|#3 Karen's Worst Day
||[Jun. 17th, 2014|08:15 pm]
I remember reading this as a kid and disliking Karen so much in this book that I only read about three Little Sister books for my entire childhood. It's not even her worst behavior, but "worst day" is another concept that Ann clearly does NOT grasp.
Baby Sitters Little Sister
#3: Karen’s Worst Day
Cover Snark: Karen is looking at Boo Boo sitting in a tree with her hand to her head in an expression that seems more "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" than "my life sucks." I also have to comment how friggin' adorable Boo Boo is..though I wonder why they never describe him as a tuxedo kitty because that's what he looks like on the cover. I love tuxies! I would pinch Boo Boo's cheeks, but I want to keep my fingers. It's easier to snark with fingers than bloody stubs.
Karen introduces herself and considers after her age the next most important piece of information we could have about her is that she has a cast on her arm. Which leads into her telling us Watson took her the hospital and we go for the chapter two right off the bat. Good, let's get that shit out of the way.
Awww, I don't think Boo Boo is unpleasent. He just takes zero shit from small, bratty children. Since I don't either, I feel a kinship with the fat cat.
I still find Karen bragging about having two pairs of jeans kind of strange. I think she's trying to say she has jeans at BOTH houses, but it comes off as if the poor kid has one pair of jeans per house and has to wash them in the sink every night so they're not stiff to wear the next day.
There's a whole big story about Karen forgetting her special blanket and being unable to sleep without Tickly. If your kid needed a blanket to sleep and he or she was forgetful, wouldn't you make sure that they had it with them when they left? I mean, she's SIX. Let's not forget Karen is the genius who thinks you wear tights and a party dress on a plane trip.
Karen laments her broken wrist and her inability to skate. Apparently that was the beginning of her bad luck. No, that was because you tried to do a trick. She goes on to list other recent bad luck...Goosie was lost for two days, she dropped her lunch tray and the kids at school laughed and this little gem "And after I gave Andrew a very interesting new haircut, Mommy and Seth were mad at me."
There we go. PROOF that #8 'Karen's Haircut' should really be 'Karen's Karmic Retribution.' I was wondering what she did to deserve such a traumatic salon experience!
This is one of those weird narratives where the story has already taken place and the protaganist is telling us about it in retrospect. Karen tells us that she couldn't sleep on a Big House night and that's when her bad luck REALLY began.
For someone who suffers from insomina no less than one night a week, I gotta say she's really reaching on this "bad luck" thing.
Karen screams for her father, prompting him to race to her bedroom thinking she's sick or fell out of bed. Turns out she just can't sleep. She thinks she's been laying there for hours, but really it's only been twenty minutes since Kristy put her to bed. (So why didn't WATSON put her to bed? At least he's answering emergency calls now.)
Then she has the nerve to complain that she can see the witch out of her window. And that dastardly old Morbidda Destiny has to be up to something! Or, you know, she just likes to hang around outside at night. If she hates the woman so much, why does she call her "my witch?" Strange.
Karen thinks that Morbidda Destiny uses fennel and basil in her spells. Only if she's Italian. It also seems there's some sort of inter-house feud between Boo Boo and Midnight. Those Slytherins can be so clannish sometimes!
Apparently, in Karen's mind, having a broom next to your front door makes you a witch. So what does having a crowbar behind my back door make me? Besides someone who has small dogs in a neighborhood with coyotes.
Watson tries to scold Karen but she interupts her father and lays out her case again against the poor woman. Black clothes AND a broom AND a black cat! Oh my! He pulls down the shades and tells her to stop thinking about her so she'll go to sleep. That comes about two books too late considering she's already publically shamed the woman.
Watson tells her to think pleasant thoughts so she'll have pleasent dreams. Does anyone know if this actually works or is it another line of BS parents gives kids so they'll shut up and go to sleep?
Karen goes through the classic insomnia night of sleep, wake up, sleep, wake up...finally it's 6:59 and she's ran out of happy thoughts. Shouldn't Kristy have broken down her door for sleeping past 4am, which we know is a cardnial sin in Stoneybrook?
Finally she thinks about roller skating and ends up having a skating dream with a talking rabbit. Guys, I think she's been into MD's "strange herbs" again. The rabbit pushes her to the top of the hill and she thanks him. Since she's actually using manners for a change, this really must be a dream!
