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I must offer my apologies to anyone who might still be reading this blog. I’ve been a horribly neglectful blogger the last 2 years. Work’s a bitch; home life’s been hectic; shit happens and all the blah-de-blah that goes along with it. The real reason I’ve been away? This last blog-related activity severely damaged my brain and resulted in a massive loss of brain cells that I will NEVER EVER get back. I’ve been in intensive therapy in order to deal with the psychological trauma of reading this…complete and utter dreck.

Once upon a time, there was fourteen year-old girl who was crazy for a certain boy band known as the New Kids on the Block; crazy with a capital ‘C’. Her walls were plastered with posters and pictures; she owned all their albums (including the laughable 1986 debut) on cassette tape; she had a couple of the dolls, t-shirts, books; she even clipped articles from newspapers and kept them in a photo album. Even the article where Donnie Wahlberg was arrested for arson. Ah, that was the day the music truly died. Eventually, grunge happened, the girl grew out of her obsessive infatuation and all of the New Kids junk was packed up and forgotten.

Fast forward to 2009. The girl is now thirty-three years and her mother is demanding that she reclaim some of her boxes of childhood mementos, so she can make room in the garage. She digs through the boxes and finds many treasured items including something so unbelievably appalling and awesome all at the same time, it nearly takes her breath away. She can’t believe they actually manufactured this item; and she’s even more surprised (and ashamed) that she actually wasted her hard-earned allowance on this.

Yes, the New Kids on the Block actually had a fictional book series based on themselves. I know! WTF? I’d totally forgotten about this literary masterpiece. And after reading it one evening on a pointless business trip, I find it hard to believe I could have forgotten it! This could quite possibly be the funniest thing I have ever read in my life. The plot is so fucking hilarious…and bizarre. I swear the two authors they employed to write this novel must have been stoned, or dunk or maybe they were disgruntled at how little they were being paid to write this shit, so they made it as ridiculous as possible. I know I would!

And now, I present “Backstage Surprise”…I hope you guys are ready. This plot’s pretty darn intricate.

We begin on the NKOTB tour bus. The New Kids are going to perform at an amusement park opening. I forget the name of the park, but the theme appears to be It’s a Small World crossed with Six Flags divided by a county fair. And there are dinosaurs, too. Ah, something for everyone. But there is a menace in the park that no one could have predicted…a terrifying creature out for the blood (or semen) of a healthy young man otherwise known as Danny Wood. Ugh. Danny’s got a stalker? I mean…he had an amzing body (yeah, yeah, I lusted over it for a few months)…but he wasn’t exactly the best looking one.

He kind of resembled a monkey. Even the music reviewer of our local newspaper referred to him as “simian” when the NKOTB swung by with Lady Gaga in 2009. But, I digress.

Megan, the fourteen-year-old daughter (or granddaughter?) of the park’s owner has come up with a foolproof plan to get some “alone” time with her favourite New Kid. Unfortunately, she doesn’t specify what she’s going to do with him once she captures him. This could have been a very avant-garde story where a young girl takes charge of her burgeoning sexuality by kidnapping the object of her desire and forcing him to submit to her every whim. Including a backstage surprise he wouldn’t soon forget! Bazzinga!

Just kidding. Of course, there aren’t any whips, chains or any other planned nefarious activities afoot. Meg just wants to “talk” with the monkey. Talking. Seriously? If I’d gotten my hands on Jordan Knight back in the day, talking would be the last thing I’d have on my mind. I’d be pulling on that rat-tail and making him squeal like a little girl. (Which isn’t all that hard to do – see season 3 of The Surreal Life.) What’s involved in her brilliant plan? Well, there are a number of steps involved. Let me break it down for you:

Step 1: Lure Monkey-Man to the roller-coaster.

Step 2: Make sure he sits in the last car.

Step 3: Unhitch his car from the rest of the train and divert it to an undisclosed location.

Step 4: Throw a burlap sack over his head and tie him up with lots and lots of rope.

Step 5: Have a conversation.

Hmm. Seems like a solid plan with little margin for error. (Insert eye roll.) Except, Meghan decided it was a good idea to outline her plan on paper…and then she dropped it…on-stage…and it was discovered by one of the group’s roadies…who happens to be illiterate…but he still thinks it’s nifty…so he pockets it. Oh, and the roadie’s name is Rabbit because he has, like, supersonic hearing or really big ears or something.

So, anyway, hijinx ensue and Meg convinces the band to go on the awesomest roller coaster ever. She personally guides Danny to the rear…but at the last minute, he switches with Joey-Joe McIntyre. D’oh! Although, he’s closer to her age and their hook-up wouldn’t have involved an arrest for statutory rape.

Meg is devastated and she and Joey have a heart-to-heart about the hardships of fame and how they’re just “regular guys from Boston” and such. They even eat rice cakes (Danny’s favourite food) and Meg wishes on a rainbow that she’ll get to rape
meet the muscular monkey-man one day soon. Joe decides to grant her wish and offers to introduce her to Danny if she brings him back to the arena in time for rehearsal. Of course Meg agrees. Is she stupid? I mean, it has to be a trap designed to lull her in a false sense of security, so Joey can call the police and get her ass arrested…oh, wait. He’s serious about bringing the mentally unbalanced youth back to meet the entire band, including the object of her obsession.

So, they get back to the theatre and Megan just about passes out with the excitement of meeting her idols. Danny takes her up to the balcony for a private chat. They talk about travel, the importance of staying in school (except when you get an offer to be in a boy band, so you give your scholarship to a decent college to prance around on stage in lame costumes, bang underage groupies and wear silly hats) and other stuff. Booooring. As if she didn’t give him a blow job.

They return from their walk to find poor old Rabbit being beaten up by a couple of thugs who then steal a truck carrying the band’s equipment. Seriously? I thought they were supposed to be rehearsing? Why wasn’t this equipment set up in advance? And why is Rabbit the only roadie? Where are the rest of the big beefy crew-guys? Are they Teamsters? And why do Danny and Megan think it’s a good idea to jump into the back of a moving vehicle driven by dangerous criminals? And am I attempting to find a shred of logic in the midst of this ridiculousness?

The plot really goes off the rails at this point.

Everyone discovers that Rabbit can’t read; Danny and Megan are discovered by the robbers who decide to hold them hostage for ransom and the rest of the band dresses up in weird disguises to thwart thousands of their fans and their bodyguard, Biscuit, while they search for their missing monkey. Did you know that Biscuit is a real guy and celebrity in his own right? He even released a rap album during NKOTB’s heyday. Check out the album cover below. I wonder if Biscuit was brought back to guard NKOTB’s precious bodies on their reunion tours.

Hijinks once again ensue. Jon is forced to dress in drag as a hula girl, Joey’s a penguin, Donnie’s a barbarian and Jordan dresses up as a knight. Because his last name is Knight…geddit, geddit? Doesn’t explain why his brother’s dressed in a grass skirt and coconut bra, though. Why they couldn’t have just ventured out in their regular clothing is beyond me. A normal teenege girl wouldn’t have looked twice at a group of boys dressed dressed up like a Village People tribute band, no matter how cute they looked. One’s built-in gaydar would’ve been pinging like crazy, faced with this photograph below:

NKOTB begin running around the amusement park, in their disguises, macking on fans and pissing off Biscuit. Joe forgets that he’s not really a penguin and begins trying to grab food out of people’s hands with his beak and communicating in a series of squawks. He gets all riled up and doesn’t calm down until Jordan promises to fetch him a bucket of raw fish. I’m guessing he’s a method actor? Anyway, Jordan gets overheated in his costume and while he’s stripping out of it and giving Donnie money to buy him a new disguise from a nearby souvenir stand, they get mistaken for a “band of muggers” by a security guard dressed in a kilt.

Sigh. Give me a moment: I just re-read that last paragraph and need to go weep for my wasted youth.

A shirtless Jordan (which is an oft-seen trope in concerts, videos and pectoral essays) tries to convince the security guard that they’re not a band a muggers, but an innocent boy band searching for relevance and their missing bandmate.

Even when presented with a t-shirt emblazoned with the faces of his elusive band of muggers, the guard is not convinced. Only when hundreds of stampeding fans, alerted by the pheromones emitted by a shirtless Jordan, descend upon them, like a swarm of hungry locusts, is the guard convinced. And then, he runs away like a pansy.

Our heroes stumble around like buffoons, tripping on cardboard boxes and almost crashing into fat men eating ice cream cones. Luckily, Rabbit the illiterate roadie saves the day when he emerges from the rabid throng of teenage girls atop his white steed…er, driving a white minivan. They all hop in and start driving around aimlessly.

Meanwhile, Danny and Meghan somehow get to a control room and decide that the most effective way to alert passers-by to their hidden location is to sync the splashing of a water fountain to the tune of “Hangin’ Tough.” (I think this might be where Steve Wynn got his idea for the Bellagio fountains in Vegas.) Seriously? They’re in a flipping control room. Why not get on the P.A. system and announce you location to the kilted security guard brigade? Never mind the fact that the only music anyone can hear is Jamaican steel drummers. Only a musical genius would be able to figure that out. They’re totally boned…ah, but wait. There is a musical genius in tha house! Not only does he look good without a shirt, Jordan is able to crack the code without any effort at all. And Rabbit, who has supersonic hearing (actual quote from the text), backs him up. The NKOTB find a security guard (dressed as an English bobby) who lets them into the control room…but it’s empty!

Then, Joey finds a clue. Apparently, Meghan had time to carve her and Monkey’s initials into the concrete floor. Yup. I’m assuming she used some sort of tool to permanently mark the flooring with evidence of her embarrassing teenage obsession, but she doesn’t use it to…oh, I don’t know…try to ESCAPE, maybe??? Sigh.

