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Return Of The Evil Twin: A Sweet Valley Drinking Game

1 Dec

Everyone knows the story. After all, it’s pretty much a rehash of SVH #100, on acid.

In short:

The previous Christmas, Crazy Margo from Long Island came to Sweet Valley to find the Wakefield twins, who happened to look EXACTLY like her, only blonde. After failing to knock off Elizabeth, she fell to her death in the Fowler’s pool house… or so we thought

Turns out she hid in the Wakefield’s basement and the local graveyard hatching murderous plots and rasping lots. [I bet she got MEGA skinny down there. Maybe a 4? Suck on that, Wakefields.]

This Christmas, Margo’s long-lost equally psycho twin has arrived from the Deep South and together they set out to take their rightful place in the Wakefield family [but they come to blows over who bags Jessica’s identity this time. Ha.]

Meanwhile, the real twins are fighting again, after Jessica saves Todd from a burning car wreck and Liz gets the shits. Also, it’s NYE so they’re off to a big carnival with a house of mirrors for Margo to play hell with.

After loads of twin/evil twin switching, Jessica ends up bound and gagged at school [nice work, Margs], while Nora stabs Margo to death in Jessica’s bed. Only everyone thinks Jessica is dead so they hold a fucking state funeral at Sweet Valley High.

Still with me?

Elizabeth is once again faced with two copies of her mirror image in front of her, and the dilemma of which one to kill. Nora is whisked away by police [BORING!] and everyone has a huge party and Todd and Liz pash and everyone is sixteen again for the fifth successive Christmas.

So if that wasn’t awesome enough [don’t know about you but I’m still in stitches], I now invite you to partake in the second part of this recap: The Return of The Evil Twin Drinking Game

You will need:

3-9 players

Warm wine in paper cups/ Magic Grain Flask Alcohol / any other intoxicating liquor you can get your hands on [I hear Betsy Martin has a stash]

A printed copy of the following character cards, which you can glue to a piece of sturdy cardboard and cut into equal sized rectangles

A copy of ROTET in reasonable condition, available at any decent ebay store

A paper cup labelled “Jungle Prom Juice” to be placed in the centre of the table

 Instructions:

Place the character cards face down on your table

Each draw a card from the character pile. This is your character for the game.

Whoever drew Enid starts as the reader.

Read out the instructions from the list below and follow them when you get the appropriate cue from the book.

After each chapter [or earlier if you’re drunk enough], switch readers in a clockwise direction

Drinking Game Rules:

  1. Every time the word rasping is mentioned, all take a shot
  2. Every time Jessica and Todd have a “moment”: Elizabeth takes a shot
  3. During Todd and Ken’s erotic hot dog scene [ref: page 178] Todd and Ken take a shot
  4. Whenever Margo and Nora fight over Jessica, Jessica takes a shot
  5. When the words “bloodcurdling” “glittering knife” or “tears streaming down her face” are mentioned, all take a shot
  6. Every time Nora detects a scent, Nora takes a shot. If the scent is detected via telephone, Nora takes two shots.
  7. Every time there is a twin or evil twin switch [e.g. Margo impersonating Jessica], all four twins take a shot each.
  8. Every time Enid is being a deadpan kiss-ass drone [read: mentioned], each tip one shot into the “Jungle Juice” cup.
  9. When Margo wolfs down three hot dogs in a row, all take a shot [It’s been a tough year, OK!]
  10. Every time an outfit is described, Lila takes a shot
  11. Every time someone leaves the house wearing half a santa costume, take a shot
  12. Every time a dead boyfriend is mentioned, Jessica takes a shot
  13. Every time Nalice make an insensitive comment about “clones”, Margo takes a shot
  14. Every time a twin senses the other’s presence, tip a shot into the Jungle Juice Cup
  15. Every time one of the Black/Chappelle twins says “Patience” take a shot
  16. Whenever Margo and Nora come to blows, take two shots
  17. Every time the whole gang’s hanging out, take two shots
  18. Whenever Nora/Margo spy on the Wakefields, all the girls tip a shot in the bowl
  19. Whenever Bruce is mentioned, all the boy characters take a shot
  20. Whenever Margo and Nora have “Wakefield Trivia Time”, all take a shot
  21. Whenever Ken says something corny, all the girls take a shot
  22. Place all the character cards face down in the centre and re-draw. Whoever gets Margo finishes off the Jungle Juice.

