Episode 019

Claudia and the Bad Joke!


June 23rd, 2020

1 hr 23 mins 54 secs

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About this Episode

Pranks are sweeping the neighborhood, with new babysitting charge, Betsy Sobak, and the Pikes leading the charge. And despite Kate’s prediction that the prank war declared on Betsy by the BSC could NEVER be after Claudia’s accident because that would be too shitty a thing for them to do, it turns out that they are, in fact, just that shitty as they decide to use a prank war to teach Betsy a lesson. Yeah, it’s another book where the girls let us down and the main child isn’t the greatest as the BSC takes “parenting advice” from George and Lucille Bluth to scare Betsy straight when it comes to the humiliation and embarrassment that comes from pranks when everyone hasn’t bought in on the concept. We compare and contrast the pranking that goes on with the Pikes and their babysitters (where everyone has a tacit understanding of give and take and has fun with it) and the situation with Betsy and her babysitters and classmates, who clearly do not have that type of relationship. We do appreciate that the lesson eventually comes due to a heartfelt conversation between Kristy and Betsy (rather than a mansplainy monologue a la Danny Tanner), but the fact that the prank war and somewhat malicious lesson-teaching works and is reinforced definitely rubs us the wrong way. We again confirm Dawn being the absolute best friend in the BSC and try to dissect why that might be (and getting a little arm chair expert-y in our conversation), while noting that the Claudia/Janine dynamic in this book is our favorite iteration of their relationship. We also touch on Claudia’s Asian-ness when compared to Jessi’s Blackness and how that will be something we pay more attention to as we continue reading, our heightened childhood expectations re: how important dry-cleaning would be when we grew up, wearing our dad’s (oversized on us) button-down shirts and learning how to tie flamboyantly colored/patterned ties, how when you’re a kid, it seems like every adult has stock cliched responses (e.g., “but it’s a dry heat,” “it’s not the heat that gets you, it’s the humidity”), and how oatmeal raisin cookies and apple juice might be the worst afterschool snack ever.

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