Sunday, September 03, 2006

That hand was attached to the most Gorgeous Guy ever to walk the sands of Treasure Cay; or, BSC Super Special #1: Baby-sitters on Board.

Ah, the very first Super Special. So, the basic premise is that the Pikes win an all expenses paid trip that includes a four-day cruise through the Bahamas and three days at Disney World. They ask Stacey and Mary Anne to be mother’s helpers. Then, Watson decides to take the Brewer-Thomas brood along, too, mainly cause Kristy’s never been anywhere outside Connecticut (my first thought was: What about visiting Stacey in New York? And then I had to look in the back of the book to see which books had been published by this point, and it’s sooo confusing that time doesn’t pass, cause I can’t figure out whether or not things have already happened!) And Watson brings Claudia and Dawn along, cause he just can’t leave any baby-sitters behind! He has no consideration for all the other families in Stoneybrook. (I am constantly baffled by Watson’s willingness to drag along a slew of extra teenagers on his vacations.)

So, here are everyone’s storylines, including a few non-BSC members who are granted their own chapters…

Kristy: She makes friends with an old guy.

Mary Anne (who totally looks like Jo from the Facts of Life on the cover!): She meets the daughter of some famous singing duo, who’s a pathological liar. And Mary Anne thinks she’s a true friend until she catches her in a lie. (Mary Anne’s a sucker.)

Dawn: She falls crazy in lust with this guy (she’s in luuuv, but there barely even talk. If she were ten years older, it’d be a fuck fest), and she teaches him to not hate his stepbrothers. Oh, and he buys her a glass unicorn. How fucking sweet.

Claudia has a mystery admirer who keeps buying her gifts, and he turns out to be both the guy she’s been hanging out with and Mary Anne’s not-so-true friend’s brother.

Stacey meets a little boy who’s got a bad heart. Awwwww.

Karen’s a little liar who breaks all the rules (and bought all the souvenirs from Disney World that I used to have, like the scarf in the plastic egg).

Byron (and his brothers) find what they think is a treasure map, so they run around the cruise ship, the Bahamas and Disney World looking for gold. Turns out, it’s a schematic for a copier (a Scandanavian guy on the plane home tells them).

It pisses me off (shut up, you get worked up about this shit, too) that Karen never really gets in trouble for lying or wandering off or making shit up! She wanders off and gets a manicure and charges it to her room AND DOESN’T GET IN ANY TROUBLE!

Anyhoo…

1. Remember when little kids could go visit the cockpit? And get wings? Yeah, that was a long time ago…

2. Mary Anne’s “friend” Alexandra Carmody is sophisticated, cause she has big boobs. Or, because “she had a figure that filled out the top of the bikini nicely.” So, I must be verrrrrryyyyyy sophisticated.

3. Oh, oops. I totally forgot about Mallory. She’s all about Harriet the Spy, except for not getting caught. So, she sits around the ship/island/Disney World writing in her notebook. Things like (prepare for the block quote, Mal’s italics [sorry, my MLA training dies very very hard)

Another family goes by. The little girl drops her ice-cream cone. Cries.

A big group of people goes by. They are wearing matching T-shirts. They are very loud (the people, not the shirts). I think the people are retarded. Having fun. Lots of smiles…

Two parents and a little girl come by. The girl’s legs are in braces. She doesn’t seem to care. She is saying, “Snow White’s Adventure is the funnest ride here!”


Yup, having fun at Disney World makes you retarded. I think Mallory’s retarded.

4. Guess who wore this? “I put on my new blue-and white bikini and over that, a pink sundress with spaghertti straps at the shoulders [well, I’m glad their not around her ankles…where else would they be?] and big blue buttons down the front. Then I accessorized. I tied a pink-and-blue scarf around my waist, knotting it in the middle, added my snake bracelet and feather earrings, wound my hair on top of my head, and finally put on these white sandals with long laces that you crisscross up your legs and tie in a bow.” Jesus, how many pairs of lace-up sandals does one thirteen year old need? Especially one that lives nowhere near the tropics…

5. Sweet!!!!! Kristy and her old man play Pack-Man, Donkey Kong and Centipede! In an arcade! Sometimes I honestly miss the 80s.

