Monday, March 26, 2007

Stacey and I both look good in black and white; or BSC Super Special #6: New

Apparently, "they're not sleeping till they see all of it--"  Well, good for them.  But I think they probably did get some sleep.  After all, they're only 13 and they are chaperoned. 



First, let's examine the cover:




So, Mary Anne looks all touristy, and that makes sense.  And Kristy's wearing that lameass touristy Statue of Liberty thing. But, seriously?  Claud and Stacey (remember, the sophisticated ones) are wearing Hard Rock Cafe t-shirts.  Stacey, the New York girl.  I'm sorry, but I really doubt it.  And, confession time, I was totally obsessed with the black tights/cuffed jean shorts combo.  Very Brenda Walsh. 

Okay, so the plot of this one...SMS is on another (mysterious) two week vacation.  Claud and Mal get permission to take a two week art class in New York, and all the BSC get to go, too.  Because Mr. McGill and Laine's parents are insane.

Mary Ann and Stacey: Because they can't get enough of children, they get hired to show two little Brit brats around the city for two weeks.  And they're being followed! And they think it's some sort of international intrigue!  But it's really the kids' bodyguard!  Um, exciting?

Jessi: She falls in luv with a boy ballet dancer named Quint.  Only, he doesn't want to audition for Julliard cause the boys in the neighborhood pick on him.  Or something.

Kristy: She finds a stray dog that reminds her of her dead dog Louie.  She wants to bring him home to Stoneybrook, but she's not allowed.  So, she finds a new home for him.  (Boring.)

Dawn: She's a fucking chickenshit.  She's afraid of everything.  (And, I know I've said this before, but she's from SoCal, not Bumfuck, Montana.)  Then she meets a boy on crutches, and he shows her the city and gets her to eat chocolate.

Claud and Mal: So, their art teacher, McKenzie Clarke, gets along great with Mal and constantly criticizes Claudia.  She's all hurt and thinks she has no talent. (Heh.) But finally, she talks to him, and he's on her ass cause she lacks discipline and without discipline, her talent will go to waste.  And Mal learns she doesn't have what it takes to be an artist, but she only wants to draw dippy shit for children's books anyway.

Yeah.


  • So, Claudia, before her classes start, keeps referring to teacher/artist McKenzie Clark as HIM.

  • "Stacey would be packing black leggings (some with stirrups on the feet, some without) and baggy black and white and red tops.  She would probably pack or wear her black cowboy boots." 

  • Mary Anne brought Tigger to the train station in a carrier so she could say goodbye to him.  Dumbass.

  • Oh, and there's this whole thing about all the BSC parents all worried about roaches.  Sometimes, I think ANM confuses Stoneybrook with the tiniest town in Iowa or something...They live, like, two hours (tops) from NYC by train.  And that's probably with lots of stops.  They are not out in the sticks...

  • I miss street vendors and truck food.  I used to get the best Thai fried rice from a truck outside Hillman Library.  Mmmm. [drooling]

  • "I was beside myself with the thought of actually staying in the Dakota for two whole weeks.  The old movie Rosemary's Baby was filmed there.  Famous people live there.  Famous people have died there, too."  But we won't mention them by name.  ANM always mentions weird children's books that no one born after 1968 would have read, but she won't mention John Lennon, despite the fact that VH1 used to play "Imagine" in the 80s more than I can even tell...And how many of our parents were obsessed with the Beatles or their solo stuff?  Plus, in the 80s?  Julian Lennon had a fucking hit single.  Whatever.

  • So, the Brit brats?  (Not actually bratty, but I like alliteration.  So sue me.  It's "creative license" or something.)  Their parents dress them like dolls.  It's totally lame.  But hilarious.  "Alistaire [who's 7, btw] was wearing a white sailor suit with navy blue trim, white knee socks, and black shoes that buckled at the sides.  The looked a little like Mary Janes, only they weren't shiny. [Huh?  Mary Janes don't have to be patent leather...I don't get it...] And Rowena was wearing a white sailor dress, similar to Alistaire's suit, white tights, red Mary Janes, and a red hat."  In ANM's mind, Brits always dress like it's the 1940s.

