, even when he’s wearing a suit. This photo was the closest I could find:

Finally, he describes his looks and says MA says he looks like Cam Geary (so we know a little of what he looks like…but since Cam Geary doesn’t exist, I can pretend he’s 4’4” and has orange hair!) Logan doesn’t want us to think he looks like Garth from Wayne’s World, which makes me laugh for so many different reasons. Party on, Logan. Party on, Mary Anne.

OMG! More dying of laughter: Nicky Cash, the subject of Mary Anne’s musical crush, used to be in a boy band called 2 Hot 4 U. He’s like a combination of Justin Bieber and one of the boys in 1Direction. He can’t really sing, but he’s cute, he can dance and he sings love songs. (Confession time: I actually kinda like 1Direction. Not enough to buy their albums or go to their concerts, but enough to know the lyrics to a couple of their songs and enjoy them. I can already feel the judging….I feel the same way about Taylor Swift, too.)
Oh, and Nicky Cash’s real name is Reginald Fenster.
The Badd Boyz (did Claudia name them?) members’ names: T-Jam (apparently, his real name is Theodore James), Skin, Ice Box, Butcher Boy, Jackhammer, G-man, D, Remo.
BSC Meetings = Nicky Cash Fan Club Convention, as Claudia, Dawn and Stacey are singing his songs when Logan shows up. Logan makes a point of saying how bad a singer Claudia is. I wonder if he has a problem with Dawn and Stacey’s singing? They must be decent singers, since they had roles in the play. He lets them know his feelings by howling like a dog while they sing.
Logan refers to Richard as Richard, which seems really wrong. I imagine he’d be the type to insist upon being called Mr. Spier by MA’s dates. (I’m picturing her imaginary future-husband having to call his father-in-law Mr. Spier and it’s really funny.) I just mean that Richard’s a little old-fashioned and traditional, and having non-related teenagers call him by last name seems more his style.
What I love is that they talk about how awkward BSC meetings are with Logan around, but this one makes the meeting seem extra fun. (I’m starting to be able to pick out which books are written by certain ghost writers, simply because they have distinctive styles. Peter Lerangis, who wrote this one, likes to have lots of joking around and food throwing.) Claudia answers the phone with a mouthful of chocolate and says ‘hewwo’ instead of hello, so Logan does an Elmer Fudd imitation of her babysitting job.
Logan’s dad once bought tofu because he thought it was cheese, and Logan says that’s as close to health food as his family gets. He also apparently thinks Dawn would fight a squirrel for an acorn. That’s a fight I’d like to see, because the squirrel would win. As someone who went to a college that almost changed their mascot to the Fighting Squirrels for good reason, I can attest that some squirrels are scary and potentially lethal.
Logan doesn’t understand why Shannon wears black eyeliner (or as he calls it, ‘outliner’) around her blue eyes. For some reason, when he points it out, I’m picturing Shannon wearing the whole ‘heroin chic’ look that went into fashion a few years later, with thick, heavy eyeliner that’s supposed to make you look like you have dark circles under your eyes, like a drug addict.

