Wednesday, January 28, 2015

“I can see she’s in bad shape. Her hair has even fallen off.” BSC #68: Jessi and the Bad Babysitter (1993)

This was one of the rare books after #40 in the series that I just never read as a child. I think this one and mystery #11 both came out while I was sick or grounded or something, because my collection skipped from #67 to #69 and mystery #10 to #12 (which was the last mystery on my book shelf.) I’m not sure if I just decided to spend my money on something else when I bought the later books or that I’d figured out basically how this one ended because the ‘baby babysitter’ didn’t join the club.
Since Dawn just left and Mallory’s all mono-riffic (although no one knows that yet), the BSC is overbooked. Kristy decides they need a new club member, so Jessi recommends a new friend of hers named Wendy who babysits. Wendy seems like a good sitter, but she’s regularly late for meetings and jobs and routinely takes sitting jobs without offering them to the club. Eventually she quits, robbing us of the opportunity to see Kristy lay the smack down on her.
Meanwhile, the Barretts miss Dawn, so they come up with the idea to make a video to send her that winds up being a mashup of Snow White and Captain Planet, and it’s as ‘interesting’ as it sounds.
There’s also this funky little C plot about Margo being extra-secretive because she’s been shoplifting. I guess this is because they realized they’d never had a Margo-centric plot in something like 100 books by this point.
Interesting Tidbits
Love the Hershey Kiss painting on the wall on the cover. I know that there’s a whole plot about Claud and junk food artwork and I didn’t find it all that appealing then, but it actually kinda looks delicious here.

Oh, and you know Wendy is a ‘bad’ babysitter…because she chews gum! And this cover, of course, is the one that gave birth to Incredulous Kristy, one of my favorite BSC memes. (Interestingly, she’s looking at Jessi, not Wendy.)
By the way, you can make your own Incredulous Kristy at Here’s my attempt:

