Tuesday, August 4, 2015

“What, did the accident do something to your tongue?” BSC #82: Jessi and the Troublemaker (1995)

For starters, let’s have a vlog about Why I Feel Sorry For Jessi. (Yes, I caught a Case of the Caps.)

Danielle, the girl with cancer, is back, and she’s in remission! Because she’s actually feeling good, her parents are letting her get away with things that kids shouldn’t be doing, like flooding the bathroom and sledding down the stairs on a mattress. At first Jessi thinks the same way but then decides that Danielle is out of control…but doesn’t do anything in time to stop her from driving her family’s car with her friends on board, causing a minor accident. After that, Danielle’s parents realize that even though she needs to be able to express herself, she also needs boundaries.
Subplot: Jessi and Becca overhear Aunt Cecelia planning a wedding with a man named Mr. Major and assume the two of them are getting married. Of course, they aren’t. It’s as interesting as it sounds.
Interesting Tidbits
The cover: This makes me think of my niece and nephew, not because it looks like them, but because there are almost no rules in their house. She does headstands and backbends in the living room and they jump on the couches and beds and play with swords, toy guns and bows and arrows in the house. If the Pepper had roller blades, this would definitely happen. (Oh, and this happens in chapter 3!)

What’s going to happen when Squirt outgrows that nickname? I can’t see him going to high school still being called Squirt. He’s John, Jr., so will they call him John, or Johnny? I don’t know why I worry about stuff like that.
Heh. Jessi’s USA puzzle is missing two states, including Kansas. Being from the Kansas City metro, I can assure you: this is a good thing.
Ooh, I love BSC foreshadowing! It’s been a while since I’ve read #81 or #80, but Stacey shows up late to the first meeting of the book. (BTW, I’m really looking forward to #83, which is full of OH HELL YEAH! moments.)
Oh, and Stacey is sophisticated because she has diabetes. Does that mean my dad is super sophisticated, too?
Mistake: there’s a quotation mark in the middle of a quote. It’s not major but is majorly distracting.
Real book: Frog and Toad (it doesn’t say which one. I’ve always loved those books, as does Jessi.)
There’s something funny about Becca and Jessi each catching the other eavesdropping on Aunt Cecelia.
I wonder if Mr. Major is related to Mr. McGill’s friend, Mr. Majors?
No Jessi no! BAD JESSI! Do not describe things as ‘gigundo.’ Use your adult words!
Stacey the slacker: She calls Mary Anne at the last freakin’ minute to ask her to cover a job. Mary Anne assumes it must be an emergency, because she can’t imagine ditching a job for anything BUT an emergency.
When Mary Anne catches Danielle, Charlotte and Haley sledding down the basement steps on a crib mattress, Jessi suggests that MA found herself in Aspen. It’s actually kind of cute. (Speaking of, what kid hasn’t wanted to do that at one time or another? At my house we tried it with a laundry basket…it didn’t work very well….)
Ha! Jessi worries that she’s too much like Aunt Cecelia because she said she’d be super-worried if Mal didn’t show up for a meeting and didn’t call. She’d go from ‘where is she’ to ‘she must be dead in a ditch’ in sixty seconds. I think we’re all like that to some extent though.
Oh, and that comes up because Jessi is late to the meeting (with a valid ballet/traffic excuse) but Stacey isn’t there yet.
Jessi says (my paraphrase, but almost exactly) that ‘no one in the history of the BSC had ever blown a meeting off.’ Obviously she wasn’t around during the big BSCfight when Kristy blew off a meeting or two because she was mad at the rest of the members. But then again, she literally wasn’t around then, given that she didn’t move to town for ten more books.
I do love when Jessi and Becca stop acting like sitter and sittee and just act like sisters. For example, they are trying out perfumes (so they can smell nice when AC gets married) and Becca gives Jessi a giant spritz of something gross, then they run away giggling.
So AC: she makes Jessi and Becca “coordinate watches” (which makes me think of ‘Well, Becca, you’re wearing your purple watch so I won’t wear the neon green…’) When they meet up at the appointed time, she’s not done shopping, so she makes them coordinate watches again! Did she think they’d all gotten out of synch in the past few hours?