Dawn is apparently eating a bag of hay at the meeting. Can Draculogan narrate more of these stories? I kinda love him.
You know the Badd Boyz are bad because they say stuff like yo and ‘tsup. Oh, and they skip out during lunch and eat pizza in the parking lot.
Apparently, ‘crispy’ is a Badd Boy compliment.
Claudia spelling! She was siting for the twines, Maralyn and Caralyn, by the way. Twise, imposable (impossible), eigth, migth. She also uses ben for been.
The twins lost their lunches (before they were eaten!) to the bully, EJ, so they’re starving when they get home. Claudia’s suggestion on what happened to the lunches is the title quote. She also gets the twins trying to think of (serious) ways to deal with a bully, which turns into a conversation about dropping EJ in the sewer or bringing bombs to school.
Stacey says that, between the thieves at school and the bully at the elementary school, there’s a lot of bad karma going around. Claudia thinks she said bad caramel. You hear what you want to hear, I guess. (Claud makes herself feel better after her sitting job by finding and eating some good caramels.)
I’m beginning to understand the whole Dawn-is-an-individual thing that’s so rampant in this series because of something Logan says in this book. He admires the Badd Boyz for their ‘independence’ because they don’t care what others think of them and aren’t afraid of anyone. But they travel in a gang/pack and aren’t really independent. They’re as much of a clique as the other kids in school; they’re just counterculture rather than mainstream culture. But these kids are supposed to be middle schoolers. When you’re 13, being counterculture does seem to mean independence and individuality, even when you’re being as much of a follower and are as insecure as everyone else. Maybe I’ll stop being as hard on Dawn. Maybe.
Logan’s pretty clueless. Now maybe I’m saying this because I’m an adult, or because I work in loss prevention (or because I’d read the book before), but it was completely obvious that T-Jam (who goes with Logan when he buys the Nicky Cash CD for Mary Anne) is a distraction so that his two friends can shoplift. He keeps pointing the store owner away from the direction his friends are in by asking about jazz CDs.
Oh, and T-Jam ‘compliments’ Logan by telling him he’s ‘quality.’ Mary Anne thinks it sounds like a word you’d use on an appliance, not a person.
Ooh, there’s a spelling mistake! Memberes instead of members.
Logan suggests recruiting EJ to be a member of the Badd Boyz.
After Logan inadvertently helps the Badd Boyz steal a shipment of Nicky Cash CDs, he threatens to tell, so T-Jam turns the tables by threatening Mary Anne. He realizes he’s being blackmailed. (Logan’s also afraid of the loss of reputation and potential legal consequences involved in telling the truth.) They buy his silence with Nicky Cash concert tickets (stolen, natch). Logan wants to return them, but MA sees them before he has a chance.
This would make a really bad afterschool special, which is, of course, the best kind.
I’d join the We Hate EJ Club, but only if it has a secret handshake.
The club gathers together to have a “stragedy” session on how to deal with EJ. They also deal with the triplets, who (well, at least Adam and Jordan) keep taunting the younger kids about EJ. Apparently, the fact that EJ is a girl is highly embarrassing, not just to Nicky, Buddy and the Hobart boys (the only boys at the “stragedy” session) but to all the kids.
Ha ha ha! The Badd Boyz have started calling Logan Ken Doll. It’s appropriate. It’s also what makes him decide to make sure the gang gets caught stealing.
Logan and MA are going for a candlelight dinner before the concert…and Charlie agrees to drop them off. (He is just too nice.) Kristy: “Charlie, have you ever tasted candlelight? It’s magnificent.”
Logan doesn’t tell MA the truth about the tickets until she mentions that some seventh grader had her tickets stolen. Suddenly the victim of the crime becomes real and he can’t go through with it anymore. MA is understandably mad…not because they aren’t going to the concert, but because he didn’t just tell her all this (and return the tickets) right away.
Here’s my REAL question at this point: Why did this seventh grader have her tickets at school anyway? 1. They’re not cheap and the concert’s sold out. 2. The thefts from lockers is one of the biggest topics going around school. I’m not blaming the victim, but if she had used common sense, she wouldn’t have been in this spot in the first place.
Logan’s dad refers to the Badd Boyz as “fellows.” And I laughed for absolutely no reason.
Kerry starts playing the Nicky Cash CD early the morning after Logan was supposed to go to the concert:
            Mr. Bruno: This is what you were going to hear last night?
            Logan: Pretty terrible, huh?
Even though it is the oldest BSC joke ever, I always laugh when Logan orders food when Kristy calls the meeting to order.
“Flourless, yeastless, sugarless, and probably tasteless ‘walnut fudgie bars.’” I wish those were real, because they sound like something I could actually eat. Later, Dawn threatens to feed one to Logan when he’s a smart aleck.
Dawn points out that it’s sexist to assume that a bully is a boy. Honestly, in my experience, girl bullies are worse than boy bullies. I used to teach school at a locked facility with kids that were basically the worst of the worst, and we all used to say we’d rather have a room full of boys than a room full of girls. The girls would stoop to any level and they fought viciously.
Mary Anne: sequined “shirt and pants that are attached.” EWWWWWWW! I think I’ll throw up now, if that’s okay with y’all.

