Sunday, December 30, 2012

Fer Shurr! How to be a Valley Girl-- Totally

1982, undated later edition, from Bantam
Mary Corey and Victoria Westermark
Fer Shurr! How to be a Valley Girl-- Totally
Bought new for $2.50
Slightly worn paperback

Neither as funny or insightful or venomous as the Frank and Moon Unit Zappa song, this is at least a quick, light read that captures some aspects of its time.  (The pictures of Some Totally Cool Dudes are Rick Springfield, Tom Selleck, Matt Dillon, David Lee Roth, E.T., and Morris the Cat!  And Princess Di is an Honorary Val.)  The first half of the book is a glossary, which makes sense because, unlike the groups in the Anti-Prep book, Vals were mostly known for their vocabulary.  I grew up further inland in Southern California, but I can still do the Val accent (a certain kind of singsong) as easily as I could thirty years ago.  We made fun of Valley Girls (and Surfer Dudes), but I do remember someone writing without irony, "Have a bitchen summer!" in my 8th-grade yearbook.  Also, the fact that "like" is still a filler-word must be at least as much due to the Vals as to the beatnik legacy.

Reading this book now, it reminds me of how with this and other handbooks, I didn't get some of the sexual references, making me retroactively blush for my innocence at 14 or 15.

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