Previously, the curse cast on Greg to become fat began to come true. Strangely, no one seems to find it alarming that Greg has packed on an extraordinary amount of weight in an incredibly short period of time. He also attempted to prove to his teacher, again, that his story was true, but Sourballs accused Greg of fucking with the photos. Silly Sourballs! This was the 90s! People weren’t THAT good at Photoshop yet…were they?
Also, at the very, very end of chapter 18, Shari’s skirt fell down. This is supposed to be a book for children!
Matthew says: It’s like we can’t read one goddamn book for this blog where someone’s skirt doesn’t come off.
Shari realizes that her skirt fell down because she’s losing weight. Greg’s reaction is exactly the sort you’d expect from someone who is rapidly gaining weight for (seemingly) no reason, while their friend is like, “Gosh, I just can’t seem to keep the weight on! I eat eight pounds of bacon a day but just poop it all out. It’s insane!” Except in this case, all this weight loss and gain has happened over the course of a day or so.
“I—I’m losing weight,” she stammered, straightening the skirt around her waist. “I weighed myself this morning. I’ve lost eight pounds!”
“Oh, wow!” I shook my head. Why was she losing weight?
Greg’s got the inner bitching with a side of outer sympathy down perfectly. Shari whines about her weight loss some more until Greg points out that it seems as though he’s gained 200 pounds over night.
She squinted hard at me. Then she burst out laughing. “Oh, gross. You look really weird!”
It’s really unclear to me how Greg’s sudden weight gain is working in this book. Did she not notice he’d gained any weight? Does she think he’s had this weight all along and is just telling him he looks odd? WHAT IS HAPPENING?!?
Matthew says: What’s really weird is that Shari has no idea either.
“What are we going to do?” she demanded. “Why is this happening to us?”
Really? No thoughts about the evil camera? It’s kind of the whole book, Shari.
Greg’s pants then rip open, demonstrating that this is not a good day to be wearing clothes of any sort in the world of Goosebumps. For some reason, this is followed by a scene after school where everyone forces Greg to play baseball with them, and his main concern isn’t the ripped jeans, but that everyone is going to notice how fat he suddenly is. Spoiler: they do. And lots of sumo jokes are made.
Though he has allegedly gained 200 pounds overnight, Greg is still somehow able to play a game of baseball, which is quite impressive. Less impressively, he falls onto his back while rounding the bases and can’t get up. Super awkward!
Matthew says: Prompting this fantastic observation from Greg:
I must look like Humpty-Dumpty!
R.L Stine was clearly out of fucking ideas for this installment of the Say Cheese series, and his shocking conclusion to this chapter is this:
I remembered my huge, baggy shorts. The ones I wore to go bike riding the other day. I carried my bulky body over to the dresser. Bent over with a groan and pulled out the big shorts. I tugged them on, eager to get comfortable. Tugged. Tugged harder. Then gasped in horror. The huge, baggy shorts were skintight!
Yes, we really really get it. He’s getting fat. Clothes that once fit no longer fit!!!
Greg’s mom apparently does notice that this happened overnight, and she wonders what could suddenly cause her son to gain 300 pounds.
ALLERGIES! She guesses allergies. Seriously. I feel like it would actually be more plausible for her to be like, “Greg, have you been fucking with some seriously evil, albeit bizarre, dark magic? There must be a supernatural explanation for this. Call Dean and Sam Winchester immediately!”
Greg’s dad asks if Greg ate a lot of candy bars yesterday, and Greg’s mom is like, “Um, duh, allergies makes way more sense because not even eating a thousand candy bars could do this to a person, dipshit.” So Greg’s parents are both morons is the lesson here. At school the next day, Sourballs is really cruel to Greg about his weight gain. It’s pretty disturbing, actually. Even the other kids don’t make any jokes because this shit’s fucked up.
“Greg, I want you to go see the nurse,” Mr. Saur ordered. “I want her to discuss the four food groups with you. I think you’ve been eating too much of all four!”
