Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Part Fifty-One, Chapter Four - Missed Opportunities

More Teenie shenanigans.  More Gris being stupid to notice what's happening in the actual plot.  But at least he keeps his pants on this time.

Gris is awoken by Mrs. Gris, who informs him that she'll be out late at a mandatory company meeting, where there will be a live demonstration of a new abortion technique by that rising star of psychiatry, Dr. Crobe.  Remember, psychology is about killing people, which is why it's pro-choice but anti-contraception.  Pinchy also mentions that Teenie just got fired during a Rockecenter "personal staff inspection," when he noticed that she was, as the book so bluntly puts it, "full of semen."  Why, this clashes with what Teenie said yesterday about how and when she lost her job!  Much like how her story about her parents changes each time she tells it!

Whatever, that's a mystery for next book, albeit one that seems irrelevant to the larger plot.  Gris, still hungover and confused from all the sex and drugs, oozes back to his room to check the viewscreens.  Heller's peering about at the endless ocean, and Gris concludes that he must be very far away.  Crobe's preparing for the night's lecture and demonstration. Krak's screen remains blank.

I felt sort of fixated on the viewers.  There was something wrong here.  It eluded me.  I concentrated very hard.  If Heller was far away and still on the viewer and Krak wasn't on the viewer, then Krak had to be further away . . . I sort of gave it up.  Something was odd.

The main source of "tension" in Hubbard's stories is whether the villains will bang enough braincells together to reach obvious conclusions.  It's impossible to think that Heller might lose to someone like Gris.  It's impossible to think a squirrel might lose to someone like Gris.

And then Teenie starts gabbing at Gris for watching "television."  Yes, she stole one of his keys and had a copy made (or so she says), and then she starts talking about her continued education.  She's up for hygiene and disease control classes soon, and shows off more of her muscle training - nothing like last chapter, thank God.  It's "the new, scientific Chinese system," which uses probes and electrodes to teach her to move individual muscles on her leg and stomach, send nerve impulses to specific parts of her body, which will lead to blocking nerve impulses and then using those techniques on another person.

The confusing bit is that all this talk of electronic measurements and fantastical bodily mastery reminds me of nothing less than Dianetics.  So the message is that even a teenage "sexhibitionist" tainted by psychology can learn to master her own body to better pleasure the narrator?

Teenie shows off some stretches and "sexual choreography," and Gris begs her to leave due to his headache.  The girl gives him the sound advice that he shouldn't mix marijuana and alcohol - better to just stick with pot - then administers some aspirin and runs off to school.  Gris screams at her to leave when she's already in the process of doing so, and in the very same paragraph rants at himself that he's missed a third opportunity to kill the girl.

Despite making no effort to kill Teenie.  Or making any real plan to kill Teenie beyond noting that he's missed an opportunity or two to kill Teenie.  That's like me saying just now that I missed an opportunity to watch 30 Rock.  I hadn't really planned on it, and didn't turn on the TV or anything, but I could have and didn't.

Gris as retrospective narrator tells us that it was his last chance to kill her, making it one he would "look back on it with longing from that day on."  Wonder if I'll ever look back at this missed chance to watch 30 Rock and sigh with wistful regret?  Could be.  Some folks say it's pretty good.  Might be missing out.

Back to Chapter Three

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