Part 3: Grownups
Bill Denbrough Gets A Cab
Bill arrives back in Derry and is shown around town by a Colorful Cab Driver. He sees how the town has changed, with new developments and, apparently, everything from his childhood being replaced by one bank or another. He arrives at the Fateful Chinese Restaurant where the Losers are all meeting, located where the Ironworks used to be. Who doesn’t want to eat some dim sum on the site of a Easter Egg Massacre?
Andrea: OH GOD THIS FUCKING PART. I swear the first time I read it, it put me off Chinese food for like a year. And I really like Chinese food.
Pat: We’re not there yet. I know you spend way more time more frequently in Williamstown, but do you ever get this when you go home?
Every time I come back it’s like entire swaths of town have been rewritten heavily.
Andrea: Not really, because I go there every week and I pretty much go either directly my parents’ house. I can think offhand of 3-4 new developments. There’s also a new Wal-mart.
Pat: ANOTHER WAL-MART?
Andrea: Yup. According to my mom, it is “less ghetto.”
Pat: Oh man, look at this: Corkery Lane.
Pat: It’s just a goofy name I’d forgotten.
Andrea: You are such a psycho.
Bill Denbrough Gets A Look
Holy shit, everyone is old. Bill is fucking bald now, Ben is svelte and handsome, Beverly is ravishing as hell, and on and on.
Andrea: Bill married to a famous actress. Ben is some hotshot architect.
Pat: Bill is married to a famous actress who LOOKS LIKE BEVERLY, although he’s never noticed that.
Andrea: Because he forgot her.
I get that there was some reason why they were all tops in very competitive fields, but IDK what it was.
Pat: Are you serious? Mike talks about it. They were all touched by It. That was the trick. And even later, It is like I CAN TOUCH YOU AND YOU’LL LIVE FOR HUNDREDS OF YEARS! MEWL
Andrea: What was the trick? It tormented their childhood but then made them successful… but why??
Pat: I don’t know, but I suspect it was the lasting magic of confronting It. Or possible some Turtle brand Fate-Goo.
Ben Hanscom Gets Skinny
We are regaled with the story of one Benjamin “Haystack” Hanscom, three-time winner of the Fattest Fuck In Penobscot County award, getting to high school and slimming down to show his gym teacher what the fuck is up.
Andrea: He was BAD ASS in this section. Ben for president.
Pat: I guess a kid could totally go from fat-ass to fast-enough-to-beat-the-best-track-runners-in-the-school in a year. Kids are resilient.
I was expecting a Good Coach Teaches Ben How To Be A Better Man story,
Andrea: Which would be much less realistic.
Pat: But it was just all rage and vengeance.
Andrea: I liked that the coach stayed a dick. It was a tale of redemption.
Pat: Do you think it was necessary to have Ben go full-on obese beforehand? With the aunt making fun of him but ALSO FATTENING HIM UP?
Andrea: I don’t know about necessary, but I didn’t mind it.
Pat: What about the show-down with Mrs. Hanscom?
Andrea: Refresh my memory.
Pat: She equates feeding him with love and him being a good kid or whatever, and he’s like, bitch, I ain’t eating so much anymore, and she is like OMG YOU HATE YOUR MOTHER and then he’s like, just serve me a whole fucking lot of broccoli in the same amount as the other crapola you served me, and she’s like OKAY IT WAS A VOLUME ISSUE AFTER ALL SO I’M COOL WITH THIS HAVE TWELVE SALADS IN YOUR FACE
Andrea: Oh yeah, that was weird, but I liked the way it resolved, ultimately.
Pat: I thought it rang true, the way it wasn’t about him eating better or not, it was about the quantity, and he just shucked and jived all over her face.
Andrea: Yeah, exactly. He was smart enough not to outsmart.
Pat: That sentence makes me want to throw you in a storm drain.
The Losers Get The Scoop
The scoop being this: kids are dying in droves again. Mike lists off the dead. Also, Pennwise is leaving messages for the Losers at crimes scenes, such as : “come home come home come home” written in a victim’s blood. Holy fuck!
Pat: THAT MESSAGE.
JESUS JUMPIN’ CHRIST ON A TACO STAND
Pat: I sort of glossed over the listing of all the victims. I don’t think it was necessary for the readers, even if it was necessary for Mike to convince the others that It was back.