  • Shut up about the crime, Dawn.  You act like there's no violence in SoCal at all.  She automatically thinks a loud bang is a car bomb.  What?  She's not from a warzone, either. 

  • Stacey loves signaling the waiter for the check.  Cause she's 5.

  • Because the acronym for the Fine Arts League of New York is FALNY, ANM spells it Falny.  Because you can't pronounce an acronym like a real word if it's all caps or something...Sorry, I get a little fixated on semantics.  In case you couldn't tell.

  • Claudia's not allowed to call adults by their first name unless she knows them really well.  I suppose parents who forbid Nancy Drew would have a rule like that.

  • Jessi thinks Quint's name is romantic.  I...don't get it.

  • Oh, yeah...ANM's dad did "Claudia's" sketches for the book.

  • Oiny.  Only in New York.  Jessi's dad says that.  And this book ruined me so that whenever anyone says only in New York, I think Oiny.  Fuckers.

  • There's this whole thing about sneaking the dog in and out of the Dakota because Kristy thinks they don't allow pets in the building.  It's supposed to be zany, I think, but it's just lame.

  • Dawn's luv interest?  "His hair was brown and longish.  He'd let the back grow into a very chilly little tail.  And when he smiled, his cheeks dimpled."  Hee!  A tail!  And a really awkward sentence about dimples!

  • Um, Jessi just agrees to go over Quint's place...I doubt her parents let her just go over random boys' houses in the 'Brook, so why she thinks it's okay in New York?  But then, they left her to care for her siblings with no adult supervision for a fucking weekend, so I guess I'm not terribly surprised she has no common sense with this sort of thing.  And she gets kinda bent out of shape when Laine insists on walking her there and meeting his family.

  • This is what the Brits have the brats wear on their Circle Line cruise: "Alistaire in gray pants, red suspenders, a red bow tie, and a white shirt; Rowena in a gray skirt, red suspenders, a red headband, and a white blouse."  You know, I don't think my parents tried to color coordinate me and my bro even in family portraits. 

  • Actually, a ten dollar fee for a pay-what-you-can vet clinic is pretty cheap.

  • "Right here. On Madison Avenue. One of the finest shopping streets in the city.  Here you will find Laura Ashley [hee!] clothes, cowboy boots, boutiques, and bookstores.  It's the soup to nuts of the shopping world."  Dawn, I have some bad news.  Your boy's a friend of Dorothy.  Straight boys don't know Laura Ashley.  Just sayin.'

  • Later, Dawn gets all excited by (another) Laura Ashley store in the South Street Seaport.  Again, nothing says "California Casual" like middle-aged, stuffy floral prints.

  • In college & grad school, whenever I came across the word "cloisters" or "cloistered," I remembered this book.  Kinda sad, I know.

  • So, Kristy's a closeted rich bitch.  "I looked around the Leeches' [they adopt the stupid dog] apartment. It was small.  The furniture was old and worn.  But someone had crocheted afghans for the couch, and dried flowers were arranged in vases.  Plus, Mr. Leech obviously cared very much for his son..."  All I'm saying is, how nice was their furniture before Watson, anyway?  Single mom with four kids?  C'mon now.

  • Mal comes up with this stupid kids' story about country mouses visiting the big city.  And the girl mouse? "I gave her a hip mouse outfit--a huge sweat shirt and leggings.  But I had to erase the leggings.  They were not meant for mouse legs [OR HUMAN LEGS, DAMMIT!!!!]. I gave her high-tops instead. And some jewelry." And there's something about an evil gnome.  I used to have a recurring nightmare about being chased by an evil gnome.  Maybe this book is why...Hmm...

  • Mal and her art teacher keep talking about kids' books.

