Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Bury Me Deep

They buried Mike. But not deep enough...

The dead boy would not go away.

Bury Me Deep - Christopher Pike
1991, 211 pages

Characters, Alive
Jean - not Rodrigues, although that would be mighty interesting
Mandy - the fat friend with bangs (eewwww!!)
Michele - the hot friend
Johnny - scuba instructin' hottie
Dave - serious scuba instructor

Characters, Deceased
Mike Clyde - he's not gonna stay buried for long!! (according to back-of-book blurb... actual results may vary)
Ringo - dead former business partner of Dave and Johnny

There is a reason why no one ever mentions, remembers, or acknowledges Bury Me Deep when discussing the works of Christopher Pike (particuarly favourite works of Christopher Pike). Let me sum up the story for you in three words. This is it, this explains the entire book: 1) Jean. 2) Has. 3) Urges.

If I ever meet C. Pike, I'm gonna ask him what's the significance of the names Jean and Clyde, which are both repeats.

Also, I always thought girls AND guys could read Christopher Pike books. But this one is so friggin' girly, I'm starting to have my doubts. All book long, Jean can't stop thinking about poor Mike Clyde, the sad-eyed boy with two first names. Like, I am strong, I am invincible. I AM WOMAN and I don't even wanna read 200 pages of cheesy shit like that over'n over.

So, I hope you're ready for a Hawaiian, scuba-divin', balcony-fallin', skull-findin' adventure. Actually, that's all there is... no need for a recap.

Just kidding. I live for this shit.

While flying to Hawaii on Easter break to meet her friends, Mandy and Michele, Jean wakes up to find a sad-eyed young man sitting next to her. His name is Mike Clyde and he won his trip to Hawaii from a magazine contest. I know she just woke up, but Jean starts asking him a million questions, some not even sensical. Like: are there pools in Alabama (where Mike's from), and just repeating the stuff that he says. Someone must have told her: "Jean, be David Caruso in Jade."

Mike's slow to answer, and says some crazy-ass stuff about the water in Hawaii. He's creepy... then he starts choking to death and seizing. A flight attendant, Patricia, does CPR, but it's too late. Mike is packed into a bodybag, while Jean watches, traumatized.

After landing, Jean stops to talk to Patricia, the flight attendant. They talk about how sad it is what happened to Mike. Ok, that's been established.

Mandy picks up Jean at the airport. Jean's upset about Mike, but not sad enough to not spazz when it turns out that Michele and Mandy had been using some of their trip activity coupons without her. Jean's poor/a cheapskate/didn't book with Expedia, and hence is a coupon Nazi. So, Jean = levelheaded, organized, not prone to impulse anything. We've got her number. Now, how about some story?

Mandy tells Jean that she'd booked a scuba class for the three of them that morning at 11 o'clock. Jean settles her stuff in the hotel room, and then goes to relax on the balcony. But OMG - a wet hand touches her! *Tired Plot Device Alert!* She almost goes over the railing. Wow, I wonder how many times that's gonna happen in this book/the oeuvre of Pike??

Chillz, my friends. It's only Michele. She and scuba-instructor Dave had been in the shower when Jean arrived, and now they stand before her wearing towels. Niiiiice.

Jean and Michele meet Mandy at the hotel pool for the scuba lesson. Dave's assistant is a guy named Johnny, who Mandy really likes. But Johnny's into Jean, unfortunately for Mandy. Well, what did Mandy expect, being all fat and having those bangs? The scuba training begins with a lecture. Gross ear popping, lungs rupturing, and all that. Jean and Michele have no problem catching on, but Mandy sucks.

After the lesson, they go out into the ocean to dive at the reef. Afterwards, Johnny asks Jean out. Ooooooooh!!

Jean rests up for the date, and has a bizarre dream. In her dream, she wakes up in the hotel room, goes to the can, and finds the bathtub full of blood. She looks closer and sees Mike's face in the depths of the blood! She wakes up and goes into the real hotel can to find... the tub filled with red! Michele had been eating fries while bathing and spilled ketchup into the tub earlier. Not contrived at all, nope.

That night at dinner (which turned out to not be a private date, but all 5 of them going to Hawaiian Long John Silver's, or somewhere like that), Dave and Johnny talk about how poor they are from paying for their boat. OMG... Jean + Johnny = a match made in serendipitous, coupon clippin', poverty-vision, garbage pickin' heaven. Another poor guy, Dave's original partner Ringo, had disappeared while searching for sunken treasure from a ship wreck a year ago, and his body was never found.

