IT, Part 5

IT, Part 5
November 11, 2013 Constant Readers

The final, epic part of our never-ending discussion of IT is upon us all. Woe be those of bleary eyes! Necessary reading includes Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4

The Ritual Of Chüd begins with In The Watches Of The Night

As if it wasn’t already on shaky ground, time starts flipping around a lot.

Pat: But let us assure readers that it is a most BOSS and EFFECTIVE use of alternating time periods!
Right? Am I right? I’m right, aren’t I?
Andrea: You are right, although I am still not sold on any of the rituals: CHUD, SMOKE, and BANGING.
But perhaps that is because I am not a child living in Derry.
Pat: Chud is all fucking metaphorical. The banging is not. The smoke, though, bridges the divide, I think, between the physical and the, uh… cosmic? Astral?
Andrea: I agree, and in that way, it is a neat literary device.
Pat: So suck the critical wind from my literary tailpipe.

Derry Public Library/1:15am (1985)

Finishing up their parlay for the night, everyone’s hands start bleeding like they’re all the Scions of Christ or something. They join hands and shit starts getting fucking weird, but in the end, everyone remembers everything suddenly. Fucking Bill walks Beverly home, and every reader in the history of reading this book is fucking pissed about it.

Pat: Maybe the stigmata shit was hokey, but it was a good hokey.
Andrea: Yeah, I thought it was almost meant to be a reaffirmation of their blood ties, as it were.
Pat: Of course, Bill and Bev can go fuck themselves. UGH COME ON
Sure,” Ben said. He looked briefly at Beverly, who was standing close to Bill, and felt a pain he had almost forgotten. A new memory trembled, almost within his grasp, then floated away.
Andrea: So, knowing how it ends with Bev and Ben though, does that soften it a little for you?

Lower Main Street/11:30am (1958)

It has possessed Beverly’s dad, and he’s beating her senseless because he found out she hangs around with six boys, and that means: sex. At least handjobs, probably worse. Naturally, he wants to check the integrity of her hymen, which Beverly has a sneaking suspicion: it ain’t gonna stop there. She stands up to him, tells him this stops now, and, well, that doesn’t work out too well. She bolts from the house, and he gives chase, through alleyways, under slimy dumpster trucks, and eventually, she eludes him and slips into the Barrens, where she doesn’t notice that Henry, Victor, and Belch have spotted her and are slinking after her, or that Henry has his switchblade out.

Pat: Talk about starting off the end-game with a fucking shot. This was absolutely motherfucking brutal to read.
Andrea: THIS FUCKING PART. Reading this at age 11… oh man.
Pat: Of all the different places in the book where you could feel danger, tense up hoping for the best, I think this may have been the worst of it.
Andrea: “I have seen you getting big.” HOLY SHIT.
Juxtaposed with the happy memory of him bathing her as a kid.
Pat: It’s that “smell between them” thing again.
Andrea: “You been a slutchild to them boys, Bevvie?”
Pat: And it seems pretty apparent that Pennywise has done a black-out take-over of Bev’s dad, and it will most likely end in him raping his daughter.
Andrea: ugh ugh ugh ugh ugh
Pat: “Who told you we play down there? Was it a stranger? Was it a man dressed in orange and silver? Did he wear gloves? Did he look like a clown even if he wasn’t a clown?”
Andrea: And he is even making her doubt herself, she is guiltily thinking of the totally normal thoughts she’s had about Bill’s .
Pat: Imagine Mr. Marsh opening the door to see Pennywise standing there. “Do you have a moment to hear about our lord and savior, The Ethereal Spider, and also your daughter’s sweet sweet ‘tang?”
And there’s this: “The father—he, maleman of her life, delivering a mixed post from that other sexual state.” Okay, kind of a goofy fucking play on words there, King, but nicely done.
Andrea: So then he starts chasing her through town screaming, and NOBODY does anything. And the little boy who sees them has nightmares about it where Bev’s dad is TURNING INTO A SPIDER INSIDE HIS CLOTHES.
Pat: King is really telegraphing it at this point.
Andrea: What do you mean?
Pat: That the closest to a true face people can see is a spider.
And that we’re going to get a spider in the final Showcase Showdown.

