What's the Story?
Why are hundreds of people from across the country suffering from
the same mysterious symptoms? And why is Kee Malesky, a 16-year-old
from Middletown, Massachusetts, so sad? Both mysteries unfold in
the latest EnviroMysteries episode, "Breaking the Mold."
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When Kee was seven, she spent most of her time at the local library.
She loved the smell of books and all of the wisdom inside them.
even won first prize in a nationwide contest for a paper she wrote
on research techniques and methodologies. Around the same time,
Kee's brother Mo started playing hockey and instantly became known
for his skills on the ice. Kee's mother, a devoted hockey mom,
barely notices that her daughter stops going to the library. Instead,
Kee sits on the sidelines at hockey games, talks to her pet turtle,
and searches for her true self in the pages of teen magazines.
Kee meets Shelly. Though she is well connected in business and
Hollywood circles, Shelly has few friends besides her nine-year-old
assistant Champagne. When her newsletter about under-appreciated
celebrities called "The Shelly Sheet" starts to fizzle,
Shelly turns her time and energy towards Kee. Her goal is to turn
Kee into a huge star, using whatever stunts necessary. Shelly
decides that a spot on Realville, the seventh most popular reality
television show on TV, is just the thing Kee needs to make her
mark and capture her family's attention.
But soon after she moves into the house, reality sets in. Kee
complains of a sore throat and shortness of breath. She
doesn't understand why the American public enjoys watching a bunch
of people sit around and argue all day. Kee is especially wary
of her housemate, Dara, who takes unbelievably long showers, splashes
water everywhere, and even uses Kee's towels. In a frightening
confrontation with Dara in a dripping wet bathroom, Kee has an
asthma attack that sends her to the hospital. Kee has a history
of asthma and the doctors believe the attack is stress induced.
Kee is not so sure.
At home, on bed rest from the asthma attack, Kee restlessly flips
through magazines and watches television while her mother feebly
offers her chicken soup (Kee is a vegetarian) and
fumbles around for her foam finger to take to Mo's hockey tournament.
Then a do-it-yourself home show called "This House is Old"
catches Kee's attention. The host, Bob Cacciatore, is out to fix
a "sick house" that is overrun with a strange black
mold. Kee immediately begins researching the possibility that
mold in the Realville house made her sick. Absorbed by stacks
of books, Web pages, and building blueprints, Kee's health and
spirits greatly improve. But she still needs more proof to substantiate
her mold theory.
her archenemy Dara provides the final piece of evidence Kee needs
to solve the mystery. Kee proves that the Realville house has
mold (perhaps Stachybotrys mold) growing behind the bathroom walls,
the housemates are forced to evacuate, and the show is cancelled.
the end, Kee realizes that library research is her true calling
and decides to volunteer at the local library in her spare time.
Mo wins All State for the fourth year in a row, and Kee enthusiastically
cheers him on. Her mother is filled with pride for both of her
children and even remembers to serve vegetarian hot dogs at a
celebration dinner. Everyone lives happily, and mold free, after