6. Oh yeah, the object of Dawn’s blind lust is named Parker Harris, which Dawn thinks is funny. But it makes me think of the show Parker Lewis Can’t Lose. Remember that show?

7. Stupid fucking Karen thinks that a ghost from the Haunted House is following her and is her new friend.

8. To impress her boy, Dawn borrows and “outfit” from Claudia: “a white tank to under lavender overalls, lavender push-down socks, lavender high-top sneakers and a beaded Indian belt, which we looped droopily twice around my middle. In my hair we put lavender-and-white clips that looked like birds.” Yup, nothing says date quite like lavender overalls and a belt that doesn’t match.

9. Stupid fucking Karen pretends it’s her birthday to get attention. Lame-ass.

Yup, that’s about all…

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

yay! You're back!

That was my favorite favortie Super Special.

Anonymous said...

Here's a cute BSC tee...I think it's about to be discontinued, so be warned:

http://catandgirl.com/store/bsc.php

Dawn said...

I love it. Absolutley love it! I cant wait until you do SS number 4, when Dawn and Claudia are on the island.

sikamikanico said...

I'm sure I remember in book #4 (the one where they have the big fight) Mary Anne mentions something about Kristy going to Florida with her family?

But there's so many errors like this in the books, it's hard to keep track.

On another note...I wonder in AMM has ever stumbled across this blog?!?

Sandy said...

I just got back from a cruise a bit ago, and it was no way near adventourous (sp) as the BSC's. Of course, maybe the tons of preteens/teens had more of a good time.

janie said...

I used to love writing stories as a kid, and I blame the BSC books for my pathological need to describe what characters were wearing, down to the nth detail. I still love writing stories, but thank God I grew out of that particular habit.

Your site is way distant. I'm enjoying it very much!

Stephanie said...

Is it sad that I totally remember that Karen got purple polish during her manicure?

Anonymous said...

Oh em gee, did Mal really say the family was retarded? That seems pretty not cool

Anonymous said...

Karen really annoyed me with her running away stunt. Of course in true BSC fashion Kristy only gets a little mad and doesn't even tell her parents.

Oh and for a family vacation neither the Pikes nor the Brewers seem to spend very much time with their families.

Anonymous said...

haha i read that book a few months ago. definitly not one of my favourites. i was never a huge fan of the super specials as there were just too many silly plots to believe.

annie said...

Is it me, or is it a little creepy that Kristy's family never once questioned their 13 year old daughter hanging out with a strange old man?

Colleen said...

Thank you so much for doing this :)

My favorite SS is actually Babysitters at Shadow Lake (#7, I think?). Mostly because Stacey and Sam get together, and Kristy is grossed out that they hold hands while they eat breakfast. I swear, I read that book every year on the last day of school up through high school; it was my beginning of summer ritual (I also read Babysitters' Winter Vacation on the first day it snowed....man I was a dorky child)

rachel said...

wow - i remember this one so well. i spent ages trying to figure out how to pronounce "nassau." i can't believe she (whoever wrote this one) got away with writing "i think the people are retarded."

i find it really suspicious that kristy had NEVER left connecticut. i know people in alaska that are more well-traveled than her. you can't trip on the east coast without being in another state, i'm sorry.

colleen, don't feel bad - i faithfully read a book called "indian summer" (reading level 4) on the drive back from cape cod in august for about eight years straight. all above grade 4.

Anonymous said...

To the defense of the author, in 1990 when this book was written, it was acceptable to say someone was retarded if they were cognitively limited. However, that statement is still weird, because now that I read it here, it does sound like Mal is just being judgemental, not that she's using it as a descriptive term. I never read it that way before though.

