Monday, September 21, 2009

BSC #122: Kristy in Charge,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA240_SH20_OU01_.jpg

I know, I know what you're all thinking. Too many rich/preppy themed recaps. Where have your BSC recaps gone, Sadako? A nation of addled, twenty somethings turn their lonely eyes to you! On to what we know and love--the BSC! In honor of school being in, I present a very SMS themed BSC book.

The kids at SMS are doing a week long project where some of the students will get the opportunity to take over a teacher's class and teach it for them. It's part of the TOT--Teachers of Tomorrow--Program. Cool, can the next book be BSC #123: Mary Anne and the PTA Disbanding in a Bloody Coup? Kristy gets to be a gym teacher along with Cary Reitlin, Kristy's arch nemesis. The two of them of course clash because Kristy's a Type A personality wrapped in a Japanese POW camp director wrapped in an Adderall laced Twinkie...and Cary Reitlin's a loose cannon with a heart of gold (you can tell because he's wearing a tie dyed shirt). The two kids end up working together and using teamwork. But there's no obligatory make out scene where it's revealed that it's sexual tension making them act up because A, they're thirteen and B, Kristy's still got her heart set on playing Gertrude Stein to Abby's Alice B. Toklas.

There's also a subplot where Mallory has to teach an 8th grade English class and ends up becoming SMS's loser du jour.
  • The gym teacher that Kristy is "replacing" is Ms. Walden. Everything about her--from the "Ms." to her habit of calling students by their surnames--is designed to be vintage butch dyke gym teacher. Let's introduce the reader to Ms. Walden, shall we? "'Thomas,' a voice barked from behind me." Ah. Frau Walden. Welcome. Ms. Walden goes on to give Kristy some tips. "'...don't expect much from these girls. This group isn't especially athletic...Some of them will try to fool you. They'll say they feel sick...Don't believe them. It's just a con job.'" Con job? Oh, Ms. Walden, my uterus would love to go a round with you the third week of every month. To be fair, it's probably been eons since you had enough body fat to expel so much as half an ounce of menstrual blood, so I can't blame you for assuming that we're all lying.
  • Ms. Walden tells Kristy to make sure the kids are wearing the proper gym uniform, how to line up, what exercises to have them do, and also to stand outside the locker room and feel the girls' hair to make sure it's wet and that they really did shower after class. Then Ms. Walden's got to go, because she needs to write Castor Semenya a letter complaining about the patriarchal powers that be, and if Castor's ever in Stoneybrook, she'd love to show her around all the hot night spots...
  • On her first day as a PE teacher, Kristy wears a lanyard with a whistle, plaid pleated shorts, and white sneakers that she polished with white shoe polish. Well, even if you flunk out of TOT, I've got good news. You're just been accepted to that pre-pre women's studies college program at Smith. ("But...I didn't even apply!")
  • Mallory tells Kristy that Ms. Walden wasn't so bad when Kristy complains about her. Back when Mallory had issues with gym (Mallory Hates Boys...and Gym), Ms. Walden was a bitch to her at first but then was more understanding when Mal got good at archery and encouraged her to try out for the SMS archery team. (Oh, alienate the loser until you realize you can use them for something--I see Ms. Walden subscribes to the Santa from Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer school of thought.)
  • Kristy introduces us to all the BSC members by telling us which subject each member would best teach. Like Stacey=math, Claud=art. Apparently MA would be a great guidance counselor. To which I say, start smoking more pot and learning more Alice Cooper songs to connect with the kids. (Sorry, all my guidance counselor exposure comes from McKinley High's Mr. Rosso. I can't help it--the "counseling" at my high school pretty much consisted of "Mau! Didi Mau!" when we didn't want to take the extra chemistry class and roasting our nuts over an open fire if the Ivy League letter came back "wait listed.")
  • Kristy wears umbros during one of her classes. For warm up exercises, she tells the kids to do high kicks, but she can't really demonstrate because the Umbros tend to reveal your underwear. (Yes, seriously.) Kristy tells them to kick their legs higher and when the students point out that she's not kicking high, she yells at them and then starts to have some sympathy for the she-devil that is Frau Walden. You know, I always thought gym teachers would be a lot less cranky if they had better fitting undergarments. Also, surgical interventions--you know, for the sticks lodged up lots of rectums.
  • Also. I submit for your approval, Umbros.

Why, gym teachers of the world, why? The better to show us your unshorn, Jheri-curlable leg hair?
  • Their second day, Cary and Kristy coach a soccer game together. Eventually they start arguing and then a physical fight breaks out among the players which gets Kristy and Cary to the principal's office. (And the European preteens reading this book roll their eyes because this barely constitutes a soccer riot, as there was no scrotum ripping and no one took a melon baller to the eyes.) In addition to this, Kristy didn't even hand in a lesson plan her first day. Gasp. Okay, let's count down how much time it takes before Frau Walden snaps and Kristy's bloody Umbro's are found stuffed in a gym locker in a "workplace related act of violence" a la Annie Le?
  • The kids in the the class Mal teaches make fun of her at first, but then they realize how smart she is and some of them begin to have a real appreciation for literature and the arts. No, psych, I was just playin' wit y'all. The kids revile Mallory as the loser she is. They leap on their desks on her last day of TOT, screaming, "Oh, Spaz Girl, my Spaz Girl!" And the awkward looking girls reading BSC books who love writing, wear glasses, and also longed for nose jobs all realized the ugly truth--that life sucks if you're not a Stacey or a Claudia.
  • Actually, it was stuff like "Spaz Girl" and Mal's transformation from ugly duckling to deformed swan who's been exposed to nuclear fallout in California Girls! that made me decide to switch my allegiance from the bespectacled outsider that was Mallory to the bespectacled outsider that was Daria. Hey. She had misanthropy, better hair and a nose so tiny and barely there that it probably made Michael and LaToya weep with envy.

  • Predictably, Kristy learns that teaching gym (much like being a carrot) isn't as easy as it looks, and starts to turn into Walden Lite. And I think we're supposed to feel a little bad for Frau Walden. Sorry, ain't gonna happen. There's a little girl deep inside me with some dark memories who hasn't stopped screaming ("Mrs. Pommelhorse...I'd like to come down now!") and reading this book just made me want to curl up in a fetal position until my horrible gym memories go away. Pass the Repressitol, please.
  • MA and Stacey are also part of TOT, but since they couldn't cram in another "Stacey starts creaming herself over an older man who did his dissertation on the complete works of Nabakov and is pissing himself in fear to get away from her" plotline or a "Mary Anne is shy but eventually learns to assert herself" plot, we don't learn much about what happens to them. And of course, Kristy and Cary decide to work together by the end. They have some kind of soccer game where players have to cooperatively pass the ball to each other (teamwork, man), and it's basically the gayest thing since Kanye spent his spring break at Sea World. And, I reiterate, Mal was full of fail. She eventually ends up dropping out of SMS over this and going to boarding school. This post dedicated to Spaz Girl, with Love.
FTR, it's a certain blogger's birthday this Wednesday. In honor of the occasion, I might decide to return to my BSC roots and recap another one of the books that I have lying around my apartment. What do you guys think?