TEC: Chapter 50: Like a Young Teddy Roosevelt
Murphy drives up to Richmond, Virginia, to meet Dr.
Wilford Brimley Wilfred Bingman. This gives him plenty of time to think about the stuff in this book that took place when he was supposed to be finding the writing on the wall “the events of the past few weeks.”
The Europa Conspiracy: you won’t be able to put the book down! THRILL as our hero muses during long car trips!
It was difficult for Murphy to think about finalizing the plans for an expedition to Babylon with the nation in turmoil, but something inside pushed him onward.
Wow, what a guy, huh?
Wait, “nation in turmoil“? When did that happen?
I mean, obviously Murphy means the aborted terrorist attack, but I feel it worth pointing out again that NOBODY DIED except one of the actual terrorists. Hell, the only people that were even hurt were Moar Arabs who were beaten down by nice white American civilians.
It’s like a lite version of the Left Behind series, where the disappearance of millions and the resultant massive chaos and accidents barely registers as a blip on the heroes’ collective radar.
Shari and Murphy didn’t even care enough about each other to check in with each other. Same with Isis. Hell, my parents care more when I get caught in a heavy rainstorm while driving than Shari and Isis did when Murphy was caught on a bridge that almost got dirty-bombed. Really, nobody seems to give a crap.
And because of that, Murphy arrives in Richmond without incident. In a way, this is a good place for Murphy and Wilbert to meet, since it’s halfway between them, but at the same time:
- Why not meet in Washington, D.C., so Murphy can spend some time with Isis, or, if he doesn’t want to,
- Why not Skype or FaceTime or something?
Oh, it’s because “Murphy always liked to meet people in person–especially if they were planning a potentially dangerous expedition.”
Well, if you say so. That’s sorta what happened in The Secret on Ararat, when the expedition crew met for some mountaineering training. Though there wasn’t any implication that if Murphy didn’t like one of them, he would be off the mission.
Wilhelm apparently prepared Murphy for his appearance by warning him that he looked “like a young Teddy Roosevelt…[even with] a mustache that looked like Roosevelt’s.”
Is that kinda like when a guy looks like a young Robert Redford?
Just seems kinda lazy, is all. I know many authors pick major or minor actors as a starting point for the looks of their own characters, and it can be a great way to put a face with a name. But you don’t do that with every character. Hopefully, a good writer can describe features without simply resorting to, “my character looked just like [insert famous person here].”
Murphy and Wilhelm hit it off right away, because they have stuff in common:
“…it wasn’t until I was in the Forst Persian Gulf War that I really got exposed to ancient artifacts.”
“Kuwait?” Murphy asked, curious.
“I was there too. I arrived in January of 1991 as part of Operation Desert Storm under General Norman Schwarzkopf.”
Okay, would one soldier really talk to another soldier in such formal terms, like he was introducing himself to a middle school social studies class? “…under General Norman Schwarzkopf,” really?
Also turns out that Willie gave his life to Christ while over there, so there’s that, too.
“I think we’re going to have a good time together in Iraq, Will,” Murphy said, smiling.
It is very hard for me not to read something dirty into that. Mostly just because I think it would be funny.
And Wilmot also puts up with Murphy’s Wikipediazing, so that helps, too.
They get into a conversation about the possible U.N. move to Babylon, which Wilton thinks is “about good old-fashioned greed. I think they’re after the oil.”
Why the U.N. being headquartered in Babylon would allow it, as an entity, to corner the oil market is anyone’s guess, but it does give Murphy the opportunity to recite how much oil different countries have. Off the top of his head.
“Saudi Arabia is estimated to have 260 billion barrels, Iraq 113 billion barrels, Iran 100 billion barrels, and Kuwait 97 billion barrels.”
WHO CARES?? WHO BLOODY CARES???? YOU CAN USE GOOGLE; WE’RE ALL TERRIBLY IMPRESSED.
Then Murphy blathers on about rebuilding Babylon, and even if he’s boring me, he at least isn’t boring Wilt:
“You’ve certainly stirred my juices.”
Oh, I’m sure he has, Wilbin. I’m sure he has.