The other side of the hill, however, is a cliff and she goes into one of those trippy falling dreams that make you feel all pukey.
Karen falls out of bed and thankfully does not further injure her arm or we'd have to hear about that for another twenty books. She sees the clock says 8:15. OH NOES! 8:15!!
Kristy bursts into the room wearing her nightgown but looking wide awake. Of course she is, because a normal thirteen year old wouldn't think to sleep in on a weekend morning. Does Ann know any teens? For real?
Karen tells Kristy about her crack dream and Kristy shows sympathy to how horrible a rabbit pushing you off a cliff could be. At least she didn't try to psycho-analyze the dreams ala Mary Anne. Apparently she was reading in bed. At 8:15am. On a weekend.
She says she wouldn't have minded if Karen had woken her up because everyone has bad dreams sometimes. I say if Karen woke me up that early on a weekend she'd get pushed off a cliff for real.
Kristy helps Karen get dressed. Karen feels it necessary to clarify she can dress herself, it's just hard with the cast. In true 80's fashion, she wants to wear her new jeans with the zippers up the sides. NEWSFLASH! Karen has THREE pairs of jeans now!
Unfortunately, Karen can't show off her new swag because she forgot to pack them. Kristy tells her to wear her regular jeans, pink sweatshirt and white sneakers because she has a "surprise" for her. Karen just about wets herself in anticipation as she waits for Kristy to get back. If Kristy was smart, she'd crawl back in bed until noon. Instead she comes back in dressed in the same outfit so they're "twins" for the day.
But alas, Karen still mourns the zipper jeans. Is it just me or do we see a pattern here of someone doing something nice for Karen, her faking enthusiasm and then mentally pouting because it doesn't measure up to her expectations?
Kristy and Karen, the not!twins, go downstairs to breakfast and Watson humors them with a compliment. David Michael snarks that real twins are the exact same age, but actually he's wrong. Karen points out what I'm thinking, that they can't be born the exact same second. But Watson breaks up what will no doubt become a fight.
Karen wants Crunch-O cereal and Andrew is all too happy to tell her too bad, so sad. He finished the box AND got the prize too! Take your victories where you can get them with Karen, Andrew. And the prize is tattoos, which Karen gasps is the best prize of all.
I didn't think so when I was six. I wanted a little car or figure or something to play with, not something to wear on my skin. Besides, my tattoos only seemed to look good for about ten minutes before I scratched them in all my ADHD glory.
Andrew offers to share and Karen glumly agrees that he's being nice, then proceeds to pout. Elizabeth is the anti-evil stepmother in this book because she prodcues a brand new box of Crunch O cereal from the cupboard like magic.
Of course, Karen can't just be happy to eat her chosen breakfast cereal, she has to beg to go fishing for the prize. Elizabeth relents, but pours the cereal out into a big bowl and lets Karen go fishing for the prize.
Excuse me while I indulge my OCD for a moment: EW EW EW EW EW EW EW EW EW! *ahem* Sorry, but even a clean six year old is still a walking petri dish. Clorox bleach was made because of kids. Though I wouldn't want an adult fishing through my cereal either.
Karen decides to help Elizabeth put the cereal back in the box by holding the box. Then she settles down for some Crunch-O goodness and to bask in the glory of her cereal prize. Except for one problem...the packet is EMPTY.
Okay, I actually feel bad for the kid there. Though it seems to me the cereal prize packets when I was a kid were always clear or at least frosted. Plot contrivance? The reader will have to be the judge.
Andrew says he'll give her half of his tattoos, but she laments she has no prize of her own. Kristy is her twin, but her zipper jeans are still gone. The day has been half bad. Okay, cry me a river, Karen.
And thus we begin the odysessy of how Karen does not really grasp the concept of "Worst Day."
Karen goes into the den to sulk some more, than decides maybe the day can turn around. No shit, considering you've only had a couple minor disappointments, I think the day can still be salvaged somehow. So she decides to try to watch something funny on TV.
Am I the only one who is waiting for Kristy to scream "Nooooooooooo" and throw herself in front of the TV? Maybe the LS books take place in a different universe, because she doesn't. So Karen is gonna get her Mr. Ed on.
Or at least, she was until Andrew comes dashing into the room to watch his cartoons. I'm surprised, again, that Kristy lets the kid see enough TV to have favorite shows. Maybe Lisa is a little less TV phobic.