Andrea: I liked that stuff. I always do.
Pat: It wasn’t exactly rich with details or anything: name, age, how dead they are.
How dead? Way dead.
Mike goes into detail about the things that have happened during every one of It’s cycles going back for centuries. It’s some bad goddamn stuff! He tells the Losers that Derry has a rate of crime that is beyond the national average by leaps and bounds, and that that’s just how it goes. There is much discussion about how such grizzly spates of murders never make the national news. SPOILER ALERT: it’s because Derry is evil!
Andrea: So, Avery asked me where my parents’ parents are. and I was like “blah blah, people get old, they aren’t with us anymore.” And she goes, “cause they dead.”
Andrea: This part was interesting, but it also kind of reeked of exposition.
Pat: “Reeked of exposition.” You love this backstory shit. And this was backstory about decades-apart cycles of massacres and explosions!
Andrea: I DO LOVE BACKSTORY. GOD HELP ME. And I loved this backstory, it was just the way that it was presented that was kind of a clunker-roonie-doonie.
Pat: ROONIE DOONIE?
You still take notes, right?
Pat: Nothing from this section? You can’t remember anything special about the discussion over how Derry has a sky-high crime rate?
Andrea: Nope. All my notes from this part are about the friggin’ fortune cookies. Apparently, I was too awash with horror to recognize anything else.
“There’s a medium-sized city in Texas where the violent-crime rate is far below what you’d expect for a city of its size and mixed racial make-up. The extraordinary placidity of the people who live there has been traced to something in the water .. a natural trank of some kind.”
Andrea: I thought, when I read that, that I’d like to live there.
WHOA MAN CHILL CITY
Pat: ARE YOU FUCKING RETARDED?
Andrea: Obviously. I’m being facetious.
Pat: THAT DOESN’T REMIND YOU OF ANYTHING?
Andrea: NO SHOULD IT?
Pat: No, not really, shouldn’t mean anything to anyone who’s never read Nightmares & Dreamscapes.
Andrea: God, I haven’t read that in forevs.
Pat: So you’ve forgotten “The End Of The Whole Mess.”
Andrea: I kind of remember it, but not the specifics.
Pat: Dude, that was one of the stories we were like OMG THE BEST EVARSSSS when we were teenagers.
Andrea: There are a lot of things I’m kinda blurry about from teenage-hood.
Pat: They discover this placid city in Texas and take the water and drop it into a volcano. And it turns the entire world stupid and slow, because that’s why there’s so little crime.
Andrea: OH YEAH. OK. RAINBOW CONNECTION Y’ALL
Pat: And the writer keeps getting dumber and the story ends with him saying, “I’m sorry chralie i tried im so srry.”
Andrea: As always, please show up to the internet before lunch for best results
Richie Gets Beeped
It is discovered that not a damn one of them has any kids, and that that’s a reason why the Loser might Still Have The Magic! A vote is taken on whether to stay and fight It again or bone on out and return to their normal lives. They all agree, or else this would book would be a hell of a lot shorter.
Andrea: And it also explains why they made a big deal about Audra’s infertility earlier in the book, seemingly for no reason.
Pat: Did they? I don’t even remember that. I may have auto-piloted on that part because it was kind of boring.
Andrea: I agree. Bill and Audra are both really boring.
Pat: “You frigid, bitch, because I am bald and you are a Hollywood actress whose womb has been befouled by dozens of producers.”
Andrea: I would be interested in an analysis of how often you’ve used the word befouled.
Pat: Once, I think.
Usually I say, “dirty her womb.” Or “sully.”
Usually it is in reference to some stellar girl whose genes I would undoubtedly be muddying with my awful Irish genes.
Pat: “If there’s one of you who declared less than ninety thousand dollars on his or her 1984 tax return, raise your hand.”
Andrea: That doesn’t seem like very much now.
Pat: Adjusted for inflation, that would be about two-hundred grand a year now. And fucking Bill recalls that he eight-hundred grand.
Andrea: Now that seems like a solid number.
Pat: Bill’s income would be 1.7 million in 2013 monies.
Andrea: I plugged in Tim’s income, which would get us a shack in the ghetto. But with mine, our maximum house price went up a hundred grand. Which I know FOR A FACT we cannot afford.
