Tuesday, September 15, 2009

“I like Jake too. But that’s not the point. I’m talking about damage control”…BSC # 79: Mary Anne Breaks the Rules

Memory Reaction

This is one of those books where the title is much more exciting than the actual book. I remember being disappointed in the lack of drama. Mary Anne doesn’t really do anything bad, more like misguided. She invites Logan over (innocently) when she is baby-sitting and forgets to ask. Or something. But really, the ones where the end is obvious from the title are annoying, because everything that happens seems like anvils rather than plot points.

Revisited Reaction

Mary Anne has been sitting for the Kuhns, and notices that Jake has been acting a little unhappy. Mary Anne determines that the reason for this is that his parents got divorced and his dad moved to Texas. This is especially a problem because Mrs. Barrett is getting married, and Jake’s best friend is Buddy Barrett (so Buddy is getting a new dad and brothers, while Jake isn’t).

Mary Anne convinces Logan to drop by while she is sitting, so he can play sports with Jake and be a “male role model.” This seems to help, and everyone is happy. However, Mary Anne never got around to mentioning these visits to Mrs. Kuhn. One day, Mrs. Kuhn comes home early and sees Logan there, so she gets pissed, thinking Mary Anne is sneaking visits with her boyfriend. Logan runs home without explaining, and Mary Anne doesn’t bother saying why Logan was really coming by – because she didn’t want Mrs. Kuhn to think she was meddling – so Mrs. Kuhn stays pissed off.

Mrs. Kuhn calls Kristy to complain because that is what parents in Stoneybrook do. Mary Anne explains what happened, but the rest of the girls are all, “well, you should have asked permission for Logan to visit. Now, the BSC’s reputation will be ruined forever!” Because that is what baby-sitters in Stoneybrook do.

After a few days with everyone annoyed at Mary Anne, Mrs. Kuhn and Jake stop by her house. Mrs. Kuhn tells her that Jake explained Logan was only coming over to play ball with him. And since this made Jake so happy, Mrs. Kuhn thinks Logan should continue to come visit. And so, the book teaches a valuable lesson about how when you have a problem, you should sit around and brood for a few days until it works itself out.

High/Lowlights
  • Mallory’s brothers like to do “food checks” – yelling “food check” at the table, and making everyone open their mouth to show what they are chewing. I think the Pikes need to stop being so strict with Mallory, their one child who actually behaves, and teach their other children manners.
  • What season do the Krushers play in? This book takes place in October and Mary Anne says that their season had been over for months. But, in other books they are still playing in October.
  • Buddy and Jake get into a fight and call each other, “Cruddy Carrot” and “Fake Prune.” Those are so lame, they made me laugh.
  • Stacey and Robert get all dressed up to go to Chez Maurice (that fancy restaurant in Stoneybrook) with some other couple. But they get too grossed out at whatever dish someone ordered and end up at the pizza place. Cause all teenagers love to get dressed up and go to fancy restaurants. I think most of them would know they don’t really want any of that food and just go straight for the pizza.
  • Stacey’s outfit for the dinner: “stunning black double-breasted tuxedo-style suit with a satiny white tank underneath.”
  • Mary Anne doesn’t want to tell Mrs. Kuhn the reason she invited Logan over because she she’s afraid Mrs. Kuhn will think she’s meddling. Well, Mary Anne. If you don’t want people to think you’re meddling, maybe you should try not meddling.
  • Logan had told Jake he might go to his soccer game. But then, Mary Anne and Logan talk about it and decide he probably shouldn’t go, since Mrs. Kuhn will be there. Then when Jake gets upset Logan didn’t come, Logan is all, “You should have let me go, Mary Anne.” Yeah, what a catch.
  • The Papadakises tell Shannon that they will be calling the BSC a lot soon. The reason is that relatives that had been staying with them for a few weeks finally left, and now they really need a few nights out on their own. Gotta love those dedicated parents.
  • And of course, Mrs. Kuhn calls Kristy, again, when she finds out Mary Anne didn’t do anything wrong.
  • I’m trying not to read too much into this, because Ann Martin is usually pretty good at avoiding sexism. But, this caught my attention: Mrs. Kuhn says that Jake never was interested in sports before (even though he has been on the Krushers since it started), but since hanging out with a “great male role model like Logan,” he plays ball non-stop. I might be being too sensitive, but it sounds like she is saying it is good that Jake (a boy) is finally into sports like he should be.
  • I love how all the parents in Stoneybrook hire the BSC to take their kids trick-or-treating.
  • Mrs. Arnold loses a contact lens on Halloween and calls the BSC to take the twins trick-or-treating while she goes to the eye-doctor. Does she really have to do it that day? She has a pair of glasses, so she isn’t totally blind. What’s the rush?
  • While trick-or-treating, someone mentions running into Todd Masters. Is that just a typo? Cause I would think we would hear about it if the Masterses were in town. Especially, if the girls are talking about business being slow.
  • First we are told that Jamie Newton doesn’t want to go trick-or-treating because last year he dressed as Peter Pan and everyone thought he was Robin Hood. Then, when the Arnold twins go out as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, everyone calls them Munchkins. Did that ever actually happen to anyone? I remember people asking what I was, but not guessing the wrong thing.
  • Shannon’s sister Tiffany dresses as Tinker Bell on Halloween. Doesn’t that seem….out of character? At least based on the little we know about her?
  • Alan Gray ends up helping Vanessa Pike and Matt and Haley Braddock make a haunted house. The explanation is, Mallory told Vanessa he was an expert on disgusting. I can’t really imagine a 13-year-old guy agreeing to help a bunch of kids like that. I mean, he doesn’t even know them like the BSC does.
  • Heh. Jessi apparently runs like a “ballet dancer” (in a good way, if there is such a thing). Logan tries to imitate her, and Jessi ends up trying to convince him to take dance lessons.
  • At one meeting, Claudia tells Mrs. Kuhn she will “confer with her cohorts” then call back. She thinks it sounds professional. It is odd phrasing, especially for someone like Claudia.
  • Mary Anne outfit: “A brand new pair of rust-corduroy slacks, a blue button-down shirt, and a floral-patterned white cotton sweater.”
  • Stacey comments to Logan that he has a lot of energy, and asks where he gets it. So, Logan says, “I have rechargeable batteries,” and starts unbuttoning his shirt. Which makes Stacey blush. The whole scene seems very un-BSC.
  • Well, Mrs. Kuhn actually thinks Mary Anne was being sweet. Then she lets Logan keep coming by when Mary Anne was sitting. But they don’t explain how this will work…will it be like a sitting job where he gets paid? Or is Logan just willing to keep giving up all his free time?

