Shadowed: Chapter 17, Part 1: Back with Straight!

Unlike Ball Dangler, Straight gets an exclamation point.  Because I’ve almost kinda…missed Straight.  We are 17 chapters in and he’s only been name-checked so far as Paul tries to skull-phone-call him.

And if there’s one thing Straight can always be relied upon to do, it’s bring the crazy.  Rude space-invading guy that he is.

Sadly, there’s not much to say here.

But that won’t stop me!

Straight has been volunteering at the hospital quite a bit, “visiting the injured of all ages.”  I’m really not sure how much his “visiting” can possibly be helping in this situation.  It’s portrayed in Soon as Straight trying to stave off the boredom of long-term patients, like Paul after his supernatural-light-column-blinding.  I would think the last thing people would be feeling, 48 hours after the genocide, would be boredom.  Would they really be so anxious to listen to the sax right now?  Or do many of them need secret letters written to potential future mistresses?

It doesn’t really matter, because, as usual, the main point of seeing Straight is certainly not to see him help out others in a very Christian manner.  Instead, he’s being pulled into a clandestine meeting with a doctor:

[Straight had seen the man in surgical greens and booties, so he was an operating-room man.

An operating-room man????

Um, Straight…honey…where I come from, we call such people surgeons.  Though, come to think of it, the guy could just as easily be a surgical nurse.  Then again, probably not as easily, because he is a man, and I’m sure Jenkins would never make a man a nurse, like some…lady or something.

Dr. Gregory Graybill (*snerk*) sneaks Straight a business card with a “secure” number written on the back (Are these meant to be secret skull phone numbers, or secret old-school corded phones like Ranold has in his house?  We are never told.)

Straight is instructed to call the “operating-room man” at the secure number “at 2 a.m. within the next three days.”

Ooooo, spy stuff!!!

***

Cut to a long scene of Felicia and her husband grieving.  We’ll hit that next time, because I want to hit the rest of Straight’s story first.

***

It was all Straight could do to stay awake, and he knew he should not have stretched out on the bed.

Um, set an alarm?  Why are LaJenkinsian heroes so frequently befuddled by the basics of everyday living?

But Straight manages to startle himself awake just in time for the appointed super-sekrit squirrel call.

In which the doctor instructs Straight to meet him at the hospital to talk.

YOU BOTH WERE JUST AT THE HOSPITAL WHY WAS IT EVEN NECESSARY TO CALL EACH OTHER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT TO PLAN TO MEET AT THE HOSPITAL AGAIN???

As we have previously discussed, Christians (well, of course the doctor is a secret Christian) are the worst at spy games.

The worst.

“Where?”

And…cut to the next part of the Felicia-and-Cletus stuff.

Yep, Jenkins randomly cuts off Straight’s conversation without telling us the extremely shocking and secret information of where this hospital volunteer and surgeon will met.  We will not find out the answer until Chapter 20.

But because I love you guys, I’ll reveal the shocking twist right now…

They’re going to meet and have lunch in the hospital cafeteria.

BWAH???

Yep, I can totally see why this plan was worth a clandestine meeting at the hospital to exchange phone numbers, followed by a clandestine phone call in the middle of the night to set the meeting.

At the hospital cafeteria.

That is all much less suspicious than just asking Straight if he would like to have lunch in the cafeteria sometime.

They SUCK at being spies.  So bad.

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Posted on March 14, 2015, in Shadowed, Soon. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I feel a headache coming on trying to make sense of that plan. I’m sure the reason must be to manufacture drama and add filler, but come on.

    Just out of curiosity, I wonder how well these books were received? Having once been an Evangelical over twenty years ago, I know that there’s peer pressure to make oneself try to enjoy rapture-themed media by big name authors who pack their writing full of dog whistles. However, while I still hear people mention Left Behind (like my Mom who says she enjoyed reading it but as fiction, not devotional lit), I never hear anyone mention the Underground Zealot series other than to list other books Jenkins wrote.

    Is it just that LB overshadowed this series, or did its target audience not like it for some reason: no rapture? No Tim LaHaye? Biblical-type destruction outside of the normal theological timeframe?