The robbers (cleverly named Ace and Willy) have cottoned on to the fact that someone is pursuing them. They’ve moved their quarry to a second location – inside the Mount Everest roller coaster. The mental image I’m getting is of the Matterhorn at Disneyland. That is one terrifying ride. The rickety carts, the worn orange safety belts, the squealing wheels in dire need of a good greasing, the creepy moth-eaten abominable snowman…brrr! Still gives me chills. Anyway, a minor scuffle ensues once Ace realizes that Danny-boy looks pretty familiar. Our monkey-man insists that his real name is Danny Kowalski and he’s never heard of NKOTB, but Ace will not be deterred. After slapping Danny on the ass with a wrench – “What’s this? Solid muscle?” – Ace shows off his mad pick pocketing skills by snatching up Danny’s wallet. Willy check his ID and they realize they’ve done gone stolen a real-live rock musician. Well…maybe a glorified back-up dancer would be a more fitting description. Everyone knows Danny rarely sang lead vocals on songs that actually were released on the radio.

Ace and Willy are practically ejaculating with joy at the thought of all the ransom money they could extort from not only NKOTB, but Megan’s parents as well. They think they’ll get exactly one million dollars! Sorry, Ace and Willy, but your hostages aren’t worth that much. Just as Ace and Willy are plotting their romantic getaway to the Bananahammock resort in Barbados, Donnie Wahlberg and the rest of the NKOTB, Rabbit and a security guard named Bert burst into the room! Bam! Pow! Sock! Yowza! Ouf!

Is this stupid novel over yet? Can I go on and write a Degrassi re-cap? No! Why not? Because Ace and Willy cut the power and slithered out of the room, leaving the rest of the miscreants to fight amongst themselves (as I so eloquently summarized above.)

The robbers find a ladder and start climbing, even though Ace is terrified of heights. So, they climb and climb and climb…all the way to the top of the Mount Everest roller coaster. Shit – Danny and the rest of mob are on their tails. What’re a couple of desperate robbers to do? If you answered “jump into the conveniently empty front row of a fast-moving roller coaster car,” you are correct! And then…AND THEN, Danny bravely leaps into the last row of seats in the last car of the roller coaster chain and starts climbing over riders to get at those nasty robbers. It’s a really low-budget version of Die Hard or some other cheesy 80s action flick. He’s got grandmas telling him to sit down, young girls demanding autographs, stupid robbers taking swings at him, but our heroic Monkey still manages to pull concert tickets out of his pocket and give them to a young fan – while hanging off the side of a roller coaster as it careens around multiple loops and steep drops. What? It could totally happen.

As an aside, I totally think Danny’s publicist slipped the authors an extra incentive in order to feature him so prominently and make him seem so bad-ass. I mean, seriously, does THIS look like a man who would be hanging off roller coasters and seducing 14 year-old girls with talks of the pressures of fame and seaweed flavoured rice cakes?

Maybe? (I actually took the above photo at a concert on their first reunion tour a few years ago. My friend Emily practically hyperventilated when he looked at her seductively. She gets the Monkey-love.)

Okay, on with the story. It’s very exciting. We’ll have to pace ourselves.

So, Ace and Willy jump off the roller coaster, with Danny in hot pursuit. Unfortunately, Danny is waylaid by thousands of teenage girls who make short work of tearing his clothing off. The rest of the gang spot Ace and Willy running off to and decide to take the Swiss Skyway ride (with cars shaped like giant wheels of cheese) so they can keep an eye on both Danny and the slippery thieves. When the NKOTB spot our nefarious, but slightly stupid gangsters, wandering into the Aztec video arcade, the band jumps OFF the tramway onto a giant trampoline, roughly the size of a football field (stated in the text) and chases those crooks down. Of course, they lose them and a go-cart chase ensues through various parts of the amusement park. Megan resues Danny from the rabid fans and after giving him a celebratory blow job, they run Ace and Willy off the road and into the Niagara Falls fountain. Sp-lash!

Long story short: the crooks are arrested, the concert starts on time, Joey talks his tutor, Einstein, into giving Rabbit some reading lessons and Danny pulls Megan up on-stage and sings her a special song.

The End.

I want to apologize for the delay in updating my blog. Things have been hectic at work. February through May is the busiest time for me and by the time I get home, the last thing I want to do is sit at a computer. But, I do have some exciting things lined up to make it up to you lovely readers (if you’re still out there.) I’ve got another 90210 recap in the works, another Degrassi (just need to pick an appropriate episode) AND I’m going on an unnecessary business trip at the end of the month, so you know what that means – a book that time forgot. I’ve got it already picked out and boy, is it awesomely bad. I think you will all be horrified/delighted by it.

So, where was I? Oh yes, The Dance. We all know The Party had claimed one victim…The Dance will claim another! But, who? Well, we’re about to find out.

We pick up the day after the big storm where Polly had a creepy encounter with Clark (who was covered in sewage) and then dreamed about axes chopping away at the ceiling and fresh blood dripping in her mouth. A lovely image, no? Russ is running in a big race that will net him a scholarship if he wins. Of course, Sara is there to cheer him on. I have a bad feeling about this – anytime Sara’s around when Russ is racing, he ends up losing. She’s a jinx. Anyway, Sara’s all concerned that he needs to get into position. Russ tries to be all romantic, telling her that she’s more important to him than beer. Whoa! Coming from him, that’s practically a marriage proposal! So, the race begins, and he’s doing well – until he slips on some wet grass and falls! Sara runs over to help him up and he wins the race. Whew! Except…he ends up getting disqualified since it’s against the rules to accept help during the race. D’oh! Sara feels like an idiot, but Russ doesn’t care. He knows he won and he doesn’t care about college anyway. He just wants to go to McDonald’s. And run in the Olympics.

Finally, the night of the dance is upon us. Jessica’s running around taking blurry pictures of the basketball game for the yearbook since she refuses to wear her glasses. She’s looking for Michael, and is sad she can’t find him anywhere. She wants to talk with him. She wants to come clean about standing him up and tell him that she loves him. But, she’s still bothered by the fact that Alice hid Michael away from her for almost a year. She worries that Alice thought Mike was too good for her. Well, that’s certainly true! Jessica goes to sit with Polly, Maria and her parents. After watching Nick dominate the basketball court, Maria’s parents like him. Polly is drawing pictures and wants to attend the dance even though she’s hobbling around on her injured ankle. She says the dance will be a better way to pass the time than lying on the floor in the dark. Is it really?

Bubba and Mike are in the computer lab. Mike’s downloading autopsy records and Bubba’s getting dressed for the dance. He’s wearing a zoot suit! With a pimp hat. Oh, Bubba’s so avant-garde – the whole swing dance revival doesn’t happen for another 10 years. Mike is suspicious that Bubba rigged the results of the Homecoming Queen vote. Bubba tells him that Clair is prettier than Jessica and deserved to win. Jessica played dirty, but spreading rumours about Clair’s abortion. Mike asks Bubba if Clair did have an abortion and it the baby was Bubba’s. Bubba denies it and Kreepy Kats comes in just in time to deflect the awkward conversation. Sara had asked Kats to drive the float as a favour to Bubba. Mike is suspicious. Finally, they leave and he’s able to concentrate on reading autopsy records. It’s taking a long time, so Mike decides to check out the game. Tabb High is down by one point. Exciting! Mike sees Jessica snapping photos and decides just to stay to see who wins the game.

Now, there’s a boring part about the basketball team discussing strategy with their coach. Everyone wants to pass the ball to Nick, but the coach says no. He’s pretty stupid. Anyway, I find this part mildly amusing just for the lame cheers that cut into the conversation during this part. My high school didn’t have cheerleaders. Are all of the stupid chants they make up this lame? Or was Pike just making fun of them? A sampling:

“Go Tabb! Go team! Take the ball and stuff it mean!”

“Go Nick! Set the pick! (hein?) Let your best shot rip!”

“Go Ted! Use your head! Make the Trojans drop dead!”

“Go Rock! Be a jock! Catch the ball and give ’em a sock!”

Blah de blah, they go on the court and pass the ball and time runs out, but Nick is fouled. So he has to take two free throws. The pressure…this is the most important moment of his life. He sees his father. This gives him courage to face his inner demons and stuff that ball mean. Of course he makes the baskets and he’s a hero and then he and Maria make out and agree to go to the dance together. Nick has found popularity and now his life is complete. Aw.

Jessica catches up to Mike and they make small talk about this yellow dress she’s wearing to the dance. Yellow? Blech. She asks if he’s coming to the dance. He’s not – he’s busy digging up bones. She calls out to him, to tell him that she loves him – but she loses her courage and the moment is lost, lost forever, such a cruel fate!!!

Maria, Jessica, Sara and Polly are all getting changed for the dance in one of the school’s change rooms. Here is the status of everyone’s outfits:

Jessica: Yellow dress, matching ribbon for her permed and teased hair. She probably looks like Jon Bon Jovi, circa 1986.

Maria: Plain white dress, no ribbon. I’m imagining Natalie Wood in West Side Story.

Sara: Orange dress and she looks “as pretty as a pumpkin pie before you put it in the oven.”

Polly: Wearing the same black outfit she wore to the game. She refuses to get gussied up. No one finds it at all suspicious. Well, Polly is a weird girl and she’s got a lot of problems.

The dance is being held in a giant tent outside the gym. Sara goes to check on the ridiculous float she had built for the coronation. Okay, how am I going to describe this thing? It’s supposed to look like a castle, with five towers; one tower for each princess, plus a central tower for the actual queen. There’s actually a ladder the queen will have to climb to reach her throne (in heels!). It’s covered in flowers and there’s a drawbridge with a chrysanthemum moat. Did I mention it’s built out of plywood? And that it sways slightly when they drive it in to the tent? Doesn’t this seem like an epically bad idea? Well, Sara thinks it’s awesome. I can tell I’m getting old, because all I can think of is the expense involved with building this monstrosity – how much the flowers cost and the liability issues involved. Shit. When did I become a grown-up?