Pat: And which still only gets you a two-room shack in the ghetto.
Andrea: I am going to split the different and assume we should be looking at houses in the 150-200k range.
Pat: This is so much more interesting than IT.
Andrea: I hate you til you die.
Pat: Eddie is really unnerved by the idea that It might be the reason he and the Fat Lard Wife haven’t conceived.
Andrea: It’s probably actually the fat that is the culprit.
Pat: NO IT’S IT.
And then Richie’s story about how his vasectomy reversed itself. Which begs the question of, if It made them all not have kids, why did It keep them so desperately fertile?
Andrea: What do you mean?
Pat: They don’t have kids because of It. Yet they’re all fertile. Richie’s vasectomy even reversed itself.
Andrea: I didn’t catch that, but you’re right. Do you think there is a reason for that or is it just a glitch in storytelling?
Pat: Maybe it just strengthens the other-wordly effect of being touched by It. It just simply doesn’t happen, despite all medical reasoning being against it.
Andrea: He blights their wombs.
Pat: Befouls them. Sullies them.
BUT IT DOESN’T, THAT IS THE POINT
Their one womb and six nutsacks are all in fine working order. It just doesn’t HAPPEN.
The Losers Get Dessert
Everyone’s fortune cookie has some fucked-up surprise in it, courtesy of Pennywise the Dancing Clown. There’s one with an eyeball in it, one that just gushes blood, one that is apparently a spider, and so on. In the end, Big Bill instructs everyone to pretend that shit ain’t real, and they all head on out to wander Derry by themselves—a truly stellar idea, Denbrough—before meeting back up at the library later that night.
Pat: Here’s what I don’t understand: Bill keeps saying, “OMG I COULD HAVE BITTEN RIGHT INTO THAT,” and yet I have never in my life heard of someone just biting into a fucking fortune cookie.
THERE’S PAPER INSIDE, YOU BREAK IT IN HALF
Andrea: Okay, this seriously bothered me for years. I couldn’t even look at a fortune cookie.
Pat: Which one was the worst for you?
Andrea: The eyeball was pretty bad, but it was probably the huge bug that pushes its way out ,and the cookie crumbs fall off his back.
Pat: This is one of the few scenes I remember clearly from the movie. And I don’t know, I wasn’t bothered by it in the book or the miniseries. I can’t remember how I felt the first time I read it, but that probably means I was like, whatever. And I’m a squeamish motherfucker.
Andrea: You are a world-class puss.
Pat: The true horror of that dinner is the shits they’ll all take later that night.
Andrea: I don’t know why it grossed me out so much but I was seriously disturbed.
Pat: “Yeah,” Richie said. “I can see mine now. YOU WILL SOON BE EATEN UP BY A LARGE MONSTER. HAVE A NICE DAY.”
Pat: Bill just blithely dismisses The Fly. “A movie was made out of it—not a terribly good one.” How stupid do you think SK felt having that in a book that came out in 1986, the year the remake came out?
Andrea: Yeah, and the remake is totally a modern classic.
Pat: It’s fucking horrifying. And not just because I find Geena Davis’s teeth unnerving.
Andrea: So dinner is over, and they’re all going to traipse around town for hours.
Pat: And then meet back up at the library at seven o’clock. SEVEN IS THE MAGIC NUMBER I GET IT.
Ben Hanscom Makes A Withdrawal
Ben takes Memory Lane right the fuck on down the street to the library. He renews his library card because he is, at heart, still a completely weird motherfucker. While he’s waiting, Pennywise pays him a visit by shouting at him from the second floor. The clown advises ol’ Haystack to get out of Dodge, and Ben remembers where that one missing silver dollar went: the Losers made slugs out of it! This fucking kid ends up with a book in his hand, and it turns out to be one of the books he lost when Bowers and Company had attacked him near the Barrens, way back before he met Bill and the others. Holy crap!
Pat: “You! Yes, you! What are you doing here? You have no business here! You’re from Outside! You’re from Before! Go back where you came from! Go back right now, before I call the police!”
That’s pretty close to what I hear in my head anytime I’m back in the ol’ hometown.
“Come on up, Ben! Come on up, you fat littlefuck! This is Your Life, Ben Hanscom!”
Andrea: He is kinda Freddie Krueger like in his taunting. Was this the part where Stan’s head was in a jack-in-the-box?
