Monday, May 21, 2007

But I like to win; or, BSC Mystery #2: Beware, Dawn!

So, it's a mystery! Ooh! Can I just love on this cover for a minute?



Aaaah. Again, she looks way older than 13. And she's totally afraid of an envelope. Luckily, she's got the curtains to protect her. Oh, and "Someone is out to scare Dawn!" Though, to be perfectly frank, someone is out to scare all the girls, not just Dawn.

The plot: So, there's this Sitter of the Month (which I have decided to not so conveniently shorten to S-o-M) contest at Stoneybrook Middle School. And the girls are getting competitive, but they're all, "Let's not be competitive. Remember the science fair/the Little Miss Stoneybrook Pageant/etc." Oh, and they start getting these mysterious notes and shit while they're sitting (all except for Kristy), but they're all so concerned about not losing the S-o-M contest that they don't tell each other about all the shenanigans. Blah, it's a mystery!!! And they solve it, kinda. See, Jamie Newton tells Dawn that they can't go for a walk until Mel Tucker (who tends to make fun of the Hobarts' accents...he calls them "Crocs!") stops by for a sitting check. And she "just knows" he's Mr. X. (Oh, that's whose been "signing" the notes.) And they set up a sting. And no cops or parents are ever involved, even before they know a kid is behind it all. Because it is the BSC. [I totally "solved" this one on page 5. If by solve, you mean, yell "Oh, shit! I remember! This kid gets pissed cause the girls get him in trouble or something, and he's Mr. X!"]

Here we go...


  • I am so sick of reading the following sentence: "I love to baby-sit." Really. Thanks, Captain Obvious.

  • Dawn: "And Jeff? Jeff never really adjusted. In fact, he disliked Connecticut so much (and missed his dad so badly on top of it)..." Wait, since when do Jeff and Dawn not share the same father? Slutty, slutty Sharon. (Dontcha just love the weird way the girls talk about their families in these books?)

  • No, Dawn, the potential romance between Ben Hobart and Mal is not exciting.

  • "See, the Hobarts are Australian. That's why Mel calls them 'Crocs.' You know, for Crocodile Dundee?" That really is an insult.

  • You know, it is possible to like junk food AND health food. In fact, one can have tofu stir fry for dinner followed by Doritos for desert. So, seriously, Dawn? Shut the fuck up.

  • Yes, Ben & Mal both have red hair and glasses. No, that doesn't necessarily mean that they look cute together.

  • This sounds dirty. "Do you want to come in for a snack? I'm sure Mum's laid one on." Hee.

  • Okay, crying over "those sappy telephone company commercials" doesn't always mean you're sensitive. It could just mean someone started the Pill recently and is having crazy hormone-y mood swings. Or a really nasty case of the PMS weepies. Just sayin'.

  • So, other books mention how Dawn would look good in a burlap sack. So this one tells us that "Claudia would look great even if she were dressed in a brown paper bag." Noooooooooo! Don't give her any ideas!!!!!!

  • OMG!!!! It's the one where Ben calls Mal a "bonzer sheila," hooray!!!!!!!!!!

  • Oh, isn't it cute! The Thomas-Brewer kids have a weird routine for eating crackers. Woo.

  • Okay, a sitter of the month contest? Really? Why?????? One, why would a bunch of kids who all adore the BSCers want them to compete? And who would approve this? What would it really accomplish? Okay, I'll shut up now. Repeat after me: "They're not real. They're silly books full of fictional characters and situations. And if you're wondering how they eat and breathe and other science facts, just repeat to yourself it's just a show, I should really just relax...[sung] for Mystery Science Theatre 3000."

  • To be the perfect sitter, Dawn adds some characters to the retarded game "Let's All Come In." Bruce Stringbean, Darryl Blueberry and Ladonna. Lame.

  • Yes!!!! (Wow, I'm really into multiple exclamation points and question marks today.) Sabrina Bouvier!!! Pageant-head!!!

  • What kind of baby-sitter tells a four-year-old to answer the phone?

  • Which letter do you think is better? "Dear Jeff,...How are you? How's good old California? I miss you." Or, "Dearest Little Bro,...What's up? What's fresh? Everything's cool back here in Stoneybrook. What's happening out there in sunny Cal?" Dude, the second one sounds like a high school principal trying to be hip. And failing. Miserably.

  • Dawn's first communiqué from Mr. X: "You'd better watch out, you'd better not shout! I'm going to get you." Dude, I'm nearin' 30, and I'd still call my mom freaking out if I got something like that. Yet Dawn doesn't tell ANYONE. Dumbass.

