Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Part Forty-Eight, Chapters Two and Three - Rolling Around on the Ground, In a Tree, While Drowning

The chapter starts with Gris being revived with water to the face, having passed out from hearing Candy and Pinch discuss marriage at the end of the last chapter.  Finding him still speechless, the former lesbians grab dinner before returning to explain the situation, and set the mood by putting on the music that was playing "the first time you raped us."

Sweet little woman,
Please marry me,
Man and wife together,
How happy we will be.
And then we'll have some kiddies,
Maybe two or three,
So here's the ring, and there's the church!
Now come, my honey, be!

Was the author planning to collect royalties once this started getting played at weddings after the Mission Earth craze swept the nation?

Gris of course doesn't like it and gets them to change the station, after which they lay out how it's going down. If Gris marries them - yes, both Miss Candy and Miss Pinch - Gris'll get the tens of thousands of dollars that by all rights he's obligated to as the Rockecenter family spook.  If he refuses, they'll sue.  They never disclose what they're going to sue him for, of course, nor acknowledge that since Rockecenter's policy won't allow for unwed pregnancies, they're the only ones who stand to lose anything in this situation, so Gris should be the one making demands.

But no, Gris is still panicking from remembering Izzy's description of the U.S. legal system two chapters ago, and reasons that his real name isn't  Inkswitch anyway, so he forces his agreement out of his "voice pipe." 

Right on cue, the radio station changes tracks to put on "one of those rare modern songs where one could understand the lyrics."

I'm dying,
I'm dying,
I'm dying!
I'm rolling all over the ground.
I'm dying,
I'm dying,
I'm dying!
A poor devil that you've drowned.
I'm dying,
I'm dying,
I'm dying!
You've got me up a tree!
I'm dying,
I'm dying,
I'm dying!
And never more will be!

So what genre is "modern" music?  Techno?  Rap?  J-Pop?

Anyway, that's Chapter Two, Gris being horrified at his upcoming coercive marriage.

Chapter Three concerns Heller realizing that his girlfriend is no longer sobbing like a heartbroken teenager in her room, but sobbing like a heartbroken teenager somewhere far away from him.  The butler reveals that not only did Krak not say where she was going, but she took her maid with her... can you do that?  Hire a staff for an apartment and then bring one along when you move to another city?  Well, because of that and the fact that she hired a "fleet" of cabs to handle all her luggage instead of using the chauffeur, nobody knows where she went.

But upon hearing that Krak made a phone call, Heller's intuition, perhaps taking a cue from Gris' INSPIRATION!, tells him to check in with Mamie Boomp.  She spends most of a page chewing him out over the phone for having "horsed that poor girl around enough," and being an aspiring bigamist.  Heller of course is "out of [his] mind with worry," and has no idea what she's talking about.

"They never do," said Mamie.  "All take and no give.  Have you ever even handed over a diamond?"

"No," said Heller.  "Miss B----"

"I thought not," said Mamie.  "Thought the promise of the little gold ring was enough.  Even when you knew you couldn't hitch it up to run double and knew it God (bleeped) well.  The old story!"

The old question, satire or not?  Is this meant to be incomprehensible, or does Hubbard expect us to understand running a double hitch on a little gold ring instead of handing over a diamond?

Since Mamie has proved less than helpful, Heller spends some time calling airlines to check if a Miss Heavenly Joy Krackle has booked any flights, then Twoey to see if Krak has come by to give him lessons lately, then Izzy, then Bang-Bang.  Then he thinks to ask the butler if anything odd happened before Krak left, and gets told about a strange delivery - and as a matter of fact, "Isn't that the paper there, sir?  Under that box?"

He stared at the legal paper.  He read it.  He stared at it again.  Then he crumpled it up with a savage closure of his hand.

"Blast them!  I understand now," he said.  He slumped down on the bottom of the bed.  Then he said, "That poor kid.  The people who keep this rotten legal system going should be killed.  Oh, the poor kid."  And he was crying.

That moment when you realize the love of your life is an idiot who will believe anything she reads.

Back to Chapter One

1 comment:

  1. It's worth noting that L. Ron Hubbard was bigamously married to his second wife, whom he didn't tell about the first. He also once told reporters who asked about his marriages that he "never had a second wife." Just a first and a third, presumably.