My inner and current child weeps at the thought of Karen not liking cartoons. What the fuck? I'm thirty-two years old and I still love cartoons! And I find it sorta sexist that she only likes cartoons with animals or fairies in them. You know what one of my favorite cartoons at her age was? The Real Ghostbusters.
She does get half a point back, though, for liking the Muppet Babies. I am a Muppet fan in almost any form and I loved a show that embraced the power of imagination. /soapbox
Karen tells him Mr. Ed is on and Andrew acts like a normal child and is all "so?" But then it descends into a "was not/was too" sort of thing that sums up why I don't have children. Watson intervenes and using common sense for a change he tells Karen she can watch Mr Ed because it's a half hour long and Andrew's cartoon is an hour, so they get the TV equal time.
Now Watson, was parenting REALLY that hard?
Hilariously, Mr. Ed is not being shown for a "special program." I find that strange at nine-thirty on a Saturday morning short of something being blown up, but let's go with it. Karen now thinks the TV people are giving her bad luck. Wait until you're old enough to watch primetime TV, Karen, and the president can't seem to make a speech before 8pm. At least Mr. Ed is syndicated.
Karen lets Andrew have the TV back and he still offers to give her half of the cereal box tattoos. Awww, I like this kid. What did he do in some past live to deserve Karen as a sister?
Karen goes out on the back porch to sulk. As far as Saturday morning sulking, the back porch seems a good place to do it. She watches the squirrels and birds frolic in the backyard and realizes the animals are having fun. Wait! She has animals!
Run Boo Boo! Run Shannon! RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!
Hope eternal for the day to turn around, Karen stalks Boo Boo and Shannon to the den, where they're taking a nap together. Apparently Boo Boo is really nice to Shannon, which Karen doesn't understand because he hates her. Well now, Karen, Shannon might tease him in a dog way, but she doesn't try to DRESS the damn cat or make him join stupid clubs. (Spoiler for next snark!)
Karen muses that the nice pet to play with is Shannon, so she starts to bug the poor dog. If you lifted my Min Pin's ear up when he was sleeping and tried to whisper at him, he'd rip your nose off. And then when she doesn't spring into alertness, Karen bodily picks her up off the couch and takes her outside.
Shannon wakes up to play fetch, but can't find the stick the second time Karen throws it. She tries to tell the dog to forget it, but honestly what dog is not going to stop looking for the stick?
"Well, this was no fun."
And that, Karen, is why Shannon doesn't like you that much. Also why when David Michael comes outside Shannon forgets all balls, sticks and Karen to be with her best friend.
Not only is Karen in tears, but her pride has been wounded so she decides to bring Boo Boo outside. And another direct quote: "Boo-Boo hissed at me because he did not want to be picked up. But I hauled him outside anyway."
Annnnd that's why Boo Boo detests you.
After demanding Boo Boo play with her, the kitty basically tells her to get bent and runs up a tree. Karen thinks it's because Morbidda Destiny was in her herb garden, but I think Boo Boo just detests her that much and is secretly enjoying tormenting her.
Boo Boo climbs up nice and high in the tree and totally ignores Karen's pleas for him to come down. I'd like to think there's a little smirk on his cute kitty face. She wanted to take him outside, right? Well, he's just communing with nature. Oh, what's that? That's not what you wanted him to do out here, hmm? Tough nuts, kiddo.
Karen is put out that David Michael and Shannon are playing and having fun, totally ignoring her and Boo Boo. Honey, I think Boo Boo is ignoring you too. Not one to take hints, Karen is still convinced that if she can get Boo Boo down they can still play. Um...she doesn't get how cats work, does she?
She even tries telling Boo Boo that Morbidda Destiny won't hurt him. Um, Karen, the cat is avoiding YOU! Deal with it! The cat DOES NOT LIKE YOU!
Then Karen tries to ply him with cat food, because it works on TV commericals and commericals NEVER LIE. *sigh* Apparently Boo Boo already had breakfast, but she decides he'll want a treat. And now we know why the cat is so damn fat.
Boo Boo, however, is not even going to dignify her bribe with a single glance. Smart cat. No amount of food is worth having to play with Karen.
This is the part where most kids would give up, having given this project ten minutes of attention, and go find something else to do. I think we all know by now Karen is not most kids. So the little idiot tries to climb up the tree. With a broken wrist. In a cast.