Andrea: Yeah. It was creepy as motherfuck.

The Derry Public Library/1:55am (1985)

GO HOME MIKE FUCKING HENRY BOWERS IS ABOUT TO SHOW UP WITH THAT SAME SWITCHBLADE oh for fuck’s sake, nevermind. Mike and Henry chat about the old times, like when Frankenstein’s monster ripped Victor Criss’s head off in the sewers. You know, the usual reunion stuff. To Mike’s credit, he tries to help Henry, to tell him, look, man, you were part of this way back when, and It wants you dead too, so I ain’t gonna kill ya. So Henry goes home. Wait, no, he slashes Mike’s femoral artery and gets a belly full of a JESUS SAVES letter opener as thanks.

Pat: It is at this point that the reader realizes: I’m just going to have to barrel through the rest of this book because it is not going to let up for a second from here on out.
And that realization is a gospel as the lord’s word upon the dice board.
Andrea: Mike alone in the library and seeing something in the passageway gives me shivers up my spine even rereading it right now.
Pat: But here’s what you were waiting for: head on a spring in a box.
Pat: Which Mike sees as Stan Uris, whose head really fucking cannot catch a break, and Henry sees as Victor.
Do you think, by the way, that anyone who was Touched By It at any point in their lives, when they die, they go straight to We All Floatsville?
Or does It have to be involved somehow in the death? Like, It made Stan kill himself by just existing still.
Andrea: That is a really good question. I have no idea.
What about when Mike tries to encourage Henry to go back to Juniper HIll because he’ll be safe, and Henry has the realization that he won’t be safe anywhere?
Pat: I guess that was Mike’s bad look, since he’s thinking, “Well, he’ll still be alive” and not accounting for the fact that, maybe, being alive and hearing the moon voices is worse than being dead and not.
Andrea: So then weirdly, Pennywise calls Mike on the phone and starts talking in dialect???
Pat: Well, let me ask you this: is “niggerboogienightfighterjunglebunnyapemancoon” technically a slur?
How Henry even got that out of his mouth is beyond me.
Andrea: It is the rat-king of slurs.
Pat: Oh, also this: “Maybe Frankenstein’s what you’ll see. Or the Werewolf? A Vampire? The Clown? Or, Henry! Maybe you’ll really see what It looks like, Henry. We did. Want me to tell you? Want me to—”
Andrea: The trope of no one really being able to see what IT looks like it its true form really works, I think.
Pat: Well, people DO see Its true form. It’s just that the deadlights render them catatonic, or their eyes explode. We’ll get to that soon enough, though.

Henry stumbles on out, and Mike calls 911. Unfortunately, the operator working the phone lines that night is Pennywise.

Andrea: So then weirdly, Pennywise calls Mike on the phone and starts talking in dialect???
Pat: “Howdy nigger!” Pennywise cried, and then screamed laughter as sharp as broken glass into Mike’s ear. “What do you say? How you doon? I think you’re dead, what do you think? I think Henry did the job on you! Want a balloon, Mikey? Want a balloon? How you doon? Hello there!”
Pat: The Pennywise 911 operator thing works really well because you don’t know, Mike’s trying to talk because there might be someone real there that he can’t hear, and the section ends without any indication of whether help is going to come or not.
Andrea: Pennywise is so fucking maniacal here.

Kansas Street/12:20pm (1958)

Henry catches up with Beverly on the street, and no one really bothers to help her. She spits a fat one on Henry’s head and bolts.

Pat: I know you dig the old lady in this scene.
Andrea: I really do.
Pat: …go on.
Andrea: Sorry, got distracted by the fact that my Netflix queue has a limit… and that I hit it.
This lady rules until she gives up trying to save Bev and just drives away and apparently doesn’t even call the cops or anything.
Pat: You make it sound like Henry didn’t make a run at her.
Andrea: He did, but still. She could have called someone, but maybe she forgot as soon as she drove away as per rules of Derry?

