Chapter 3: Broken Home
The narrator is back again. Looks like the narrator is going to begin every chapter.
We get a description of the De La Crème home.
A splendiferous, luxurious palazzo of a dwelling with a marble façade, grand archways and columns, wrought-iron balconies at its second-floor bedrooms, a fountain in the center of the yard, complete with a nude male statue with rippling musculature.
Truly glorious! The crème of the De La Crèmes.
I suspect that the sole reason for the name "De La Crème" was that lousy pun. I approve.
All that glitters is sometimes gold-plated.
* Looks at wallet. * Gold-plated sounds really nice.
The narrator then helpfully shows us a crack by the koi pond which has been covered with duct tape.
The De La Crèmes have nothing to hide. Or do they?
And this narrator was necessary . . . why? It would have been just as effective (and much less annoying) for the narration to tell us about this without talking to us directly.
The narrator wanders off. Tookie nearly gets brained when a slate tile breaks off of the roof.
"Oh my God," she murmured.
Why is she barely reacting? Is she high?
Tookie's mother, Creamy De La Crème, keeps the house freezing to combat the heat. She also has all the water running in hopes that a SMIZE will appear. Apparently, everyone does this the week before T-DOD.
If one were to go around the room with a not-very-strong magnifying glass, it would soon become clear that duct tape, electrical tape, industrial-strength glue, and other binding agents held the wall upright.
I'm pretty sure that's not enough to keep a wall from collapsing, but whatever. There are also a ton of unused appliances.
Our first glimpse of Creamy is her in the kitchen, tossing a bunch of perfectly good bananas in the trash because they have the faintest hints of brown spots or are too yellow. While showing her hypochondriac tendencies, Creamy is also holding a doll named Bellissima, which is her favorite from a huge collection.
Creamy works at Perfecta-Fecta, a beauty department store. Her job is "a million steps above working in a factory."
"Ah. Hello, dear. You haven't been picking bananas out of the garbage bin and putting them back onto the counter, have you?"
Tookie denies this, and goes over to the sink to turn off the water. Creamy shrieks at her.
"I'm keeping all the taps open until T-DOD! Water must flow continuously into this house! And when our SMIZE comes, we must catch it!"
I think Creamy may be a few bananas shy of a bunch.
There's a news report about the fourth SMIZE being found in a condemned pool. Why it had water in it is anyone's guess.
Yes, she did wear that in public.
"A gang of hooligan females" fought each other for it. Three of the girls were injured, and one is in critical condition at the Shivera hospital. The news shows a grime-covered girl holding up a "glittering, golden glasses-shaped object."
Tyra Bank's love affair with alliteration aside, doesn't a SMIZE only go over one
eye? The cover only shows it on one eye. Tyra Banks wore one to promote the book, and it was only on one eye (and only over the eyebrow
Is it going to be broken in half later? Or are the cover, Tyra Banks, and the description all wrong?
Then we get another news story about missing Intoxibella / 7Seven / Triple7 Ci~L. There are rumors she might have had a breakdown.
"Keep in mind, this is a woman who has been very forthcoming about how her childhood was spent in a place without a single mirror. One can only assume how that might psychologically impact a person as they reach adulthood."
Ci~L will become Tookie's mentor and teach her that "true beauty lies within", immediately before Tookie gets a Beautiful All Along
Myrracle arrives home with her best friend, Brian. They enter the room dancing.
It was impossible for anyone, even Tookie, to take their eyes off her. Even though she was thirteen and Tookie was fifteen, she was more womanly than Tookie in every way — she'd even developed faster, getting her period earlier that year. Tookie still hadn't gotten hers yet.
So, are we going to get a Carrie-esque scene when Tookie gets her first period? Because if not, I don't really see why this is relevant.
Myrracle exclaimed, "Da-tahhhh!"
Mrs. De La Crème applauded tepidly. "Myrracle, baby, it's not da-tah
— it's ta-dah
. And what have I told you? Every hallway is a runway
, not a dance hall!"
"But I love dancing." Myrracle pouted.
"Yes, honey. I know. But you don't love it better
than becoming an Intoxibella do you?" Mrs. De La Crème shrieked.
Myrracle looked torn, like she didn't know how to answer.
Huh. So Tookie isn't the only one being verbally/emotionally abused. It's just happening in different ways.
