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Bumped up from "extremely low" because we get a picture in this one: What's really sad is that when I made some joke about Emily dragging around in just a diaper I didn't even remember this picture specifically. Cause it's not even a joke; it's just TRUE. When you've got three capable adults and three capable teenagers in the house, a guest is over, and it's freezing out, and STILL no one cares enough to put some clothes on the toddler, I start to question how these people got approved for adoption.

Chapter 7: Jessi, finally! She's at her Nutcracker rehearsal, doggedly concentrating on her role as the King of the Mice instead of thinking about Quint. Even though she really, really wants to think about Quint. Julliard doesn't have an age limit, technically, but you have to be a high school graduate or equivalent. I guess they glossed over the part where Quint got his GED.

His train will be coming into Stamford right after rehearsal so he can be Jessi's date for the dance, but not if some of the littler kids in the show have anything to say about it. No chance? Jessi has a bad feeling all of the sudden. If I hear a forecast for a massive snowstorm right before I need to go somewhere, I evaluate the importance of my errand and, if I must go, make appropriate plans for how to handle it.

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Obviously not everyone does this, but I think most people who live in snowy areas do. So I'm supposed to buy that every single parent with a dancer in this show heard a nasty winter forecast, shrugged, drove their child to Stamford, left them there, and went home? Anyway, if they were as dedicated and overbearing as most of the figure skating parents I knew this wouldn't be a problem, because they wouldn't have left in the first place.

They'd still be at the studio, hovering around Mme Noelle, wanting to know why their child didn't have a solo. Chapter 8: Mary Anne! She wakes up early at the Pikes', because Ma and Pa Pike are crashing around getting ready to leave at dawn, Vanessa snores, and Mallory "sleeps like an eggbeater. Everyone's alarm goes off at the same time to the same oldies station, and we're treated to a full Pike family Von Trapp number about who put the hurp in the durp-da-durp-da-durp. Nicky actually sings into a hairbrush.

It still hasn't snowed, so they have to go to school extended whine sequence , but by evening the flurries have finally started. There is nothing more exciting than playing in fresh snow as a kid. There is nothing less exciting than reading about kids playing in fresh snow as an adult. Chapter 9: Dawn! When she arrives home from school on Wednesday, Sharon is a nervous wreck, not her usual mellow self.

Eh, she probably just ran out of pot. Dawn can tell something's up because Sharon's dusting and "Mom is not a cleaner. Or a washer or a cooker or a sewer that's as in 'a person who sews, not as in 'smelly underground tunnel'. Sharon's upset because the forecast is for a blizzard and Jeff's plane is on the way, but Dawn blows it off again.

I've said before and I stand firm here: despite her flightiness, I still think Sharon is actually the only parent in Stoneybrook with any common sense at all. Dawn rolls her eyes and soothes her and asides that she feels like her mother's mother. No, that would mean that YOU were the one exhibiting good judgment. You may cover her sometimes when she tries to leave for work wearing sweater-pants, but you are very much the stupid child here. By the time we left for the airport, it was snowing. By sliding, on an inch of snow at five miles an hour, into the Bahadurians' mailbox?

Which, by the way, is shaped like a cow. Is this how I'm going to die? Of sheer, unadulterated joy, because Dawn was speared through the neck by the Bahadurian's cow-shaped mailbox? They do hit the cow, but so gently that nothing happens. That doesn't stop Sharon from setting the car on fire in a fuck-laced tirade, or so I imagine from the way Dawn reacts.

Anyway, Dawn turns into the backseat driver from hell, which is pretty rich from someone who told her it wasn't going to snow on one hand and doesn't even know how to drive on the other. Then the truck bumped off the highway, heading for the snow-covered divider — and for our car. Also, Sharon says "fuck" again.