The Derry Town House/2:00am (1985)

Bill and Beverly fuck, and it is the shittiest of bulls. While we are completely against Bill being the one to sex Beverly up as an adult, at the very least the moment is ruined when she remembers that she had sex with all of them in 1958. What the sweet-tea-fuck?

Pat: It should have been Ben with you, dear, he thought drowsily. I think that was the way it was really supposed to be. Why wasn’t it Ben?
That’s right, you stuttering asshole. WHY WASN’T IT?
Because it was you then and it’s you now, that’s all. Because what goes around always comes around… And maybe it’s me now because Ben’s the one who’s supposed to see the lady home.
I like that idea of Ben being the guy who’s supposed to take Bev home. BE STILL MY HEART
Andrea: You are a hopeless romantic.
Pat: Hapless might be more accurate.
Andrea: Yeah, that too.
Pat: Man, that is a total mood-killer, by the way, remembering you marshaled a six-deep parade of 11 year old boys into your vagina.
Andrea: ugh ugh ugh
I hope she washed thoroughly afterward.
Also, sloppy sixths? *shudder*
Pat: I hope she never told anyone in college, “Yeah, I let six guys do me in the sewer,” not because it’s too many dudes at too young an age, but because it sounds like she did massive anal.
Andrea: You are dumb.

The Barrens/12:40pm (1958)

Beverly makes it to the clubhouse, where Ben is dicking around, as fat kids are wont to do. They trundle into the hole in the ground and drop the camouflaged roof.

Pat: This is so sweet, this whole thing.
Ah, when the fates deliver unto us our unrequited beloved, reeking freshly of old trash juices.
Andrea: Oh man, this is like the situation of Ben’s dreams.
Pat: His bulk seemed suddenly very welcome, very comforting, and she was glad there was a lot of him to hug. He might have been nothing but a frightened fatboy when school let out for the summer, but he was more than that now; like all of them, he had changed. If Belch discovered them down here, Ben just might give him a surprise.

After a good swatch of time sitting RIGHT ON THE CLUBHOUSE ROOF and farting fit to shake the boards loose, Belch Higgins departs. Beverly decides this is as good a time as any to thank Ben for the love poem he doesn’t know she knows he wrote.

Andrea: AKA Pat’s dream vacation.
Pat: “I didn’t mean anything by it.”
She looked at him gravely. “You better not mean that,” she said. “If you do, it’s really going to spoil my day, and I’ll tell you, it’s going downhill already.”

Andrea: Awwwww. This is as sweet as an old fashioned valentine with that cool lace edging.
Pat: Did you just turn 75 or something?
Andrea: YUP

They realize that Bill and the others are going to be coming back soon, and Henry and his Merry Men might catch them unawares, so they depart to warn them.

The Seminary Grounds/2:17am (1985)

Henry is bleeding like a stuck pig. Good, fuck that guy.

Pat: That’s pretty much all that goes on in this section. It’s not very good, except that King obviously needed some Present Tense Shit to go between the Last Past Episode and the Next Past Episode.
Andrea: His father, who had abused him all his life, who he killed under direction from Pennywise, is running through his head.
Pat: He’s basically just having all kinds of scattered thoughts.

The Barrens/12:55pm (1958)

As they amble after Ben and Beverly, waiting for the others to show up so they can ambush them, we learn the story of Henry’s blade, which damn well might be Eddie Corcoran’s lost pig-sticker. It had arrived in the mail one day with a return address from “Mr. Robert Gray” that might as well have said “1 Storm Drain Way” before “Derry, Maine.” Like anyone who receives a nice gift from a supernatural killer clown, Henry takes the knife and murders his father in his sleep.

