I truly believe that there was a meeting room where all the ghostwriters came together to throw ideas around. One late night, when they were all depressed and realizing that this was the only job their English lit degree from Harvard would get them, they started playing a drinking game. They had to go around the table and think of the most absurd storyline ever. On a dare, once of them submitted a manuscript and bam, it later lined the shelves of B. Dalton as glorius #86.
Bruce is super-bored and complains that there is nothing to do in Sweet Valley. And by that he means there are no more girls to forcibly dry hump or formerly poor cousins to demean. The Scooby gang goads him into actually doing something to make SV more interesting….
….meanwhile, the whole school has an assembly. Probably because one of the Wakefields deficated in the shape of an angel and they want to show it to everyone. Nope, it’s because the “International Federation of Teachers” is sending a delegation to the school for the next three days, to observe their school. They are going to choose a host committee and Elizabeth practically pees her pants with desire to be on the committee. Why are teachers traveling from all over the world to observe them? Do you think this is anyway connected to the superindendent’s super secret rendevouz with Soviet educators?
Meanwhile, Jessica is mooning over the fact that her boyf Sam is away for a bit. Apprently he is at a month-long class for high school seniors interested in environmental science, somewhere in Colorado. So he missed a month of regular school? How is that allowed? Why am I questioning? Better get used to missing him, Jess. In a few books we all know that Liz is gonna off him. Anyhoo…
Bruce shows up in school the next day with a leather jacket with an X on the back. How did he get those made so quick? Ronnie Edwards (‘member him? He used to date Enid a while back. Now THAT was a crazy thing to do.) is also in it. Everyone confronts them at lunchtime and Bruce declares it’s a club for REAL men. Jessica implies that that means they play GI Joes in the backyard. Heh, that was actually funny, Jess.
Jessica asks why girls can’t join, and what begins is the beginning of a perfect setup if this was to somehow be made into a movie musical, and I am crossing my fingers like crazy that it does. Maybe Bruce and Jess can break out into some verses of that Broadway ditty “Anything you can do, I can do better” . It’s all girls suck, blah blah. Bruce is quite the misogynist. Finally, Bruce DARES Jess to join and see if she can handle it. Jessica, drunk of the attention this is getting her, agrees. She is such a pioneer for the women’s movement, that Jess!
So it turns out the club is based on dares and someone thinks of a dare, and they spin a wheel to see who does it, and if they don’t do the dare, they get another spoke on the wheel and increase their chances. I am going to ruin the plot now and tell you that Bruce rigs the wheel so it always lands on Jess. Jessica’s first dare is to drive to the bottom of Bruce’s driveway with no headlights on. Snore. The club seems to be a wayward home for minor characters. some football player named Tad and some guy Michael Harris.
Meanwhile, Liz is chosen as the LEAD delegate for the international teachers, and when they arrive, it’s very Goblet of Fire-y. Each one embodies a total stereotype of their country. I think the teacher from France does a mime routine.
Liz is all strung up about Club X, mostly because she is acared how it will look to the international teachers. So, she calls this Project X hotline, that is used in every book since the one where Tom went gay. Yea, because having Amy Slutton on the other end of the line is going to help.
“I don’t want to butt into her life, but I want her to stop doing what’s she’s doing. Does that make sense?”
“I know what you mean. Does it involve drugs or alcohol? Because if it does, you should butt in, whether you want to or not.”
Talk about a non-judgemental hotline.
So, Club X’s dares include:
- diving into a public pool after it is closed
- cutting the electricity in the school
- putting glue in the padlocks of the lockers
- smoking a cigarette in the principal’s office
- hotwiring a car (Jess ends up stealing Bruce’s Porsche)
- Walking along train tracks on a bridge (Stand By Me called and wants their plot back)
Meanwhile, Jess wants out but doesn’t want to give Bruce satisfaction. So she ALSO calls Project Youth. They are unhelpful. Surprise.
Jess re-rigs the wheel o’ dares so it will land on Bruce so she can give him the ULTIMATE dare. Are you ready for this? So much buildup. They are having another school assembly for the international teachers and during the assembly, Bruce needs to rerig the PA system so the radio station KZZP plays in the auditorium. What’s so bad about KZZP? They play HARD ROCK music! OMG! The horror! Apparently it is banned in some parts of SV. I didn’t know this was also Footloose.
Of course Jess is torn because Liz will be speaking during the assembly and Liz doesn’t want to be embarassed (i.e., doesn’t want the spotlight on her to be taken away). It still happens, and Bruce is caught and they all get called into the principal’s office for all their stunts. And they get dention for one week. GROW A SPINE, SVH!
Ma and Pa Wakefield grow a tiny spine and also ground Jessica for a week. That’s nothing. Although Sam is coming home that night and she can’t see him. So she convinces pushover Liz to switch places so she can sneak out and see him. She comes clean to him about what she’s been doing and all is well and they smooch.
Kind of a letdown. I thought the dares would be…well, a bit more daring. I can think of dares that would shake them to the core. How about Jessica step inside a synagogue? Or they send Jessica to downtown LA?
Let’s but Bruce under the microscope, shall we? He doesn’t really seem to have any real friends. Maybe his cold, mean exterior is for protection. I am sure he is incredibly insecure. It makes me feel bad for him, and maybe even want to make out with him for little bit. Is that wrong? I am a bad feminist.