The BabySitters Club – Kristy’s Piss-Poor Idea, Part Two

Chapter 6. Kristy exclaims over the little ad they put in the local paper. They didn’t know that they charge you by LINE, and OMG, it was so expensive it took most of their first week’s dues to pay for it. The girls take the last of their flyers and go on their bikes to deposit them in mailboxes, and is that legal? I don’t think that you’re allowed to put that sort of thing INSIDE people’s mailboxes, but the outside is okay, because then you can’t be accused of tampering with anything. Then again, this is Stoneybrook, circa 1986, so I guess no one is really doing any sort of mail fraud . . .

Two days later, Kristy is over at Claudia’s house super-early. I thought she felt awkward around Claudia, and yet, here she is, hanging out with her, an hour earlier than she was set to arrive. They take turns holding the phone, and then there’s a knock at Claudia’s door, and Kristy wonders if it’s a customer. Um, you gave them a number, not your address! Dumbass. It’s Janine, who is wondering if the Baby-Sitters Club sign has a mistake, wondering if it needs the apostrophe or not.

Everyone else arrives, and Claudia passes out candy, again. How does this girl not have a weight problem, or acne?

Their first call is Kristy’s mom, who needs a sitter. Kristy concedes the job to Stacey, so she can get to know the neighborhood, and Kristy’s older brothers, too. Then they get a call for a Jim Bartolini. Then another sitting call, from a lady who has two kids named Buffy and Pinky, which makes the girls giggle. Then more calls for Jim. Then Kristy’s mom calls again, this time to ask if someone will be willing to watch Watson’s kids. MaryAnne takes it, because she’s curious. So is Kristy, but she refuses to admit it. Then “Jim Bartolini” calls, which turns out to be Kristy’s brother pranking them the whole time. Haha. Go play a video game. All of this comes to a head when Kristy gets home, which leads her mother to send her to her room, which suits the little brat fine because Watson was coming over, anyway.

Claudia calls Kristy later to tell her that she got a job sitting for Jamie, the Newton kid, which upsets Kristy, because SHE usually sits for Jamie, and why did Mrs. Newton call after the hours posted? Gee, maybe she was trying to get through when you were tying up the line with “Jim Bartolini” shit and giggling about Buffy and Pinky, hmm?

Chapter 7. Kristy goes to sit for Buffy and Pinky, and explains how she found the number by just walking along until she got to it. Wow, I would never have thought of that! She begins to wonder about this house when she sees no evidence of any children, such as toys, and then the fact that the living room is full of delicate objects that no three-year-old would be able to resist touching. She begins to get suspicious, but since her mom didn’t say that she shouldn’t go, she is sure that everything will be okay. Buffy and Pinky are in the laundry room, which shocks Kristy. Who would put children in the laundry room?

Then the reveal that they are dogs, gigantic Saint Bernards, in fact, that drool and run riot. Oh, ha ha fucking ha. The woman is very confused, but she has to leave, so Kristy has to take care of two obnoxious dogs for a while. She gets stepped on, and then loses them for all of five minutes in the yard next door. This makes Kristy think of a notebook they should keep, logging their experiences so that the other girls can learn what went down, in case they have to sit there again.

Chapter 8. Claudia’s baby-sitting job. Claudia can’t spell and her grammar is atrocious. Apparently, she thought she was just watching one child, but it turned out to be four, and none of them seemed to be getting along. And one of the children is a born misogynist; girls are evil and mean and we don’t have to listen to them. Yet, he gets his sisters involved in an attempt to drive Claudia batshit insane, by running around the house screaming unintelligibly and shooting at her with imaginary weapons.

Claudia, in a sensible moment, decides to start reading a book to Jamie, and ignoring the other kids. They eventually quiet down and listen to the story, and then some others. Now, why don’t you work on your spelling?

Chapter 9. Stacey is next, and she writes her entries in print, but dots every “i” with a heart. I used to do that, too; so shameful. I probably picked it up from these damned books. Anyway, she has a fine time at Kristy’s house, because she had a fine time with Kristy’s brother, and NO, not like that, perverts. At least not yet. Kristy doesn’t know what they see in each other. She has “zero interest in boys, of course.” Why the “of course?” Is that your way of coming out, Kristy?

Anyway, Stacey and David Michael play Candy Land, and Sam plays, too. Stacey isn’t sure whether she should have laughed at Sam teasing David Michael or not. Ah, first world middle school problems.

Chapter 10. It’s MaryAnne’s turn with Watson’s kids. Watson lives in a big house, so he must have money, especially because he buys Chinese food for Kristy’s family and takes her mom out on the town. The kids have lots of toys.

Watson introduces the kids, Karen and Andrew, and then the cat, Boo-boo, who is grossly overfed and sad. MaryAnne is cautioned not to touch the cat, and is told that the lady next door, Mrs. Porter, is a bit eccentric, but Karen is convinced that she is a witch.

Karen talks MaryAnne’s ear off, and then they go outside, where Karen points out Mrs. Porter’s house, which is a bit tumble-down and ramshackle, and tells MA that the lady who lives there is a witch, whose real name is Morbidda Destiny, and she put a spell on the cat to make him fat. MA tells Karen they don’t have to worry because Mrs. Porter isn’t at home, but lo and behold, she IS, and what’s more, the cat has gone into her garden again. MA tries to pick him up, the very thing she wasn’t supposed to do, and he tries to claw her. Mrs. Porter chases him away with a rake. She calls him a “rapscallion,” which Karen is convinced is a curse, and then they all watch Boo-Boo act bizarre, so that just convinces Karen. MA tries to tell her that it is a coincidence, but she has trouble explaining what it is, and I think that all of these girls need to pay more attention to school than babysitting.


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