So, the dance begins. Some people are having more fun than others. Jessica’s so nervous, she keeps peeing every 20 minutes, and when she was eating a chicken salad sandwich, she bit her tongue, making it bleed. Tasty! Plus, Big Gay Bill’s more interested in hanging with the jocks than in making out with her. Boo freaking hoo. Nick and Maria are now boyfriend and girlfriend! And their parents are hanging out together! Of course, they agree they have Mike and Jessica to thank for plucking them from obscurity and making their lives worth living. Sara and Russ are dancing. He tries to kiss her, but Sara’s not down PDAs. He tells her that if she doesn’t kiss him right now, he’ll “fondle her breasts in front of everybody.” Fondle? Do teenage boys actually say the word fondle? Anyway, Sara makes her escape and finds a drunken Bubba. She demands to know what happened with the money she gave him – the caterers and the band haven’t been fully paid, yet. Bubba admits that he lost her money, but that doesn’t stop him from trying to entice her back to his place for sexual adventures. He reveals he had to take out some high-interest loans from a bunch of loan sharks. Sara nearly throttles him, but Bubba tells her he’s borrowed enough to get her through to the big graduation blow-out in June.

Now, it’s time to announce the winner. Jessica, Maria, Clair, Sara, Mr. Bark and Cindy Fosmeyer and “her twin mounds of feminine excellence” are all on the structurally unsound float. Kats drives the float in and Sara makes the introductions. Jessica decides that she must be the winner since the applause after her name is the loudest. But, it is not to be. The winner is…Maria!!! Jessica is absolutely floored. Clair is pleased that Jessica didn’t win. Jessica watches Maria standing on the top tower and thinks that “even the small have far to fall.” How sinister.

Meanwhile, Mike’s finally downloaded Alice’s autopsy report and is reading it. He hears a strange knocking noise coming from somewhere. But he ignores it. Looks like Alice died when she broke her nose. Hein? Apparently, her brain was severely damaged by the gunshot (duh), but she also had a broken nose. Unfortunately, her brain was in such bad shape, the doctor couldn’t tell whether the gunshot or the broken nose killed her. Mike is more convinced than ever that Alice was murdered.

After the dance, Jessica and Maria are helping Sara clean up. Sara sent Polly home after she found her drawing creepy drawings of the float with a clock tower about to strike twelve. Because that’s not at all bizarre. Now, I guess Sara didn’t think to have the dance committee do the clean-up. Jessica’s tired and pissed off so she leaves after congratulating Maria and telling her “we all get what we deserve.” Hmmm. Another cryptic remark. Jessica’s wandering through the dark school. I guess it’s one of those outdoor corridor-type set-ups you see in the movie – you know, with the external hallways. She sees the varsity tree swaying in the wind and she starts thinking about darkness, death and doom. She also hears a strange noise, like someone chopping wood…and then, a horrible noise. Jessica freaks out and starts running around in circles, eventually figuring out that she is being chased. Who could possibly chasing her?

Michael! That’s who! He thinks Jessie is the cause of the crashing noise, so he runs around after her, thinking that the perpetrator was an idiot for running around in circles. Heh. Then, he catches her. They wander over to the courtyard and find that the varsity tree (the one Russ fell out of in the last book) has been chopped down. It fell in such a way to cause maximum damage. And the axe has been left behind!!! Mike thinks that only a crazy person could have done such a thing – well, there’s no shortage of crazies at Tabb High. He takes his handkerchief (really? A freaking hanky?) and picks up the axe. He and Jess go to check on Sara and Maria.

Sara and Maria are almost done cleaning up. Maria decides to ascend to the top of the tower of the float one last time. She does a little skip and then – CRASH! The tree has fallen on top of the float and Maria is flung into the cab of the truck. “Her face and chest pressed into the roof; her legs jammed into the steering wheel.” Freaky. Jessica runs off to a payphone to call 911 while Sara bitterly proclaims that it’s “just like the party.” Mike’s not surprised.

Polly is driving home when she sees Clark leaving her driveway on his motorcycle. Uh-oh. She walks up and finds that the front door was left wide open…and the power’s out. She finds a candle and makes her way to her great-aun’ts room. Her aunt is dead! Polly faints on top of her carcass.

Jessica, Mike and Nick are waiting in the hospital for news about Maria. Jess is bummed that Mike doesn’t look at her. She’s also having to weird dreams involving her and Mike leading a four-year-old Alice and her friend through a dark tunnel a field by the ocean. She felt like she’d been reborn (like the tunnel metaphor didn’t make that clear). The next morning, Maria comes out of surgery – apparently, her back was broken. Sara appears – she had to run home because Russ was arrested. The axe Mike and Jess found turned out to be the axe Russ chopped himself out of the freezer with – his prints are all over it. Oops. Also, Russ went out to a bar after the dance, but he got so wasted her can’t remember which one. I guess Sara wasn’t more important than beer, after all.

Then, she tells then that Polly’s aunt dies and everyone wonders when the madness will end. Sara worries that they “won’t be plugging Polly into the socket again.” Mike’s all, “hein?”and Jessica explains that when the McCoy parents died, Polly was so distraught they used electroshock therapy on her. Mike is appalled. He speculates that Polly is batshit crazy and implies that she may have had something to do with Alice’s death. Jessica is horrified. Mike apologizes. Jess tells him that love means never having to say you’re sorry. BUT – before she can reveal her love for Mike, Nick informs her that Maria wants to talk to Jessica.

Maria is angry with Jessica. She blames her for everything; she says it should have been Jessica standing on top of the float. Jessica is upset, but she pokes Maria in the foot with her bobby pin. Sadly, Maria doesn’t react. Instead, she banishes Jessica from her royal presence – for good. Jessica flees and finds Mike. She tells him what Maria said to her. Mike tries to console her, but Jessica tells him that she’s a horrible human being who is undeserving of love and respect. “I’m no good,” she moans as she runs away.

Nick comes out of Maria’s room and tells Mike that she thinks there’s a plot against her. She’s gone all Spanish Mafia on him – Maria wants Nick to catch the responsible party, or else she’ll tell the cops he was running downstairs after the gunshot, the night of the party. The wheels in Mike’s head start turning. Kats also thought the gunshot came from downstairs. Hmmm.

Mike gets in his car and finds that yearbook he bought when he was trying to track down Clark. He finally locates him in a group photo on the very first page. He never had posed for an official photo. His name is Clark Halley. But can he walk through walls?

The End.

Well, at least until The Graduation, when “the truth is revealed at a terrible price.” Oooh! I got shivers reading that!

 Sorry it’s been so long! It’s all about the Olympics at my house – that’s what happens when you live in the host country and you have 4 channels (5 if you count the French network) running all Olympic events 24/7. I just can’t stop watching. It’s freaking awesome. Later today, it’ll be all about men’s hockey and closing ceremonies. Then, things will go back to normal.😦

Here we are with the second part of my recap of Christopher Pike’s The Dance. In this instalment, Mike chases after a murderer that can walk through walls, Polly descends further into madness, Sara and Russ reach a truce and Jessica proves what an appalling human being she really is.

Let’s just dive because things get VERY interesting in this part of the book.

Polly’s just received a phone call from the guy who’s constructing that crazy float Sara dreamed up for the Homecoming Court. Apparently, it’s not structurally sound, what with it being built on top of a pick-up truck and all. Polly promises to stop by and take a look at it. Now, she needs to the grocery store and to the family planning clinic. Polly’s decided to have sex with Russ (not that he knows anything about this plan.) So, Polly shows up at the clinic, talks to someone who might be a nurse (she’s not sure) and tells her she wants a birth control method that’s “not too gross.” Poor Polly; she’s heard of condoms and diaphragms but she isn’t sure which one is used by the boy and which is used by the girl. See what happens when you don’t teach kids sex ed? Anarchy. That’s what happens. Anyway, Polly’s waiting around for a doctor when Clair emerges from the back. Clair has just had an abortion and instead of letting her recuperate in the recovery room, she’s seated in the waiting room! Polly thinks she looks all sick and sweaty but actually tries to carry on a conversation with her. She even asks Clair for contraceptive advice and tells her that Russ is staying at her place. Thankfully, for Clair, Bubba arrives and whisks her away from the crazy.

Detective Mike has a hunch that Kreepy Kats has something to do with Alice’s death. He shows up at the gas station where KK works and starts being a bit of a dick. He makes Kats pump his gas to gain a “psychological advantage.” KK arouses Detective Mike’s ire, as he laments the confiscation of his gun collection rather than a young girl’s death. Blah. Mike’s detective work is boring. KK thought the gunshot came from the outside. But, how could that be, wonders Mike. Everyone in the house clearly heard the gunshot from coming upstairs. KK is as baffled as Mike is. Hmm.

Mike heads home to get ready for his date with Jessica, blissfully unaware that she’s already ditched him in favour of dating Bill Skater. He calls her and she tells him that something came up. Mike is devastated, feeling like the sun blew up and he’s now “a collection of cooked carbon molecules.” Jeez. These people barely know each other and he’s acting like they’re some sort of soap opera super-couple. Blah. Jessica tries to reschedule, but it’s kind of hard, considering he actually has a job and obligations other than solely being at Jessie-Wessie’s beck and call. They agree to hang after the SATs next Saturday. His mom comes and tells him that she’s pregnant and no matter what her boyfriend says, she’s going to keep her baby. Mike is pleased. He knows the baby will be a girl. The reincarnation of Alice, perhaps? Mike decides to go out comet hunting in the desert.

Jessica’s date with Bill is weird. He wanted her invite Mike on the date with them. Bill says Mike’s a “far-out guy.” There are those damned 60s references again! Jessica’s bewildered. Dude, Bill’s gay. When I was 13, I didn’t pick up on that. As an adult, it’s inescapable! I laugh at Jessica’s folly! Ha ha! She actually thinks she’s going to lose her virginity on this date! Ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!! Good luck with that, bee-yotch! After the movie, they’re at his parents’ house sitting in awkward silence. He refuses to make a move….until he reaches over and….picks a loose thread off her sweater. And, he keeps talking about how smart Mike is and stuff. Bill’s kind of a dim bulb, as well. Jess tries squeezing his biceps and he just offers her tea, but she tries playing with his hair and comments on what a lovely zipper he has. Bill is either completely clueless or pretending to be. Then she says he’s got a nice belt. Bill says it’s too long. Jessica: “The longer the better.” Bill decides to take her home. He doesn’t even kiss her.

