TEoD: Chapter 33: To the Beach!
Welp, it’s Chapter 33, and Murphy has officially decided to Do Something: go to the beach.
Okay, I’m being ever so slightly unfair. He goes to Myrtle Beach to find Methuselah. On his trip down, Murph reflects upon
his own knowledge of Myrtle Beach Wikipedia. Now, I’ve been to Myrtle Beach and it’s fun, but the history definitely isn’t as fascinating as a lot of places (basically, they decided to make it a resort…and made it a resort). So I’ll forgive Murphy for not speechifying for three pages, and instead just “reflecting” for one paragraph.
He goes to the Dunes Golf and Beach Club, which is not far from Meth’s estate, and just chills on the beach “to just sit and take in the glory of God’s creation.”
Or the glory of tourism creation, I guess. Also, I wonder if cool ole RTC Murphy decided to set this scene in Myrtle Beach (as opposed to any other of the beachy areas in North and South Carolina) because of Myrtle Beach’s thong ban.
So he takes in the glory of God’s creation, and sits around to wait for Meth, and opens a book (unspecified, so presumably not the Bible).
Might as well do something productive, Murphy thought.
Reading a book might be the first productive thing Murphy’s done in this book so far.
A few hours later, Murphy sees Meth being escorted out to the beach by his plainclothes bodyguards. (At 11:30, the heat of the day in late spring at Myrtle Beach, really? An older guy like Meth would probably want to go out way earlier, before the heat becomes too oppressive.)
Now, it’s important to point out right now that Murphy went all the way to Myrtle Beach with exactly zero plan. (This despite the fact that Murphy thinks of this meet-up as something that is “on Murphy’s terms, not [Meth’s].“) So he’s lucky when he happens to see a young staffer for the Dunes, and cons him into loaning him a Dunes uniform by implying (though not lying outright and in so many words, because that would be wrong) that he wants to use the uniform to get close to a pretty lady. Having thus conned and potentially gotten into deep trouble an innocent young man just trying to make his way in the world, Murphy poses as a waiter and gets Meth’s order. Without looking up, Meth orders a sammich, and…
Murphy was about to explode inside, his curiosity mingling with a great deal of anger. Methuselah had succeed a lion on him, almost killed him when he cut loose a cable in the Royal Gorge, and hired a host of professional killers to try to take him out.
Yeah, Murphy…none of which would ever had happened had you not take Meth up on his invitations. He invited you to places, with the situation very clear to both of you, and you decided the reward was worth the risk. So forgive me if I don’t feel too much sympathy for you.
(Also, you forgot about the puppy cave.) (I suspect because Phillips forgot about it too, to at least about said doggies.)
In his anger, Murphy lashes out with this lame “attack”:
“How about some rattlesnakes for lunch?”
…And he instantly finds himself spitting sand because the bodyguards tackle his ass.
After a second, Meth recognizes Murphy, and calls off his guards. Hilariously, Meth immediately deduces that Levi Abrams (yes, Meth knows who Levi is), must have done the actual investigation. So even Meth knows full well that Murphy is incapable to doing anything on his own.
“I can figure out how you know so much about the Bible. Your grandfather was a missionary and your father was an active Christian. But what’s with all the games, the riddles, the attempts on my life?”
Murphy gives himself rather too much credit here. It’s pretty obvious that Meth never meant to kill Murphy. I’m pretty sure that if Meth wanted Murphy dead, Murphy would be dead.
And indeed, Meth characterizes his antics as “tests,” and tells Murphy that this has all been for a Cause: Meth’s family were killed by “wicked and powerful” people with “goals for world domination.” (Guess who!!!) Meth wants to destroy them, and needs Murphy’s help to do it, and all these silly Bible artifact tests have been to get Murphy “battle-ready for these people.” Because I guess The Seven (TSAN!) are going to make Murphy crawl on rope bridges and save drowning puppies.
Meth explains that he leads Murphy to Bible artifacts because “[The Seven (TSAN!)] would like to see the Bible destroyed and believers in Almighty God eliminated. I am simply using you to help prove them wrong.”
Murphy thinks that Meth’s “warped logic” indicates that “the old man had all but lost his grip on reality,” though Meth’s taken more action in any one passage with him than Murphy’s taken in this whole book. And honestly, the only error in logic I see in Meth is that he’s contracting Michael Murphy and not, say, The Punisher or someone more appropriate, to go after the cabal that killed his family.
And hilariously, Meth actually sides with me (which I suppose, in Murphy’s eyes, would mean that I had lost my grip on reality, too), and points out that Murphy “could have turned back at any time,” but always chose to go for Meth’s crazy games.
Murphy tries (rather half-heartedly, I might add) to press Meth for more details, especially on The Seven (and Murphy still doesn’t know their name!), but Meth just peaces out and has his crack security team escort Murphy away.
Oh, but not before reminding Murphy to return the Dunes uniform.
Murphy had completely forgotten about the uniform.
Crack hero, ladies and gentlemen!
A Very Stable Genius.
Who simmers as he heads back home:
It was so typical of Methuselah to just walk away. It always had to be on his terms. He had to be in control.
No doubt about it. Murphy was ticked off.
Short-tempered, impatient, impotent in the face of a much more intelligent man (one who, it is worth noting, actually does have a long-term plan for his life). Even when Murphy does something, he doesn’t actually do anything.