Monday, February 18, 2013

Part Forty-Seven, Chapter Six - Read All About It?

Suddenly, four in-story days pass in the space of a single chapter.  Guess Hubbard found his muse again?  Or he got really caught up in his own work, in the excitement of this section about... hoping people read the newspaper?

The first day's headline describes how the Purity League has been petitioning New York's governor to pardon the Whiz Kid.  Meanwhile in reality, Heller is trying to convince his British chauffeur to let him modify the new car so it can run on a chunk of asphalt, but is met with a paraphrased, very British paragraph about how he'd have to petition the Archbishop of Canterbury for permission to customize his property, and "the Rolls would do better to just go on being a Rolls."

Another paragraph is spent listing how many maids and gardeners and butlers Krak hires for their new apartment.  I'm starting to wonder if there wasn't a rival, nine-volume series about an alien secret agent on Earth that Hubbard was trying to one-up.  "Oh yeah?  Well my alien commando has three gardeners, a butler, a chef, a cook, two housemen, two security guys, and a personal maid for his girlfriend.  Your story sucks!"

Nobody but Gris pays attention to the newspaper.

The second day's headline is about the Whiz Kid getting pardoned by the governor on account of his newfound virtue.  Meanwhile Krak and Heller go to the ROTC regimental ball and are well-dressed and dance and stuff.  All the other men there are awestruck by the Countess' beauty, and all the women are jealous of her.  And never the other way around. 

But nobody reads the paper.  Or notices that the two people in the middle of the dance floor who look just like humans are in fact aliens.  Gris starts to wonder whether Lombar's taken over the Council yet and can give him the go-ahead to just kill Heller, reminding us of yet another subplot that's sitting on the tarmac, waiting for the go-ahead.

The third day's headline has the Whiz Kid being honored by the WASP Purity League for being so damn pure and stuff.  The fictional character within the fictional story promises to use his influence to stop mattress makers from producing double beds.  The dinner raised money for the "Campaign for Suppression of Puerto Ricans, whose sexual licentiousness has long been a target of the League."  Is it satire when a racist author includes a fictional racist organization in his story?

Heller eats ice cream while Krak talks about her attempts to train Twoey, specifically how he sometimes mutters about how people should be "sent to the slaughter pens" when he doesn't get his way.  They put it down to heredity - some people are just evil, y'know?  And shouldn't be allowed to breed?  Heller does note that Twoey seems strangely devoted both to him and Izzy, and wonders if Krak has been tampering with his brains.  She gives the usual "Me, Jettero?" response because shattering peoples' psyches and rebuilding them as your slaves is cute and funny.

Nobody reads the paper.  I'm starting to think that Gris' plan might have a flaw or two...

The next day's headline is the biggest yet: "WHIZ KID NAMED IN PATERNITY SUIT!"  A two billion dollah lawsuit from a farmer's daughter!  The poor girl believed that dastardly Whiz Kid's story about shielding her complexion from the sun with his body, and then five months later she found herself "all swole up with child."

Oh, what a story!  And the other papers, particularly the sexier ones,

The Sun?

went into wild orgies of description of what had happened.  One even pictured the Whiz Kid as dancing in the moonlight with rabbits all around and shouting to them, "Come, come!  Let me protect you from the sun!  With fifty strokes!"

The trap was sprung!

Assuming Krak and Heller do what they haven't for the past three days, i.e. read the paper.

Back to Chapter Five 

1 comment:

  1. Doesn't the whole "he's weird because of his genetics" plot point contradict his indictment of psychiatry for not believing in the soul?