Friday, August 8, 2008

Country Girls (Season 1, Ep. 2)


It's the first day of school for Mary and Laura. They show up in the schoolyard to the sound of group taunting. A chant of "Snipes! Snipes! Long legged snipes!" lead by Willie Oleson, who is the littlest little kid I've ever seen. How can you be a bully if you're like 2'7"?

Nellie's being a biotch, calling the Ingallses "country girls" and givin' 'em bitchface. But if you check out the head on the surly girl next to Nellie, it looks like she hates Mary and Laura more than Nellie does! Or maybe she's glaring so hatefully AT Nellie! That would be a mindtrip.


Laura becomes the class joke for asking how a blackboard works; and beautiful, smiley, lemon verbena scented Miss Beadle has to crack her ruler on the desk.

The next morning, Mary and Laura stop at the mercantile for a slate and tablet. Nellie and Willie are there, because, like, they live there. Nellie's hogging the jawbreakers and Willie is mocking Mary and Laura for being poor. I like Nels, but he put up with it for waaaayyy too long before kicking their asses out of the shop.

The girls are a penny short to get a slate pencil, so Nels offers for them to take it and pay tomorrow. These are Ingalls children, so it's cash on the barrel or nothing. They feel so bad that they have to ask Pa for more money that they decide to use their Christmas pennies to buy the slate pencil. This is depressing.

Ma's got her share of problems too, after she has the audacity to bring brown eggs in to sell at the mercantile. Mrs. Oleson is an immediate bitch, saying they're 4 cents less per dozen, which, like, isn't even true. I sense the beginning of a years-long feud.

Meanwhile, Nellie is being a recess-time tyrant, forcing all the girls to play Ring Around The Rosie. Laura wants to play Uncle John. I can't find out what type of game/activity that is. Even Google doesn't know. Nellie is infuriated that someone would go against her, and pushes Laura down twice before Laura pushes her back.

The lesson from this is DO UNTO OTHERS, which Ma and Pa say quite a hundred times in this episode.

The next day, when Ma is selling eggs again, Mrs. Oleson has the moronic guts to say that Laura is a troublemaker. Ma doesn't want any trouble. She'd already sold her brown eggs to Pa's co-workers at the mill, so Harriet wouldn't have another chance to rip her off.

On her way out of the mercantile, Ma's eye catches some beautiful blue and white printed yard goods. She stops to look, and Harriet immediately goes into customer service mode, showing Ma some cheap sturdy fabric suitable for a poor country wife such as herself. Ma buys a dress-length of the nice stuff, but totally has 1870s buyers remorse.

Visitor's Day is coming up at school and all the children have to "write what they call an 'essay'", and then read them aloud. When I was a student, I called them "e*says". It was a foul, dirty word.

Laura's got nerves about her essay. She's new to this writing thing and doesn't know all the words she wants to use. She is convinced that all the other students and their parents are gonna laugh. Ma is reverse Carrie White's mother, telling Laura that they're not gonna laugh at her.

Ma pulls an all-nighter the night before Vistor's Day to make 2 new dresses for the girls. It's very touching. At the class presentation, little Willie gives a speech about horses, followed by Nellie's essay entitled "My Home". By the time she gets to "It's the nicest furniture of any furniture in any house in Walnut Grove", Nels is almost under the desk. How the hell are these his kids??

Laura reads her essay about Ma. It's very sweet and Ma gets all teary-eyed. But not me. Nope. After the presentation, Ma checks out Laura's essay paper and there are like 3 shoddy sentences on it. She makes Laura show Miss Beadle that she hadn't read exactly what was written, but The Bead is ok with it. And that's how it ends.

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