Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Baby-sitters Little Sister #8 Karen's Haircut

Okay, so I know that the general consensus is that Karen is annoying, and she is, but I think she was a little less annoying in the Little Sister books, possibly because she's not just running around and shrieking. Instead, we actually get to hear her thoughts and stuff. Oh, who am I kidding? She still sucks.

I didn't have many Little Sister books growing up, because I thought they were for babies. Also, they didn't have the awesome descriptions of Claudia's outfits, which were my very favorite parts of BSC books. However, I did really like this one, mostly because it makes me laugh so hard, especially when Karen starts dressing like a hooker. You have to admit that's the best. Although the one where she needs glasses and pours milk on the counter instead of in a glass is pretty sweet too.

So the book starts off with Karen and Nancy playing Lovely Ladies. Karen then catches a glimpse of herself in the mirror and realizes what we all already knew, she's totes hids. She's all bummed because she has huge uggo glasses and her two front teeth had come in before she lost the others so she looks like a beaver. Karen is all sad and we go into the dreaded BSC Chapter 2 (Chapter 2 usually has all the boring ass background stuff. I can't remember the last time I read a BSC Chapter 2.).

Karen's Chapter 2 basically describes her family and the whole two-two thing. I hated the two-two thing, because isn't she more of a one-one? You know, she has one thing at one house and one thing at the other? Whatever. Karen gets ready to go to the big house. No, not that one, Watson's house. I know, damn.

It takes a whole chapter just to say that Karen arrives at the big house, eats dinner, and then makes plans to play with Hannie tomorrow. I just said that in a damn sentence!

The next day Karen wakes up and her tooth on the side of her huge ass buck teeth is really loose. Sam tells her he can get it out for her by tying it to a doorknob and shutting the door, but Karen pusses out. I think Sam should've gone all Tom Sawyer on her and tied a string around her tooth, held the string, and made her jump back from a burning stick. Except set her on fire. Sadly, Karen just tells Watson about it and he takes a tissue and pulls her tooth out. Gross. I always hated losing teeth because of the way the space felt when you touched it for the first few days. Yucky. Anyway, Karen goes over to Hannie's and she and a bunch of other kids start playing tag. Karen loves being It, because she's an attention whore. Karen reaches out to tag someone, falls, and knocks her other loose tooth out. She feels even uglier, but is excited by the prospect of leaving the Tooth Fairy two teeth. Greedy bitch.

Hannie is getting married! Oh, wait, this is Stoneybrook, not a third world country. In my class we just said people were "going out." Hannie's dumb. She's acting like this is all real and shit, and planning her wedding day. I hope she's prepared for the wedding night. Ugh, I just grossed myself out. Anyway, Karen is supposed to be her maid of honor, but Karen feels fug, and rightfully so. Hannie suggests she get a haircut and a manicure, because maybe that will make her feel better. I have to say, Hannie's on to something there. I always feel sexy after a haircut and manicure. Karen gets all excited about this, but when is she not excited about something? Karen needs Ritalin, stat.

Karen goes home and asks Watson about the haircut, manicure, and pedicure. He agrees to the haircut and manicure, but says no to the pedicure. He even says that he'll pay for it as long as Karen's mom takes her, and says he'll call her to discuss it later.

The next day Karen wakes up to find that the Tooth Fairy left her a blue barrette for losing two teeth in one day. Then we skip a few days and Hannie keeps asking Karen if she'll look pretty for her (Hannie's) wedding. Christ, Hannie, don't you know anything? If the bridesmaids look like shit, you look better! Dumbass.

Finally haircut day has arrived! Karen's mom, with Andrew in tow, picks Karen up from school to take her to Gloriana's House of Hair. Wow. Karen gets her nails painted in bright pink, and then gets her hair washed in preparation for her cut. Gloriana herself is going to cut Karen's hair. Karen shows her a picture, which is just shoulder-length hair with bangs. Simple enough. Gloriana, who is described as having hair that is part short, part long, part dark, and part light, looks at the picture and starts cutting away. I wouldn't let someone with the disaster of a hairstyle come near my hair, but Karen thinks that with a name like Gloriana, everything will be beautiful.

