February 12, 2011
SVH #77, Cheating to Win: Way to Break the Dumb-Jock Stereotype, Tony
Summary: Annie’s dating a guy named Tony who’s on the track team with Roger (Barrett) Patman. He’s so good that he’s been scouted and could even make the Olympics someday. After a knee injury, Tony worries that he won’t be back in shape by the time he needs to be, so he accepts some “magic vitamins” (yes, really) from a guy at his gym.
Roger is hosting a 13-year-old Mitch whose mom was a friend of his late mom’s; Mitch has been suspended from school for a month and his mom thinks he could use Roger’s influence to help turn him around. Mitch ends up with a big-boy crush on Action Jackson (tm Maeby), AKA Tony, who ironically tries to convince him to stop drinking while he himself takes steroids.
Annie discovers the steroids in Tony’s locker and takes one to her cousin, who’s a biochemistry grad student and tells her what they are. When confronted, Tony denies being on steroids, but his behavior says otherwise. Annie confides in Elizabeth (of course) and Roger, who encourage her to slip Tony some placebos. Apparently her biochemist cousin can make placebos, so maybe she should quit school and go into drug forgery or something.
None of this really matters, though, because Tony overhears a conversation between his drug supplier and another guy, and it finally clicks that he’s taking illegal drugs that are giving him an unfair advantage. He comes clean to his overbearing father and coach, taking himself out of the upcoming all-county meet. The coach admires his honesty and agrees to let him compete, though he’ll make Tony take drug tests (which will turn up lots of sugar, I expect). Tony wins the meet, also breaking the state record, because drugs are bad, but being honest is good.
The B-plot is actually kind of fun. Todd’s annoyed that he and Elizabeth are never alone together, though he should probably stop inviting people to join them just as often as she does. Elizabeth comes up with a scheme to have Annie and Enid “kidnap” him and bring him to a restaurant for a romantic dinner. Todd has the exact same idea, substituting Winston for Annie and Enid, but they execute their plans at the same time. Just as Annie and Enid kidnap Todd, Winston kidnaps Elizabeth, and all five end up at the restaurant. C’mon, that’s cute, right?
Thoughts: I guess I wasn’t the only person who noticed that Elizabeth is always inviting people to hang out with her and Todd without asking his permission.
I thought it was common sense that if a guy in a gym offers you unnamed pills, you should run away very fast. I guess Tony isn’t the sharpest crayon in the box.
Addendum a few pages later: Tony doesn’t really know what steroids are. I can feel my IQ dropping just reading about this guy.
So teenagers exchanging locker combinations is the equivalent of giving someone a key to your house?
Why would Winston kidnap Elizabeth after she’s already in his car? Good idea, bad execution. Amusing, though. Winston tells Elizabeth, “You’re not supposed to make a peep. I’ve seen this in movies. Just lie back in the seat and moan every once in a while.” And now we know what Winston would do if he got a Wakefield twin alone in his car.