Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Part Thirty-Two, Chapters Three and Four - Squirt Guns and More Satire

A still-broke Gris tries to use his FBI credentials to requisition a ride in a cop car, but the officers refuse to act as a federal taxi.  So Gris steals a moving van to get from Rockecenter Plaza to 42 Mess Street.  He causes a bit of a commotion, what with him leaving the back gate open and depositing furniture (including a grand piano) on the streets of New York at irregular intervals, but he makes it to within a block of his destination.  As he ditches the stolen vehicle, he notes that once again "Crime was the best way after all."  Presumably he isn't including crimes such as stealing from your fellow employee so he has no money to hire a taxi, forcing him to steal a half-loaded moving van to get where he needs to be.

Gris reaches Madison's apartment loft headquarters, which is swarming with both reporters and Satire!

Well, a given value of "satire" anyway.  Gris overhears a Ted Tramp making calls to Mr. Vitriahl of the St. Petersburg Grimes threatening to crush his career so that even the Smearwater Shun won't hire him.  Then Tramp yells at J. Blithering Bonkers of the Los Angeles Grimes to get Whiz Kid stuff on the front page, but Bonkers counters that his wife is head of the National Association of Mental Stealth before starting to cry about her embezzling and infidelity, at least until Tramp inspires him by reminding Bonkers that he's chairman of the Grimes-Smearer Corporation.

And really, what can you say but "what the hell?"  What is this crazy world where "J. Warbler Madman" is a derisive nickname for J. Walter Madison, yet there are apparently people with J. Blithering Bonkers on their birth certificate?  Well, I guess that could be another condescending nickname.  Okay then, why is the public stupid enough to buy papers with the world "Grime" in the title?  In multiple cities?  What the hell is the National Association of Mental Stealth?  A defense course against hostile telepaths?  Just who do you think you're fooling, Hubbard?  Or should I say Shrubbard? 

See, that doesn't make sense, but I changed some letters, so I guess I'm being satirical.

Gris finds Madison and starts complaining, Madison counters that they've gotten day after day of front-page coverage, Gris orders him to stop besmirching the good name of Swindle and Crouch with these lawsuit antics, and Madison concedes that court cases are only good for a day or two of headlines.  So he announces that he's just had "a GREAT idea!" and calls a staff huddle, and Gris leaves.  After complaining again and again about how much of a loose cannon Madison is, and after finally being given an opportunity to see one of Madison's schemes get plotted firsthand, allowing him a chance to try and direct it, Gris leaves.  "A little of Madison is an awful lot" is his excuse.

Well, maybe Gris has something better to do, like... hah, wow.

Chapter Four is a short one.  Gris leaves Madison's place, reminds us that he's broke, and has "a marvelous idea."  Since some "(bleepard)" has stolen his stolen transportation, Gris spots a little old lady stopped at a traffic light, hops into the passenger door, pulls his derringer and threatens to rape her if she doesn't take him to Rockecenter Plaza.

Oh, it gets better.  And that's not sarcasm... well... alright, there's some sarcasm in that statement, but it's not directed at this chapter.

The old lady screams and complies but swerves crazily around, yelling that she can't drive without her glasses and they're in her glove compartment.  Gris finally gets fed up and opens the hatch to get them, only to receive a blast of pepper spray in the face.  Then the old lady somehow opens his door, steals his pistol, and kicks him out of the vehicle.

Let us now meditate on the paradox of an old lady with the foresight to get a pepper sprayer in her glove compartment, but who also forgets to lock her doors.  Obviously a locked door would have prevented this little scene from happening, but it's an oversight that keeps Awesome Old Lady from becoming my new favorite character.

Gris staggers to a novelty toy store and asks for water pistols, then demands a demonstration.  He squirts them in his eyes to rinse out all the ouch powder, declares that the guns didn't work, and flees without paying.  I guess the author couldn't get any humor out of a hum-drum visit to a water fountain or public restroom.

Next chapter, the trauma begins.


Back to Chapter Two

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