Deceptions: A play in 3 acts

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ACT I

Scene 1: The Wakefield’s split-level, Spanish-tiled house. A party celebrating Liz’s return from her crazy orderly captor.

NICHOLAS MORROW: Liz, I’ve taken one look at you and your perfect California looks, you’re ill-cut feathered bangs, and I’ve fallen deeply and madly in love with you. I must have you at any cost.

ELIZABETH WAKEFIELD: Wow, that is not all inappropriate considering a creepy man just kidnapped me and said the same thing. But he fed me frozen pancakes.

NM: Oh, I’m very rich and good-looking.

EW: In that case…wait! I’m in love with Todd!

NM: Fuck Todd I want you.

EW: Well, you are feeding my ego, so yes, I’ll go out with you secretly.

Scene 2: Enid Rollins’ pathetic fucking non-Spanish tiled house.

ENID ROLLINS: (answering the phone): Hello?

EW: Enid, omg! What am I going to do? This is SUCH a disaster!

ER: Ok, I’ve cleared my schedule. I’ve canceled visiting my dying grandmother to talk to you.

EW: Oh my gaaaawd! Nicholas is like totally in love with me! And he’s so rich and good-looking! But I am supposed to be in love with my good-looking boyfriend Todd! Two guys are in love with me! Life is SO HARD!

ER: Wow, that IS a huge problem. I mean, forget that I have a drunk father, I once almost killed a kid, and I was born with frizzy brown hair, how can you stand to be you! [puts a gun to her head]

Act II- at The Cote D’Or, a posh restaurant an hour outside of Sweet Valley

Scene 1- back of the house

WAITER: If I have to make one more pat of butter look like rose petals I am going to quit.

BUSBOY: If I have to clean up after one more of these waspy couples, I am going to scream. Wtf is with this place? Cote d’Or means Gold Coast in French. We should be serving fried chicken skins in a basket.

WAITER: Oh jeez. I have to go check on table number 3, which is some rich daddy’s boy and his underage date. Shoot me now.

Scene 2: front of the house

NM: So computer, computers, computers…my daddy’s Ferrari, computers, my deaf sister, computers….

EW: writing, writing, writing, my sister, journalism, writing, being boring….

NM: Well, do you love me now that’s I’ve tried to buy your affection?

EW: Nope, you’re actually quite boring…. and I’ve gotten the ego boost I need…Omg! Is that Todd? What is he doing here?

Todd Wilkins: (approaching the table) Liz? is that you??? Why are you cheating on me????

EW: No, asshole, it’s Jessica.

TW: Phew! I know Liz wouldn’t cheat on me. She’s the patron saint of morals.

ACT III

Scene 1: The basketball game

TW: Well, I’m glad that I found out that Nicholas and Elizabeth had a date without causing any drama or anything. I’m just going to fuck up the entire basketball game.

Scene 2: boy’s locker room

NM: Glad I could talk to you in here Todd, where the half-naked men are.

TW: hold on, let me lather up. Can you get my back?

NM: I wanted to tell you that I tried to get into Liz’s pants, but there’s a double padlock on her crotch with “Todd Wilkins” written all over it.

TW: Okay, I’ll let it go this time, because I know Liz would NEVER cheat on me again.

Scene 3: outside the school

EW: Oh Toddie! I never meant to hurt you! Will you ever forgive me?

TW: Well, I wasn’t going to, but I talked to Nicholas about it and..uh…well, those luscious lips, that Greek-god sculpted body, the….uh, I mean he was honest with me.

EW: Great! I’d never cheat on you! And I am 100% sure this is the last time we will ever fight or one of us will be jealous!

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54 thoughts on “Deceptions: A play in 3 acts

  1. Clubx says:

    Awesome recap, ihatewheat. I’m working overnight and this is the first thing that’s made me smile in over 8 hours. Thanks for making my day, as usual!

  2. nichole says:

    Awesome recap – “but there’s a double padlock on her crotch with ‘Todd Wilkins’ written all over it” – ha ha ha

  3. BurtonFanatic says:

    Hee Hee! This was awesome! And so true.

    At first I read this
    “NM: Fuck Todd I want you.”
    As this “NM: Fuck! Todd, I want you!”

