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#104 Abby's Twin Chapters 1-3 - Baby-sitters Club Snark-fest! [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Dissecting the unintentional hilarity of The Baby-sitters Club.

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#104 Abby's Twin Chapters 1-3 [Nov. 25th, 2010|08:12 pm]
Baby-sitters Club Snark-fest!
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I always wanted to read this book. When I did get it, I read it in less than an hour. This is my first snark, so please be gentle.

Chapter 1: Abby is taking a science test. The teacher, Ms. Gonzalez is glaring at her because Abby is tapping her nails on her desk. Abby's like, Whatever, bitch. Yeah, Abby, because other kids might really want to listen to you tapping your nails on your desk when they're trying to concentrate. The ghostwriter, Suzanne Weyn really wasted no time in telling us about Abby, dead father, allergies, sports, blah blah blah. Just then there's an accounment on the p.a. system: Eighth-grade classes have canceled for the next two peroids. Abby cheers, Ms. Gonzalez frowns. Classes have been canceled because there is a health test for the students: hearing, eye test and scoliosis check. Abby goes to the gym and flips her shit because she doesn't see her twin, Anna.

For a moment, I worried. Would she miss being checked?

Nah, I wouldn't worry about that. If she does, she's not missing out on anything. I always hated it when we had health checks at my school.

It didn't really matter, though. As I mentioned, she already wears contacts or glasses. We know her hearing is fine--better than fine. All she has to do is hear a note to be able to play it. And I seriously doubted she had--what was it Ms. Gonzalez had said?--scoliosis.


After Abby's hearing and seeing turns out to be fine, she goes to the girls' locker room for the scoliosis check.

The woman testing her, pokes at her spine and shoulder blades. Then she asks Abby to lower her right shoulder. Then she tells her to breathe deeply and makes her back as straight as she can.

"Press your hands together and lean forward, please," the woman requested.

I did, and she ran her hand along my spine again. As I hung there, bent over, it suddenly occured to me that I had only seen a few other kids leaning forward.

Maybe I just hadn't been paying attention.

Yeah, maybe.

The woman asks Abby a few questions and then gives her a note for her to show to her parents.

"What do you mean?" I asked, my voice climbing higher. "Do you think I have scoliosis?"

"I don't know for sure," she said calmly. "It's merely a recommendation that you have a more thorough exam."

"But I probably don't have it, right?"

"I'm not an orthopedist, Abby," she said, checking the printout on the clipboard for my name. "My job is to perform tests and recommend further testing if I think it's needed."

"Oh...well...I...no," I sputtered, too upset to talk clearly. "They can test all they want, but...but...I'm fine."

The woman glanced over my shoulder and I could tell that she wanted to test the next person in line. In a daze, I moved away, out into the gym, my heart thundering like a car race engine.

Further testing. I didn't like the sound of the that one bit.

BAHAHAHA! Abby is such a spaz. Scoliosis isn't the end of the world anyway. She needs to take a chill pill the size of the iceberg that sank the Titanic.

Chapter 2: We get the usual chapter 2 descriptions.

Claudia is definitely cool. In fact, I'd say all my BSC pals rate high on my personal Abby Cool-Meter, but in very different ways.

For instance, Claudia scores a ten (on a scale of one to ten) for creativity. She's very artistic and very original. The wild outfits she wears are her own creations. That day she had on multicolored, tie-dyed painter's overalls she'd dyed herself over a blue, hand-beaded, long-sleeved shirt. Five colorful, bead-studded papier-mache bracelets clattered softly on her wrist whenever she moved her arm.

What 13-year old wears overalls? And can you really make bracelets out of papier-mache?

"Where is everybody?" Kristy complained from her seat in Claudia's director chair.

"It's not even five-thirty," I said, glancing at Claud's digital clock.

"It's five twenty-eight," Kristy countered, frowning. "They have exactly two minutes left."

Kristy and that clock! She demands that everyone arrive by the stroke of five-thirty. If you're even a minute late, you get the Look from Kristy. You know that expression, "If looks could kill..."? Kristy's Look probably could

Calm down, K-Ron. This is isn't school where you'll marked tardy.

It gets better when Mal and Jessi arrive:

"Five thirty-one! Forgive us! Forgive us! We tried! Really!" A girl with thick, curly auburn hair threw herself to her knees in front of Kristy, her hands clasped together. Her glasses slid down her nose as she begged Kristy to give her a break. "I was walking Pow and he ran after a cat," Mallory Pike explained. "Jessi was with me."

