Degrassi Junior High “Rumor Has It” (part 2 of 5)
And now, back to the show. It’s the next morning, and Susie and Caitlin are walking to school. They’re talking about a sleepover tonight at Caitlin’s house. Also invited to this sleepover are Kathleen—because, as we learned a few episodes back, she brings the good drugs—and “Annie”, whoever that is.
As they head to the front steps, our old buddy Rick Munro passes them on his bike. Life must be good when you’re living with your cool older brother, because he looks pretty upbeat.
Caitlin makes a whole deal out of shyly saying hello to him, and it seems the show is now setting up a romantic thing between Rick and Caitlin. Susie immediately picks up on it, and then Susie suddenly has a professional-grade camera in her hands, which she uses to takes Rick’s picture. To explain this, the girls make idle chatter about heading to the “darkroom”, where they’re working on photos for a class project.
As they head up the front steps, they pass Kathleen, and a girl wearing a blue beret, almost like perhaps she thinks she’s a UN relief worker in Street Fighter. As it turns out, Blue Beret Girl is “Annie”, and she was briefly glimpsed in the pilot episode. Back then, she was the bitter Garofolo lookalike who thought Stephanie’s run for school president was sexist. Not offensive or grotesque or illegal or anything, just… sexist. Alas, poor Annie basically disappears from the show after this episode.
Kathleen and Annie are spying on Ms. Avery, who’s currently getting out of another woman’s car. The girls gossip, wondering if it’s true that Ms. Avery is a lesbian. I see. So the lesbian thing isn’t just a product of Caitlin’s wild subconscious. This could get interesting.
Annie says those are just rumors (just like the title!). But Kathleen says that she’s “never seen her with any men!” Like, what, is Ms. Avery supposed to be making out with Mr. Raditch in the hallways between classes? Not that this is outside the realm of possibility, mind you. Because Mr. Raditch is a pimp.
There’s a close-up of the woman driving the car that Avery just got out of, and she has a total butchie-doo, Dyke-asauras Rex-i, Susan Powter-style hairdo. Well, of course, right? It’s a completely subtle way to add more gristle to the rumor mill. Avery walks past the two girls on the steps, and they both look her up and down, and then look at each other and shrug their shoulders. So the lesbi-adar needs a bit of fine-tuning, I guess.
And now we’re in Degrassi’s darkroom with Susie and Caitlin. Caitlin mentions she’s been “having some really strange dreams lately.” Me, too! And they all involve Stacie Mistysyn. Is that normal?
Susie replies that dreams are “supposed to reveal your inner desires, and stuff!” Oh boy. You’re not helping here, Susie. On this line, Caitlin looks panicked.
Susie wants to hear all about Caitlin’s dreams, as long as they’re “not too dirty”. Somehow, I don’t see Caitlin Ryan as the type to have crazy bondage and S&M dreams. But if she is, she really should share.
Caitlin fishes a photo out of developing fluid, and it’s the picture Susie took of Rick. Well, that was the intent, anyway. It looks more like the glossy 8×10 that the guy’s agent sent around to casting directors. Susie looks at the photo, and suspects that Caitlin’s dreams are about Rick. Um… not quite.
Susie tells Caitlin that she doesn’t have to be “scared of boys”. Because Susie is the expert here, for sure. Yeah, come on, Caitlin! You don’t have to be scared of boys! They’re only drug dealers, date rapists, girlfriend-beaters, and child molesters, and every other type of male character we’ll be meeting over the course of this series.
They goof around, and talk about how they wish boys were coming to the sleepover later. They laugh and laugh, because the Degrassi Darkroom is the most funnest place to be, ever.
Cut to Degrassi’s legendary bromance duo, Yick and Arthur, all set to bore us once again. Every time they bore me, it’s like I’m being bored for the very first time.
At the moment, they’re in front of Ms. Avery’s class, giving a presentation. And, good lord, they’re using an overhead projector. With transparencies. Written in magic marker. This is so old school, it hurts me physically. Arthur is gesturing with a long pointing stick, and it seems the subject of his presentation is “how to make your house safer”.
Here are his safety tips, which I have transcribed directly from the transparency: “1. Leave Light on in House” “2. Have Someone Collect Mail” “3. Leave Garage Door Closed to Deter a Would-be Thief” Wait a minute, closing the garage door? Holy crap, I never thought of that! No wonder my screwdrivers keep disappearing.
While Arthur points and talks, Yick is the one in charge of shuffling the transparencies. True to form, Yick can’t even master this simple task. In keeping with his “disorganized” character trait, he puts the next transparency on backwards. Arthur freaks out, while everyone has a good chuckle, including Sweet Ms. Avery herself.
Yick finally gets the transparency on right side up, and it’s a bar graph showing a “63% drop in property crimes”. Over what span of time, and in what location, we are not told.
Arthur wraps things up with a slide about the “Neighbourhood Watch Program”. Funny how they remembered the “U” this time. Arthur calls this a “program that works!” Let me throw this out there: Yick and Arthur were previously spying on Snake, and other various students. My hunch is they got caught, and immediately came up with a lie about being part of a Neighborhood Watch Program. Very clever, boys.
