the best friends you’ll never have

Browsing in fights

Obviously, the best fight title belongs to the “Stacey Goes Bad” arc, which is my favorite plot in the entire series. I outlined why I like this plot so much here and here. But yeah, this fight is just full of awesomeness. A party! Dawn spying behind the jukebox! Someone daring to suggest that there is more to being a teenager than being a part of a “successful business”! And god, the mid-90s-ness of it all!

Stacey and the Bad Girls happens to be one of my all-time favorite BSC books. It might in fact be my #1, but I haven’t really considered this question thoroughly yet. Anyway, this book, if you’re one of those people who missed out on the later series, takes place after Stacey vs the BSC, where Stacey is kicked out of/quits the BSC, depending on whether you ask Kristy or Stacey. Stacey realized that maybe there is life outside of baby-sitting, and starts running with a different crowd. She starts skipping BSC meetings and sitting jobs to go to dates at places like Pizza Express and Burger Town, and throws a blowout party and only invites Claudia. Stacey is BSC history.

So in this book Stacey has these cool new friends, who are into things like nose jewelry and like to come over every day, watch MTV, and eat. Stacey’s mother thinks that it is time for Stacey to get a job. Hi, Mrs. McGill. Let me introduce you to a little something called “child labor laws.” (Paging the Rosebud Cafe.) There is very little for a thirteen-year-old to do except baby-sit, and as someone who was kicked out of the BSC, there aren’t really any baby-sitting jobs for Stacey to do. Stacey’s mom gets her a job at the Kid Center at Bellairs, which I kind of think is illegal, but moving on. Stacey’s cool new job gets her an employee discount, so her cool new friends use her and squeeze some money out of Bellairs, while also shoplifting paperback books. OMG.

All hell breaks loose when Stacey and her friends go to a U4Me concert. They sneak in miniature bottles of wine in their flop socks. Stacey and her new friends are no more. And Stacey doesn’t even get to see the one and only Aristotle Dukas in person. It’s very tragic.

Stacey is let back into the BSC. Good for her, I guess.

The one thing I don’t like about this book is the annoying subplot. Sharon Spier’s cousins are dropping off their six-year-old daughter for two weeks while they go to Europe. Um, yeah. Apparently the dad did not get along with Jack Schafer, so they were estranged or something. So these model parents are dropping off their daughter Amy with people she’s never seen before while they gallivant around Europe for two weeks. Obviously this does work out well, and Amy is really annoying and runs away to… the Bellairs Kid Center. Where Stacey happens to be working. It’s a bit awkward, since Stacey hasn’t made up with Dawn and Mary Anne. It’s hard to forgive a friend who spies on you from behind a jukebox.

One of the most notable things about this book is that it feels the most concurrent with its time, somehow. Now that Stacey has left the BSC, she is free to be a slightly more average teenager, so a lot of this book is filled with MTV-watching. There is talk of grunge, and flannel, and fashion that does not involve papier-mache. Stacey is hanging out with the cool kids, so we get to learn all about the mid-90s from a fashion perspective that does not inhaling paint fumes.

Stacey does not, however, live up to her sophisticated Chapter Two trait in this book. She dresses kind of dorky, bringing a white cardigan sweater to the U4Me concert. She also is hoodwinked by those “friends” of hers. Oh, Stacey. You’re the most sophisticated of the BSC, but it seems as if that is not a very large accomplishment.

Some BSC fights are lame–see BSC in the USA, entire FF series for examples. Many, however, are awesome. I have compiled a list of my personal favorites.

1. Stacey vs the BSC. I love love love this whole arc. It is probably my favorite in the whole series. While Stacey was kind of a bitch, I feel like a lot of her feelings were justified. Sometimes, you don’t want to spend all your time chasing after bratty kids. It was high time someone in the BSC cracked.

2. Kristy goes psycho over the notebook. Jessi Ramsey, Pet Sitter, has one redeeming feature and it is this fight. Except for the lame resolution where everyone just votes themselves back in the same positions.

3. Don’t tell your sister to get out of your life forever because she might end up deserted on an island. Mary Anne teaches us all an important life lesson in Baby-sitters’ Island Adventure.

4. Mary Dumps Logan. In any of its incarnations. I just freaking hate Logan.

5. Everyone is a huge bitch. Mary Anne Saves The Day wins for this one because no one was being attacked. They all just equally sucked. This book features the first instance of MA’s passive aggressive bitchiness: “Dear Kristy, I’m sorry you’re a bossy know-it-all job hog. I hope you are too.”

Those are my High Fidelity-style top five. What are yours?