Stacey is in homeroom, and airily notes how, being from New York and all, she’s seen more bad and more good than most Stoneybrookeanites. Sad things – homelessness, good things – the Carribean Parade. ??? I mean, the Carribean Parade sounds a jolly good time, it just seems a little obscure. Methinks Ellen Miles is trying to show Ann M Martin just who
is the authority on the Big Apple. Also, Stacey’s perm “is a little wilder than most.” Ergo: Curly hair on Mallory = bad, Curly hair on Stacey = Sophisticated!!1! Because this is set recently after her encounter with the Bad Girls and re-entry into the BSC, Stacey has an awkward eye-meet with Sheila McGregor the evil cheerleader. She then ignores the immaturity of Todd Long (Alan Gray’s understudy?) by humming her favourite song “Sister Sally” by the Great Blue Whales. U4Me: 0 points, THIS GUY
: 1000000 points! Anyway; it’s Halloween for the fortieth time, and Mr Kingbridge announces that there is to be a Halloween masquerade at SMS for the first time in 28 years. And he wants to “erase those unpleasant memories of the past.” Well. As subtle as one of your ties there, Kingbridge. So; the kids are all curious as to what this means. For some reason at lunch, Alan Gray, Pete Black and Logan are all sitting with them. Pete Black says that the dance is on Mischief Night (Halloween eve) so if they’re all busy with the dance they won’t be throwing toilet paper everywhere. Or something.
Chapter 2: Jessi leads the chant of “Who ya gonna call! GHOSTBUSTERS!” Mallory pretends to barf. I’m sure Stacey is sooooooo glad she rejoined the BSC. Hmmm, anything interesting here? Not really. Claudia discovers a pair of “purple, orange and green paisley leggings” that she’d lost and says “They are kind of loud, aren’t they?” Aw, I really like Claudia, even when she’s written into pointless moments like that so it can be a forced representation of her ‘creativity.’ Abby is a “real dynamo.” Mallory has the “quadruple curse,” in her words, of red hair, freckles, glasses and braces.” Stacey says “she has no idea how pretty she is.” I say, “me neither. HA!” Okay, that was mean, but it’s not my fault she always looks so damn ruddy on the cover pictures. I have to give Stacey kudos for (a) saying that her diabetes injections were not nearly “as big a deal as you’d think” and (b) that Jessi is African-American without going into some diatribe about the diabolical racism of Stoneybrooke when her family moved there. I guess it’s her inner New York cool showing here.
Ooh! Stacey breaks the fourth wall to give us a quiz on what everyone’s going to the masquerade dressed as. I’ll reproduce it here for those of you playing at home.
2: Lucy Ricardo (from I Love Lucy) (well duh, Stacey, is there any other Lucy worth mentioning here?
3: Dorothy (from Wizard of Oz)
4: Amelia Earhart
5: Morticia Addams ( FYI we don’t get told she’s from the Addams family)
7: Giant Twinkie.
Ohtheshame: even with the spoiler-y cover picture I still totally guessed wrong.
Chapter 3: Stacey joins the decorations committee. What will Kristy have to say about this? Stacey says she’s not artistic like Claudia, but she can be creative too. No you can’t. Only Claudia can. In homeroom, Amanda Martin (is who?) passes Stacey a note asking what she thinks of the new guy. The New Guy has straight blonde hair, wears khakis and a denim shirt and is leaning extremely casually back in his chair. Stacey’s verdict: “Hunky!” Well, it was 1995. The new kid on the block is called Cary Retlin. Stupid name. His first name makes me think of (a) Care Bears and (B) some kind of J.Lo contraction for Cam Geary. His second name makes me think of Ritalin.
The other people in the decorations committee are: Rick Chow, Todd Long, Grace Blume, and Cokie Mason, who is “petty, small-minded, devious, and totally unscrupulous. Add a gold lavaliere and eyes like the Pacific Ocean and we have Jessica Wakefield. (who I love!) Stacey internally fumes about this for quite a long time. The BSC has been “Cokified” more than once. Not as fun as it sounds, I guess. Cokie once tried to steal Logan off “sweet, sensitive, wouldn’t-hurt-a-fly Mary Anne.” To which I say, she sounds like exactly the sort of girl you’d want to steal a boyfriend off. Hell no will I be going after the man of the “butch, weight-lifting champion, heavily aggressive Mary Anne.” Still, Stacey says she could have “smacked her.” Somewhere, Logan, Allan and Pete Black share a sigh of regret for what might have been.