This bit has some really long chapters where shit-all happens. Jean and Johnny go dancing. He receives a page from his neighbour saying that his alcoholic mother fell and needs help. Jean - I dunno - is asleep again for some reason and dreams about Mike. Continuing the tradition started in Remember Me, I present Dream Balloon Symbolism. Jean dreams that Mike is in a cave with a heart-shaped balloon. It bursts and he dies. Jean wakes up about to fall over the balcony AGAIN, with Dave holding her up by her panties.

The next morning, the girls take a tour on Dave and Johnny's boat. As they all suit up for more diving, Jean notices a small rip in Dave's wetsuit and tells him: "You need someone to sew this up for you." Whaaaatt?? HE can't do it? He's some kind of "alpha" "male"? His mom needs to sew his wetsuit? A break. Gimme one. I need it.

Now it gets good. Jean's URGES start. I wish they were urges for, like, donuts, or sex, or break-open tickets. But alas, she only wants to scuba dive in a different area. She points the place out to Johnny, and he agrees to take her there later. But only after she goes all She-Hulk like: "WANNA GO OVER THERE!!! NEED TO GO OVER THERRREE!! THERE!!!... I mean, I'd, uh, like to dive somewhere I haven't been yet... must learn to control urges."

Mandy comes with them, which is lame because she sucks at everything. Because she's fat and has short hair with bangs. BTW - fatty ass lard girl weighs 135 lbs. What is she, friggin' 3'2"? I love YA books where everyone in the human race who is awesome is a twig (Jean weighs only 105, the bee-yotch. That's why she's allowed to judge). Everyone else is a fat loser. No exceptions.

Once they dive down, Mandy screws up, and starts choking, so Johnny signals for Jean to come up too. There's a really nice descriptive passage about lung rupture right here. My guts! I can't think about bodily ruptures with out thinking about (sorry, girlies!!!) frigging mammogram breast ruptures, which apparently do sometimes happen and give me nightmares. They better have that security-wand-style tumour finder ready in about 20 years, that's all I'm sayin' about that.

Having only learned to scuba yesterday, Jean can't stay down there unsupervised. Except Jean's a douche, so she decides to go to the bottom (over 100 feet!) to "adjust her weight belt". Mmm hmm. She looks to the side and sees the cave that Mike had been hanging out in in her dream. Ehhh, gotta go in there. She gets her tank stuck between the cave walls and her air starts to deplete rapidly. Suddenly, a skull falls out of the wall, and in her surprise, she jerks her tank loose from the cave. Luckily, Johnny had come down and was waiting to grab her outside the cave. They slowly go back to the surface.

The power of Mike Clyde compels Jean. She goes to a phone booth to call Patricia, the flight attendant. It turns out that Mike died a month ago while scuba diving and he wasn't really on the plane at all. Patricia just thought that Jean was a very poor and random conversationalist who had known Mike from before.

Jean visits the library (girl, you're on vacation!) to check the newspaper and see where Mike is buried. While visiting his grave, a giant tree branch falls and hits her in the head, knocking her out.

Dead Mike comes out of the ground. He was killed. He starts blowing up another balloon. Jean is transported to outside the cave. She sees Mike find a skull, then a guy in a red wetsuit takes off Mike's weight belt and blows up his buoyancy control, causing him to rise quickly. Which will lead to that whole ruptured lung thing I think I mentioned. (Picture me doing that grossed-out girl thing of flailing my hands on either side of my face every time I talk about the rupture. I sincerely hope this will be the final reference.)

After Jean wakes up, she goes back to the hotel to find police surrounding the building. Mandy is splat on the ground. She fell/was pushed/jumped from the balcony. Jean calls Johnny to tell him her theory: Mike found Ringo's skull (who Dave had apparently murdered), so Dave had to kill Mike.

Jean don't want to wait (Paula Cole, 1997) for Johnny to show up, so she breaks onto his boat to steal the scuba equipment she needs. Dave is there, so she knocks his ass out with a spare tank.

So, Jean makes it underwater with the pilfered equipment and finds Ringo's entire skellington in the cave. When she leaves the cave, someone is there to grab her. Unknown person rips off her weight belt and inflates her buoyancy control to max. OMG - Jean's gonna be the new Mike Clyde. She's convinced that quickly-recovered-Dave is the one trying to kill her.

Unfortunately for "Dave", Jean is a strong swimmer and is able to turn herself around, deflate the buoyancy balloon, and get to the bottom to fill her pockets with sand. And avoid having her lungs turn into bloody confetti. She carefully rises to the surface, where Johnny meets her. He says that Dave just came up out of the water.