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It misses them, of course, and hits someone else "A fender bender," Sharon says, even though the car probably exploded on impact. Dawn gets hysterical about how late they are and how hysterical Jeff is, by extension, likely to be, but I don't know what she expects anyone to do about it. I also don't know why a girl so smug about what an experienced flyer she is wouldn't realize that a plane flying into a blizzard is not going to land on time anyway.

They make it to the airport alive and the chapter ends on the non-cliffhanger of them racing inside. This chapter has it all — the promised blizzard, murderous cows, car accidents, missing family members, and enough f-bombs to merit an R-rating from the MPAA. Chapter Stacey!

Stace is excited about her perm and wants to hang around the mall admiring herself, but her mom is so nervous about the snow that she pretty much just drags her out the door by the freshly curled hair. We are taking the back roads home. Pop quiz! Which is deadlier: A minor fender bender in a well-traveled area or going into a ditch in a snowstorm fifteen miles from the nearest house? Bonus points: What if one passenger is a brittle diabetic who can't go two hours without food? Stacey is rightfully concerned that her mom doesn't actually know how to get home on the back roads.

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Her mom tells her to shut up and let her drive. Fair enough. They don't get all that far before she just decides to stop and wait a while because the visibility is too low. Considering there is no one around to help, considering that hypothermia is not something to screw around with, and considering Stacey is diabetic and HAS to eat before morning, she is quite literally willing to let her daughter die before she'll let her push a pedal with her foot. What the fuck. I'd say high, because it's got all the blizzardy, car-accident-filled, screamed obscenity goodness of the previous chapter, but Maureen's judgment is so blatantly appalling that I can't recommend it.

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I mean, they would have just gotten home safely and Stacey would have had no blizzard story at all if her mother weren't so damned stupid. Chapter Oh, god, Kristy again. In the journal intro she calls her evening with Bart thus far "excruciating," which is the truest thing she's ever said.

Anyway, David Michael doesn't believe Karen when she says it's started snowing. He thinks that's about as good a joke as telling someone their shoe's untied. Karen immediately turns around and tells him his fly is unzipped and he believes her, so Kristy just craps her pants with embarrassment that Karen said "fly" in front of Bart. So instead they eat dessert and we're treated to an entire excruciating page of description of how they set the table, where everyone sat, and how Karen ate her pie in ten distinct steps. And then Kristy says Karen "was wearing her sweater-pants again," but somehow does not die of shame considering Karen must have removed her pants and shirt in front of Bart in order to swap them.

By the time dessert's over, the snow they totally aren't getting is so deep they can't even get the door open. I would have broken a window to get out of that house if I had to, but Bart just decides to spend the night. He calls his parents, but doesn't get to say much before - "The line went dead," he says, ominously. This is a story about a family asleep, at night, in their mansion. Kristy is mortified, though. How is she supposed to sleep knowing that Bart is in the same house, just waiting to sleepwalk into her room and catch her without her traditional makeup and curls?

She sets her alarm for so she can be sure to have on her best turtleneck by the time Bart wakes up. I don't know how she sets the alarm with no electricity, but neither do I care. Chapter Claudia! Perkins are having dinner with friends. Out in the country. Claudia keeps busy with the kids, who are disgustingly precocious as always: "You are going to be very busy tomorrow," Claudia says to Myriah when she details the snow-family she intends to build the next day. Someone fetch me my vomit bucket.

Of course, Mr. Perkins call to say they're stranded out in the countryside. Shocked, I tell you. Claudia assures them she can stay with the girls, and her parents are right across the street anyway. The Perkinses seem less concerned about leaving their three very young children alone, overnight, with a preteen, during a natural disaster, than I would be. Myriah and Gabbie want to say goodnight to Chewy in lieu of their parents, but the enormous galumphing dog is nowhere to be found.

Myriah would probably say, "Oh dear, this is a predicament we seem to be in. Chapter Jessi! Not one People kept calling and calling. She's worried about Quint, who's probably stranded at the train station and confused. You think he's gonna look at two feet of snow on the ground and cars piled up and not realize what's going on?