Pat: What. the. fuck.
Andrea: This whole section actually kind of made me feel bad for Henry.
Pat: Butch’s bed is described as a pallet, and I have to wonder if that’s just poetic license or if it literally was a shipping pallet.
Andrea: I assumed it was just the way SK was describing a crappy wooden bed.
Pat: I think it might actually be a pallet. It’s Butch Bowers we’re talking about here.
Andrea: Yeah true, except that in the world of Pinterest and lifestyle magazines, pallet decorating is now super hot.
Pat: That’s the REAL horror story.
The way he kind of slowly does it, with the blade against Butch’s neck, is a lot like Patrick Hockstetter with his brother. I wonder if, maybe just maybe I’m not entirely sure and I know Hockstetter is just generally batshit anyway, It had something to do with putting that thought of killing his brother into Hockstetter’s head.
Andrea: What do you mean?
Pat: That it was the influence of It being active that turned Hockstetter from simply a dullard loon to an actively homicidal freak.
Andrea: Ah.
Pat: Not direct influence like with Henry killing Butch, but just, like, I don’t know, crazy people might be radios for larger, more Eternal Evils broadcasting in the area.
Andrea: Yes, I kind of thought that was a given. Like it pushed him over the edge from fly killing to brother killing to cocker spaniel killing to blowjob-giving and who knows all what else.
Pat: Having crazy in your head is like having metal fillings. That shit picks up signals from everywhere.
Andrea: And It is like one giant, evil, bad-idea-radiating tower.
Pat: “…the bitch and the fatboy, holding hands (Isn’t that cute? Henry thought in a kind of ecstasy)…”
Even Henry is rooting for Ben and Bev.
Andrea: Oh man, you are a sicko.

Henry Gets A Lift/2:30am (1958)

Henry hitches a ride from the ghost of Belch Huggins, who pulls up in a motherfucking 1958 Plymouth Fury. THE CROWD GOES WILD! Henry apologizes for letting Frankenstein’s monster kill Belch and Victor. He finds a paper that lists all the Losers’ hotel rooms. We’re about to find out what happens when seven people stop being polite and start getting real dead.

Andrea: I like the connections. And the fact that the “hoods” in this book are the ones who get picked up by Christine.
Pat: You are a simpleton.
Henry fondly remembers the last time he saw Belch, too, with Frankenstein’s monster swatting his head off its fucking swivel. Henry isn’t even able to tell what the hell It is until Victor screams that it’s Frankenstein, leading me to believe that Henry is, in fact, not scared of anything.
Andrea: He seems kind of scared of his father though, right? When he’s alive? At least enough so to obey and do his chores.
Pat: If that were really true, then he would have seen It as Butch, wouldn’t he?
Andrea: Well, yeah. But that could be an oversight. Or he could be seeing it as It really is.
Pat: No, because he doesn’t see A. a spider or B. the deadlights.
Andrea: So he sees it as… nothing? Like he can’t see it at all? I mean, he is afraid of the moon voices.
Pat: I think that came after, though. When he was already whackadoo.
Andrea: So that would mean that people who aren’t afraid of anything can’t see It at all. And yet, he sensed that there was something there. Or maybe he didn’t, and he was just reacting to the pandemonium created by the others.
Pat: It was just formless until Victor said what he saw.

The Losers All Together/1:20pm (1958)

Everyone arrives at the Barrens, and Beverly relates the story of how Henry Is Out Of His Fucking Mind. Bill is like, hey, man, the Barrens are uh-uh-ours. This is a cataclysmically dumb move, but hey, that’s Bill.

Andrea: This section had that awesome part about Jews not eating lunch.
Pat: This is pretty much the only actual discussion about religion in the whole book. Except for Stan being a Jew and all.
“Well, I’ll tell you what, Eddie,” Richie said. “I don’t really think God would send me down to the Hot Place just for forgetting and having a baloney sandwich for lunch on a Friday, but why take a chance? Right?”
“I guess all religions are weird,” Eddie said now. But powerful, his mind added, almost magical . . . or was that BLASPHEMY? He began to think about the thing they had seen on Neibolt Street, and for the first time he saw a crazy parallel—the Werewolf had, after all, come out of the toilet.

