Friday, February 20, 2015

“The patient was a little cranky at first, but she took her medicine. Luckily, we didn’t have to operate.” BSC #69: Get Well Soon, Mallory (1993)

Is it terribly juvenile of me to point out that book about ‘the kissing disease’ is appropriately numbered? (I’ll answer my own question: Yes. But not enough to stop me from doing it!)
Before I begin the blog, it’s vlog time! I intend to vlog each Babysitter at some throughout the series. The next one after this will definitely be Claudia; you have to wait and see WHY I picked that.
(I couldn’t get it to imbed, sorry.)
Interesting Tidbits
The cover: That’s Margo and Claire with Mallory and this is straight out of the book. I am amused by the ‘get well soon’ card and flowers in the background.

Did anyone ever actually wait until the day of Halloween to decide what they were going to dress up as? (I know, terrible sentence structure. Suck it. ;) My mom picked my costume out for me every year until I was seven and we moved to England. (In July or August, so that she had time to hand sew it.) When we moved back, we made our own costumes out of things lying around the house. I was a ‘fortune teller’ one year wearing a square dancing costume and a lot of scarves. (I told everyone I was a gypsy, but hell, I was 11. Forgive me. I would say I got the idea from this book, but it was 1992.) The only time I decided upon my costume the day of was my freshman year of high school, when I decided on a whim to be Alexander of Daventry. We went from door to door yelling “Zounds!” instead of trick or treat that year.
I’ve always remembered this! After Mrs. Pike tells everyone they’ll be going to NYC for Thanksgiving and will get to watch the Macy’s parade, Mallory catches Vanessa practicing her waves in the mirror. Who, when they read this book the first time, didn’t practice each of the three types of waves Vanessa mentioned?
I love when they can’t keep track of the ages of various characters, as I’m sure you, my loyal readers, know. In this one, Sam and Charlie are 14 and 16. Oh, and along the same lines, Tigger is mentioned as being black and white striped. He’s usually a gray tabby. He probably looks a lot like my Dobby.
This book was the first place I ever heard of mono. When Mallory’s diagnosed, there’s this whole science-y explanation about glands and the spleen. Mal’s mom says that 99% of the time it’s not serious, but it can damage your spleen. I went to this really weird little school district (oh, Kaney-land!), and seventh through twelfth grades used to be in one building. When I was in eighth grade, the sophomore class president died during surgery from a bizarre combination of spleen damage from mono and a bad reaction to the anesthesia. I remember thinking that mono was suddenly the scariest thing ever, between her death and Mal’s ridiculously long convalescence.
Before she has a diagnosis, Mal’s greatest fear is never catching up in her homework and failing sixth grade. After she finds out she has mono? Her fear shifts to everyone thinking she got mono by kissing Ben Hobart. Nice to know she has her priorities straight.
I love Mallory’s commentary on soap operas, which was obviously written by someone who’s never seen a soap (or hadn’t seen one in decades.) I actually started watching soaps in 1993, when a little girl on one show died in a school bus accident and her heart was given to her ailing cousin. I still (sometimes) watch that show on my day off, and when I don’t catch a week, I miss a lot. (I’m still mad that Sonny is Ava’s baby dad instead of Morgan…so freakin’ predictable.) I won’t say that there weren’t soaps out there that you could not watch for a month and come back and nothing would be different, but it’s definitely not really true these days when any one of the few soaps left could be cancelled at any moment.
I loved this bit: Mallory’s trying to convince “Nurse Tiffany” (aka Claire) to eat celery as part of her lunch by suggesting that all great nurses did: Florence Nightingale, Clara Barton and…Hot Lips Hoolihan. The title quote also comes from this “sitting job”, the one shown on the cover. It’s said by “Doctor Margolius.”
Logan’s suggestion after the Pikes say that Mal needs to temporarily quit the club: The BSC should picket their front door, shouting ‘Unfair!’ and ‘Free Mallory!’ Sometimes, I really like Logan. Sometimes.
Mallory suggests a car wash to raise money. In Connecticut. In November. They actually suggest that to the kids before they realize it’s a bad idea.
Jessi is spelled as Jessie at one point. Again.
“Acting like a jerk was hard work.” Just another reason why Mal’s plan was a stupid idea.
It’s established that Claire wears a watch even though she can’t tell time. Mal asks what time it is, and Claire answers by looking at her watch. (Her assessment? Thirty-o’clock.) Adam has to look over at her watch to figure out the correct time. I had always assumed that it was some Pike family thing that everyone wears watches and is on top of their own schedule.
There’s a quote on page 97 with only one quotation mark. There’s usually at least one typo in any book, but I hate when I actually find them.
Jessi takes Charlotte and Vanessa to pick out books for the oldsters. They decide to only get mysteries because Vanessa says her gramma likes mysteries, and then they decide to only get mysteries with ‘nice’ pictures on the front: cats, flowers, houses and horses. But they can’t find enough books that way, so they have to relax the rules to include candles and pretty women. Later, they develop a game for deciding which person gets which book…by rhyming the titles or cover photos with the person’s name.
Mrs. Pike actually lets the triplets polish the carving knives. That seems…not smart. I’m seeing an ER visit.
Claudia makes Mal earrings that are made of wooden bottles labeled ‘miracul cure.’ They’re supposed to magically cure her.
Kristy’s got magical talents, too: she points at the phone, and it rings. (And of course, because this is a BSC book and everyone’s parents agreed to let them visit the Pikes’, the phone call is Dawn from California.)
As I said a couple weeks ago, I only have two more Mallory books left to blog. I actually don’t have copies of either one of them, but I’ve got about another year before I have to worry about it.
Mallory: flowery pajamas; blue velvet skirt and matching bolero jacket, white silk blouse
Byron: maroon corduroy slacks, yellow shirt, blue and yellow sweater
Next week: #70, Stacey and the Cheerleaders

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