Monday, April 30, 2007

A twenty-five percent chance of getting a snobby jerk; or BSC #20: Kristy and the Walking Disaster

[Note: Somebody just pointed out that I already did this book. Oops. I can't find my checklist of what I've done and haven't done, and I could've sworn this was one I hadn't done. But, I guess I did this book originally ages ago, before I was doing lists or cover art, etc. So, next week, I'll be more conscientious or something.]

Full disclosure: I was kinda sporty as a kid, and I still hated this book. And pretty much everything to do with the Krushers. And the Bashers. Cause nothing is more boring than reading about a bunch of little kids that can't really play, but try to play a sport anyway. Boring. Plus, I found the basic premise that two 13-year-old kids would each start baseball/softball/wiffleball teams for kids that aren't in legitimate leagues a little...suspect.

Yeah. That's the plot. Kristy forms a rag tag team of misfits...oh, wait, isn't there a joke about this Wet Hot American Summer? About this being a mega-cliche? Yeah, the average age of her players, as is mentioned 15 million fucking times is 5.8 years old. And she has a two and half year old on the team, and none of the older kids care? Anyhoo, the Krushers play the Bashers (that's Bart's team, for those who don't read ESPN.com). And they lose! (Cause, seriously?  If they had won, it would be only slightly more believable than Jessi's parents leaving her in charge for the weekend, and that's saying a lot!) But they played a good game, and they threw their hearts into it, and they did their best, and I feel like I'm watching
Rudy, or, more likely, Lucas.

Oh, and the subplot? Kristy li-ikes Bart! Cause he's a boy that likes sports and is cute. And it's instant crush. Because there are no cute boys that like sports. Nope, none at all. Never met a cute boy who is into sports. Or something. (I suppose the fact that he likes kids helps, though that's not really laid out for us.)

So, in this book:

  • Kristy can't believe her at least 37-year-old mom is talking about another kid. Wait, I thought she (and every other fucking girl in these books) was all about more, more, more babies! And she doesn't know how old her mom is? Weak.

  • I love when Kristy describes Claud's clothes: "You should see how she dresses--wild! Baggy jeans, skintight pants, miniskirts, odd layers of things, bright colors, and weird jewelry."

  • Mary Anne brings Tigger to a BSC meeting.  Why? And Claud doesn't mind? Seriously?

  • "A very, very, cute guy was in the Taylors' yard, raking up dead grass and twigs and things. It couldn't be Bart. Most people around here have gardeners to take care of their lawns." Wah-chicka-wah-wah! [Sing it like bad 70s porn music. It's hard to spell.]

  • Kristy likes the word "trepidation." I, on the other hand, like the word "trepanation."

  • Woo, go Red Sox. I think it's funny that a group of kids in Connecticut mention the Sox, the Mets and the Dodgers. Notice any team missing? One that has a following in CT? Like the Yankees?

  • Dude, Woolworth's? Hello, 1946.

  • Claud spells Mallory "Mallery." Bitch can't spell my name, bitch is no longer my friend.

  • I had totally forgotten about Claire's baseball tantrums. "Nofe-air! Nofe-air! Nofe-air!"

  • The lesson in the book is beaten over our head at every chance: they have heart and team spirit, so they're winners!" Blah.

  • Claud pulls one of Jackie's teeth during a practice. [He gets hit in the face while playing catcher. I know how much that fucking sucks.] I think my parents mighta gotten a little pissed if a babysitter pulled out a loose tooth. But, then again, it's the "walking disaster." I should get that on my business cards: Best cataloger on the planet and walking disaster. Yeah.

  • Karen won't spell Krushers on her shirt. Because she's an annoying little twat, she has a shirt that says Kristy's Crushers.

  • Since when do softball teams have cheerleaders?

  • The elementary school is making the Rodowskys pay for a window that Jackie breaks while practicing. Isn't that what insurance is for?

  • The Bashers distract Bart so they can mock the Krushers during a practice. And it's all so very unnecessary. I mean, in terms of plot.

  • Bad grammar alert! "Us Baby-sitters Club members were even giving up on our meeting so we could cheer the Krushers on."