Pat: No, that’s after the reunion at the library.
Everyone gets a balloon, is the best part. Ben’s says, “HAVE A GOOD DAY! TONIGHT YOU DIE!”
Andrea: Man, those balloons are creepy as hell.
Pat: Balloons are the least sinister thing in the known universe, and Stephen King is like, “Fuck that, I’ll make them the most evil airbags in the world.”
Andrea: One more thing about the library: the horrible vampire.
Pat: Ah yes, with the razor blades for teeth.
Andrea: “Blood gouted from his mouth in a red-black flood. CHUNKS OF ITS SEVERED LIPS SLID DOWN THE FRONT OF ITS SHIRT.” [capitalization added]
Pat: The image of that, of having those in your own mouth, when he describes the vampire chomping down on Its own gums and lips and everything is bleeding… aaaahhhhhh god
That’s another thing from the miniseries that sticks out: when Tim Curry goes all head-back and exposes a mouthful of razor-sharp teeth. YEEEEEEESSSSHHHHH
Andrea: That was horrible. Not to mention that all these ungodly creatures are shrieking menacing nonsense.
Pat: What creatures?
Andrea: Vampire et al.
Pat: What et al?
Andrea: WHAT DID STAN URIS SEE BEFORE HE DIED?
Pat: DO YOU WANT TO SEE IT TOO?
Andrea: Pennywise be sayin’ shit. You know what I’m talking about.
Pat: Rarely do I ever.
Eddie Kaspbrak Makes A Catch
Eddie fucks off to the vacant lot where kids used to play baseball, and he’s visited by a whole bunch of dead folks, all decked out as New York Yankees, which is Its way of saying: hey, Kaspbrak, GTFO.
Pat: There is something so eerie about how nonchalant the baseball team showing up is treated. Just like, “Hey Eds, wanna play ball?”
Even though they’re all fucking corpses.
We also learn that Eddie had a crush on Greta Bowie, who had the most unlikely name of all time.
Andrea: Oh God, Greta Bowie.
“Car crash. I was drunk and done up on reds. Your friends are here, Eddie.”
HE CAN SEE HER TENDONS OF HER JAWS MOVING
Pat: Belch Huggins and his homerun that would’ve been out of Yankee Stadium, unraveling as it flew. What a great fucking detail. There’s always a story like that from the childhood. The one big sports moment, even if it was in a dusty fucking field with no defined bases.
“Bobby blows me for a dime,” it crooned, beginning to climb the fence. It left little pieces of its flesh in the diamond shapes the crisscrossing wires made. The fence jingled and rattled with its weight. When it touched the climbing, vinelike weeds, they turned black. “He will do it anytime. Fifteen cents for overtime.”
And the coup de grace: Patrick Hockstetter in a Yankees uniform.
We don’t know yet at this point too much about Patrick Hockstetter, right?
Pat: Beverly mentions him obliquely, once, I think, at the reunion.
Eddie’s balloon says, “ASTHMA MEDICINE CAUSES LUNG CANCER!”
Andrea: I don’t know why that makes me LOL so much.
Pat: That’s the trick, the balloons are evil but still remain kinda goofy.
And the last paragraph of this section has almost no punctuation, like King is trying to write like kids think, in speedy bursts, or like Jack Kerouac, who died having never learned how commas work.
Andrea: I really liked all these adults-meeting-the-monsters-as-adults sections.
Pat: Well, obviously I agree because I said that an hour ago.
Andrea: OK NEXT WHATEV
Bev Rogan Pays A Call
Beverly finds herself at her old house, with “Marsh” still on the doorbell. So she rings it, and a nice old lady invites her in and tells her Mr. Marsh passed away some time ago. BUT THIS AIN’T NO REGULAR OLD LADY, NO. She claims to be the daughter of Bob Gray—who you might know better as Pennywise the Goddamn Dancing Clown—and the whole scene goes fucking bananas from there. The long and short of it is: Pennywise says blow, lady. When she escapes, it turns out the house was dilapidated and abandoned.
Pat: I had almost no memory of this scene until about a page before the old lady went bat-so.
Andrea: Oh god, this lady even fooled me.
Pat: Uh, is the house made out of chocolate or poop or both?
Andrea: I assumed it was made out of chocolate with the Hansel and Gretel references.
