Tuesday, April 18, 2006

It isn’t safe to have a friend do it with a needle and ice cube; or, BSC #21: Mallory and the Trouble with Twins

Two true things: One, at the shelter where I got my cat, they were calling her Mallory, and two, a friend of mine in high school pierced her boyfriend’s guy parts with a needle and ice cube. And now this book is forever ruined for you. Mwa ha ha!

So, this is one of the books where the main plot deals with sitting, while the subplot deals with the BSCers’ personal lives. Mallory gets a standing job sitting for the twins, Marilyn and Carolyn Arnold, two afternoons a week. All starts off well, until she tells them they look like bookends, wearing identical outfits with identical haircuts on identical halves of their mirror-image of a room. Then, they start speaking in tongues and take off their identity bracelets, which are the only way anyone can tell them apart. [Sidebar, your honor. What kind of fucked up parent pulls this shit? If they’re so identical that it takes a bracelet to tell them apart, maybe you shouldn’t dress them EXACTLY THE SAME! Seriously? Are they trying to torture/damn them to eternity in therapy?] So, Mal’s miserable, cause the girls are awful. Finally, though, she figures them out. They don’t want to be treated like the same person. They want to be individuals, like Dawn (I shit you not, that is the comparison she makes). So, she helps them talk to their mother about dressing differently and looking a little less like dolls. Well, mainly, they want to pick out their own clothes, but I’m suggesting that Mommie dearest was playing a little too much dress up with them.

Subplot: Mal is sick of looking “like a baby” and “babyish” (and needs to learn some new adjectives if she really wants to be a writer). She wants a haircut and pierced ears. So, after her success in dealing with Mrs. Arnold, she decides to talk to her parents. And they cave! (Of course they do. Mal’s constant bitching about her parents has always driven me batty, cause of all the Stoneybrook parents, I like the Pikes the best. Except for that whole not using birth control thing.) And she can spend some of her money on clothes (what parent will say no to that? “No, I won’t let you pay for your own clothes”). So, she gets to buy some new clothes when she takes the Arnold’s shopping for new clothes. And then comes the least realistic part of the whole book. The BSC all go to the mall where Mal and Jessy each get their ears pierced once, Claudia gets a second hole in one ear, and Dawn gets two holes in each ear. AND NONE OF THEIR PARENTS ARE THERE! My mom had to go with me, or you at least had to have written permission or something (This was 15, 16 years ago, so my memory isn’t that clear, but still…). They all had permission, but I have a hard time believing a piercing place would just let anyone get a hole punched. Think of the insurance! (That makes me sound so old.) And, help me out on this one, can you even get two holes at the same time with the piercing gun? I know you can at a real piercer’s, but I don’t think that would be too safe with the crazy gun.

It always cracks me up when they describe Kristy as “businesslike” cause she wears a visor. Heh.

24 comments:

Rope said...

Awesome. Keep doing these reviews, they make my day better!

morbidda destiny said...

When I was about 14 my mom took me to the mall to get 4 holes in each ear, which they did all at once. Needless to say they all got infected and I had to take them out, but yeah, they'll do it.

Ditto about the comment above.

Katie said...

Yes where were their parents for the ear piercings?

I swear the most unrealistic thing about the books was how much 11-13 year old girls got to do alone without adults. I had my ears pierced twice: once at 11 and then again at 13 because I'd let them grow shut. Both times my mother had to be there and sign the consent forms.

The babysitters also got to travel all over the country alone with adults and it was so unrealistic especially for Mallory and Jessi who were 11.

Just my little rant.

Boo Boo said...

If I'm 8 years old, there's no WAY I'm taking orders from an 11 year old, even if she does have her ears pierced.

Could I put in a request for Kristy and the Baby Parade? I always thought that was one of the goofiest books ever, even when I was 10.

That said, these are hilarious! Keep up the good work!

Miss Scarlet said...

I remember when I turned 13 and expected to be able to babysit all the time. Too bad for my first job my mom came with me!

'sup said...

Didn't Claudia almost pass out from the stress of the ear piercing, even though she was trying to act all cool? This is the only BSC book I got my little brother to read while we were on some family vacation. He still makes fun of it to this day-- especially about the part where they're at a BSC meeting and the phone rings.... but they all have food in their mouth!!