Johnny and Jean board the boat, where they find Michele and Dave unconscious on the deck. Johnny begins his evil villain confession. His mom's a gambling addict who's been forced into prostitution to pay her bookie bills. When he and Ringo found a safe from that wrecked ship, Johnny shot Ringo so he wouldn't have to share the loot. But Dummy Johnny killed Ringo too soon and wasn't able to raise the safe the whole way himself, and dropped it over 400 feet underwater.

When Mike found Ringo's skeleton, Johnny made him die a horrible death. Jean jumps off the boat and tries to swim away. Johnny gets on the waverunner and tries to run her over, but ends up crashing and breaking his neck.

In the end, Jean is visiting Mike's grave one last time before leaving Hawaii. On the ground, she sees a pendant like one Mandy had, but Mandy hadn't brought hers on vacation. Well, there's a sign.

And that's the story of Jean's trip to Hawaii.

BeeTeeDub (BTW) Bonus: Apparently Bury Me Deep was released as an audiobook on cassette, read by Kelly Ripa. So, you can picture Jean as Kelly Ripa if you want. My local library has a copy of the tape... I might have to borrow it.

Visit Like Pike this weekend for a first look at the Spooksville series. Lame Goosebumps ripoffs? Watered down versions of his 80s/early 90s YA plots? Or, like, a legitimately awesome children's series? We'll explore Spooksville and find out.

Thursday's post is TBD. Have no fear (God, what am I saying? Like you all live in fear that I'm not gonna post? My theory that blogging is for narcissists is, like, totally true. Which should have been obvious, because I know everything and I'm always right.), there will be a book blogged about. I just don't know which one. I'm on Pike overload. I did a library run and now I've got about 40 Christopher Pike books in the house and I'm waaaayyy to excited about too many of them to sit down and finish any of them. I need downers or something. Well, I'm veering way off topic. Gotta go!


the marve said...

Jean don't want to wait (Paula Cole, 1997) for Johnny to show up, so she breaks onto his boat to steal the scuba equipment she needs.

I sang this whole sentence and then added the 'nahnah naaahnah nahnahs.'

Great recap!

zanne said...

I REALLY wanted to go scuba diving after reading this book. I still do! Considering what this book is about, I don't know why I'd be so anxious to go scuba diving after reading it. It's weird that some things from Pike's books have stuck with me over all these years.

Who eats fries in the bathtub? That is weird!

Great recap!

Fear Street said...

"OMG... Jean + Johnny = a match made in serendipitous, coupon clippin', poverty-vision, garbage pickin' heaven"

Instant classic :D This is my favorite re-cap yet.

I can't get over the Kelly Ripa thing. Why Kelly Ripa of all people? Hmm.

I never read Spooksville because as a kid, I had my head buried deep in R.L. Stine's rump and wasn't aware of the multiple other books surrounding me. So I'm curious!

MilkMan said...

I just noticed on the gravestone it says "MIKE" in huge letters and nothing else. I dunno why, but that just cracks me up and it's so stupid because his last name's given in the book, so why wouldn't they write "Mike Clyde" on the stone? Who has a first name only tombstone!??! Is it so we don't get confused about who's grave our heroine is visiting? Ridiculous!

Sada said...

Who not only eats fries while bathing but then fails to drain a tub full of ketchup water??? For some reason I find this more troublesome than a sad-eyed ghost who communicates via dream sequence.

LongWinter said...

Marve, breaking out into song for the win!! You rock.

OMG, Zanne, I can't believe you'd WANT to scuba dive after reading this! I was clutching my lungs while reading half of it. I'm very protective of my organs.

Haha, Fear Street! I love it when garbage picking gets the best response. Thanks for your awesome commenty-ness :)

Milkman - That gravestone kills me, too. I guess Mike is the Liberace/Bono/Usher/insert first-name-only-celeb-reference-here of dead Hawaiian tourists who have no family at home to claim their body.

Sada - Yeah, there should be a rule about eating stuff in the tub that requires utensils or condiments, like... don't do it. It's like eating lasagna while operating a vehicle. Not a good idea.

Anonymous said...

I didn't understand Michele in this book. She was described as a girl that was in different social circles than Jean, but she kind of invited herself on the vacation. Did she just overhear two people talking about their trip and then ask if she could go?

Megan said...

I liked this book back in the day. I always did have to laugh at "fat" Mandy being 135 lbs., though. I remember the exact wording, too. Mandy tells them she weighs 115 lbs. and the next line is, "...telling a 20-pound lie."

Phony said...

Still funny in 2019! Just discovered Pike here. Am binging his books and often reading your reviews afterward. This is my favorite of yours I've read so far, though definitely not my favorite Pike book.