Next week: We’ll celebrate the holidays with some counterfeit money (and another extra stupid plotline): Mystery #10 Stacey and the Mystery Money

Thursday, December 11, 2014

“I break into a sweat that feels like a monster slimed my shirt collar.” BSC Super Special #10: Sea City, Here We Come! (1993)

There’s something really funny about reading this book while watching the episodes of Beverly Hills 90210 when they spend the summer at the beach.
So the Pikes are going to Sea City (again), and this time, Mrs. Barrett is going as well. Half of the BSC is going for the whole trip as mother’s helpers, while the other half is coming for the second week as guests. While everyone is at the beach, a hurricane (sorry. According to Claud, it’s a hurrycan) washes out the causeway and strands them at Sea City.
The individual stories:
Jessi: is determined to be super-sitter and show up the older girls
Stacey: sits for Mrs. Barrett, who is a head case. Stacey is basically a bitch to everyone because of the stress.
Mallory: goes on a date with Toby, Stacey’s ex, and fights with Stacey over it
Dawn: runs a mini-camp with Mary Anne and feels Stacey’s wrath at one point
Mary Anne: runs the mini-camp and deals with Logan, who is jealous of Alex, who is in Sea City with Toby
Claudia: goes to summer school and finds she actually is one of the smartest ones there
Kristy: has to find a bunch of ‘replacement’ Krushers so she doesn’t have to forfeit a game
Interesting Tidbits
I don’t know why I love this cover so much, but I really do. Although, being me, I have to quibble about the arrangement of the pyramid. Why would you put Mary Anne and Kristy—two of the smallest girls in their class—on the bottom?