Rebecca said...

It's pretty ridiculous to think that the parents of Stoneybrook would leave practically newborn infants in the care of 11 year olds.

Regarding the ear piercing issue, I checked out Claire's Boutique's ear-piercing policy and procedures (as they clearly rule the mall piercing domain. and as I am clearly a huge nerd).

They state:

Before your claire's specialist will pierce your ears, she'll ask you to read and sign the claire's registry, consent and release of liability. Please note that all forms and signatures must be completed at the store. A parent or guardian of a minor must be present at the store at the time of an ear piercing.

http://www.claires.com/earrings_landing.asp

Tahe that, ANM!

Igettobestacey said...

I LOVED this one. You didn't recap all of the fashion options that the twins had. Loved that part. . .and when they went to the mall. . .that was my 11 year old self's dream. I'm sure the fashions are HOTT now (although I bet if I put together an outfit from the book and wore it to the East village, everyone would be all over it).

cara said...

I remember back when it seemed like two holes in one ear was all alternative and exotic. Especially if the earrings don't all match. That's, like, super-edgy.

Library Lady said...

Good point about the visor.

On that note:

When I was twelve and if I was Claudia, and if someone had been as bossy as Kristy is in my bedroom, I probably would have thrown a hissy, and not offered her the cheesie bag when it was passed around, and told her it was my room, and for once somebody else should get to sit in the one and only chair in the room while she sat on the floor for a change...

Bossy Kristy and her bossy visor.

trisha said...

Thanks for these reviews! The BSC books were my favorite as a kid. It's amazing how well I still remember the plots. Are you going to be doing any super specials? Those rocked.

Jodi said...

Agreed on the Super Specials.

Wasn't there one where they got shipwrecked? And another where they all went on a cruise? My all-time favorite, if I recall correctly, was the one in which they all went to summer camp.

Elisabet said...

Yeah I got 2 at once when I was 13 .. With a parent. Sheesh. No way do they let you do that on your own.

Btw I love your site!!! I don't even remember where I found it.. Someone had it on their site.

nerr said...

i just found you..and these write-ups are delighful! keep it up, and i'm coming back for more! ps: ditto on kristy the visor queen. heee.

Anonymous said...

yo, I lied to the lady a Claire's and said I had lost my id and she pierced my ears (twice!) on one ear. However I was seventeen and looked older not twelve...
Maybe the BSC were liars...like me.

Steffi said...

i just found this blog,and i love it! i can't wait to read more reviews.


and i often wondered about the piercing place in this book ... seemed kinda shady to me, having a bunch of 11 and 13 year olds coming and getting pierced without their parents. shoot, i just got a 3rd set of holes - i'm 23 - and they still had to copy down my driver's license information.

Rebecca f said...

Ok, I've been rereading ALL the books in order, and tonight I got to this one! This was always one of my favorite books, even if I did hate Mallory... I think it's because I liked the ones where they described the clothing everyone wore.

Sara said...

Ha, I remember Claudia almost fainting. What an idiot.

My aunt pierced my ears with a giant needle that she kept in an old (yet clean!) margarine container. She did a much better job than the gunner who did my second holes.

Neena said...

I haven't read the books in forever, but I remember just after I got my ears pierced (I think I was 11ish), I read this book and they said Jess and Mal could change their earrings in3 days...

WTF?! Its more like 5 months

Katie said...

I just finished re-reading this book, and I have to admit that I thought it was weird that they could just go to the mall and get their ears pierced without a parent. Just yet another reason why these books are totally non-realistic.

One thing that bothered me was at WHY Mallory didn't realize that the girls started behaving badly. Um, hello? The moment she compared them to bookends they hated her. You'd think Mal, growing up with the triplets would figure it out sooner. Ah, well.