Polly is having a weird conversation with her Aunt, who is old and frail. Polly’s in a bad mood already since all Russ wants to do is watch Star Trek, eat and sleep. She’s mad he didn’t give a shit when she informed him that she had bought some contraceptives. She leaves her aunt’s room and hears a motorcycle in the driveway. Oh, looky. Clark’s shown up. He wants to fuck Polly, but she can’t because Russ is sleeping in her bed. They have a bizarre conversation where Clark tells her that Sara and Jessica are neglecting her – they’re not her friends. It’s because of them Alice is dead. They talked her into having the party. Then he goes into the aunt’s room and talks about how she’s near death and Polly should just smother her with a pillow and put her out of her misery. Polly ushers him out and he takes off. She’s all “I thought you wanted to see me naked!” He doesn’t take rejection well. He leaves. Polly crawls into bed beside Russ, completely naked. He doesn’t notice. Maybe he’s gay, too?

A week later, the gang’s at an away game for the basketball team. Mike, Nick and The Rock are playing, Clair is cheering, Jessica’s taking pictures for the yearbook, Sara’s looking for Bubba, Polly drinking a Coke and Maria’s studying. There’s a lot going on in this chapter. Jessica keeps taking pictures of Mike. Bill’s been avoiding her and she’s too vain to wear her glasses, so her pictures are probably blurry. Ah, the pre-digital days…I don’t miss you one bit! She’s also unnaturally fixated on Clair and how hot she looks in her cheerleading uniform. Polly had insisted they sit right behind the cheerleaders, and then she starts talking about how Clair looks a lot better than the last time she saw her – at the family clinic when Polly was picking up some prophylactics (“So I won’t get pregnant when I have sex with Russ Desmond.”) Jessica puts two and two together and surmises that Clair had an abortion! She is fully aware that the cheerleaders seated in front of them are eavesdropping on their conversation. Jessica realizes she has no chance to win Homecoming Queen over Clair. So, she pushes Polly into describing how Clair had emerged from the doctor’s office, being supported by a nurse and looking “totally stoned.” Jessica: “Like she had an operation?” Polly agrees and then she starts connecting the dots, but Jessica hushes her before Polly can actually say the word “abortion” out loud. Everyone starts whispering and the rumour has been set into motion. What a bitch. And we thought Jess Wakefield was bad…I dunno guys; Hart could definitely give Wakefield a run for her money.

Jessica actually has the nerve to be all like “the poor girl” before getting up and running out of the gym. She bumps into a distraught Sara who has discovered that Russ is staying with Polly. Jess realizes that Bill could possibly have been the father of Clair’s baby – and now she feels shitty. I really don’t get what Mike sees in her – she is so appalling.

Mike gets into a huge fight with the lame-ass coach and ends up quitting the team. He decides that basketball isn’t fun anymore because the coach doesn’t see how awesome Mike truly is. Mike’s changing out of his uniform when Bubba appears. Good news: he can hack into the coroner’s computer system to retrieve Alice’s autopsy report. Bad news: it’ll take a number of hours to transmit the data and sort through it to find what they’re looking for. More bad news: Jessie’s a slut – she bailed on Mike because she had a date with Bill Skater. Bubba leaves Mike to digest those revelations while he takes off to track down the source of a nasty rumour.

Mike’s heading out to the parking lot when he sees Jessica. Bubba’s revelation didn’t put him off, at all. In fact, he only wants her more. Excuse me while I projectile vomit. He can tell she’s been crying. She’s upset when she learns he quit the team and she wants to know if they’re still on for tomorrow. Maybe they could go to the mountains. Mike agrees; thinking of how Clark once told him his high school was near the mountains. Maybe they’ll engage in some detective work for their date.

The next day, Mike and Jess are late for the SATs and Jess is popping caffeine pills like they’re candy. They make it to the test and start writing. Everything’s going well until the break. They run into Bubba, who’s also writing the test, just for fun. Bubba’s pretty hostile towards Jessica and when she’s popping an extra No-Doze, he asks her if she’s on the morning-after pill. Then, he asks to see the bottle and gives her the bad news: she’s been taking Valium! Bubba starts laughing and Mike encourages her to go vomit the last pill. Jess is a little squeamish. She doesn’t want to mess up her blouse. Bubba: “And I hear Stanford doesn’t stand for messy blouses.” Jess runs off to the bathroom, and Mike berates Bubba for being mean to sweet Jessie. Bubba tells Mike that she doesn’t care who she hurts – she’s a terrible person. Jess was unable to puke. She almost falls asleep during the exam and Mike finally tosses her a cheat sheet. After the test, Mike discovers they had different exams. Ha ha ha ha! HA! He tells Jessie that he probably made things worse for her – thanks to his ‘help’ she got a score of zero on the last two sections. Karma’s a bitch, Jessie! Then, she passes out and they sit under a tree somewhere for a few hours while the Valium wears off. Another dream date.

Later in the week, Nick’s practicing free throws and avoiding The Rock. Since Mike quit the team, some of the guys have been giving him a hard time. He bumps into The Rock, who is all alone. But, without his posse backing him up, he’s a big ol’ fraidy-cat. Nick tries to reason with him, to find out what The Rock’s got against him. The Rock calls him scum and a drug dealer. The Rock informs Nick that he’s seen Nick pushing drugs at a crack house in the ‘hood. Nick gets dressed and makes The Rock take him to said crack house. When they get there, Nick gives The Rock $20 and tells him to knock on the door and ask for Stanley. BUT – don’t mention Nick. So, what happens? The Rock almost gets strangled to death by Nick’s evil doppelganger. Nick hotwires The Rock’s pick-up truck (yah – what else would he be driving?), tosses a Coke bottle at the window of the drug den of inequity, distracts Stanley, rescues The Rock and escapes the ‘hood. Now, that’s excitement! The Rock apologizes for stereotyping black people. Nick forgives him. He remembers that The Rock returned to Polly’s house the night of the party – was it really to thank Mike for saving him from going blind (after crazy Polly threw powdered chlorine in his eyes)? Nah, The Rock was going to kick Nick’s ass, but his eyes started bothering him again, so he took a shower. The Rock reveals that his name is Theodore. BUT – in The Party, we’re told that his real name is Gordon! Which is it??? Or did Nick bring back the wrong white guy?

Sara’s driving around when she comes across Russ. He’s jogging. She wants to run him over for sleeping with Polly. She wisely resists this urge. Jail’s not a lot of fun. She stops the car and they talk. She apologizes for locking him in the freezer. He’s been thinking about what she said about him being a drunk. He’s going to clean up his act. He tells her that there’s nothing going on with him and Polly. Of course, Sara’s all temperamental and accusing him of getting Clair pregnant and worrying about him getting a cold. Russ is getting a headache. They kiss. He’s going to run in this big race. He wants her to be there. She agrees, as long as Polly isn’t there. Aw, those crazy kids!

The next day, it’s the big vote for Homecoming Queen. Jessica’s so insecure, she actually votes for herself. Thanks to her machinations, everyone’s gossiping about Clair, who hasn’t been in school all week. Bill asked her to the dance and of course, Jessica accepted. Strangely enough, Bill doesn’t seem to mind that everyone thinks he knocked up Clair. Hmmm, why could that be? When she gets home, she finds out that her SAT scores are terrible. That’s what happens when you pop Valiums and then try to cheat without (duh) realizing that, of course, they would be using more than version of the test to trip up the asses that choose to cheat! She decides to sit and mope on the front porch. How convenient. Oh, ho ho! Clair has emerged from the shrubbery to confront Jessica. This should be good.

Clair accuses her of staring the abortion rumour. Jessica lamely denies it. Clair tells her there’s no way in hell she’ll get her precious title and she can have Bill…”for all the good he’ll do [her].” Jessica still tries to play innocent, but Clair is much too smart:

“When I first met you with Mike, I thought you had class. I thought we could become friends. Now, I’m glad I kept my distance. I hope Mike does the same. She flicked her nail at the end of Jessica’s nose, scratching it. “You’ll get what you deserve, bitch.”

Go Clair!!!! Anyway, Jessica feels like shit and rightly so. As she’s wallowing, she realizes she’s in love with Michael. She wonders what he really thinks of her. She assumes that he just thinks of her as a friend.

Oh crap. Detective Mike’s at it again. He heads to a school near the mountains and buys a copy of last year’s yearbook from them. He’s trying to find Clark. He’s not in it. The search continues! He decides to head back to school and check on how Bubba’s coming along with the hacking activities. He finds Bubba having a heated discussion with Clair in the computer lab. Bubba’s refusing to do something because it’s “too obvious”; Mike would figure it out because he stupidly likes Jessie. Clair is mad that Bubba won’t do her one little favour…she refuses to stand idly by and see Jessica crowned Homecoming Queen. She’ll take matter into her own hands, if she has to! She storms off and Mike enters the room. Bubba wants to know if Mike’s going to the dance. Mike says he wants to see Nick play in the big game. He might stop by the dance afterwards. Bubba informs him that Bill has asked Jessie to the dance: “the slut was flattered.” I really like Bubba in this book. He’s hating on Jessie, just like I do! Mike kicks himself for not asking Jessica himself. Yeah Mike, you should have asked her while she was drugged up on Valium. Have you learned nothing from Bubba? Mike decides to help with the downloading of computer files blah de blah obsolete techno-talk. He’ll work on it during the dance.

Polly returns home to find a note from Russ. He thanks her for the hospitality, but has found somewhere else to stay – Sara’s! She flushes the note down the toilet. Polly suddenly decides he didn’t fuck her because she was too skinny, so she starts pigging out on chocolates. She also starts talking to herself (in the voice of her dead mother), pretending she’s having a party. She’s thirsty but decides that using paper cups is much more festive than using normal glasses. You see where this is going, don’t you? Back up to the creepy empty room of death. She climbs the rickety ladder to get the stupid cups when suddenly; a shadowy figure pushes her off the ladder!!! She falls on the floor and hurts her leg and her wrist.

