Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Part Forty-Nine, Chapter Three - I Hope Nobody Paid for this Product Placement

Once he's done chortling about the unholy alliance of psychiatry and litigation, Gris turns his attention back to the viewscreen, finding Heller moping in the shadow of a statue of Giovanni de Verrazzano, one of the earliest European explorers of the North American coast.  Heller chats with the statue in Voltarian and sympathizes with the long-dead man after reading the plaque about Verrazzano's death at the hands of cannibals, then continues to conveniently talk aloud to himself and wonders where Izzy's at.

Gris acts!  Since Heller's obviously waiting around to meet someone, he calls the police and tells Inspector Grafferty to get over to the park and arrest Heller!  That done, he settles down to watch Heller, waiting for the cops to show up.  Thrill as you watch a guy watch a guy!

Izzy shows up to report that the cops have padlocked and staked out Heller's offices, the private investigators still haven't found any sign of Krak, but Bang-Bang is offering to steal a helicopter so Heller can make his escape to Brazil, where there are no lawyers, only ants.  When Heller of course refuses to stay behind and search for Krak, Izzy hands over a wad of thousand-dollar bills courtesy of the time-telescope stock market cheating device.

Why hasn't Gris gotten Izzy arrested?  The guy seems to still be able to operate, so even if you seize Heller's personal assets, Izzy's still accumulating a pile of money Heller will be able to use.  This is the second time he's watched the accountant throw money at Heller, but Gris has had absolutely no reaction to it.

Izzy leaves, Gris goes to a run-down bar called the Stockbroker, advertising a "Suicide Special," an alternative to throwing yourself out a window when the Dow crashes.  He buys a 7-Up - excuse me, "Seven Up" - with a thousand-dollar bill and asks to use the dingy restroom.  He uses an Earth razor rather than a "spin razor," and cuts himself twice.  He uses space lotion and a cellology light to heal his face.  He uses a "spin brush" to clean his teeth.  Gris gets fed up and calls Grafferty's office again, urging the cops to hurry along.  Remember, this is supposed to be tense and exciting, not achingly dull.

Gris goes back to watching Heller change clothes.  Heller is annoyed that he can't get proper engineer gloves.  He leaves the washroom, asks to use the place's phone, and calls the Red Cab Company, telling them to get Mortie Massacurovitch over to him right away.  You remember, the guy who taught Heller to drive waaay back in Book Two.

The friendly bartender thinks this is all part of some insider trading scheme, and Heller grimly replies that he's "going to make a killing."  Gris gets nervous.  Mortie shows up with bandages around his eyes from when a "dumb spick hit me in the face with a load of mace."  Using "damned" after the word "God" earns a (bleep) from the censor, but not ethnic slurs.

Heller drives Mortie off, and the two come up with a plan to call all the cab companies to see which one sent a fleet of taxis to carry off Krak and her luggage at a certain time.  Heller finally learns that she went to Hudson Harbor.  Gris calls Graffery's men again to update them on the fugitive's location, and tells them to get moving.

Look, it takes awhile for an exciting chase scene to start, alright?  You gotta spend seven and a half pages building up the tension by having a guy order a soft drink and shave. 

Back to Chapter Two

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