Saturday, April 9, 2016

“I was born to be a victim.” BSC #109: Mary Anne to the Rescue (1997)

Before I begin this book, I have a ‘joyous’ announcement to make. As of this Friday, my BSC collection is almost officially complete. I now own a copy of every book in the original series, all the mysteries, super specials, super mysteries and Friends Forever books. All I’m missing is a copy of the Claudia graphic novel (I’m waiting on that because I want to get all four of them in color…sweetness) and the Secret Santa book. (Considering I’ve never actually seen a copy of that or even a picture of the cover, I don’t think it really exists. I’m convinced it’s a conspiracy against me.)
Mary Anne becomes convinced she’d be terrible in an emergency, so she and the BSC take a first aid class. The class makes her queasy and she doesn’t think it’s helping. But then, while she and Dawn are babysitting at the Korman house, Timmy Hsu is drowning the pool. Mary Anne is the first to respond, pulling him out and performing CPR until he starts breathing again. It gives her the guts to deal with her other problem: Logan’s dad has decided to send him to boot camp for the summer and then boarding school after that. Logan’s too afraid to confront his father, until Mary Anne supports him. Of course, he gets to stay in Stoneybrook.
Interesting Tidbits
Cover! Mary Anne’s trying to be all sweet, but Logan’s showing his superpower, superdickery. (If you’ve never seen the superdickery website, you need to go check it out…after you finish this blog post, of course.)

The whole basis of the plotline of this book is that Sharon saves a guy who is choking by performing the Heimlich on him. Mary Anne worries that she’s bad in an emergency because she just sat there, open mouthed, and watched. She’s afraid that if Sharon weren’t there, the guy would have died. It’s like she’s forgotten that she’s actually quite good in an emergency. (Dawn reminds her of that in chapter 11, and tells her that if she ever needed someone to ‘maneuver [her] Heimlich’ MA would be the first person she would call.)
Ahh, Peter Lerangis. Claudia goes out and buys special food for Dawn, and Abby calls it…boogers and boulders.
Ooh, remember when, at the beginning of the series, the BSC books just kind of flowed together? Like how the vacations in #8 were established in #7. Well, in this one, Mary Anne mentions how Abby is going to be on a Special Olympics soccer team soon….which happens in the next book.
There’s this really goofy joke at the beginning of the first aid class where the teacher’s last name is Golden, and the first two kids in the class are Pete Black and Alan Gray. Their friend Irv introduces himself as Little Boy Blue, which I guess is supposed to be funny. It’s so lame a joke that even Abby wouldn’t make it.
“You’re allowed to sneak off with your boyfriend. These things are important.” The California Diaries have started by this point, so this is a little more adult than most of the BSC usually sound. I like it.
Logan says he and Mary Anne can email each other if he goes off to boarding school. I find it odd to see the word email in a BSC book. Even when they talk about cell phones, they call them cellular phones, so it doesn’t seem modern or anything.
“I had to perform emergency hair support.” There’s only one person in the entire book series who could have said that…and only one person she could have said it about.
Oh, Dawn. She suggests that Mary Anne’s ‘just grossed out’ by the idea of going to the ER as part of their first aid class…and then says that it’s the same way she feels about a pork chop. ‘Cause bleeding, injured humans is totally the same thing as a hunk of meat.
Sharon-itis: tennis shoes in the kitchen with the pots and pans
Nooo, Kristy. She teaches the Pike kids to use ‘stop, drop and roll’ if they encounter a fire in their house. She says it helps you stay under the smoke. I remember second grade really well (not to mention the fact that I taught for a couple of years) and ‘stop, drop and roll’ is for when your clothes catch on fire. This bugs me more than the usual mistake in these books.
Logan shops like I do. His mom gives him a list and a credit card, but it takes him hours to complete the list…because he looks at everything in Bellair’s except what’s on the list.
The title quote is one of many things Dawn says about the first aid class’s role in the Safety Weekend. She also says that Carol has a friend whose entire professional life is screaming for horror and disaster movies. Logan: Do you have to go for college for that?
I’m amused by who likes the idea of being in the disaster drill and who doesn’t. Claudia finds the whole idea sick (but will do it anyway), Stacey doesn’t want to lie in the sun and the germs and ruin her clothes, and Mal’s not an actress. Dawn’s all about it, and Jessi likes the idea as well. Logan says he’ll be in it…as long as he doesn’t have to be beheaded. And one person doesn’t even come at all…because the disaster is a car accident. I cringed when I read that, because I wasn’t even thinking about Abby’s dad as they were setting up the accident.
Dawn’s a little bitchy in this story. It’s as if being away from Mary Anne for a school year has made her completely forget her stepsister’s personality. Dawn volunteers to be the broken leg victim in the car crash, because it lets her scream. After Logan decides to be the head-wound, Dawn volunteers Mary Anne to lie in the street with a heavily-bleeding leg wound. MA feels violated afterwards, and she blames Dawn for it.
After the two of them fight, MA finds Dawn ‘trying to meditate’ even though she doesn’t know how. I’m kind of surprised that someone—Mrs. Winslow, Carol, Sharon, one of Maggie’s Buddhist friends—hasn’t taught her how to meditate somewhere along the way. “See? Meditating does help. Even if you don’t know how to do it.”
Claudia spelling: Firefitters, becuase, rellative, thot, shoud. She also uses hurry for hurray and fare for fair.
Dawn’s being more preachy than normal. She scolds various BSC members for eating ‘processed animal entrails and spun pancreas poison’: hot dogs and cotton candy.
When Jamie freaks out at the mock-fire, Mrs. Pike offers to drive him, Claudia and Lucy home. Instead of thinking about how nice that was, I worried about Lucy not having a car seat. (Also, I’m wondering about Claudia’s judgment in having Jamie watch that…after he was afraid MA was dead after the mock-car crash.)
I’m still confused about the idea the Delaneys used to have that their kids could use the pool while being babysat if the next door neighbor is home. The Kormans have a similar rule, but poor goodhearted Mr. Sinclair has to be in his own yard, watching. (The Delaney/Kormans live in a massive house with a giant yard, including tennis courts and more. How convenient is it that he is able to put a chair within sight of the Korman pool from his own yard.)
I love when we learn more about the parents of the clients. Mrs. Hsu is head chef at Renwick’s.
Logan and Mary Anne sit down with the Brunos to discuss Logan’s future. Mr. Bruno’s first thought? He asks if they’re getting married. They’re thirteen; that’s not legal in any state that I know of. But I could understand if he thought MA was pregnant. (Heyyyy, if this weren’t a BSC book, someone would have suggested that MA get pregnant to prevent Logan from getting sent up river to boarding school.)
Claudia: felt hat, oversized white button-down shirt, hand-painted wide tie, cuffed khaki shorts, white knee highs and brown and white bucks
Shelley Golden, the first aid teacher: chambray shirt, shorts, running shoes

Next: Mystery #30

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