  4. upstatestruggler says:

    ‘I’ve canceled visiting my dying grandmother to talk to you.’
    mother of god.
    this is the absolute best recap ever! I would love to see it acted out with dolls. or finger puppets. or matches with faces drawn on them. or dicks.
    did I say that?

  5. Amber Tan says:

    “this is the absolute best recap ever! I would love to see it acted out with dolls. or finger puppets. or matches with faces drawn on them. or dicks. did I say that?”

    You did indeed and I concur 1,000%. And as for qualified performers? Behold! We need look no further than Puppetry of the Penis: http://www.puppetryofthepenis.net/

  6. Amy Slutton says:

    I re-read this recently and I thought Nicholas was creepy as hell. Shame, because other than Bruce Patman, he is one of the finer ones…

    I also can’t believe Liz actually thought she could get away with pretending to be Jessica. AS IF Todd wasn’t going to go straight home and either call Liz immediately or go see her in person to tell her what a ‘dope’ or ‘prize idiot’ he’d been.

    upstatestruggler… LOL…

  7. Jennifer says:

    NM: So computer, computers, computers…my daddy’s Ferrari, computers, my deaf sister, computers….

    This was, verbatim, the ghost writer’s thought process as they chugged coffee and cranked another one out. Character development at its finest. Nicholas did strike my adolescent self as pretty dreamy, though.

  8. Jen S says:

    “We should be serving fried chicken skins in a basket.” BWAH!!

    This was effing brilliant to the eff degree. Enid, will you be my freind?

  9. Beth says:

    The Best!Fucking!Recap!Ever!! I did a coffee spit-take all over my newborn son when I read the “shower scene”! He’s ok, but his sense of humor is seriously lacking……

  10. ihatewheat says:

    I just want to stress how fucking ridiculous it was that Nicholas was stalking Liz THE DAY AFTER she escaped from a stalking maniac. Has anyone no shame?

    And how Nicholas decided to talk to to Todd in the locker room after the game. Nicholas is not a student at SVH, so it was essentially a random stranger wandering in.

    DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED on the subplot. Jessica convinces Randy Mason to “hack in” to the school’s grading system to change her math grade. When they go to see the principle, Liz goes with them and SHE convinces Chrome Dome not to punish them. And they get off with barely anything. AAARRRGHHGH)(@*$)@(Q

  11. Jen S says:

    I guess it’s better than a scene where Jessica vamps Chrome Dome to achieve the same ends–wait, what am I saying?? That would rock!

  12. Dwanollah says:

    Thank you, thank you, for pointing out the stupidity and hypocrasy of “If a lowly hospital orderly does it, it’s creepy, but if a hottt, rich guy does it, it’s romantic!” This bugged the crap out of me.

    Oh, and…?

    “TW: hold on, let me lather up. Can you get my back?”

    *tumultuous applause* and *cheers*

  13. Enidrollins says:

    Liz thinks LILA is a phony when she’s cheesing it up with NM? Goddd. But the recap was great.

    If Sweet Valley were Gossip Girl:

    Rumor is, EW is cheating on TW with the very good-looking NM…and ER continues to be EW’s over-supportive friend. Things are heating up in SV…

  14. ihatewheat says:

    Wow! Thanks for all the compliments about the recap. The reason I did it in this form is because I didn’t have a lot of time to write the full recap.

  15. BadKat says:

    Liz looks like she has been on a week long booze and vicodin binge. The girl looks tore up!!

    I love the stage version recap!! Revival, please!!

  16. Naomi says:

    Another recap where I sprayed a mouthful of coffee at the computer screen while I was reading. I have to learn not to eat or drink while reading your recaps

  17. maebe says:

    this was fantastic! really minus a few mom jean descriptions, that’s all I ever want from a SVH book!

  18. tinypants says:

    OMG I should not have read this during a situation where I could betray no emotion on my face. I feel like I am going to have to run outside and laugh for like twenty minutes asap.

  19. Gingernut says:

    I loved Nicholas falling in love with Liz the second he saw her, and yet being surprisingly immune to Jessica’s (identical) beauty. I bet it was the barrettes that did it for him.

    Fab recap 😀

  20. Malika... says:

    ’twas Liz’s ill-cut bangs that did it. We all know that bangs and barretes are an iressistible combination…

    Great recap!!