Jessi says Squirt is two, but he’s usually described as being ‘one and a half’ or even, sometimes, younger.
In the first four pages of this book, there’s a partial summary of book #16, #36, and #67. Oh, and they briefly mention #30.
Becca and Squirt are watching Flipper, and rather than whining about being forced to watch crap like that (like I did at her age), Becca is actually enjoying it. Sometimes I think AMM and the ghostwriters forgot that this series is set in the 80s/90s, not the 60s, since everyone loves Flipper, I Love Lucy, Leave it to Beaver and the like.
Mallory calls out sick from a BSC meeting, and instead of worrying about her health, Kristy’s like, “This is a disaster! We can’t be two sitters down!” For once, I actually get it. The members just got three calls in a row for the same time…when they already all have jobs. Dawn calls a short time later, though, and Kristy refuses to hand the phone over to MA until Dawn promises to come ‘right back.’ Knowing Kristy, she means on the next flight.
I’m trying to figure out this logic: Mal stayed home from the BSC meeting on Wednesday and home from school on Thursday. Yet her parents still let her babysit (with Jessi) for her brothers and sisters. She falls asleep on the couch and Jessi does all the work. Wouldn’t Mrs. Pike either a) stay home, knowing Mal wasn’t feeling well or b) arrange an alternate sitter? My favorite moment from that sitting job is that, when the boys come back inside, they all toss their coats everywhere and Adam throws his right on top of Mallory. Yet she sleeps on.
How does pay work when Claudia takes the first two-thirds of a sitting job and Jessi takes the last bit? Mrs. Barrett would have to physically pay Jessi, and I’m sure Jessi would pass a fair share of the money along, but that could work out badly.
Speaking of the Barretts, I remember thinking when I was a kid that it was weird that they would call Marnie’s happy face the ‘ham face’ as they do in this book. Not because it’s a stupid nickname for the way the ‘ham face’ is described, but because Buddy’s real name is Hamilton, Jr., and his father goes by the name Ham.
It’s interesting that Dawn made a ‘no guns’ rule for the Barretts and it stuck. I mean, she’s not one of their parents, so she doesn’t really get to make decisions like that.
Suzi wants to put on a play of Snow White and the Seven Zorbs (sic). She comes up with six dwarves: Grumpy, Dopey, Bashful, Sleepy, Doc and Sneezy. It took me a minute to figure out she was missing Happy, which is more than Mary Anne manages. (I always forget Bashful myself.)
The story the Barretts come up is extremely complicated and horribly dated, these days. Even though I can still sing the Captain Planet theme song, I bet most tweens these days* would have no idea who that is.
*I ran across a girl and her mom at my favorite Savers who are also gathering up the whole BSC collection. She and I had a nice talk about the books, and then her mom actually tried to convince me to hand over a copy of #116 that I found before they spotted it. (I left with the book.)
Mary Anne and Jessi take the Barretts and select Pikes to buy accessories for the video. Interestingly, Mal was supposed to go but since she doesn’t feel well, she convinces Vanessa to go in her place. MA and Jessi insist because it’s “a lot of kids to keep track of.” Um, it’s Buddy and Nicky and Margo and Suzi. Two sitters should be plenty.
I remember some time back I pointed out that, of the Pikes, they all have their “things”, except Margo. I guess Margo’s going to be the Pike who has ‘problems’ as she grows up. It starts with shoplifting, then suspensions from school, and then when she’s a teen, it’s getting high in the ‘party corner’ with a bunch of guys…. Heh.
Apparently, Suzi is a top-notch actress. She really gets into her part.
The play the kids put on reminds me of the one I was ‘props master’ for at Girl Scout Camp when I was a teen. It was Snow White and the Five Dwarves (we didn’t have enough actresses). The girls decided to put their names in a hat and draw roles, so one girl with absolutely no acting talent ended up as the Prince. No one minded, because none of the others wanted to play ‘a boy’ anyway.
The title quote is Buddy’s ad lib after a collapsing Carolyn’s Snow White wig falls off (thanks to an apple poisoned by pollution.) He also gets grossed out when Snow White (now Marilyn) kisses him: “Yuck! That’s gross. It’s cheek pollution!”
And then we have to listen to the details of a Dawn sitting job for characters we’ve never heard of before, where she and her charges…make a video. At the same time as the BSC video is being made. Riiiiiiight. (Also, why would you name two kids in the same family Jenny and Jeannette? Those names are just way too similar.)
Has Jeff always had a thing for the Grateful Dead, or is that just in this book? (Although it solves a fanfic problem for me! Hee hee!) (Answer: It's also mentioned here.)
Just before Kristy was going to suggest that things weren’t working out with Wendy (who hasn’t been mentioned since chapter 10, and this is chapter 14), Wendy quits the club. I like Stacey’s take on things: She wasn’t nearly as upset about the whole Wendy thing because she figures that Wendy and Kristy are just two of a kind: ‘headstrong and determined to do things their own way,’ as Jessi says. I love that Stacey has a really good read on Kristy; this isn’t the only time she’s been able to figure Kristy out. I can’t remember every incident, but she definitely figures out Kristy has a crush in SS#15 before Kristy does.
And of course, Shannon just happens to be free(r), starting days after Wendy quits, so she can take over the role of  alternate officer until Dawn comes back.
The BSC goes roller skating because they are all miraculously free one afternoon. Even Mal skates, despite being tired. Mal, Shannon and Jessi are on regular skates while Kristy, Claudia and Stacey are in roller blades. No mention is made of what Mary Anne is doing, so maybe she’s not skating at all (even though we knowshe does sometimes.)
I just realized that there are only two more Jessi books left for me to blog, one I don’t (yet) own, and another I’ve never read.
Just for fun today, we are going to play a game with the outfits. I’m not going to tell you who wore them; you get to guess. I may or may not give the answers in the next post.
1. Oversized white shirt, black vest covered in beads, neon green leggings, black beaded ballet slippers, one bead earring and one green hoop earring
2. Faded lavender sweat outfit under a blue terrycloth robe
3. Hot pink stirrup pants, fuzzy pink sweater, neon green pads and helmet
4. Jeans, brown leather jacket, black and silver helmet
Costumes (I will not make you guess who is who here)
Suzi as the Wicked Queen: mom’s dress, bright red lipstick and a crown
Adam as the Magic Mirror: his dad’s bathrobe, even though he complained it looked like a dress
Vanessa as the Woodsman: green tights under gym shorts, a blouse, and a felt hat
Marilyn/Carolyn as Snow White: black wig, blue cape and apparently, nothing else (racy! I guess the BSC is making a porno.)
Buddy as Captain Planet: a Captain Planet Halloween costume
Haley as Swamp Thing: green crepe paper
Marnie as Dopey, Margo as Sneezy, Matt as Grumpy, Nicky as Bashful, Laurel as Doc, Norman as Happy and Sarah as Sleepy: ‘Zorb’ hats, pointy ears, and character appropriate accessories
New characters:
Sally, Jenny and Jeannette Clune (10, 8 and 6): 32, 30 and 28

