I found this book on the library's discard shelf a few years ago, and after reading it I'm glad I picked it up. It's so awful and bitchy that it is amazing. Also amazing: MTV showing reruns of America's Next Top Model during the morning and afternoon. I've been watching old seasons all last week in between studying and piles of homework. Loves!
Anyway, on to BSC. I missed a lot of the books from #60 up to this point, so it's really shocking going from semi-believability to complete and utter ridiculousness. Stacey's on the pep squad now, and she and another member, Barbara, are working on a life size papier mache jaguar (their mascot), built by who else but Claudia. Claudia is obvs the only artist allowed in SMS. In fact, I'm surprised Stacey and Barbara are even allowed to touch this thing. Anyway, they put the finishing touches on the jaguar when some klutzy girl walks right into it and accidentally puts a hole in it. Stacey and Barbara are totes upset, and so is the girl, who offers to help them fix it. I say, what's the BFD since only the papier mache part was damaged, not the actualy structure that Claudia built for it. Can't it just be patched up really easily? Do I just need to take Papier Mache 101? That must be it.
Anyway, the girl is new at school. Stacey describes her as tall with big bones and broad shoulders. She emphasizes that she is not fat, just has a large frame. There can only be one fat person in Stoneybrook, and his name is Norman Hill. I love that ho, btw. This girl also has short light blonde hair, lightly blue eyes, a slightly upturned nose, and a wide mouth, but wears black emo glasses so she will never be pretty. I take offense to this insinuation because I'm stuck with my own black emo glasses instead of contacts right now because I'm getting eye surgery and I can't wear contacts for at least 3 weeks before the surgery. So suck it, Stacey. Stacey says the girl is wearing a white blouse with a lace-trimmed Peter Pan collar, a short pale pink cardigan, loose fitting brown corduroys, and black boots. Aside from wearing black shoes with brown pants, which is one of my pet peeves, I don't think it's so bad of an ensemble. Stacey, however, thinks that the girl must've been cleaning her emo glasses while she got dressed. Ass. The girl introduces herself as Tess Swinhart, and they make plans for her to help rebuild the jaguar, which I guess lost its head and leg (though they were still intact) along with the hole. Two words: duct tape. As they leave, Tess accidentally bumps into Alan Gray and gets wet papier mache on him. Stacey says that she hopes the accident won't come back to haunt Tess, which of course means that it will.
Chapter 2 is filled with the same useless shit as it always is, except we learn that no one really knows Tess and she talks weird. Oh, and Nicky Pike has been calling Jackie Rodowsky tons and whispering on the phone to him. If that isn't totally gay, I don't know what is. The girls decide to find out what the deal is with Nicky and Jackie, which gives us our boring ass subplot.
Tess says hi to Stacey before school the next day and says she'll see her this afternoon to help rebuild the jaguar. Perfectly nice and sweet. Stacey, however, is too busy hating on Tess's outfit to appreciate the fact that a total stranger who accidentally bumped into a huge fragile jaguar that she herself left out in the middle of the hallway is willing to help her out. Tess is wearing "a hot pink sweat outfit with frilly lace around the collar and sleeves." Okay, maybe I'll let Stacey pass a little judgment on this one, because the hell? Seems very grandma to me. Alan asks Stacey if Tess was going to make it up to him for accidentally getting papier mache on him. Answer: no. He decides to call Tess Swine-heart the Destroyer. Like, haha. Not. Stacey tries not to laugh, but thinks to herself that Tess is a total hog because of her upturned nose, large frame, and pink outfit. Stacey is such a bitch in this book, which is pretty much the reason I chose it.
Alan is popular or something I guess now, because everyone starts calling Tess Swine-heart the Destroyer. Cokie passes Stacey a note in class that has a baby pig drawn on it and says "Swine-heart, The Pigpen years." Stacey writes that it's not funny and passes it back to Cokie, who makes a face at her. Word, Cokie. Stacey can make fun of Tess to herself and tell the BSC members how weird she is, but then look down on other people for doing it? Hypocrite much? The note gets passed all around class even though it's way stupid.
Tess gets transferred to Stacey's English class, because she was accidentally put into remedial English before. Of course their teacher chooses that day to assign a group project, and of course Tess asks Stacey if she wants to be partners. Stacey is all bitchily hesitant about it, but reluctantly agrees. Tess says they can build a castle for their project and smiles, and Stacey notices she has a gap between her two front teeth. Jesus, can anything on this poor girl escape scrutiny? Stacey agrees to do a castle, even though she thinks Tess will just sit on it and ruin it or something, and Tess says is excited, saying that she adores the Middle Ages. Stacey is all weirded out, because adoring the Middle Ages clearly is not normal. Stacey, you love to do math problems, so eat it. Someone oinks at Tess as she walks out of the room. SMS just breeds assholes, I guess.