  • I've never understood exactly what Kristy means when she says Watson sounds "jerky." Any clue?

  • Aw, Bart likes Kristy's collie hat. It must be luv. And they hold hands even though they've talked, like, four times.



The cover:




Kristy looks my age. And an awful lot of those kids have really round, red noses. Weird.

Okay, I seriously hate hate hate how ANM is actually pretty mean-spirited when it comes to Jackie Rodowsky.  We get it, he's a klutz.  And we also get it, you hate him. Enough! And as someone who has been called "entertainingly cruel" [thank you, thank you, roses aren't necessary], there's funny and then there's just cruel. Sure, sometimes it's a tightrope walk, but if you're PMSing or nic-fitting, don't mock anything that's iffy! Just sayin'.

[Wow, this one's kinda short. Oh, well. I'm actually surprised I managed this
much about this stinker.]

53 comments:

M&Ms said...

So I just found out blog, and read through all the archives... SO funny! I have my BSC books packed away for my daughter, but I read them while I was pregnant and needed some light reading.

I, too, hated how everyone was mean to Jackie. its not like he meant to be a klutz. Jerks.

I noticed the bad grammar when I read this last summer... And then my head exploded.

I'm from Texas... and I can't understand Logan at all. At. All.

I love ellipsises. (is that the correct plural form? weird.)

And, I'm just curious... who was your fav bsc-er?

sikamikanico said...

That book cover always reminded me of the movie poster for Troop Beverly Hills (yes, I'm dating myself here!). Every kid on the cover looks like a teenage girl. Except Kristy. I'll let the last observation go without further comment.

This was one of the last BSC books I read (except when making fun of them, when I was much older and my younger sister read them)...could this have been why I stopped?

killerqueen said...

Sports writing of any kind bores the ectoplasm out of me. As much as I'm a Harry Potter fantatic, I can't stand the Quidditch scenes! It's been so long since I read the books but something tells me i skipped this one.

Anonymous said...

We have woolworths here in NZ hee!

ChiGirl said...

I loved the BSC, and like you, I did not like Kristy and the Walking Disaster.

Great blog!

Anonymous said...

I loved the Babysitters Club, but being from NZ 12 year old me assumed that the fact that they had love lives at such a young age was just an American thing. It wasn't until I travelled to the US 5 years ago that I realised just how my impressions of American society had been formed by the BSC.

Lily, NZ

lisa said...

What's the one where Bart and Kristy kiss, and she says he tastes like soda? Doesn't she get into a shitload of trouble for kissing him, because her Mum walks in or something?

Anyway that's a different book ;)
This book sucks, I hated it too. I hated the Krushers.

I love this blog <3

Annalisa said...

Awww, I remember Woolworth's from when I was... well, under 10. I can't remember more than that. The one near me had a section that sold small pets like hamsters and fish, and that fascinated me. Animals in a department store??

Anonymous from NZ, that's fascinating how the BSC books shaped your expectations for Americans! That really tickles me.

I don't remember reading this book specifically, but I sure do remember the Krushers. HOW does a two-and-a-half-year-old child play softball? HOW? Even when I was 6, wiffle ball was pretty ambitious. Then again, I'm a klutz too.

Anonymous said...

I thought Woolworths still existed?

Well it does here in the crazy land where no-one speaks properly aka Australia (thank you AMM). I went there this afternoon!

Rebecita said...

I was having the weirdest sense of deja vu reading this post, and i realized you totally already wrote about this book. hee!!

Not that it wasn't just as entertaining the second time around. In fact there was so much to mock, you barely repeated yourself.

And really, you had me at:
Can you think of a group that wants to read about sports LESS than bookish girls, aka BSC fans?

K said...

Kristy calling Watson "jerky" always bothered me. She says something like that in, like, a million books. So after rereading them a million times I think Kristy was aiming for "lame." Not sure how/why AMM thought "jerk/jerky" was appropriate. If Watson was being an asshole I could understand...but all he was doing was cracking bad jokes....

Anonymous said...

"HOW does a two-and-a-half-year-old child play softball? HOW? Even when I was 6, wiffle ball was pretty ambitious."