He's got his GED. He'll figure something out. She waits in a long, loooong line for the phone behind fifty wailing little kids who want to talk to mommy. Exactly how professional is this amazing Nutcracker production at this prestigious ballet school when everyone in the show is young enough to be sobbing about how they can't sleep without their dolly? Jessi, the oldest person in the room at a worldly and wise eleven, calms everyone and convinces them to have a picnic with their crackers.

Suddenly, a looming shadow appears in the doorway! He isn't from Stoneybrook and still has two brain cells to rub together, so he figured out no one was going to be able to pick him up, got directions to the dance school, and walked there from the train station. Ya got shown up there, Mr. Though the food was probably better at the train station.

Quint would call home, but the phones are down now. Luckily Stamford still has electricity or the building would collapse from all the terrified screaming from Connecticut's premier ballet troupe. Baby-sitting is boring. Chapter Mary Anne! Ma and Pa Pike call to say they're trapped in New York, of course, because the trains stopped running. Unlike Myriah and Gabbie, and unlike all the children at the ballet school, the Pike kids aren't at ALL concerned about being separated from their parents for the night. Nicky actually runs around yelling, "Yippee, no parents!

Even their own kids know the Pike parents suck. Especially considering the kids immediately start complaining about being hungry and Mal and Mary Anne realize there's basically no food in the house. Ma and Pa left some emergency money, but how that's supposed to help when they can't get out of the house and no one can get in, god only knows. So every parent with a child at the ballet school can't drive, the Perkinses can't drive, the Brewers can't drive even just down the street , the McGills can't drive even though they were already ON the road , Jeff's plane can't land, and the trains are not running.

People are sleeping at neighbor's houses, airports, dance studios, wherever they can find shelter. But some sixteen-year-old delivery driver in an '83 Le Baron will totally be able to make it to your house to deliver your damn pizza. Luckily for the delivery driver's life, she doesn't even get to order because the phone has gone dead. A few seconds later the electricity goes too, plunging them into total darkness and causing the kids to start yelling that the TV stopped working. Does Ann M. Everybody crowds around the living room with flashlights, including someone named Clair nice editing, Sammie , and I guess they no longer care about the food problem?

Okay, then neither do I. Nothing happens in this chapter, but there's still hope they could all starve to death. Also, Mary Anne notices that Stacey's house is still dark and tries to call before the phones go out , so at least there's a little foreshadowing there. I mean, it's better than Stacey and her mom being rescued at the end and everyone going, " Jeff's plane hasn't landed, of course, or the resulting crash would have made the news. The airport is pandemonium, because everyone there is exactly like Dawn — hysterical toward all the wrong people about all the wrong things.

Really, folks? Dawn thinks Jeff will think they're going to leave without him. Anyway, the flight gets rerouted to D. Dawn actually calls this worse than being stranded on that desert island. Did a coconut fall on her head while she was there? I mean, look at it logically: Dawn and her mom are safe at the airport, they know Jeff is safe in D.

They have nothing left to worry about, so they buy some books and sit there all night long. There are still like eighty pages left. Stacey again! She and her mom are so gobsmacked about their predicament they aren't even talking. Finally Stacey's mom says she's sorry about this, but Stacey assures her it isn't her fault. It IS, though.

Stacey takes this as an opportunity to ask what made her mom fall in love with her dad. Well, I know what made him fall in love with HER: her bitchin survival skills, not to mention her flawless driving. Her mom's answer is that they liked the same episode of I Love Lucy and they're both nonsmokers. That's the reason.

I guess that's how those mass weddings in Taiwan or wherever happen. Okay, do you, Sarah, take these three million men While her mom explains this, Stacey "noticed that she no longer wore her wedding band. When had she taken it off? The reason for which is becoming clearer and clearer. Because they are out of gas. They are screeeewed. Maureen continues honking and flashing her lights, in case the car is being driven by a deaf and blind person. Stacey freaks out that the car might be driven by an ax murderer and wants her to stop.