Danielle says she invited Becca, Charlotte and Vanessa while Kristy was babysitting, but then those three girls arrive…and so does Haley. I’d say maybe she was just with one of the others when they got the call, but she gets to Danielle’s by herself.
Not only do the five girls try to fill the entire stall shower with water (so that they can climb over the side and jump in), but they put egg dye in the water so that it stains everything. The BSC keeps describing Danielle’s ideas as…creative…but that takes the cake. She’s doing what every little girl dreams of doing but won’t because they know they’ll get in huge trouble. (What I want to know is how the egg dyes didn’t all mix together to make poop-brown water. Becca’s socks end up dyed in rainbow colors; that doesn’t sound realistic.)
The BSC discusses AC’s alleged wedding and Mary Anne asks whether the wedding vows will include the word ‘obey’. I didn’t even realize that a wife promising to obey her husband was a ‘thing’ until I read Laura Ingalls Wilder as a child and she refused to include it in her vows. Does anyone (outside of maybe some very strict churches) use that in the wedding anymore?
I haven’t really discussed the subplot much, so here you are. When Jessi and Becca hear AC and Mr. Major discussing when they will need to be at the wedding, they decide to get the two of themselves (and Squirt) ready for the wedding. They seriously believe AC is actually getting married…but trying to keep it a complete secret. I’m flabbergasted by this logic, honestly. And of course they end up mortified because everyone else (the adults) knew what was going on and wind up shaking their heads at the kids.
Jessi calls Danielle and her friends the fearsome fivesome.
When the girls roll the Roberts’ car in slow-motion into another car, no one is seriously hurt, although Vanessa does get stitches in her forehead. Jessi is actually super mature and responsible, getting all the girls who aren’t hurt out of the car quickly and instructing Vanessa (who could have had a head or neck injury) not to move. It’s kind of remarkable when you think about it. She’s really just a little girl herself—only two years older than Danielle, Haley and Vanessa, who all thought getting in a car without a licensed driver was a fantastic idea.
Vanessa is extremely proud of her injury, as it’s the first time she’d gotten stitches. (Ha!)
The Johanssens and Braddocks both assure Jessi that Charlotte and Haley are in Major Trouble. I’m glad that the other parents didn’t just decide that it was Danielle’s fault or it was a group mentality or anything. All of those girls should be in some sort of trouble.
And then, being preteen girls, they all blame Danielle for their getting into trouble. That’s both natural and a little bit fair. But given that any one of them could have said, “I’m not getting in a car with you” and told Jessi what was going on, it’s kind of cruel as well.
Stacey, who had scheduled three separate sitting jobs for the Roberts but had Mary Anne and Jessi cover the other two, solves the problem by arranging a ceasefire between the friends. It’s funny given that Stacey will be the one fighting with her friends in the next book.
The title quote is what Mal says to Vanessa when she refuses to talk to Danielle.
Just after Vanessa says that she got into ‘elephantic’ trouble (translation: big), Haley calls Danielle a kangaroo, because ideas hop out of her head. What’s with the zoo theme?
Oh, Jessi. She decides the best solution to avoid telling her friends that AC didn’t get married is to make her and Mr. Major fall in love. Despite the fact that Mal and Stacey (at least) should have been able to figure out that the wedding didn’t happen, because Jessi took Stacey’s sitting job during the wedding time.
Stacey: oversized black sweater, metallic gold t-shirt, jeans
Claudia: faded holey jeans over leopard tights, black Docs with yellow laces, black and yellow flannel shirt with a shoelace bow tie, yellow feather and black bead earrings

Next week: YES!!!!!!! #83


  1. I got a message that your Jessi vlog was private and so I was unable to watch it. (Don't know if this is something on my end or yours, though.)

    I, my mom, my grandpa, my aunt, and my grandma must also be mega-cool like super sophisticated Stacey.

    I think the Ramseys will always call Squirt "Squirt", but I'm sure he'll be John/Johnny in school.

    I like Vanessa's use of "elephantic" to denote huge. :-)

    I also liked how well Jessi took charge after the car accident and that she didn't have to do it alone. The neighbours helped, which was great.

    1. I couldn't see the video either :(

    2. I couldn't see the video either :(