He’s also just not funny at all. Greg leaves the classroom to go chat with the nurse about the four food groups. Four food groups – so 90s!
Greg sees Shari outside the classroom, and she’s apparently continuing to shrink. So Greg is getting enormous…while Shari is getting smaller…my god! Do you think these two things are related?
Matthew says: Or do you think they’re not related and it just so happens the camera ran out of ideas for evil curses and thought, “What the hell. Just do another body weight curse.” Because, I mean, this is Goosebumps. Anything goes, because it’s actually that stupid.
Greg’s dad rents a fucking van so he can pick fat!Greg up after school. I guess that’s real love right there. A dad who isn’t willing to get a rental car to accommodate a son who gained 300 pounds overnight doesn’t deserve to be a parent. From my perspective, Greg can go fuck himself because this is his own damn fault.
Matthew says: My favorite part of this is that Greg is so fat, he’s slowing the car down.
The van couldn’t pick up speed because of all the weight it carried – me!
Bullshit. We were all about big fucking cars back then. This was the 90s.
Greg’s dad takes him to the doctor, and the doctor is stumped. Because he is a massive fatso, Greg does not get a lollipop after his visit to the doctor. Sad times for Greg.
Later, Greg goes to meet up with Shari to figure out how they can fix their problems. As Greg is leaving his house, he sees Jon approaching his house. In case you forgot who Jon is, he’s the boy who got the nail through his foot, and his father now owns the property where the evil camera was kept.
Matthew says: More importantly, how does Jon know where Greg lives?
Jon doesn’t recognize Greg! (Matthew says: ‘Cause he’s fat. In case, you know, you don’t get it yet.) Greg, worried Jon wants the camera back, tells Jon he thinks this Greg person lives somewhere down the street and does not fess up to his identity.
Matthew says: Jon even admits that he doesn’t know Greg’s last name. HOW DOES HE KNOW WHERE GREG LIVES?
I felt bad about lying to Jon. But I had to lie. I couldn’t give him back the camera – ever. It was too dangerous.
Who bets the book ends with Jon getting the camera?
Greg goes to see Shari, and she has also had shit luck with her doctor.
“Of course,” she replied in her tiny, weak voice. “The doctor said to make me drink milk shakes five times a day!”
“I wish my doctor said that.” I sighed.
That is probably the only time “drink more milkshakes” has been given as medical advice. I feel you, Greg, who wouldn’t want that kind of advice!
They bitch and moan about their problems some more (and in case you didn’t get the point that Greg is really fucking huge, he breaks Shari’s bed when he sits on it) and then decide to take pictures of themselves with the evil camera in hopes that they’ll be back to their normal sizes in the photo. I get where they’re coming from, but this seems like a really ridiculously risky move.
Matthew says: I dunno, this is actually kind of clever. The worst thing that happened in the first book is someone got hit in the head with a baseball. And that one guy died. But baseball!
Greg thinks things can’t possibly get worse, but we all know Greg is a moron. The picture of Greg reveals that not only is he still enormous, but now he has scaly skin.
I glanced down and saw red scales covering my arms. Itchy red patches. I started to scratch. But the scratching made the scales itch even more.
My skin flaked off under my fingernails.
“Oh, yuck!” I moaned. “It itches so bad!”
I scratched my arms. Then I scratched my face. More dry skin peeled off as I scratched. Chunks of skin.
Yuck. If I were Shari and Greg was getting chunks of his skin all up on my carpet, I’d be like, “You need to vacuum this up right the fuck now, thanks. And stop taking motherfucking pictures with your evil camera!”
They decide maybe a better idea is to rip up the photos…or is it?!?! Find out next time in the next riveting installment!
Matthew says: To be fair, Greg/Ryan Gosling ripped up the photos in the tv adaptation of Say Cheese and Die, and he grew up to be Ryan Gosling, so maybe this is a good plan!