As Chapters Three and Four are quite short (only slightly longer together than Chapter Two), this installment of the Modelland sporking shall be a double feature!

Chapter Three: Da-tahhhh!

We welcome back our dahling narrator for the beginning of the third chapter, as she describes the elegance of the De La Crème residence. I’ll be nice and only subject you to one of the five paragraphs from the dahling narrator.

But be careful what you wish for, dahling. All that glitters is sometimes gold-plated.

Erm, what? I’m pretty sure something that’s gold-plated is still pretty valuable.

As it turns out, the De La Crème residence isn’t in the best shape, with cracks and falling pieces of slate. And as we return to Tookie, a piece of slate “nearly [slices] her skull in two.” That’s a real nice image. She decides to tell her parents about the murderous roof.

Tookie hesistates before entering, and once she does, she trips over a box. Her house is air conditioned to almost zero degrees (probably Celsius) to combat the ridiculous Peppertown heat and because Tookie’s mother believes that people look “fresher” when cold. All of the taps and faucets are on, since the SMIZEs travel through waterways.

Hearing her mother complaining about brown spots, Tookie heads into the kitchen, which is filled with unused appliances.

But 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, caulk, industrial-strength glue, and other binding agents held the walls uptight.

That is some really strong tape. Don’t know why you’d need a magnifying glass to see duct tape, though…

Here we’re introduced to Tookie’s mother, whose name is Creamy De La Crème. Yeah. She’s freaking out over brown spots on bananas, dressed in a pantsuit and holding onto a baby doll named Bellissima, her favourite from her doll collection. Creamy works as a regional manager for a beauty department store and, based on her description, her face hasn’t been treated well by the years.

Creamy (the book refers to her as “Mrs. De La Crème” but I’m not typing that out over and over again) has Tookie grab a pickle out of a jar with her baby fingers. Tookie notices that the garbage is filled with all kinds of edible fruit which doesn’t meet Creamy’s high standards.

After scolding Tookie for trying to turn off the sink, a news report “coincidentally” reports that four SMIZEs have been found, with a group of hooligans having found and fought over one found in a condemned swimming pool. So yes, having a SMIZE is better than being not scarred and disfigured. The news then changes to a report on Ci~L and how there’s no information about her disappearance. Creamy expresses her dislike of Ci~L.

And enter Tookie’s sister Myrracle, accompanied by her friend Brian. The two of them come dancing in, concluding with Myrracle exclaiming the chapter title.

It may just be me, but I can’t help but to picture Derpy Hooves as Myrracle.

Creamy corrects Myrracle and tells her that she should be practising her runway walk instead of dancing.

“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.

It’s the bratty sister’s second scene and she’s already more sympathetic than the main character.

Myrracle goes off on a wild rhyming ramble, which leads to the introduction of Mr. De La Crème, his sagging muscles, and his tight black unitard. Also:

He closed his left eye, which was made of glass, an unfortunate souvenir of an acrobatic performance gone awry many years ago when he was The Incredible Chris-Crème-Crobat and not just Christopher De La Crème.

Chris-Crème-Crobat.

BWAHAHAHAHAHAH.

Well, it could be worse. He could have been a Zubat…?

Chris asks if Myrracle is excited.

Myrracle lowered her eyes. “I guess. But I’m frightening too.”

Given Myrracle’s characterization, I’m not sure if this is the character being derpy or the editor being derpy.

Brian insults Myrracle’s intelligence, and Chris brings up how, at thirteen years old, Myrracle is participating in The Day of Discovery for the first time—not because of an official minimum age, but because the chosen girls were always thirteen or older.

Chris tells Myrracle to relax, which starts up an argument between Chris and Creamy where Chris accuses Creamy of cheating on him with a staff member of a salon.

“Stop it!” Myrracle whined, and both parents froze. “Back to me, everyone! I’m the most important girl in the room, ‘member?” Her voice and face were so adorable that the tension was momentarily forgotten.

I wouldn’t be surprised if this scene was intended as Myrracle being vain, but I like to think that Myrracle doesn’t like seeing her parents fighting and tugs on their obsession with their daughter in order to calm them down.

Our Forgetta-Girl eats a baby gherkin and grabs a newpaper, which Creamy immediately snatches from her hands. OH, POOR TOOKIE! An article in the newspaper is about the previously-mentioned Yonzi scheme baroness, who turns out to have stolen most of the De La Crèmes’ savings. Then she sees an ad for kettles, Chris reminds her than they have an unused kettle, and Creamy tells Tookie to make some tea. Tookie is revealed to have a serious stammering problem whenever and only when she is talking to her mother, which Creamy tried to fix to no avail.

As Tookie makes the tea, she notices a tiny yellow bubble come out of the faucet. The bubble expands to fill the sink, changing colours. Tookie picks up the bubbles, and it transforms before her eyes “into cellophane-thin, golden cat’s-eye sunglasses without the frames.”

Who didn’t see this coming, raise your hands.

Now, everyone with their hands raised, give yourself a slap in the face.