Also, Dawn and Stacey look drunk.
The story starts with a whole bunch of letters and notes, including one from Stacey to her father where she insists upon writing in text speak, long before text speak was invented.
The BSC spends their last full meeting together doing a candy taste test. Logan and Shannon are both there for the meeting, but they made a mistake. Kristy says all nine of them looked like cows chewing cud, but Stacey and Dawn wouldn’t have been eating Heath and Skors bars. Later, Kristy acknowledges the two of them didn’t vote in the contest. (If you were concerned, the Skor bar won by one vote. As Logan says, Skor scores!)
Kristy says that Dawn lives an ‘alternative lifestyle.’ And being terribly mature, I snorted into my soup.
Y’all know how I love consistency: Shannon is sitting at the meeting doing voice exercises.
Only chapter two and we already have Claudia spelling! Arrivs, jellous, meting, sumer, mabe, com, finly, perfict. Plus she ‘hops’ something will happen. Oh, and she learned to count during summer school because it was such an ‘enducational experiense.’
Um, Claudia, teachers get paid extra money for teaching summer school. That’s why they do it, not so that they can torture kids. Although some of them probably enjoy that element of it too.
Oh, Claudia’s surrounded by math jokes. This time, one of her s-school (that’s what the cool kids call it) friends starts throwing a bunch of numbers into an ice cream man math problem, and finishes it by asking how much the guy’s toupee costs.
Something is wrong with this: Claudia calls Kristy the Voice of Sanity. Just, yeah. *shake head and walks away*
Mal is reading The Golden Key on the way to Sea City. Meanwhile, her siblings are counting people in other cars who are picking their noses. (Never done that but I once did spend a 12 hour trip looking for people who were driving alone in the carpool lane and writing down their license plate numbers….)
The other fun on the way to Sea City? The Barf Bucket is in the wrong car, as Nicky pukes all over the rented van. Vanessa finds this situation…poetic: “Mister Smee and Captain Hook ran away from Nicky’s puke!” “Hurry up and get a scarf! Please wipe up this pile of—”
The Coppertone ad of the girl getting her knickers tugged off by a puppy—the tushy picture, Nicky calls it—which is the third sign that they’re close to Sea City has been replaced with a new ad for a place called Weiner’s Wieners. I love it!
Mallory says Buddy is seven. He’s usually eight. In fact, Stacey says he’s eight in the very next chapter.
Mrs. Barrett drives like I do; she has terrible road rage. The only difference is that I usually curse a lot more.
I wonder if Mary Anne used to read Encyclopedia Brown. She tells Dawn to spin all the eggs to tell which ones are hard boiled and which are raw. I learned that a hard boiled egg will out spin a raw one from one of those books.
The kids at mini-camp: Jenny, Myriah, Jamie, Mathew, Johnny…and Charlotte. She’s a lot older than the rest of those kids. (Marilyn and Carolyn are also ‘campers’ but they don’t get mentioned in that chapter at all.)
Kristy (facetiously) suggests putting Boo-Boo on the Krushers team. She should put him at first base because the Bashers would be too scared to go there.
Kristy says there are twenty kids on the Krushers. The lineup for her team is constantly changing, but I’m trying to pin it down, at least for this book. She mentions the following people: Nicky, Margo, Claire, Buddy, Suzi, Matt, Linny, Hannie, Jake, Laurel, Patsy, Jamie, Nina, Myriah, Gabbie, Jackie, David Michael, Karen, Andrew, and Bobby Gianelli. That is, in fact, twenty kids, and I’m pretty sure all of them but Bobby (whom Kristy mentions is a recent addition) were in the original book. But at various other times, I know she’s mentioned the Korman kids, the Hsu boys and several others playing on the team.
Kids Kristy talks to when trying to recruit temporary Krushers: Phil Fields, Kate Munson, S. Emerson Pickney IV (“Quad”), P. Archibald Pickney (“Moon”), Sheila Nofzinger, Richard Owen, Kyle Abou-Sabh and Alexandra DeLonge.
And it’s time for a Margo chapter. Her spelling is about as good at Claudia’s. Her spelling errors? Tiddal, cretures, clames (clams), teny, grat, lern, maureen (marine), watsh (wash). Oh, and she eats some cold slaw, which is what I called it until I was about 10 or so. Later, she makes a sign: Come to Margo’s! spectakuler!! beach zoo!!! See excotic and dangerus spechis of maureen life!!!!! Only $50 cents
Jessi takes Margo, Claire and Suzi for ice cream. (With Stacey, Mal and Jessi to babysit, it makes sense to organize the kids by age groups. I mean, those three girls together, the triplets together. But then is it Vanessa, Nicky and Buddy? And who’s got Marnie?) In any case, Margo eats Rocky Road, Claire wants “Pistachio Mustachio,” which would be fashionable today, and Suzi wants ‘Chorcolate,” which is what Goofy eats.
Ahh, siblings:
            Jordan: You think you’re going to enter the sand castle contest?
            Margo: We don’t think.
            Jordan: I know you don’t.
If you had a four year old, would you a) pay for him to go to ‘camp’ with thirteen year old counselors and b) let him sleep over at said ‘camp?’ At least when they did it in #86, they only invited the older kids. Half of the campers are five and younger, yet Dawn starts telling them ghost stories. Not really bright.
More Claudia spelling! Sumer (again), balieve, actualy, prety, probly, coud, extatic.
Okay, wait. How is Marilyn the pitcher for the Krushers? She wasn’t part of that list earlier. Well, the Krushers one, that is.
YES! THE KISSING HAIR EPISODE! Sorry, that’s 90210, not BSC. Moving on….
Final score of the Krusher-Basher game? 34-1. Gabbie scored the only Krushers run when the wiffle ball got thrown into the stands and Charlie hid it. Explain to me why Kristy thought a forfeit would be worse than that.