Stacey sees some guy named Clarence King (who everyone calls King) talking to Tess, and is wary. See, King made fun of Logan for being a BSC member. I totally would, too, so Team King! Stacey gets closer and hears King repeatedly calling Tess Babe. I know we're supposed to pick up on the pig reference, but all I can think of is Laine's 15 year old bf who was also named King and called her Babe. Is this the same guy? Tess tells Stacey that King seemed pretty nice, and Stacey is all Debbie Downer about him. Tess concludes it's because it's not politically correct to call women Babe. Stacey tells her to tell King that, and marvels at the fact that Tess missed the joke, and all of the rest of the school's pig jokes. They go meet Barbara in the caf to work on the jaguar.
Tess brought wire mesh to put over the jaguar's frame to help stabilize the papier mache. Stacey is surprised at the great idea, because even Claudia didn't think of that. Claudia's my ho and all, but she's not exactly known for being smart. Just sayin'. Also, are they taking the whole jaguar apart? It seems like as the book goes on the thing becomes more destroyed. I don't get it. Stacey asks Tess what it was like at her old school, and Tess says that it was great and she and her friends were always doing something wacky and fun. Stacey listens and feels bad for Tess. Then she thinks of a great idea! She can give Tess a few fashion tips! Hear that? That was the sound of my palm smacking my forehead. Stacey, Cher Horowitz you are not. Butt out. Stacey decides to drop some not too subtle hints that Tess is a hot mess. She asks Barbara if she knows her friend Mallory. Barbara replies that Mallory is "that cute sixth-grade girl with the curly hair and glasses." Cute? I guess Barbara doesn't know Mallory after all. Stacey ignores this and says that Mallory wants contacts and wants to know if Barbara knows any places around Stoneybrook to get some. Barbara tells her, and Stacey looks at Tess to see if she is listening. Tess is fixing the jaguar, and doesn't get the hint. I wouldn't either, personally. Oh, and shut up, Stacey.
The next morning Stacey sees "Hi Petunia" written on Tess's locker. Tess doesn't get it, and thinks maybe a note for someone named Petunia was accidentally written there. She is wearing a bright pink, yellow, and red plaid pantsuit, and notices Stacey looking at and tells her it was her mother's and asks if she likes it. Stacey, not wanting to be a hypocrite (the book actually says that), replies that the style is a little hard to get used to. Tess says that's why she likes it so much, and asks Stacey if she would like to come over to her house after school tomorrow to work on their project. Stacey reluctantly agrees, and then has another great idea! She asks Tess if she'd like to come to her house instead so she can secretly give her a makeover. Poor unknowing Tess agrees. I can't believe that Stacey is having such a fit over a plaid pantsuit with half the shit her own BFF Claudia wears. Not to mention herself. I seem to remember lace fingerless gloves and jumpsuits, ho. Just because this time of going through eighth grade is 1997 doesn't mean you can forget the times during the 80's and early 90's.
Claudia babysits the Rodowskys. I count 9 spelling errors in the 5 sentences of her notebook entry, not including the misspelling of the day of the week. Oddly enough, she uses the right form of "to." I don't get it. Mrs. Rodowsky got a cell phone, because the BSC is always hip to the times, and is pissed that it's in Jackie's backpack. He must've had a hurt back from lugging that thing around, remember how huge they were? Far cry from my little pink Razr now. Jackie's acting all dumb and pussy-ish, and Nicky Pike shows up to the door trying to be a badass but really bring a tool and tries to teach Jackie invisibility. Claudia doesn't know what the hell is going on, and I just don't care.
Stacey's house! Basically Tess tries to talk to Stacey about the project and Stacey brushes her off and tries to give subtle hints about her being a hot mess like the stupid contact hint. She finally gets Tess to agree to a makeover, and busies herself putting makeup on her and giving helpful tips about clothing and hair. Tess is not impressed. Stacey is shocked to learn that Tess has contacts but she just doesn't feel like wearing them. Lay off the glasses, Stacey! Stacey also decides that an outside makeover isn't enough, and tells Tess she should join the Pep Squad. Tess isn't too keen on the idea, but Stacey doesn't give up. Stacey, unless you donate your skis and cans of caviar to the Pismo Beach Disaster Relief and sort bongs into kitchenware, you aren't doing a good job at making over the soul (yes, Clueless just happens to be my all time favorite movie).
Stacey is pissed the next day in the caf that Tess isn't wearing any makeup, and is horrified by her outfit of pink overalls, a pink and green flowered long sleeve satin shirt (I totally had one in lavender around the same year) and a small bright pink plastic little kid's barrette in her hair. Honestly, I bet if I looked at my issues of YM or Seventeen from around this year they'd have the same shit in it. Maybe Stacey's the one that dresses unfashionably. Ooh, I went there! Mary Anne says she thought the outfit was kind of cute, but Kristy hurries up and squelches any sign of individuality before she thinks about cutting her hair and buying new clothes again by rolling her eyes and asking if she's being serious. The rest of the girls wonder why Tess doesn't seem to understand all the pig jokes people are making to her face. Would you rather have her know what the insults mean and be hurt by them?