Pat: But the tea was poopwater, yes?
Andrea: Yes. I have no explanation for the poopwater. But I seriously thought she was a nice kindly old lady at first.
The creeping dread of these sections is so great. Like, you know something is going to happen, but you don’t know what form it will appear in.
Pat: Bev starts off mooning over the past, like the rest, and she’s thinking about Ben’s super goofy haiku.
Then there’s this: “It was in the way he was always careful to keep some space between them, in the draw of his breath when she touched his arm or his hand, in the way he dressed when he knew he was going to see her. Dear, sweet, fat Ben.”
THAT IS HIS NAME
DEAR, SWEET, FAT BEN
I want a fat, clever son pronto.
Andrea: Would mildly plump suffice?
Pat: Any issue I produce will be awesome, by definition.
“Oh, he loved his joke, my fadder! This is a joke, miss, if you enjoy them: my fadder bore me rather than my mutter. He shat me from his asshole! Hee! Hee! Hee!”
Andrea: OMG. That was just so disturbing in its weirdness. Like, you feel like you are truly looking into the thought process of a maniac.
Pat: “The pictures of Jesus and John Kennedy were creations of nearly transparent spun sugar, and as she looked at them, Jesus stuck out His tongue and Kennedy dropped a stinky wink.”
“Stinky wink.” Why doesn’t King have a Pulitzer?
Then the old lady turns in to Al Marsh and starts saying he wants to suck her clit up between his teeth.
“This is going to be YUMMY in our TUMMIES.”
Andrea: Oh man oh man. That was so profoundly disturbing. The thought of a clit between teeth? YIKES
Pat: It was the yummy in our tummies that weirded me out most. CHRISTBALLS.
Andrea: Yeah. Way to ruin my brain, SK.
Pat: We get a little foreknowledge here with the IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE balloons. Also, It says he’s the only survivor of a dying planet.
Andrea: Always with the aliens for no reason.
Pat: No reason? IT IS AN ALIEN SORTA
Andrea: Yeah, but he does that all the time. Including in some books I don’t want to spoil for you.
Pat: You’re talking about Tommyknockers. Like I don’t know Tommyknockers is aliens.
Andrea: NO, I’M NOT
Richie Tozier Makes Tracks
Finally, we get It Experience #7 as Richie dicks around town, winding up by the huge statue of Paul Bunyan. Every town needs a statue of Paul Bunyan, don’t you think? Except when he was a kid, this motherfucking statue tried to kill Richie, which, hey, he thought had been a dream! He had been chased around by Henry Bowers and his shitbird friends, ditched them in a department store, and wound up on that same bench he’d sit on 27 years later, and man, he must’ve dozed off! NOPE, RICHIE, THAT SHIT WAS CRAY BUT IT WAS FOR REALSY.
Pat: This was a big ol’ pile of WTF
Andrea: It sure was.
Pat: A statue of Paul Bunyan is fucking weird enough for a town that’s about as far east as you can get without being underwater. But a PLASTIC statue of Paul Bunyan?
Andrea: Yeah, that is super weird. AND they made a big deal of unveiling… and it’s all cheap and plastic.
Pat: Which makes it even weirder that it can chop through a park bench. You’d think it would have to obey the laws and limits of its material.
Andrea: Well, no. Not when it’s possessed by It.
Pat: That doesn’t jive. The werewolf was limited to being fucked up by silver slugs. Whatever shape It takes, it takes on the weakness of as well.
Andrea: Except when it doesn’t. Such as in the case of the Paul Bunyan.
In the present, Richie is treated to a changing marquee that instructs him to get out of town or else headline an ALL-DEAD ROCK SHOW. He fucks on out of there, his eyes starting to burn madly for seemingly no reason at all! This isn’t foreshadowing at all!
Pat: “WELCOME HOME RICHIE!
“YOU’RE DEAD TOO!”
Andrea: UM TONY DANZA DIED
Andrea: NEVER MIND
Bill Denbrough Sees A Ghost
The inveterately weird Bill Denbrough talks to some kids in town, because that’s what you do when someone’s murdering kids: you talk to as many strangers’ children as possible until the police pick you up for questioning. Bozo. He finds out that kids are hearing spooky shit from storm drains and sinks and bathtubs and whatnot, but what is truly horrifying is that kids are riding skateboards.
