Abby Meets Travis’ Family and Secrets are Revealed!: Beautiful Disaster Chapter 12

Jon Stuart saying, "It means nothing."

For a long time Matt and I have been discussing moving to a WordPress.org account so we have more control over the blog, but we haven’t been super confident with our ability to do that. Excitingly enough, in my web applications development course, our project is to create a site that reviews products, books, films, etc and that includes various functionality like allowing people to register and leave comments. My professor thinks it’s a great idea for me to build a Bad Books, Good Times website, which brings me to my question to you all: is there anything you’d really like to see on the BBGT website? Any functionality we don’t have now? Any navigational difficulties pissing you off on the current site? Updates will be shared as the project comes along!

Oh, right, Beautiful Disaster. As you may remember, Trabby is now officially an item! [Matthew says: Although I’d like to propose an alternative couple-name: Tridgeon.] All is not plot puppies and rainbows, though, because Travis is still a jealous, co-dependent disaster (see what I did there?). Travis went a punchin’ anyone who dared touch Abby’s arm or insinuate that other members of the student body want her body.

Hulk punches Thor
But it wasn’t as amusing as this.

Chapter 12: Two of a Kind 

The chapter begins with an oddly inserted scene where Abby takes the pill and tells Travis how responsible she is. Even though I’m all for Abby taking the pill and for books to present a responsible character, it’s just a really out of place moment which abruptly turns into Travis telling Abby she’s really hot.

“The pill, Travis. You have yet to replenish your top drawer and the last thing I need is to worry about whether or not I’m going to get my period.”
“Oh.”
“One of us has to be responsible,” I said, raising an eyebrow.
“My God, you’re sexy,” Travis said, propping his head up with his hand. “The most beautiful woman at Eastern is my girlfriend. That’s insanity.” [They never had conversations which followed any sort of clear path before, so why start now?] 

Conservatives should use this scene to dissuade women from using services like Planned Parenthood. It kind of reads like terrible product placement, “Oh, Travis, I am just taking the pill right now.” I mean McGuire goes through great lengths to detail Abby taking the pill, even letting us know it’s a white pill in case we were like, “Is the pill blue or brown or what?” At least it isn’t as bad as when the Casts awkwardly insert anti-blowjob and anti-pot rhetoric into their writing. [Matthew says: We have a lot of contrasting messages on this blog.]

Now that they’ve exhausted the topic of the pill, Abby begins asking Travis why he’s chosen her out of all the girls. Don’t worry, he didn’t simply respond with, “Because you’re a pigeon,” which I wholeheartedly expected him to. Instead he explains that she looked at him like he was a person and not Travis Maddox. It’s pretty much every romance’s go-to answer. Any woman that for some reason is the only woman in the history of forever that doesn’t give special treatment to the male lead is deemed his One True Love. So basically to all the single ladies out there, never ever look at a man you find attractive like you find him attractive and he’ll be hooked.

Now that they’ve exhausted the topic of what makes Abby special after all of three lines, one of Travis’ brothers calls and tells him all the brothers are in town and they’re going to play poker at their dad’s place.

Travis introduces Abby as “Pigeon” to his father, and for the briefest of moments it seems like he might have to explain this fucking nickname to someone, but he doesn’t.

“Pidge, this is my dad, Jim Maddox. Dad, this is Pigeon.”
“Pigeon?” Jim asked, an amused expression on his face.
“Abby,” I said, shaking his hand.

Riiight. Because in this universe everyone understands what pigeon means as a nickname except for the reader.

Jon Stuart saying, "It means nothing."

Abby finds out that Travis’ family takes poker very seriously and know all the poker legends. This is important later on, so take note! They invite Abby to join their game and misinterpret her reluctance as not knowing how to play, so Abby hustles them and they fucking love it.

“I hate to say it, bro. But I think I just fell in love with your girl,” Tyler said.
“Hey, now,” Travis said, his smile quickly fading into a grimace.

Too real, Tyler. Them’s be punching words.

I’m going to take this moment to point out that two of the brothers are named Tyler and Taylor. This is really confusing to read. It’s bad enough all the brother’s names begin with T, but could you at least pick names that aren’t one fucking letter apart, McGuire? That’s just rude. [Matthew says: Oh, it gets even worse. Tune in tomorrow!]