The next day, Stacey sees King talking to Tess again. She confronts Tess about it, and Tess is visibly annoyed. Tess thinks King is a nice guy, and since Stacey refuses to tell her about what other people are saying about her, she doesn't get what's up Stacey's ass. At the Pep Squad meeting, some of the other members decide they want to change the mascot. They can just do that? Don't they need schoolboard approval and stuff? Dumb people suggest dumb things, like aardvarks, and Stacey's all pissed off because they spent all that time making that jaguar. Tess just doesn't care, because Pep Squad is hella dumb. They write their ideas down on slips of paper and Barbara tallies them up to see what they can have the school vote on at the next assembly. A bunch of people write "Tess" or "Swinehart the Destroyer" or "pig," and Stacey wonders who. She thinks it must have been either Cokie and her friends, or some guys who are friends with King. Isn't Pep Squad like cheerleading? What are guys doing there? I bet they know what Nicky and Jackie are up to. Tess is just so over the whole Pep Squad thing, and is mega bored the whole time.
Stacey introduces Tess to Claudia after the meeting and blathers on and on about how Tess should smile more. Tess is all like, "Bitch is crazy." Stacey and Claudia leave and Claudia tells Stacey she went way overboard on the smile thing and asks her why. Stacey says it's because Tess sucks and she's just trying to make her look better so that people will like her. Stacey is so shallow.
Mallory and Jessi babysit the Pikes. Nicky dresses like a member of the cast of the movie Roadhouse, complete with fake muscles and slicked back hair, and I nearly die laughing. He gets a phone call from his lover Jackie and takes off. Vanessa says horrible and unnecessary rhymes. Jessi, Mallory, and the other kids follow Nicky to Stoneybrook Elementary and observe him acting like a member of the Secret Service for Jackie. Surprisingly, Mallory and Jessi still don't know what's going on between them. Isn't it fucking obvious? Jackie was being bullied and Nicky is acting as his bodyguard. Sorry, I spoiled it for you. Did you honestly care, though?
At SMS, Tess is wearing a blue shirt and frosted pink lipstick and Stacey nearly shits herself in delight. Tess tells Stacey someone oinked at her and she thought it might've been because she was wearing pink, so she tried to wear blue. She says that this school is so confusing on what's considered cool or not, and asks Stacey if pink is cool. Stacey says it might not be her best color, and Tess says she loves it anyway and likes the way she looks in it. Stacey goes overboard with the praise and tells Tess how great her eyes look when she wears blue and Tess says it's probably because she has mascara on, which is making her eyes itch and her lashes sticky. King walks by and Stacey notices that Tess looks interested in him. She starts being all dumb about him again and Tess asks her if she likes King and if that's why she's always such a ho about him. Stacey freaks out and says no way. He's probably the only guy in the school she's not interested in.
After school Barbara and Stacey are getting ready to work on the jaguar again. They decide to vote for the new mascot at halftime of the next home game by holding up posters of the choices and having kids write the number of their choice on ballots. Dumb! Also, why are they still working on the jaguar if they're probably not going to have it as a mascot any more? Tess comes in and says that King asked her out on a date. Barbara asks where they are going and she says there's a new restaurant opening in the mall called Hog Heaven. The chapter ends with that supposedly shocking revelation. I'm not impressed.
Football game at another school. Uneventful. Apparently Pep Squad is different from cheerleading because Stacey mentions something about them. She's pissed that Tess is just sitting on the bleachers reading a magazine. Hey Stacey, maybe Tess doesn't like football or Pep Squad or YOU! Lay off, ho. Oh, and apparently the jaguar was finished because a bunch of Pep Squaders held it up at the game. That is so lame words cannot even express it.
At school Stacey asks Tess to come over to her place to work on their project. Tess is all suspicious and Stacey has no idea why. Um, maybe because last time you asked her over to work you ended up painting her face and basically telling her all her clothes and stuff sucked? I wouldn't want to hang out with you, either! Tess finally agrees. Stacey has no idea what to do for the castle, so she asks Claudia. I know, I know. Claudia says maybe she can glue pebbles to the outside walls to make it look like stone. Stacey tries to do that after school, but the glue won't hold the pebbles. Hahahaha! Tess comes over and pulls out styrofoam that she cut and painted to look like stone. Much better! Tess is a way better artist than Claudia. They work on some more walls, and Stacey sucks at doing it. Doing it meaning the walls, haha. She has to go to a BSC meeting, and Tess asks her some questions about the club. Stacey says that the club is great but they're not taking any new members. Tess is insulted and says she wasn't asking to join. Stacey starts rambling on and on about other clubs Tess could join, and Tess is all just like whatevs, ho. They leave.