Next week: Mystery #11: Claudia and the Mystery at the Museum

Friday, January 23, 2015

“Clothes? Uh, yes, she picks them out herself. She’s thirteen, you know.” BSC #67: Dawn’s Big Move (1993)

This is one of those ‘something big happens and it changes the BSC’ books. My only memories of it from when I was 12? Other than (spoiler! not really) Dawn moves back to CA for six months and the BSC throws her a party, I remembered Mary Anne telling her dad he’s being goofy, and he replies by saying, “Gorsh!” like the cartoon character.
Dawn’s been missing her dad and Jeff for some time, so she decides to go back for an extended visit. Everyone’s really supportive, but she starts to wonder if that means that they’re really glad to be rid of her. She starts to question her decision, but it’s already been made, so she heads off to California.
Meanwhile, everyone’s practicing for a charity event called Run for Your Money between Stoneybrook and Lawrenceville. It’s really not that interesting except that Richard agrees to strip down for everyone for everyone in both towns for a pole dance the ‘underwear race.’ And after it’s over, the BSC throws Dawn a goodbye party with 300,000,000 little children in attendance. No wonder Dawn doesn’t miss her CT friends or babysitting in the California Diaries!
Interesting Tidbits
The cover: It’s the eighth grade BSC members doing what they do best. Claudia and Stacey are looking into a mirror, with another mirror behind them. Kristy’s writing in what I assume is the BSC notebook. (I have no proof of that, but it’s what I prefer to think.) Mary Anne’s got a photo of someone who is either Logan or Cam Geary in her locker. Meanwhile, the dress is nearly uniformly atrocious. I have one word for MA and Kristy’s shirts: EWWW! Claudia’s leggings should be outlawed, and Stacey (not for the first time either, mind you) is wearing all black…except for her brown shoes. I actually blame Hodges Soileau for that, rather than Stacey. Dawn’s outfit isn’t that bad, except for that giant scrunchie. Scrunchies are possibly the root of all evil.

