TEoD: Chapter 53: Whiny and Bored
Well, 53 chapters in out of 68, 386 pages in out of 481, and Michael Murphy is (you won’t believe it!) ACTUALLY ON A PLANE TO ISRAEL TO GO LOOK FOR SOME KINF OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL THINGIE.
But if there’s one thing Phillips and Jenkins have in common, it’s their love of travel mundanities!
Murphy always chose an aisle seat when traveling by plane.
When traveling by foot, it was a moot point.
In case of an emergency, he didn’t like the idea of being boxed in.
Yes, in case of an emergency, he preferred to immediately leap to his feet and trample over children and the elderly as quickly as possible.
Sitting in the same seat for ten to twelve hours was not his idea of fun.
Wow, once again, we get a glimpse into the unique and complex workings of Michael Murphy’s mind!
Murphy checks with the flight attendant and sees that there are five hours left in his flight. My quick Googling tells me that Murphy would probably take a quick flight from Raleigh to NYC, then do a direct NYC to Tel Aviv, which would take about ten hours, so he’s about halfway done.
Murphy stifled a groan and thought, People who like to travel just haven’t traveled enough.
So our “complete adventurer,” our Indiana Jones Except He’s RTC, hates traveling? Well, jeepers, Murphy, so sorry we haven’t invented the transporter yet, but you RTCs do tend to dislike technological advancements.
In fact, let’s unpack this little statement even further. Murphy doesn’t want to be on the long plane trip. Okay, fine…sorta…except this plane trip is taking him to the place that will allow him not only to find artifacts that will (if he ever manages to bring one home intact) prove the Bible, but also to have “adventures in foreign countries and [meet] strange and exotic people.” It’s generally difficult to have adventures in foreign countries and meet strange and exotic people without hopping a plane to get to those foreign countries.
Next is my visceral reaction…
OH MY GOD CAN MURPHY NOT STOP BEING A FUCKING ANNOYING WHINER FOR EVEN TEN SECONDS???
Does Phillips think this makes Michael Murphy a more attractive hero? Because Murphy does this CONSTANTLY, whine about the most mundane daily matters. He reminds me of Trump–never opening his mouth but to bitch and complain. I seriously would not put up with this level of whining from a four-year-old, let alone a grown-ass man.
Next: I know not everyone agrees with this idea, but I’ll just put it out there:
The man’s got ten hours to do…well, not anything, but lots of things. Hey, he’s a professor–maybe he could grade some papers (instead of pawning them off on his TA) or prepare some class notes for the class he is abandoning in the middle of the semester. AGAIN.
(Oh, and on that note, I’d just like to reiterate that this professor, who routinely hauls ass out of the country to remote locations during the semester, is “sick to his stomach” at the thought of Dean Fallworth, who actually does publish and actually does teach, becoming President of the college.)
And he didn’t feel like doing his, yanno, job, he could do what millions of people do on planes every day: read, do puzzles, play a game, listen to music, watch a movie. Now, granted, this book came out in 2006, so there probably weren’t 100 movies in a personalized screen on the seat in front of Murphy, like on my last flight. But there probably is an in-flight movie, in-flight music, and Murphy could always bring a book, a CD Walkman, or even an iPod, if he wanted to listen to some wholesome Christian stuff.
Next: as usual, Murphy has completely forgotten about everyone else when their faces are not right in front of his. And he has, of course, left all the emotional heavy lifting behind in Raleigh, to be conveniently taken care of by a woman he barely knows. So, two days after her pseudo-boyfriend’s funeral, Shari is forced to crash at the apartment of a stranger, while her mentor and pseudo-father is off doing his own thing.
And now, both Murphy and Shari have lost Significant Others at the hands of Talon. (Granted, Shari’s brother was already killed by Talon, but I’m pretty sure Murphy, Shari, and Phillips have all forgotten that happened.) Isn’t Murphy, of all people, in a position to counsel Shari on how it feels to lose a loved one in this VERY SPECIFIC WAY?
As I look out the window at the Earth below, we all seem so small. I can’t see a single person below me–they’re too far away. But God sees. When Talon took Laura from me, I never felt farther from God. But in truth, He was never closer. These first few days will be the hardest for you, but I know, because I’ve been there myself, that someday the hurt and pain will fade, and be replaced by only the joyful memories. Until then, hold on and know that God is with you. Know that you can lean on me, and Summer, and Pastor Bob. I’m half a world away by now, but thinking of you and praying for you every moment. I know that by the grace of God, you will be able to pass through this dark time.
Yours in Christ,
Or, yanno, something like that. (And I know, that’s kinda pushing aside that they all think Paul is currently being roasted in Hell, but we’ll just ignore that, because they always do.)
Oh, and speaking of Paul, you’d think Murphy would be a little bit less oblivious to the privilege of flying around the world to go on a wild goose chase, considering that Paul will never again enjoy the basic privilege of breathing, let alone flying anywhere to experience “adventures in foreign countries.”
So, with all those options available to him, Murphy opts to spend the rest of the flight musing about Talon and The Seven. Phillips says he “[begins] to piece together” everything, but really he just takes stock, and does not make any logical inferences. In fact, after cataloguing everyone who has been killed by defying The Seven or accidentally getting in their way (like Paul), Murphy leaves himself with a question: “What was the extent of the Seven’s dark plans?”
Which, shouldn’t he kinda get it at this point. He thinks about “some boy,” but doesn’t imagine he might just be the AntiChrist?
Nope, he just switches gears and ruminates briefly about the faith healers (and Phillips doesn’t tell us what he actually thinks about it), then goes to sleep. Riveting.
When he wakes up, they’re on final descent, and Murphy manages to find something else that displeases him:
Someone out of the Spanish Inquisition must have designed these things.
STOP WHINING!! JUST STOP!!! IT IS SO DAMNED ANNOYING!!!
Levi meets him in the airport, and, speaking of Murphy being oblivious to his many privileges, manages to get him “through customs without having to stand in line.”
(Murphy doesn’t thank Levi, by the way, just says that “I do like your style.”
Then they get breakfast and head out to the Temple, because Murphy still has his “gut feeling” that God has something specifically in store for him, and nobody else.
That Murphy. Truly a humble Christian, thankful for his many blessings.