I looked, but didn't see that you had done "Jessi Ramsey, Pet Sitter." I'd love to see a review for that one, there's a classic BSC argument in it!

alisha said...

well, yes.. you can have multiple holes done at the same time with a gun.. as a former professional piercer, i don't recommend using a gun at ALL of course, but.. sigh. when i was young and stupid, i had my ears pierced at the piercing pagoda, two in each (and it was cartelidge, too.. UGH!).. i was about seventeen at the time, and they didn't even ask how old i was, and i didn't look seventeen. i'm going to be 24 next month, and today a mom of a fifteen year old in walmart told me that i looked about her daughter's age. so.

it really depends on the area, i think. where i am, you're not supposed to pierce anyone under 16 anywhere without a written consent form and ID from their parent/guardian--and really, that's generally for ear piercings (from a professional place.) if you're over 16 but under 18, you can get pierced with just a signature from an adult, most places don't care what the relation is. over eighteen, you can get pierced anywhere you want, as many times as you want, without anyone's permission.. but you still have to show an I.D.

which brings me to my main point. whether or not they were of legal age to make body modification decisions for themselves is up for debate, but they would have had to show I.D. of some kind for the paperwork. even claire's makes you sign forms promising you'll take care of the piercing, etc.


however, a good friend of mine worked at the Limited Too about 6 years ago or so, and they handed her a piercing gun one day and said "you're on ears today." she had no training whatsoever, and they told her "just try to make 'em even". most people who pierce with the guns have little or no formal training (which makes it even more dangerous than it already was) and therefore, it could theoretically be believable that some idiot pierced a bunch of 11 and 13 year old girls without permission.

wasn't one of the parents a lawyer? mr. spier, i think.. i'm sure the other parents could have paid him a nominal fee to sue the hell out of the stoneybrook mall, lol.

besides, just imagine the books that would have followed had the BSC gone to a "real" piercing shop and gotten pierced without permission.. "Mary-Anne and the Courtroom Drama".. "Mallory and The Great Infection".. and don't forget, "Jessi's New Tattoo"..

bah. sorry for babbling..

BurtonFanatic said...

Is it weird that instead of being skeeved out by that tidbit about your friend and her boyfriend I'm actually kind of curious? Yeah, that's what I thought.
I hated Mallory always. Seriously-she acts like a child! How can she be a baby-sitter?
Ditto to the ear thing... You must have a 'rent with you. Thank god, because if you didn't I'd be walking around with 7 or 8 holes in my ear right now.

metamorphstorm said...

I've had my ears pierced twice (four holes altogether) and I had to have adults with me...I was 15 the first time and 16 the second.

I was told it'd be about six weeks before I could change my earrings, and in some books I read, the characters only had to wait 3. Even though I left mine in until the night before the day I could change my earrings without any I'm-too-excited-to-wait guilt, my piercings still seem to close in about a day if I change them, so I leave the ones my ears were pierced with in most of the time and just change them for special occasions. That whole book was my favorite because of that piercing scene; I was earring-obsessed since I was eight but not allowed to get anything done until I was 16 (but my bro and sis-in-law, as a birthday gift, offered it to me at 15 'cause they thought I was 16) and my mom caved...I'd read everything about it before that, and she knew it ;)

I never even noticed until I was reading this blog entry again today that the piercing place didn't (as I recall) ask for permission slips or about consent or even ask for phone numbers for parents! I think I grew up under the impression that once you hit 11 or 13, you had the whole world in your fist...

Boy, was reality a bit of a shock after reading those books...stupid author with the fake and disillusioned view on kids...plus, I hated that lame I Love Lucy crap. I'm not sure any 13-year-old would like it, even if it was the 80s.

metamorphstorm said...

Before I got my ears pierced, I was 99% obsessed with anything to do with ear piercing, including this book. (Unfortunately, I had 4 holes at one point and now I have three, just like Claudia--eew!)

My point is, no, I don't know of any place that would allow a bunch of thirteen-year-olds, much less eleven-year-olds, to get piercings. When I went in at the ages of 15 and 16, I had to have my parents or an adult of some relation to me along, and they had to sign my papers, too, for legan reasons or something. And apparently the place I went (which was very official and clean and professional) won't pierce anyone under the age of majority without a parent along, and they wouldn't even pierce (not that I wanted it) anything but the ears on anyone under 25.

I love this blog. I sort of used to love the books but they were hard to get used to after practically adoring the Little Sister series. (Blech!) Anywho, I was glad to find this book reviewed...but did anyone find it odd that in the BSC super special where the girls go to camp and some of the girls want to pierce Mary Anne's ears and they want to do it with a needle and ice cube, this book wasn't mentioned? Even Mallory had the sense to go to a professional. :p