Now here’s my question: where is the parallel? Is religion the werewolf, and the churches it comes out of, the toilet?
Andrea: I assumed the opposite, that religion was the toilet, and the werewolf was the churches and the priest and the whole shebang.
Pat: I guess it’s not entirely nice, either way, but whatevz, religion, go cry on your huge piles of cash.
Andrea: Agreed. So then we get one of the awesome switchovers where suddenly Eddie is in his room with the FUCKING CORPSE OF HENRY BOWERS.
Pat: Why are you trying to preempt my summaries? We haven’t even talked about my favorite part, which is that everyone has disappeared from town.
Pat: And Eddie thinks, shit, this “might be the final act. That was how the day’s silence felt like wasn’t it?”
Pat: You have nothing to say about the fact that Derry has cleared out on this, the day when They Go Fight It? Fair enough.
Andrea: Yes, I agree that it is strange and eerie, but I also think that, duh, that’s just part of the nature of Derry. I think it is a neat trick by SK to set the stage.
Pat: Yeah, but that has NEVER HAPPENED before. If anything, the end-cycle events are HUGELY attended and witnessed, as Mike has been telling us for hundreds of pages.
Andrea: That’s true. So do you think It did that on purpose to have a better shot of winning this time? Although I don’t think he technically “lost” in the past.
Pat: This is happening in the past, though. So I don’t know if It knew, I don’t know if the Turtle knew. People just seemed to know shit was about to go down on that fucked-up tip. Ain’t nobody gone when they get down to it in 1985, and that was with It EGGING THEM ON.

Eddie’s Room/3:05am (1985)

Disguised as room service, Henry bursts into Eddie’s room. Long story short, Henry gets the better part of a broken bottle of Perrier in the guts, and observes the absurdity of life, saying, “Gug.” Eddie enlists Bill’s help in deciding what the hell to do. Bill dries off his penis, and he and Beverly join Eddie in his room.

Andrea: It was cool that Eddie didn’t know whether Henry had gotten to the others first, so there is that really intense moment of panic before he gets Bill on the phone.
Pat: But WE know he didn’t.
Andrea: But HE doesn’t.
Pat: My eyes generally glaze over when King does an intricately choreographed fight scene. Like, I get the gist of what’s happening, I don’t need measurements on every fucking lunge and jab.
Andrea: I agree. That’s why I don’t have much to say about this section—it’s like, oh, hey, they fought.
Pat: Can you even imagine Eddie Kaspbrak breaking the bottom off of a bottle to use as a weapon like some dude in a saloon fight?
Andrea: Nope. I didn’t even know that worked in real life. I thought it was one of those things that was just for the movies.
Pat: You’re more likely to just shatter the bottle entirely.
Andrea: Um, clearly. It means a fag that is also a baby.
Pat: “You enjoy the sexual company of other toddlers of your gender.”
Andrea: So not only are you a total wuss, you’re also homosexual. EPIC BURN.

The Barrens/1:55pm (1958)

While Bill holds High And Mighty Court with his knights, rocks start raining down, and Ben’s fun-fat is tasked with finding that sewer entrance where he hid from Henry on the day he first met Bill and Eddie. They make it into the sewer and away from Bowers’s gang. Only one direction to go now, fuckos: deeper into the sewers. TIME TO CHÜD UP, BITCHES.

Pat: Bill also realizes that Derry IS It, and stutters like you would not goddamn believe.
Andrea: Bill hears the sound of the river and realizes that he’ll never hear that sound as a child again. *tear*
Pat: hahaha
Andrea: Then we get the stuttered revelation: DERRY IS IT!
Pat: Echo echo echo echo
It’s already rainy back in 1958, as it will shortly be in 1985.
Andrea: What about when they all realize that they have become ghosts? That their parents are either not around or don’t know where they are and don’t care/?
Pat: Isn’t that part of everyone disappearing from Derry?
Their parents are also residents of Derry, you know. That’s why the kids live there. Because their parents live there.
Andrea: No, this is addressed separately.
Pat: I don’t think the parents are at all separate from the other town residents. There’s only the Losers, Bowers’s gang, It, and Everyone Else. The Losers are the only ones outside of whatever the sphere of influence is. Everybody else is buggin’ out.
Andrea: I thought it was really chilling. Did you ever have a moment when you were a kid when you got home and expecting people to be in the house and no one is home?
Pat: I’m sure I did, but the usual thing was that I got home hours before my parents, and I’m an only child. So coming home to an unexpectedly empty house was rare and welcome.
Mo’ time for m-batin’.
Andrea: You are so foul.