Chapter Four: 91% Chance

Creamy and Chris immediately tell Tookie to hand over the SMIZE. Chris tries to calm down Creamy, who then insults his butt and takes the SMIZE from Tookie.

Yes, she literally insults Chris’s butt.

“Excuse me!” Mrs. De La Crème shot him a look. “I cannot believe your flabby coach-potato ass has the audacity to tell my hardworking firm one that everything will be okay!”

I believe the phrase is “couch-potato”.

The SMIZE starts shaking and emitting yellow waves. Words appear in the air, telling the De La Crèmes that they hold the seventh and last SMIZE.

“’… The wearer of this SMIZE has a ninety-one-percent chance of being discovered on The Day of Discovery…’”

Wait. Everywhere else, we were told that the SMIZE improves your chances by 91%. Now, having the SMIZE gives you a 91% chance? Consistency? What’s that?

The SMIZE tells them that the wearer should wear something that doesn’t clash with the SMIZE and lists the rules for the SMIZE: only wear it in the Day of Discovery Square, females only, don’t tell others about it, don’t get it wet (“Although the SMIZE comes from water”).

“‘Violation of these rules may cause serious side effects: face-aches, nausea, vomiting, blurry vision, visions of fashion-police brutality, designer knockoffs knocking you upside the head, stinging bees in your hair bonnet, biting wolves in cheap clothing.’”

While most of the worldbuilding in Modelland is stupid rather than interesting or quirky, there still is the occasional laugh to be had.

Thus ends the SMIZE’s message, and Tookie reflects on how her parents had been training Myrracle for T-DOD and all of the dancing trophies that she had won…and how Myrracle is almost certain to go to Modelland.

Creamy tells Tookie that she’ll be coming on T-DOD…to button and zip up Myrracle’s dress and get pickles out of jars. Myrracle calls Tookie “Dookie” and states that she’s on her “periodical”; we learn that Myrracle enjoys mocking Tookie over having gotten her period before Tookie, even though Tookie is two years older.

If Myrracle thinks that not having periods is a bad thing, then she truly is an idiot.

Myrracle reveals the dress she wanted to wear, which Creamy dislikes and passes off to Tookie, saying that they’ll go to LaDorno to find Myrracle a new dress. The rest of the De La Crèmes leave the kitchen, leaving Tookie alone—who now realizes that she forgot to tell her mother about the piece of slate that had nearly split her head in half.

Tookie dejectedly walked to her room, sadly realizing that the Forgetta-Girl had actually forgotten about her own forgettable self.

OH, POOR TOOKIE! Seriously, don’t you feel so sorry for our protagonist who does nothing?

That brings this installment to a close. Stay tuned for Chapter Five: Smacking into Mirrors, where we learn more about Tookie’s dad and what an imbecile he was in the past!

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Comment

  1. swenson on 31 January 2013, 13:27 said:

    This story is just so… insipid. I assume the narrative tone is deliberate, and it’s supposed to be all slightly mocking, light-hearted fluff, but… I just couldn’t bear to get through it. I dunno how you do it!

    Also, this book does foreshadowing like John Henry raced the steam hammer. That is, with a sledgehammer. I will now predict the rest of the book: Tookie goes to Modelland. She hates everyone there except one other person, who will become her confidant and friend. (This person may be the boy she was angsting over earlier?) She will be caught up in figuring out what happened to Ci~L (how do you SAY that name?!) and coincidentally will learn what happened to her missing friend at the same time AND fix the social problems that are briefly mentioned (and then immediately discarded).

    Am I close?

  2. lilyWhite on 31 January 2013, 14:02 said:

    Ci~L (how do you SAY that name?!)

    It’s pronounced “see-el”. The pronounciation is given in the previous chapter.

    Am I close?

    Not quite, actually. (Except for the one prediction which is painfully obvious, of course.)

  3. Prince O' Tea on 31 January 2013, 14:09 said:

    I would like to say I dislike every character in this book, but I honestly can’t remember enough about any of them to dislike them. The most memorable characters in this book are the girl with the long armpit hair (forgot her name), and Creamy De La Creme for having the stupidest name in Modelland, which is truly saying something.

  4. Finn on 31 January 2013, 14:10 said:

    Ci~L (how do you SAY that name?!)

    I pronounce it as the french word ciel (Which is sounds like the letters CL), which means sky.

    I think that if a lot of this was just played for laughs, it wouldn’t be bad. But it seems to be serious, which just makes it ridiculous. I think Myrracle is my favorite character.

  5. swenson on 31 January 2013, 15:24 said:

    The pronounciation is given in the previous chapter.

    Aw, you’re right. My mistake. Still a stupid name, as is all of the others. (Except Theophilus—I rather like that name. But it’s an old one.)

    Not quite, actually.

    Really? Good! I didn’t want to be right.

  6. Brendan Rizzo on 31 January 2013, 17:54 said:

    Oh, wow.

