The one where the ghostwriters are on acid, or SVH #99 “Beware the Babysitter”

24 Jun

We skip to the fifth installment of the “Terror” Miniseries, one book after Lila’s parents remarry each other, and one book before The Evil Twin messes up big time and fails to murder Elizabeth Wakefield.

In our first scene, Liz [carefree after recently being acquitted of the murder of her sister’s boyfriend] is at the beach with Enid, and the ghostwriters clearly had a field day playing up Enid’s mildly pathetic obsession with her best friend. Liz’s stroll along the sand is reminiscent of Bo Derek in 10:

“Enid Rollins lay on her stomach on a beach blanket and watched as her best friend, Elizabeth Wakefield emerged, dripping from the surf. Elizabeth waved as she began strolling up the beach toward Enid. The warm, California sunlight sparkled on her wet shoulders, casting a small shadow on the sand at her feet. Her new blue maillot looked great –sexy, but in an understated way. Enid sighed, only a little bit enviously…”

In case you had better things to do in 1993 than read about twin-drink-spiking and evil doppelgangers, the ghosties give us a rundown of the events of the previous 4 books: Basically, Liz and Jess were vying for the title of prom queen [personally I would have given it to Maria Santelli, but hey]. Liz got flirty with Jess’ bf Sam, Jess got spiteful and spiked Liz’s drink with some rum from the Big Mesa gatecrashers, Liz got in the car and killed Sam and needless to say, the twinkies are not speaking. [Oh and the wonder twin was set free when the driver of the other car came forward and admitted to drink driving. Yeah right!]

The subplot of this miniseries is even better – a psycho called Margo Black, who looks exactly like the twins except with brown hair [oh, ew!] is traveling across the USA murdering small children and planning to kill Liz and take her rightful place in the Wakefield family.

Next scene we find Jess mending her broken heart with new boyfriend James [Geez Jess, you could at least pretend to be mourning!] Ironically, he happens to be employed by Margo to spy on the Wakefields, but naturally has fallen in love with Jessica, because WHO COULD POSSIBLY RESIST A WAKEFIELD?

Liz and Enid are discussing Toddles and how she’s still madly in love with him. Honey –he abandoned you in your hour of need, took up with your twin, and now you’re not a jailbird has decided to come crawling back? And this is the sensible twin!

In fact, in Liz’s own words, I, Winston Egbert was her rock throughout the ordeal. “Seriously, Winston’s been a good friend through all of this,” Elizabeth said. “I should think of some way to thank him for sticking by me.”

How sweet it is when a computer nerd is owed one by a blonde twin!

My parents decide to go away for a week in this book, but instead of getting it on with Maria Santelli I sit down to a peanut butter and sardine sandwich [I stick by the good twin and this is how the ghosties thank me??] Then some neighbour I’ve never met before drops her baby over and asks me to mind it overnight while she goes to Washington to do some secret deal with an immigration office. Okaaayy…

James and Margo meet at Kelly’s Roadhouse Bar, which is where all the baddies go so we know something sinister is going on.

Margo tells James she’s starting a job at Little Darlings Day Care. This is just plain sick. It’s little wonder my 11 year old self had nightmares about going to after school care. Also – it begs the question of how she got this job. Any qualifications? Maybe a criminal record check/ working with children check that tend to be MANDATORY for such forms of employment?? Anyhow…

That night, we get a glimpse into Margo’s twisted world, as she stands in front of the shattered mirror in her hotel room, thinking about Liz Wakefield [seriously, is that all anyone does in this town?!] and ‘rasps’ “Her life will be mine!” [insert evil laugh]

I should mention a rare occasion where Alice actually does some parenting and without mentioning the “s-word” tells jess to beware being taken advantage of by James. Go Alice!

Jess is obvs feeling better after finding a new man in SV to dry hump. She gives her poor twin [who’s licence has been suspended] a ride home in the jeep. Oh and she still hasn’t mentioned that little fact about how she was the drink spiker. Oh well.

Instead of being happy that their cold war is over, “It’s like having a whole new wardrobe!” she tells James. “It’s been ages since Liz let me borrow a sweater!” Please, Margo, can you kill Jessica instead?

Speaking of Margo, she has started her job at the day-care centre and starts getting info from kids who live on Calico drive about the Wakefields. My favourite is when she threatens to burn their little faces if they tell anyone about their conversations. This girl is a psycho.

Now for some lightheartedness to ease this sadism! It’s a comedy of errors at the Egbert house! I am minding Daisy who Won’t. Stop. Bloody. Crying. The doorbell rings and my first thought is to hide the baby. How logical! I decide to put her under the sofa. Clearly I have been taking babysitting tips form Margo. Luckily, it’s only Maria, who immediately finds the baby and starts cuddling it and talking gibberish. See Winston? I can be wife material! Is what I take from this exchange.