Pat: “You can’t be careful on a skateboard” is probably the best response to the old axiom that youth is wasted on the young. No, it isn’t, it would be wasted on the cautious and circumspect old!
Andrea: This part made Bill seem like such an out of touch old fart.
Pat: He is, didn’t you get the memo, re: bald?
He’s so lame Pennywise doesn’t even bother visiting him.
Andrea: He needs to step it up to keep a hot actor wife.
Bill sees his old bike, Silver, in the window of a goddamn store. It’s all rusted and shit, but still: it’s Silver. He has a bit of a mental break as the phrase “He thrusts his fists against the posts and still insists he sees the ghosts” reels off over and over again in his head. He doesn’t know where it came from. You’re losing it, Bill!
Andrea: So Big Bill is compelled to go into a thrift store and look for Silver, even though the bike ultimately has nothing to do with the rest of the story. He freaks the proprietor the hell out with his stuttering.
Pat: This was intensely uncomfortable, him stuttering at the thrift store guy.
Andrea: The proprietor is pretty mean.
Pat: It has to do with the rest of the story, duh.
Andrea: I meant that he does not use it to battle IT
Pat: Of course he doesn’t, what’s he going to do, ride it through the sewers and then start swinging it at It?
Andrea: Right. So it doesn’t fit into the final conflict, even though this section kind of leads you to believe that it will.
Pat: It’s a totem, part of the fated-ness of them returning and reconnecting with their childhood. So also:
Mike Hanlon Makes A Connection
As dire chance and circumstance would have it, Mike Hanlon recently and for no good goddamn reason bought a tire repair kit and the sort of playing cards that Bill used to put in the spokes of Silver. This is understood to be The Turtle At Work.
Pat: So nothing about Mike and the Tire Repair Kit of Ultimate Fate?
Andrea: I mean, it fits into the EVERYTHING’S COMING UP MILHOUSE theme of Mike having everything perfectly prepared for them all to return.
Mike knows where that phrase Bill had stuck in his head came from: Mrs. Denbrough taught Bill the phrase to try to master his stuttering problem! Bill remembers he said it without stuttering, but only once, and even that he can’t fucking remember.
Andrea: And he had this vision that he would be able to say it to his mother and she would love him again.
Pat: These summaries make it seem like King is dicking around forever with boring shit, but it’s all golden.
Andrea: And the coldness in his household would finally diminish. I felt so awful for Bill in those childhood parts, BTW.
Pat: He’s basically Gordie. No, he’s exactly fucking Gordie.
Except Georgie was younger and Denny LaChance was older and also John Cusack.
Andrea: Yeah, totally. He is the reverse Georgie.
Three Uninvited Guests
Henry Bowers is in Juniper Hill, an insane asylum. The reason: he was apparently convicted of all the murders that went on in Its last cycle. He is crazy as gobshite, and Victor Criss’s 11 year old ghost visits him one night, telling him that those asshole kids from Way Back have all come home to Derry, and would Henry be a dear and kill them dead? Henry is all like, pleasure! and It helps him escape.
Pat: OH FOR SHIT’S SAKE
God, this is fucking creepy.
Andrea: This chapter RULED.
Pat: Victor’s animated corpse is what, under his fucking bed?
Pops out like Maurice in Little Monsters and shit?
Andrea: UGH SERIOUSLY
Pat: “HEY HANK HOW’S YOUR WANK?”
Andrea: Henry’s haunted house picket fence teeth.
Pat: The moon voices, blaarrrgghhh.
Andrea: The way he has stuff belonging to all the missing kids including panties and can’t remember how he got them. The way he needs a nightlight to sleep.
Pat: And yet he’s all right with taking the blame, even though the only person HE killed was his father SORRY SPOILER ALERT.
Andrea: Also, the dude who ate his mom’s brains. And the guy who raped fify women, ages 3 to 81.
Pat: And the security guard that gets mauled by It masquerading as a humanoid Doberman is named KOONTZ. Come on, Stevie. I’m supposed to believe that’s coincidence?
Couldn’t have been more on-the-nose if he had been a character that ran a college in his spare time. DEAN Koontz.
Andrea: And then the coup de grace–Koontz, who is afraid of Dobermans and only Dobermans, gets killed by Pennywise with dog paw hands
Pat: It’s like you’re not even reading what I’m writing.