Ah! It’s Clark (of course) and he smells like a sewer. He actually dove into the toilet, or hid in the sewage lines (?) to retrieve the note Russ left behind. He accuses her of being unfaithful and threatens to break Polly’s ankle unless she tells the truth. So, she tells him that she slept with Russ (which is the literal truth). He tells her that if she leaves him, he dies and then he points at some damages roof shingles and tells her that he will set her free. Then, Clark tells her that Alice’s blood is seeping through the floor and into the aunt’s room, below…No wait, he says that her blood is dripping into the aunt’s mouth! And then the blood will smother her and she’ll die. Then he starts talking about talking about using a nice soft pillow to smother her aunt and set her free and Polly’s screaming and grabbing at him – she’ll be all alone if Aunty dies!!! Then, he laughs at her, tells her “it’s [her] show” and leaves. WTF????? (Even though I already know what happens in this series, I like pretending I haven’t read it before and thinking of the reactions new readers would have to these events. It’s kind of fun!)

Polly thinks that maybe Alice was right about him – Clark’s a weird guy. He’s got a lot of problems. Luckily, he didn’t actually murder her aunt.

And this is a good enough place to leave off for now. Next time: the dance!!! (of doom)

Making Out at a Dance = Mono!

Continuing along in my examination of school dances, we come to one of my favourite Degrassi Jr. High episodes, Sealed with a Kiss. (Or how making out with a jerkus will almost certainly give you the kissing disease!!!) I had never even heard of mononucleosis until I saw this episode as an impressionable 7th grader. I was all like, there’s a disease you get from kissing??? I thought it was a disease they made up for dramatic effect, like torsoshrinkalitis (where your torso gradually shrinks until all that’s left of you is a floating head) or egalaputus (where you don’t die, but you stay in bed for the rest of your life.) And then they talk a lot about French kissing which grossed me out further. For a year or two, I actually thought that if you French kissed a guy, you’d automatically get mono. I was so innocent back then…

Oh. And, this is the first episode that focuses on Hearica and the fact that they are actually two different people, not an entity! I’m going to have to refer to them by their separate names.

DJH and a school called St. Mary’s are holding an inter-school dance. How exciting! Erica can’t wait to meet all the cute boys! Heather calls her a sex maniac. Erica calls Heather a prude. Erica then throws a fit at Doris, the kindly school secretary, when she mistakes her for Heather. Credits.

It’s the end of the day and Mr. Raditch dismisses the class by telling them to behave at the dance. Oh, Rockin’ Rompin’ Raditch! When will you realize that no one ever behaves, especially at DJH dances?

Alexa tells the twins that she’s going to dance with all kinds of cute boys because she wants to make her boyfriend, Simon, jealous. Erica thinks that’s sooo romantic. After Alexa wanders off with Simon, Erica asks Heather if she thinks they’ve French kissed before. Heather is disgusted: “No way I’d ever let a guy stick his tongue in my mouth!” Erica tells her she doesn’t know how to have fun. Heather starts lecturing her twin on being responsible. God, I don’t remember her being so insufferable. I don’t blame Erica for wanting to break free of the entity.

They head into the girls’ bathroom and bump into Stephanie. She’s wearing an oversize denim shirt and a floor-length black skirt. How unusual. Hearica want to know if she’s going to the dance and seduce some cute boys. Stephanie glares at them and tells the twins she doesn’t care about boys. “That’s very unusual.” Erica comments. Steph storms out. Hearica agree that Steph’s acting weird.

Joey and Snake are waiting on Wheels, who’s meeting with Ms. Avery. The Zit Remedy’s been on hiatus because Wheels’ parents have forbidden him to play with the “band” until his grades improve. Yay! Wheels doesn’t need any tutoring! The Zit Remedy is back! The DJH music scene will rock once again! Sweet!

Erica’s getting ready for the dance. She wants to wear a black and white dress with some weird 80s geometric pattern on it. She sighs to herself that it’s her favourite dress…until disaster strikes! Heather’s already wearing the EXACT SAME OUTFIT! Heather is stoked that they match, but Erica’s disgusted – she tosses the dress aside and selects a white lacy, gauzy wedding dress-like concoction. She’s her own person! And it’s about damn time Heather became sentient as well. Heather is puzzled by this unexpected outburst.

At the dance, Joey, Wheels and Snake are upset that the St. Mary’s boys are stealing all the Degrassi girls and dancing with them. Snake suggests they ask some St. Mary’s girls to dance. Joey immediately rejects that idea; they don’t even know those broads! Well, I think Joey’s too embarrassed to approach them in his sleeveless tuxedo t-shirt. Behold!

Boys? I think thou art stylin’. All three of you. Rrrowwrr! I mean, who would want to get with these fine specimens? Not Erica. She heading off to a private corner with a St. Mary’s boy!

Erica and her lover head over to a deserted stairwell. Erica’s blabbering on and on about how much she hates being a twin and having to share everything, blah de blah de blah. The guy is staring at her breasts, trying to figure out how to shut her up. Ah, he figured it out: “You’re beautiful, Erica. I mean it, sincerely.” Barf. But he is successful…

They start making out…and French kissing!!! Good thing Heather’s not around – she would freak. I mean think of the diseases.

Heather and Alexa come out of the gym and start searching for Erica. They’re giggling about all the cute boys Alexa’s been dancing with. Heather asks the three amigos where Erica went. They inform her that she went that-a-way with a weasly St. Mary’s boy. Heather and Alexa find Erica smooching the mystery dude. Heather is aghast; Alexa is titillated, as evidenced below:

Later, Erica’s telling Heather about how she’s now a “real woman” now that she’d French kissed a boy. Heather is just plain horrified. Erica (who’s six minutes older) tells her twin that she’ll understand when she’s older. Erica also points out that where she is interesting, romantic and mature, Heather is dull and boring. Heather: “At least I’m not easy!”

The next day at school (What – they had a dance on a school night??? Well, I never!), Alexa is all squealy because Simon is jealous about all her dances with boys. Erica thinks it’s romantic that he’s jealous. Erica has a sore throat and is wearing a silk scarf…which allegedly cures sore throats. Huh. She tells Alexa all about Aaron, the dude she made out with. Erica tells Heather to leave because she’s too immature to understand adult matters. God, Erica’s a total bitch when she wants to be. Heather’s response?

That’s probably what I would have done, except I would have incorporated an obscene gesture or two. She leaves and we find more about the Aaron-guy. His dad has convertible and he promised to take Erica for a ride!!! Wait – how could he possibly have a licence if he’s in Jr. High? Well, the dude’s so cool, he and a friend crashed the dance to score chicks because they couldn’t get with any girls their own age. (Just a hunch.) Sounds like a match made in heaven.

In class, Mr. Raditch is assigning people to study diseases. At first, he tries to put the twins together, but they balk at the idea. So, Heather and Steph team up to study lung cancer while Erica and Alexis get mono. Alexis is especially excited to have a chance to study the kissing disease. At the library, Erica complains that her throat is really scratchy, she feels feverish and she’s got itchy lumps on her throat. At first, I thought she’d given Aaron a good ol’ BJ, before remembering that this was the 80s. Erica doesn’t want to be sick – Aaron’s supposed to call and she thinks she’s in love. Alexa informs her that symptoms of mono include sore throat, fever and swollen glands. OMG! Erica has the kissing disease!!! Alexa starts telling her about a cousin who was in the hospital with mono for months! Erica’s depressed. She finally meets a cute boy and he makes her sick. Alexa finds the silver lining: “At least he didn’t give you AIDS.”

The Zit Remedy is rehearsing their one and only song: Everybody Wants Something. That song is a treat. Joey wants to take it from the top, but Snake has to go. His fingers are sore. Joey wants to know how they’re going to get famous if they don’t practice? Wheels wants to go for fries and Joey agrees they might as well “do something useful” since they can’t rehearse without Snake.

The Aaron-guy shows up at Hearica’s house. When Heather answers the door, he thinks she’s Erica. She figures out that he’s THE Aaron and he says “That’s my name, don’t wear it out!” Pee-Wee Herman? Is that you? Heather goes upstairs to fetch Erica, who refuses to see Aaron because she’s sick. Heather very maturely starts talking in a baby voice: “No kissy wissy? No lovey dovey? No touchy wouchy?” No wonder Erica’s always slagging on her for being immature. Sheesh. Erica gets mad and calls her a little girl – and rightly so, I think.

Heather tells Aaron that Erica’s indisposed. He’s disappointed. He borrowed his dad’s convertible – it’s special. Aaron asks Heather to come for a drive with him because “you’re sort of the same, right?” Heather declines his thoughtful invitation, but then he brings out the big guns: Erica told him that her twin never did anything spontaneous. Oh, them’s fighting words! So, Heather goes. And, Erica watches from the upstairs window.

“My own sister!”

They get in the car and Aaron exclaims “let’s blow this pop stand!” As he puts the car in reverse. D’oh! They drive to a deserted parking lot by the lake. Aaron does the sneaky” I’m stretching and putting my arm around you, but you won’t notice” move. Then: “Heather, you’re beautiful. I mean it sincerely.” Hmmm. That sounds kind of familiar…where did I hear that before? He then smooches her. Heather is grossed out and pushes him away, wiping at her mouth.

Heather is definitely not into that.

Joey and Wheels are eating fries when Snake finds them. He’s been playing classical guitar after school. Joey: “Like Elvis?” Snake really likes it even it makes his fingers sore. Joey feels betrayed. Will the Zit Remedy survive to play another gig? Stay tuned…

Aaron drops Heather off and suggests that all three of them could go on a date one day. Ick. Heather comes clean to Erica about how Aaron attacked her with kisses. Erica is upset – he gave her mono, too! The twins rub their throats anxiously.