 Character Card Sheet:

Click on the image to make the characters larger to print.

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for any Martin-like activity or any injuries incurred when you play this game. I also don’t encourage drunkenness so remember this is a guide only.

Think of it as my Christmas present to you. As I am off celebrating my graduation overseas I probably won’t have time to post till the New Year. But rest assured, a copy of “The Evil Twin” is waiting in my backpack for Christmas Eve.  Happy Horrordays – and wreck the halls with bloody bodies!

Winston

The Evil Twin: A Sweet Valley High Costume Celebration

5 Jan

 No-one can deny that the awesomeness of The Evil Twin is largely attributed to Margo Black. However, this Magna Edition also produced some killer outfits, outfits so fantabulous that I can justify an entire post solely dedicated to bringing them to life. Sadly, nearly all the items below I happened to own. Most were tucked away in boxes at my sister’s, grandmother’s and parent’s, but nevertheless they were there. One exception is Jessica’s New Year’s gown, which is probably my favourite Sweet Valley High outfit EVER, and the trigger for the complete and utter Wakefield-envy which plagued me for much of my childhood. My 12-year-old self would be thrilled to know that I picked up the sequinned frock at Samaritans for the bargain price of just $4.00. Get jealous.

 Just then, Elizabeth’s eyes came to rest on one of her favourite outfits, a fancy tuxedo shirt with matching bow tie, trousers and vest.

 Elizabeth sighed. She’d just as soon put on an old pair of khakis and a polo shirt; she didn’t feel particularly festive.

Elizabeth slipped out of her robe and pulled a red v-neck top and black skirt out of her cupboard.

 Jessica chose an outfit that was appropriate for the last day of school before Christmas vacation – a short, forest-green knit dress with long sleeves and a scooped neck – but she did it without really thinking.

Somehow, I don’t think “appropriate” was the best choice of adjective.

“Trust Dana to make even an elf costume look like this year’s hottest fashion!” Elizabeth said laughingly to Todd. Dana Larson, lead singer of the popular SVH rock band The Droids, was wearing a bright green minidress and red tights and gloves. She’d even tinted her short blonde hair red and green for the occasion.

“What on earth am I going to wear?” Margo wondered, looking around the room at her skimpy wardrobe, much of which was lying crumpled and dirty on the floor. Since arriving in Sweet Valley, she’d purchased a few items of clothing and shoplifted some others; she’d also filched various accessories from the Wakefield twins’ drawers. Margo wrinkled her nose. Nothing she owned was quite right for this special occasion. Nothing was good enough for Todd.

“I want something new,” she announced. “I want something unbelievably sexy.”
In Margo’s opinion, she was taking over in the nick of time; Elizabeth’s image definitely needed an overhaul. Now Jessica understood the advantages of high hemlines and low necklines – she wouldn’t be caught dead wearing jeans and an oxford shirt on a date. When Margo was in charge, Elizabeth would adopt a much better style…and tonight Todd Wilkins would be treated to a sneak preview.

Lila agreed on a teal-blue dress with a deep, U-shaped neckline and a very short, flouncy skirt.

I had to consult my sister on this one:  Is teal pale blue-green, like aqua, or a darker shade more like turquoise? I realise now that the ghosties painted quite a fuzzy picture in my head of Margo-as-Elizabeth’s date outfit. Both of these fit the description, but somehow the latter looks far too medieval to be sexy. It does, however, catch the glittering light of the butcher’s knife very nicely…

“Hmm…” Lila eyed a bright red miniskirt with a matching, sailor-style jacket. “Cute. Too cute,” she concluded, pushing it aside.

 James turned away from the railing…and there she was, hurrying down the pier in his direction, a slim figure with pale hair covered be a baseball cap, her chin tucked into the collar of her denim jacket. “Jessica!” James cried, his heart almost bursting with joy.

