TEC: Chapter 14: Our Humble Hero
So we just saw a bunch of teenagers, recently orphaned, force-marched across the land to become eunuchs.
And now we catch up with Michael Murphy…waiting in a security line at the airport.
It had taken him almost an hour to get through the security check.
Oh boy. Now I get to wait for another hour and forty-five minutes before the flight.
That’s “Oh great,” Murphy. Pay attention.
Also, I get that it sucks to be in a security theatre line, but seriously, Phillips, you just finished with a chapter about force-marched eunuchized orphans. Ever hear of first world problems?
Also, now that he’s through the line, he can just hang out until the flight. So what’s to whine about? Get a coffee and read a damn book or play a game on your iPad or something, Murphy.
Okay, okay, I admit that one of my pet peeves is people whining about being “bored.” Feeling bored just indicates a lack of imagination. There is always something to do.
But I guess Murphy is just too special to wait in lines with the commoners:
Patience was not one of his virtues. He didn’t like to wait in lines or sit around the airport.
Gorram, Murphy, you have a Ph.D.!!! How are you unfamiliar with the concept of sitting and reading?
And oh yeah, he hates to wait in lines. Because everyone else in the world loves that.
Not to mention, but that first bit about patience not being one of his virtues, reminds me of the Slacktivist’s observation about heroic “flaws” and how they parallel certain preachers he’s heard:
“I lose my patience in traffic,” the preacher says, as though confessing his worst sin. The unwillingness to admit to anything more meaningful — or the inability to recognize anything more meaningful — undermines the whole attempt to display humility. “Sometimes I’m ill-tempered,” he says, as though this sets him apart. And then, you realize that what he’s really suggesting is that he’s more extravagantly remorseful that everyone else — that his guilt over such minor failings sets him apart from, and above, others.
And Phillips even goes out of his way to explain that Murphy isn’t like a normal, sinful impatient person—he has reasons to dislike lines and waiting:
It bothered him not to be active, doing something productive.
Again, this is an academic. How is sitting and reading or writing not productive? Hey, Professor, how about grading a few papers from that class you’re supposed to teaching while you’re traveling around the country in the middle of the semester again?
Now, you might think some kind of world-shattering event is going on to warrant Murphy’s very Christian impatience, but no, this less than three-page chapter (yep, it’s less than three pages, despite my bitching) is just about Murphy standing in line at the airport and then having dinner with Isis.
She looked like a supermodel who had just stepped off a fashion runway.
Sure, nothing less than a supermodel for Our Hero.
Who would have thought she was an academic?
Um, everybody, according to the first book. But Phillips isn’t into things with even a hint of subtlety, like an academic who dresses frumpily in oversized sweaters but is super-pretty. Nope, she has to look just like a model.
And he’s not there to date the supermodel or anything. Perish the thought. Just like in the last book, Murphy only contacts Isis when he wants something from her. This time, he wants her to come along so she can verify the writing on the wall.
Isis doesn’t call him on this fact quite as well as she did last time. In fact, she barely does at all, only sounding “a little irritated.”
But never fear, Murphy knows how to manipulate Isis. Er, make it right with her, I mean. Make it right:
He leaned forward, stretched out a hand toward her, and said soberly, “Isis, I want you to go with me. Even if we don’t find anything, I want you by my side.”
“Right up until the moment we get back, at which point we’ll each go back to our lives as though nothing happened…at least until the next time I need something from you.”
Ugh, this is giving me flashbacks to my last relationship. Dammit, I knew there was a reason I disliked Murphy! 😀