The next day, Hearica go to a clinic to see a doctor. They’re wearing identical scarves to soothe their throats. Honestly, how the hell does wearing a piece of silk fabric on your neck help your throat? I don’t get it. False alarm! No one has the kissing disease! Erica has tonsillitis and Heather was getting sympathy pains. Erica apologizes for being mean. Heather didn’t like kissing Aaron at all. She thought it was gross. Erica did really like it, but that’s because she liked him. Heather thought he was grotesque. “That’s the difference,” Erica responds sagely. The twins share a bowl of ice cream.

The End.

Ah, the Final Friends. I decided to return to Pike’s oeuvre after taking a bit of a break. If you want to brush up, you can check out my lengthy five part recap of The Party. I just don’t have it in me to attempt another, more succinct, summary. Basically, there are a bunch of strange and infuriating characters, they have a party and one of them washes her hair with her own blood.

Before I jump into the recap, I wanted to share a kind of funny anecdote with you. Like I’ve mentioned before, I started reading Pike’s books back when I was in grade 8 or 9 – That would have been 1989 or 1990. Anyway, I had the entire Final Friends trilogy and I read and re-read it a number of times. Unbeknownst to me, my mom decided to read the series. I know…don’t get me started. My mom would often “check up on me” by reading my books or watching the movies my friends and I rented. One day, we were out running errands and she suggested we go for lunch – I remember it so clearly, she took me to Maxwell Taylor’s. Now, I knew something was up. Anytime my mom took me out for lunch, it was to lecture me about something. This time, she wanted to discuss the Final Friends books. She felt that the characters weren’t very positive influences. I found that weird, because she never really commented about my love for V.C. Andrews’ novels (I picked up that habit in grade 7) and most of her characters are twisted. Anyway, I asked her what she meant and we got into this big discussion. Basically, she grouped the characters into two groups: positive influences and negative influences. I thought it would be kind of fun to introduce them by my mom’s impressions of them. (If my memory serves me correctly…and I believe it does.)

The Good

Maria – “She was the only girl that actually did any homework.”

Nick – “He was a very hard worker and he tried to better himself.”

Clair (This one was a shocker) – “She carried herself very well and acted above-board.”

The Rock – “He volunteered with the inner city kids and didn’t drink alcohol.”

The Bad

Jessica – “She was an awful character; so selfish and vain. And she cheated on the SATs.”

Sara – “She’s very conceited and very mouthy. I hope you don’t get any ideas from her.” (Apparently, I could be quite mouthy when I wanted to be. And that was a bad thing, I guess.)

Polly – “She chases after drunken boys. She also appears to have an eating disorder and some severe mental health issues.”

Russ – “A drunk.”

Bubba – “A horrible, horrible character. He objectifies women, gambles and cheats.”

Michael (I know! Saintly Michael!) – “He’s just too good to be true.”

Bill – “He just has no personality.”

Clark – “I’m not sure what he’s supposed to be, but his character is just plain bizarre.”

Fascinating what we remember from our youth. I’m sure I was lectured on many other occasions on much more serious matters, but this is the one I remember best. Thanks, Ma!

Here’s the cover:

 

It’s really hard to tell who’s who in this one. The guy with the mullet, front and center is definitely Russ. But who’s the chick with him wearing the pink bubble skirt? Polly? Jessica? Maria? We don’t know. Again, they’re all standing around a chalk outline, but this time…. (Spoiler alert) no one died!!! The hell? Why would the cops come up and draw an outline around someone who wasn’t dead? Horribly injured or maimed, yes. But far from dead. I guess I just need to simmer down and stop being so nitpicky or else this recap will be longer than Gone with the Wind.

We pick up about 2 months after Alice’s apparent suicide. Jessica is devastated because she has to wear glasses!!! She’s allergic to contacts and without them she’s legally blind. Oh, the humanity! She can’t be seen in public wearing glasses – she’ll never get elected Homecoming Queen. Only unattractive geeky girls wear glasses. And Bill Skater will never want to date her, much less fuck her. Anyway, Jessica decides that before she can move on with her life and start living again, she needs to patch things up with Michael. Mike’s been avoiding her since that fateful day when he blew up at her for daring to assume that St. Alice would commit suicide. Jess drives to his house and like a good stalker, parks down the street waiting for him to come home. When he does, she can’t bring herself to get out of the car.

Meanwhile, Sara heads to the bank, withdraws $3000 in cash from the Student Council account and sticks it in her purse. What could possibly go wrong? Sara muses to herself about how hot Polly is now that she’s dropped like 20 pounds. Well, except for the crazy eyes and the mysterious grey streak in her hair. Polly thinks it’s a bad idea to carry a ton of money around in one’s purse. For once, Polly’s making some sense. Instead, Sara just drops her off at home. She needs to pay the band and pick up some other stuff related to the Homecoming Dance. Like a can of Spam and a hunky date. Aw, Sara’s still warm for Russ’ form. She shows up at the grocery store where he works and tries to get his attention without actually talking to him. Of course, he’s oblivious to her presence (or pretends to be). Finally, she goes up to him. But, she doesn’t just bite the bullet and ask him out. No, she bugs him about competing in races and getting scholarships and brags about being school president. What is it with girls in the 80s being afraid to ask boys out on dates? Russ heads to the back and she follows him. He laughs at her and calls her on nosing around for a date. He tells her she needs a good roll in the hay, not a date to the dance. Sara blows a gasket and locks Russ in the grocery store freezer. Then she runs away, leaving her purse full of cash behind.

Michael’s building a telescope and dealing with his grief by searching for comets in the desert. (And by harassing Detective Keller, the guy in charge of investigating Alice’s death – more on that later.) He’s found a comet, but he needs to verify it or something. He’s whistling and feeling happy for the first time since Alice died. Looking through the telescope, he sees Jessica’s car parked down the street. Ah, we have yet another stalker, my friends! He watches her for a bit before deciding to approach her. He apologizes for being an asshole; she shows him the sweater that he ruined with his grape juice. She got the stain out! A miracle that must have been performed by St. Alice, patron saint of unfortunate stains on expensive sweaters! Jess says she still owes him a movie so she asks him to go out with her tomorrow night. Mike has to juggle some shifts and stuff at work, but he decides she’s worth it. Sigh. Poor Mike…she’s just not that into you, dude.

Mike heads over to Polly’s with a permission form for their ancient guardian to sign, so Mike can see the autopsy report. He’s already smugly pointed out to Detective Keller that Alice was left-handed. They found the gun in her right hand. How could she have committed suicide with her weaker hand? It just makes no logical sense. So, he goes to have a talk with Polly about the night of the party and has a discussion with her that makes even less sense. He asks Polly if she thinks Alice was the type to kill herself. Polly: “Do you mean before she killed herself? She only killed herself the one time.” Oh, poor, poor crazy Polly. She mentions that the man with the electricity told her that Alice was killed by her own hand. Mike tells her that he thinks Alice was murdered. Then, they get into an extremely bizarre conversation about the Creepy Clark-guy Alice was dating. Mike wants to know if he was at the party. Polly tells him that she told Alice not to invite him. “He wouldn’t have come without an invitation. He was weird, but he wasn’t weird like that.” Mike gives her the consent form and Polly warns him to stay away from Clark. He might get hurt.

Later, Polly’s wandering around her dark house while a thunderstorm rages outside. She eats nothing but carrots and she believes that they help her see in the dark. She goes upstairs to lie down on the spot Alice died. She hears a banging noise coming from outside. It’s Clark! She runs downstairs and they stand outside together. He thinks she looks “exotic” and “tender.” He’s upset she never told him about Alice. Polly tells him Mike thinks she was murdered. She gives Clark the consent form and he takes it from her and starts talking about how it must be a hassle to look after her great-aunt – she’s old, time for her to die. They make out a bit and Clark tells her Mike knows something as Alice “was too cute to wash her hair with her own blood.” I always loved that quote. My 13 year-old self found it very clever. Anyway, Clark leaves since there’s someone knocking at the front door and he doesn’t want to be seen. Oh my…it’s Russ. His dad punched him and kicked him out of the house, and he needs a place to crash. Of course, Polly lets him in and cooks him a steak dinner and he drinks an entire bottle of wine. Later, she takes him up to her bedroom, but he shuts the door in her face. Polly ends up sleeping on the couch, but she’s happy so many boys want to kiss her and talk to her.

The next day, Jessica’s shocked and appalled that Sara lost the money ear-marked for the dance. Apparently, Russ had to chop his way out of the freezer she locked him in and he got fired. Jessica thinks Russ stole it. Sara’s freaking out, because there isn’t enough money in the student council account to pay for the dance and she’ll get in trouble for losing so much cash. Of course, the only thing Jess cares about is the possible cancellation of the Homecoming Queen contest.

At lunch, the contestants are announced: Clair, Jessica, some chick named Cindy Fosmeyer who has enormous breasts and…Maria! Also, there’s a six-way tie for the fifth position, so there’ll just be four. Well, that seems a little suspect, especially given that Bubba’s responsible for tabulating the votes. In the middle of all the mayhem, Bill comes up and asks Jess out on a date that night. Of course, Jess forgets all about her previous engagement at the movies with Mike and eagerly accepts. And yet Mike still thinks she’s the most amazing woman in the world. I don’t get it. She bumps into Clair and mentions what an amazing coincidence the tie was. Clair wasn’t surprised and boasts that she can’t lose. Hmmm. How mysterious.

After lunch, Sara finds Bubba in the computer lab. She heard he’s a financial wizard and she’s hoping he can get her money for the dance. Bubba agrees, but there’s a catch: if she wants his help, she’ll have to have sex with him. First, she has to give him the last $1000 from the student council account, by forging Bill’s signature on a check. He’ll “reinvest” it and hopefully, triple it within one week. Sara is reluctant to agree to Bubba’s terms, but she has no choice. She makes sure she only has to do it once. Bubba tells her she’ll wish “there was a hundred times yet to come.” Sara calls him a sleaze ball. I wish we’d gotten to read a description of Bubba’s sexual prowess. How much do you want to bet he was a virgin before he fucked Clair?

