Thursday, February 14, 2013

Part Forty-Seven, Chapter Four - Two Dirty Armenians

Short chapter, transitive chapter.  Nothing's really happening, but characters are moving into position for the next plotline.  The kind of chapter that makes you wonder why you'd bother slicing up a book into such dinky, three-page episodes.

The next day's headline is about the Whiz Kid surrendering to police and being extradited from Kansas for trial in New York, and Gris presumably smiles evilly to himself as he watches Madison "set the stage."  Both of the... well, they're not the story's protagonists, and I hesitate to call them "good guys."  Let's call them Krak and Heller.  Their viewscreens are coming through loud and clear, meaning they're within the two hundred mile standard range, and sure enough Gris can see the New York skyline from the farm they're visiting.

With them is Pig Boy, who the narration goes from calling Delbert John II to Delbert Second to "the boy" within the space of a page.  Krak is calling him "Twoey."  That's a terrible name, but Mission Earth is a series full of terrible names.  Twoey it is.

Twoey is yellin' and hollerin' and runnin' 'round the rental trucks, talking to his pigs, introducing them to their new home, and is able to give a squealing call to get all the porkers out of the trailers and into the pens.  He loves his new home: "Jus' smell that breeze from the othah fahms.  What a beeootiful aroma of pigs!"  The property doesn't actually have a house, but Twoey offers to sleep in the pens with his livestock family.

"No," said Heller.  "That won't do."

"It's just fahn with me," said the boy.  "These yere two men that come with the place and me will make out great."

Heller looked at two very dirty men who stood nearby, evidently Armenians.  They were nodding brightly.

Evidently how, Hubbard?  Were they in the Armenian national costume (whatever that is)?  Wrapped in Armenian flags?  Flashing their Armenian passports?  Did they conform to some sort of physical stereotype of what an Armenian should look like that you the author ascribe to and assume the reader will understand?  Is it the dirt that makes them Armenian? 

Two careless words in an unimportant sentence in an uneventful chapter make me spend ten minutes flipping forwards and backwards through the rest of the wretched book, searching for something that will make them make sense.  It's like the author is reaching out from the pages, through the years, and beyond the grave to punch me in the forehead.

Let it not be said that Hubbard can't connect with his readers.

Not much else to the chapter.  Krak convinces Heller to leave one of the motor homes and its staff at the farm for Twoey both as a home, and as her base when she's over, ominous pause, quote training endquote the kid.  Heller praises the land yacht's crew and gives them bonuses, Gris is revolted that those Fleet officers have no idea how to properly fire someone.  Then the Countess announces that someone's offering to sell a Rolls Royce Silver Spirit with a complementary English chauffeur.  In an amazing coincidence, I was lying awake in bed last night, grinding my teeth, bitterly lamenting the fact that my hero, Jettero Heller, didn't have someone to drive him around in a boxy, bland, British saloon car.  I think I'll have sweet dreams this evening.

Fifty thousand dollars, credit card, Mudur Zengin, security deposit, "The trap I had laid absolutely HAD to work!"

Back to Chapter Three

1 comment:

  1. "The kind of chapter that makes you wonder why you'd bother slicing up a book into such dinky, three-page episodes."
    I think you're missing the basic nature of these "chapters". Every day he would type, some days he would get to more pages than others (maybe some days he didn't type at all). Whatever pages he had at the end of the day went into a manila folder which he then numbered "Chapter xxx" and that is all there is to it. How he decided when he was starting a new "Part" I don't quite get.