Myrracle's father (Christopher De La Crème) arrives and declares that he's proud of Myrracle, since she's going to be a professional dancer like he is. He no longer performs, presumably due to an accident that resulted in his losing one of his eyes (which was replaced by a glass eye).
He's gained some weight, but still wears a leotard. When Myrracle's father still performed he was "The Incredible Chris-Crème-Crobat."
And now I have a mental image of an overweight human/Crobat
hybrid wearing a leotard.
Myrracle admits to being frightened to participate in T-DOD. (She's 13, so it's her first year.) Her parents brush off her concerns. And I'm starting to sympathize with Myrracle. She's a jerk, but at least there's a reason for her behavior. (She's under a lot of pressure, and her mother and father are pushing her in different directions.)
Creamy says they need to take Myrracle to the salon to get rid of her split ends. This starts a fight.
"Woman, how stupid do you think I am? You just want to get her to that damn salon so you can do whatever you do with Perry while Myrracle is under the dryer! I see how you look at him!"
Creamy retaliated by calling him a drunk, and he says that at least he doesn't cheat on her.
Myrracle interrupts them.
"Back to me, everyone! I'm the most important girl in the room, 'member?
That comes across as arrogant and as a desperate attempt to get her parents to stop fighting.
Tookie decides to look at the newspaper, but her mother snatches it from her. She says she can't stand reading a newspaper after other people's dirty hands have had it.
Yep. She's definitely a hypochondriac.
We hear more about the fugitive baroness, who is apparently responsible for Tookie's family losing most of their money. (So she's heading for the same situation as Zarpessa, and she still has zero sympathy for her? Jerk.)
What did the baroness do?
[The Baroness] ruined the lives of tens of thousands and scarred the image of the annual Intoxistakes event, in which second-year students travel to Striptown and gamblers bet on which girls will become Intoxibellas upon graduation.
What. The. Hell.
They have a bunch of underage girls go to "Striptown" to pose in front of a bunch of adults who bet on who is the sexiest? And how old is "second-year?" We know that the youngest people participating in T-DOD are 13, so it could very well mean second year of junior high.
Someone call Chris Hansen.
Tookie's parents start fighting when Creamy sees a teakettle in an ad that she wants. Her husband says she doesn't even like tea, so she demands Tookie make her some tea.
A yellow bubble forms in the tap.
This wasn't unusual; off-color water was a common sight in the De La Crème household because of the home's broken water filters.
So, in this reality, water is filtered at each house instead of at a water filtration plant? That sounds incredibly inefficient.
The small yellow bubble began to expand, filling half of the kitchen sink. Then it changed color, from spicy red to soothing blue to emerald-green and, finally, to a plethora of yellow.
If you don't already know what this is, you haven't been paying attention.
It was strangely beautiful. Tookie carefully picked up the bubble with her hands. And then, before her eyes, the bubble flattened itself and transformed into cellophane-thin, golden cat's-eye sunglasses without the frames.
Sunglasses without the frames? So just the lenses, then? These descriptions don't seem to fit the cover picture or the real life version of a SMIZE at all.
Darn, I was one chapter off in my prediction that Tookie would get a SMIZE.
Tyra Banks / Alliteration / Adjectives = OT 3
Something I just realized: Très Jolie is probably the Modelland
equivalent to French. (There have been mentions of "Très Jolie braids.")
This has been another useless fact.
I am pleasantly surprised to not notice any Blatant Mistakes in this chapter. (Figures this would happen the chapter after I start keeping count.)
Chapter 3 = 0
Total = 10.
Tookie vs. Myrracle
Tookie's defining traits so far are: Omniglot
, not conventionally attractive, shy, and desperately wanting to be special so she can be noticed. She is boring
I wish Myrracle was our main character.
Myrracle's father wants her to follow in his footsteps as a dancer, while her mother is pressuring her to become a model. Both of her parents are pressuring her to succeed.
At one point, she specifically turns her parents' attention to her when they fight, which seems to be a desperate attempt by a child to keep her parents from fighting. (And allowing herself to be pressured into modeling seems to be an attempt to appease her mother.)
Myrracle isn't very smart — in contrast to her Omniglot
older sister — and she shows signs of being jealous of Tookie. Her parents treat Tookie poorly, which encourages her to follow suit. And at least Tookie's best friend is an actual friend. Myrracle's best friend seems to hang around her just so he can laugh at how stupid she is.
Sure, Myrracle isn't a nice person, but she has tremendous potential for character growth.
I hope Myrracle gets a character arc.