Claudia and the Erotic Phone Calls, Part Two

Chapter 6. Claudia tries to be nice to her sister, but is quickly overcome by Janine’s over-explanation. Then she hears on the radio that the Phantom Caller is in New Jersey, which is like, a whole other country.

But the next night, the Phantom Caller is discovered to still be at large. While Claudia is baby-sitting, she gets a phone call with silence on the other end. And of course, she can’t remember the code. She calls Stacey, who keeps her company by phone, as every little thing is disturbing. Finally, she’s so freaked out by noises – that turn out to be the kids’ parents coming home without house keys. And the phone rings again, with no one on the other line.

Chapter 7. Kristy baby-sits for Watson, her future stepfather. The little girl, Karen, is very serious. Because of “Morbidda Destiny,” the “witch” next door. Karen has more freckles now, so she’s convinced she’s been cursed.

Andrew lets out Boo-Boo, the cat. Which is Not Done, if you’ll recall. But Kristy goes on with the night, eschewing Karen’s choice of a book called The Witch Next Door in favor of a Beverly Cleary.

And then the phone rings! But it’s just MaryAnne checking in. Kristy tours the house on a lock check. And then the phone rings again! No answer on the other line! And then again! But this time, it’s Claudia, who tries to assuage Kristy’s fears. Then she asks Kristy if she remembers the code, but Kristy doesn’t. Smooth!

Kristy decides to sack up and read her schoolbook, but her imagination runs rampant instead. Boo-Boo returns, with “Morbidda Destiny” in tow. Apparently, Boo-Boo was eating a mouse on her porch, and she hands Kristy the remains in a paper sack. Classy. But it’s okay, Kristy theorizes, because if Mrs. Porter were really a witch, she would never have given away her spell ingredients. Excellent deduction, but what if it’s a fake-out?

Chapter 8. Stacey’s turn to be scared. It’s dark very early, the rain begins, and little Charlotte is already a timid thing. They put on TV; Stacey suggests MTV, but Charlotte isn’t old enough. So, instead, they put on a something called Spook Theater. Yeah, because THAT’S less scary or adult than “Thriller.” While they watch, the power fails. They bump around in the dark, trying to find candles, when they hear strange noises! Oh, but it’s just the dog, coming in through a broken window in the basement. I suppose this little girl’s parents live under a rock?

Chapter 9. MaryAnne babysits Kristy’s youngest brother and jumps at every little thing. She sets up some burglar alarms, which are something out of Home Alone. Marbles, anyone? She also rigs up a stereo to play when struck. Her first two alarms are foiled by the wind and the dog.

And then, someone trips the tin cans, and MaryAnne wishes she could remember the code. What the hell is with these empty-headed bimbos? It’s just Kristy and her family returning home; they praise the burglar alarms. Kevin McAllister would be proud.

Chapter 10. Let’s talk about boys! Alan Gray keeps bugging Kristy. Her brother took a high-school girl to the movies, which bums out Stacey, who likes him. The girl had spiky, two-toned hair and fingerless gloves . . . so, Madonna? Stacey cries. Claudia is suspicious of Kristy calling the date’s clothes “weird.”

Claudia then manages to get everyone mad at her by accepting a job. Without asking everyone else first. And she’s done this more than once. But’s she’s not trying to cheat anyone – she’s just so worried about the Halloween dance, and Trevor, and oh, wow, life’s really hard, you guys!!

Mrs. Newton is having her baby, so that distracts them all for a bit. They talk about premature babies, and MaryAnne reminds us that she doesn’t have a mom. Cue awkward silence. And then, it’s a false alarm, anyway (with the baby, that is).

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