The heavens part and Karen is greeted with a loud male voice. She probably thinks it's God, seeing as how she's not used to authority, but for a change Watson is actually paying attention to what his kids are doing.
Boo Boo waits until Karen sits down to sulk in despair until he finally starts coming out of the tree. I really like this cat, guys. He knows he's crushed her soul and now he's going to go finish his nap.
Karen seems to know that too, so she watches Mrs Porter in her garden. When Boo Boo hits the ground, she jumps up, waves her rake and yells "Oh Fiddlesticks!" Boo Boo runs into the house. Something tells me he's got a reason to feel guilty.
Of course, Karen is convinced that Morbidda Destiny put a spell on Boo Boo. She runs into the house, certain the witch is on the loose.
It must be nice to have Karen's ego, always thinking the local witch has nothing better to do than put spells on Karen, her friends and her pets. PLEASE! One of my good friends is a witch and he is usually more concerned with drinking beer and his drumming circle.
David Michael does run inside, but Karen thinks he stayed out too long and had a spell put on him too. Because suddenly he gets mean to her, the ray of light and sunshine that surely everyone must adore.
Actually, he wants to go play with Linny and suddenly Karen decides she wants to play with Hannie (whom she tell us is her best friend, then ammends it to her best friend when she's at the big house. BURN!) too. DM does not want Karen tagging along, and honestly, would you? But after two rounds of "am not/am too" he tells her he doesn't care as long as she doesn't go over there with him.
I don't know how Karen endured such great cruelty. I mean, someone really ought to report this Amnesty International or hold a telethon or something.
The doorbell rings and after Karen and DM fight over who is going to open it, they find that Linny and Hannie had developed ESP and decided to see them first. Is this the first stage of the body snatchers invading Stoneybrook? I'm willing to bet they could raise the per capita IQ.
Hannie is happy they were coming over so that means they're free to go bike riding. Linny talks about going to the brook to find water spiders and catch minnows and eat sandwhiches. Is Opie coming too?
Oh, and apparently by Hannie's standards the addition of cookies to lunch makes it a real picnic. I always thought it was beer or fried chicken, but you go girl.
Karen, however, is PISSED. How dare Hannie forget she can't ride her bike with a cast on her arm? And what's this wading in the brook crap? HELLO! Casts can't get wet! How can Hannie be so totally selfish to not base her plans for the next eight weeks around Karen's injury?
Using that great logic of hers, Karen figures Morbidda Destiny put a spell on Hannie too. I am more than a little concerned that she's blaming every twist of bad luck on Mrs. Porter. How long will that last? "I'm sorry I ran through that stop sign, Officer. Morbidda Destiny must've put a spell on the stop sign so it hid from me!"
Karen calls Hannie a toad and mean. Then they go into the "am not/am too" thing that makes me want to gouge my ovaries out with a spoon just so I can avoid hearing my future offspring have that same argument every five minutes.
Hilariously, David Michael runs back all joyful that Elizabeth is letting him go on the outing. She gives them a bag of apples for the picnic. I want to give her points for healthy snacks and teaching the kids to love fruit but aren't they kind of hard to lug around on a bike unless you have a basket? Though I guess if you dropped them, they just roll and a quick wipe off fixes everything.
Hannie says she's glad Karen can't go because she called her a toad. That's a shitty thing to say, but I mean, Karen DID call her a toad. Of course Karen has to point out she wouldn't want to go on a picnic with a toad.
Why not? A toad wouldn't hog all the chicken legs. Just keep the little bugger out of the potato salad and he'd make fine picnic company. Just think, he'd be happy to eat the ants and wasps. (Yes, I know she meant toad as a jerky person, but let's not malign our warty little friends, mmmkay?)
Karen muses on her shitty day and once again wonders if it's Morbidda Destiny's fault. No, Karen, I think it's the paranoid schitzophrenia's fault.
A rare occurance is happening at the Big House. It's quiet. This may be a sign of the end times. Or else Karen's just the only one too dumb to entertain herself. This never crosses her mind, of course. Instead she takes a mental inventory of who's doing what and realizes Kristy has no excuse to not be entertaining her.
So off she goes, tracking Kristy into the kitchen where she's making brownies for the BSC. But if it's Saturday mid morning and the next meeting is Monday aren't they either going to be a bit stale or get poached by her siblings?
Kristy asks Karen if she wants to play. Karen tells us she knows Kristy is just being nice to her, but she suggests a game of checkers anyway. Because she's good at them. Gee, for having a shitty day at least your family is trying to make you feel better, Karen. Definitely 'worst day ever' criteria.