I THINK THAT EVERY TIME I READ ABOUT GABBY PLAYING!

I started playing T-ball at three and I played, at the oldest, 9 year olds. I've also coached three year olds (by that time they played up to five and then went to 'real' T-Ball)

There is no way in hell a parent would let a 2 and a half year old even play full softball, let alone the child be able to HIT the ball. Just not possible. At three I could barely connect with the ball. A two year old does not have the necessary hand eye co-ordination to hit a moving ball. Hell, most SEVEN year olds struggle with it.

I also found it so unbelivable that there was NO softball/baseball league in the town for kids to play in. I live in Sydney, Australia and there are seriously about 20 associations in the Sydney metro area. Are you telling me a decent sized town such as Stoneybrooke, or hell even a large town like Stamford, have NO options for kids to participate in "America's pastime"? Big fucking bullshit.

colleenn said...

Doesn't Gabby play with a wiffleball and have the pitcher stand extra-close and throw it underhand? Even still, that's a big stretch for a two-and-a-half-year-old. Some kids that age can barely talk.

And I too absolutely hated the number of times in these book that the phrase "us babysitters..." came up. Best way to piss off a future copyeditor. :) I reread one recently where Claudia said "we babysitters" and I was like "so is Claudia being smart for a change or does ANM/ghostwriter actually think that that's wrong and trying to make her look stupid?"

And yay mention of Red Sox! Although yeah, in CT there definitely should've been at least one Yankees fan among those kids. My fiancee grew up in western Mass., and whenever we head out there I always see way more Yankees hats/t-shirts because they're close to CT.

Adri said...

The "Mallery" thing doesn't seem so bad to me because I just reread Graduation Day and Claudia spells her own name wrong in that book. (She spells it "Cladia.") That is the stupidest thing ever.

sikamikanico, I loved Troop Beverly Hills. I was such a dork.

lisa, that's #95 Kristy + Bart = ?

Anonymous said...

I had to dig through my storage closet for all the BSC books I'm collecting for my daughter to read someday this weekend -- I love this blog and had to revisit ANM's world myself ... good times. :-)

I'm reading Super Special No. 7 right now, the one where a big snowstorm hits Stoneybrook. Good reading despite the 88 degrees temperature in my part of the U.S., but I have to say, as a professional journalist, there's no way a newspaper would allow Kristy Thomas to write an article about what happened to her and the other members of the club after the storm hit. I've worked for a dinky weekly and know even they wouldn't accept that stuff either.

GASP! The BSC is fiction? That wouldn't really happen?

Crazy, I know. The things we have to deal with once we become adults ...

Keep up the great work, Tiff!

PoBaL said...

Teff, you're so awesome...
I had forgotten about the stupid cheerleaders.
And there were other local teams, right? It's just that all the Krushers didn't have a chance at regular little league, what with being walking disasters and BABIES and such.

Tiff said...

Jessie, I hate you! We're no longer friends!

PoBaL said...

You're just saying that because I cut my hair completely differently, decided to leave behind my California Casual look for like a week, and started hanging out with my new friends who do things beside babysit and throw parties for children, you fikel betch ewe.

Ryan said...

Tiff, I saw this listed on POP CANDY the other day, and I gave it a go, and couldnt believe how far into the archives I went reading... not because your blog isnt entertaining, it's fucking awesome, but because I AM A 28 YEAR OLD GUY WHOSE NEVER READ A SINGLE BSC BOOK. EVER.

LOL Still, I've learned a lot, and knew a lot about the BSC from friends/cousins/etc who were big fans. My only BSC memory was looking at the covers and thinking I didn't find a single girl cute enough to even want to know more.... Now, DJ from FULL HOUSE? My kind of girl!

*sigh*

Ok, I can't wait for the next one!

(Shameless plugs below)
RMThompson
www.flickr.com/photos/rmthompson
rmthompson@tampabay.rr.com

Anonymous said...

My nephew has been able to hit a moving softball with a bat since about a year and a half. He's really, really coordinated. But now he's five, and he plays t-ball.
I don't know what kind of moron would let a toddler play baseball with seven and eight year olds, but I totally bought it when I was a kid.