Andrew starts getting restless, and I say to beat him, but Karen's mom says she's just going to take him for a little walk and be right back. In the mean time, Gloriana is still chopping away at Karen's hair. She finishes, and Karen ends up having a sort of punkish mullet. A pullet? Karen's mom comes back and is shocked, and asks Karen if that was what she asked for. Karens says no and starts to cry, and I'm with her on that one. Gloriana says that this is the most popular hairstyle, and that Karen is very stylish now. I'd refuse to pay for the pullet, since it wasn't what I asked for (and she even had a damn picture to look at) and I hated it, but Karen's mom just pays and takes a sobbing Karen home. This could have been prevented if Andrew wasn't such a cockblock.

Karen is scared about the next day at school, especially because of what Ricky Torres will say. She walks in the next day and Ricky calls her the Bride of Frankenstein. Nice, Ricky. Hannie takes one look at her and tells her she can't be in her wedding while she's looking like that. No, seriously, I copied that sentence from the book and just changed the verb tense. Hannie's about the worst bff ever! Nancy at least tries to compliment Karen. Nancy FTW!

Karen feels even worse about herself, especially when some fifth grade girls pass her in the hall and start pointing and laughing. The fuck? You don't make fun of second graders! Oh, wait, I am. Well, in real life, you don't make fun of second graders for how they look. Although I can recall some pretty hilarious ensembles I put together in second grade, not to mention rocking the side ponytail. Even worse, I have naturally curly hair, so it was like a big frizzy tangly fro on the side of my head. Oh, and I wanted bangs, even though my mom told me that I couldn't have them because I have curly hair, and my dad, who is a barber, cut them for me right before my First Communion (my mom was soooooo pissed), so I had a mini fro on my forehead. I still thought I was hot shit, though.

Anyway, Karen goes home and cries and plays with her dirty rat. She then gets a great (to her) idea. She is going to change her name to something pretty, so that she'll be pretty. I don't think it works that way, but Karen tells everyone at dinner that her new name is Tiffanie Titania Brewer. No one remembers to call her by that fug name, so she tries something else. She paints over her pink nail polish with gold glitter polish. Hot! She then calls Hannie and tells her how sexy her nails are and her new name, and asks if she can be in her wedding again. Hannie asks if her hair and teeth are still the same, Karen says yes, and Hannie says that there's no way Karen can be in her wedding because she only wants a perfect bridesmaid. Does Hannie's mom not know about this, because you'd think if she did she'd teach Hannie about accepting others. Maybe Jessi can come by and teach her about it. Jessi's black. I know, I totally didn't realize it either!

Karen feels awful because of Hannie, and then gets angry and starts plotting ways to make herself more glamorous. So the next day she puts on 5 bracelets, 8 rings, 5 necklaces, and an anklet. She gets to school and tells everyone about her new name. Ricky calls her Bride of Frankenstein again, and she replies that his glasses make him look like an owl. Pwned (sorry, my bf plays WoW)! Everyone starts making fun of Ricky instead and hooting at him. These kids are cruel. All the girls ask Karen to sit with them at lunch and play with them at recess and shit, but all forget to call her Tiffanie. Ricky tells her she looks pretty, and calls her Taffy. Hannie doesn't say anything to her, because she's giving her the fugly silent treatment. C U Next Tuesday, Hannie!

Karen goes over to Nancy's after school and gets pissed because Nancy can't remember to call her Tiffanie. Nancy then shows her a new dress she just got and says she's wearing it to her her cousin's bar mitzvah and then to Hannie's wedding. Karen's all like, token Jew say what? She didn't even know that Hannie had set the date for the wedding, and now was sure that she didn't have an invitation. I'm sure there's no velvet rope, Karen. You can just go. Nancy still doesn't remember to call her Tiffanie.

At home, Karen thinks that the reason no one can remember Tiffanie is because she needs a new name that sounds like Karen. How about...Karen? Nope, she decides on Krystal. I'm sorry for offending anyone named Krystal or any other spelling variation when I say this, but every single Krystal or variation I have ever met has been incredibly stupid. I don't know what it is, I know like 4 and they're all dumb. Someone prove me wrong!

Seth remembers to call Karen Krystal, but no one else does. Nancy calls Karen and she tells her about her new dumb name. Nancy asks her why she's not going to Hannie's wedding, and Karen tells her she's not invited because Hannie doesn't think she looks good enough. Nancy thinks this is incredibly unfair, and Karen asks if she's still going, and Nancy says yes because Hannie didn't do anything to her and she's not going to pick a side. I think you just did, Nancy. Oh yeah, and Nancy calls Karen Kristy, hee.