I’d eat Tofu Garden Delight, even if I’m (apparently) allergic to soy.
Sharon-itis symptoms: finding mittens in the refrigerator and keys in the microwave, raisins in the clam chowder. I really hope they didn’t turn the microwave on.
Isn’t the BSC policy that they get the info for the job, decide who’s going to take the job and then call back? They’re really bad at that in some of these books, including this one. They just cup their hands over the phone and say, ‘Who’s going to take the job?’
Claudia discovered Christmas M&M’s in the back of her closet, while this book is set in September. I found Cadbury Crème Eggs in my house in September. Sadly, I’m pretty sure that, while the ones in the fridge were from Easter, 2014, the ones under my end table were likely from Easter, 2012.
ZOMG! Dawn calls Claudia’s room “a junk food Where’s Waldo?” This is both awesome and accurate.
Umm, Dawn, Stacey is not the only member of the BSC (besides yourself) to know what divorce is like. Have you forgotten Kristy?
There’s something both funny and really disturbing about Richard Spier agreeing to be part of the underwear race, where he has to drop his clothes while he’s running. I’ve never thought of Richard as tubby, but “his belly jiggled beneath his undershirt” while he was stripping. And then the Arnold family catches him in his undies.
Claudia spelling! Dont, orgenising, tryed, seemd, perfict, practis, didnt’, pased (this is after she tried collapsed three times. Oh, and did you know the club sits for Jammie Newtn?
Mr. Arnold’s name is Jack…and his boxers for the underwear race are covered in Garfield pictures.
The Schafer-Spier family actually read their fortune cookie fortunes and seem to put some stock in them, until Dawn’s says, “You will be going on a long journey to a faraway place.” This would have been much funnier if they’d played the ‘in bed’ game.
I wanted to use this as the title quote but I think it’s too long: “Mom was practically asleep, watching some old bearded man conduct an orchestra full of younger bearded men and unbearded women.” I should hope the women were unbearded.
The actual title quote comes from the conversation between Jack (Schafer, not Arnold) and Sharon regarding Dawn’s potential move and how to keep things consistent. They also talk about stuff like whether Dawn dates and what her curfew is, so it’s not all stupid questions.
I want to study Ancient Streptococcus with the kids at Vista in Palo City.
Kristy/Stacey math (as opposed to Laura math): Everyone was happy for Dawn to visit her father except Kristy, who gets upset because she’ll be short a member. She makes Stacey do the math: six months, twenty-six weeks, seventy-six meetings.
I actually kinda feel sorry for Dawn. She really wants to see her dad and Jeff again, but she starts to feel guilty about leaving her CT family behind…and then she worries that the fact that her friends and family are being so supportive means that they’re glad to be rid of her. It must be hard to be in her shoes. (LOOK PEOPLE! I’M BEING NICE TO DAWN!) My parents didn’t divorce until I was in college, and even then, ever since my dad moved back from China (don’t ask), they’ve lived in the same town, on ‘opposite sides of the river.’ Back when I lived with my mom, my dad was a ten minute drive away. I can’t imagine how I would have felt if my dad and sister lived three thousand miles away when I was thirteen.
Ha! The Papadakis family reunion includes four lambs rotating in the backyard. It actually grosses Kristy out. (I’d be absolutely disgusted, but I’m a vegetarian. It’s usually pretty hard to gross Kristy out with food.) She does end up eating some and finding it delicious, though. Humorously, when Mr. Papadakis later offers some lamb to Melody Korman, she replies, “Do you have any Triscuits?”
You know I love stuff like this: the extended Papadakis clan includes five Nikos, 4 Alexandras, 3 Peters, 2 Marias, 2 Takis and a Gus.
Sari runs a three-legged race…with a Cabbage Patch doll as her partner.
Why the hell would Claudia buy ‘Chock Full of Chakra Macrobiotic Dessert Snacks?’ They’re made with comfrey, kelp, barley malt and raisin juice. Even Dawn finds them disgusting.
Because the BSC loves them some heavy-handed foreshadowing (although this isn’t actually foreshadowing), Jessi goes back to visit her old neighborhood in Oakley, where everything’s changed. Her old dance school no longer exists, the trees in the front yard of her old house were being chopped down, and her cousin Keisha only wanted to talk about the mall and boys. Stacey says it’s also weird for her to go back to NYC, because things keep changing while she’s gone.
Someone explain to me why Mal and MA thought it would be smarter to bake the cake for Dawn’s party with the Pikes instead of, you know, doing by themselves after Mr. and Mrs. Pike got home. Margo drops an egg, Byron slips and falls in it…you get the picture.
Richard’s pre-Run for Your Money workout? He calls it calisthenics and a jog, while Sharon says it was three pushups and ‘halfway around the block.’ That’s a man after my own heart right there.
What a rip-off! After all that, Richard actually refuses to participate in the underwear run. Now I have to sublimate my previously unknown urges to see him in his underthings. (Please know I am just kidding here. If I weren’t, I’d want you to have me locked away.)
Other tidbitty goodness from the RfYM (which is what cool people call it): Janine gets all excited about playing foosball with her parents, like she really wants to kick their asses; Adam backs out of doing the rolling race with Jordan at the last second because he was too embarrassed to hold his own brother’s hand; Squirt ran the wrong way in the baby race because he decided he wanted to give Becca a hug.
If Logan spent all morning working at the Rosebud, why would he suggest going there to hang out? I don’t like know many people who work in food service who like going to their restaurant on their off time if they can avoid it.
Why would Richard ring the doorbell at his own house? He does it twice in this book, rather than just walking in the door.
Dawn realizes that MA has a surprise planned for her when she keeps rushing her to eat breakfast and get dressed, so she keeps expecting to find people hiding in her den or waiting outside when the doorbell rings. She gets more suspicious when they get to Kristy’s, but still no one. Finally Kristy suggests they go see the monster zucchini in Watson’s garden. Dawn: See? All was not lost. Maybe I wasn’t getting a party, but at least I’d get to see a very large vegetable. (Of course, the party’s in the backyard.)
Do you think the BSC gets sick of throwing Dawn parties and giving her presents? She’s constantly leaving and coming back. Speaking of, I think the reason no one in the BSC gets a birthday (except Mary Anne) is that they’d have to invite a bunch of kids to their birthday parties.
As for the 300,000,000 kids I said were at the party: obviously, that was just a charming, Laura-style over-exaggeration. I’ve attempted the math, and I think there were closer to 20. It depends on whether Lucy, Sari and Marnie were part of the party. (If yes on all counts, probably 23 kids. If no, then probably 20. Only 19 other kids were mentioned, but I assume Becca is there for logical reasons.) 
And, as anyone could have seen coming, Dawn decides at the last minute not to go. And, as anyone could also see coming, Richard and Sharon convince her to go ahead and go to CA, not just because they’d already bought her tickets and worked out things with her schools, but, because, as Kristy said earlier in the book: The most important thing is for Dawn to be happy.
Sharon: summery print oversized blouse and shorts (sounds like something my mom would have worn in that era); running shorts and top, leg warmers, sneakers (something my mom would NOT have worn in that era)
Richard: Simpsons undershirt, red-heart boxers, pants (not described, other than you can see his shorts through them and he can’t get them off); baggy jeans, sweat shirt, ‘walking shoes’
Dawn: bathing suit, sweat suit, sneakers; cream colored drawstring pants, ribbed t-shirt with buttons

