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Withering Tights by Louise Rennison

Once upon a time, I nearly injured myself laughing over the Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison, beginning with Angus, Thongs & Full-Frontal Snogging and concluding with Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me?. I think I avoided actual injury and merely toned my abs, while avoiding wetting my pants in howls of laughter.

Having just finished Withering Tights, the first story about Tallulah Casey, Georgia's younger cousin, who is off to Dother Hall in Yorkshire for theatrical summer camp. She's 14-1/2 and never been kissed, and is looking forward to being at summer camp without her younger brother and in the presence of boys her own age. Only turns out that Dother Hall (called Dither Hall by the locals) is now boy-less, and she's left to meet boys from (a) town and (b) the nearby school for reprobates. Which, of course, she does.

Tallulah may eventually turn out to be a tall drink of water, but right now, she's a bit awkwardly proportioned, with long legs and nobbly knees. And oh yeah . . . she doesn't have any actual known talents. She can't really sing or dance, although she gives her own form of "Irish dancing" a go. Nevertheless, she's a bit of a hoot. (Pun intended, in that there's an owl prominently featured inside the book as well.)

I started reading this book while sitting in a health club where my sweetheart teaches, while waiting for him to teach class. There I was in a public space, doubled over with laughter and wiping tears from my face as I tried not to guffaw too loudly. I read the rest at home, where I could shout with laughter all I wanted, still wiping my eyes, and garnering concerned queries and side-eyes from my lover, and wild-eyed scampering to get away from me by the cat.

Last night I tried to read part of the book to my sweetheart, while laughing so hard that I nearly fell out of bed. The set-up is that a new teacher has just arrived ("Just call me Fox. Blaise Fox."), who has given the girls four minutes to find something in the studio and come up with a performance. A few of her friends go before her. I abridged it slightly for my sweetheart, who had a hard time following it since I was laughing so hard I was nearly unintelligible when I tried to read this out loud. Perhaps you will have better luck, if you are so inclined. Here goes:

  Everyone panicked and ran around the studio. I found an old bit of bandage backstage. I don't think it was used. I really hope it wasn't used.
  I didn't really know what I was doing. I wrapped it around my hand leaving a little mouth hole. Like an Egyptian mummy. I think I was modeling it on the idiot boys without their "teef."
  Before I had time to think, Ms. Fox blew a whistle and shouted, "On the stage, let's see it. You!" And pointed to people.
  Even Jo looked rattled. She'd found two drumsticks and put them in her hair and started to speak Japanese, I think.
  Flossie put on a lampshade and started being a catwalk model.
  Next it was Vaisey. She got up and said, "This is Vaisey." Then she put a curtain round her shoulders and said, "But this is Vaisey, star!" And burst into song: "Fame, I'm gonna live forever, I'm gonna learn how to fly. I'm gonna---"
  Ms. Fox shouted, "Next!" And pointed at me.
  I got up onstage and said, "Um, hello, Dad used to bring me stuff back from Egypt, and once he brought me a baby mummy."
  Milly and Tilly started sniggering.
  Then I said, "And here it is." And put my bandaged hand up.
  Everyone was just looking at me. Like I'd gone mad.
  I had.
  I looked at the mummy. I said to it, "So you are an ancient Egyptian, then?"
  I made the mummy nod its head and open and shut its mouth.
  "That's very interesting." The mummy nodded.
  I said, "You're very small for a mummy." And the mummy started making muffled noises.
  I said to it, "Well, there is no need for that kind of language. You are only letting yourself down, and ruining a lovely occasion."
  The mummy made muffled noises again.
  I said, "Right, that does it!"
  And I wrestled my own hand to the floor and fought with it for a bit.
  Some people clapped at the end.
  Vaisey and Jo and Honey and Flossie stared at me.
  As we were going out, Blaise said to me, "What's your name?"
  I said, "Tallulah Casey."
  She said, "Watching you is like watching someone whose pants are on fire. Strangely fascinating, keep it up."

I am so happy that I have the next title, A Midsummer Tights Dream, here at the house - they were both TBR titles that I kept when I moved last year, when many others got donated to libraries.

My verdict? GET THIS BOOK. You will laugh your arse off.

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( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 20th, 2015 03:55 pm (UTC)
Jan. 21st, 2015 10:10 pm (UTC)
It's so funny! Just do yourself a favor and don't drink while reading.
Jan. 20th, 2015 07:01 pm (UTC)
Wow! I need to get all of those books. I could really use some laughter in my life right now!
Jan. 21st, 2015 10:10 pm (UTC)
They are SO funny!!
Jan. 22nd, 2015 05:49 pm (UTC)
I just bought the first book in the series. =)
Jan. 22nd, 2015 05:53 pm (UTC)
I hope that you actually enjoy it and don't end up cursing me!
Jan. 22nd, 2015 05:56 pm (UTC)
*giggles* I would never curse you. I'll let you know what I think about it after I've read it. =)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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