Nancy Drew is a Truant Jerk.

Nancy Drew is a Truant Jerk.

My sister and I used to read the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Super Mysteries. Nancy Drew would team up with the Hardy Boys – yes, they’re still using their famous “hand signals” to communicate – and they would solve crimes all over the world. It was glorious. And the cover art was just the stuff of legend:

Check out that bad boy. I cannot decide if her hair or the expression on the dark-haired guy’s face is worse. Not to mention the kid in the back being chased by a ninja.

Recently, I discovered the best store on the planet, Books for Less.  It has books that are out of print, hard to find, etc. etc. Shockingly, my beloved Nancy Drew books have been out of print for quite a while, but I found them all at Books for Less. Every. Last. One. So I got some. Shut up; they’re awesome. Okay, that’s a lie. They’re horrible. I have discovered that Nancy, Frank, and Joe are all terrible students with no regard for education or safety. And they’ve started dragging their friends into it.

What’s that? You want me to break down a list of examples for these statements? Okey dokey. For you, anything.

I now present to you the reasons that cause me to believe Nancy Drew is a truant jerk and the Hardy Boys should be in prison:

1) She is never in school. Ever. Neither are the Hardy Boys. I could maybe get on board with them being 18 and just not going to college, thus explaining the oodles of free time they all enjoy. But no – the books regularly mention that one of them has a paper due soon, or how Joe is on the football team, or how Nancy knows French because she is taking it in school.

WHY AREN’T YOU IN CLASS, KIDS. I know you have parents – fine, one of you has a dad and a housekeeper – so where do they think you are? Do you live in some kind of time warp with infinite Thanksgivings and spring breaks and summers? Or have you somehow removed your name from the roster so the truant officer doesn’t even know you’re missing?

Don’t take this path. School is cool. I get it – solving mysteries is exciting. You know what isn’t exciting? Getting fired from the minimum-wage job you only barely acquired after you got your G.E.D. at the age of 47 because you left for 6 weeks to solve a mystery in China. Get to class.

2) Nancy’s fat friend Bess has no brains, no life, and no future. You remember Bess. She is the “curvy” one that all the boys love. However, in the books, she is portrayed as a sad idiot who probably couldn’t tie her shoelaces if Nancy wasn’t waving a donut in front of her.

In every single book, Bess is hungry. She wines. She naps while Nancy is out crime-fighting. We know all of this because Nancy tells us in her condescending super-sleuth tone of snottiness. It always goes something like this: “Nancy turned around to ask Bess if she wanted to come with her to the mystery mansion, but Bess was sound asleep in her bed. As usual. But that was okay, because Nancy knew Bess would only find a guy to flirt with. Darn her and her socializing, anyway. Nancy left a note and a pastry by Bess’ bed as she snuck out of the room, glad her friend wasn’t joining her this time. Also, Bess was fat.”

That might be a slight exaggeration. But only a slight one. Be nice, Nancy Drew. You keep promising Bess awesome vacations to Seattle and Rome and Greece and France and then you drag her into your quest to catch a serial killer and get her kidnapped. And when she tries to make a new friend or, heaven forbid, eat lunch, you moan about it. She just wants to RELAX, Nancy. Friendship means doing what the other person wants sometimes. 

3) The Hardy Boys are always breaking and entering. I am throwing down a challenge right now. If you can find me one of these books where the Hardy Boys and occasionally Nancy do not break into a suspect’s house, only to be caught because ~SPOILER ALERT~ the suspect comes home unexpectedly. I will give you a prize if you can bring me the title of the book.

Do you boys think this will hold up in front of a judge? I’ve watched Law & Order enough to know that if evidence is seized unlawfully, they can’t use it in court. So instead of helping the police, you’re really just proving the person committed the crime while simultaneously ensuring that they will never ever go to jail for it. Isn’t your dad like an international detective or something? Use your noggins, boys. And call the cops to help you, for crying out loud. I’ve never been in a dangerous situation and thought “Gee, I hope a 17-year-old kid and his brother show up to save me soon.”

Also, it’s just creepy to be breaking into people’s houses and hiding in their closets and going through their underwear drawers. Fine, the last one hasn’t happened yet but you know it’s just a matter of time. Use all that energy to play Halo or whatever the kids are into.

Don’t forget my challenge. Bring me the book that contains the lack of illegal break-in and you shall receive your prize. And stay in school.

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