Saturday, February 19, 2011

Stop in the Name of Pants by Louise Rennison

When we last saw Georgia, she'd decided to be Masimo's girlfriend, and was on a school-sponsored camping trip where she'd fallen in the river, possibly broken her bottom, and snogged Dave the Laugh, who has confessed that he might like someone else more than his girlfriend, Emma. Stop in the Name of Pants! picks up right where Love is a Many Trousered Thing left off: at the campsite, where Georgia has time alone in her tent to ponder what just happened, and we get a closer look at what transpired between her and Dave.

With Robbie back in town and Wet Lindsay being interested in him (and Masimo, who is about to depart for Pizza-a-gogo land for a month), you can bet that Wet Lindsay has it out for Georgia even more than usual. Masimo has invited Georgia to come visit him and his family in Italy, and she spends part of the book trying to figure out how to make that happen. She also spends part of the book at the veterinarian's office, due to a terrible Angus-related event. I will say that Dave proves his loyalty (and depth) quite well vis-à-vis the Angus-related event, and it is no wonder that I've always had my money on him and Georgia as my OTP in this series.

Which reminds me that in talking about "show, don't tell" in the review of Love is a Many Trousered Thing, I neglected to mention that Rennison gives Georgia and Dave quite a bit in common. You may remember me talking about how Dave busted Mark Big Gob's lip after Mark was rude to Georgia in Away Laughing on a Fast Camel, just as Georgia sticks up for Nauseating P. Green in earlier books and defies the Bummer Twins (Jackie and Alison) on her behalf – and later to rescue some first-levels on which they are seated. Both Dave and Georgia act to rescue the "Little Titches" (two little first-levels) from various acts of aggression by Mark Big Gob and the Blunderboys. In other words, they both stick up for the little guy. And get in trouble for pranks at school. And generally like to have a laugh (and a snog). But I digress.

In this book, Georgia translates the snogging scale (which makes for fun reading all on its own) into German, given the general hilarity of the German language and a desire to "benefit" Herr Kamyer and Miss Wilson, the two teachers involved in the aforementioned camping trip. Which brings me to one of the funny bits from this book:

Freedom, freedom!!!

I skipped out of the school gates. And did a bit of ad hoc skipping down the hill past the park.

Which is when Dave the Laugh emerged from the park loos!! Caramba! I stopped skipping but it was too late. He said, "Excellent independent nunga-nunga work, Georgia."

He had just been playing footie and was a bit sweaty. His hair was all damp. I quite liked it. He's got a nice smell. Not doggy cheesy.

He walked along with me and said, "What have you been up to?" . . .

four minutes later

Dave does make me laugh. I told him about the German snogging scale and he was nodding and going, "Oh ja, oh ja!!! Ich liebe das frontal Knutschen. Ich bin der Vati!"

Then he said, "You don't fancy a spot of rummachen unter der halten, do you? Just for old times' sake?"
For those of you interested, "frontal Knutschen" is "frontal snogging" and "rummachen unter der halten" is a reference to #9 on the German list, "rummachen unterhalb der Taille". (Please see the above link for the snog-scale listing.)

This book involves: postcards and phone calls from (and to) Italy, Masimo troubles, Dave the Laugh troubles, Angus troubles, parent troubles, Jas/Tom troubles, several trips to clubs, the Viking disco hornpipe extravaganza, casting for an all-female production of Romeo and Juliet, mad twisting, and fisticuffs at dawn, among other things. Oh – plus Libby gets her bottom stuck in a bucket.

What with all the many and varied troubles in this book, you'd think it might not be so funny, but you'd be wrong. Such is the magic of Louise Rennison's writing.


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