Exerpt of 'The BAP Handbook'

The story of Bogus BAP is a pathetic one! Hers is a tale of woe. Bogus gives BAPs a bad name because she personifies the stereotypes that haunt BAPs. (You know, all of the things you thought about BAPs before you started reading this book.) Bogus, as her name connotes, doesn't understand the first thing about being a BAP. She defines herself by her appearance and her material possessions. She just doesn't have a clue!

When Bogus is born, her parents, like most, want to give her the world. She too is treated like a princess, but her parents' misguided priorities send Bogus the wrong message. She may grow up with a closet full of nice clothes and the latest video games, but check out the family homestead. Instead of repairing the toilet that runs incessantly or the plaster that's falling off the walls, they spend their money on "things" for their daughter. They want her to be like other BAPs and believe that if she has certain items, her social status will rise. As a result, keeping up with the Joneses and social climbing, at any cost, are Bogus's only extracurricular activities. Too bad the Joneses don't care (and neither do the Johnsons, the Smiths, the Browns, the Lewises, or the Woods).

What's important to Bogus other than her appearance and material possessions? Why, proclaiming who she knows, what she has, when she got it, where she got it, and why she thinks it's important. The fact that you have no interest in her or her stories never registers. She's just busy chatting away, hoping to leave a lasting impression. She generally does, albeit a negative one. Her talk is cheap!

While she may look, act, dress, and have the same job as a Betty, watch out, she's really a counterfeit. This poor, misguided soul is truly a wolf in sheep's clothing. The next time you go out, just look for the most ostentatious person there. She's probably wearing insignia-drenched designer clothing and is busy looking everyone up and down. Have no fear you've found her … she's just like the best imitation Chanel bag you've ever seen!

Today, Bogus leaves her dining room table set with fine china and crystal for all to see, but take a look in her garage. Why is her garage door always shut? Why does she always catch a ride with someone else? Is her car truly in the shop? Or is that new Jeep she just bought a figment of her imagination? Or does she really have a "jacked-up hoopty" that she only drives late at night?

Excerpted from The BAP Handbook by Ginger Wilson, Kalyn Johnson, Tracey Lewis and Karla Lightfoot © 2001. Excerpted by permission of Broadway, a division of Random House, Inc.

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