Gris and the girls return to the apartment in which he departed that morning "a free man," finding it bedecked with garlands and seashells and sea foam and other symbols of Aphrodite, along with a pair of guests: brown-haired Curly, "a not bad looking thirty" in a "combat jacket," and the willowy Sippy wrapped in transparent gauze. They play the wedding march and break out the cake and champagne even though Gris just wants his money.
Mrs. Bey and Mrs. Bey put their hands over Gris' as they cut the cake, which of course features two brides and a groom - the latter figure even topples over when the confection is sliced, which Gris takes as an omen. More champagne, mixed with marijuana.
They were getting quite drunk and stoned. Curly did an impression of Rockecenter at his last personnel inspection, making sure that Sippy was still a virgin and when Curly produced a limp dishrag, for some reason it sent them all rolling on the floor with glee, holding their sides.
It is pretty hilarious. When I read about that "limp dishrag" I sure fell out of my chair laughing. Also, back in Book Three, Rockecenter was specifically doing pregnancy checks, not virginity tests. It involved watching women go to the toilet.
Things get even more confusing when Gris again tries to get some money out of Mrs. Bey nee Pinch, only to be told that they have to consummate the marriage, otherwise it isn't legal. All the girls rage at Gris for trying to annul his marriage(s), he protests that they were refusing to have sex with him due to fear of miscarriage earlier-
They're chugging champagne and smoking pot while pregnant.
-but the former Miss Candy points out that "We've got two virgins here, just for the purpose of consummation!" Because you don't count as married until you consummate it (which has horrifying implications for that marriage at the end of Battlefield Earth), and you can't consummate a marriage unless the woman you consummate it with is a virgin (the man's chastity doesn't matter, of course), but the woman you consummate your marriage with doesn't have to be the woman you actually married, and you can't pee if you're pregnant.
Figuring out this book's logic is like watching a plane fly sideways.
Things get heated and champagne glasses get thrown at Gris until he hides under the sofa and yells that of course he wants to be married to them, and certainly doesn't think they're monsters, nor did he marry them only for their money. So the girls get on with their consummation.
Another version of the wedding march was blaring out:
Here comes the bride,Fit to be tied.To how many boyfriends,Has this chick spread wide?Here comes the groom,A relic from a tomb,All the guests are laughingAs he meets his doom.
I dared to peek out.
I could see the bottom of the bed.
Feet were twisting and turning, four pairs.
"Oh, you darling!" came Candy's voice.
"What's going on?" I pleaded, staring. "I'm the husband!"
"Beat it, buster," came the drunken voice of Mrs. Bey nee Pinch. "This ish OUR conshummation, not yoursh!"
A champagne bottle exploded in a cascade of fizz.
Must be something about harmonics and vibrations that routinely makes objects in Mission Earth explode or fly off the walls or mantle during lovemaking.
Gris, feeling strangely "like a fifth wheel," goes to bed and has a nightmare in which he's pretending to be Heller pretending to be the marriage license clerk stamping on a coffin containing "Soltan Gris" to marry the Manco Devil to Lombar Hisst with Rockecenter on hand as the best man. Or in other words, the surreal nightmares the author comes up with make just as much sense as the rest of the plot.
But what really woke me up sweating was when a Manco Devil stepped out of the coffin and pointed a finger at the middle of my forehead. He--or was it a she?--said "Ask yourself. Is this all happening to you because you did it to Heller?"
And the answer is a resounding "No! This happened to me because I am balefully stupid, easily manipulated, terminally lazy, but most importantly of all, balefully stupid, I cannot stress my lack of intelligence enough."
I knew right then, as I stared into the spinning darkness, that things were going to get WORSE!
That seems to be the recurring theme of Mission Earth, yes. The author keeps finding new depths to plumb. Chapter after next, we meet Teenie.
Back to Chapter Four