I think some of the club fundage should be used for therapy. Other that, there isn't really anything interesting that happens in Chapter 2, except that K-Ron has another one of her dumb ideas but she's going to wait to share.

Chapter 3:

Abby gets home and Anna tells her that she looks awful. RELAX, Abby. Just then Mrs. Stevenson walks in. Abby gives her the note at once and Mrs. S is pretty calm about and says that they'll take Abby to get an exam. Abby thinks that Mrs. S is acting as if this is the same as having the car fixed or the furnace repaired. Calm the fuck down, Abby. Doctor  appointments really are no bigger deals than having the car fixed or the furnace repaired. Anna tells their mother that she got a note, too and Abby wonders why Anna isn't more upset. Uh, maybe because Anna isn't a spaz like you?

"Why aren't you guys more upset?" I cried, tossing my hands up in the air. "What does this mean? I never even heard of it before! What does it do to your back? How did this happen?"

Abby nearly starts crying when her mom says that she may have to wear a brace.

"We're not doomed," Anna said, shaking her head. "You're so overdramatic sometimes, Abby."

Thank you, Anna.

In the end, Abby calms down a little a bit and thinks it will all be okay because she and Anna are both twins and will go through it together.

Yeah, whatever Abby. Next up, boring sub-plot and the OMG BACK DOCTOR! ABBY AND ANNA WILL BOTH DIE!



[User Picture]From: firemelon
2010-11-26 02:17 am (UTC)
What school does scoliosis checks? Like, is this a normal thing in America, or just plot bullshit?

My mom suspected I had it for years, but reading this bitch whine about it scared the shit out of me. I was only diagnosed with a mild case in the last two years. I'm 24 :| THANKS BSC!
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[User Picture]From: rational_twists
2010-11-26 02:32 am (UTC)
When I was in grade school, they did a scoliosis check, but I think it was only a couple of times that this occurred in my time there. By the way, I'm 24 as well with a mild case of scoliosis!
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[User Picture]From: magyck
2010-11-26 04:07 am (UTC)
I actually had it done every single year, but I went to like eight elementary schools.
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[User Picture]From: ciaraxyerra
2010-11-26 06:44 pm (UTC)
i got it every year too. & i just went to one elementary school. & i was diagnosed with scoliosis, which neither i nor my parents took seriously at all. fast forward ten years, to my eighteen-year-old self suddenly having to walk with a cane & spend months in physical therapy to learn how to walk again after the curvature of my spine resulted in extensive nerve damage. i've been disabled & in chronic pain ever since (twelve years & counting). but my curvature is especially severe, & exacerbated by congenitally missing vertebrae & rheumatism. most scoliosis is no big deal at all.
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[User Picture]From: ruriruri
2010-11-26 02:49 am (UTC)
They did it in my school in fifth grade and either seventh or eighth for all the girls.
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[User Picture]From: bcrowessteffi
2010-11-26 03:32 am (UTC)
They did it in my middle school in 7th grade. It wasn't unexpected, though - they sent home letters explaining that we would be required to remove our shirts for a female examiner, and that if our parents wished, we could opt out. I had the test done, they recommended further follow up. I didn't have it, but I spent about a week in a panic thanks to having read the book "Deenie."
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[User Picture]From: firemelon
2010-11-26 06:25 am (UTC)
YES ALSO SCARED OF DIABETES, thank god i dont have it tho

I don't remember ever having exams, and I went to... 7 schools D:
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[User Picture]From: with_rainfall
2013-04-26 11:20 pm (UTC)
*shudder* Even now, every time I get excessively thirsty, I have this little irrational moment of OMG I HAVE DIABEETUS... and I mean, okay, I know that's one of the symptoms, but the way the book was written was enough to freak me out as a kid.
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[User Picture]From: flipflopgoddess
2010-12-06 05:53 pm (UTC)
I think the hearing and eye tests are pretty common. I definitely got lots of those in elementary school. The scoliosis test I got maybe once or twice.
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[User Picture]From: promisemewings
2011-01-24 02:03 am (UTC)
Most elementary schools in America do it in about 5th or 6th grade.
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From: (Anonymous)
2012-07-08 12:35 am (UTC)
Yep. We still have scoliosis checks. I know because they totally screwed mine up. Said I was fine in seventh- turns out my back's 35 degrees because my spine is twisted into an S. Thanks, public school system!
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[User Picture]From: rational_twists
2010-11-26 02:30 am (UTC)
Can you put this behind a cut tag, please? :)