Mike and Nick are shooting hoops. Mike wants Nick to go out for the team. He thinks Nick’s good enough to get a scholarship. Oh, yeah – Mike’s also a b-baller. Mike also forces Nick to read one book a week. Jeez. Mike is like Professor Higgins from My Fair Lady and Nick is Eliza Doolittle. Nick confides that there’ a creepy guy named Randy who’s out to get him – he keeps trying to sell Nick drugs. Hell, he even put a baggie with 2 grams of coke in Nick’s locker, which he gave to Bubba. Okay, this Randy dude’s a narc from the LAPD. Do cops actually plant drugs in kids’ lockers? Crazy! Nick’s upset because he sees Maria, who dumped him after the party. Her parents didn’t approve of Nick, especially since he’d been detained as a suspect. Mike thinks she’s a horrible human being. Nick approaches Maria and congratulates her on being elected to the Court – but she’s still cold. Nick decides to try out for the basketball team – that’ll show her!

Mike goes to see Bubba. His purpose is three-fold: first, to ask Bubba if he and Clair were having sex in one of the bedrooms the night of the party; second, to ask Bubba to dig up dirt on the Randy-guy; third, to ask Bubba to hack into the medical offices of the doctor who did Alice’s autopsy. Bubba tells Mike that he and Clair were stargazing the night of the party (no, they were having sex); the Randy-guy’s a narc and Bubba spiked his Pepsi with the coke he left in Nick’s locker; and, he agrees to try to hack into the computer system to find Alice’s autopsy. Clair comes into the room, crying, so Mike leaves.

And this looks like as good a place as any to leave off with the recap. Until next time, my friends! And remember: The party had claimed one victim…and the dance would take another! Mwah mwah mwah ha!

Wow. Just…wow. Last month, I wrote a blog post about recycling pop culture artifacts for a new generation. I lamented the lack of creativity in the continual recycling of pop culture phenomena. I worry that we just can’t seem to come up with fresh, new ideas and instead seem content to continue recycling. Downside: the continual raping of my childhood/ adolescence. Upside: I have a steady source of  items to mercilessly mock.

So, what brought this latest bitchfest on? They’re freaking re-launching Sweet Valley High (again), except the twins and their friends will now be in their 20s. How original. This has been floating around since the 90s. I think it’s supposed to be kind of like a primetime soap crossed with a Harlequin Romance novel. It’ll be as cheesy as it sounds. But will it be a guilty pleasure or be guilty of just plain sucking (much like a recent relaunch that shall remain nameless, but can be relived here and here)?

It could be an interesting prospect if they actually target the series at adults.  So, if our old friend Franny wants these new literary delights to hit the top of the best seller list this is what needs to be done:

1) There has to be sex. And lots of it. No “almost” touching someone’s boob, no late night encounters in the woods that “go pretty far”, and most definitely NO marrying someone just because you want to lose your virginity and don’t want to be branded “fast” or “loose.”

2) Drugs. As if Lila and Bruce wouldn’t have had connections to buy ecstasy, coke or some really good weed. They have to have wild parties and get all coked up and stuff. Bonus points if they make Jessica a pill-popping soccer mom trying to numb herself from the drudgery her life has become.

3) Booze. See above. I think Todd Wilkins will become a barfly who hangs out at the bar with his high school buddies, reliving their SVH varsity basketball glory days after getting off work at the factory. He will also have a beer belly.

4) Liz must fall from her pedestal. And HARD. Maybe she gets laid off from her job as a hotshot reporter at the New York Times and ends up having to move back to Sweet Valley to live with her parents! Maybe she also had an affair with her married editor and got pregnant with his child!!! Oh, and then when she gets back to town, she looks up Jeffrey and seduces him, then tricks him into thinking the child is his!!!

5) 1bruce1 must return, and it must be a Porsche. Not a lameass Cadillac. It can be a newer model, but it has to be a Porsche.

6) Gay people. We need to have more than one gay person in Sweet Valley. I think Gay Tom will open a new drag burlesque club where the seedy Shady Lady used to be. He’ll keep the name but add the flava. And, a prominent SV citizen should find out he’s gay. *cough* Bruce *Patman* cough* What? Like the sweatervests weren’t a clue?

7) Black, Asian, Hispanic, Indian and Arabic people. There needs to be more diversity in Sweet Valley. After all, it’s 2010 and a black man is now President of the United States. Time for Sweet Valley to get on board. What’s that? There were hardly any black, Asian, Hispanic, Indian and Arabic people in SVH the first time around? Hmmm. That could be problematic. Why don’t we take some popular characters from the original series and change their culture. Imagine how much more awesome Enid would be if she were black? Or if Ken was Asian? I think it would be a step into the 21st century.

8. No vampires, demons, ghosts or other supernatural beings. Although I will allow for the posssiblity of Alice Wakefield becoming a cougar, trolling the Beach Disco for fresh meat thanks to Ned’s erectile dysfunction.

9) No more introducing superfluous characters with silly plotlines that serve no purpose, only to disappear from later volumes with nary a mention ever again. Just stop it. Unless the character plays a vital part in upcoming storylines, we don’t want to hear about it.

10) Do not, under any circumstances, change the names of any of the famous places (or bands) in Sweet Valley. We need to have Dairi Burger. We need the Droids. We just do. The Valley wouldn’t be as Sweet without them.😛

Ah, well. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what this latest spin-off will hold. Hey, it can’t be as bad as the twins chasing werewolves around London. Or can it?

P.S. The good news: Congrats to Shannon for getting a shout-out on the Entertainment Weekly site!

90210: Spring Dance

So, here we are with the second instalment in my examination of the school dance. I decided to revisit a classic episode of 90210, since it’s been awhile. This one is a very important episode; a lot goes down at the West Beverly Spring Dance. Steve reveals he’s adopted, Kelly smooches Brandon, Ondrea goes on a murderous rampage with a chainsaw AND Brenda loses her virginity to Dylan!!!

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

It’s another day at West Beverly High. Steve and Brandon are walking down the hallway, while Steve goes on about how spring is in the air: “Sweet overripe flower scent…Nature is doing its thing and it’s turning me into a DOG!” God, who writes this drivel? Oh, look. There’s a hot girl. Her name is Darla Diller. She’s apparently the hottest girl in school. We’ve never heard of her, before. Anyway, she’s wearing a lavender crushed velvet dress and black leggings. (Is anyone else disturbed that leggings are back in?) As she walks by the boys, they check her out…and then, they whip out their x-ray glasses!!! Are they twelve???

 

Wow. That’s pretty pathetic. Steve tells Brandon that he’s asking her to the spring dance. He’s even reserved a room at the hotel where the dance is being held. What a gentleman. Be sure to wear those glasses when you ask her out, Steve. She’ll be very impressed.

David’s girly voice comes over the loud speaker. He’s announcing the names of the spring princesses: 3 people we’ve never heard of and Kelly. Tori, Kelly and Brenda start jumping up and down and squealing at the news.

Later, at the Blaze, Ondrea awkwardly asks Brandon if he’s going to the dance. He isn’t. He hates to dance. He asks if Ondrea would go if someone asked her. Ondrea’s reply:

“I have fundamental ideological problems with teenage social rituals that basically do nothing but exacerbate fears of total insecurity and inferiority over one’s appearance while frenetically exploiting – and I must add – distorting the feminine ideal; and act which reaches its apogee with the election of the Spring Queen.”

Brandon’s like “Durrr?”

Steve catches up to Darla in the hallway. He asks her to the dance. She turns him down because she doesn’t “do [Cor]vettes.” Ha ha! Steve, if you’d have worn those x-ray glasses, you would have sealed the deal!

Brenda catches up to Ondrea and asks if Brandon asked her to the dance. She’s a little disappointed when Ondrea explains that they’re going to watch movies that night instead. Brenda explains to Ondrea that it’s okay for girls to ask boys out. Ondrea sighs that Brandon would have asked her if he really wanted to. Brenda shakes her head, grimly. I foresee some heartbreak for Ondrea.

Peach Pit: Kelly comes in and asks Brandon to the dance. He’s shocked she doesn’t have a date. Brandon agrees after Kelly promises that she’ll show him a really good time. Well, well, well! Steve appears and asks Kelly to the dance. Kelly smugly tells him that she’s going with Brandon. “As friends!” Brandon jumps in. Steve’s still suspicious. Brandon tells him that he could go with Tori and they could all go in a group…as friends. Steve grudgingly agrees. I think this is a recipe for disaster, don’t you?

The next day, Steve asks Tori to the dance. She stutters and stammers for about 20 minutes before agreeing. Meanwhile, Kelly tells Brandon to make reservations for dinner at Spago – not to worry, she’ll pay. All Brandon has to worry about is the tux rental – “Simple and black. No pastels or velvet lapels.” Brandon rolls his eyes, as Kelly also wants him to buy her a corsage, preferably orchids. Oh! And don’t forget to rent the limo! After all, as a Spring Princess, she can’t be seen in Brandon’s old clunker. Brandon finally snaps and tells her he can’t afford a freaking limo. Awkward! Uh-oh. More awkwardness…Ondrea walks up and asks Brandon what time he’s coming over on Saturday to watch movies. Brandon breaks the bad news: he’s going to the dance with Kelly, instead. Ondrea’s smile freezes, as Kelly squeezes Brandon and squeals: “Don’t we make a great couple?” Ondrea is devastated. She runs off, nearly bursting into tears. Brandon feels a little bad, but he’s not sure why. D-uh! Ondrea likes you, you doofus! If you’re not down with that, let her know! Man!

Later, Brandon approaches Ondrea at the Blaze. He tells her he doesn’t understand why she’s mad. She tells him to have that kickboxing article in by noon, or else she’ll ask another reporter to take care of it. Brandon is dumb.