Here's where it starts to get good! Karen arrives at school the next day as Krystal Karlotta Brewer, which is absolutely heinous, and again over-accessorizes. But she has a surprise, a tube of red lipstick that her mom was going to throw away. Karen "smears it all over her mouth" and everyone is shocked by how glamorous and grown up she looks. Or maybe they're reminded of The Joker. Hannie says she still can't be in the wedding. After a few weeks, she adds 6 hair ribbons to her outfit (because just one didn't look right with her pullet) and tons of blush to her face. She also changes her name to Gazelle, Desiree, and Chantal. Where the hell is she getting these, America's Next Top Model? No one but Ricky can remember her new names.

Karen realizes while looking in the mirror that her hair still doesn't look good, but is growing out and getting better. Be thankful Gloriana didn't give you the Britney, Karen. Her new teeth are also coming in, and making her front teeth not look so large and in charge. At school, the same fifth graders who laughed at her before now smile at her. Karen is elated, thinking that she's hot shit because some big kids smiled at her. Nancy is excited about the smiles, too, but Hannie doesn't believe her. What crawled up Hannie's butt in this book, seriously?

Karen goes to Watson's for the weekend, and the first night is uneventful. Saturday morning, she tries to teach Emily Michelle and Andrew how to play tag outside, and sees Hannie take her bike out in her driveway across the street. Dumb bitch falls off her bike and starts screaming for Karen to help. Oh, so she's too ugly to come to your wedding, but not too ugly to help you, huh, Hannie? Karen doesn't point and laugh and give Hannie the finger, but instead runs over, helps her up, and takes her inside. Hannie is crying because her mouth is bledding, and she spits out two teeth into her hand. Hannie's mom is all like, buck up, little camper, they were baby teeth, but Hannie is crying because now she thinks Scott Hsu won't want to marry her because she's ugly. What is with these kids and thinking missing teeth are ugly? Aside from the gross feeling from the space, I didn't care at all. Plus they're in second grade, everyone is missing teeth. Oh, and serves Hannie right.

Karen heads back to her house with the realization that Hannie didn't thank her for helping her or say sorry for being a huge asshole. Andrew told Watson about the accident, and Watson tells Karen to go see how Hannie's doing after lunch. Karen arrives at Hannie's door the same time Scott Hsu does, and Linny lets them in.

They go up to Hannie's room and Scott says Andrew told him about her accident. Andrew really gets the word around. Hannie tells Scott that now she's ugly and he's not going to want to marry her. Scott tells her he's marrying her, not her face, and that he'll see her tomorrow for the nuptials. Scott really wants to get some. He leaves, and Hannie is left with Karen.

Karen tells Hannie that Watson made her come over, and that Hannie's been really mean and she didn't want to see her.. Hannie apologizes, and says that her nearly fatal accident made her realize how it felt to be ugly. Hopefully they'll be able to afford plastic surgery for skin grafts and...what's that? She just lost some teeth? Not even a scraped knee? Way to be a drama queen, Hannie. Hannie admits she was unfair and a complete ho, and invites Karen to be part of the wedding again.

Wedding day! Karen puts on her most fabulous dress and party shoes, and heads on over. Hannie picked dandelions, and puts them in Karen's and her hair. Super hot. Hannie is dressed in high heeled shoes and her mom's wedding gown. Who lets their 7 year old play in their wedding dress outside? I sure as hell wouldn't, if I had a 7 year old and a wedding dress. Hannie walks down the aisle to her favorite song, Take Me Out To The Ballgame (I'm not making this up), and David Michael marries them. Hannie and Scott both say hell no to the kiss and run away, of course.

The next day at school, Karen leaves her entire inventory of Claire's and her makeup at home, and decides to just be herself. When she gets to school, she sees those damn fifth graders again, and they have newly cut pullets. Everyone is completely in awe of the fact that big girls copied Karen. Don't flatter yourself, they probably went to get a shoulder length cut with bangs and ended up with that. They talk about Hannie's wedding, and Natalie Springer asks if Hannie is really married. Hannie says it's just pretend. Thanks for clearing that up, Hannie. Ricky takes Karen aside and proposes to her. She almost says no, which would've been kind of funny, but then she remembers that he was the only one who called her by her new names, and says yes. Ricky is stoked, and calls her by her last new Top Model name, and she tells him that it's just Karen now. About time!

