27 Jul 2009
1. Overheard in Jackson:
Lady on cell phone examining cans of peaches at Kroger: “They’re about to pull the plug on him and I can’t even get there!”
2. The other day I had some warm laundry that had just come out of the dryer and thought Pete might like lounging in it. Stupid. What he enjoyed doing was pooping in it. Oh, and THEN I didn’t notice the turds and threw a quilt over the laundry because I didn’t feel like folding it and DAMN MY LAZINESS because then Pete peed on the quilt. So, to recap, Pete pooped and peed in my laundry. Which, incidentally, was on the guest bed.
3. So, The Wire. I made it through season one, but I don’t think I can proceed. Sometimes shows do things that are JUST TOO MEAN FOR ME. And there was this character that they went out of their way to portray as a good guy and he took care of all the little abandoned project children and gave them juice boxes and bags of chips for lunch (which is tragic in its own right) and then OH YEAH HIS FRIENDS JUST SHOT HIM DEAD. I just — I can’t go on. Who else are you gonna kill off, The Wire? Huh? HUH?
4. If you thought a book was pretty good until the end, does that make it a good book or a bad book? Here, let me explain: I read The Ghost Writer the other weekend (my in laws were in town, thus I had time to read an entire book), and while it was kind of good there for awhile, I found the ending so awful, so STUPID, that the whole book is totally tainted now.
If you have any interest in reading this book, look away! ‘Cause I’ma telling you all about it now.
So there is this little boy named Gerard who lives in Australia, and while his mother is asleep he sneaks into her bedroom and finds this photo of a woman and a short story. Mom comes in, finds him, and beats the crap out of him. Several years later, he finds the story again, which the reader gets to read as well (I love that conceit). When he’s 13 or so, he gets a letter in the mail from a penpal service. He signs up. His penpal is named Alice. She is also 13 and is an orphan whose parents were killed in a car accident that paralyzed her. She and Gerard become best buddies. Years go by and Gerard wants to visit her, but she keeps putting him off. He goes to England for some reason or other, doesn’t visit her, but does read two more short stories by the same author as the secret one. It turns out the author is his great-grandmother, who raised his mother. His mother, btw, never talks about her past. So ok, more years go on, and Gerard has become a librarian who lives with his mother. She has cancer but actually dies by falling off of a stool in her room, trying to get something out of a cabinet. Another short story!
Gerard places an ad in a London newspaper asking for info about his mother and her family. An old lady named Abigail writes to him and says that she is his aunt Anne’s best friend. (He didn’t know he had an aunt.) Apparently there was a big scuffle and his mother was cut from the will. Abigail fears that Gerard’s mother killed her sister. Abigail also tells him where to find the keys to the family estate, and asks him to see if he can find anything there that might explain what happened 50 years ago.
Ok, so if you are the kind of person who likes stories like this — librarians, short stories, family estates, family secrets — this book is rocking along at this point. Gerard goes to England and explores the spoooooky family estate over the course of several days. He continues to write to his penpal, Alice, throughout (they have graduated to email by this time) and as he learns more about the family secrets, he tells her about each day’s find.
AND THEN (are you still reading? bless you) comes the big moment. Gerard is creeping through the house. He gets locked in the basement. He starts a fire to keep warm, but of course that is a terrible idea and fire rages and the smoke overtakes him and he passes out. When he comes to, the fire is out, he is sopping wet, AND THERE IS A BUCKET NEARBY. What? There’s someone here! He never did explore the third floor of the house, so something compels him up there after his brush with a fiery death. He goes into the bedroom, and instead of a crusty dusty bookcase like in all the bedrooms, there’s. . . a computer? Wha? And there are folders and folders full of. . .his emails to Alice?
So, reader. If you are thinking what I was thinking, it is this: his auntie Anne has been creepily writing him letters under the guise of being a girl his age. She responded to the ad in the paper and there is no such person as the elderly Abigail. Well, you’re part right! They are one and the same. EXCEPT THAT AUNTIE ANNE/ALICE/ABIGAIL IS A GHOST. Ghosts can move things around, but friends, ghosts can’t write letters, pour buckets of water on your flaming body, or send fucking email. I have never been more pissed off than when it’s revealed that it’s a FUCKING GHOST. A ghost! To add insult to injury, the ghosty person traps Gerard in the room and tries to make out with him! And it is then that he sees that the ghosty person has ONE ROTTING EYEBALL IN HER SKULLY HEAD.
I can’t tell you how angry I was. After all that time! Come on! Gerard and the stories and the penpal and the cancerous mother and then YOU GIVE ME A ONE-EYED ROTTING SKULL GHOST WHO SENDS EMAIL? So angry. SO ANGRY.
I think I’m still angry.