Andrea: I am getting all my stuff out!
Pat: KIND OF INCONVENIENT WHEN I AM TYPING THIS FIRST
Andrea: You always complain that I am not saying enough! You are totally not responding to my stuff.
Pat: FUCKING WAIT YOUR TURN LIKE WE’RE HAVING A CONVERSATION, GOD
Andrea: Yes, I agree that this is a jab at Koontz. Happy?
Pat: I responded to the panties thing, and then you just started firing off fragments. “Dude who ate his mother’s brains.” Yeah, and? WHAT ABOUT IT?
Andrea: These are things from this chapter that were super creepy. IN response to your comment “super creepy.”
Pat: I really didn’t care about the other guys in the asylum with Henry or their backstories. It was almost a futile exercise for King to put them in because we’re already invested in What The Fuck Happened With Bowers, Anyway?
How can raping 3-81 year-olds compete with THE MOON TALKING and FRANKENSTEIN DECAPITATING VICTOR OR WHATEVER and all that shit?
Andrea: I agree that Frankenstein decapitating Victor was gnarly as hell.
Pat: “I ate my mom’s brains.” OH YEAH DUDE? DID YOU ALSO GET SENT UP FOR MURDERING LIKE TWENTY KIDS THAT WERE ACTUALLY KILLED BY AN ETHEREAL SPIDER DISGUISED AS A FUCKING CLOWN? NO? ALL RIGHT, SHUT UP THEN, YA BOZO.
Andrea: I don’t know, I always like the backstory gory details better. You know this.
Pat: Here’s a fucking lulu of a question: did PENNYWISE plant all that stuff from the other murders? If so, WHEN? It would have to have happened after the final showdown with the Losers, when it was in early hibernation from being defeated.
Andrea: Well, I think he planted the panties. The other stuff was kind of explained away—the belt, the books.
Pat: He being It?
Andrea: Yeah. Or someone acting as an agent of IT. It was both funny and obnoxious.
Pat: One thing that I couldn’t decide if it was really, really funny or fucking obnoxious was Benny Beaulieu, the arsonist who kept singing the one line from “LIght My Fire” over and over again.
Andrea: It was both funny and obnoxious.
Pat: “It was Victor Criss, whose head had been torn off somewhere beneath Derry twenty-seven years ago. It had been torn off by the Frankenstein-monster.”
What a matter-of-fact way to say something so patently fucking goofy.
“Yep, Frankenstein’s monster done swiped his head off its swivel. Ayuh.”
Andrea: But it makes total sense because that would have been right around the time the movie came out.
Pat: You’re right, actually. 1957 was the year Hammer Films started a 17-year stretch of Frankenstein movies.
Andrea: I know I’m right.
I know everything.
Pat: About horror films.
I’m glad I’m looking through the book as I go, because I would’ve missed commenting on this. Just before the Doberman goes after Koontz:
“It’s time for the circus!” the clown screamed in a growling voice, and its white-gloved hands fell on Koontz’s shoulders.
Andrea: Yeah! I highlighted this part.
Pat: IT’S TIME FOR THE CIRCUS?!?! Holy fuckballs.
Andrea: Ugh frigging clowns.
Pat: Dude, of all the things a homicidal dog-clown could yell at me before killing me, “IT’S TIME FOR THE CIRCUS” would probably be the one that just unhinges my brain.
Andrea: Which would be a good thing because maybe you’d forget that you are about to get your throat ripped open by a clown-dog.
Tom Rogan—Mr. Beverly Marsh, you remember—is hot on his wife’s trail. He beats the snot out of the woman who helped Beverly get enough money to bolt back to New England, and he extracts the destination from her and heads off to track his whore of a wife down. None of this is good news, sports fans!
Pat: This is fucking rough. It’s just this emotionless, clinical stretch of brutality that you’ve got almost no connection to, no stake in. Like looking at crime scene photos.
Andrea: You mean the Tom-beating-up-Kay part of it?
Pat: Yeah. And all the while, Tom is carrying around Bill’s BOOK.
Andrea: And seething.
Pat: Of course, the momentum is sort of ruined when Tom says, “That cunt, that cooze, that nickelplated crotch!”
“Nickelplated crotch?” What?