  21. Cara Walker says:

    Love this recap! So much so that it has inspired me to interupt my rereading of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to reread it. I know – I am very sad!

    Funny, I never remembered it being so bad. But I felt the vomit rising up in my throat as I read the first two chapters. I hate the usual twin intro – comparison shit that is at the start of each book (perfect size six, sun-kissed good looks… blah blah blah). But this one is pretty damned vomitous:

    ‘Both girls were spectacular, with the all-Ajmerican good looks that made them the envy of every other girl in Sweet Valley. They were a perfectly proportioned five-foot-six, with silken, sun-streaked hair that fell to their shoulders…’ Ugh! This had me reaching for the bucket.

    Also love that Liz is described as “honesty personified” in a book where she is anything but!

    Here is another gut-wrenching vomit moment from chapter 1:

    Nicholas put an arm around her, and they began to glide across the floor gracefully. Nicholas smiled down at Elizabeth. “Hey!” he said suddenly. “This song is about you!”
    Elizabeth listened intently to the words Dana Larson, The Droids’ lead singer, caressed in a soft, sexy voice. “Oh, Nicholas!” she said. “You’re right. She must have written it to welcome me back.” Her eyes misted over. “Aren’t the kids at Sweet Valley just the greatest?”

    Oh. my. god. Is this for real?

    Plus, I have to comment on the ‘creep factor.’ WTF is up with Nick? He tells Liz he loves her within minutes of meeting her, then guilt trips her into a dinner date! Why doesn’t she tell him that she has a boyfriend who she loves and she won’t go out with him. It’s very simple Liz! And she is supposed to be smart! But, no, she actually agrees with Nick!

    I have to admit I kind of like the Jess and Randy computer hacking story line of this book, although Jess’s flirting is over-the-top revolting.

  22. Spanish Split-level Personality Disorder says:

    DO. MORE. PLEASE?!?!?

    ILYSM right now, hence the capslock overload.

    ❤ ;D

  23. cupcakekitty says:

    OMG that was awesome! I’ve been lurking for a couple of weeks now but I had to come out and give huge props. Best recap of any book or show I was ever ashamed of enjoying in my childhood (and now)!

  24. BartTempleton says:

    All right. I was waiting to read this recap until after I re-read (first time since middle school) Deceptions. Setting aside ihatewheat’s orgasmically funny waiter scene/recap…

    THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST POORLY WRITTEN SVHs IN THE ENTIRE SERIES.

    This is not ‘Bad’ as in ‘So bad, it’s craptastic/awesome!”

    THIS IS THE TYPE OF READING EXPERIENCE THAT WILL RAISE YOUR HACKLES, MAKE YOUR EYES ROLL BACK IN YOUR HEAD, and MAKE YOU HOWL AT THE MOON.

    Whew. Got that out of my system. Ladies and Gents, if there are no SVHs currently in your household, run on over to Amazon and buy (1) Double Love-#1 and (2) Deceptions-#14, and read both back to back. Double Love will not be as bad as you expect based on your knowledge of SVH. But Deceptions?

    Oh, Deceptions is rank. This Kate William sucks the Double Love Kate William’s eggs, as we used to say in the 5th grade in the ’80s.

    My sis Cara Walker already pointed out the first gag reflex-activating line of the novella: “Aren’t the kids at Sweet Valley just the greatest?”

    *Try these on for size:

    –“Am I really so unattractive?” [said Nicholas]. “Frankenstein maybe?”He screwed his face into a hideous mask…”Or Dracula?” He emitted a half-supressed, bloodcurdling scream. [WTF?] “Or the Hunchback of Notre Dame?” He bent almost double, then shot his shoulders forward.

    He was so ridiculous, that Elizabeth burst out laughing. Then she looked at him critically. “Well, you don’t have bolts in your neck, so you can’t be Frankenstein.”

    THIS GOES ON FOR A PAGE AND A HALF MORE.

    *Next up:

    “Betsey’s such trash!” Todd said.

    “Oh, Todd, it’s such an awful shame!” Elizabeth’s breath caught in her throat.

    *Excuse me, Liz, your boyfriend was just being a misogynistic asshole about another woman. Sisterly solidarity, much?

    *Or, how about:

    [Liz scoping out Todd’s muscles and tan in a preppy polo shirt as he drives up for their date.] “I guess Matt’s not coming, so you’ll have to do.”