The man driving the car — who does not seem to be a blind, deaf ax murderer, although he may be a wizard, considering he seems to be driving along with no apparent trouble when no one else in the entire state of Connecticut can move three feet — offers to take them home for the night. They're the only ones with a legitimately exciting situation still going on, but points off for stopping to talk about their favorite denim brands while death is on the line.

Chapter Mallory! The kids are whining. It is snowing, in the book and in real life. I am drinking. World keeps on spinning. Mallory and Mary Anne think they should conserve what's left of the food, but without power the stuff in the fridge and freezer is going to spoil, so they have to eat it immediately. Put the fridge stuff in the garage, put the freezer stuff on the back porch, problem solved.

It's like these people have never brainstormed before. I myself have two cases of beer on the deck, somewhere, under several feet of snow. The kids forgo the frozen veggies in favor of the ice cream, directly out of the container. We have a winner! And here's Ed McMahon at the door with your giant prize check! Oh, no, sorry, it's just Mary Anne's dad.

He came over to check on them and seems remarkably calm considering his wife went out and never came home. It is?

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Why, would she have called if she were dead? They go to bed amid worries that Dawn and Stacey might be frozen to death in a ditch somewhere, but everybody's happy when they wake up to find the storm has blown over and school is canceled. Yeah, it sounds great until you consider they would have at least gotten a hot meal at school.

What is that child on the right?! Where is his neck?! I remain fascinated with this far longer than I'm sure the illustrator intended, wondering how a two-dimensional character managed to fall right down into the uncanny valley and whether I want to laugh hysterically or kill it with fire. Oh, sweet lord, there's nothing to recap. She puts the kids to bed in the dark, her mom comes over to check on them, they unsuccessfully call and search for Chewy for a while, and then she gives up and goes to sleep.

Gabbie wakes her at five because she hears noises, which they follow to the basement. Poor Chewy has been shut in all this time. They checked the WHOLE house, repeatedly, even in silly places like drawers and Laura's crib, and never once so much as opened the basement door? What crap detectives.

Anyway, I call bullshit on this whole situation. If you call her name and she can't get to you, she howls like mad and then breaks down the door. I think Claudia sedated him and hid him behind the furnace to get him out of her hair for a while. Anyway, morning's here and the storm's over, so Claudia feeds the kids maple syrup on snow that sounds so vile and sends them out to play.

Speaking of the uncanny valley, Claudia says the snow is half as tall as Gabbie. The very first page of the book says 23 inches of snow fell. That would make Gabbie about four feet tall at two years old. And that's horrifying. Math is hard! The little kids start whining uncontrollably, so Jessi and Quint help them wash their faces with paper towels and brush their teeth with their fingers and put them to bed on the floor. Oh, and it turns out there are some older kids, but they're off in another room hanging out and gossiping and sexually experimenting like teenagers are SUPPOSED to do.

Thank god Jessi was around, because I would have left those kids to Lord of the Flies each other if they'd been stranded with me. By morning the diner across the street is open and the owner is offering free breakfast hahahayeahright , so Jessi and Quint get to snuggle in a romantic booth for two. They hope the dance is still on, but if not, Quint reasons, he'll take her to some other dance, some other time. Everybody eats something for breakfast, but the suitability thereof varies — an apple, a slice of baloney, a frozen chicken dinner, a can of frosting, whatever.

That sounds like how I eat always. Is that not normal? The kids whine that they're still hungry, and Mary Anne realizes that with the phones working again, she can finally order takeout. Or she could, if any place was open and delivering, but they aren't. She calls Logan and complains about it, then thinks that she should probably be checking on those people who might be dead, like Dawn and Stacey. You know, the ones they were worried about up until the moment school got canceled. She finds out Dawn's safe at the airport, but no one has heard from Stacey.