They set the board up on Kristy's bed, which Karen points out is gigantic. Considering she was barely above living in a closet in her old house, I think that's fair. Thoguh I think lying on your stomach to play checkers sounds really uncomfortable.
Kristy lets Karen go first, which in Karen's view makes her not a toad. She starts doing a lot of jumping and getting a lot of pieces crowned kings. So of course she has to snap at Kristy not to let her win. Turns out Kristy wasn't playing her best, so she starts playing to win.
Mistake. Karen does not take being beaten very well. Kristy says she didn't want her to let her win, so she didn't. Then Karen says she's a good checkers player like that grants her magical immunity from losing. If that's the case, A-Rod would like to know your secret Karen. It's got to be more legal than performance enhancing drugs.
When Kristy gets tired of her shit, Karen thinks: "She began to look more like a grown-up and less like my big sister." Because big sisters should ALWAYS sit there when you're a brat. Period.
Kristy must have a thing for pain, because she offers to play again and plays awfully to let Karen win. Karen has no trouble making a huge fuss every time she's kinged, but then gets upset when she realizes Kristy is letting her win again.
Kristy is speechless. These books really DO take place in a different universe than the regular series, don't they? Karen storms out of the room like a little brat. And I'm really starting to think this 'worst day' business is mostly her over-reacting and being a little pain in the ass.
Karen needs to hug something so she looks for Shannon, who is once again asleep. She laments the puppy is probably tired from playing with David Michael. Thankfully she leaves the poor dog alone. And this time she leaves Boo Boo alone too or the next book would be "Karen's New Facial Scar."
She decides she'll have to hug her stuffed cat, Moosie. I have a big Eeyore plushie who I always get my bad day hugs from, so I think she's on the right track. Only then she gets onto a self pity kick that stuffed animals aren't as fun as real animals, but woe is me, it's my bad day and I can't ask for much.
Where's the barf bag?
Karen hugs Moosie and talks to him. This is kind of cute since she's not expecting him to answer, like in later books. Then she lists all the ways she had a horrible day and I still think, even for a six year old, she's overplaying this 'worst day ever' thing.
And then, of course, she has to blame the witch again. Apparently Morbidda Destiny must be practicing her spells again because TV shows never get moved and houses never run out of cereal.
Then she notices Moosie's stuffing is coming out and I can't even snark this, guys. I am thirty two years old and if I saw the stuffing coming out of Monka, my special monkey I've had since I was a baby, I would probably start yelling too.
Elizabeth runs into Karen's room to see what the screaming is about and awesomely doesn't yell at her when Karen tells her Moosie is dying. Instead she requests permission to operate and assures her that Moosie will be fine with a small scar. I am really feeling bad about the book where Karen treats Elizabeth like complete shit for asking her to do a few chores when I read this part.
She points out Karen is having a bad day and asks if she wants to know about her worst day. Hilariously Karen says she never thought of Elizabeth having bad days. So does she think that highly of her stepmother or is she that narcissitc? I'll let the reader be the judge.
Honestly, Elizabeth's bad day sounds worse than Karen, but she was sixteen so I guess she was suspectiable to worst things. Still, she actually injured herself and lost things...Karen forgot to pack jeans and got bored. But I digress...
And here Ann steps in and lets the lady who wrote "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" make some money. They did have to pay royalties for this, right? That aside, it is adorable that Elizabeth is going to read Karen a book to make her feel better. Is this REALLY the same woman who gave her children twelve hours to get used to the idea of a new sibling?
Karen feels much better after reading the book and can even admit Alexander's day was worst than hers because she never had a cavity. Well, there may be hope for her yet. So Elizabeth suggests they pretend the day is just beginning again so Karen can turn it into a good day. Awwww, again, that's very cute.
After pretending to wake up, Karen says "I know today is going to be a wonderful day" and the story closes on this sweet note.
Wait...what? There's eight chapters left? What the hell? KAREN! STOP BEING AN UNGRATEFUL BRAT!
Elizabeth obviously thinks the story is over too, because she sends Karen out to check the mail without a second thought. Which worries me a little bit when her exact wording is telling Karen to see if Mr. Venta is coming. The times, oh have they changed.