Anyway, add this to the list of things the BSC wrongly taught me, that "OMG.SCOLIOSIS.IS.DEADLY." I have a curve in two places along my spine and I live no differently than the next person.
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[User Picture]From: finding_jay
2010-11-26 09:26 am (UTC)
Seriously, me, too. Sure, it means that wearing heels can kill my back where my curvature is, but it doesn't mean I'm crippled or anything.
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From: thtsgoodsquishy
2010-11-26 04:44 pm (UTC)
I've reported you to the mods for deleting comments. I was going to come back here this morning to thank you for figuring out the text size problem and also adding the cut, but now you're just being rude.
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From: hwkitty
2010-11-26 09:12 pm (UTC)
Abby Cool-Meter?
Damn, that's just stupid.
I never read any of the Abby books, so I don't really know anything about her. |D

Um, I think you could make paper maché bracelets if you just paper-machéd some regular bracelets, using them as a base. But I agree on the whole overalls thing.
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[User Picture]From: flipflopgoddess
2010-12-06 05:57 pm (UTC)
Overalls were cool when I was in sixth grade (1992), but they were often short and you wore one side unclipped for extra coolness.
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[User Picture]From: chantonii
2010-12-06 05:22 am (UTC)
Could you please not use the word "spaz" so much? Thanks.
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[User Picture]From: chantonii
2010-12-10 04:05 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm not very PC but I just don't think it's very funny to say "Oh, don't be such a spaz!" all the time. It's just lazy humour. That's just my opinion, though.
And I think the term you're searching for is "ableism". I don't think making fun of how diabetes is shown in a kids book = oh, look, how unPC we are! It's a snark community-nothing is off limits! I'm sure when people were talking about/snarking Kristy and the secret of Susan or Dawn and Whitney they weren't just going, oh, haha, what retards.
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[User Picture]From: enpantoufles
2010-12-10 11:15 pm (UTC)
Eh, I agree with chantonii that I don't really think snarking the protrayal of diabetes in these books is the same as being racist/ableist/classist/sexist/ageist/homophobic/transphobic/etc. It falls into the "things Ann knows nothing about" category.

I remembered a problem here at one point, actually, and found this in the mod notes: http://community.livejournal.com/bsc_snark/207190.html
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[User Picture]From: chantonii
2010-12-11 05:08 am (UTC)
Thank you, that's what I was trying to point out. They're not the same thing. Maybe it's just a regional thing because spaz is pretty offensive where I come from. Maybe I'm more sensitive to it. I wasn't telling anyone not to use the word but I just think if you're doing a short snark and you say it a couple of times, it's a bit overkill. It's just feels like I'm ten years old again and everyone is giggling and going, "Ahaha, oh, you spaz. You're gay!"
I was just trying to give some constructive critiscism so their snark will be better :)
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[User Picture]From: with_rainfall
2013-04-26 11:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you. Yeah, the issue we have with the diabetes in these books is not 'AHAHA STACEY HAS DIABETES, let's all make fun of diabetic people', it's more the way the diabetes is one of her defining character traits and the way she can never have anything sweet is really pushed in the series, when actually she eats a lot of things high in starch that she really shouldn't be eating (thanks to whoever pointed this out in one of the comments to a Stacey snark!). And I've seen at least one snark where Stace is actually mature about her diabetes and the snarker points our what arseholes the McGills are being.

OP is just using "spaz" as an insult.
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[User Picture]From: promisemewings
2011-01-24 02:06 am (UTC)
Scoliosis isn't the end of the world anyway

Not until you're being fitted for a backbrace and have to wear it for a year, THEN the doctors suggest you go in for spinal fusion surgery. THEN a week before you go in for it, your family finds out that your orthopedic surgeon's been dropped from your HMO plan. Yeah, I LOVED the end of my 8th grade year.
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[User Picture]From: banerry
2011-05-05 08:46 pm (UTC)
Ahaha I remember having a scoliosis check in middle school. I was terrified for days leading up to it.
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From: shatisarockgod
2016-12-14 02:26 am (UTC)
"It's five twenty-eight," Kristy countered, frowning. "They have exactly two minutes left." --Again, nothing's changed. I'd say it's gotten worse. She's bitching and it's not even 5:30 yet!

"Five thirty-one! Forgive us! Forgive us! We tried! Really!"--Oh, I seriously hope Mallory's just being a smartass. I'm just gonna tell myself that's what she's doing.

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