Next week: There will be a lot less math, for starters. I hope, in any case. I’ll be critiquing #68.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

“Officially, I was babysitting for her, but unofficially we were McGill and Johanssen, Private Investigators.” BSC Mystery #10: Stacey and the Mystery Money (1993)

Happy new year, everyone? (Yes, that’s a question, not a statement.) Did you miss me during my little unplanned hiatus? Don’t worry; it was just a temporary thing, and barring any additional weirdness, things should go back to normal. Except…this is me we’re talking about here, and weird is practically my middle name. In any case, I’ll be continuing on with the blog although there might be a few more gaps here and there.
So this mystery starts off pretty normal and winds off in the Twilight Zone a little. Counterfeiters are taking Stoneybrook by storm, and Stacey inadvertently passes a fake $10 bill. She gets hauled into the police station and the BSC decides to try to catch the counterfeiters. (This has to be the dumbest decision in the history of the world, but it is the BSC.) Meanwhile, Stacey’s got this crush on a boy at school named Terry Hoyt. All these clues start developing that Terry’s dad might be involved in the counterfeiting. Instead, he turns out to be Secret Service, investigating the counterfeiters. With help from Stacey, the BSC and Charlotte and Becca, they catch the counterfeiters. Terry, because he likes Stacey so much, tells her his secret identity, a secret she “has to take to her grave with her.” Or, just until the Friends Forever series….
Interesting Tidbits
Laura’s random math time: I just did a few calculations. More than a quarter (28%) of the BSC mystery books have the word ‘mystery’ in the title. They couldn’t have been more creative than that? I wonder what the percentage of BSC books, total, would be, that could be considered mysteries (and how many of those have ‘mystery’ in the title.) Hmmm….I might get back to you with that. (Yes, I am a nerd…why do you ask?)
The cover: Stacey looks fashionable now. Make her a little taller and she’d look just like my coworker. Meanwhile, Charlotte’s outfit looks charmingly dated, and you can actually read where it says ‘Betty’ on the clerks name tag.

