Monday, May 27, 2013

Part Fifty-Five, Chapter Four - Adventures in Packing

This chapter is the equivalent of those moments in a horror movie when the female protagonist is fumbling with her keys as the masked serial killer slowly strides closer.  Except the female protagonist is a revolting imbecile, the masked serial killer is nominally a good guy, and instead of keys being juggled it's an underaged prostitute's luggage.  Also, the serial killer is several miles away.  And we don't really care who dies at the end of the movie, which is six or seven hours from now.  And somebody's spliced a homemade porno into the movie, along with some boring vacation photos.  And the screen's out of focus.  And there's an annoying kid a few seats over who repeats all the lame jokes.  And the theater smells like vomit and stale popcorn.

I'm getting a little sidetracked, which is strange, because there's so little in this chapter to be sidetracked from.

The cab driver comments on all the screaming coming from Gris' portable "television," unconcerned when Gris asks what happened to the other passenger.

"But on the subject of TV shows, you got to watch it.  Violence is bad for the heart."

"Especially when it's done with blastguns," I said.

"Oh, you're watching some rerun of Star Trek," he said.

Shouldn't that be Star Drek, Hubbard?

"That stuff is just garbage, you know."

"Please don't mention garbage," I begged.

You just got served, Roddenberry!

Gris gets to wondering whether Teenie's chickened out and run off on him, which would ruin everything.  Remember, if Teenie doesn't go with Gris, Pinchy will get him on those "rape of a minor" charges.  But if he takes her with him, he can occasionally produce evidence that Teenie is still alive, and then... Pinchy will fail to go after him for kidnapping her friend.  Also note that, as far as I can tell, Gris left that "suicide" note of his back at the apartment.  So it'll look like he's killed himself (somehow) and Teenie has gone missing.  So there's no logical plan or point to this, but it happens because Gris is an idiot and the author wants to have Teenie in the story being all sexy and underaged.

Teenie eventually reappears but says she needs two hundred dollars to pay off her landlady.  She has a lot of luggage.  The cab driver demands that Gris summon another cab because the load would otherwise break company regulations.  Gris checks the viewscreen and sees Heller on the expressway, drawing ever closer.  The view is so distressing that he takes a closer look at what Teenie plans on taking with her.

I looked in despair at all this baggage.  "What is this stuff?" I wailed, hoping she would abandon it after all.

"The labors of a lifetime," Teenie said.  "You see that big sack over there?  That's chock-a-block with the seed of the very best Columbia hemp.  That second bag is seeds of choice Acapulco Gold.  That red sack is preselected seed from Panama Red."

"But that doesn't account for a tenth of this!" I wept.

"Well, no.  Some of it is sentimental, I will admit.  That big box is a press camera, one of the original tools of my childhood.  It may be busted now, but oh, the pictures it has taken!  Me being forced to (bleep) my uncle.  Me being licked by a pervert that coughed up twenty G's.  And then there were all the family bangs when my parents had their friends over.  Oh, the memories of childhood.  

I'm going to focus on the absurdity of a teenager talking like this rather than what's actually being said.

You wouldn't want me to leave that behind!  It's museum-quality stuff.  And then there's two or three skateboards that can be fixed, to say nothing of the two new ones you got me."

I averted my face from such a painful subject.

"And then there's my collection of autographed jock straps."

"WHAT?" I said, startled in spite of my anxiety.

They're so you can blackmail athletes into getting free seats at sporting events.  So if anyone reading this goes pro, and a pretty young something tries to get you to sign some athletic supports, don't do it!

And then they're done packing and Gris and Teenie drive to the heliport, and there's Raht with a helicopter waiting.  Gris has to throw some more money at workers to get everything loaded.  Because if there's anything better than showering Heller and Krak with wealth, it's making Gris poor.

In summary, Gris and Teenie change location and prepare to board a helicopter.

Back to Chapter Three 

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