The Circle Closes

Tom, now in Derry, is getting telepathic messages from a balloon. Like you do.

Pat: Also: he’s dreaming about Henry’s past, for some reason. Killing Butch Bowers. Ultimately not a necessary little passage.
Andrea: No, not really. I was kinda whatev about Tom and Audra coming back to Derry. It could have been edited out.


Audra continues making bad life decisions, and as a result, she runs into Tom in the parking lot of their respective hotels.

Pat: Don’t get me wrong: I like that It was bringing in agents to kill them. And I like that it was Henry and Tom. But Audra sucks it on all cylinders. I mean, as a person, not as a character in the book. She had use in the book, I just didn’t like her GODDAMN POLITICS.
Andrea: What politics? I didn’t even realize she had politics.
Pat: It was a joke.
Andrea: It was a dumb joke.
I want to say more about Audra’s fate, but then you’ll be all like BLAH BLAH WE’RE NOT THERE YET I’M A NAZI
Pat: She’s all like, “I DON’T CARE IF HE’S WAIST DEEP IN ANOTHER REDHEAD, I NEED MA MAN.” Which I guess is understandable when It comes out of her hotel bathroom.
And the TV.
That voice, low and dragging, said: “We all float down here, Audra.” The last word became a long, low, fading scream—Audraaaaa—that ended once again in that sick, clogged, bubbly sound that was so much like laughter.
Andrea: And then she calls Bill’s room and realizes he is most likely with Beverly. DRAMA!
Pat: I mean, she has followed her husband across the Atlantic Ocean, is half-convinced he’s cheating, and still she’s on the approach. What the fuck is wrong with this woman?
Andrea: She’s a dullard, clearly.
She needs to take a clue from the “Let Me Smell Yo Dick” lady.
Pat: I wouldn’t rule out Tom Rogan’s flight to Derry as being partly influenced by It, like It has a wide area of effect where it can kind of PUSH stuff into people’s heads even at a great distance, if they’re somehow connected to someone It’s touched. Maybe. I don’t know. Tom Rogan could also just be Captain Batshit without any help.
Andrea: Also, doesn’t it kind of seem like It has more influence if the person is already evil or crazy?
Pat: It could be that, but it could also be distance. Henry is both the craziest AND the closest, followed by Tom who is the second craziest and second closest, and lastly, Audra, who is the furthest away and the least crazy. But the most dumb.
Andrea: For someone who is supposed to be this charismatic actress, she literally leaves no impression. Purposeful or bad writing?
Pat: I think it might be intentional. The unfleshed-out idea being that the charm you see on screen is all false, and they really have nothing going on besides. Granted, we don’t spend enough time with Audra to really get a bead on her. Thank the lord.

Eddie’s Room

“Uh, this is a goddamn mess you’ve made here, Eddie. Better call up the other Losers! Hey, by the way, my man, you can’t smell Beverly’s sweet ‘tang on me, can you? Solid.” They also discover that Mike is in the hospital, thanks to the gift bag of knifes Henry sent express mail to his leg. They take Eddie’s limo out to the Barrens and probably do a couple lines of blow before heading down to face off against It for the second and last time.

Andrea: So they can’t involve the town in Mike’s injury because Derry = It.
Pat: Meanwhile, Eddie’s arm is broken again. I like the parallelism, the fated-ness of everything. I have to stop using that made-up word.
Andrea: And then. AND THEN. Georgie Denbrough’s voice starts to come out of the radio.
Pat: The All-Dead Rock Show strikes again! Take a drink!
Andrea: So they get back into the Barrens, Ben leading the way, and lo and behold, Bill finds Audra’s purse. I don’t know if Tim would recognize my purse in any context other than on the bedroom floor
Pat: My summary hits the right note on this:

In The Barrens

On their way to that trust ol’ sewer entrance, they stumble on Audra’s purse. This bitch can’t do anything right!