Avery thanks them for their informative presentation, and in doing so she puts her hands all over them. And here’s yet another facet of Caitlin’s dream that’s based on reality: Ms. Avery is one touchy-feely teacher. Damn. Why didn’t I have any touchy-feely teachers when I was that age? I mean, female ones?
Avery announces that next week is Caitlin and Susie’s turn to present, and they’ll be showing off their “candid photo project” about life at Degrassi. The bell rings, and after class, lots of students walk up to Ms. Avery’s desk to talk to her, and she’s got her paws all over everybody. You know, I can understand being affectionate and all, but to me it looks like Ms. Avery is dangerously close to crossing a line. But who knows? Maybe the kids specifically line up after class each day for some Avery touching action.
As they head for the door, Kathleen and Annie meet up with Caitlin and Susie, and they all talk about the sleepover that awaits tonight. Annie, in particular, is thrilled by the concept. “We can eat popcorn and talk about boys all night!” Whoa, slow down there, wild woman.
In response, Kathleen calls Annie a “pervert”. Annie says it’s “perfectly normal to think about boys! What else is there to think about?” And right on cue, Ms. Avery suddenly speaks up, asking Caitlin and Susie how their photos are coming along. I see what they did there!
As expected, Ms. Avery is getting all touchy-feely with Caitlin. But because of all the lesbo dreams she’s been having, Caitlin looks down at Avery’s hand with a look of sheer terror. And somehow, Avery doesn’t pick up on this. Adding to the hilarity is that Susie decides this is the perfect moment to take a “candid photo” of Caitlin and Ms. Avery.
So, let me get this straight: we’ve got hot girl-on-girl teacher-student action going in a classroom, and someone’s taking pictures? God, how I wish I could have gone to this school.
Caitlin’s discomfort is ended when Mr. Raditch appears in the doorway, asking to have a word with “Karen”. Yes, Karen Avery. Her first name is not actually “Ms.” after all. However, I can’t say the same for Mr. Raditch, who doesn’t get a first name until roughly the fourth season of TNG. (For those curious, it’s “Dan”, the same name as the actor, Dan Woods. Because… what else could they have gone with? I mean, look at the guy. Is he a “Dan” or what?)
So Dan and Karen are off chatting in the hallway, and Ms. Avery is seriously vibing on Mr. Raditch, giving off all kinds of body language, which includes touching her collar girlishly as they talk. What the heck is going on with Ms. Avery today? Is she ovulating?
Kathleen and Annie are spying on them, yet again, and Annie says, “Wouldn’t it be romantic if they were having an affair?” If? I think we can say with utter certainty that they are having an affair. Because, as mentioned previously, Mr. Raditch is a pimp. (And pimps don’t commit suicide.)
But Kathleen knows one thing for sure: “Lezzies aren’t interested in men!” Yes, she just said “lezzie”.
Melanie, who just so happens to be standing there at her locker, speaks up to say she can’t believe what she’s hearing. Kathleen again explains that they’ve never seen Ms. Avery with a man. But Annie points out they’re seeing her right now with a man, getting all flirtatious and everything. Geez! But since this evidence doesn’t support Kathleen’s lesbian hypothesis, she sees no problem discarding it.
So Melanie poses a thoughtful question. “What’s wrong with being homosexual, anyway?” Well, according to Seinfeld, not a thing. And Melanie pronounces the word “ho-mo-sexual” very, very carefully, making it clear it’s the first time she’s ever said the word in her life. The other two girls just laugh at her and ask her if she’s also a “lezzie”. Very classy, ladies.
Melanie denies being a lesbian, but says she’s “not prejudiced, either!” It seems all this tolerance stuff is a total buzzkill, so Kathleen and Annie walk away to go find somewhere else to gossip.
Meanwhile, in the boring B plot, Arthur and Yick are over by Yick’s locker. Yick opens it up, and out comes the expected torrent of papers and books. And hey, look, last week’s measuring tape is still inside the locker door. Continuity!
Arthur talks about how very glad he is to have done a presentation on the Neighbo(u)rhood Watch Program. He’s so glad, in fact, that it’s inspired him to “devote [his] life to crime prevention”. He spreads his hands out in front of him and visualizes his future as “Arthur Kobalewscuy, Private Investigator!” Well, it rolls off the tongue easier than V.I. Warshawski, anyway. Tonight, on the premiere episode of P.I. Kobalewscuy: Who stole his sister’s virginity?
Right on cue, Yick says he had twenty bucks in his locker, but now it’s gone. He rifles through an endless pile of papers, and it’s total chaos. Seriously, I have little doubt that the original Majestic 12 documents are somewhere in here. And yet, after flipping through papers for a few seconds, Yick somehow knows that his money is gone, and that he hasn’t simply misplaced it.
Arthur jumps to an equally unlikely conclusion: “There’s a thief here at Degrassi Junior High!” And just like that, Rick comes walking by.
And guess what? Rick will soon become their number one suspect. Which is understandable, given that Rick… um, got beat up by his dad a lot? And rides a dirt bike? Yeah, I don’t get the reasoning here, either. If it were me, I’d probably suspect Joey Jeremiah first—you know, the guy who actually sold vitamin pills as if they were drugs, and openly took bets out in the hallways? Nope, not Joey. Somehow, Rick is the first name that comes to mind when Arthur thinks “thief”. Okay, sure.