Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Love Among Mushrooms - Smurfy Good Times with Crosswinds #32 - New Boy in School

Even though 80's culture to us includes the typical movies like The Breakfast Club & Pretty in Pink or St. Elmo’s Fire I tend to think of the 80's as also being my intro to classic movies , and some have that same 80's nostalgia ( after all most were watched sliced with commercials for the Craft-matic adjustable Bed ) and one of my favorites is a technicolor , overblown adventure called Journey to the Center of the Earth - I love Pat Boone jubilantly crying out ‘Mushrooms! It’s a forest of mushrooms’ and then running amok under the giant toadstools like a handsome little smurf. I bring this up because the two sort of go together - I mean in the 80's unless you were some left over hippie snarkily laughing about your own forest of psychedelic mushrooms bubbling up in a dark corner of the basement the only ones that were present were A. The smurfs red topped , polka-dotted suburbs. And B. The leftover kitchenware from the Sears catalog dubbed the Merry Mushrooms - aren’t they a hoot!?

Imagine my surprise to find that someone else has mushrooms on the brain and shares them in a teenage romance - yes you read right a teenage romance. The story is New Boy in School put out by Crosswinds in 1988 and written by Harriett Trueblood. Had this been released under the now defunct First Love from Silhouette you would have gotten some catalog model teens wandering in a shaggy forest carrying a basket full of fungi instead Crosswinds deceives us with probably one of the most deceptive drool-worthy covers ever! Check this doll out. Have you ever seen such a photo cover - the guy should be off making banned Calvin Klein ads or wet and half-nude in razorblade commercials ( I wouldn’t face her without my Tracer whisk-er away! ) not steaming up the cover of some tepid romance in which the highlight is wafting through the woods in search of death cap & earth star mushrooms. The cover could be torn off and slipped under the readers mattress. That pout , those lips , that brooding stare , that shaved chest. Yum!

To be fair the story kept me absorbed enough to finish it , but it was just so quirky!
A girl named Twink , a movie about a psychic owl , a rock concert called the Skeleton Keys - are just a few nuggets but basically it’s about this girl Sara whose at a crossroads in her young teenage life , bored with her best friend Scott whose reluctant to make a move on her and is more absorbed with creating fantasy games filled with Elvish runes and mist-shrouded lakes and crystal dice. Her parents are struggling - her father out of work , her mother wants to open her own antique store. In walks the cover hunk Paul Weiser who is brooding , quiet , a runaway living with his grandfather who walks with a limp and for his 'most exciting event speech’ in class describes how his drunken father tried to kill him. Beforehand Sara meets Paul in the meat section at a supermarket- the beefcake’s checking out the ground round! And gives him tips on a cheap casserole - hamburger , noodles , a can of onion soup and catsup - not Ketchup , catsup!Even though Sara’s intrigued by him their romance limps along slower than Paul , finally after a rock concert date ending in a grounding when Paul’s hunk-a-junk car breaks down causing them to be incredibly late ( and nobody is going to buy the old wink-wink car broke down excuse. ) Sara discovers something about Paul. He’s a fraud! While flipping through an out-of-date teen magazine in the library she comes across Paul’s oral report of his drunken father - as a teen confessional. When Sara confronts him he admits in a rage that he was tired of being a nobody , that he hurt his leg doing something stupid ( not something brave like barely escaping a gang fight ). Sara though now realizes she never really felt comfortable with him and la , la , la , life goes on - her mother buys her a wonderful dress for the Spring Formal -
‘It was sky-blue chiffon , with a gathered top , a fitted waist and yards and yards of skirt , and it was lined in pale green , so that when Mrs. Barnett gently swirled it the blue and green shifted into each other like reflections on water.’

And at the Spring Formal she realizes her best friend Scott is the one for her and over chocolate milk shakes the next day he asks her to wear his ring which is engraved Lady Amarna ( the character he designed after her ) Love Scott.

I have to mention Mindy Kincaid ( no relation to Ginger Kincaid ( small Sleepover Friends joke ) who loves pink - here’s one of her outfits - Pink short & top , pink jazz shoes , and a pink ribbon in her light brown hair. Her accessory is a tiny Kelly green purse to match her pinky nail. The pinky nail is her thing it’s very long and is always painted different from the rest of her nails. At one point when all nine are lacquered in a soft rose the left pinky is tarted up like a bumble bee with black and yellow stripes. Her fashion advice is truly 80's though telling Sara wear your violet blouse but get some blue mascara!

Hope you like the pictures - what you see is a picture of my very first tube of mascara
bought back in 1988 or 1987 I’m not sure I was about 12 and had to have blue mascara - this is Cover Girl's Marathon Lash mascara in Cobalt blue.

The real Bruce Patman

The real Bruce Patman
For more 'real' Sweet valley comparisons click here it'll take you to Cliquey Pizza 2

The Real Lila

The Real Lila
Same soft , dreamy look!