I must say, these later SVH novels are much more complicated, because just when we thought the twins would have a pillow fight and make up, Liz finds a letter from Todd that Jess intercepted during their fling. Scandal! Of course, we get Liz and Todd make up session #137 and Liz and Jess not-on-speaking-terms #280. While Liz-Todd are out making up for lost time, Margo dresses up as Liz and wanders around their Spanish-tiled kitchen. I am now 100% convinced that Alice Wakefield is the worst parent in history, because she actually believes it’s Liz, although her daughter “seemed a little disoriented.” Ha!

Back at Wins – there’s still no sign of Daisy’s parents, and Maria brings the entire cheer squad over. Of course, introduce the baby to Amy Sutton. Nice work, Maria. Maria decides we should go as a threesome to Olivia Davidson’s costume party. By this she means that we should take the baby. To a high school party. This is the future mother of my children. I’ve now missed far too much school for any nerd to bear, so I decide to bring Daisy IN A DUFFEL BAG to class. My only redeeming act is that I manage to hide her from Creepy Collins. The kid gets swapped around all day like Annie Whitman on a slow Tuesday. Something possesses me to let Lila have a hold. And Liz. Oh god, don’t let her get in the jeep. And then, after school  – the moment where I go face to face- with Margo! Liz and Todd convince me to send the bundle of joy to Little Darling’s Daycare until her parents come home. When I hand her over, I think about how the daycare girl seemed strange and oddly familiar. Right. So Margo can trick Alice Wakefield into thinking she is her own daughter, and yet as someone who’s known the Wakefields since grade school I don’t even notice that she is identical to the twins. Up here for thinking, Win.

Finally, we get to the costume party! Alleluia! It’s been a long time between drinks in Sweet Valley! The twins somehow end up in matching Cinderella cozzies, and of course Margo decides to throw on her matching dress and pretend to be Jess/Liz!

Stupid Todd dances with Margo and thinks how it didn’t really seem like Liz. Or Jessica for that matter. Hmmm.

Amy and Lila are rather vapid so I’m not all that surprised that they mistake Margo for Jess. But then Steven SWATS HER PLAYFULLY ON THE BACKSIDE and goes “hey sis”. I love that my first reaction to this was not that Steven is an idiot, nor that he just whacked his younger sister on the ass but that he is still going to high-school parties. Seriously, dude, you stopped dating Cara Walker 13 books earlier! I’ve decided Steven is creepy.

We get some more mad Margo thought processes as she thinks about killing the baby [which I have stupidly brought to the party.] “Ahhh..The skinny kid with the thick glasses and the screaming brat of a baby”.  Hey! “The baby Elizabeth loves, who doesn’t deserve so much good luck.”

Then some guy called Josh who has been chasing Margo around the country after she murdered his brother turns up and tackles Margo – but it’s Jessica. Whew! That was close.

Margo comes over to my house in the morning and offers to take Daisy to social services. I realize that I don’t remember giving her my address. [SERIOUSLY, WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE??] So I go out for the day leaving the kid with this stranger. Fortunately, Liz comes over to meddle/help [I’m sure she would know all about raising kids!] just as Margo is about to murder the baby. Funnily, although they are identical Liz doesn’t seem to realize it. She just feels a little creeped out.

Luckily, before Margo can take the baby to “social services” the neighbours return and we do an action movie car chase thingy and put a stop to it. Damn!

But just when we thought Margo had lost her murderous touch – she writes Nalice an invitation to a business trip in San Fran. Isn’t Ned a lawyer? Either the ghosties are confused or Ned is really stupid. Either way, Nalice accepts, and soon the twins will be left alone….

Till next time…Mwa ha ha ha!

5 Responses to “The one where the ghostwriters are on acid, or SVH #99 “Beware the Babysitter””

  1. Yellow Daisy June 24, 2010 at 8:35 pm #

    This was too funny! This was also my first time visiting this blog. I’ve got to read all of your previous posts now.

    There was a point when I actually thought you were making this up. Enid is hot for Liz’s body, Margo wants Liz’s life, half the people in the book can’t tell Margo apart from the twins, but the other half don’t even notice that they look alike….people leave the infant with random strangers, hide the baby under the couch…ONLY IN SWEET VALLEY!

    I never read this far in the series, and I’m glad I didn’t. Your recaps seem much funnier and better written. How did these damned books get published???

  2. winstonegbert June 30, 2010 at 9:01 am #

    Indeed, Yellow Daisy, beats me how these books kept getting pumped out every month for 17 years. Maybe for generation X to snark about decades later with a mix of nostalgia and ridicule. Glad you liked the post!


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