Stacey is all sorts of condescending about the budding Toby-Mallory thing. She already thinks Toby’s a creep, but once he flirts with Mal, Stacey starts putting Mal down, too. It’s mostly about how Mal is eleven and he’s older (true), but she also says things like, “You’re not his type.”
The title quote is Logan’s take on having to be the only guy surrounded by BSC members.
Oh, and there’s this whole giant sand castle contest (I guess I kinda did mention that earlier) that Margo, Suzi and Claire want to enter, but most of the creations being made for it are monstrosities that they just can’t compete with. Logan’s take: Why bother? It’s just sand; it’ll have to come down eventually. (The contest gets cancelled because of the hurricane.)
My favorite moment so far this book? When Logan meets Alex, he sizes him up. He decides his looks are solid—cute, but not hunky—but that things are okay because he’s bigger than Alex is. Oh, Logan.
Why on earth would Mallory send a postcard to Stacey’s mom?
Heh. Mallory takes Nicky and Margo mini-golfing and expects to find a picture of her family with the words DO NOT RENT TO THESE PEOPLE on the wall of the Putt-Putt.
I just realized that this is the second time that Toby has caused Stacey to get into a fight with one of her friends in Sea City. She and Mary Anne had a doozy of a fight in the last Sea City book because Stacey thought her time with Toby was more important than Mary Anne’s time with Alex.
Oh, and Dawn’s sharing a room with her for the weekend, taking care of the DeWitts (although they are referred to in this book as the Harrises—I guess AMM realized they already had a Ryan DeWitt in the BSC-verse) while they visit the Barretts. Stacey spends the entire time being cranky and bitchy…mostly because Toby asked Mallory on a date, although Stacey won’t admit it.
I would totally eat omelets with Franklin. He offers to put all kinds of things into them, including prunes, chicken nuggets and chocolate chips.
Obviously, this book is pre-1998:
            Mrs. Barrett: They say the road was fortified a few years ago.
            Mr. Pike: They said the Titanic was unsinkable.
            Claudia: Is the Titanic going through the marsh?
Adam wants the hurricane to hit…so that they can eat Spam and tuna and fruit cocktail. Probably all at the same time.
Yes! More Claudia spelling! Panick, belive, writting, hurrycan (hee hee!) equiptment. Oh, and she uses hop for hope and exiting for exciting and spells her new friend’s (Carly) name wrong. But don’t panick—she’s just jocking about dying!
Oh, by the way, the hurricane’s name is Bill. I don’t know why I feel that’s important to point out, but it is.
Claudia’s contemplating fashion while packing for hurricane evacuation. She’s worried about clashing, although I don’t know why, since it’s never bothered her before.
I know that there’s a lot of people evacuating into two vehicles between the Pikes, Barretts and BSC (they tallied twenty), but shouldn’t Marnie be in a car seat? Technically, these days, Suzi, Claire and maybe even Margo would be in boosters as well.
Bad pun alert! The kids announce that they forgot their pajamas, with people piping up “Me neither” and “Me threether.” Stacey stops them before they get any ‘fourther.’ I’m pretty sure I missed that one as a kid.
Why? Why?? There’s a Karen chapter in the middle of the action. I would have rather seen the Stoneybrook version of the hurricane from Logan’s point of view, since he was back in the ‘hood by then.
Okay, time for Buddy spelling. (Of course, Karen never spells anything wrong. There’s a whole book about that.) Claud may have a hurrycan, but Buddy has a herricane. Also, gues, realy, leke, becase, elelctrisity. Also, everyone stayed in the jim.
Buddy was really hoping for some gruesome, morbid things to happen in the aftermath of the hurricane: he complains that the Ferris wheel didn’t break loose, no cars crashed and there are no dead bodies in the street.
Remember the winter super special when Mary Anne kept imagining Logan with a girl in a bikini at the beach? Well, in this one, Logan keeps imagining MA with Alex during the hurricane, the ‘hero and heroine in a dimly lit corner, holding hands.’ I thought it might be low self-esteem on MA’s part, but it just comes across like they don’t trust one another when they’re both doing it.
Niiiiiice. Mal’s getting ready for her date, which involves shopping for fun accessories and letting Claudia pick out an outfit for her (with Jessi helping, to limit the over-Claudia-ness that might otherwise occur). Nicky, Adam and Jordan are all peeking in on her, and then run off singing about Mal and Toby in a tree…only not kissing but necking. I guess it’s the right number of letters, but how many people use that term anymore?
Mal ends up not going on her date with Toby, not because it will make Stacey mad (c’mon, she’s (almost) a teenager; causing drama should be her middle name!) but because she doesn’t want to screw things up with Ben back home.
So Logan actually hires a horse and buggy to take Mary Anne home when she gets back from Sea City, which would be sweet if he weren’t just trying to make up for thinking she was making out with Alex the whole trip.
And the book ends with Toby asking questions about Jessi…and wondering if he’s single. Proving that all men (except Logan, natch) are scum.
Claudia: cut-offs, rope belt, t-shirt with the collar ripped off, oversized white socks, old fashioned shoes (Did she forget she got off that island 6 super specials ago?)
Stacey: long white ‘jersey tunic’ t-shirt, white ‘ribbed leggings’, leather belt, sandals
Mallory: short flared polka-dot skirt, white tank top, blue men’s shirt tied in front (she’s actually super-cute in the illustration of this)

