The Big Deal: Party at the Wakefield house
The Wakefield parents are going to Mexico. Good riddance. They never do much parenting anyway, which is probably why Jessica and Steven assume the kids will get to look after themselves. They start planning a party for Saturday night and inviting all their friends. It’s not until the day before they leave that the parents tell them a very nice elderly woman named May Brown will be staying with the children. She’s a total stranger, but she comes “highly recommended” so I guess that’s safer than leaving the kids alone?
The parents leave Wednesday after the kids go to school, and when the twins get home that afternoon they find Steven and May glaring at each other in the kitchen. The old woman won’t let them have any snacks, they have to go to bed at nine, they only get one hour of TV a day, and she has the nerve to suggest the twins wear nametags so she can tell them apart. She’s a real bitch about all of it. The kids decide to get rid of her. They pull a few stupid pranks, like putting garlic in May’s coffee and setting her alarm clock to go off in the middle of the night, but all that gets them is the loss of phone privileges.
While all this is going on, Steven and the twins are also on a mission to clean out the garage and have a garage sale. They don’t get many customers, but Jessica manages to accidentally sell their mother’s antique wooden rose, given to her by her great-great-grandmother. So now Liz is freaking out, but Jessica is happy they’ll have money to buy stuff for the party she’s still convinced she’s going to have. Liz goes to every pawn shop in town trying to find the rose, but no luck.
In other news, Amy Sutton has a boyfriend all of a sudden. His name is Rob. Amy found him at the mall. Liz is surprised because she thought Amy liked Ken, but Amy says Ken is more interested in sportsball, and besides, Rob is in eighth grade and he’s really cute. Amy is showing signs of becoming her future self. Amy and Rob drag Todd and Liz on a double date to Casey’s, and Rob is a total ass.
Saturday rolls around and May is still the worst baby-sitter ever, so Steven and the twins put their latest plan into action. Steve tries to get himself a snack, which prompts May to yell at him about her no snacking rule, so Steven packs a bag and leaves the house, saying he’s never coming back. A few hours later, he calls May and tells her he got a ride to a friend’s house really far away, but the friend isn’t home and May needs to come get him. When she’s gone, Steven comes home from the supermarket with party supplies.
The party starts out okay, but it gets out of control pretty fast. Amy’s stupid boyfriend keeps putting on terrible music and turning it up too loud, there are people outside throwing food into the pool, and half the guests are people the Wakefields don’t even know. Amy tells Rob to get lost and then asks Ken to walk her home, so that’s all right. Then Aaron says he has to leave and just as he’s kissing Jessica good night for the first time ever, someone starts a food fight and Jessica gets hit in the face with a piece of bologna. Soon, the only people left are strangers who want to dance on the furniture. That’s when May comes home.
May is royally pissed, and she goes right upstairs and starts packing. The twins apologize and beg her to help them get rid of the kids downstairs. May relents and starts yelling, and pretty soon all the jerkface kids are gone. Steven and the twins apologize some more, and May apologizes to them for being so strict and terrible all week. They all call it even. The next morning, the kids wake up super early and clean the house while May is off on some errand. She comes back later with the antique rose Jessica accidentally sold. It turns out one of the pawn shop guys Liz talked to was at an auction in Big Mesa and he saw the rose. May went up there and bought it back. When the Wakefield parents finally come home, the kids are actually sad to see May leave.
So, to recap: the kids threw a raging party and did not get in trouble, and the antique rose is back where it belongs. Nobody is grounded or in jail. Everything is wonderful.
“I’m not wearing a nametag,” Jessica said. “You can tell us apart by our hair. I wear mine down, and Elizabeth wears hers up.”
Always and forever.
The Cover: Steven, with his expressionless face, is apparently sweeping the couch. Well done, young Steven.