Wednesday, February 24, 2010

#75: Jessi's Horrible Prank

I didn't read this book as a youngin, so I wasn't colored by nostalgia during the experience. And man, it was kind of a difficult book to read. Uncomfortable. On the plus side, Jessi is a pretty enjoyable narrator here -- she's kind of goofy, getting involved in the Sixth-Grade Follies (a send-up of life at Stoneybrook Middle School created and performed by the sixth grade class) and doing impressions of Dolly Parton, Garth from Wayne's World, etc. She's got friends outside of the BSC. She's not obsessed with being the world's greatest ballerina.

On the minus side, the A plot is a doozy. The horrible prank has to do with one of their teachers, the unfortunately named Mr. Trout. This man is not cut out for teaching, to say the least. He's got no sense of how to discipline snotty pre-teens, and Jessi's classmates walk all over him. There's a scalping incident involving his toupee and a fishhook. Since you're all at the EDGES of your SEATS over this riveting plotline, I'll sum up by saying that he ends up leaving SMS and Jessi feels bad and writes him a letter and he writes back all "LOL Don't feel bad! Screw middle school, I'm going back to grad school!" and then the book ends abruptly, like maybe the ghostwriter drank one too many martinis and couldn't be bothered to come up with an ending*.

(Seriously, I don't know why Scholastic didn't contact me about these rewrites; I really get to the heart of the matter in NO TIME FLAT. I can even pull back on the swearing and netspeak if I try very hard! Like, VERY hard.)

But enough about plot. You don't come here for plot. You come here for fashion, and I need to update at least once before I go on vacation. (That's right, those of you who don't follow me on twitter or tumblr**: I'm headed to Disney World! But there's no Bahama cruise, because the boyfriend and I don't have rich stepfathers willing to shell out tons of dough for us and all of our friends.) So: fashion.

"Plus, she always puts together the coolest outfits, mostly from stuff she finds in flea markets. For example, at that meeting she was wearing '50s-style cat's-eye glasses frames***, a plastic barrette in the shape of an alligator****, a tie-dyed t-shirt, and bell-bottoms. And it looked fantastic."

As if there was a question.

Oh yeah, there's a subplot. Various sitting charges put on a show called the BSC Follies. Whatever, find the book yourself if you're that interested. I just thought some of the portrayals were worth mentioning.

"Vanessa walked out, toting a huge backpack. She had her hair pulled back and fastened by something that looked like a dog bone.

She pulled out a Milky Way bar, stuffed it in her mouth, and said 'Hi, I'm Claudia!'

'Aaaaaugh!' Claudia screamed.

. . . Next came Margot, holding a bag of carrots. 'I'm Dawn. Yummy, this is my dinner.'

. . . Vanessa/Claudia kept stuffing her face the whole way through, constantly pulling snacks out of her backpack, mumbling all her words. At one point she picked up the clock and said 'This would make a fabulous hat!'

Charlotte/Stacey sniffed disapprovingly. 'N.O.M.H. - Not On My Head!'"

God, these kids do my job better than I ever could. I should be insulted or something.

* Not that I know anything about this.

** And for the record, I am waaaay more prolific on both of those platforms than I ever will be here. Sorry, it's just the way it is. Most days, I only have 140 characters worth of funny in me. It's a sad reality.

*** Last week, B. and I were watching season three of 30 Rock when we realized the horrible yet fitting truth: Liz Lemon and I wear the EXACT SAME GLASSES. Also sometimes I wear snuggies while eating cheese by myself late at night. You can't judge me!

**** I want to go to there.


Kitty said...

Haha, Enjoy disney land!!

CaRoLiNe said...

Snuggie + cracker barrel sharp cheddar cheese cuts = pretty much my entire existence.

I was wondering if you had abandoned us over here! Like when the band leaves the stage and you sit kinda awkwardly, not knowing whether or not to gather up your stuff and start heading out. So you wait ten minutes. Then you do gather up your stuff and start to head out. Then the band does come back out, as you are weaving between all the still-sitting people, holding all your crap, and then you have to squat. Which hurts. STOP MAKING US SQUAT!!
I say that with love.

Shannon SVH said...

How awesome that Jessi and her classmates actually made a teacher quit. I can't tell you how many times I tried to do that as a kid.

Have a wonderful time at Disney World! I love it there so much.

RMb said...

your updates are nine levels of awesome and need to happen more.
but enjoy your trip to disneyland. :)

Tiff said...

OMG. This book sounds awesome, if nothing else but for the insulting BSC Follies acts. Vanessa and Margo are totally the bloggers behind BSC Revisited and the Dairi Burger. How did I not realize this.

Must. Find. This Book.

Sirinya said...

Love love your blog. Love that you're from Western Mass (I went to Smith, Ann Martin's alma mater, and YES, really, I went there because Ann did). Love that Jessi basically manages to get a teacher to quit because I tried to do that my junior year unsuccessfully.

Robyn said...

Yay! You're back! I wouldn't be that surprised if a couple of teachers have actually quit on my watch. In my 6th grade strings class, we all refused to open our instruments and basically used the period as an opportunity to feed our tamagotchis and rag on each other. All while the poor soft-spoken teacher sat at the front of the room mumbling like that stapler guy from Office Space. Something about sitting down probably. I think he cried a few times. It's all very hazy.

In 8th grade my teacher offered to throw us a pizza part if we could just get through ONE class period without making each other the art project (we liked to throw paste, paint, anything really hard to clean up). We never got that pizza party. At the end of the year, she announced she was getting married, her name would be different next year, and if any of us came back to try to find her anyways, there would be hell to pay. Also she warned us not to show up at her wedding.

Ah, public school...

nikki said...

I never read this one, but now I want to just to read about the kids' BSC follies. And usually the subplots are so much lamer.

I'm going to follow you on Twitter. But I get sad when too many weeks go by with no What Claudia Wore.

aimee said...

YAY! But KIIIIIMMM Tumblr/twitter are not the same. we don;t get book cover analysis there.

Erika said...

I think the BSC follies are a sign that the "charges" were annoyed with the sitters' self defining traits as we were! (Dawn eats carrots because she's from California. Stacey uses abbreviations because she's too sophisticated to say the whole sentence or whatever. )

Heather Taylor said...

Working on my night cheese!

Anne-Marie said...

After a totally crappy week, it made my day to see you had written a new entry... THANK YOU!! Have a great trip!

Nicole said...

Oh my god this is the only BSC book I remember. I remember the Dollies. I remember Mr. Trout. Doesn't Jessi have a sore throat and take some Fisherman's Friends and think the H's tickled? Why, after years of reading BSC, is this the only book I remember?

Diana said...

I seem to recall there being a lot of alligator shaped barrettes. Am I imagining that?

LOVE YOUR BLOG btw. It makes me feel freakishly young again. :)

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Simon said...
This post has been removed by the author.
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