Shadowed: Chapter 13: Art and Greenie
Paul knows rich people!
Isn’t that exciting—isn’t that just almost as exciting as being rich yourself—knowing the right people???
Of course, sometimes you have to be careful of rich people…they can be just a bit self-absorbed:
[Arthur Demetrius] just jumped right in to his own agenda. “Paul, I miss you, man. Wish you were here, counseling me, teaching me, guiding me.”
“After all, you’ve been a Christian for a couple weeks more than I have, man!”
Arthur proves himself just as sociopathic as the next LaJenkinsian RTC:
“I can’t for the life of me figure how anyone can doubt God now, can you?”
Well, granted, Art, you got a personal miracle in the form of your murdered-by-silver brother. Not everyone was so “lucky.”
“How long will God put up with this? Doesn’t He have to intervene, even more than He has, if you can imagine that?”
Hot damn. The bodies aren’t even cold yet, and Arthur wants more “intervention” from God? That is some bloodlust, pal. Even Paul isn’t that bad. Usually.
Anyway, Arthur proposes a scheme that floors even Paul: he’ll put half his money “in a protected Swiss account,” from which he will donate five million dollars per month to each region’s underground.
Even assuming forty years’ worth of inflation, that still seems quite generous, so I guess that’s nice.
Paul is all excited, since this would “even the playing field between the international government and the zealot underground.”
That is some kind of sense of proportion Paul has, given that, again, the (naked, car-less) bodies aren’t even cold.
Meanwhile, one member of the Apostle family has an actual human reaction to the horror of this whole situation: little Brie bursts into tears in the middle of Jesus-storytime (seriously, do these kids ever study math or spelling or anything except how awesome Jesus is???). Jae, of course, prays about the problem, though I’m not sure she understands what the problem is, since Brie herself seems fuzzy on what has actually happened.
[Jae] wanted to tell the truth, but a lot of this was way too much for an eight-year-old.
Well, Jae, maybe her father should have thought of that before he wrote the manifesto praying for the deaths of millions, including his allegedly-beloved wife’s brother.
After chatting up their biggest “partner,” who is no doubt wiring his love gifts to Switzerland even as we speak, Paul heads back down to Roscoe’s cell. This scene serves little to no purpose, other than to reiterate that Roscoe is “whiny,” and that Paul has somehow managed to fool himself into genuinely believing that “we don’t kill people we don’t have to. It’s not what we’re about.”
But the really hilarious part (and, indeed, it is played for laughs), is that Roscoe hates God, and that Paul (and, presumably, Pudgy Jack) wants to kill Roscoe. However…
“That’s just our flesh talking. God would have us spare you. So be careful how you refer to Him around us.”
“That’s for sure.”
Back at the
ranch Bible study class, Jae tries to explain Uncle Berlitz’s death to little Brie, a task somewhat hampered by the way that Jae couches it in terms of Poor Daddy and how the government is oppressing them all. No talk of how God oppressed Uncle Berl into the grave—indeed, Jae pulls the good old RTC not-quite-lying trick and says that Berl died in a car accident, not that God killed him…and then the car crashed because he couldn’t drive it, what with being dead and all.
Damn, I tell ya, this book is a gift that keeps on giving—no sooner have we gotten past discussion of Roscoe Wipers’ “retail shop” name than we are introduced to a new lovely character…
Greenie (“Please don’t ask”) Macintosh
Yeah. Oh, um, he’s Irish. Just in case there was any doubt.
I get the feeling that Jenkins thinks all of Ireland is like this:
And of course, there’s a whole story behind Greenie Macintosh’s name (because we all need to know just how clever Jenkins is with non-American names, even though he has already more than proved it with such classics as Baldassare and Calvino, Hannah Palemoon, and Ming Wong Toy Woo).
His mother (‘scuse me, his “ma“) named him Grenadier.
“Somebody who lobs grenades. We’re a warring people in a warless world.”
Okay. Okay, first of all, I don’t think you can call yourself warless now, not with all the stripped corpses lying in the streets.
Secondly, are people really so concerned about the meanings of names? I mean, my name means something, and I have never once in my life had anyone so much as make reference to the meaning. It’s just a name.
So, young Grenadier tries to get his friends to call him Gil, but they just tease him that he “looked like a fish and a little green around the gills,” so they call him Greenie.
Which doesn’t explain why he still goes by Greenie as an adult in the USSA, but hey, isn’t it clever? Greenie? Macintosh? From Ireland! It’s perfect!
Greenie is Pudgy Jack’s first officer. And on that exciting note, the chapter ends.