  • Jessi's in training to be a nagger.  [heh.]

  • "I'm sure Quint's parents thought we were going to tell them we wanted to get married, or something equally serious."  Yes, I'm sure that's what they thought about an eleven-year-old and a fourteen-year-old (or however old he is).  Jessi's not always this stupid, is she?  Well, she gets kissed anyway.  Her first kiss.  Blah.

  • When does "Firday" fall in the week, Claudia? 

  • Blah, Tavern on the Green and a show...I've seen all this on reality tv.

  • Hmm...the Pikes have a computer.

  • Claudia would be proud (or should I say prowed?):


Deer Mary Ann and Stacy,

We are back in Englund. It is nice. I licked New Yurk. I rememberized the names of your freinds. Rowena licked the toy store.

Love, Alistaire


Well, that's that. Can I lick a toy store, too?

51 comments:

Lisa said...

Ha! My friend showed me this blog about a week ago and I've gone back and read every entry.
Bravo you ;-)

Lauren said...

I'll admit it...I love Quint! He's my favovite BSC "boyfriend".

Aoife said...

I wasn't allowed to call any adults by their first names, whether I knew them well or not. Even if everybody else did. And they asked me to. It was weird.

Also, what is oiny?

Anonymous said...

I was so confused by Dawn's Laura Ashley obession. I remember going in once and thinking "why on earth did Dawn want to dress like this?". But then again it goes along with their obsession of "I Love Lucy" "The Love Boat". AMM should have done some research into things that 13 year olds actually liked.

bec said...

This is the book i remember most from my BSC days. I think there is a scene about Mallory and Claudia sketching a pile of boxes?

Awesome.

Dahlia said...

As an illustration major the line about cartoon mice not being REAL art really pisses me off. I guess children's books aren't REAL books either....bitter grumble

Amy said...

Oh man, every time anybody says "Only in New York" I think OINY too and curse the BSC for putting that stupid shit in my brain for life.

Clare said...

The word "cloisters" always reminds me of this book, too. It's also where I learned to correctly pronounce Houston Street. I can't say I've been plagued by the OINY curse, though--but this blog entry just happens to coincide with a visit to New York this weekend, so that could change!

Anonymous said...

Is this the one where it says that Stacey has a secret language with the waiter because she signals him to get their check? I remember that scene (from which ever book) vividly. At the time, I thought it was so cool (granted I was 10). Now I realize how lame it is. It is funny how some of these things stick with you so well!

Anonymous said...

I love this one! It comes pretty close to that other super special where they get snowed in and Kristy shaves her legs for the first time because Bart gets stuck at her house.

Marisa said...

A kid who can spell "rememberized" correctly can't spell "like"? I get it, it's supposed to be funny and cute, but like most other ANM (/her ghostwriters') attempts at this combo, it just annoys me. But where would this blog be without little annoyances like this? So I guess we can thank them for that!

j.c. said...

I reread this book about a month ago, and Dawn pissed me off. Having lived 15 minutes from NYC my entire life, and having visited Southern California more times than I would have liked to, I guess I am slightly biased. but yea, where Dawn is supposedly from in SoCal, is not exactly a utopia...

holly said...

Yeah, the whole Dawn thing definitely bothered me. You think she would have been used to big cities coming from SoCal. Doesn't she live like 45 minutes outside of LA or something? I think LA was a pretty scary place in the early 90's when this book was written (well it is still a pretty scary place), what with all that racial tension and stuff. California wasn't all granola and hippie love, contrary to what AMM apparently thought.

Lauren said...

Along with he Camp Mohawk one, this was my favorite Super Special. I read it SO many times. I was Mary-Anneishly obsessed with New York as a kid -- still am, I suppose, but when I was 9 I hadn't been there and so I took all of ANM's descriptions as gospel.

