26 Days of Jest: Day 2

It’s another day deep in the convoluted word of Hal and Orin and… all those other people. 

– Page 66.  So Orin plays football dressed as a bird. The whole team plays football dressed as birds. This seems fine. 

– Page 67.  Little kids on shrooms? Why?

– Page 73. Kate Gompert. Depressed, post-suicide attempt. In a psych ward. Describing her anxiety. The feeling this is pulled directly out of DFW’s own experiences. Heartbreaking. I relate to the descriptions of anxiety. A lot. 

– Page 75 ” classic unipolars were usually tormented by the conviction that no one else could hear or understand them when they tried to communicate” – relates also to Hal, right? And maybe DFW himself. 

– Page 78. There’s a lot of self medication going on here. Kate. Hal. The other dude who’s waiting for the weed to arrive. The paranoia associated. Having to smoke alone, not socially, but closed off from the world and with strange obsessive routines. 

Also: What did the medical attaché see on the The Mysterious Cartridge? Dun dun DUNNNN

– Page 82. Wobbly lavender hot dogs, Batman! So this Schtitt dude is some kind elderly S&M gay fetish nazi or something? But Hal’s brother Mario likes him. (Bagpuss theme music). Mario has an outsized head and can’t support its weight. No idea why, or what this symbolises. If anything. 

– Page 85. By now this weird couple have made tennis into a weird metaphor for the meaning of life. I’m fully sick of hearing about tennis tbh.  And now it’s times for another character! Tiny Ewell. He is tiny. He’s in a taxi. He’s been in an institution. God, hasn’t everyone in this novel. It’s a series of institutions. If this was a drinking game and I had to take a shot every time a new character or institution was announced, I’d be in one too. 

– Page 87. The Mysterious Cartridge again. A bit like The Ring but REALLY BORING. What’s going to happen with Tiny?

Also page 87: new character. Marathe. He’s on an outcropping in the desert. I’m sure for some existential reason. 

– Page 89. No, wait, he’s in a wheelchair, evidently hiding a gun and waiting for a cross-dressing secret agent of some kind. I’m getting odours of Lynch. 

– Page 91. Ooh, mention of The Mysterious Cartridge. Is it possible the “Entertainment” was made by Hal/Mario’s father during his years as a film maker? 

– Page 94. I liked the comedy value of this chapter so kept going until the end. At least the prose is more readable when DFW isn’t writing Hal. Nobody got shot yet, but I’m sure DFW knows the principle of Chekov’s gun. 

Roundup: Today was slightly less tortuous. Some of the plots are starting to intertwine, which gripped me a lot more than yesterday’s mish-mash. Will we hear more of anxious weed man, big head thug, or the redneck interlude characters?
Back tomorrow! Ciao!

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