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(As we rejoin our heroes, they are on the last stretch of highway to Brewster, where they will meet for the first time their archenemy, Letitia Mortimer, the fiend who stole Aunt Harriet’s treasured NKC Needle Knockers trophy, and make their plans for stealing it back. Isn’t this getting exciting? Finally? Or not.)

Neither of them had much to say after that. Carolyn seemed to feel that I had done the dirty to her erstwhile inamorata by getting him involved in wrestling, a sport of which who knew she wouldn’t approve, and I felt that I had helped a friend out of a ticklish financial situation with panache and daring. We were at an impasse. Silence reigned.

She shifted in her seat from time to time.

I held the wheel sometimes with my right hand and sometimes my left.

She crossed her legs and filed her nails with a high, whiny rasping that sounded in the otherwise tomb-like quiet of the car as if a dozen midgets had taken a dozen lumberjack saws to a forest of parking meters.

I retaliated with a wheezing nasal exhale that whistled “The Volga Boatmen” off-key.

She frowned and gnashed her teeth. “You know I hate that whistling thing you do with your nose,” she growled.

“And you know I don’t like that grinding noise you make when you sandpaper your fingernails.”

A grim silence descended on the Turd Furdus like a ballpeen hammer on the rigid skull of a Republican echo chamber. Carolyn seethed. I glowered. The road shimmered. A fog thickened. Overhead an owl screeched and was lost in the tall green pines. Then, finally, when the end was surely near and Brewster loomed blackly beneath the arch of the last violent Catskill, Hemingway relinquished control over my story, saying he couldn’t do a thing with it.

I knew how he felt. Read the rest of this entry »

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