Wasn't this also the book where the BSC went to the Hard Rock and somebody (Kristy? Claudia?) ordered the, ahem, "fill-it mig-none"? When I made my first trip to NYC at age 14 (school choir trip), I quickly realized that there was no sit-down restaurant dinner in my New York itinerary -- much less one involving steak or Tavern on the Green. I think I subsisted off pizza and deli sandwiches for that whole trip.

Also thanks to ANM, I spent many years thinking of The Dakota as ritzy and glamorous and not at all infamous! I must have been 16 or so when I finally made the connection between John Lennon and the Dakota. Oh, I felt so betrayed...

Juliet said...

It was definitely Kristy that pronounced it "fill-it mig-none," but I also can't remember if that was in this book. I just remember Stacey being mortified at the whole experience. Haha.

b girl said...

fill-it mig-none was in #18, Stacey's Mistake

Sara said...

The only thing I remember about this book is how bitchy Claudia was to Mallory. I kinda felt bad for the dork. And then when Claud finally comes to her senses and apologizes, Mallory is like, "It's okay," and that's it. Kind of doormat-ish, no?

Mouse said...

Sara, if you've read Tiff's other postings, you'd know that ANM has it out for Mallory for some reason.

colleenn said...

I am loving this blog more and more every week. I never read this Super Special though, and now I'm sad that I somehow missed this one. Oh, and I just reread Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye this weekend, and they totally already used the "I licked New Yurk" joke in that book. When the little kids all make good-bye cards for Stacey, she says her favorite is from Margo Pike, who wrote something along the lines of "Good lick in New Yurk" or something.

Kelly said...

This book ruined OINY for me too!!

Anonymous said...

From fashionista.com: "Girls in America haven't worn Lauren Ashley since The Babysitters Club were best selling books, but the question remains: If Lauren Ashley goes back into its vintage archive, and markets itself as retro chic to a new set of style addicts, can they permanently turn their brand around?"

Hmmmm....

PoBaL said...

Black tights and jean shorts! Oh yeah, I wanted to try and rock that again. Which I'm sure you're soooo glad you reminded me of, Tiff.
Mal's picture book illustrations remind me of this self-published book we had at CLP about a rabbit with MS and freakishly long eyelashes.

Anonymous said...

Hee! "the 'Brook" Jessie was so lame. And it's slightly creepy that a 14 year old would kiss an 11 year old.

Mahnaz said...

Was Quint definitely 14? I thought he was eleven, the same as Jessi...

Anonymous said...

I thought he was 11, too...

Anonymous said...

Last week, I had a dream that my library had a Baby Sitters Club event and a bunch of guys showed up dressed in Laura Ashley floral dresses and wigs that looked like Mary Anne's haircut (like Jonathan Brandis in Ladybugs.) I blame this blog. ;) Thanks for all the entertainment!

amalia said...

um...what kind of person doesn't know how to spell the country they live in?? even if they are 7 or whatever??

Chelsea said...

You said we could throw down on some book suggestions, so here's mine: BSC Super Special #9 Starring the Baby-Sitters Club. Kristy as Peter cracked me up. Also, the boys going on strike. WTF! So that's it. Keep up the good work!

Tiff said...

I would love to get my hands on a copy of Starring the BSC! It was my favorite! And I think of it everytime I watch "Gypsy!" But I can't find it anywhere! And I haven't ILLed it yet!

PS-Late entry this week...Sorry. Blame lots of booze and a different state.

ashwini said...

OH MY GOD, NAGGER. I'm dying.

Anonymous said...

Please, please! Do a blog on 'The Fire at Mary Anne's House'! Or 'Sweet Valley Twins'- either one. This is just so damn funny, I am constantly checking your blog to see if it has been updated.

kiwimusume said...

Oh wow, this journal is freaking hilarious!!

And I totally get what you mean about all the books and movies they like being from aaaaages ago. When I first read the books, I thought it was me, but then I reread them a couple years ago I kept going "Hang on! That's OLD shit!! Kids didn't read that in the early 90s!"