The next day at school Tess is wearing an outfit that sounds pretty cute to me but is horrifying to Stacey. She has on a pink shirt with puffy sleeves and a short black skirt. I have a thing for puffed sleeves. Tess's outfit totally beats whatever crap Stacey is wearing. You know what else Tess wins at? Producing insulin. Sick burn! Someone passes Stacey a comic book that the students have been compiling about Tess, and she throws it out. What a self-righteous hypocritical bitch. Stacey's like Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield all rolled up into one in this book, and it's not good. She looks at the Pep Squad posters for the mascot contest, and Barbara tells her all the really good sketches were done by Tess. Uh oh, they didn't ask Claudia? It's the end of the world!
At the football game, it's time to vote for the mascot. Barbara yells out the choices and Stacey hold up the poster for them. When she gets to pig she's horrified to discover that someone replaced the drawing of a pig with a big picture of Tess. The kids all starts screaming "Swine-heart the Destroyer" and throwing hot dogs at Tess. They better watch out at their prom is all I'm saying. Tess stands up on the bleachers to avoid the hot dogs and falls backwards. The ambulance has to come because it's pretty certain that she has broken her ankle and her wrist. Yikes. Stacey tries to get in the ambulance and says she's her friend. Tess tells her to GTFO and that she's not her friend, and the ambulance leaves. Go Tess!
Turns out Tess's ankle is broken and her wrist is just sprained. Still awful, though. Cokie feels no remorse and Stacey yells at her. Stacey basically acts like a guilty bitch all day and doesn't know why she feels so guilty. Tess doesn't show up at school for the rest of the week. Stacey thinks about calling her to see if she's okay, but doesn't because Tess said she's not her friend. Stacey sucks. When Tess finally comes back to school she's mean and sarcastic to Stacey and reiterates that she wants her to leave her alone. She's talking to Barbara, though, and Stacey is pissed. She obviously doesn't know what "leave me alone" means, because she goes over to Tess's house after school.
Tess's mom is a MILF and her bedroom is kickass, all decorated with posters and mobiles of French art from a French museum that Tess says her art class visited. Stacey puts two and two together and asks if Tess is from France. Tess says yes, she moved from Paris because her mom is a diplomat there or something. Stacey is impressed because Paris is EVEN MORE sophisticated than New York City! She thinks and realizes that Tess didn't get all the Petunia and Babe jokes because she didn't grow up in the U.S. She also picks up a photo album and sees that it's filled with girls dressed just like Tess in outfits that she considered to be awful. Since Paris is pretty much known for fashion, I'd say their opinion wins over Stacey's. Stacey realizes the same thing. Tess asks why she's there and Stacey tries to explain how she feels bad and how she was trying to protect Tess from all the teasing. Tess says she hasn't even bothered to get to know her, seeing as she just now discovered she's from Paris, and tells her to GTFO because she doesn't need her pity. Go Tess again!
Abby babysits the Rodowskys and finds out exactly what I told you before: Jackie was being bullied, so he hired Nicky Pike as his bodyguard. He took his mother's cell phone with him so he could call Nicky for help at any time. Oh, and the bullies were going to beat up Jackie because he had a jacket like someone else and they thought he stole it, but they laid off when Jackie described the stadium of the basketball game he got the jacket at. So lame.
Is this book over yet? I'm sick of it, guys.
Tess still won't talk to Stacey, and can you blame her? Stacey still has to butt in everything, so she and the BSC hatch a plan for Tess's date that weekend at Hog Heaven, since Stacey is still convinced that it's a joke. She lets Tess in on it, and she says she suspected the same since King didn't call after she got hurt. Their plan is dumb, by the way. King and Tess get to the restaurant, and Claudia dumps ketchup on him, Stacey wipes it off of him with a paint soaked rag, and Tess sprays him with whipped cream. Abby takes a picture and Kristy tells him that unless he leaves Tess and the BSC alone the picture will be in the next issue of the school paper. Claudia says she writes for the paper, and I laugh my head off. When did this happen, because I don't believe it. King agrees, and the girls all go off and have ice cream, except for Stacey, who is diabetic. I know, I totally forgot! I went back and read Chapter 2 and found out that Jessi was black, too! Learn something new every day, I guess. Tess goes off afterwards to hang out with Barbara, who she's really becoming close to, and Stacey and Claudia share a meaningful look that is totally gay. Abby and Kristy get turned on from it.
I took the cover from the BSC Cover Art Gallery linked on the right because I'm too lazy to scan my own copy. Tess doesn't look so bad, just her glasses are a little dorky. Stacey needs to quit worrying about Tess's outfits and figure out who stole her neck and made her head so huge.