Summer said...

I remember trying to figure out which kid was which on this cover. Other than Jackie and Andrew, it's a mystery.

Love this blog!

Kristen said...

Troop Beverely Hills was on TV this weekend. It is so weird that people are mentioning it here.

I could never figure out who was who on the cover either. Jackie is obvious, but then I could never decide about the rest.

Anonymous said...

i always thought kristy's were the most BORING to read. so i generally did not read her stories. sometimes i lost important info by doing that.

Sana Jisushi said...

I just discovered your site. This is the greatest thing I've seen all week. (I read sports books as a kid, but I read anything.) The rants have definitely gotten better with time, although one thing I miss is the haiku you'd write when you weren't able to review a book. Like so:

Stacey, Karen, Mal
I read and decide to ask
Who do you hate more

Inquiring minds want to know!

susannah said...

wow, im surprised by what a huge following this blog has in australia-area...

but i love it, too!

-nyc

lisa said...

Cheers for that adri ;)

I actually sorted my BSC collection today and I have that book, it just evidently wasn't a favourite and thus, it didn't stick in my mind ;)

But Bart's Soda Lips did, apparently.

Emily said...

I just discovered this blog and am officially obsessed. I gave my books away in a heady moment of aspirational maturity sometime during high school and boy do I regret it. First when I saw this, I thought, wow this is awesome but am I really going to read all of this and add it to my feed reader? Answer: Yes, totally. I just let myself trip down memory lane to my favorite books and do a little Amazon marketplace searching and I am so there with you. I suspect that if I knew you, we would be friends. But anyway - great blog and REALLY great idea. Do you have time to read other books besides BSC?

stephanie-austin.com said...

I just found this site! It's a miracle! A true, true miracle. You are my newest hero.

The BSC. Back when life was easy. And cheesy.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I live in England, and guess what? Besides about a million Woolworths (whats weird about them? Since I moved to the UK, I have fond memories of crappy hot lunches there... mind you, it does look a little 50is- Caludia would be impressed-Super Special no 11, The BSC remembers, we also have BHS and New Look, and Borders, and even Betty's- is that strange to you?
Oh well, I guess I think that a school bus is weird, no offence.

LOVIN' THE BLOG!

Rebecca said...

you should do the book where Kristy and Bart go to a dance dressed as lobsters. Thats classy.

Elizabeth said...

I adore this blog!! The BSC series started when I was in Grade 6 and I bought every book up to #13 Good-bye Stacey, Good-bye. I drew the line at #14 Hello, Mallory because as a middle-school graduate, I could not buy a book about a sixth-grader (but I kept on reading them in the bookstore and library throughout high school :).

This blog brings back soooo many memories, esp. the detailed outfit descriptions. I wrote a lot of short stories at the time, and all the characters wore "cool" BSC styles. Stacey was always my favourite character.

Anonymous said...

aww.. I miss woolworths. (the one near me had a pet section too, annalissa!)

and I totally agree about the lack of mention of the yankees... and this from a die hard Red Sox fan! (I used to work at a summer camp many years ago. It was in MA, but very close to CT and I was surrounded by Yankees fans)

Margie said...

Yeah, I haven't seen a Woolworth's since about 1991. I think I got my first grade binder there...

Also, this book? My least favorite BSC book EVER. Kristy is boring. Sports are boring. I hate Jackie Rodowsky. Therefore, this book is the worst thing ever.

Anonymous said...

Just a question... what is Woolworths in the US? And in the Uk and Aus? I'm from NZ and here Woolworths is just a supermarket... definately no pet section! Believe me i know, i spent the better part of my high school years working there. Ah memories.

Bee said...

Hey
I'm in Aus and Woolworths is just a supermarket. Yeah no pets here either although they do have their own liquor stores! Haha.
Question..if anyone cares to answer. When I was in America last year I went to a supermarket and they were selling alcohol next to the little jelly cups in the cold section....is that out of hte ordinary? Because it was to me!

Sandra said...