Karen spends an entire paragraph explaining to us how the flags on the mailboxes work. Um, thanks Karen. I remember being three or four years old and putting them flag up to make the mailbox look pretty. I was an awesome child, as you can see.
She says she likes Mr. Venta almost as much as she likes Mr. Tastee, the ice cream man. I still find it unsettling how comfortable she is with random adult men in trucks, but maybe Stoneybrook was the Mayberry of the eighties.
Waiting on the stoop, the mail truck does not appear. Karen starts to feel bad about yelling at Hannie, but that doesn't make her magically appear again either. I wonder if she thinks Morbidda Destiny kidnapped them or something?
Apparently the mailman lets the kids climb into his truck and he lets them ride down to their houses. Again, I'm showing my age because this sends off redlights. When Karen sees the mail truck she runs several houses down for her ride, but GASP! Mr Venta isn't there! A woman is driving her truck and Karen has enough sense not to ride with a stranger.
Karen decides her bad luck is returning, but she tries to stay positive thinking some of the mail might be for her. She decides she'll even settle for a sample of shampoo or hand lotion at this point.
Finally the blessed mail is laid in Karen's outstretched hands and yay! There's a package! Karen is sure that it's for her, but she refuses to look at the label until she's sitting on the steps again. In fact, she's going to look at the other mail first. Um, okay. I'm a doll and toy collector...when I get a package opening the water bill is totally forgotten.
Apparently Karen likes to torture herself, at the same time purposely not looking at the label but also psyching herself up it's probably for her. Uh, yeah, she kinda put herself into the sitaution she gets next: the cruel shock of finding out the package is for Andrew!
Watson brings Andrew home from getting his haircut and the mail sits ominiously on the kitchen counter. Contiuning on the trend of awesome stepmother, Elizabeth is making hamburgers for dinner because Karen wants them. Of course, though, that isn't much consolation when Andrew has the nerve to get a package when there isn't one for her too!
Karen mentally snarks about his haircut, but then tells us she doesn't say anything to make him feel bad. EVEN if he DID get a package. What the hell, Karen? He didn't ASK for the damn thing to be sent! The world is not The Karen Brewer Show!
Karen is furious about the package. First Andrew gets the prize in the Crunch O cereal box and now this package from his Godparents? That greedy little bastard! And yes, I'm totally talking about Karen there, because she knows that they have seperate Godparents and both sets of Godparents will send presents for no reason at all. But because it's her worst day he gets a present and she doesn't.
Can someone please hold down that vile little brat and tattoo "The entire world is not about you" on her forehead? Please?
She secretly hopes it'll be a crappy present like socks or underwear, but to his face she tries to act happy. Isn't that a charming quality. Once again, though, karma is a bitch and Andrew ends up getting two VHS movies. And I remember back then those Disney movies were expensive...totally Christmas or Birthday type presents.
Andrew is once again an awesome little brother and wants to watch the movies right away WITH KAREN. Instead of thinking this might make her day better, or really shocking us and realizing her family loves her so life isn't that bad she refuses to watch the movies and tells him he looks like an egghead. She's going to call him Mr. Baldy from now on even.
Watson is pissed and rightfully so, but when he tells Karen to apologize she flat out tells him "no" and goes on to tell Andrew how horrible his movies are and that's why she doesn't want to watch them. She's really a snot, going on and on how he'll hate Mrs. Frisby and Lady and Tramp and that slutty dog with the shaggy hair.
And Karen thought Hannie was a toad for not centering her plans on Big House weekends around activities she can do with a cast? Karen is the queen of the toads right here!
Watson sends Karen to her room and she stomps all the way up there like a little brat. This is one time I am willing to loosen my stance on hitting children.
Karen goes to her room and laments that it's not fair she was punished for having a bad day. Karen, are you dense? You were punished for being a total jerk to your brother because you were jealous he got movies! Is she really this out of touch with reality?
She stomps all the way up the stairs and then closes the door quietly because Watson and Elizabeth don't like her to slam it. Um...I'm sure they appreciate that. So she cries and spends the next couple of paragraphs lamenting how patient she was with the day and she couldn't help all the things that went wrong. And it still might be that damn old witch's fault yet!
Then she goes on to whine about how everyone hates her. The interesting part is, she admits she was a baby when she played checkers with Kristy, that she was mean to Andrew and that she shouldn't have called Hannie a toad. So she IS able to realize she was being a jerk...and yet it's not her fault? Wow, a child psychologist would have a field day with this. If only Watson had the brains to send her to one.
