Are You Afraid of the Dark? Season 3 Episode 6: The Tale of the Bookish Baby-sitter

bookbaby
“We tell all kinds of stories, about demons and ghosts and stuff, and no matter what a story’s about, there is only one thing that makes it really scary.”- Betty Ann

Tonight we are in for a treat, if you read this blog at night, this story will be perfect. Tonight Betty Ann is telling us a story, that is about stories. Something tells me that Betty Ann loves to read and that she might not own a television at home, which is why she spends her nights telling ghost stories in the woods with The Gary and Kiki.

The night starts with Sam bringing logs into the clearing followed by Betty Ann. Frank tells Sam that the logs are too heavy for her to carry and to let him take them. Frank says to Sam “Would you stop trying to be such a guy all the time?” They argue about the weight of the logs until Sam drops them on Frank’s feet. This causes Betty Ann and Kiki to laugh at Frank’s expense. Kiki gives Sam five and says “Go, Sam.” Tucker and The Gary finally show up and Tucker says “making a mess again Frankie?” Frank acts like he is going to beat Tucker with a log, but backs down as his foot is too sore to stand on. Then he walks over to Betty Ann and Kiki and asks them “Hey what’s that a book?” Kiki responds with “What was your first clue?” (I would have guessed the pages, but that is just me or and the binding and well you known Betty Ann is holding it so yeah it’s a book). Tucker says “Give me a break (break him off a piece of that Kit-kat bar!), Let me see. (apparently Tucker is the Midnight Society book inspector). Betty Ann in true Canadian fashion says “Sorry. Hands off.” (But in her accent it sounds more like Surry, Hends off).

Are_You_Afraid_of_the_Dark_S03E06_The_Tale_of_the_Bookish_Babysitter&scale=2
“Sorry Hands off.”- Betty Ann

The Gary asks Betty Ann “Is that book part of your story?” The Gary seems a little inpatient tonight for some reason. Betty Ann says “Sorta, My story’s about stories. (but you know since she is Canadian, it sounds more like Sorta, my story’s aboot stories). Frank who doesn’t read much says “Say what?” Then Betty Ann says “We tell all kinds of horror stories about demons and ghosts and stuff. (really you couldn’t think of another word besides stuff). But no matter what a story’s about, there’s only one thing that makes it really scary.” Sam is curious and says “What’s that?” Betty Ann replies “Your imagination.” Tucker doesn’t understand and I think Betty Ann realizes this as she explains more “If you’re really into a story, you become part of it, and you start to imagine what horrible thing might be sneaking around the corner, ready to pounce…(maybe Betty Ann has a cat or dog and it jump scared her one night and pounced at her. My dog once scared the crap out of me when she jump on top of me to give me lots of kisses). And you start to wonder what you’d do if you were the one facing the monster.” They all looked intrigued, kind of like O.K. Betty Ann, well let that dollhouse story from last week slide. Betty Ann continues “It’s your imagination that gets you into a story, and unless your very careful, you might need your imagination to get you out. Then she submits her story as The Tale of the Bookish Baby-sitter. I bet Betty Ann read a lot of those choose your own adventure books growing up.

Betty Ann narrates “Belinda was everybody’s favorite baby-sitter. Her advertisement in the newspaper said “For kids who hate baby-sitters.” That’s it and a phone number.” I wonder if Betty Ann babysits to make money. In later seasons it seems like she went shopping a bit and to the movies, so unless she is rich, I would assume her parents would tell her to get a job. Also she must get hand me downs from a sibling or a cousin as her clothes look to be too big for her, especially her jeans, as she has to roll up the legs and her shirt is also huge for her. Or maybe she got jeans that were too big hoping she would get taller and they would fit her perfectly.

Belinda
Meet Belinda

We see Belinda leaving a sitting job and as she leaves she drops a book on the ground that starts screaming. Then we cut to Ricky, he is 12 years old and feels he doesn’t need a babysitter. But his mother thinks he does. She has hired Belinda since she came highly recommended. Ricky is watching a black and white movie on TV. The mom is a little turned off by Belinda’s looks since Belinda looks like a witch who does not shower. Ricky’s mom comments that he is going through a phase and Belinda says “Oh I’ll fix that”, under her breath. I think that is my favorite interaction in the story.

Ricky
This is Ricky Winter

She tells Ricky that if he reads for 5 minutes she will leave him alone for the rest of the night. Ricky says “Than I can watch TV all I want?” Belinda says “If that’s what will make you happy.” Ricky says to her “Man your the strangest.” Ricky picks up a book and starts to read silently to himself, but Belinda requests that he reads out loud. The story starts to come alive behind Ricky, but he decides the book is boring and chooses another one. The next book he chooses is called The Kings sword. Ricky starts in the middle this time since he isn’t going to finish the book. Once again the story comes alive behind him. He doesn’t like that book either as it feels there are too many words. Belinda tells Ricky “Once you start a book, you really should finish it.” Rick isn’t buying that, so he picks up a third book, but Belinda takes it back and claims he is not ready for it. Ricky get mad and goes to his room, but not before Belinda warns him.