PoBaL said...

I remember that Mal comment! And thinking it was innappropriate.

"On another note...I wonder in AMM has ever stumbled across this blog?!?"
When I was at ALA this year, I got ANM to sign her new book for our Tiff. She acted shocked and surprised that there were so many of us who were still all up in the BSCers' lives. And she was kind of "I'm a famous author who has to sign a lot of copies of my new book so I don't really care about your obsession with the series I did years and years ago".
I did tell her about the blog, but I couldn't tell if she was paying attention or not.

Anonymous said...

WHAT? ANM got an attitude problem with you? What a bitch!

Joanna said...

Then, Watson decides to take the Brewer-Thomas brood along, too, mainly cause Kristy’s never been anywhere outside Connecticut

'Cause no one gives a crap about poor David Michael...

Adri said...

Yeah, Mary Anne did say in #4 that Kristy had been to Florida once. This is one of the inconsistencies that I did notice when reading the books as a child, because it's one of the more blatantly obvious ones. Not only has Kristy been outside of Connecticut before, she's actually been to Florida before.

One thing I never really thought about until now, though, is I'm wondering how the Pikes had enough money to pay for Stacey and Mary Anne to go on a cruise and to Disney World with them as mother's helpers. Surely they didn't expect Stacey and Mary Anne to pay their own way, since they were working, but paying for two people to go on a cruise and to Disney World would seem to cost a lot more than the benefit you'd get out of having two baby-sitters along, particularly if money is tight. And there's no WAY that Mr. Pike's company paid for them to go, considering the company already had to pay for ten people.

Angie said...

This book was my favorite for a very long time.

I grew up in a tiny town in Illinois, where the most exciting thing I ever did was go to the local mall. My dad wasn't one for trips or vacations, so I envied the BSC. A cruise AND Disney World?! I thought those girls had the best lives, and I so wanted to be them. : )

Before Babysitters on Board, I didn't know that you could pair a sweater with shorts. Thanks to Dawn's outfit on the cover, I wore many a sweater and shorts after that.

g33kgrrl said...

oh gosh! I remember this one so well because when I was 10 my parents took us to Disney World, and I had my birthday while we were there, and we were even on the paddleboat one of the days, and I was disappointed that my parents didn't have them do all the birthday stuff they did in the book.

I now kind of wish that when I moved out for college I hadn't donated all of my copies of these to the library. I had enough of them that I once made a chair out of the books and sat in it.

Clare said...

Even as a misguided adolescent, when I tried very hard to imitate the BSC outfits (I even had the Mallory red-heart tights, which I cut the feet out of and wore under shorts to make more "Claudia"...my mom was not thrilled), I thought there was something wrong about pairing that Indian beaded belt with the all-lavender outfit. But I can't believe you cut off the outfit description before the part were Claudia swore up and down that the bird clips were birds of paradise. That was my favorite part!

Tenacious said...

*LOL* I stumbled across your blog and you are f*cking hilarious! Takes me back to my own obsession *as dictated by my current BSC book buying frenzy on ebay and fiance dismayed looked at our bookshelf, can't have Starring the BSC next to his Mental Health text books* and now that I'm older...

I'm scratching my head like WTF and thinking many of the same things you are *lol*

I def. will be coming back to read more hilarious recaps. *lol*

Ooh what about Sweet Valley Kids, Twins, High, University....ummm and the other series that branched off that I'm too lazy to google?

I thought Claudia's dressing was cool...when I was like 9 *ducks out before smacked with hanger*

Ashtree said...

I came across this blog, and reading your critique, I'm thinking "She's so right!"

It's funny how years later, you find inconsistencies, and other various things that you once found cool, now consider lame.

Good times, good times.

P.s. Karen annoyed the hell out of me though, even back in the day. I mean, how dare she lie about her birthday, just so she could feel special. What a brat!

