TPD pp 81-85: Gossip and slander

Tuesday morning — it’s only been a little over 24 hours since the book began! — opens with the Clarion being a dead zone since the edition was published that day. Then we get this little nugget:

As for Edie, the secretary/reporter.ad girl, she had resigned and walked off the job last night.

“last night”? Seriously? Who quits in the middle of the night? How would you even manage that?

Ahem, anyway:

Marshall had not known that she once was happily married, but gradually became unhappily married, and finally got a little thing going with a trucker that resulted in a very recent blow-up at home, with pieces of marriage flying everywhere and spouses fleeing in opposite directions.

Divorce is painful at the best of times; this sounds like a total nightmare. Still, you’d think she’d need her job more than ever now, wouldn’t she? Where’s she going to get money and normalcy?

Without her, nobody knows where anything is. They can’t even make coffee. Clearly there were some serious management issues in this little newspaper that runs like a big city newspaper.

“She’s leaving town for good, before her husband’s black eyes heal up and he can see to find her.”

Oh, I see why she left town. It’s somewhat refreshing to see female-on-male domestic abuse being portrayed at all, and this doesn’t seem to be playing it for laughs — still more lighthearted than should be, but not like a joke at least.

Office gossip: Brummel and Langstrat are dating. Marshall can tell from some of the pixels, and also because he has seen quite a few affairs in his time. No, seriously:

“The day after one of my reporters gets busted for taking the wrong pictures at the carnival, Langstrat kicks me out of her class. Add to that Oliver Young’s ears getting all red when he told me he didn’t know her.”

“You’re brilliant, Hogan.”

Seriously… wtf? I call hax. None of those events relate to each other at all, and even if they did, they don’t add up to “Alf and Langstrat sitting in a tree”.

The fingerprints on the film are not on file; Bernice knows the county prosecutor, and had them run. And that’s where I lose track of the narrative a little:

“The county prosecutor?”

“Sure. He does just about anything for me.”

“Hey, don’t bring them into this, not yet. . . “

“Them”? I suppose she said her uncle knows the prosecutor, so maybe he means the uncle as well, but are they not already involved? They ran the prints, after all.

“Uh. . .   this Brummel and Langstrat. . .  they’re both into the same kind of thing. I can tell.”

With your magic intuition?

What kind of thing?”

Marshall felt cornered. “How about. . .  whammies?”

Is that word in common usage in this meaning? Was it ever? Because I had to think a minute to get it and I read a lot of fantasy. . .

Yami: Hey, babe, sanity test. When I say the word “whammy”, what do you think of?

Chaos: That old TV show where they say “no whammy, no whammy, stop?”

Yami: *blank look*

Chaos: …or a particularly hard-hitting thing?

Yami: Keep going…

Chaos: Um…… The word used to actually explain the sound of playing pogs? I don’t know what else whammy could mean.

When I explained this usage, he went “oh, there’s that too.” So my extremely small sample size of average American public indicates not so much.

Bernice looked puzzled. Oh c’mon, Krueger, don’t make me have to explain it.

…is…. is the narrator talking to a character now?

Marshall explains, and Bernice laughs at him and gets him a “good, stiff” hot chocolate. *eyeroll*

“I heard somebody just got kicked out of there for shacking up or someting. . . ”

“Bernice, that’s gossip!”

AAHAHAHHAHAH oh god, someone stop me before I keel over. What do you think you’re doing, Mr Hogan? Reading Bible quotes?! I got one for you: “Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3)

Finally, Marshall remembers that his daughter is missing, and begs Bernice not to make any more trouble even as he orders her to check this out.

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