Maria said...

This is hilarious, and a wonderful trip down memory lane :-D Thank you for doing all these reviews.

Anonymous said...

What's the deal with the BSC "Super Special?" I don't remember these. I remember the regular ones, but not this series.

Anonymous said...

Like lisa said, I checked this out a few days ago and I read the whole thing. You crack my S$#@ up!

I love your fashion re-caps...but I do also think that some of those outfits have come back with a vengance on the streets around here...I just hope you come across the ultimate 80's/07' heinousity, the bubble skirt!!

Christine said...

"Jessi's in training to be a nagger. [heh.]"

I was slouched down in my chair reading your blog when I came to that line, and I'm not ashamed to admit I peed myself laughing over it. I laughed hysterically all the way to the bathroom and back again, in fact. It was delightfully out of the blue. Awesome.

Christina said...

Hillman Library?!? Dude, AWESOME. Although now they made the parking lot a park (with a carrousel) and kicked all the vendors out. It sucks.

Alice said...

a "chilly little tail"??? what the fuck does that mean????

Amanda said...

1. You went to Pitt?! I graduated in '05! (GO PITT!)

2. The thing about "oiny" and the "cloisters"? Totally happened to me, too. To this day, I can't help but think of that book every time someone mentions one of those. Sad.

3. The Kristy plot line in this one was stupid.

Anonymous said...

This book ruined the phrase "Only in New York" for me too...Darn Jessi!!

Ryan Michele said...

Didn't Quint hide his ballet shit in a bowling ball bag? 'Cause the thugs in his hood wouldn't totally kick his ass for that, too.

Anonymous said...

Please Alistaire- tell us who else you licked while in New York. We really want to know.

Anonymous said...

You know what shocked me most about this book? At the beginning, when the Brit kids' parents are looking for "nannies", Kristy and Jessi actually turn the job down because they want to TAKE A BREAK FROM BABY-SITTING. I was like, "Whoa! Normal teen behavior!"

The whole "dressed like dolls" thing always bothered me too.

Raine said...

Is this the one where they go to the Met and someone thinks "medieval" means "halfway evil" and Claudia gets all bent out of shape about Ronin?

I finally visited New York when I was 19 and thought of that the whole time I was at the Met. Why do these awful things stick in my head??

Emily Eileen said...

I really thought you were going to mention Stacey's disgusting camel toe on the cover. :)

Gen said...

Sigh. As an impressionable 8 year, old, these girls convinced me Laura Ashley was cool and I begged my mom for a Laura Ashley dress. And actually wore it. I wonder if I can retroactively seek pain and suffering and loss of dignity money.

Kylie said...

I wanted a Laura Ashley dress, too. But we didn't have a Laura Ashley store in New Zealand, so I didn't actually know what one looked like. I thought it was like those cool hippie clothes - long skirts, peasant blouses, etc. And speaking of clothes I wore the jean shorts over black tights too. I remember standing at the bus stop, I had a long white top on too and I thought I looked great. Then an old lady came over to me and whispered. "Dear your blue knickers are showing." Shameful!!

Anonymous said...

This is one of my favorite BSC books! The SS were always my favorites because they were longer, had stories told from all the character's perspectives and at the time I always thought going on trips with all my best friends (and hardly any adults) would be so much fun. Also, I don't know if it was this book or another one where Stacy is in New York but I remember her getting bagels and lox and not knowing what lox was but thought it was so New York.

blondie said...

for the life of me, i cannot figure out if i read this one or not... i totally remember jessi meeting quint, but like nothing else. who knows...

Hina said...

I think that rule about adults and first names Claudia had to follow is because she's Japanese.

In Japan, you NEVER call someone by their first name unless 1. they are younger than you or 2. you're really close with them.

Anonymous said...

"Jessi's in training to be a nagger. [heh.]"

Immediately stopped reading your blog after this. Won't be coming back. Pretty horrifying.