Janine comes into Claudia’s room to borrow magic markers. When Claudia asks her what colors she needs, Janine launches into a whole long, science-y spiel, trying to figure that out. Why didn’t she either figure it out in advance or just ask to borrow all the colors, which is what Claudia eventually suggests?
I love when Stacey gets all condescending about the shopping opportunities in Stoneybrook. Paraphrase of her comments here: Bellair’s isn’t nearly as good as Bloomingdale’s, but what do you expect in hicksville? It’s a nice little store, though.
During Charlotte and Stacey’s shopping extravaganza, Charlotte decides to spend her money on…a troll doll. I used to have a whole collection of those, but now they freak me out.
Ewww. Stacey’s looking for earrings to go with her purple jumpsuit. I guess it really doesn’t matter what you wear with a purple jumpsuit, does it? You’re still going to be wearing a purple jumpsuit.
We don’t call the cops when people try to give us counterfeit money at my store. We just turn it down and ask for another method of payment. Generally, it’s not worth the hassle.
Charlotte actually gets so upset at the thought that Stacey might be arrested over the counterfeit bill that she demands to be arrested too. She puts her wrists out to get handcuffed.
This made me laugh, even though I’d feel like doing the same thing at Stacey’s age (or even my age): when her mom shows up at the police station, Stacey shouts “Mommy!” and runs into her arms. I think it’s just the image of ‘sophisticated’ Stacey calling her mom Mommy that makes it funny.
Ew. Charlie is checking out Tasha Hoyt and thinks she’s cute. But she’s a lot younger than he is and the whole thing just seems wrong. It’s bad enough Sam wants to date someone Kristy’s age.
Kristy judges the fact that the Hoyts aren’t fully unpacked after three weeks of being moved in. Honestly, with three kids and a lot of stuff, it wouldn’t be unsurprising. (We had Christmas at Tessie’s, and she’d been in her house for five weeks. We had to keep unpacking things in her kitchen so she could make dinner.)
Is there a more fun character name in the BSC-verse than Mr. Zizmore? I always have the urge to say it out loud. It’s got Zizz! (bonus points to anyone except my mother who gets that reference.)
They have an emergency meeting to deal with the counterfeiters. You know it’s big, because even Shannon shows up!
Oh, Kristy. The first thing she thinks of when Stacey tells her how awful the whole experience at the police department? She hopes their clients don’t find out, because it would give the club a bad image. Sometimes, I think Kristy is just put in the club so she can say insensitive and blunt things.
Oh, and then Jessi has to bring up the missing ring from the first mystery book, because Stacey’s not feeling bad enough already.
Alan’s lurking in the library while MA, Kristy and Stacey are researching counterfeiting. When they’re trying to figure out why he’s there, Kristy thinks he’s probably just looking up dirty words in the dictionary.
Jessi wants to see what happens if she just copies her money on the photocopier, but Stacey freaks out and stops her. I remember rolling my eyes about that as a kid, and I do so even more now. No one would arrest Jessi for copying a dollar bill on the photocopier as long as she didn’t try to pass it as real, and even then she’d probably just get yelled at. The police and Secret Service don’t have time to deal with small time bungling like that.
Ha ha! When Dawn, Claudia and Stacey show up at the police department to talk about counterfeiting, the desk officer recognizes Dawn from the dog-napping case and calls her Nancy Drew.
Charlotte gets Becca into the whole BSC detective thing because she wants to clear Stacey’s name. (No matter how many times people tell her that Stacey wasn’t actually arrested, she doesn’t seem to believe it.) She decides they need to stake out copiers in order to see who’s copying money. Even Jessi knows that a counterfeiter wouldn’t use a public copy machine.
Stacey’s English teacher Mr. Fiske actually becomes a suspect because he happened to be shopping in Bellair’s at the same time Stacey got the fake bill and happened to be looking at a copy machine at the office supply store when Jessi and her mini-detectives staked it out.
Stacey starts to get suspicious of Terry because he introduces himself to her mother as Terry James Hoyt and to Logan and Mary Anne as Terry John Hoyt. If you had a fake identity that you had to relearn on a regular basis, would you introduce yourself by full name ever? Most people don’t do that anyway. It’s not like Claudia goes around introducing herself as Claudia Lynn Kishi all the time.
Dawn wants to take a cooking class about ‘new ways to cook tofu.’ Mary Anne gets all grossed out, but really. Tofu has no flavor. You WANT to find sauces and marinades and casseroles and stuff to put it in.
Kristy begins to suspect the Hoyts of counterfeiting. Her evidence: they move all the time. They’re really secretive about what their dad does. She saw a school ID with Terry’s twin sister Tasha’s photo and the name “Tina Harris” on it. Their house isn’t unpacked all the way. There’s a closet in their house that Georgie didn’t want her to open.
