Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Part Forty-Nine, Chapter Two - Beauty is Aryan

So having suddenly decided to use Dr. Crobe to defeat Krak and Heller once and for all, Gris calls up the lawyers he so recently tipped off to stop Krak and Heller once and for all.  They proudly announce that they've put out a warrant for bigamy that will put the Whiz Kid in jail, where they can squeeze him for everything he's got.  Because this is a work of subtle satire, they go into detail about how common this is.

"You may have trouble arresting him."

"Oh, I think not," said Ambo.  "We have connections in the police and we will now have every airport and bus station and train depot watched.

Notice what mode of transportation they omitted.

They try to run when they get hit this hard.  So we'll pick him up, throw him in the can and make him squirm.  Standard legal procedure.  The old routine shakedown.  Sue them civilly, trump up something criminal and then bleed them to death.  Routine."

That's not enough for Gris, though.  No, he commands the lawyers to add an order to have Heller sent to Bellevue for a mental examination.  The lawyer's impressed.

"Oh, wonderful!  That implies that, committing bigamy, he is irresponsible and of unsound mind and we can be appointed executors of his estate, split it up amongst ourselves and be rich!  This is wonderful."

In an amazing coincidence, L. Ron Hubbard went through a bigamous marriage of his own that led to newspapers calling him insane.  His (second) wife's divorce suit involved accusations of beatings, sleep deprivation, kidnappings, and urges for her to commit suicide.  She eventually did settle and signed a statement Hubbard wrote declaring that he was a "fine and brilliant man" in order to get custody of their daughter.

That's enough history, let's get casually racist.

"In that order," I said, "specify that as his face is too attractive, it might pervert nurses and so it is to be blackened."

Yeah, this white guy's too pretty.  Make him black, that'll stop the nurses from falling for him.

"Nothing easier.  You can write anything in a court order.  Then all you have to do is get the judge to sign it and he never reads what he signs.  An absolutely novel idea.  Will make good press, too.  Gives the whole thing a sinister ring.  You can't win these things, you know, unless you try them first in the press."

Gris remains on a roll.  He adds a description of the Whiz Kid's "gun moll," Miss Heavenly Joy Krackle, a real fiend.  The lawyer readies some trumped-up conspiracy charges to get her imprisoned until she cooperates, and Gris makes sure Krak's to be sent to Bellevue too, only with a mask on, since her face "has been known to turn men to stone!"

This idiocy is of course to prevent Dr. Crobe from recognizing the people he's mortally afraid of.  But Gris isn't completely certain his precautions will be enough.  So he adds an order that Dr. Phetus P. Crobe is not to see them.  Under absolutely no circumstance is for Dr. Crobe to see the Whiz Kid and Miss Krackle.  Very explicitly spell that out.  They're to be assigned to the same mental hospital as him, but he is not to see them.  Got it?

Gris, honey?  If you want to keep Krak and Heller from meeting Crobe, send them to a different hospital.  It really is that simple.  You don't have to go through blackface or gorgon masks or anything.

The book's villain is confident that Heller and Krak (wherever she is) are now doomed to life in a mental institution, where they'll be dropped off "drugged, placed in electric-shock machines and ruined for the rest of their lives."  Which of course would cause Heller to miss his next mission report, causing Voltar to grow suspicious and send an investigation that would blow the lid off the whole Apparatus conspiracy to use Earth drugs to take over the Confederacy.

Does anyone in this stupid book still remember that subplot?

The courts and the law and psychiatry were a priceless team.  Why had I bothered to hire a hit man when I had them at my beck and call?

Good question!  So, Hubbard, why did you waste a third of this book with a necrophiliac hitman who utterly failed at his mission?

How could I miss?  If Heller was not caught at once, he might find Krak and if he found Krak he might bring her straight into this morass the lawyers had made so they could become rich.  It was a bottomless pit and would swallow them both!  With a grinning gulp!  Bless the Earth legal-psychiatric liaison!  It might be totally insane but, good Gods, was it useful to the power elite!

Is it really a "liaison" when you were the one who suggested adding the psychiatry angle?  Really, this is the first time the two professions have mixed.  

Back to Chapter One

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