James, you fool. The real Jessica would never be caught dead in that.

At least she’s up and dressed, Elizabeth thought, noting her sister’s oversized green sweater and black jeans.

 Almost immediately, Elizabeth was sound asleep and dreaming. Once again she was going to the Jungle Prom, and once again every detail was vivid and precise. Wearing her light-blue dress, Elizabeth stood looking at herself in the mirror, arranging her hair and putting on her jewellery… The simple, flowing lines of the silk allowed her natural beauty to shine through; her eyes reflected the ice-blue shade, sparkling like gems.

What on earth was she going to wear to Lila’s ball tomorrow night? Elizabeth remembered asking herself the same question before the jungle prom.

 The dress that Elizabeth and Margo apparently wear to Lila’s ball is described as below:

Elizabeth* considered the selection and then pulled a short, strapless fuschia dress from the closet. Jessica raised her eyebrows. The dress was new, and so daring and sexy she hadn’t even gotten up the nerve to wear it yet herself.

“Wow!” Jessica exclaimed. “That’s not exactly your usual style, Liz. But sure. Go ahead. I guess you’re planning to start off the New Year with a bang, huh?”

A secretive smile curved Elizabeth’s lips. “A bang? You might say that, yes.”

 *actually Margo

Yet, on the cover, we have this:

It’s kind of conservative and bridesmaid-ish.  I can’t really imagine Jessica being too modest to get around in this. Then again, given the shit that went down in this book, a minor outfit inconsistency probably isn’t our greatest concern.  

Also Margo shoplifts her copy of the dress, and then slashes the saleswomans’ tires with her pocket knife. Just for kicks.

Margo was wearing the strapless fuschia dress she’d “bought” that afternoon from Lisettes; her glossy blonde hair was swept up on one side and secured with a single rhinestone-studded barrette; her soft, golden skin and blue-green eyes were highlighted with just a hint of natural-looking makeup. I look beautiful, she thought, her lips parting in a self-satisfied smile.

And now, for my all-time fave:

 Jessica zipped up her dress and then padded in stockinged feet to examine the effect in the bathroom mirror. When Amy had called that afternoon, Jessica had confessed that she had nothing to wear to Lila’s ball. Ten minutes later Amy showed up with a sequinned cobalt-blue dress that Jessica had always been crazy about. Jessica smiled again, giving the gown’s ruffled taffeta hem a flirty flip. The sequins, the bare spaghetti straps – the look was both sexy and elegant, Jessica’s favourite combination.

 

Pamela looked terrific in a strapless plum velvet sheath that seemed moulded to her slender figure.

[For the record, I’m a Bruce-Pamela fan]

 Lila gave the skirt of her flouncy black chiffon dress a little flip. “Just a little something from Paris,” she said lightly. “Glad you approve.”

“Hi, how are you?”asked Elizabeth as she stepped up to Enid’s side and put out a hand to touch the sleeve of her friend’s dark-green velvet dress. “Enid, this is beautiful,” she said. “It matches the colour of your eyes exactly.”

I can’t finish on Enid, I just can’t. So here’s the cobalt-blue number to see out this costume bonanza.

When Lila Met Stacey Chapter 21: “The Evil Twins”

23 Dec

It is with just a hint of sadness that I close the curtain on “When Lila Met Stacey”, a labour of love that has occupied the best part of the past four months.  And what more fitting way to go out than with a Christmas-themed Magna Edition on my favourite day of year.

When you get to the end of this chapter, you will understand why there is nowhere else for us to go. [Then again, this is Sweet Valley, where even carotid artery lacerations and falling fridges don’t equate to fatality….just a thought]

Maybe it will get published in the Oracle someday. Or, if I’m super lucky, the Sweet Valley Tribune. Merry Christmas, or should I say, Happy Horrordays

THE EVIL TWINS

“Steven? Can you zip me?” Twenty-six year old Jessica Wakefield called to her handsome brother as she painted on one final layer of mascara. She stepped back from the mirror to gauge the full effect, admiring the way her pink ballgown showed off her athletic, sized-six figure.

