Saturday, March 14, 2009

My Life as a Pre-Teen

This week's Book That Never Was takes us back to the rural outskirts of Friendship, NY, where Samantha Rhodes and her two younger siblings have moved in with their Gram and Gramps... for reasons that are never quite explained. The story unfolds (or, more accurately, doesn't unfold) through a series of letters exchanged between Sam and Anita, her BFF back home—a series of letters that quickly degenerates into boy craziness and a roll call of Santa's reindeer.

No, really.


Dear Sam,

I know we were fighting when you left and I wanted to say sorry. Carolyn asked why weren't you here at camp. I told her about your parents. She says shes sorry, but you're tough and you can make it. I know you can too.

Love, Anita

So, it sounds like her parents are dead, right? And that she'll just have to be a tough little orphan and muddle through this hard-knock life, right?

WRONG.


Dear Anita,

Apology accepted and I'm sorry too. Out here we wake up at 5 to eat breakfast. Gram is cooking and Gramps is milking the cows. Missy and I dress in 5 minute flat. Then we dress Jason. Missy has been having bad dreams. I get up and comfort her. We may be back next year.

love - sam sam sam

W*R*I*T*E B*A*C*K S*O*O*N

Ahh, old habits die hard.

Okay,
so Gram and Gramps own a farm. What did I know about farms?

Farm Fun Fact #1: People on farms wake up early! Crazy early!

Farm Fun Fact #2: People on farms milk cows. Does this mean Gram and Gramps own a dairy farm? Hardly! That's because...

Farm Fun Fact #3: ALL farms have cows. They, like, come with the barn or something.

Also, we learn that Missy's been having bad dreams, which seems to support the Dead Parents theory. But then
the "plot" "thickens": The kids may be returning to their hometown next year? How? Why? What the frig?

But wait—I bet you guys don't even CARE about dairy farms and mysteriously absent parents! I know what you want to hear about: BOYS!!!

Dear Sam,

I think Adam Lone likes me. He calls himself Lone Star. (boys) APOLOGY ACCEPTED.

Love: Ani

Anita? Is that you?

I also like how Adam has nicknamed himself after the state of Texas. Oh, boys!

Dear Ani(ta),

Old Lone Star? Do you like him? Jason rides the donkey and ponies. Missy has a boyfriend named Eddie. He is 8, like her. We went to a county square-dance. This boy called Jeremy asked me to dance. I didn't want to because it was like pimple city.
[Pimple City = my new band name.] Gram and Gramps told him yes without asking me. He sprayed me through his retainer. To top it off this cute guy named Brian kept looking at me. He had been about to ask me when old puss-face had.

MY REPUTATION IS RUINED.

love - sam sam sam

According to the Friendship Info folder, Jason is 3. Who lets a 3-year-old ride a donkey?? This leads us to several more Farm Fun Facts.

Farm Fun Fact #4: All farms have donkeys and ponies, strictly for your riding pleasure.

Farm Fun Fact #5: What do you do for fun on a farm (aside from riding the abundant donkeys and ponies)? Why, go to a square dance, of course!


Notice how Sam's coerced interaction with Jeremy and his newly straightened teeth, metropolis of acne, and kitten face (eh?) is FAR more important the nightmare-inducing events that befell her parents. OBVS.

Dear Sam,

Yes, I like Old Adam Lone Star. What are the ponies names? What does Brian look like. Adam got his braces off and his hair buzzed. He's cute. How are your parents. I have been hanging out with Jo and Sari. They are nice. Jo has a cute new haircut. Do you have any new friends? WE ALL MISS YOU, SAMMI.

Love, Ani.

P,S, everyone calls me Ani now.

It is you! Or... is it Lone Star with his newly buzzed hair?? Crap!

Did you notice it? Did you notice it? She asked (or, rather, stated—there's no question mark involved), "How are your parents." Based on that, I think we have to assume they are NOT DEAD, unless there is something incredibly, frighteningly wrong with Ani.

Something wronger than this weave, even.

Also, what is this funny business about kids get their braces OFF in fifth grade? Keep dreaming, sister.

Oh, but let's see how Sam answers this pointed question about her parents' welfare.

Dear Ani,

Lone Star? Grow up and drink some coffee to wash down that Kool-Aid. Brian is so gorgeous I can't describe him.
[...But I will.] Okay, he's got blond/brown hair and blue/greenNOturquoise eyes. He's about 4'11". He's nice and sweet and cute and funny and gorgeous and GREAT. The ponies are called Cinnamon and Ginger. The donkey's name is Tucker. We call him Tuck. The horses names are Dasher, Dancer, Comet, Cupid, Donder, Blitzen, Rudolph and Snow Ball Prancer.

Oh, sorry, she was too busy naming farm animals and describing the indescribable Brian to explain anything relevant to the plot of this story. Though, to be fair, Brian DOES sound pretty indescribable, what with the hair that's blond... or is it brown? And the eyes that are blue? Or green? Or—dare I say!—turquoise? But Sam does know that he's 4'11", which seems... odd.

Anyway, that's it! If you thought we were going to get to the bottom of this parental mystery, HA! You better grow up and drink some coffee to wash down that Kool-Aid!

NEXT TIME: My characters like writing letters so much that they start writing to people who don't even exist.

Also, sorry if I've been slacking a little on the posting. (I know, MY REPUTATION IS RUINED.) I've been busy lately in my non-blog life, but I promise I'm not going anywhere. I'll try to keep posting at least once a week.

10 comments:

halle said...

did u make up that coffee/kool-aid insult? love it but don't remember ever hearing it before.

reinydeer said...

Yes, you are NOT allowed to leave us. I liked the Kool Aid insult too, new to me as well.

carey said...

it took me two read-throughs of the sentence to get that "jason rides the donkey" referred to an actual donkey and was not some crazy fifth grade-style euphemism for something. therefore, "riding the donkey" is now my new euphemism for anything and everything.

Sadako said...

Hehe--pimple city IS an awesome band name.

Kylie90210 said...

You crack me up each and everytime...

Fear Street said...

I <3 Ani

Sadako said...

Sada, hope you update soon! Gave you an award on my blog: http://dibblyfresh1.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

Don't abandon us!!!! =)

Molly said...

Sada please keep posting! I have seriously not laughed this hard in years. If ever. I downloaded the entire blog onto my Blackberry and it has sustained me during many subway rides to and from work - and now i"m dying for more!!

jennifer r said...

This blog is killing me. It hits so very close to home. Please, keep it comnig!