TSoA: Chapter 16: Weights and Stuff
Showing us again what a paragon of Manly Manliness he is, Murphy heads to the gym.
A step machine was one of the few sanctuaries he knew where no student was likely to ask him about an assignment.
Murphy is such a devoted teacher!
(Also, it is unlikely that a student at admitted party school Preston University would bother Murph at six in the morning. Also unlikely that a student would have a membership at the local health club, when they no doubt have free access to Preston’s athletic facilities.)
Anyway, Murphy is benching two hundred (Manly! I guess! I’m not entirely sure because I do only light weights for toning!) when our old friend, lousy father and FBI agent Hankl Baines, who offers to spot.
(I always thought it wasn’t the safest thing in the world to lift without a spot, but wow, it’s sure manly, eh?)
The two men bond in a manly way by lifting weights together, and it turns out that Baines has been stalking the gym in hopes of catching Murphy.
THAT’S NOT CREEPY AT ALL
Baines reveals that things are going better with his daughter, but now he wants to talk about his EVEN MORE PROBLEMS WITH HIS DUMB WIFE.
“We’ll be discussing a problem and I’ll explain to her why her way won’t work and why we should do it differently. I try to be real patient, to show her how she hasn’t thought it through completely.”
So, it turns out that Baines is just as clueless when it comes to having a civil conversation with his wife, as he was when it came to his daughter. Not that this is surprising—after all, Baines is a dirty non-churchgoer, so it is only to be assumed that every aspect of his life is in shambles.
Credit to Murphy, he correctly lays the blame on Baines for this little problem:
“Sounds like you might not be giving her a chance to disagree with you.”
That’s a pretty diplomatic way to say, “You’re a condescending asshole, Baines.”
Murphy magically susses out the true problem: Baines has a girlfriend!
(Seriously, it’s magic. Phillips calls it an “educated guess,” but I’m pretty sure that God put the thought it Murph’s head.)
“You know, Hank, it’s been my experience that people who have gone through a divorce end up with a lot of regrets. The biggest one usually is they didn’t try harder to make it work.”
Yeah, I bet loner Michael Murphy has a ton of divorced friends.
Spoiler alert: he doesn’t. Levi is twice-married, but he was widowed the first time. The only other friend of his we meet (I think ever, in the whole series) is happily married.
And God gave us the Bible with all kinds of good advice about marriage:
If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered, he shall pay her father fifty shekels of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.
Oops, not that one! This is the one that Murphy meant:
Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them.
Diplomatically, Murphy leaves out the preceding verse:
Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.
Actually, as I read this verse, it seems to me that Baines wasn’t precisley wrong, biblically speaking, that is, in how he discussed things with his wife:
“We’ll be discussing a problem and I’ll explain to her why her way won’t work and why we should do it differently.”
I mean, if only his wife would submit, as is fitting in the Lord, all would be well, no?
But no, actually, Murphy does not take the advice of his own Bible. Instead, he counsels Baines to say he’s sorry, say “I love you,” and not to go to bed angry.
DARN SKIPPY BECAUSE MAKE-UP SEX ROCKS
Oh, and he tells Baines he should consider going to church.
He’d planted the seed.
Yeah, yeah, sure he did. Yanno, if I cared about Baines AT ALL as a character, if he wasn’t just A Sinner for Tim LaHaye to preach at, I might give a damn about his personal life.
As it is, I can only point out that 36% of the way through this book, and not yet even getting ready to go to Mount Ararat.
But next time, we will actually get some HOT PLANNING ACTION.