In which I find fresh snark bait in the most unexpected places.

So life hasn’t been all shopping drama and NYTimes. Actually, I’ve spent most of this weekend half-asleep from some random sinus infection, which is even less exciting than it sounds, trust me.

I do not remember where in the morass I found the community, but I have been reading it ever since.

The BSC, for those of you who weren’t young and stupid in the late 80’s-early 90’s, is the Baby-Sitters Club book series. It may be a bit tricky to believe, but at the time the multi-zillion-volume saga of four/six/whatever middle-school BFFs and their babysitting adventures in a Connecticut suburb were as big as Hannah Montana. Movie, ‘Mysteries’ spinoff, special charm bracelet included with the 100th book, everything. Except maybe no sparkly theme lipgloss, although I could be wrong. But definitely no Billy Ray Cyrus.

No, the BSC’s special charm came from its deadly-sincere attempt at realism. These girls were just like you! Well, assuming you lived in upper-middle-class suburbia. And were prone to thinking of Gone With the Wind as a hot date movie, and using words like ‘dibbly!’ and ‘distant!’ to express excitement. And, oh yes, were unquestioning slaves of a pint-sized control freak who was obviously going to grow up to be the gym teacher in a bad British boarding-school comic. Lord, but I did hate Kristy Thomas.

Or more accurately, I hated that I was supposed to love love love her. Plus her ‘imaginative’ little stepsister Karen, who’s surpassed as a Child I’d Like to Clock With a Clue-By-Four only by DW of the Arthur series. The mental CBF was also often brandished at Claudia, who was fun! and funky! in that Very Special 80’s way (think Blossom), thus I was supposed to hold regular pity-parties for her because the world insisted she occasionally face personal responsibility. Because ‘individuality’ is so cute it just excuses itself, yo!

Uh-huh. Over in actual reality, this series could not have been more obviously written as wish-fulfilment for a middle-aged New Jersey woman if it had depicted the BSC leading all the neighborhood kids in a performance of the Fiddler on the Roof songbook…

…oh, wait.

At any rate, good to know I’m not alone – either in disdain for the series itself or ragging on childhood favourites. As it happens, I maintain a little bookshelf of said favourites, and although most of the series have disappeared by now (you can only go so far in life passing Sweet Valley High off as hilariously ironic) I’ve kept one Baby-Sitters book around, just for the nostalgia value…

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