After the game’s over, Thomas (one of the bros) figures out who Abby’s father is. They all turn into fanboys and freak out over the fact that they just played Mick Abernanthy’s daughter in poker.

Conan O'Brien excited

You know, I remember now one thing I’d originally kind of liked about this book. It’s not only Travis that’s this famous stud muffin, but Abby herself was a bit of a celebrity (in some circles) and liked that Travis didn’t know or care about her past. [Matthew says: Which is fair, since Abby doesn’t care about Travis’s possibly STD-ridden past.] This is one of the more fun scenes in the book, even though Abby’s past is kind of one of the dumbest things about the book for the most part. [Matthew says: But at least her secret past didn’t include sexual assault, which I was absolutely certain/dreading would happen.]

I peered over at Travis , who stared at me in awe. “You’re Lucky Thirteen?” he asked, his eyes a bit hazy.
Trenton stood and pointed at me, his mouth opened wide. “Lucky Thirteen is in our house! No way! I don’t fucking believe it!”
“That was the nickname the papers gave me. And the story wasn’t exactly accurate,” I said, fidgeting. [Matthew says: Abby’s real tragedy is that people keep giving her stupid nicknames she doesn’t want.]
“I need to get Abby home, guys,” Travis said, still staring at me.
Jim peered at me over his glasses. “Why wasn’t it accurate?”
“I didn’t take my dad’s luck. I mean, how ridiculous,” (Seriously, the book even acknowledges this is ridiculous but still uses it to drive the plot forward.) I chuckled, twisting my hair nervously around my finger.
Thomas shook his head. “No, Mick gave that interview. He said at midnight on your thirteenth birthday his luck ran dry.”
“And yours picked up,” Travis added.

Mick is almost as bad as those people that think that homosexuality causes tsunamis and tornadoes. I bet he blames Abby for those too. “Well, Abby, you turned fourteen a day before that tornado hit, so obviously it’s your fucking fault all those people died.”

They head home, and Abby thinks Travis is going to be really angry that he found out about all this in front of his family, but he’s actually surprisingly nice and understanding. That’s probably the most shocking thing in this book, actually. [Matthew says: Because it is unfortunately not shocking that the female character is constantly worried her male love interest is angry with her over nothing in one of these books.]

“Lucky Thirteen ,” he said, shaking his head and pulling my shirt over my head.
“Don’t call me that, Travis. It’s not a good thing.”

Right, because Pigeon is a huge improvement.

Abby points out that her dad now hates her, which would be really sad if this reason was actually compelling and believable, but it just makes me laugh every time I remember how seriously her father takes this. He shows up next chapter, and it is hilarious. 

The next day in class, Travis is still being extra gooey over Abby. So much so that the  professor has to ask him to tone it down.

“I don’t think so, Dr . Chaney. Have you gotten a good look at my girl?” Travis said, gesturing to me.

Answer with care, Dr. Chaney, or you just may get punched in the face.

Afterwards, they run into Blando who is apparently spreading lies about Abby to his and Travis’ fraternity brothers. We already know that Blando is master of the rumor mill, what we don’t know is why Abby kept dating him.

“I know that, but they don’t. He said he’s just biding his time. He told Brad that you’re just waiting for the right time to dump me, and how you call him to say how unhappy you are. He’s starting to piss me off.”

Why the fuck would people believe that after dating Travis for like a week Abby would start calling Blando to say how unhappy she is? [Matthew says: You know, aside from how being in a relationship with Travis would obviously make someone unhappy.] Also, given all the Students Without Netflix do is watch Trabby, they would know that this was utter foolishness. Malarkey, I say, malarkey!

To put Parker in his place (and give the Students Without Netflix something to murmur about) [Matthew says: Or stare in stunned silence about!] Trabby intensely makes out in front of him. Mature!

This leads to an altercation where Blando tells Abby that Travis will just get sick of her and basically acts like the bland jerk he was implied to be. Abby slappity slaps him. [Matthew says: This scene wasn’t in the novel from Travis’s perspective and I am disappointed. Guess only Travis can be the physically violent star of the show!]