Andrea: I mean, is he meaning that nickel is cheap and thus not as good as a gold- or platinum-plated crotch?
Pat: I don’t know, it’s mostly that crotch part. Who calls someone a crotch? Might as well call them a lap.
Hey Andrea, you’re a turtle-waxed space behind where the kneecap bends.
Pat: That’s all you’ve got?
Andrea: I GET SLEEPY OK
Audra Phillips is also on her way to Derry, having ostensibly shut down production on the feature she and Bill were working on over in Merry Old England.
Pat: This is it. This is the one chapter I didn’t want to read.
It would be very difficult for me to give less of a shit about Audra Phillips.
Andrea: Audra is so damn boring. There is no difference between regular Audra and catatonic Audra. Was she British? Because I picture her as having a British accent.
Also, Audra is a dumb name.
Pat: She’s not British, she’s just Hollywood. You picture that because she’s British in the miniseries.
Andrea: I have never seen the miniseries.
Pat: You can’t be fucking serious.
Andrea: I AM
I’m getting it from Netflix as soon as I send something back
Pat: My god, you’ve never seen Tim Curry as Pennywise. Or Harry Anderson as Richie Tozier. Or John Ritter as Ben.
Pat: Nor have you seen Seth Green as a young Richie Tozier, which I predict you will freak out about in 5… 4… 3… 2… 1…
Andrea: What is to freak out about?
Pat: You love Seth Green.
Andrea: I do?
Pat: Yeah, because he hooks up with Lauren Ambrose in Can’t Hardly Wait.
Andrea: I like to say “why you gotta waste my flava,” but that’s about it.
Derry: The Third Interlude
We get the story of the Bradley Gang, a group of outlaws who were massacred in Derry by the townsfolk, although everyone claimed to be out of town when it happened. We are to understand that some huge event must kick off and end each of Its cycles.
Pat: My bad: this is also Snoresville.
Andrea: Yeah, this was really boring. It was one of the few points where I didn’t feel like reading anymore.
Pat: You can’t have a thousand-page novel and keep throwing in these essentially unrelated side stories. I have no reason to care about any part of the Bradley Gang incident except for the old man seeing Pennywise dancing around in the background, which was the best part of all of these stories.
“Did you see anyone at all that day that you didn’t recognize once the shooting started?”
“The clown, you mean? How did you find out about him, sonny?”
Andrea: UGH I KNOW. Okay, this part was almost worth it just for that. Frigging creepy lurking clown.
Pat: And he’s doing somersaults and shit.
Andrea: Is there anything worse in the universe?
Pat: It’s so bizarre and incongruous that it crosses the line into DIRE CREEPINESS.
Andrea: Just like everything in this book
Pat: At some point, you’ve got to stick to the main action unless the side story is FUCKING BRILLIANT, like the Black Spot or Claude Heroux: Ax-Wielding Maniac.
Andrea: I mean, you know I am a huge proponent of the side stories, and I didn’t like this at all.
Pat: Yeah. STEVIE JUST KEEP DOING WHAT YOU’RE DOING BECAUSE IT’S AWESOME, STOP IT WITH KEEPING UP A STRUCTURE WE DON’T NEED ANYMORE.
We wouldn’t have lost anything if the Bradley Gang was excised and turned into a short story.
Andrea: OR EVEN just never spoken of again.
Pat: That too!
Andrea: I would be completely A-OK comfortable with that.
Pat: “Biff said he was right out to the knees, hanging there in midair, shooting down at the cars the Bradleys had come in, with that big red grin on his face.”
“Like he was floating,” I said.
“Ayuh,” Mr. Keene agreed. “And Biff said there was something else, something that bothered him for weeks afterward. One of those things you get right on the tip of your tongue but won’t quite come off, or something that lights on your skin like a mosquito or a noseeum. He said he finally figured out what it was one night when he had to get up and tap a kidney. He stood there whizzing into the bowl, thinking of nothing in particular, when it come to him all at once that it was two-twenty-five in the afternoon when the shooting started and the sun was out but that clown didn’t cast any shadow. No shadow at all.”
Congratulations, SK, you have made a clown at the scene of a mass-murdering lynch mob a thousand-fold creepier.
Andrea: Not sleeping tonight. The giant creepy Dora the Explorer on Avery’s bedroom door doesn’t help matters.