She would worry about that, but Logan's now at the door on skis with a backpack full of food. I can't take anything he says seriously now that I know he looks like an eight-year-old version of Leatherface wearing Clark Griswold's glasses. Logan and Mary Anne muse about whether the dance will be put off until the next Friday, and for some reason Mal yells, "It can't be postponed!

Ben and I can't wait until next week! Are you ovulating or something? Bumped up from "lethal" because of another inadvertently amusing line that hasn't aged as well as it might have: "This [snow] may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. What with global warming and all. Oh, wait. Chapter Sob: Kristy! She does not appreciate getting up at a. How long could it possibly take her to brush her teeth and put her hair in a ponytail like she always does?

What is this I don't even. She also blow dries her hair and curls it — no, back up, actually, first she gets out a hair dryer, then decides to curl her hair, then decides she'll electrocute herself if she curls her hair wet. So she dries it.

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This book is completely full of sloppily written, badly edited shit like this, yet Ann M. Martin is one of the best-selling writers of all time and I can't seem to give my work away. Not that I am in any way bitter. An hour and a half later WTF? By then all her brothers are awake and clambering to use the bathroom at 7 a. That joke is so played I think it appeared in the original works of Plato. Everybody embarrasses her at breakfast some more, but Bart tells her she looks beautiful, because underneath the spackle she could still punch his lights out and he knows it.

He had survived meals with my family. He had endured teasing by my brothers and sisters. And he hadn't gone away. Emotionally, I mean. He was sitting next to me, telling me I looked beautiful. Smooth, K-dawg. Bart moves to the floor right next to her, and they happily watch Uncle Buck good choice! The little kids come in one by one and annoy the piss out of me. Way to watch them, Nannie. You fail at life. Oh yeah, and Karen's dirty pet rat is missing. By then it's time for dinner anyway, so Bart and Kristy join her family.

While they're eating, the snow starts. Watson decides after dinner that it's too bad out for Bart to walk home, and that he will wait a little bit for it to clear up so he can drive him. Silly fool. After dessert, it's gotten worse duh , so Bart calls home to tell his parents that he's staying the night at Kristy's, and the phone goes dead in the middle of his call.

Soon afterwards, the lights go out. Everyone goes to bed while Kristy obsesses in her room about Bart accidentally seeing her in her pajamas and how she's going to look in the morning. I don't buy it. She gets up super early and takes a shower. After that she decides to shave her legs for the first time and doesn't see the big deal about what they look like. Manly men prefer hair. She stupidly starts to curl her wet hair with a curling iron, but then thinks again and uses Charlie's blowdryer.

Oh, Charlie. She attempts to put on makeup, too. When she's finally done there's a line of guys outside the bathroom. Don't they live in a mansion? I doubt the place only has one bathroom. Plus the guys can go pee outside. Bart tells Kristy she looks hot, and comments on the buttload of snow outside.

Kristy tries to call the other members of the BSC, and finds out that Jessi is stuck at her dance school, Claudia spent the night at the Perkinses', Mallory and Mary Anne were at the Pike's, and no one knew where Stacey was. Oh noes! No mention of Bart again, and a few days later the editor of the Stoneybrook News calls Kristy and says that she'd like the club's submissions of what they all did during the blizzard.

I am so sure. Thye compile a letter and send it in, and Karen adds at the end that she found her dirty rat; David Michael had "ratnapped" her. Shut up, Karen. I have always disliked them. When the snow starts, Mr. Perkins call and say that they tried to come home, but the roads were too bad and they had to turn around and go back to their friends' house.

Claudia basically has no choice but to stay with the girls. They can't find their dog Chewy, who I adore, but then they locate him in the basement. The lights go out and the girls are all scared and then they all go to bed and wake up in the morning and their parents come home. It was all quite boring, trust me. Stacey: Stacey and her mom go to Washington Mall so Stacey can get a new perm. I love this storyline already. Unfortunately they don't buy any stirrup pants or jumpsuits, and instead try to go home as the storm starts right after Stacey's perm is done.