After school, Dylan and Steve take Brandon tuxedo renting. Dylan: “I think thou art stylin’.” Was Dylan always such a douchebag? Steve and Brandon start bitching about how expensive everything is for the dance. Steve says they could hire a high-class hooker for less money than they’re blowing on the stupid dance. Dylan chastises them for their bad attitudes. Steve retorts that Dylan doesn’t care because he’s going to be spending the night in a hotel room getting busy with Brenda. Dude, not in front of her brother!!! Brandon frowns and glares at Dylan.

Meanwhile, the girls are shopping. OMG! They pick the same slinky black dress with the ridiculous white shoulder ruffle that was all the rage in the late 80s/ early 90s. Kelly calls it tacky and cheap; Brenda says she won’t buy it if Kelly wants it. Tori distracts them both by coming out wearing a bright red gown with a hoop skirt! She looks like the madam in charge of a bordello in the Old West. Kelly pronounces it “outrageous.”

Finally, it’s the night of the dance. Everyone arrives at Casa Walsh. Tori can’t fit through the door, because of the hoop skirt. Dylan and Brandon pull her through. Steve’s too busy pulling a flask out of his pocket to help. Brandon’s upset; he tells Steve to put that thing away. Kelly jumps in: “He’ll puke all over everybody in the limo!” Steve retorts: “No, just on you!” I found that funny. But, that’s because I’m immature.

Oh. My. God. Kelly gives Brandon a boutonniere made of…radishes!!!!! Kelly insists that vegetable corsages are hip. Really? I think I’d prefer a fruit corsage. Photographic evidence below:

Well, there’s a cheap idea for the next time you need a corsage. I could have saved tons of cash at my wedding if I’d picked up a couple bunches of radishes at the grocery store instead of shelling out for roses and orchids.

Ma comes into the room and starts cooing over how nice everyone looks. Then she sees Kelly’s dress and starts spluttering. Brenda sweeps down the stairs. Sure enough, Brenda and Kelly are wearing the same dress. I think Kelly wears it better. Plus, her accessories and her hairstyle are more flattering. Everyone braces for Hurricane Brenda.

Brenda and Kelly run into the kitchen and start bickering about the dress. Kelly insists that Brenda change because she’s the Spring Princess and thus deserves to wear whatever she wants. Brenda balks. Kelly pouts that people will think they planned this. Pa comes in asking what all the fuss is about. Man, he’s dense. At least we know where Brandon’s idiocy stems from. He then snaps a picture of them, because they look so cute. Like the Bobbsey Twins.

Meanwhile, Ondrea’s at home eating ice cream and watching Prom Nightmare. Now, that sounds like an evening of fun I can get down with.

The limo arrives at the dance. Steve makes retching noises, tricking Kelly into thinking he’s actually puking. I’m kind of digging Steve this episode. What is wrong with me??? Tori can’t get out of the car, so the guys have to help her. Brenda’s pissed at Kelly, so she stomps off, Dylan in hot pursuit. He tells Brenda to relax; he shows her the key to their hotel room and reassures her that they’ll be fucking in no time. “We’ll make our appearance and then our disappearance.” Dylan’s voice is really annoying in this episode; kind of a falsetto thing going on. How romantic. They make out.

Kelly wants to dance. Brandon refuses, at first, but her feminine wiles win him over and he capitulates. Tori shyly asks Steve to dance, but he just takes a swig of his flask and leaves her hanging. Poor Tori. She tries to sit down in a chair, but her hoop skirt is getting in the way. This epic struggle will continue intermittently throughout the rest of the episode.

David’s staring at Kelly and pointing out how hot she is in front of his date. He bets Scott (the guy who later shoots himself in the gut at his birthday party) $20 Kelly will dance with him by the end of the night. Scott figures it’ll be easy money, so he eagerly takes the bet. Scott doesn’t realize that David’s got a trick or two up his sleeve.

Dylan tells Brenda that he wants to leave and go fuck in 15 minutes. Brenda’s scared. She’s worried she’ll be disappointed. Heh. Dylan seems a little offended, but he tells Brenda that she’s not just another notch on his belt. If she was, he would have “had” her months ago. Sigh! Just what every girl wants to hear! They make out.

Kelly tells Brandon she has a crush on him and that they would make a great couple. Brandon says it’s too complicated – she’s his best friend’s ex. Kelly kisses him. Brandon’s into it. Steve sees them and takes another angry swig from his flask. Brandon breaks the kiss and tells her it doesn’t feel right. He knows her too well…if they were strangers, he’d be madly in love with her. Hein? If I were Kelly, I would’ve decked him, there. THEN, he tells her that she’s “like a sister” to him. Ouch. Kelly: “That’s the ugliest thing any guy has ever said to me. ” Steve charges up to them and tells Brandon that Kelly is a selfish harpy who only cares about herself. Brandon calls him a jerk and Steve runs away. Brandon abandons Kelly on the dance floor. Kelly is sad. It’s hard being a princess. No one understands the burden Kelly must shoulder. It’s a big responsibility being part of the high school monarchy.

Brandon chases Steve into a service area of the hotel. Why aren’t these people normal? Why are they always running off into the service areas (hello – where people are working) to have their big confrontations? Anyway, Brandon tells Steve he’s not after Kelly/ Steve angrily tells Brandon that today’s his birthday and Kelly FORGOT! Brandon offers to take him out to celebrate. However, Steve’s in no mood to celebrate. Six months ago, his mom told him that he’s ADOPTED!!! Kelly’s the only person he’s confided in, but she’s so obsessed with being the Spring Queen, she’s forgotten all about it. Brandon feels bad for Steve.

David’s onstage announcing who the Spring Queen is. Of course, it’s Kelly! Only Tori is present to celebrate. David then announces a dance contest. The winning boy will dance with Kelly and the winning girl will dance with the Spring King (who hasn’t been mentioned until now.) They also win a pizza and two sodas from the local pizza parlour. I though 90210 was filled with the richies. I would have the prize would be a Rolls Royce or a pound of blow or something equally impressive.

David’s outfit is well…there are no words, so I thought I’d share a pic. That jacket is something else.

Oh looky. Brenda and Dylan have made it up to the hotel room. Of course, Brenda thinks it’s magical. She wonders “how many girls get to have sex for the first time with someone they love?” Dylan’s deep answer? “I’ve never taken an opinion poll.” Man, this guy’s extra douchey today. He throws her over his shoulder and carries her to the foot of the bed. They make out. Now, they aren’t shown lying on the bed, or even taking some of their clothes off. They aren’t even making out that passionately. They’re fully clothed, standing as they share a tongue-free make-out session. LAME.

Ondrea’s still at home watching horror movies. She drifts off into some sort of catatonic state where she shows up at the dance swinging a chainsaw around and wailing “You said you liked meeeee!” to Brandon in a really creepy voice. I couldn’t get any pictures, but here’s a clip. I think you all owe it to yourselves to watch it. She snaps out of it and asks her mom if she could borrow her evening gown. First, I thought Ondrea was poor. Second, way to protest distortion of the feminine ideal!

Brandon visits Kelly’s throne and congratulates her. Kelly demands to know where everyone is. She feels that no one is supporting her reign. She wants to behead them. Brandon tells her to abdicate for a few minutes and go talk to Steve. She doesn’t want to. Brandon’s like, you forgot his birthday! Oh, she forgot. Kelly finally gets off her ass (telling the King not to let anyone else sit on her throne) and goes to see Steve.

David’s dancing up a storm in the contest. Yawn.

Kelly finds Steve. She apologizes. He says they’re both stupid and spoiled – they’re defective. He tells Kelly it’s a good thing they didn’t pick the Spring Queen based on character, she would’ve lost by a landslide. Kelly calls him a jerk and runs away.

Oh, David Silver. Your flailing wannabe hip-hop dance moves are so spectacular. I especially get all hot and bothered seeing your tongue hanging out of your mouth. I am entranced by your smooth moves. Sexy, so utterly sexy.

Ondrea arrives in a taxi. She’s wearing a ridiculous dress:

The sleeves! The lace! The horror! Ondrea finds Brandon. He smiles when he sees her. He thinks she looks gorgeous. Why the hell didn’t they hook these two up?

David’s doing the funky chicken. Of course he wins. He gets to dance with Kelly. She’s about as thrilled as you could imagine.

Brenda is glowing after the sex. She starts to make the bed, because she doesn’t want the chambermaid to think badly of them. That must have been a quickie. They make out a little more.

Brenda visits Kelly’s throne and congratulates her. Kelly bitches at her to get off the stage before everyone sees their matching dresses, but Brenda ignores her. Wait a minute…Kelly figures out that Brenda and Dylan totally did it! OMG!!! They hug and squeal.

It’s time for the last dance. Everyone heads out to the dance floor, including Ondrea and Brandon. Aw! Kelly is mad at David for holding her too close. David says she smells as good as he thought she would. Creepy. Kelly laughs nervously. Steve leaves Tori on the sidelines as he cuts in on David’s dance. Aw, poor little Silver. All that hard work for a 30-second dance. Steve apologizes. So does Kelly. They’ve both been jerks. Tori is sad, so Kelly makes him dance with her. Tori apologizes for wearing such a stupid dress. Oh, Tori! I have a feeling this won’t be your last fashion faux-pas. Ondrea and Brandon wander over. Kelly thinks Ondrea looks gorgeous, so she puts her crown on Ondrea’s head. Dylan and Brenda appear and Dylan asks what’s going on. Kelly (always the subtle one): “Nothing as wild as what was going on upstairs!” Brandon’s angry-face returns. Why do these people think it’s appropriate to talk about Brenda’s sex life in front of her twin brother? Brenda claims that she and Dylan were downstairs, dancing, the whole time. Everyone agrees it was a strange night. Ondrea puts the crown on Brenda’s head. A prize for letting Dylan take her flower? They all link arms and dance together in a big circle. No. Really. They do.

The End

This was a strange episode. I kind of enjoyed Steve’s antics, Ondrea didn’t annoy me and I didn’t need to tell Brenda to shut up once. Maybe I’m losing my edge…?

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