Next week: Logan Bruno, Boy Babysitter!

Monday, December 1, 2014

“I’d give her to you to hold, but I’m afraid I’d come home to a green baby.” BSC Mystery #9: Kristy and the Haunted Mansion (1993)

This mystery is stupid for a lot of reasons. I know I say that about a lot of the mysteries, but really. Honestly, after that joke I made about the BSC being theScooby gang a few weeks back, I really expected Kristy to pull the head off the old caretaker and say, “I can’t believe it. It’s Old Hickory!” and have Bart reply, “And he would have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for us meddling kids!”
Kristy, Charlie, Bart and selected Krashers are riding home from a game when two bridges wash out, leaving them stranded on a small stretch of land with one house. The caretaker lets them stay, and they discover a mystery. The caretaker had been engaged to the daughter of the family, Dorothy Sawyer, years before, but she’d mysteriously vanished on the day they were supposed to elope. She was presumed drowned because the bridges had washed out that night as well. But of course, she’s actually alive and well and running the sewing store in Stoneybrook.
Interesting Tidbits
The cover: first, there’s Karen, and if you look closely (at the real cover, not this picture of it) you can see Krushers is spelled with a C. One point for consistency. Also, this is the way I picture Kristy dressing most of the time, although there’s something really weird about her shorts. She must have some seriously heavy crap in her pockets because they’re bulging in a strange fashion:

The list of Krashers in the van with Charlie, Bart and Kristy on the way to the game in Redfield: DM, Nicky, Jackie, Karen, Buddy and Bashers Jerry, Joey, Chris and Patty. I was going to get all OCD and check to see if the names were the same as mystery #7, but then Kristy points out that they’d changed the lineup a little bit.
Stupid thing #1: Charlie is driving all the starters for the game to the game. This would make sense to me only if they got there early to practice or warm up or something. But by the time they get to the field, not only are the parents of most of the kids in the van already there (meaning that they didn’t just pick up all the kids who had no ride, either), but so are a couple other team members who are there in case they’re needed for backup.
“Soon the game began. I won’t bore you with all the details….” Too late, Kristy. Too late.
Is there a scarier phrase in the clothing-world than “polka-dotted jumpsuit”? Feel free to comment if you can think of anything ickier that Claudia’s ever worn.
Huh. Kristy is afraid of lightning.
Stupid thing #2, which directly relates to stupid thing #1: It’s pouring when Charlie sets off with the kids. Only Nicky goes home with his family, the rest climbing back into the van. How many parents would be comfortable with someone who’s had his license for less than a year driving their kids home in a thunderstorm?
The caretaker talks like he’s from the 1800s. “Confounded contraptions.” I wonder if that’s what AMM thinks all ‘country people’ talk like, or it’s just this dude, living alone at a mansion without phones.
Okay. So these kids (the Krashers, Bart, Kristy and Charlie) are lost in the middle of nowhere, with no way to contact civilization, and the little ones are understandably upset about this…until Bart points out they get to sleep in their clothes. That would not have been a plus for me when I was a kid.
The triplets are talking backwards, which my sister and I used to do all the time. It takes forever to try to pronounce things the right way when you say them in reverse. (Although we would say entire sentences backwards: Reppus rof emit instead of Emit rof reppus.) Mary Anne can’t follow them, but Mal can, which either means they’ve been doing it for hours, so she’s used to it by now, or she’s just way smarter.
When the van doesn’t come home, everyone keeps calling one another. Interestingly, instead of calling the Brewer-Thomas house, Bart’s dad calls Claudia. Maybe he had a BSC flier or something?
Stupid thing #3: The house is all immaculately kept and not the slightest bit musty or moldy, but the owner of the house died nearly sixty years before. I have a hard time keeping my basement from smelling musty after a couple weeks. Yet everything is still original and pristine. The caretaker must regularly be washing the bedding, drapes and other soft goods, so I would think some of it would wear out after a while.
Karen finds Dorothy’s diary and encourages Kristy to read it aloud, which Kristy does (even though she feels bad about snooping.) The young girl says she’s eager to marry her fiancĂ©, but at the same time, she doesn’t want to go straight from her father’s house to her husband’s. I wonder if this was an unconscious basis for a story I’m writing right now about a girl who is about the same age, only in more modern times. Both girls want to travel and see the world before they settle down. I’m going to say no, simply because I last read this back in 1994 or so, while I started writing that a few months ago.
One of the downsides to them using actual dates in here is that it truly dates the book when you pick it up again 21 years later. Dorothy wrote her diary almost 80 years ago (the first half of 1935), so at the end of the book when they find her, she’d be 97 these days.
Claudia spelling! Wassnt, nigth, sik, caugth, rane, pruple, yelow, Jamee, questoins, thees, reely. Then she tries three times to spell disastrous before giving up.
OH HELL YEAH! I KNEW there was a book where Claudia’s tie-dye bled everywhere. That happened to me once, only much less dramatically. The title quote comes from Mrs. Newton’s response to this.
WWKS: What would Kristy say? I don’t know, but it would probably be a little insensitive.
I read a sentence very wrong. Here’s what I saw: “I’m sure they’ll be fine,” said Jamie. “Kristy is very intelligent and resourceful.” It was actually Janine who said it, but I was momentarily thrown by how adult Jamie sounded.
“Kids can die, right?” Jamie worries incessantly after Claudia tells him the Krashers are missing. Let’s ignore the idiocy of actually telling Jamie what happened. (She’s thirteen, people keep calling, and Jamie can tell something is wrong; I’ll forgive her.) Jamie gets right to the heart of the matter with that question. After my nephew died, his older brother—who is just about Jamie’s age—became horribly morbid, and he’s stayed that way. Many kids go through that phase, where they ‘kill’ everything or everything dies. It’s how they deal with fears about the possibility they could die themselves. Claudia handles that part pretty well, telling him that kids can die but it doesn’t happen very often.
Kristy keeps referring to the Krashers as the “older kids” and the “younger kids.” The kids are mostly seven, eight, and nine. So is there really going to be a distinction? It’s not like they brought all the nine-year-old-characters and then Gabbie and Jamie.
“The next person who makes any noise is going to have to sleep all by himself in the attic.” This is how Bart finally gets the kids to be quiet after hours of giggling.
Dawn is sitting around waiting for news on the Krashers, and she’s getting antsy. So Sharon suggests she go clean her room, to which Dawn replies, “I’m not that desperate.”
Claudia actually starts calling hospitals—while still sitting for Jamie; I really hope he was in bed by then!—to see if the Krashers were brought in. The police are searching for the missing people, so that’s definitely something that already would have been done.
I love how everyone is so freaked out by Kristy being missing, when it’s not even the first time this has happened to a BSC member! Stacey and her mom went missing during the snowstorm, and of course—my favorite—Claudia and Dawn were stranded on a frickin’ island! Yet the BSC all write notes to Kristy in the notebook, including Jessi’s comment that this had to be the sitting adventure of all time. Um, they were missing for a whole whopping sixteen hours or something. Settle down.
Speaking of the notebook: Claudia spelling! Apitite, bole (which apparently is a real word; Claud means bowl), wateing.
This amused me, and not just because everyone laughed at Karen:
Karen: There’s the library. Remember when you took me there and I got out the book about Frog and Toad?
Kristy: Do I remember? I should hope so. It was only two days ago!
Claudia makes a friggin’ banner to welcome them home, only it says Wellcome home, Krasherz. Again, they were missing for fewer than 24 hours!
Yes! Consistency again! While deciding upon pizza toppings, Claudia makes a joke about wanting anchovies all over everything, then rolls around laughing. (Which sounds suspiciously accurate for a thirteen year old and nothing like a normal BSC member.) Kristy points out that she actually likes anchovies, which has come up in a book before. If only I could remember which one… (I personally like pineapple anchovy pizza. It’s like Hawaiian pizza, only with salty fish instead of piggy.)
Dawn goes around at school retelling Kristy’s night in the mansion (um, doesn’t Kristy spend every night in a mansion anyway??) as a ghost story, exaggerating profusely. Instead of getting mad, Kristy just insists Dawn tell her what supposedly happened, so that she’s better prepared when people come up to her.
Claudia tells everybody the Vanishing Hitchhiker urban legend, complete with the FOAF (friend-of-a-friend) attribution. It happened to a cousin’s friend.
Final stupid thing: If Dorothy managed to get the hell out of town and see the world, why would she come back to the same general vicinity? Will the caretaker might have come to town someday to buy a needlepoint pattern and recognized her.
Claudia: polka-dotted jumpsuit with a hand-painted scarf; yellow, purple and green tie-dye shirt, jean shorts
Stacey: polka-dot pajamas

Coming soon: December will be a month of 10s. In approximate order, I’ll be covering: SS#10, Logan Bruno, Boy Babysitter, Mystery #10 and #67.