    “Well,” said Todd. “I’m looking for the most beautiful girl in the Valley. Is she home?”

    *Shut the hell up. You two had a date. With each other. Stop talking about each other in the third person and fatuously pretending to be strangers. You’re effing sickos.

    *Also, I have beef with this:

    “Allen [Robin W’s b-friend] had just poured a Diet Coke for Robin and was heaping his own plate with sandwiches.”

    Allen, I have a large posterior. Please kiss it.

    And a hearty F-you to executrix Francie, the Kate Williamses, and Bantam Books, to boot.

    Know this: the man brings the sandwiches to ME. I don’t give a good goddamn about gender roles. Me hungry, me eat. I ain’t drinking no Diet Coke while my boyfriend chows down on sandwiches in the plural, even if I am Robin Wilson and halfway to hottie hell due to being brunette.

  25. Magpie says:

    BartTempleton, I’ve never noticed that bit with Allen and Robin before! What kind of guy chows down junk food in front of their girlfriend who has obvious self-esteem issues about her weight??? Sheesh. If my boyfriend did that to me when I was on a diet (not that I ever am!) he’d feel the force of my wrath.

  26. Cara Walker says:

    Thanks, BartTempleton 🙂

    Funny, you mentioned a point I totally wretched at when I read it – the fact that Allen was heaping his plate with sandwiches after pouring a diet Coke for Robin. Nice one, Francine / ghost write / whoever. I know these were the 80s, but way to go at making girls feel like they have to diet constantly to look good! I wonder if this will be rectified if SVH 2008 makes it as far as book #13? Given the perfect size four crap, I kinda doubt it…

    Enid has to win the award for the drippiest, doormat friend of the century with her response to Liz’s tale of woe – truly revolting –
    “Oh, Liz!” Enid said sympathetically. There was another long pause as she considered her friends predicament. Finally she said, “I think you’ll just have to go out with Nicholas, Liz. And keep your fingers crossed that Jessica doesn’t find out. But I also think it’s important that you tell Todd about this. Todd’s understanding.”

    WTF??!!! What kind of guy is understanding of his girlfriend going on a date with another guy? And why the hell is Enid telling Liz that she thinks she has to go out with Nick? Personally, I would be imploring Liz to tell the creep to f@#$ off! Did it suddenly become a crime to say “no” in Sweet Valley? It just cracks me up that Liz justifies her behaviour by telling herself that she’s being “fair” to Nick!

  27. Sarah C. says:

    The subtext of this one is so awful; it implies that if you’re a nice girl you’ll go along with what a guy wants to avoid hurting his feelings.

    My favorite line: “She was rewarded with a smile so brilliant it put the sun to shame” (from Nicholas when Elizabeth agrees to go to dinner with him).

    Oh wait, another favorite: “Randy was waiting for Jessica under the big Romanesque clock that was the pride of Sweet Valley High.” What???

    one more: “She tossed her head, and a silky web of gold flew around her shoulders.”

  28. BartTempleton says:

    Cara Walker and I experienced synchronized vomiting while reading, probably on opposite sides of the continent, without knowing it. That’s an exceptional feat unmatched in modern literature. _Deceptions_ is just that type of bad, folks.

    GOod point on the gender issues implied here with the “saying yes,” but don’t you get the feeling that Liz was secretly thrilled to be going out with someone other than Todd? It even says at the beginning that everyone including Nalice hated her going steady with Todd so young (um, really? Nalice expressed disapproval of a choice by Elizabeth? Don’t think so) and Liz seems to agree during her interior monologues.

    Oh, Sarah C., didn’t you know the clock was Romanesque the first time they told you it was? Or did you forget, and that’s why they mentioned it was Romanesqeue FOUR TIMES in the book?

    Speaking of which, the computer subplot was hysterical. “Oh Mr. Randy, I don’t know nothin’ ’bout usin’ no floppy disks.” We could create a drinking game out of how many times “wave of the future” was used in relation to computers…a technology about which this Kate William clearly had little clue, if you look at how vague she is about. FYI, Deceptions KW, you don’t need to know math to “run a computer program.”

    What really gets my goat is the writing style here. It’s crap. I know SVH is not meant to have any type of literary value, but the Readers of the Month have standards, dammit, and so do we. The dialogue was so awkward and stilted; this was clearly the first book this KW wrote.