  • La la, let's make fun of Jackie Rodowsky again.

  • Dude, even Shea Rodowsky thinks that the notes probably deserve police attention. What is wrong with these bitches?

  • Dawn also thinks that Alan Gray is behind it all. Cause he has nothing better to do with his time than fuck with them.

  • Ah, "camping" in the living room in a sleeping bag. I still do that, only it's PoBal's floor, and I'm usually a little tipsy.

  • Becca convinces Jessy to let her watch, get this, "Snake Boy Loose in San Francisco." Best faux-Troma name ever.

  • "Somebody" leaves Jessi a bouquet of flowers with the head cut off. Still, let's not tell our friends or parents. No, it's just a little creepy. Naw, couldn't be anything dangerous.

  • Oh, no! "Someone" threatens the Pikes' hamster. [At this point, you gotta know it's a kid.]

  • Okay, if you think Mr. X is in the secret passage, which, technically is in your house? Yeah, call the fucking cops.

  • Oh, yeah. Mal's wicked embarrassed cause she called her teacher "Mom." And they all start comparing embarrassing stories that aren't actually embarrassing AT ALL.

  • For a little while, Dawn suspects that Kristy is Mr. X. Cause she's A MAN!!!!! Or cause she doesn't get bothered.

  • Another fake movie star. Rik Devine. Yep.

  • No, Dawn, "The Capture of Mr. X" wouldn't make a great movie. It's a buncha baby-sitters springing a trap on a little kid.

  • "A psychiatrist is like a doctor for your feelings." Excellent use of euphemism, Kristy. And yes, this kid needs a shrink.

  • A seven-way tie between all the BSCers? Again, highly suspect. Maybe all the kids might decide that they all win, but there's no fucking way there is a draw between seven candidates. Fucking lame ending.



So, someone requested that I tell y'all what I'll be reading next week. I'll try. I don't always know this far in advance what the next book will be, but if I do, I'll try to remember to tell you. So...

Next week: Kristy for President (tentative).

52 comments:

Anita said...

The only thing I really remember from the Mystery Series is that the first five or so books were dark blue, and then the books started to be different colors.

Topic? Dawn seems to wear that same blouse every other book cover.

Anonymous said...

Dawn <3's that blue button-down blouse.

These are the seriously the best re-caps since Danny Drennan's 90210 re-caps back in the early 00's. I love them!

I'm looking forward to Kristy for President (although I kind of prefer for the books to be a surprise).

Bec said...

"Do you want to come in for a snack? I'm sure Mum's laid one on."

HAHAHAHA. I love accidental sexual connotations.

And Crocs makes me think of those stupid plastic shoes that are apparently 'in' at the moment in Australia. Do you guys have them?

Sal said...

That is quite a cliche ending. But a LAME ending?
At the end of #22 Mallory and the Twins...

"Then we headed for our homes."

The End.

Pffft.

Juliet said...

I can't believe I forgot about "Let's All Come In" until just now....oh wow what a stupid game!!!!

lisa said...

Oh Bec, I fucking hate those shoes. It's always the same sort of people wearing them too. The people who shop regularly at the Reject Shop and stand in your way at the Supermarket ignoring their feral kids.

And calling Australians "Crocs" makes no sense anyway Mal, you dipshit.

I vaguely remember this book. I never read many mysteries. That's probably a good thing...

LOL my word verification is "weage" today.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Ben supposedly pronounce Mallory's name as "Mel-ry"? And the kid who teases the Hobarts' name is Mel? Hmm...

I hate HATE how the girls never go to their parents when they receive threatening notes. Practically every time it happens in a mystery, they Never. Tell. I get so sick of it.

"Snake Boy Loose in San Francisco," that's hilarious.

Anonymous said...

"Oh Bec, I fucking hate those shoes. It's always the same sort of people wearing them too. The people who shop regularly at the Reject Shop and stand in your way at the Supermarket ignoring their feral kids."

Gee, thanks! Nice to know because I wear a certain type of shoe I must be a horrible person. Good to know.

Anonymous said...

I was waiting for you to do a mystery :)

Can you tag them as mysteries as well as the sitters?

lisa said...

Gee, thanks! Nice to know because I wear a certain type of shoe I must be a horrible person. Good to know.

I didn't think there was any way possible my statement would be taken seriously. I guess I underestimated the internet again. Serious business that it is.

It was obviously a gross generalisation/joke/exaggeration/take-your-pick-whatever.
But woe. Maybe I failed?

Emma-sensei said...

oversensitive much?

