Wednesday, July 30, 2014

BSC SS #8: Baby-sitters at Shadow Lake Part One

By Ann M. Martin. Published July 1992.

Here’s the deal: Watson’s Aunt Faith and Uncle Pierson are redoing their wills, and want to know if he would like their cabin on Shadow Lake in Massachusetts, where he spent a number of summers as a boy. They understand it’s a responsibility, so they’re checking with him first, which I think is considerate. They suggest he take the family this summer to see if they’re interested. Of course the kids want to go, and they would also like to take their friends. Which wouldn’t be a problem, because this freaking cabin sleeps about twenty-five (!), with two of the rooms being more like dorms, with a shit ton of bunk beds. Why the hell this couple has such a big freaking house is never explained. Anyway, Kristy is already planning on working on Watson to keep the cabin for good, and so decides everyone has to work on a diary of the hella good times they’ll have.

So twenty people are going on this trip. Karen is bringing Nancy and Hannie with her (the Three Musketeers), and David Michael is bringing Nicky and Linny, who really don’t know each other. Charlie and Sam aren’t bringing anyone, they just want to “scope chicks.” Kristy is bringing the rest of the BSC, of course. She gets to bring so many because they volunteered to watch the little kids for free during the day.

Somehow, they are able to fit twenty people, two animals, and all their luggage into three cars. …right. Dawn tries to find out anything about a possible mystery at Shadow Lake from Watson on the drive up, but doesn’t get anything interesting from him.

When they arrive, Jessi takes the Three Musketeers out to go exploring, and sees a hot guy about her age. Then she feels guilty when she remembers Quint. She says he’s her “sort-of boyfriend.” When they get to the lodge, she gets all excited to find one of the rooms there has a barre.

Their first full day, Stacey has off from baby-sitting. So she goes down to the lake, but Sam wolf whistles at her, so she gets disgusted and leaves. He’s bugging the shit out of her, calling her dahling and tweaking her hair. She runs into Mary Anne, who has lost the Three Musketeers, and is freaking out. They’re just in the woods, though. Later, she runs into Dawn, who apparently has discovered a mystery, and has learned about the “Lake Monster.”

Mary Anne takes the Three Musketeers swimming, and there are lots of other people hanging about, too. Dawn and Stacey are monster hunting, and being ridiculous. Then Kristy finds a small motorboat, the Faith Pierson, which goes with the cabin. Everyone gets really excited, and Watson decides anyone twelve and over can drive it, after receiving some lessons from the caretaker, Mitch. After the excitement dies down, Mary Anne realizes she has lost the girls yet AGAIN. Good job, Mary Anne.

So earlier that day when they disappeared, the Three Musketeers had found a little shack in the woods. They thought this was the shit (I would have, too), a place they can fix up inside and out, pretend it’s their secret garden, and get away from the boys. So while everyone is busy with the boat, they sneak off, raid the cabin of cleaning supplies, and start working on their house. Mary Anne does eventually find them, and they’re in pretty big trouble. But after they explain, Mary Anne says she’ll have to tell the adults and the BSC, but they’ll keep it a secret from the boys.

The BSC has dinner at the lodge by themselves, and feel very grown-up. Claudia sees a flier about a boat show, where you decorate your boat and parade it around. She would love to decorate the Faith Pierson, but all the bigger boats intimidate Kristy. What she does want to do, however, is use the boat to take the BSC to the island in the middle of the lake, and camp out. Dawn freaks at this idea, because she, for no discernable reason as of yet, believes the island to be haunted. They also learn there’s going to be a dance at the lodge. Because what is a Super Special without a freaking dance?

Jessi has been going to practice at the barre she found every morning. She and the cute guy have also been smiling at each other across the dining room at the lodge. These two things collide when he’s creepily watching her practice one day. She says it’s cool, though.  After her barre, Jessi just dances for fun to some rock music. The boy introduces himself as Daniel, and asks if she could teach him to dance like that. She gives it a try, but he’s a bit robotic. Oh well. Throughout all this, she’s freaking out, confused about Quint. But Daniel walks her home, and they talk, and they have jack-shit in common. So I don’t think it will be much of a problem. Jessi does agree to go to the dance with him, though.

Y’all, our girl Mal is a hotter mess than usual on this trip. For some reason, all the bugs in the state of Massachusetts are attracted to her. So she is constantly going around smelling like bug repellant, and wearing a beekeeper looking outfit. Which embarrasses everyone she’s with. And then she has a very annoying day watching her brother, David Michael, and Linny. All they freaking do is fight. When Mal gets back to the cabin, she’s all sorts of bitchy, and snaps at Claudia and Stacey. Jessi takes her for a walk, and tells her to calm the hell down. Mal agrees, but then just starts bitching about bugs some more.

The boys get permission to go off into the woods by themselves, and run across the girls in their playhouse. The girls are pissed, and the boys want to take it over as a fort. But seriously, guys – finder’s keepers. They argue for a while, but it’s eventually decided the boys will go build their own fort, and they make a bet that whoever’s is the best wins, and the losers have to do their chores for a month.

Claudia is watching Andrew and Emily Michelle, and they decide to go look at all the big boats at the docks. A lot of them are starting to decorate for the boat parade, so Claudia and Andrew try to come up with ideas for the Faith Pierson. They don’t have any good ideas, though. Claud sits down to sketch, and the kids draw, as well. Claudia is glad, because she can’t let them wander around by themselves, because they’re not wearing life jackets. Or maybe also because they’re TWO and FOUR, Claud!

Yay, a chapter from Sam! He’s really quite concerned about his facial hair situation. He has already bought a razor and shaving cream, plus some cologne. And he watches Charlie shave a lot. But alas, nary a hair on his own face. Poor Sam. He and Charlie are having a kickass time though, parasailing and waterskiing and all kinds of shit. And of course, Sam’s annoying Stacey, flinging Cheerios at her at breakfast. What a way to win a woman over. Charlie agrees with me, asking Sam if he’s actually just talked to Stacey. That has never actually occurred to him, but he gives it a shot. At first, Stacey is all skeptical of his presence, worried he’s going to push her in the lake or something. But he promises he won’t, just sits beside her, and tells her straight up that he like likes her. She says he has a funny way of showing it, and she’s not even sure she can believe him now. She confesses to have liked him back in the day, but now she’s just confused. Sam is, too.

Part Two tomorrow!

o   Aagghh, Kristy! You can be so damn judgey! She proclaims that no one over thirty should wear a bikini. Whatever, Kristy. Of course, she does say this after seeing her mom in one. But if Elizabeth can rock one after having four kids, more power to her.

o   Both David Michael and Sam refer to Karen as their sister, not stepsister. I just find that really nice.

o   Even though Sam’s annoying, I really love getting more from him and Charlie both. They’re usually such secondary characters, you can almost forget they’re there. Aside from Charlie being the exclusive BSC chauffer, of course.

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