Anonymous said...

we love your blogg. were just gonna say what everyone is not saying - stacey is a whore and mallory pike is a dike that wears wedgie pants and suspenders. (have u seen the bsc movie??) we also that kristy is a dike cos she is sooo attached to mary annne and is so butch. claudia is a dead shit that should probably be home schooled by janine (is it possible to have an iq of 196 cos einstein appartently has an iq of 160)

Miyana said...

Christy lives in CT, which is the third smallest state and she's never left it? Even with Daddy Warbucks?

Wow.

Paige said...

Hey, Colleen, don't feel bad...I used to read the summer camp special every summer when I used to go to Girl Scout camp...and then I read the winter special when it snowed the first time, too!

Anonymous said...

I'm fairly certain that's Kristy who looks like Jo on the cover. That being said, I'm glad I'm not the only one to notice the resemblance!

Katie said...

Gosh, I SO remember this book, it was one of my favs.

I loved Stacey's story with Marc, and Kristy's with the old guy.

Mallory's spying is ridiculous, and Karen is a brat.


Claud and Dawn get boys, typical. And MA meets a fraud, poor girl. Too trusting, she was.

hwong14 said...

I remember a couple things about this book: 1) Karen charged her manicure to her room without telling anyone. I was reminded of this again recently because I'm going on a cruise soon and looked into booking some spa services ahead of time (I'm celebrating something nice), but they were so expensive I decided I'd survive without painted nails, and I thought about how f-ing pissed I'd be if I had a daughter who decided to charge something like that without asking. 2) I thought it was dumb how they kept missing the fireworks each night until the very last night. Every time I went to Disney World as a kid, it was one of our top priorities to see the fireworks, and if we made plans to see them one night, we made sure to see them (cause they're awesome). Stupid BSC.

Oh yeah, and I know I'm commenting like a year later, but I'm just catching up now...

Anonymous said...

I just dug out my copy and I realized how often Watson and Elizabeth "took naps" in the middle of the afternoon during the cruise--like everyday. Sounds like Afternoon Delight to me!

Janet said...

Ahhh I can't stand Karen in this one! It's funny because I just flipped through this book yesterday.

When Watson & Elizabeth take Karen & Andrew into Disney World, she's constantly like "can we go here? can we get this?" No please or anything. And yeah, the whole wandering around when Kristy told her to hurry back -- and the manicure and soda?? She is so SPOILED!

And Kristy was a bitch to Dawn when they were sharing the room. I mean, wow, way to be a pig, Kristy.

Have you noticed that Claudia ALWAYS overpacks on trips? And she buys a crapload of souvenirs, so it's usually Kristy who has to fit Claudia's stuff into her bag. Just wait until Claudia is old enough for credit cards. TROUBLE, I tell you.

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with the BSC- but I loved Parker Lewis can't lose.
I know I read this, but I don't remember anything about it. Thank god for this blog. It brings me back.
I wish I still had all of my old books. I wonder what the hell happened to them. Time for a little trip to my local thrift store.

Mitch said...

This was definitely my All Time Favorite super special, I must've read it a thousand times. I dreamed of going on a cruise to Disney Land. Then I actually went on a cruise (not to Disney) & found it to be a bit different.
I hated Karen with all my being...to this day I think of her if I charge anything to a hotel room.
The Pikes should not have more kids than they can take care of themselves. The very fact they constantly need babysitters for Everything, and sometimes need TWO, means they had way too many f*ing kids. How do they manage on a day to day basis? Sell Nicky & Vanessa.