"feral kids" for the win!

Emily said...

(Just to add on to the Croc conversation - they may be ugly, but they are daaaaaaaaamn comfortable. And mine were free, so that makes them better.)

Anyway, thanks for the mystery. Reminds me of the early Harry Potter books, if Harry Potter was an adolescent babysitter.

Lauren said...

I'm new to your blog and have been loving every minute of it! I used to LOVE the BSC when I was a kid. I still have all my old books...somewhere. Never read this one but then again I was never a big fan of Dawn. She was always like my least favorite.

Lyndsay said...

If you are wearing the crocs AND you have the feral children, then yes, you are indeed a horrible person. Don't let anyone tell you anthing else.

stephanie said...

MST3K and BSC? All together? Yessss......

I didn't read any of the mysteries, but that doesn't even matter because this is my favorite blog ever.

Anonymous said...

Sleepover Friends forever!

Anonymous said...

Now, I really just can't believe that there was not one mention of outfits besides the paper sack thing. Are you slippin', Tiff? :)

Annie said...

Ridiculous as the "Sitter of the Month" contest is to begin with, "of the month" implies that there were, or would be, more competitions...like Student of the Month or something. So why get all hysterical if you know you have another shot at it again next month?

Oh, right...'cause this lame plot was never again revived.

jo whittemore said...

Yay! Thanks for the head's up for next week!

Anonymous said...

So wait...who was mr. x?

Anonymous said...

^

Mel Tucker the demon spawn.

Anonymous said...

Please, Please, Please do the super special were they put on the Peter Pan play. There is a chapter from Cokie Mason's point of view.
Also, does anyone remember the portrait series of the BSC? That was where all of the 13 year olds had to write their autobiographies. Those were classic.

Anonymous said...

The MST3K lyrics were the cherry on top, no doubt.

Peaches said...

I loved the BSC from like 4th-8th grade. My friends and I would always wait each month for the newest book to come out. I had the mystery game, the dolls, the bookmarks, I even had the bracelet that came with the 100th book. Anyways, Tiff, you have got to do the super special where the club goes to Hawaii, well everyone but POOR MALLORY!
Does anyone remember a book where some guy had a tattoo on his earlobe and Claudia tries to duplicate it with food coloring?

Anonymous said...

Peaches, that was Stacey and The Mystery Money. (I can't remember where I park my car, but I remember this, lol)

veronica said...

Check out the size of that envelope on the cover. It's bigger than Dawn's head, seriously.

I remember this book freaking the shit out of me when I was a kid. And, yes, I'll admit that I was totally surprised by a)Mel Tucker being Mr. X and b)the 7-way tie for the Sitter of the Month contest. (Though in my defense, I was like seven when I first read it.) And I totally thought their plan to capture Mel was, like, the greatest idea ever.

The things you believe when you're a kid, eh?

Anyway, even though I read this book a bunch of times, the only other thing I can remember that wasn't mentioned in your blog (unless I missed it) was when someone finds baked beans spread out on the porch. To quote the BSC, "Ew."

bel said...

When I first looked at that picture of the cover, I thought it said "Someone is out to score Dawn!"

Rebecita said...

Sleepover Friends forever!

hee, random sleepover friends love!

such the bsc ripoff, but oh the awesomeness. GASP - middle school girls whose idea of a good time is playing truth and dare instead of solving problems for bratty kids?? And forget claudia - the outfits in that book! remember how stephanie would only wear red, white and black???

Emily said...

My roommate has a bunch of the portrait series.... I remember them being kinda lame, but endearing. Of course, I was 10.

Sarah said...

Loved the recap...was this also the book where Mr. X leaves a decapitated doll on the porch for one of the sitters to find?

Or was that another mystery involving a deranged character that the girls find all by themselves?

Anonymous said...

Claudia has apparently read Dickens. Okay, I thought she was meant to have learning difficulties or something? If she reads Nancy Drew, excuse me, but she doesn't read 'Olive Twist'- Claudia and the Genius of Elm street. Also, what fucking problem does AMM have with making up names? SMS is situated on Elm street- I highly doubt there's a row of houses next to the school or something.

stephanie said...

Someone mentioned Sleepover Friends? Hells yeah. I loved them even though the Sleepover Friends were the poor man's BSC.

Anonymous said...

10:17am: I don't see why there can't be houses on the same street as a middle school....there have been areas like that nearly everywhere I've ever lived/visited along the east coast and Gulf. Is that weird?

