Typically narcissistic blogging.

The Bobbsey Twins

I was walking from my friend’s apartment to the BART station today, when I saw a couple who looked alike and had matched outfits. My first thought was, “Oh, look. It’s the Bobbsey Twins.” It was a sarcastic, unfriendly thought, but what immediately followed was a moment of confusion.

Okay, I thought to myself. I’m 33 years old. I’m mature enough to admit that I have no fucking idea who the Bobbsey Twins are.

Normally I can let this sort of thing go. But the whole train ride was spent mulling over the fact that I had been hearing about the Bobbsey Twins my entire life and I had no idea what it was actually referencing. (I suppose these days, people reference the Olsen twins instead. With any luck someday people will have no idea who the hell the Olsen twins were, too.)

Well, it turns out the Bobbsey Twins are characters in a 72-volume series of books begun in 1904. They are two perfect sets of twin children named Nan and Bert & Flossie and Freddie, with pets named Snap and Snoop. Together, they fight crimesolve mysteries even when there are no mysteries to be solved. Brilliant. At least Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys had actual crimes to handle.

(Flossie, btw, is a delightfully dental Victorian nickname for Florence.)

72 volumes of this? Are you fucking kidding me? 72 volumes of some master-race-modeled twins solving non-crime mysteries and hanging out with Snap and Snoop? I’m so glad that when I was a child a friend of my mom’s skipped this shit and just handed me Skeleton Crew. Sure, reading Stephen King at age 7 might have ensured that I will never go out on a lake in a raft ever ever ever. But ultimately, I prefer that to Merry Days Indoors and Out.

Before you ask—not that you were going to—no, my life is not enriched for knowing this. Neither is yours. Moreover, you know that fact you really needed to remember for that thing that you need to do? That’s been replaced. Surprise!

7 responses

  1. smellmyhead

    when i was wee, my local public library’s kids’ section actually had bobbsey twins books, and i read all the ones they had. and not, not a single one of the storylines is the least bit memorable. i just liked to read basically everything i could get my hands on (which had pictures in it) at a certain age.

    September 23, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    • It’s entirely possible I also read those books, but I don’t think so. The books I read at that age were all King Arthur/Ivanhoe/Robin Hood-type things. And Stephen King. Obvi.

      September 23, 2010 at 5:07 pm

  2. Niki

    When I read the first two paragraphs, I was like, oh shit, I don’t know who the B-twins are either. I was really panic-stricken that I’d walk away from the computer in 5 minutes completely unenlightened after you brought the question to my attention. But now I know, and although I guess I’m in the same state I was in prior to reading the post at all, so I’m not exactly enriched per se, I do feel….not as bad as I’d feel if I had only read the first two paragraphs.

    September 24, 2010 at 11:41 am

    • So I provided an almost-service! Yay!

      September 24, 2010 at 4:51 pm

  3. Sasha

    I will admit it. I actually read a few of the Bobbsey Twins books and remember them. I even remember specific scenes. A minor correction: the older twins Bert and Nan actually had brown hair. Only the younger ones had blond hair. I read them about the same time as the Boxcar children. I graduated to Encyclopedia Brown.

    September 27, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    • Aha. I was trying to find a description of the older twins, but failed and was required to extrapolate.

      September 28, 2010 at 2:40 am

  4. Lenore

    I read some of this series; it was in our bookshelf when I was a child so I guess somewhere my parents picked it up. But I agree with smellmyhead – I have no memory of the storyline so it can not have been that good.

    September 28, 2010 at 2:29 am

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