Michelle said...

ok so I just was rereading this too for the hell of it (it used to be my favorite one) & right on the first page or something Kristy says she's only been to western CT & lives in eastern CT. That makes no sense. Stoneybrook is near Stamford & a short trainride to NYC...meaning that it would be in SW CT. IF it were in Eastern CT, well, it would not be near those things at all. Damnit AMM, have you even ever BEEN to CT? I know it's small, but as a resident I can tell you that it isn't so tiny that people in eastern CT can just take a short trip to NY or anything.
Also, who lets a 6 yr old (esp a fucktart like Karen) walk off on her own? Especially on her first DAY in a LARGE cruiseship? What a horrible babysitter. She doesn't tell on Karen just to save her own ass, I would be in deep shit if I'd let my little brother go anywhere at 6 by himself. I think she should be kicked out of the BSC for this.
my verification word is tigdxr, maybe that's how the kid with allergies says the name for Mary Anne's cat? Tig dix er. "Barry Han, tig dix er"

Kylie said...

More name fucking in BSC-land! Parker Harris is in Kristy and MA's English class in "Kristy in charge" I think he's the one that came up with the name spaz girl.

And why do these girls always call poor Jenny Prezzioso a brat. All she does is wear frilly dresses. Karen's way brattier.

Gina said...

This is my all-time favorite BSC book. I have honestly since the time I first read it LOVED boys that have last names for first names a la Parker. Good Lord, how embarrassing. Anyway, keep up the good work recapping the ridiculousness of a childhood obsession.

Side note: Most of the time, I can tell what book you're recapping based on Claudia's outfits alone. Ay!

Anonymous said...

Did anyone else ever think this book was a big advertisment for Disney World, paid by Disney with a kickback to Scholastic and ANM for including it in the book? I mean, hell, half the book was just a travel guide. ANM was whoring herself out, bad girl

And I never knew there was a ghostwriter until a year ago, I was floored.

Oh, love this blog, by the way. Now I have to dust off those old BSC books for another read.

Anonymous said...

Oh. yes Mal!
Your spy information is so like Harriet the Spys. Yep, totally fascinating

Ella said...

I never knew how many Karen-Haters there were!!! Obviously I'm the odd one out. I've always found her hilariously presumptuous. Maybe I just like her, because she reminds me a little too much of myself, when I was 6?

I wonder if Kristy wore her "uniform" during the cruise. I mean seriously, who wears jeans, a turtleneck AND a sweater in FL weather (which Kristy would know all about seeing as in book #4 it states she's been to FL with her family- I hope those ghost writers weren't paid too well)

Anonymous said...

so.... Dawn didn't wear any pants to this date?
SOMEBUNNY GONA GET LUUUUUUUCKY

Julie F said...

Oh wow that lavender outfit was my favorite in the whole entire series :)
@Janie, I totally got your "way distant" reference ;)

metamorphstorm said...

To the last anonymous commenter, 10:17 P.M., do you even know what overalls are? It's like a one-piece tank-top-and-pants thing, wearing pants over (or under) would be dumb!

Sorry, ya'll others, I just love overalls. And I hate idiots.

Word verification: "Prcrise" - Stpud Mary Anne and Dawn trying to talk like a cat would.

metamorphstorm said...

Whoa, my last comment on here was harsh! What's up with that? It must have been ages ago, I don't remember writing that...

And to Ella (10:46 PM), I actually thought the Little Sister books were pure genius when I was younger, because I was (sadly) a lot like Karen - I thought the LS books had been written by an actual kid, that was how spot-on Karen's love of feeling important seemed to be. Then I got older and started feeling ashamed, and now I guess I count as a 'Karen-hater.'

I agree with the bit about Kristy being irresponsible in this one; she let Karen (age six, first day on a boat full of strangers) wander around all by herself. I can actually understand Karen taking advantage of this to explore and get a pop and check out the salon - I'd probably have been tempted - but it was all still really ridiculous that she's always portrayed as someone who can't do any wrong (just like Kristy) and this whole bit never would have happened in an ordinary book. But the vacations do seem to change the girls' attitudes (like how Stacey turns into a raging cow whenever she hits Sea City) so maybe that explains it...that or they're sick of being stuck in grade 8. :P