McGill decides to take the back roads instead of the highway, because she is a complete dumbass, and is soon unable to see anything in front of her. She stupidly stops the car so she can try to wait it out, and is shocked when she tries to move it again and the tires are buried underneath the snow. So they sit in the car with the heater on, until it suddenly goes out. McGill realizes that they run out of gas. There's no one around, so they're stranded.

There'd be people on the highway that Mrs. McGill had pulled off of, but she had to think that the back roads were safer. McGill starts freaking out because Stacey has diabetes oh wow, I completely forgot! Stacey calms her down by showing her the insulin injection kit she always carries with herself and a snack that she had packed. Just then, there's a knock on the window. It's some strange guy and he asks if their car has broken down.

Here's your sign! He tells them that his home is a few houses down and that they are welcome to stay with him, his wife, and his baby son. Stacey doesn't want to go off with a stranger at first, but after hearing there was a baby she decides that it's okay. Because mass murderers don't have babies, see? They go back t the guy's house, and everything is perfectly normal. The guy's wife fixes Stacey a special diabetes dinner, and Stacey reads to the baby. Everything is cool, and the next day they call Triple A and get the car started and go home.

Jessi: Jessi is all pissed that the snow is all white, and deems it to be racist. Jessi is at a dress rehearsal for the Nutcracker at her dance school, and Quint is coming from New York to see the show and to go to the upcoming dance with her. Side note: remember the Quints dolls? I had the potty training set, so every time I read Quint's name I think of five peeing dolls. I don't know. So the snow starts, no parents can make it to pick up anyone, and Jessi is worried about Quint being stranded at the train station.

She comforts some little kids while they all pass out cookies and ramen, and Quint suddenly shows up. He says that he figured Jessi's dad couldn't make it out to get him, so he asked someone from the train station for directions to the dance school and walked. How come Quint, who isn't even from Stoneybrook, could walk to a dance school he's never seen but Bart couldn't walk a few houses down to his own house?

They get all the little kids to sleep and Jessi says she's starving but the thought of more slimy ramen makes her sick. Wait until you get to college, Jessi. Plus, she's not really in the position to be picky, and she's lucky that the dance school even has any food. They all ake up the next day and the restaurant across the street gives them free breakfast and then Jessi's dad and the other parents come and they all go home. Dawn: Dawn and her mom set out to the airport to pick up her brother Jeff, who is flying in from California.

Their parents must have some sweet frequent flyer miles, because Dawn and Jeff are always flying back and forth. The snow starts on their way to the airport, but they make it there. They find out that Jeff's flight has been re-routed to Washington, D. The next day the plane finally arrives, and Jeff is fine, having stayed the night in a hotel that the stewardesses made sure he got to. They go home. Mary Anne and my goddess, Mallory: Mr.

Pike are taking a trip to New York, and Mary Anne is staying two nights on school nights to help Mallory control all the monsters. I'm surprised Richard agreed to this. Someone call Mary Anne's grandma and get her on the first plane to Iowa, this girl is out of control!

Anyway, the Pikes gave Mallory a buttload of cash for all their hundreds of children to buy lunch at school, as they only have enough for breakfast and dinner each night. Pike should've had the courtesy to go grocery shopping. What are the kids going to do without bologna and Daddy Stew? The kids give each other the Bizzer Sign!

Pike gratefully escape. Should've used a condom, suckers! Poor Mary Anne has to sleep in Mallory and Vanessa's room. I bet Mallory farts in her sleep. I'm just sayin'. She looks like she rips some nasty ones. So of course they get stuck in the house and there's hardly any food.

Since there's no power, they decide to let the kids eat all the ice cream and shit that would spoil without refrigeration. The next day Logan comes over on his cross country skis with a backpack full of food. Mary Anne's hero! Also, I appreciate the sentiment, but is a packpack really going to feed all of the ravenous Pikes and Mary Anne? Byron, the fat kid, could eat all of that, and the bag, by himself.