    Tookie and Myrracle’s parents come off as really horrible— they don’t like one of their kids and spoil the other so that she winds up acting half her age, and are expecting said other child to become a supermodel WITH MAGICAL POWERS!

    Since Tookie has the SMIZE, and we know that she will be chosen to go to Modelland, does that mean she’ll be competing against her sister, or is Myrracle just there to be saccharine?

  7. Takugifian on 31 January 2013, 18:36 said:

    Oh gods, this is going to be Cinderella again, isn’t it? Myrrhacle (are her best friends name Goldy and Frankincensia?) is going to, with Creamy’s help, take Tookie’s special golden glasses for herself, leaving Tookie to wander dejectedly down to the creek, where she finds Ci~L camped out in a bark hut, and then when Tookie offers the hungry woman a squirt from her ever-present whipped cream can, Ci~L thanks her by giving her a super-special secret eighth smize, so Tookie goes to Modelland anyway, where she is constantly bullied by Myrrh and the three wise mean girls who are jealous of her special super-smize.

    For the love of all that is good, I hope I am wrong.

  8. lilyWhite on 31 January 2013, 19:35 said:

    Well, Tookie’s mom takes the SMIZE for Myrracle.

    And no, it’s not Cinderella.

  9. swenson on 31 January 2013, 21:23 said:

    Oh, I didn’t catch that the first time through. That does change things a little bit.

  10. Creature_NIL on 31 January 2013, 21:59 said:

    Myrracle De La Crème…

    Her name reminds me of Miracle Whip and myrrh; whenever she’s mentioned, I can’t help but think of her as ‘Spicy Mayo!’

  11. Prince O' Tea on 31 January 2013, 22:59 said:

    So we have Miracle Cream, Ass Cream, Creamy Cream and… Crobat.

  12. Tim on 31 January 2013, 23:21 said:

    Crobat? That’s totally a Pokemon name.

  13. No One on 1 February 2013, 04:05 said:

    There is an actual Pokemon called Crobat.

    And since the name is Chris-Creme-Crobat…

    Meet Chris-Creme-Crobat:

  14. Taku on 1 February 2013, 05:39 said:

    I think he was trying to be hip, and instead of calling himself Chris Creme, Acrobat, he simply mashed the two words together and dropped the ac-. It’s a common linguistic thingum, that just happens to have backfired stupidly.

    So we have Miracle Cream, Ass Cream, Creamy Cream and… Crobat.

    I wonder when we’re going to meet Tookie’s aunt, Auntie Ageing Creme. Or her high-society grandmother, Dame Creme-Fraiche. Or her estranged elder sister, Faice Creme.

  15. Epke on 1 February 2013, 08:43 said:

    That is all.

  16. Prince O' Tea on 1 February 2013, 11:21 said:

    That’s why Crobat Creme is my favourite Creme: he’s a Pokemon.

    Taku, now that you mention that, I’m reminded of Olive Oyl’s extended family: Castor Oil her brother, Nana Oyl, nieces Diesel Oyl and Violet Oyl, Cylanda Oil…. list goes on.

  17. LoneWolf on 1 February 2013, 12:31 said:

    Poor, poor Tookie.

    Honestly, your protagonist being somehow abused or disadvantaged is fine, but as long as you actually give her some sympathetic qualities besides being the victim. So far, the only such quality Tookie had is her compassion for her strange friend, which hasn’t materialized in anything at this point.

  18. Prince O' Tea on 1 February 2013, 14:02 said:

    Which is undermined that her friend has gone missing for six weeks, and Tookie’s concerns are almost entirely based on herself. If one of my best friends, scratch that, my only friend had gone missing, I would be more worried about that then if the local pretty boy wanted to bang me or not.

  19. ScarletSpecter on 1 February 2013, 14:49 said:

    Wow. Now I kind of wish Myraccle was the main character. At least she has some passion and motives that, ironically, make her more sympathetic than POOR, misunderstood, “Woe-is-Me” Tookie. It’s funny how the YA genre treats girls like her like shallow, spoiled brats who only exist to oppress the weepy heroine. Truth is, they’d probably be the most interesting, likeable people to be around. But, apparently, being happy and outgoing is worse than being miserable…and letting your boyfriend treat you like dirt.

    “Forgetta-girl” actually sums Tookie up really well. When she seems to be void of any humanity beyond her non suffering, is it any wonder people keep “forgetting” she exists?

  20. Prince O' Tea on 1 February 2013, 15:57 said:

    Am I the only one who actually doesn’t like Myraccle either? She’s a spoilt brat. To be honest, the DNA of the entire De La Creme clan should be wiped from whatever non-dystopian dystopian dimensional anus they evolved in. I suppose you could say she is the most sympathetic character, since she seems to be the product of Pageant Mom Creamy.

  21. Tim on 1 February 2013, 19:22 said:

    Diesel Oyl

    That’s what, Olive’s head on Bluto’s body?

  22. Prince O' Tea on 1 February 2013, 20:27 said:

    I have no idea, but I pictured something similar.