Steven hurried into the bathroom shared by his younger twin sisters, and let out a long, low whistle. “You look amazing, Jess,” he whispered, bending his muscular body over the garment.

“Are you ready?” It was Elizabeth, from her bedroom. “It’s almost seven.”

Jessica turned to Steven and rolled her eyes. Ten years on and still Elizabeth didn’t understand the concept of fashionable lateness. Jessica, meanwhile, never wore a wristwatch and believed that no party started until she’d arrived. However, Lila had sent her a “hurry up” text half an hour ago – apparently Nicholas Morrow had bailed. Jessica could only assume he was still grieving over Stacey McGill’s untimely death, which had been almost an entire week ago!

Jessica met her twin on the stairs with a grin. They were dressed the same tonight – although Jessica knew that being exactly one pound lighter, she had the edge.

“Take those barrettes out,” Jessica ordered. “We’re supposed to be identical – it’s cuter.”

Elizabeth reluctantly obliged and smoothed the hem of her magenta skirt.

“Ben! Sam!” she bellowed at their dates, who were seated patiently downstairs.

“Fire up the jeep!”

As the twins descended the stairs, a faint rumble of thunder sounded across the Californian sky. An involuntary shudder wracked Jessica’s slim body, and she stole a glance at her twin. Elizabeth met her gaze, her blue-green eyes widened in fear. Jessica clutched a hand to her heart as the conniption washed over her, trying to ignore the growing premonition that she would be lucky to escape this Christmas alive.

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When Lila Met Stacey Chapter 20: “Special Christmas” or “The Baby-Sitter’s Christmas Vacation.”

17 Dec

Let the Church bells sound for the penultimate chapter of “When Lila Met Stacey”

“Hold still!” 17-year-old Margo Pike barked at her boyfriend Bruce Patman as she fiddled with the lapels of his jacket. It was Christmas morning and the couple was preparing for a traditional breakfast feast with Bruce’s family.

Bruce pouted and turned front-on to his antique full-length mirror. He looked incredibly studly this morning, thought Margo, a feeling of pride surging through her chest.

“I don’t know about this tie, Margs,” he said critically, squinting his coffee-coloured eyes. “It’s a little too….festive.”

“Well it’s a special occasion,” Margo snapped back. In more ways than one, she added silently.

“Do you have the supplies?” Bruce urged in a hushed tone, as though reading her mind.

Margo turned toward the mahogany dresser and began rifling through the top drawer.

“All present and correct,” she rasped, flinging the items onto Bruce’s four-post bed. The magic jungle prom juice glistened in its crystal vial, and her butchers knife caught the morning light filtering through the window, casting a jovial Christmas glitter across the nightstand.

Margo turned toward the handsome heir. “I’m going to need your utmost concentration, Bruce,” she leveled with him, her aqua eyes piercing his own with a steely gaze.

“Forget about Alice boning your Dad, forget Amy Slutton and Stacey McGill. All that matters now is that on the stroke of midnight, our diabolical plan succeeds and I become–”

“Elizabeth Wakefield.” He finished for her. “And then we can talk about the threesome with Jessica?”

“And then we can have an orgy with the entire fucking babysitters club,” she confirmed.

“Merry Christmas, Elizabeth,” Bruce whispered.

“Merry Christmas Bruce,” Margo rasped.

* * *

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My Christmas Wish: Sweet Valley Twins Special Edition “A Christmas Without Elizabeth”

13 Dec

I am totally digging this cover. For starters, there’s a shot of a woe-begone Liz with all her hair chopped off, sporting a fugly and completely unflattering red ensemble. But that has nothing on the title, nor the by-line: ““What If Elizabeth Had Never Been Born?” Oh, what if! Please, ghostwriters, make my day –

