In the word “TEAM” there is no “I” [but apparently there are two Wakefields]…

7 Mar

TEAM SWEET VALLEY #1 “JESSICA GOES FOR THE GOLD”

Jessica Wakefield is the star gymnast representing Sweet Valley Middle School at the state championships. Surprised? Oh, you poor deluded soul. It doesn’t matter that Jessica has never attempted gymnastics/played a team sport/committed to anything longer than one book before. Why not, you ask? Because she is a Wakefield, of course! And Wakefields are awesome at life. And vaulting, apparently.

[On a side note, it’s little wonder that I cannot hack losing and have to be the best at absolutely everything I do. See what you’ve done to me, Francine? See?]

The school is competing at a local meet, and Jessica is kicking ass on the uneven parallel bars:

“It was a killer routine too-full of complicated hand changes and death-defying leaps from one bar to the other. She leaped to the high bar, swung, then came back in a blind back-straddle over the low bar. She’d never felt so strong. Then Jessica leaped to the high bar for her big move. She did a long hanging kip, then casted to a full handstand on top of the high bar and did a pirouette. The crowd went wild. All around the gym, people were jumping up and down, cheering for her. Her face glowing with excitement, Jessica turned around and waved to HER public. Finally the head judge stood up. “Nine point seven,” he announced.

Of course.

This is making me hate Jessica. It’s also making me want to dig out some of my old “Gymnasts” books. I always did have a crush on the coach, Patrick.

So Jessica has developed a fierce rivalry with Dawn Maven, star of the Weston team. I wonder if Dawn is also new to gymnastics? Or if she’s been working her ass off 35 hours a week since she was five like most people who are good at something. Also, where is Weston? What happened to the Secca Lake team? Or El Carro? Big Mesa? Palisades? Dawn is a mega-bitch, but I like her. She oils up the bar so Jessica falls off. Jessica mixes sugar in the chalk bowl so Dawn slips and busts her ankle.  Dawn has a Margo moment when she threatens to “fix her, and fix her good”. This goes on and on until Jessica somehow finds a sense of guilt, becomes Dawn’s personal rehab physician, and they agree to play fair at the upcoming California Games. How Jessica can remediate a sprained ankle in the space of a fortnight astounds me.

Donald Zwerdling, who is basically Winston Egbert on acid, [read: more annoying, more persistent, more clumsy, and just an all around nerdburger] provides something vaguely resembling amusement in the B-story. He missed out on a spot on the boy’s team, [thanks to their captain, Bruce Patman] so he has decided to carry the drinks for the girls and be their assistant. Genius! Betcha Bruce wishes he’d thought of that. Also, can we take a moment to stop and laugh at Bruce doing gymnastics? Bruce on the pommel horse….Bruce busting his tighty whities on the rings….Ha!

At the California games, for once Jessica doesn’t win. Amazing. Riding her bike home from Dawn’s the night before, she sprains her ankle, and scores a measly old 9.4 on the bars to Dawn’s 9.6 [you may remember the highest score all book is still Jessica’s 9.7, of course]. She even congratulates Dawn on the victory, which is very un-Jessica. Obvs the ghosties were under instruction to teach us all a lesson. But like so many of these lessons we learn in Sweet Valley [you need a boyfriend to be worth anything, fat people should be burned at the stake, you CAN cheat on your guy 15 times a year, you SHOULD ALWAYS listen to Elizabeth etc, etc..] I’m choosing to ignore it.

‘Cause winning is everything, bitches.

The best part of this book? There’s barely any Elizabeth [she’s off playing volleyball for the school]. The worst? Jessica not getting her come-uppance. At least not properly. Seriously, does any of the shit she pulls have any consequence beyond the same book?

Continuity note: Amy gets a 9.2 on her floor routine at the California Games. So she’s pretty much the best in the state. However, back in SVT#2, Amy is so bad at classical ballet that she scores the role of Coppelia the doll. I’m sorry, but someone who can barely point their foot and keep time in Madame Andre’s sixth grade dance class is probably not a state level rhythmic gymnast.

Cheerio!

P.S.: Those of you joining me in Sydney on April 2nd, could you please email Winston.egbert@hotmail.co.uk and I’ll send you my number for the big day so we can coordinate ourselves. We have about 8 or so coming along for the day, which I’m super excited about. I think we should wear lavalieres to identify ourselves. Also should I go as Margo or Nora? Thoughts, please.

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6 Responses to “In the word “TEAM” there is no “I” [but apparently there are two Wakefields]…”

  1. jane March 7, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    Gymnasts! [squeals!] Would you consider a recap, preferably one with Cindy, I loved those books.
    Its funny how Jessica still gets a 9.4, but has her ankle as an excuse. Like she couldn’t just be genuinely outdone at something.

  2. sophie March 7, 2011 at 11:16 pm #

    Why don’t you use something from one of your outfit recaps? Magenta Galaxy. Totes wish I could make it!!!

  3. Laura Kate March 8, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    I’m totally in California on the 2nd! (So I’ll sort of feel part of it… I’ll represent over there…) :p
    Also for twins being good at everything, I seem to remember in SVT The Year Without Christmas (and severa other random SV books) that the twins seriously lacked vocal talent…and yet in SVT Super Edition #2 they had amazing voices….

  4. Ashola March 8, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    Whoop! Glad I’m not the only one who had a thing for Patrick. I’ve looked for those books and can’t find them anywhere!

  5. winstonegbert March 18, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Really? Every time I go into a used bookstore I find a stack, mostly repeats of my collection! I’m thinking of selling a bundle of ebay.

  6. kitykat March 22, 2011 at 10:26 pm #

    Just noticed that the girls are wearing somesort of shoes, I have never seen anyone compete in gymnastics with shoes on, weird

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