Finally, I can use the quote I’ve been thinking of the entire time I’ve been reading this book: “This mystery is getting really mysterious.” –Fred from Scooby Doo
Claudia spelling, yo. First, let’s get right to the point before I even address the rest of this notebook entry (in which just about every other word is spelled wrong.) She spells Stacey as Stasey. That’s her flippin’ best friend! I don’t care if she spells everything else in her notebook entry wrong, she should at least get that one right.
Anyway, the rest of the spelling: begining, Fisk (Fiske), susspishions, befour, contrafeeting (I had to look at that one several times before I realized she was trying for counterfeiting. I could understand counterfitting, counterfeeting, or counterfetting, but I don’t understand this.) Also, Charlatte, deffinitly, detectiv.
Charlotte and Claud first start out trying to copy money larger than life, just to see how hard it is. After that they make their own fake money. Claudia’s is from the land of Total Coolness and Charlotte’s is from Johanssenland. They talk about how boring U.S. money is by comparison. Wonder how they’d feel about the new $100 bills, the ones many of my customers call ‘Monopoly money.’ They’re full of anti-counterfeiting features and also colored for those with low vision.
When the BSC tails Mr. Fiske (who was also at the office supply store when Claudia and Charlotte went spying again), Claud offers to take notes, but Stacey says, “What if the rest of us want to be able to read them?” So Jessi takes notes instead.
Stacey contemplates what goes on in the faculty lounge. Apparently, the only images she has to go on are the original vision of the place smelling like potpourri and being full of comfortable chairs and pretty wallpaper, based upon the word ‘lounge.’ Later, the door opens and Jessi smells coffee and cigarettes, which changes the image to something more accurate. (Take a high school cafeteria and clean it up a bit and you have most faculty lounges/lunch rooms.) But I sincerely doubt most schools would allow teachers to smoke in the building in the nineties.
Mr. Fiske keeps being ‘suspicious.’ He digs around in his desk and pulls out…counterfeit money? No! A red pencil, which he uses to…color counterfeit money? NO! Grade papers. (Claudia suggests he’s grading Stacey’s paper because he’s making a LOT of red marks. This makes me smile.)
Oh, and then Stacey nearly follows him into the men’s room.
I know this was quite a ways back up, but ever since Claudia wrote Charlatte, I’ve been trying to spell Charlotte that way. And I keep reading it as Char-latte, like the coffee drink.
Claudia spent a couple pages wondering, back when she and Charlotte were spying, how much it hurts to get a tattoo on your ear and whether she could get away with a temporary ear tattoo after seeing a guy with a “blue moon and star tattoo” on his ear. It’s not until Stacey and Char happen to be in the right spot at the right time and see a guy dropping a shit-ton of counterfeit cash that anyone actually goes back and rereads all the entries in the notebook Charlotte makes Jessi buy. They realize that Becca had already made an entry on the same guy. Who, of course, is actually the counterfeiter.
It’s around this time that Terry admits his dad is SS and trying to catch the counterfeiters.
I might have to go back and see how many times I’ve used counterfeit or some version thereof in this post. (Answer: 23, if you include my misspellings of it but not Claudia’s.)
Bonus math time: Leaving out the ‘special editions,’ ‘portrait collections’, Friends Forever series and random books like the complete guide and postcard book, I have counted 186 BSC books. (If you’re counting with me, that leaves the original series, mysteries, super specials and super mysteries.) Of these, I counted that 45 are mysteries: 36 from the mysteries series, 4 super mysteries, and 5 BSC books that are mysterious. There might be more of the last, but I counted fast. This is 24% of the 186 books. Of these, 16 have mystery in the name, which is 36% of the mystery books.
New characters:
Terry (aka David Hawthorne), Tasha and Georgie Hoyt (13, 13 and 7)—35, 35 and 29
Charlotte: pink skirt, frilly white blouse
Stacey: white miniskirt, blue and white striped sweater; Date outfits: red jumpsuit (“too flashy”); floral sundress (“too summery”); purple sweater, bleached jeans with bows at the ankles (“too casual”); black sweater dress (“too hot and dressy”); white sweater, blue and white polka dot leggings, white hair bow (apparently perfect)
Claudia: tie dyed pajamas
Terry: chinos and tan sweater
Coming soon: #67: Get Lost, Dawn (or Dawn’s Big Move. Whatever)

BTW, if anyone has been following my fanfic and wondering if I’m ever going to finish February…well, I have five pages. This is impressive only because, until this morning, I had one page. Don’t despair of me; once I finish February, the story should just flow.  About two thirds of April and May are already written, and I know what will be happening in the rest of the story (including March, which includes more Dawn…I’m so much nicer to her in fanfic than I am in my head or in this blog! Ha ha!)