Ricky goes to his room and is playing video games on his bed. Ricky then tells the person to get out of his room, he thinks it is Belinda, but it is actually a knight.

Knight

Ricky runs into the hallway where he finds a ghost.

King

Then he sees Belinda burning a book, and tries to lock the door to the room they are in. Belinda tells him that if they burn the books, the characters will go away. But the real Belinda, tells him not to listen to book burning Belinda as it is actually a witch.

Monster Belinda
“Use your imagination”- Monster Belinda

Belinda tells Ricky he has to finish the stories in order to make the characters go away. Belinda tells Ricky that since he burned her books, he has to use his imagination if he doesn’t want to end up being the witches dinner. Ricky asks Belinda what to do, she tells him to finish the story off fast. She tells Ricky to make up the rest of the story. Then the witch burst into the kitchen, making Belinda and Ricky run into the basement.

Once in the basement, Ricky grabs Belinda’s book and is transported into a dungeon where he creates a new world as he speaks. This part is very similar to what Bastian went through in the classic movie The NeverEnding Story (one of my favorite movies). Ricky is walking and talking when he encounters the knight. They battle until the knight sees his shirt, and kneels down and Ricky takes the sword from the knight. As Ricky takes the sword, the knight collapses into a pile of armor.

After he defeats the knight, a peasant girl comes up to him asking for his helping finding her way out. Ricky tells her he does not know the way out. The peasant girl turns out to be the witch disguised as a little girl. Ricky uses the sword to slice the witch in half defeating her and setting the king free from her curse.

Rick then kneels in front of the king to give him the sword back and he is transported back home, where Belinda has him read the ending. Ricky’s mom comes home and is impressed that he is reading. Ricky then asks Belinda if it all really happened, to which Belinda responds “They are just books.” and winks at him.

Betty Ann narrates ” Ricky searched all over the library but he never found another copy of The Dark Tomb by Ricky Winter or even of the other books that Belinda brought over, cause they were all first and only editions. The End.” Frank is impressed and says “Good one Bet.” Maybe her story encouraged Frank to give reading a chance. The Gary declares the meeting of the Midnight Society closed. Tucker still wants to see what is in the book Betty Ann has, so he goes over and demands to look at it. Betty Ann tells him “No your way to young for this one.” Tucker says “Oh yeah?” and grabs it from her. Betty Ann sits there with a smirk on her face as Tucker reads “The book that the beautiful and intelligent Betty Ann held in her hand was grabbed by that stupid little jerk Tucker and he read…” Betty Ann says “Gotcha” and grabs her book back, Kiki says “Man you predictable or what.” Tucker says “She set me up. I don’t believe it. She set me up.” The Gary says “Aw don’t sweat it Tuck, there is always another night.” As he puts out the fire and they all leave.

Moira’s Thoughts:

I really enjoyed this story. If Betty Ann’s goal was to get the viewer to read more books, I would say she succeed. I can also see the parallels between this story and my favorite childhood movie The NeverEnding Story, in this instance Ricky would have been the Bastian character, too bad there wasn’t a luck dragon. Also the Story is sort of like a choose your own adventure book, only Ricky choose and we watch.

  1. I liked how Betty Ann pulled a prank on Tucker with the book.
  2. This episode proves that Betty Ann is secretly a the prankster of the Midnight Society and is willing to take that extra step to prank someone, in both cases Tucker. This is why I think she would be one of my besties as I am always down for pranks, ALWAYS.
  3. I wonder if her pranks are part of a Midnight Society hazing ritual, but than why did she never prank Sam, unless she did but it was at school.
  4. I liked how Sam treated Frank and the reactions of Kiki and Betty Ann.
  5. My favorite book is Slaughterhouse Five.

Lets give it up for Betty Ann and her story about stories, The Tale of the Bookish Baby-sitter. Up next is our Gary tale of season 3, The Tale of the Carved Stone.

Until next time…. Submitted for the approval of the Midnight Society, I call this story: The Tale of Moira’s Afraid of the Dark? (But not really) Blog 6 of season 3

I would like to interview *cough*Ross Hull or Raine Pare-Coull or Jodie Resther, *cough* I feel that if enough people tweet at them or Facebook them, and let them know about this blog, it can happen! Let’s make my dream come true!

Photo credit: Ricky  Belinda  Title card  knight Witch  King Betty Ann

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