The first part of the book is actually rather likeable. Jessica had been elected head of the SVMS party planning committee, and like Angela of “The Office” fame, the power is going to her head. She has a kitty of $186 to spend, once she’s come up with a knockout theme to impress all the boys she’s after. Liz, meanwhile, is helping at the homeless shelter, and she befriends a poor family called the Glasses, whom she can pity and shoulder pat whenever she likes. The volunteer work is so all-consuming that she is blowing off TBT, Amy, homework and even the Sixers. She steals the $186 and gives it to Mrs Glass to put a down-payment on a rental property. Because they are poor, I fear it may be a place on the Wrong Side Of The Tracks, possibly near The Shady Lady or The Martins. Mr Glass is “working away” and uncontactable, and without the money for a week’s rent, the family are evicted. That night, Jessica figures out that her twin stole the money, and Elizabeth is the subject of everyone’s anger from the Glass kids to the Unicorns. And so she bawls, and feels sorry for herself and wishes that she had never been born… [If Only].

That was the first part of the book. The good bit. From here on in, Liz is taken around town by a spectre, whose sole purpose is to visit Liz and prove how wonderful she is and how the universe wouldn’t function without her. The angel, however, is fairly shrewd, making this observation about St Liz:

“Personality Problems Profile. Elizabeth can be very self critical. She takes on more responsibility than is age-appropriate. She can be stubborn and exhibits a tendency towards self-righteousness. She is a major goody-goody.”

She then takes Liz for a spin around the Valley, “A Christmas Carol” style, showing all the things that would’ve happened had Elizabeth never been born:

#1 Without Liz, Sophia Rizzo is a social pariah, and her brother ends up in reform school because he got in so many fights defending her.

#2 Sophia’s mom and Sarah Thomas’ dad never get married.

#3 Sarah Thomas is dead. [Apparently without Liz, she would have died from falling down a flight of stairs.]

Dear God.

#4 Denny Jacobsen is dead. Without St Liz, there was no-one to rescue him when a monster wave hit and his surfboard whacked him on the head.

I’m starting to see a pattern here.

#5 Brooke Dennis a social outcast. [Maybe a leper?]

#6 Mary Giaccio/Wallace is still in foster care and has mousy, limp hair.

#7 TBT is miserable and boring without the love of his life and stays at home playing video games all day [so really, nothing’s changed.]

#8 Amy and Winston are not on the Booster’s cheer-squad. OK, I read Booster Boycott, and Liz had nothing to do with me being on that squad, dammit!

#9 I get beaten up by Jerry McAllister and Charlie Cashman. [Would’ve liked to see Liz stopping that one. ]

#10 The Unicorns are called the Sharks and they smoke actual cigarettes! OMG!

Enough, spirit, enough! Show me no more!

#11 Alice is accused of having an affair and Nalice divorces, because there was no St Liz to defend her! [She’s been boning Hank Patman all along, I knew it! If only Liz had covered it up and she could continue her wicked ways….]

#12 Ned is a divorced alcoholic who hangs out at Kelly’s.

#13 Steven has a tattoo, an earring and a ponytail. He is also in the hood. This is what happens as a direct result of a divorce in Sweet Valley. And the divorce is a direct result of Elizabeth never having been born.

Here’s an excerpt of the Wakefields, sans Liz:

Mrs Wakefield ran out the door after him. “Will you at least be home to open gifts tomorrow morning?”

Steven stopped in midstride halfway across the lawn. “Did you get me that CD player I want?”

“Steven, you know we don’t have that kind of money –“

“Then the answer’s no.”

 

#14 Without Liz, Jessica is ugly and unpopular. When the Sharks come round pretending to be her friend, she jumps at the chance. They then force her to scale City Hall and remove the star from the top, and she falls to her death.

It is now that Elizabeth realizes she is crucial to everyone’s livelihood, and agrees to go back to the real world.

When she “wakes up”, she’s at the SVMS Christmas party, as the guest of honour. A guest of honour? At a fucking Christmas party? With all this miracle work, she’s practically Jesus Christ, so why am I not surprised?