Hey now, don't mess with Woolworths! Original one was born in my hometown, Utica NY. That's it, hometown pride.

Ryan said...

To clarify the Woolworth's debate, WOOLWORTH'S in USA was a discount store with everything from clothes to pets (apparently).

Woolworth's in Australia was named AFTER the USA store, but is totally different. No relation.

Margie said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F.W._Woolworth_Company

TA DA!

Margie said...

Stupid text. Add a "y" to the end of that wiki link.

AJ said...

Floods. Memories. Pouring.

Just came across your blog. I too loved reading the BSC.

I wish I had kept them all, but I think I gave them away :-(

Anonymous said...

Poor Jackie. ANM must have been shunned by a good-hearted yet slightly awkward boy by this name, I think. The entire BSC is SO MEAN to him, and, as others have said, it's not like he TRIES to be a klutz. As a klutz myself, I always felt sorry for the poor kid.

Anonymous said...

Hi Tiffany,

My name is Melody Kramer and I work for National Public Radio. I'm doing a piece on Ann M. Martin's new series and the ongoing popularity of the Babysitters Club, and I'd love to talk to you -- or any BSC fans on the site -- about it.

My email is mkramer@npr.org. If anyone posting would like to contribute, I'd be happy to hear your BSC memories, and try to get some of you in a studio for interviews.

Best,
Melody

Anonymous said...

Awesome as usual. I liked this better than the old entry. As for the "jerky" thing . . . I've had fun imagining Watson speaking like William Shatner, but then again I'm weird.

Katie said...

You know, I can't recall if I liked this book or not (I almost dug through my collection to find it, but since discovering this site I've gone back to #1, so I'm not quite there yet).

I am a baseball fan though, and funny thing is, when I first read this I didn't even second guess Gabby's abilities to play. Now of course, it seems somewhat ridiculous!

I have to say I LOVED the relationship between Kristy and Bart though. Denial at its best, haha.

And yes, poor Jackie. But at least he helped bring MA and Logan together (awwww).

Marlee said...

I just followed a link and ended up here. I loved these books growing up. I think she only had about 25 by the time I stopped reading them (Gosh I must be old). How many are there now?

Maurene said...

what the what! THIS is slouch hat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slouch_hat

Claudia wore that shit??? puaha!

Erin said...

I LOVE THIS BLOG!! #20 was the very first BSC book I read. I was living in Germany (my dad was stationed there in the Air Force) and I bought the book at a school book fair. I don't remember if I liked this particularly one, but after reading it i was HOOKED. I think I ended up reading all of them and owned most of them. Sadly, I gave mine away too. I would do anything to get them back!!

Raine said...

I still always fucking see "no fair" written out at "nofe-air" in my head. I have never confessed this to anyone until now.

Anonymous said...

i love it how kristy gets all annoyed cos charlie calls her friends little...yeah cos 11 is so big.
and for someone who loves kids so much, kristy sure is mean about how badly they play softball. theyre 5.8 years old for gods sake, what does she expect.

Anonymous said...

i was wondering which of the books had claire doing the "nofe-air" fit!!

Anonymous said...

Claud spells Mallory "Mallery." Bitch can't spell my name, bitch is no longer my friend.

Actually nearly wet myself on this! Surely she could just look back to when Mal wrote her own name? Or (shock horror) abbreviate to say Mal??? I hate the "Claud is smart she just doesn't care" - no she is a fucking moron! Ah that felt better. Love your blog - best ever

linainverse5 said...

lisa
the book your thinking about is kristy + bart=
i kinda liked that book

The World of Lurlene Mcdaniel said...

omngthis book was kinda boring. Im glad most people arent fans of the kristy novels. I thought kristy sucked as the only thing she liked was babysitting and sports.

kinda like mallory with only writing and babysitting, and jessi with babysitting and ballet. dont forget the horse stories too.

the only ones i liked were claudia,stacey,abby, and mary anne because they do have other interests outside of the babysitters club. plus their books isnt so boring.

i never hated jackie. i thought jackie was adorable. plus the bsc really are jerks whenever they make fun of his klutziness.

great post by the way.