Chapter 4: Baby sitting. The only truly significant thing about this is that ABBY’S HANDWRITING HERE IS DIFFERENT TO EVERY OTHER BOOK. Instead of being that kind of fat, open font, she writes like Kristy but with a thinner nib and Jessi-style curly effects. The lack of continuity and care, it stings my soul. To add insult to injury, there is a notebook conversation between her and Mallory. You can just imagine Abby scribbling away, smiling furtively, then passing the notebook to Mal, who laughs and says lovingly, “oh you, you’re such a dynamo,” before writing a reply (occasionally snorting with barely-suppressed mirth.) Plot: The Pike kids are crazy bout Ghostbusters, go “ghostbusting.” It’s kind of amusing actually. Not enough to recount in detail.
Chapter 5: The Mischief Knights strike! Stacey and Sabrina-Bouvier-The-Painted-Whore have the contents of their lockers switched. There is a message left on the music room blackboard about how the MKs can’t be stopped. They also stole Ms Simon’s gradebook. Their mark is an “MK” written somewhere. At lunch, Kristy says the Salisbury steak is like something Booboo dragged in from the garden – which is actually pretty gross, even by my low standards of what’s acceptable at the dinner table. Again Stacey, any creeping doubts about your crawling back to the BSC? They have no idea who the Mischief Knights are but all crack up when Mary Anne says it could be her. Hee, Mary Anne was funny.
Committee meeting! Their coordinator is a Mr Rothman – tall, thin, with curly black hair. He teaches a few sixth grade science classes. Great. I can totally see why he’d be perfect for the job. But Stacey says he seems nice. Cokie is really badly written for most of this book. Like, in other books she’s kind of a fun bitch, but here she’s just stupid. She basically gets the same treatment as Jill in California Diaries. Todd comes up with the theme of Addams Family Reunion, with lots of vintage-y decorations, and Stacey comes up with a red and purple colour scheme. Cokie vetoes everything childishly, wanting orange and black with cutout witches.
Chapter 6: The Mischief Knights’ trail of light destruction continues – so far they’ve toilet papered the school, soaped the windows of all the teachers’ cars, put a fake announcement over the school loudspeaker that Micheal Jordan was going to be guest speaker at assembly (today’s generation of kids: “Micheal who?”) and put peanut butter on the knobs of every
male student door.
Cokie says to Stacey that she’s worried about Grace, who says that she’s bringing a guy to the dance from out of town, a friend of her cousin’s. Cokie thinks Grace is making him up because first she said his eyes were green, then she said they were hazel. Stacey says the two are pretty similar. Um, they aren’t, right? The rest of the committee arrive and complain about Mr Wetzler, a local who is protesting the dance, writing letters to the local paper (that’ll show ‘em!) saying “Social Studies and Science? Yes! Shindigs? No!” and hilariously, complaining about the students being able to “cavort,” risking “another tragedy.” Okay first of all I’m pretty sure the only people who would know how to cavort would be Stacey and Ms Bouvier. Secondly whatever the tragedy might be, calling attention to it won’t help. As Chief Wiggum said, (roughly) “What is your fascination with my forbidden closet of mystery?” Anyway, Stacey volunteers Claudia’s time/supplies/mental capacity to not only make the posters advertising the dance, but also to paint some spooky looking portraits. That’s what makes her so nice. The next day it turns out that a whole lot of their decoration supplies – streamers and coloured lightbulbs – have been mysteriously torn and smashed. Too mean for the Mischief Knights…but at least we’ve FINALLY got a mystery started.
Chapter 7: Stacey admires Claudia’s “professional and eye-catching” posters. Everyone loves them except Cokie who notices that Claud mis-spelled ‘masquerade’ on one of them. Well, that’s closer to the Cokie I know. Foreshadowing? The next day, Claudia and Stacey are discussing the movie Carrie, which is intensely scary, (I couldn’t imagine watching it age 13) and then – oh noes!- someone shredded the heck out of the posters. All except one – spraypainted across it in blood-red ink was WILL YOU STILL LOVE ME TOMORROW? Ew, that is creepy, even for a BSC book. Later that week, someone spraypainted $10 on the wall of the gym, about eight foot high. Dodgy! What the heck is going on? How does the school not have some kind of vague security system? Mr Kingbridge threatens to stop the dance if this doesn’t end, and the BSC are all, Emergency BSC Meeting! Mysteries! It’s what we do second-best! And they finally get round to wondering what happened 28 years ago.