Also, not to base real life, or the BSC, for that matter, on another highly fictionalized children's book, but doesn't the title character in 'Lyddie' teach herself to read using Oliver Twist? (Who knew that book would leave such an impression on me?)

Anonymous said...

I was just about to suggest that you do Stacy's autobiography from the Portrait Collection because there were not one, not two, but four lame Stacy being a brat plots to mock.

I love this blog.

Anonymous said...

I loved Sleepover Friends, I wish there were a forum about it somewhere.

Mahnaz said...

Also, wasn't this basically the same plot as "The Ghost at Dawn's House"? Except instead of Mel, it was Nicky Pike who needed some space. Oh boy...

And yeah, to put it lightly, Mel has issues. Why was it never the girls' regular sitting charges who had issues/serious hang ups? It's always someone who comes on for a book or so (Mel, that racist family in "Keep Out, Claudia").

So, now that it's established that the "seven day tie" (PLEASE) was crap...who do we think *really* won? I'm gonna throw out a guess that it wasn't Kristy (too bossy). And also not Mal (just because.)

mo pie said...

That's a good question. Who would be the favorite babysitter? Probably Claudia, if you like art projects. Maybe Stacey, who always seemed fun. Not Dawn, that bitch.

Anonymous said...

mine would have to be stacey... or maybe mary anne... or abby in the later books? OR shannon or logan

haha basically anyone except
MALLORY (too lame)
KRISTY (too bossy)
CLAUDIA (too stupid)
those were my least favorites

Anonymous said...

This blog is hilarious! I found the link in someone's LJ and have just quickly scanned over all the old entries. Ahh, the memories. I used to want to be Claudia so much when I was about 9.

Anonymous said...

Actually, Dawn was always my fave growing up. *hides*

Mahnaz said...

Actually, I liked Dawn a lot, too. She could get pretty bitchy, though, at times. Especially whenever she and Mary Anne fought. There were definitely moments. Of course, as has been pointed out on this very blog, Mary Anne was a lot more fun when she was in bitch-mode. (Here Comes the Bridesmaids was so awesome for that.)

I just read (for the first time, actually) Kristy in Charge. It's the book where all the kids call Mallory spaz-girl. And ANM rags on gym teachers in general.

Anonymous said...

eww, i hated dawn. she was so stuck-up just bc she was a vegetarian and from california. and she was awful to mary anne half the time. dawn and karen were definitely my least favorite characters.

notebookinhand said...

plastic shoes being in in Australia? ... ... I've never seen them. I'll keep an eye out.
and Crocs... well, that *is* what we tend to call crocodiles... but it was that whole passage that was offensive 'for crocodile dundee' erm no, he didn't invent the term 'crocs'.

Katie said...

Anonymous is correct about *Lyddie*. It's a pretty realistic story about the Lowell mills in the early 19th century, by Katherine Patterson.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, looking back on it, the way they never sought adult help made no sense at all, but I think that was actually one of the things I really liked about the series as a little kid. It was like this fantasy world in which 13-year-olds could solve every conceivable problem on their own, which I think must have been pretty cool to the 9-year-old that I was.

Love this blog btw...keep up the good work!

notebookinhand said...

ooo! So it *was* that Lyddie I was thinking it was! :D That's great. I did a book report on that in like year 8.

Anonymous said...

OMG you are so right about the Crocodile Dundee comment in there... I can't say i'm surprised at their lack of Australian cultural references, when they have gaps everywhere else in their education/logic. I don't know, though... Is everyone in america unaware of anything australian apart from Steve Irwin or Croc Dundee...Or Kath and Kim for that matter...

Alice said...

I had completely forgotten that Mal and Ben Hobart go out. Maybe that's because I really (really) don't care about Mallory.

John said...

Dawn was always my favorite when I was little and the mysteries were my favorites of the books. I remember loving this one, especially, but I re-read it recently and it just seemed so... bare-boned. There was *nothing* to this book. It was supposed to be creepy, and I guess when you're 10 it is. I found this book in particular to be lazy.

Mehreen said...

I remember Mr. X, but I can't remember why Mel does it. Poor Alan Gray always gets blamed for everything, and all he ever did was have a crush on Kristy in Claudia & The Phantom Phone Calls!

Anonymous said...

crocs (the shoes) are incredibly ugly.

i must not be a true australian like the hobarts because i have to ask..what is a bonzer sheila?

Siff said...

Late to add, but I just re-read this book (I have most of them if you're visiting Seattle and need a snark fix, Tiff). I have to mention...once my city's paper did a "year's best" of Kirkland, WA and my brother and I were two of the SEVEN tied for best babysitter. Life imitates art!