Monday, September 3, 2012

Part Thirty-Five, Chapter One - Betting on Freud

Despite the previous chapter revealing that his name is Deplor (as in deplorable!), during his brief appearance in this chapter the taxi driver is only referred to as "the taxi driver."  I guess his name only mattered to make that joke, and now that it's over it doesn't need to be used again.

The Taxi Driver Who Has a Name But the Narration Isn't Using It drops Gris off at his house, and helpfully reminds him that all those thousands of dollars of clothing he bought for him are winter outfits, so he'll have to make a lot of new purchases come spring.  Gris lets the man dream instead of explaining that he'll be executed long before then due to his credit problems.  Then he has a heartwarming reunion with the woman he loves.

"Oh," [Utanc] said in what must have been relief.  "It's only you!"

"I'm just back from the hospital," I said.

"Oh.  Is that where you've been?  What are you doing coming around here and scaring people to death?  I thought you were a commissar or someone important at first."

Gris proceeds to patiently have a talk about credit cards, and asks if Utanc could possibly return some of her purchases.  She's disappointed that he isn't a bottomless well of income, but blames herself for not looking him up in Dunn and Bradstreet before putting herself up for auction.  Gris is sympathetic, since after all "as a wild desert girl, she lacked facilities to establish credit ratings." 

If only Prahd would make his patients' brains bigger instead of focusing his attention on their crotches.

While Utanc wonders aloud whether she could somehow turn Gris in to pay off some of her debt, Gris gets one of his Sudden Realizations - why, she's upset with him because of sexual dissatisfaction!  Even though she isn't really that upset with him right now.  At any rate, according to Gris' understanding of Freud, all he has to do to make everything better is get Utanc in the sack with him.  So he invites her to his room that evening, promising a "wonderful surprise."  "A big one," in fact.

Utanc considers the proposition, and suggests a compromise: she'll go to Gris' room that night - "just that and nothing more implied" - if he agrees to let her keep her credit cards and purchases.

I did a very rapid calculation.  There was no doubt whatever in my mind that once she found what I had now, all thoughts of jewelry and credit cards would vanish.  Freud cannot be wrong.  Sex is the basis of every tiny impulse, everything in fact.  If I could just get her in my room for one hour, after that she would be totally content to live the rest of her life with me in poverty if need be.

Immediately after having a doctor explain just how wrong Earth psychology has got things, and after a string of incidents in which Gris' understanding of psychology has utterly failed to benefit him - most recently his attempts to psychoanalyze Miss Pinch - Gris is still counting on it to make what he wants to happen, happen.

I just had a horrible vision of the next six books being me pointing out this idiocy over and over again. (edit from the future: what, that's so much worse than me spending the previous four books pointing out Gris' idiocy over and over again?)

Gris promises that if Utanc lies down on his bed with him for just five minutes that night, she can keep her stuff.  She agrees and leaves the room, and Gris does a dance of joy, convinced that the power of his mighty new dong will forever banish any thoughts of credit cards and imported clothing from Utanc's mind, allowing him to return all the goods and tear up the credit cards.   

That is the power of Freudian psychology: nothing less than psychic domination.

Back to Part Thirty-Four, Chapter Nine

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