  2. “Operating-room man”

    Jenkins, would you like a rundown of people who could feasible wear The Green Scrubs of the Operating Room (which, in the hospital where I work, are actually the Sky Blue Scrubs)? Surgeon. Assisting surgeon. Operating nurse. Surgical Technician. Anesthesiologist. PICK ONE!

    As for meeting in the caf in the middle of the night — could you be a little more suspicious please? Granted “my” hospital is a small one, but it has set hours. If it’s after hours, the caf isn’t open. There is literally no reason to be in it. Why not meet in one of the surgical waiting rooms, where it would be slightly more plausible for a surgeon to be speaking privately to someone in the middle of the night?

    • Lots of bigger hospitals have part of their cafeteria open at night, unstaffed but with drinks and snack dispensers. But nobody needs to go there for a private meeting. Since any member of the hospital staff might need to speak privately with somebody at any time of the day or night, there are plenty of rooms for that purpose; Straight and his friend could meet in one without raising any suspicions.

  3. On occasion, Jenkins likes to pretend his protagonists are master spies and have them go through ridiculous lengths to hide their actions with strategies that are far more trouble than their worth. At other times, he lets Paul wear a neon-sign saying “Secret Believer Here!”, or having them go back to Ranold’s car because “our whole lives are in that car”.

    It’s like a guy with six locks on his front door who leaves his ground-floor window wide open.

    • Headless Unicorn Guy

      Remember all the Master Spy setup in the first volume of Left Behind that all ceased to exist by Volume 2?

      This is a Great Author (always telling you so) who wants to be Ian Fleming but doesn’t have a F’in clue. He keeps reminding me of another Great Author In His Own Mind — a local fanboy with delusions of grandeur who was a laughingstock to everyone but Himself.

  4. Straight had seen the man in surgical greens and booties, so he was an operating-room man.

    “This was not the pansy sort of doctor who spent his days just talking to patients and asking where it hurt. No, this was a decisive man, a man who took action, a man used to holding the life of others in his hands. In other words, this was an operating-room man.”

    I like that the booties get a specific mention. Saying that the man wore surgical greens would have been sufficient to establish the character. But I guess Straight is in the habit of checking people’s footwear to determine their profession. A regular Sherlock Holmes he is.

    That is all much less suspicious than just asking Straight if he would like to have lunch in the cafeteria sometime.

    Yes, it is less suspicious. If the doctor just asked Straight to have lunch with him sometimes, it would leave open the ambiguity of it possibly being sort of like asking someone on a date. And we can’t have that.

    In fact, I believe it is stated in the Rules of Manly Behaviour: If a manly man wishes to invite another manly man to lunch without creating any suspicion of it being a romantic encounter, the correct procedure is to hand over a business card and say: “Have your people call my people.” If the persons concerned have no “people”, arranging the call like something out of a bad spy movie is an acceptable substitute.

    It is most important to establish that this is NOT a booty call, this is a call to a man who wears booties. And making this distinction is clearly worth wasting any amount of the reader’s time.

  5. Headless Unicorn Guy

    They SUCK at being spies. So bad.

    No, “Buck” Jenkins, the Second Ian Fleming (in his own mind), SUCKS at writing spy thrillers.

  6. Did the pastor say what sort of alarm clock was properly Godly and what was a tool of the Enemy? No? Better not use any alarm, just to be sure.

  7. Headless Unicorn Guy

    YOU BOTH WERE JUST AT THE HOSPITAL WHY WAS IT EVEN NECESSARY TO CALL EACH OTHER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT TO PLAN TO MEET AT THE HOSPITAL AGAIN???

    So Buck Jenkins GCAAT can write another over-the-phone idiot conversation, that’s why.

    As we have previously discussed, Christians (well, of course the doctor is a secret Christian) are the worst at spy games.

    The worst.

    Especially when every time they look in the mirror all they can see is “Just like James Bond, Except CHRISTIAN(TM)!”

  1. Pingback: Deconstruction Roundup for March 20, 2015 | The Slacktiverse

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