    [first meeting with Nicholas] “Elizabeth sighed and took his hand. ‘I like you a lot. But I don’t think I could ever be in love you.’

    ‘How can you tell? You don’t even know me!’

    ‘I know that, though,’ she said. ”

    I KNOW THAT, THOUGH. This is the Eyes and Ears of the Oracle, mind you, the crackerjack reporter who has a way with words, we’re told.

    “Then Todd looked at his watch. ‘Oh, my gosh,’ he said. ‘Do you know what time it is?’ ”

    I love the comma in “Oh, my gosh,” like he’s an android whose voice was programmed.

    ‘kay, well, I’m off to throw up my Diet Coke.

  29. BartTempleton says:

    Sorry, Magpie, I almost missed your post. I was feeding sandwiches to my boyfriend. Call me if you want to know how to peel grapes for yours.

  30. Magpie says:

    Thanks for the offer, BartTempleton, but he will be too busy eating double bacon cheeseburgers to eat any grapes! Gotta go now – my feminine plate of lettuce leaves and a glass of mineral water await me 😉

  31. Cara Walker says:

    BartTempleton, I have to agree – this has to be the first SVH book this particular Kate William wrote. It’s like she/he/whoever is trying to hard to be familiar with SV and the SVH characters but failing miserably. The writing is so stilted and strained, and I seriously believe I could have written it to the same level as a teenager! 😉 The plot is so inane, I now consider it on a par with Return of the Evil Twin, and that is saying something!

    Also – gotta love the fact that while Robin is subsisting on diet Coke, Liz is chowing down on a three-course meal at the Cote d’Or, but still manages to maintain that perfect size 6 (although Robin is cheerleading and diving and god knows what else while Liz is sitting on her fanny writing articles about the ‘newest wave of the future’ for the Oracle. It’s enough to make me puke up the burger I just ate…

  32. katie says:

    Ohh two handsome boys in love with me…what should I ddoooo?? Give me a fucking break. Thats your BIG problem? Go die in a hole.

    Why doesn’t Enid have good things happen to her? I reckon her and Jeffrey would be a cute couple…but no..all the guys have to be obsessed with at least one of the Wakefield twins. And because Enid is not as gorgeous, she can’t compete.

    This book is ridiculous

  33. Neek1981 says:

    It’s so fucking ridiculous that Todd has no hard feelings toward Nick for trying to steal his girl, and of course he forgives Liz for going out on a date with another guy and then lying to him about it to his face!
    What was Todd doing at the restaurant that night anyway? Isn’t this back during his Datsun-driving days before his father became a millionaire? How could he afford to eat at the same fancy restaurant where Nick takes his dates? This reminds me of that Golden Girls episode where Rose decides to cheat on Miles because Miles is so frugal, then she runs into Miles at the fancy restaurant her date takes her to. Miles is only at the restaurant to buy discounted day-old danishes. Maybe Todd was buying last week’s eclairs when he ran into Nick and Liz.
    Which reminds me, don’t you love how all the little unSweetValleyan(spelling?) things are always corrected in the books? For instance, Datsun-driving Todd becomes a millionaire. Deaf Regina gains her hearing. Poor Roger Pattman inherits a fortune. Fat Robin loses the weight. Lynne Henry takes her glasses off and combs her hair….I could go on for days. It’s like all of these kids have fairy godmothers or some shit.
    Loved the recap, Ihatewheat. Sooo funny.

  34. Goldray says:

    “ER: […] [puts a gun to her head]”

    Oh, all the misery and boredom we’d’ve been saved… If only…

  35. Veronica says:

    I know that Liz is described in each book as being the “nice twin,” but she is a total wimp in this one. If she had any brains whatsoever, she would have told Nicholas to buzz off, and if Nick was truly a “nice” guy, he would have taken the hint and left her alone. But no, Liz chooses to let some guy talk her into going out on a date, even though she’s supposed to be deeply in love with her boyfriend, because she wants to be “fair” to Nick. Liz, honey, being nice is great, but it’s okay to be “mean” now and then, if that will mean not letting people (especially so-called “nice” guys who have little or no respect for your feelings by pressuring you into doing something that makes you uncomfortable) walk all over you.

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