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!

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