Soon: Chapter 2: Jae and D.C.
Jae is an odd one. She realizes immediately how upset Paul is over the “accidental” death of the Dork Too Stupid, yet is shocked that he wants to attend the funeral. (Which of course will be in D.C., while the Stepolas live in Chicago.)
Jae wants to go to the funeral, but Paul forbids her:
“I’m going by myself,” he said. “I’ll be back in time [for the flight back to Chicago].”
“Why can’t I come?” she said.
I just love that he forbids her, and she takes it. (She asks why he has issued the order, but not if he can change it.) These two are going to make a fabulous RTC couple.
Then Jae makes the mistake of insinuating that Paul doesn’t want her to come because he wants the opportunity to chase skirts. Oh, silly, silly Jae: your husband doesn’t want you away from him on one of the worst days of his life so he can play the field; he wants you away because he can’t stand the sight of you.
Women are so foolish like that.
So, off Paul goes to the funeral, without the volunteered support of his loving, supportive, cold, shrewish wife. His trip to the funeral takes him by the “Pentagon Memorial Crater,” only so that Jenkins can tell us that it is the Pentagon Memorial Crater (the word “crater” seems awfully disrespectful to me…whether that is accidental or purposeful I’m sure I don’t know), because it was “virtually vaporized” in WWIII by “a North Korean submarine-launched ballistic missile shot low enough to evade radar.” Oddly, though the structure was “virtually vaporized,” Arlington Regional Cemetery is still completely intact.
Before the funeral begins, Paul finds a group of his old Army buddies. Oddly, he is the only married one of the group, though they are all in their mid-30’s. Paul proudly shows off his wedding ring, then, almost as proudly, admits that he is still “the babe magnet” with “the same old tricks.”
He’s a class act all the way, our Paul.