13 comments:

HelenB said...

Heh. Jessi apparently runs like a “ballet dancer”

So... with her feet turned out?

BSC Snarker, aka Kristen said...

She runs toe to heel instead of heel to toe.

Anonymous said...

I agree, this book was boring. Nothing happened at all. And Logan just gets more and more annoying/weird with each book. Why is it that no one in these books acts there age? Kristy acts like a 40 year old drill sargent, Mary Anne acts like a 2 year old, Claudia SPELLS like a 2 year old, Stacey is just... yeah... Dawn has no age, unless Bitch is an age, and Logan DOES NOT act like a 13 year old boy. Mallory and Jessi are the only ones who come close to acting their age, but even they sometimes seem like they're 8.

--Nicole--

Anonymous said...

I think the Pikes need to stop being so strict with Mallory, their one child who actually behaves, and teach their other children manners.

So true! This has always annoyed me!!

nikki said...

"Logan says, “I have rechargeable batteries,” and starts unbuttoning his shirt. Which makes Stacey blush."
For some reason, I absolutely love that. Seriously....I know so many guys who'd do something like that. OK...maybe not at 13, but this is BSC-13 we're talking about.

booboobrewer said...

So much word on that Pike bullet point. They do get called out from time to time, but still, Mallory has so much patience in dealing with them...

Anonymous said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and I LOVE it. I have spent many hours at work catching up and laughing out loud. I still own about 60 of my BSC books and admit to pulling them off the shelf and reading them still. =) Thanks for the laughs, I hope you keep going!

Katie said...

When I was 4 or 5, I went trick-or-treating as Peter Pan (actually, I wore that costume every day for six months or so), and everyone thought I was Robin Hood. It was pretty upsetting to my 5-year-old self. So I believe that part of the story.

MsJess said...

I love how the entire conflict could have been solved had marry anne suggested that Logan take over babysitting for the Kuhn's.

Anonymous said...

on the cover Mary Anne so looks like a soccer mom

compulsivereader said...

This book is just as lame as I remember it being. It was one of the few I actually owned (by the time I really got into BSC books they were stopping publishing them in the UK) but I was never as inclined to read it as the other 10 I owned! It's pretty rubbish when a 9 year old thinks your plot could have been sorted out with a single conversation :P

The thing about Jessi running like a ballet dancer always confused me because I would TRY to run like that and it just didn't work!

The Kitten Temp said...

At one meeting, Claudia tells Mrs. Kuhn she will “confer with her cohorts” then call back. She thinks it sounds professional. It is odd phrasing, especially for someone like Claudia.

My bet? Those are Janine Words.

Isabel Escalante said...

I thought I hadn't read this book until I saw the bullet point about "Cruddy Carrot" and "Fake Prune". Now I know that I must have read it because I totally remember that part. I think that in the same fight, they even started saying 'is too', 'is not', and ended up with 'stew snot' or something like that. Or is that another book? Cause I'm pretty sure it was Buddy and Jake.