She even thinks maybe Mr. Venta changed his route because HE hates her too! Well, shit, if Karen's house was on my route I'd either request a transfer or change jobs. Especially once she starts spending a month at a time at the Big House.
Instead of having a moment of introspection, she starts singing the worm song ("Nobody likes me, everybody hates me, guess I'll go eat worms" for those of you lucky enough to avoid that song thus far) and feeling even sorrier for herself.
Then she acts out her fight with Andrew with Moosie playing Andrew. Only in her version, Andrew admits he's spoiled and agrees to give Karen his movies because she deserves them more. And she tell us that is how the argument SHOULD have gone.
Do you hear that? Karen can't hear anything downstairs. So she starts singing the worm song at the top of her lungs. Apparently she doesn't want to be forgotten. But how, dear Karen, can we miss you if you won't go away?
Watson waffles on the punishment and lets her out of her room in less than fifteen minutes instead of making her sit the original twenty then adding extra time for the obnoxious singing. Wuss.
As Karen comes out of her room she hears the ice cream truck. After consulting her funds, she sees she has enough money and runs outside to get ice cream. Raise your hands if your parents would've told you that you didn't get ice cream after being such a brat even if you COULD afford it. *raises hand*
Everyone runs outside and Karen, Kristy and Andrew start waving their hands like they're trying to signal a rescue plane again. Then all the kids in the neighborhood flock to Watson's yard, leaving their bikes all over it. My Dad wouldn't have tolerated that at all. And considering Watson has a real, live millionarie's lawn, I'm surprised he does.
Hannie and Karen are smiling at each other, so maybe she's finally reached the stage of the brainwashing where she forgives Karen for any offense no matter how petty. Lovely basis for a friendship.
Mr. Tastee comes and Karen spends way too much time describing who orders what. Unless I'm getting ice cream too, I don't care what flavors the other people are getting. Though I will say Amanda Delaney's toasted almond popsicle sounds sort of strange.
Karen orders a cherry Italian ice and I have to pause a moment here to ask a question...isn't Italian ice basically a snowcone in a cup? Anyway, they don't have cherry. I bet you can imagine how well this goes over with Karen. She bursts into tears and runs into the house. Can't wait to see what happens when this girl gets old enough for PMS.
When it's time for dinner, Karen tries to stay in her room like a brat even though Elizabeth made hamburgers for her. She is forced downstairs, though, and she makes a huge production of slumping down in her chair and acting miserable.
She stares at her food and laments it looks good, but she's too tired from her horrible day to eat. Really? I tend to eat more when I've had a bad day. Let's be honest, a good dinner can help turn a bad day into at least a decent evening.
Watson points out that Karen has had a bad day and Andrew even feels sorry for her after what a brat she was to him. She agrees pathetically how horrible her day was and basks in the attention. Of course.
Then they start comparing bad day stories. Sam loses his homework and stepped on Boo Boo's tail. Poor cat. Kristy has to compete and tell him it's only TWO things, she had five bad things happen in a day once. So that's where Karen gets it from. Charlie threw up at a school assembly once, and I think that trumps all of it. Puking is bad enough, an audiance only makes it worse.
Karen needs to points out that she had the worst bad day of all, though, because she's Karen and even takes pride in bad things as long as they outdo other people's bad things. They humor her, though, and compare how many things they've had happen on a single day. Then she lists all of hers...and most of them are silly things or things she caused.
And this is why I don't think Karen grasps the concept of "worst day ever" even for a six year old. Plus when she tells them fourteen bad things happened, she leaves out the fifteenth...the witch's spells. WILL SHE NEVER LET THAT CRAP GO?!
Kristy says she could win the prize for bad days, and finally something good has happened in Karen's eyes. So Andrew sharing his cereal prize and movies didn't make the cut. Elizabeth just generally being awesome didn't make the cut. Kristy playing with her didn't make the cut. But being told she's the best at something? That makes the cut!
Karen finally feels better now that had her ego has been stroked and her appetite miraculously returns. She eats every bite of her dinner without sparing a though that it was nice for Elizabeth to ask her what she wanted and then made it.
Charlie has an ice cream craving and asks Karen to be his and Sam's date to Sullivan's Sweets that night. This guy is seventeen? He's going to be the next forty year old virgin if the best thing he can think of to do on a Saturday night is to take out a six year old for ice cream. Even Janine Kishi is frowing disapproval at you, Charlie. You're going to have to work harder to earn her love.