Slapping dad from South Park
Did anyone else see this episode of South Park? Love it so much.

Trabby runs off to have sex in a closet because slapping Blando was just too erotic to handle. [Matthew says: I’m less disappointed now.]

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14 comments

  1. Madeline Reply

    I read somewhere that “Pigeon” is actually supposed to be referring to Lady and the Tramp (which is why I found it vaguely familiar) but since apparently the book just pretends that the nickname is normal that reference is stupid as well as insulting to my favorite childhood classic.

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    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      Someone definitely mentioned that in the comments before (was it you?), and I was shocked because I didn’t remember that reference at all. Also, it would make wayyy more sense if someone, *anyone* in this fucking book mentioned that for our benefit! You’re so right, the fact that McGuire is like, “Everything is normal, nothing to see here,” just makes it infuriating.

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  2. E.H.Taylor Reply

    I don’t find the fact that Travis and his brothers all have names starting with T odd as my mother and her siblings all have names starting with D (Donna, Diana, Denise, Debbie, Donald…). McGuire probably should have gone a different route though because it can get confusing and it’s made harder by the fact that no one cares enough about these characters to try and tell them apart.

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    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      Oh, definitely – lots of people in real life do this, and it sometimes adds to the characterization of the family as a whole. I just got really confused by the Tyler/Taylor thing because they’re one letter apart. And the problem’s just compounded to by the fact that they’re all just the same person as Travis (and one another) basically.

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  3. scummy48 Reply

    God I would be so uncomfortable if my boyfriend of a few days was telling our professor how hot I was. And who introduces their partner to their family for the first time by a pet name? Especially one as stupid as Pigeon? And did we ever learn how Abbys luck changed when she turned 13? I didn’t even remember that whole father drama until this. While I am relieved her dark past didn’t include sexual assault, this has to be one of the most ludicrous and hilarious “dark” backstories I’ve ever read.

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    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      Yeah, I was really relieved that her dark past didn’t involve sexual assault both because it can be done really well sometimes, but 1) it wouldn’t have been well done in this book, and 2) I am getting pretty tired of that trope. Plus this dark past is fucking hilarious.

      Basically, her dad starting losing poker games while she starting winning the night of her thirteenth birthday. Guess it must have been a pretty interesting birthday party.

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  4. Kristin Reply

    This whole “hey, isn’t my girlfriend hot?” diatribe that Travis keeps doing is seriously creeping me out. And to a professor? No, just no. And Lucky 13 instead of UNlucky 13? Oh Jaimie, you are SO clever! (Said no one, ever). And lastly, yes, that was one of the greatest South Park episodes ever (from the point of view from of a mom who was so sick of listening to all the other moms rant & rave over HS Musical, Zac Efron et al).

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  5. Kate Reply

    I’m going to second E.H. Taylor’s above comment about the names. My mom’s name is Betsi, and her siblings are named Bernie, Bernice, Bonnie, and Bernie. No, that wasn’t a typo, she really does have two brothers who are both named Bernie. Plot twist: her dad was also named Bernie. And was apparently a narcissist.

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  6. allex Reply

    So let me get this straight: Abby’s called Lucky Thirteen because her dad used to be very lucky all the time, but on her 13th birthday all of his luck went away and she got it instead.
    Is this Just My Luck? Is Abby really Lindsay Lohan?

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  7. Dana Reply

    I’m going to be completely honest: I really don’t understand what Abby’s past is at all about. Like, why is she so famous and known as “Lucky Thirteen,” because, considering where the term is supposed to come from, I find it weird it became such a commonly used nickname by the public. I don’t know, maybe I would understand it more if I actually was reading the stupid book …

    Wow, did I really just say that?

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  8. Ali Reply

    I would like to see more blowjob jokes (for the new website)
    As for the book, well. Dana said it best.
    I’m gonna go back to re-watching Veronica Mars now.

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      • 22aer22 Post authorReply

        One of my favorite shows!! I am so absurdly pumped for the movie. I was actually proper squealing when the trailer came out. My boyfriend was like, “I’m sorry, what the fuck is going on in your corner of the room.” To which I replied, “Only the best thing in the world. Mark your calender, buddy!”

        Kickstarter 4eva.

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