Everyone is gushing over her, and the crowd cheers every time she opens her mouth. Then the friggen Glasses turn up with good news – they’ve moved into an even better apartment! In the space of one day! Even Mr Glass is there, which is surprising because I was beginning to think he might be George…

The moral of the story – Elizabeth Wakefield is central to the functioning of Sweet Valley, to California and to the entire solar system. Can I have the past two hours of my life back? Please? Francine, if you’re reading this: “A Christmas Without Elizabeth” is the perfect title for a spin-off series, where Margo finally has her way….Just a thought.

***

As many of you know, I am a major Sweet Valley nut. But above and beyond that, I am a Christmas dork. I freaking love Christmas. I turn into this corny, Catholic, caroling version of myself. So this year, I decided to put a Sweet Valley spin on my Christmas decorations. The Evil Twin scene from last week is in the living room. And this is what became of my book collection:

Christmas Isn’t Christmas Without A Car Crash or Sweet Valley High Super Edition #2 “SPECIAL CHRISTMAS”

9 Dec

This book seemed so nuts to me, even as a twelve year old. It’s not because Elizabeth has a casual bottle of champers, or ‘cause Todd starts hooking up with her nemesis, Suzanne Devlin [duh, Toddster]. No, it’s because of the insane plot twist where Suzanne is diagnosed, then undiagnosed of multiple sclerosis, with a full neurological recovery in the space of a Christmas break. Between Suzie and Mike McAllery, we could write the fucking Christmas Edition of any medical journal. Or Woman’s Day.

Cover courtesy of ShannonSweetValley

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When Lila Met Stacey, Chapter 19: MAGNA EDITION “GOODBYE STACEY, GOODBYE”

5 Dec

The soulful drone of a church organ filled the massive cathedral, a somber reminder that Christmas Eve was devoid of its cheer this time around. 25-year-old Claudia Kishi felt a tear roll down her alabaster cheek as the mahogany coffin came into view. Her best friend, Stacey McGill, had been brutally knifed in Jessica Wakefield’s apartment just two nights before. For the life of her, Claudia still couldn’t believe who – or what – could commit such an evil crime. Stacey was one of the most awesome girls who’d ever lived: She was queen of Stoneybrook Middle School, a doting babysitter, and a mathematical genius. The flock of Stoneyrbookites who’d turned out was a testimony to that fact. To her right was the entire Pike family: Mallory was casting a withering glare at Jessica Wakefield and her current squeeze, Ben Hobart. Mrs Pike was doing some sort of head count among her offspring, and gnawing on her bottom lip as though something were amiss. Come to think of it, Margo wasn’t in attendance, Claudia noticed absently. Kristy Thomas, Bart Taylor, Dawn Schafer, and Logan Bruno were propping up a heavily pregnant Mary-Anne Spier in the seat adjacent.

“Who’s that?” Lila Fowler, who was standing next to her in the pew, pointed at an attractive African-American twenty-something.

“That’s Jessi Ramsey,” Claudia responded. “Did you know, Jessi is black?”

“No shit, Sherlock,” Lila muttered drily, rolling her eyes.

A few rows along, Charlotte Johannsen was draped over Steven Wakefield, and Shannon Kilbourne was filling the gap beside them. Directly in front of them was a whole row of ex-sitting charges: Hayley and Matt Braddock, Buddy, Marnie and Suzie Barrett, Amanda and Max Delaney, the Perkins, the Arnold twins, and even Jenny Prezzioso.

Richard Spier and Watson Brewer filed in with their wives, and Karen Brewer slowly and purposefully sauntered in after them, pausing to kneel beside the altar. Claudia resisted a giggle – her former sitting charge and Kristy’s step-sister was wearing a long black velvet gown and a matching veil with a wire fascinator. Trust Karen Brewer to treat today like a fucking wedding. Claudia watched on as Karen gracefully slipped into a seat beside her brothers – Andrew Brewer was throwing spitballs at David Michael, and Charlie was snoozing. Jade let out a cry from her pram and Claudia bent down, stuffing a gummi bear in her mouth to silence her.

She averted her gaze to the elaborate ceiling, and in every wooden carving she saw a memory of Stacey – the fun, the fights, everything from kid-kits to diabetic comas to holidays at Camp Mowhawk and Shadow Lake. The memories were all that remained – Stacey McGill was no more.

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