Karen feels very grown up riding in the car with just her brothers. She is hoping someone sees them, but I'm betting her brothers are hoping they don't. I would think they feel sort of embarrased that she's the only chick they could find to take out and they have to share her at that.
When she's asked what she wants, she Eeyores that they probably don't have any chocolate sodas left. Um, it's a resturant. They usually make things to order. So of course they do have it and Karen is thrilled. But if she goes "so far, so good" one more time I might smack her. Just enjoy the moment, Karen. Life is a series of ups and downs and there's always another down waiting around the bend. The trick is forgetting about it until it's happening.
As they finish their treats, two big boys and two big girls come in. For some reason that makes me think of toddlers that are being potty trained. I don't know why, but that's about the only time I hear the term "big boy". They're friends of Charlie's from high school, of course, which makes me wonder why he wasn't out with THEM in the first place.
One of the guys asks Charlie if Karen is his new girlfriend. I know he's trying to be nice to the kid, but she's six so that just squicks me. He goes on to ask her if she has a boyfriend or is married. Then he says he thought she was twenty six, not six.
Karen, of course, believes he's truly being serious. Um, when I was six if someone told me they thought I was twenty-six I would probably think that person was stupid. Is she THAT egotistical? REALLY?
Oh wait, I forgot, it's Karen.
Karen runs into the house screaming about all the ways going out for ice cream with Sam and Charlie went right. So if she'd taken this attitude about fifteen chapters ago, I wouldn't be sitting here contemplating smacking a fictional character. A fictional CHILD character. Oh well, I want to be able to face St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, not take his job.
It's bed time and Karen and David Michael and Andrew get excited about brushing their teeth. They have a bedtime secret, you see. A special way they brush their teeth. Oh God that sounds dirty. Did Ann reread this before she sent it to the publisher?
In short, they brush, they spit and they admire how much foam is left behind. On this particular night, they have created more foam between the three of them than any of the trio have ever seen before in their short lives.
I guess if it gets kids to brush their teeth, I'm not going to say anything. Even if I keep wanting to type two letters: Ew.
Karen figures her bad day is over now that three good things have happened, so she goes downstairs and wants to do three things.
This really must be an early book! Karen still remembers how to apologize in this one! First up is Andrew, which is fitting because he deserved the shit he took from Karen today the least.
Karen explains she's sorry, but she was having a bad day. She even drags out Alexander and his Too Damn Long Title Bad Day book again. Though that also might be so Scholastic got their money's worth for the royalties. It's supposed to be a sweet moment, but she's telling him the worst your day, the meaner you are so she was totally justified in how she treated him even if she's sorry now. That isn't quite an apology in my book.
Then she calls Hannie who won't even speak to her until she talks about having fourteen bad things happen to her in one day. That gains Hannie's attention and obviously the Greek Goddess is not hard to impress. She also believes that Charlie's friend thought Karen was her girlfriend. Did these kids get exposed to lead paint at an early age?
The final apology is for Kristy, who usually puts Karen to bed. I guess if that's what Karen wants, that's okay, but I would think that Watson would WANT to tuck his kids in on the four nights a month he gets with them. Lazy parent, ftw.
There's a pause here, though, while Karen thanks Elizabeth. Shocked to hear Karen be grateful for something, she asks for what and Karen says for fixing Moosie and reading the story and being overall awesome.
Okay, that's sort of nice.
Kristy calls Karen to bed and offers to read her "The Witch Next Door." Aww, she's so nice in these books. What the hell happened as the regular series went on?
Karen apologizes to Kristy for being a brat about the checkers game. Unfortunately Kristy is all, but yeah, I let you win, so it's sort of okay. See, this is why Karen never learns.
But Karen is doing better and decides that if she has a worst day, then she'll have a best day. Okay, finally! That only took about twenty chapters! Oh wait...
Kristy and Karen start reading Charlotte's Web, which is a pretty awesome story. She asks if pigs have bad days and obviously she hasn't gotten to the part where they want to axe poor ol' Wilbur.
According to Kristy, witches even have bad days. I hold my breath waiting for Karen to blame the whole bad day on Morbidda Destiny. But she doesn't. And that, my friends, is the first good thing that happened to me while snarking this book.
#4 Karen's Kitty Cat Club