What really bugs me about the Little Sister books is that the kids never use contractions. Like they always says "is not" and "would not" and stuff. It annoys the hell out of me. Are we supposed to think that second graders are so dumb they don't even know contractions? I find this hard to believe.

Sam preparing to make Karen's tooth fly through the air. He looks to be about 9 or so.

Ricky making fun of the pullet, and rightfully so.

Eat your heart out, Tyra.

Karen looks like a hot mess!

No way in hell I would let that woman go anywhere near me, with or without scissors.

Have you guys ever noticed that the artist for the internal pictures makes really detailed and lifelike faces and then kind of half asses the rest of the drawing, or will make Karen really detailed and then scribble a bunch next to her, slap some pigtails on, and call it Hannie? They're so bad!


michelle said...

Ugghhhh...I never read the little sister's books. I didn't even know they were around until my girlfriend asked me, "Hey, did you ever used to read the Little Sister books?"

Soooo many problems with this book it seems. My pet peeve is that what little kids continue a game (the wedding game) for weeks at a time? From what I remember from my childhood, games changed from day to day and became boring after a few times. Maybe that's just me.

shelby said...

i was totally a little sister reader. i was even a member of the fan club!! the intricacies of this plot don't really stand out to me, but, holy shit, those pictures bring back memories!!

love the blog.

kamala said...

Ugh, I HATED the Little Sister books; even when I actually WAS 7, I found them ridiculous. And word, Karen and co's aversion to contractions is annoying.

And no 7 year old girl enjoys the company of her 3 year old brother.

Colette said...

Even though I knew the Karen books were for babies my BSC obsessed self still wanted to read them. I never bought any because I was too busy working on my 'real' collection but I used to force my little sister to buy them but I wasn't very successful and she only had a handful and I took a few out from the library too. I actually really enjoy them.

Anyway Karen's Haircut, I swear this gives me nightmares, if someone did something as awful as that to my hair I would not be responsible for my actions. Hannie's a bit bad ass in this one but I think she's probably just learnt that from Karen. Seriously though I think your best friend telling you you're ugly (even at 7) is something that would stay with you for a very, very long time. Like in 20 years Karen is going to steal Hannie's husband and when a distraught Hannie asks why Karen will say 'YOU CALLED ME UGLY'. Total justifiable IMO.

Bloody hell these kids are mean! They're all dissing each other's looks but I get in those The Kids in Ms. Coleman's Class books they're all as nice as pie.

I love that Karen is so bloody deluded, she reminds me of my little cousin Katie (trust me, if you met her your first thought would be KAREN).

And so we have the illustrations... Ricky Torres, seriously Karen SERIOUSLY, you marry that?! Was it the 2nd grade equivalent of sympathy sex!? The illustrations are just crap. I showed a copy of Karen's Witch to my arty friend the other day and she was quite rightly appalled.

P.S. You are right Krystal in my experience is a name for dumb blondes. Oh and Seth going along with Karen's game and calling her a prostitute name kinda freaks me out. I swear that man has secrets.

snappleaddict said...

Oh wow, I'm slacking, so I'll just reply to everyone in one message.

Yes, it was definitely weird that they played the wedding game for so long. Plus, what does it mean? How long is the commitment for? When I was 7, I liked a new boy every week. Was I just a ho (please don't answer that, lol)?

I don't know why Karen hangs out with Andrew, I've always hated him. He's a whiny little crybaby.

Karen could totally steal any man from Hannie with 6 hair ribbons in her pullet, clown makeup, and the entire contents of a Claire's store on Hot.

Thank you all for the compliments, and for actually reading this! I check here obsessively every day and die a little from happiness every time the votes on the poll go up.

greer said...

Here's the crazy thing: the same artist does the cover and the interior pictures. So i don't know why she does a perfectly adequate job with the cover and totally half-asses the inside illustrations. Her inside illustrations make me think that ANYONE can be a professional illustrator.

Athena said...

This book should've been called "Karen Gets a Mullet"

(love, love, love the blog, btw)

snappleaddict said...

I honestly want to cry for Karen every time I see the picture of her awful haircut.

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