Soon: Chapter 36: Slinky Clothes
LAST CHAPTER ALERT
It’s Saturday morning, so presumably Paul had about three hours of sleep after his fountain romp before breakfast.
I wonder how he explained his soaked skivvies to Jae.
(This is assuming, of course, that they are sharing a bedroom. Which, if you remember, they haven’t done for well over a month.)
Tiny is planning a big party for that night. The raid on the Stinky Fish Christians is planned for the next day, so Tiny is calling it his “elegant prestrike dinner,” which I admit, made me laugh.
He has invited Juliet Peters, the movie star, which sounds an awful lot like Julia Roberts, but whatever. Tiny has been inspired by both Juliet and having all these NPO guys and gals as his guests, and is starting to plan a movie:
“I’m thinking of casting [Juliet Peters] as Chief Balaam in the movie. You know, beautiful blonde fights her way up the ranks of the NPO, finally gets her big break leading a crack strike force. I’m not sure about the love angle yet—maybe the handsome leader of the zealots, whom she takes prisoner. Maybe a jail-cell seduction…she comes in wearing a gold cat-suit and stiletto-heel boots to show she’s all woman doing a man’s job…”
Yeah, because it’s 1972. A GOLD CAT-SUIT, REALLY???
Okay, I admit I’m intrugued, Tiny. Go on.
“…but it’s a triangle. The real Mr. Right is the wise old agency chairman. He’s thirty-five years her senior, but he’s a tiger—a silver fox. Seasoned. Tough. Rich as King Midas.
“At the end the zealot turns out to be a brute. The silver fox saves the blonde, and she sees he’s so much stronger and better than the cute young muscle man.”
Yeah, I’m not feelin’ that, Tiny. But hey, this is why we brainstorm, to get rid of the bad ideas and on to the good…
“Or maybe it’s the other way around, and it’s really the old guy who’s evil.”
Ah, that’s more like it. And check it out, Bia could totally deconvert the Christian zealot! Propaganda and entertainment all in one tasty package?
Paul could barely hide his revulsion.
“I am so sickened by other people talking about their work! Potboiler action flicks make me want to VOMIT.”
Tiny is really sweet to Jae, and offers the couple (I use that term loosely) the use of a car and chauffeur to take them shopping for a slinky dress for Jae to wear to the party.
SHOCKINGLY, the idea of his wife trying on hot dresses does not interest Paul in the slightest.
Zoe: Too much foofaraw. If I’m gonna wear a dress I want something with some slink.
Wash: You want a slinky dress? I can buy you a slinky dress. Captain, can I have money for a slinky dress?
Good couple, bad couple.
They go to Rodeo Drive, which was presumably destroyed in the tsunami, because in Atheistopia it is “a ten-story mall of exclusive stores for those who enjoyed actual shopping more than on-line virtual try-ons.”
Virtual try-ons??? That sounds AWESOME. Even in the last chapter, Jenkins cannot stop telling us about the greatness of this world.
Paul hasn’t seen his wife for weeks. You would think, New Christian Man that he is, that he would want to get right to work on “investing” in the relationship, as Straight said he should.
“Paul, I know how much you hate shopping…” [Jae said]
“I was hoping you’d say that.”
“So why don’t you have the chauffeur take you somewhere? This is my one big chance at Rodeo Drive, and I don’t want to worry that you’re miserable.”
By which Jae means, of course, “I don’t want you to make me miserable.”
Paul was a hairsbreadth away from taking her up on it, desperate to see what was going on at the port, when it struck him: This is a test. Maybe Jae was in cahoots with Ranold and maybe she wasn’t. But Ranold had arranged for the limo and driver right after stripping Paul of his agency car.
Huh? ONE PAGE AGO, Jenkins said it was Tiny who offered the limo.
If the man behind the wheel wasn’t an operative assigned to check on him, Paul would be shocked.
Unless it was Jae checking on him. Or Ranold. Or Jae and Ranold. Or…
Again, paranoia = good. But not when he has always hated Jae and been suspicious of her every move and every word, despite her history of loyalty and truth-telling. (Unlike a certain Paul I could name…)
So, Paul sticks with Jae. This is another expression I am using very loosely, as Paul ditches her in the very first store to go and call Straight.
Straight led off with the good news. Someone in the salt mines knew Carl and Lois because of their letterpress-printed tracts and had been able to warn them away from Sapiens.
Yeah, again, not the most efficient communication system ever devised.
Paul learns of upcoming raid on L.A. Christians from Ranold -> Paul calls Straight in Chicago -> Straight contacts Detroit underground -> Christians in Detroit know Christians in L.A. -> Detroit Christians warn L.A. Christians
You know what might work better?
Paul learns of upcoming raid from Ranold -> Paul warns L.A. Christians
“Nothing is hopeless,” Straight said. “Last I heard, God was still on His throne.”
Tell that to Grace Dean, you smug ass.
But there’s good news on the Stinky Fish front—Carl and Lois have apparentl been using their downtime away from the docks to disseminate The Bold Manifesto to other Christians and to news outlets. Straight gives Paul the scoop, seeing as how Paul, the double agent, has no other direct access to other Christians:
“…the word is being spread. San Francisco and Washington are hopping, eager for God to avenge their martyrs.”
Okay. Not quite sure how dissicating L.A. will avenge murders across the country, but I guess it’s good to know that all of the other Christians are as bloodthirsty as Paul, Straight, and the Stinky Fish Christians.
Paul and Jae even see the manifesto on TV as they are shopping. It is largely perceived as a hoax or a big joke. Jae’s reaction seems typical:
“What in the world…?”
This should be even more evidence (as if we needed it) that the demand that the citizens of Atheistopia “rise up and force the powers that be to change their cruel and unjust laws” is patently ridiculous.
Oh, and pay attention to the timing here, my friends. It is Saturday, probably around the middle of the day.
Remember that. 😉