Andrea: LOL
Pat: Is it that SK thought the stakes weren’t high enough for the adult Losers?
Andrea: Maybe? I mean, how much higher could the stakes get? They are almost in the damn sewers already when the purse turns up.
Pat: As kids they had the youthful righteousness of just smiting Evil out. But as adults, it’s like, ugh, I have to bang that chick from high school I never got around to and now she’s fat and I don’t wanna.
Andrea: I think he should made more of the fact that they were drawn there spiritually, or something, because otherwise it seems like such a huge damn chore.
Pat: That’s the word. It seems like a chore. And then, oh hey! Here’s Audra’s purse, and it’s filled with carrots, now giddy-up, Stuttering Horse, hi-ho!
Andrea: So then we flash back to 1958, again.

Under The City
It/August 1958

Hello and welcome to the inside of Its mind, where Pennywise’s true form is pontificating on how there used to only be It and the Other, the Turtle who had thrown up at the beginning of All Time and created the universe. Scientology doesn’t seem so weird now, does it? It is especially concerned with all these new sensations: fear, hurt, having these kids try to stand in Its way, the tender feeling in Its budding breasts.

Pat: One of those rare instances where King does this and I’m totally sold. As opposed to OKAY SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP YOU’RE AN ELECTRIC TRAIN OR SOME SHIT
Andrea: “If all things flowed from It…how could any creature of this or any other world fool It or hurt It?”
Pat: I realize that we’re about twenty years too late to ponder this question with any objectivity, but is the move to SUPER FUCKING ETHEREAL too sudden? Too much?
Andrea: Nah. It only lasts a page or two. I think giving some insight into Its “brain”, as it were, is smart and necessary. It’s the right amount.
Pat: And so a last new thing had come to It, this not an emotion but a cold speculation: suppose It had not been alone, as It had always believed?
Suppose there was Another?
And suppose further that these children were agents of that Other?
Suppose… suppose . . .
It began to tremble.

I like that he’s already casting the Turtle, Creator Of Everything, as this languid, stupid puke-bucket, and It, Master Of Evil Ceremonies, as the Purposeful One, the Busy One.
Andrea: I just don’t get why it has to be a turtle. The slowest, and dumbest, of reptiles.
Pat: I was about to say: you have no fucking idea how important the Turtle is. The Turtle is one of the most important cosmic figures in SK’s universe. Maturin, the Turtle, upon whose shell rests the whole of the universe.
We’ll be following his Beam in about two, three books.

In The Tunnels/2:15pm (1958)

Eddie is using his internal compass to direct them through the sewers. Every so often, there’s the sound of Bowers and his Gap Commercial Rejects careening through the tunnels somewhere far behind them. They stumble upon the bloated carcass of Patrick Hockstetter, which is grinning in the dark with a “horrid chumminess.”

Pat: Ahhhhhh ahhhahahahaaaaaaaaa, oh god, “horrid chumminess.”
Bill looked back at Eddie. “W-W-Which one?”
Eddie pointed reluctantly at the lower pipe … and although Bill’s heart sank, he wasn’t at all surprised. “That one.”
“Oh, gross,” Stan said unhappily. “That’s a shit-pipe.”

Andrea: I like that Stan’s all, gross, that one’s a shit pipe, when they already have dead bloated woodchucks floating by.

It/May 1985

Not sure why we need to know what month it is, specifically, but here we are, back in Its brain, where It is reveling in having Stuttering Bill’s wife in Its clutches. She’s lost her mind, you see, because she looked into Its deadlights and her consciousness is scattered in the void beyond the edge of the universe. You know, like on Sesame Street! Tom, who brought her to Its lair, just started spouting blood from his eyes upon seeing It—by the way, It is actually She—and is now, finally, dead.

Pat: I got news for you: I do not think Audra is smart enough with arachnids to be able to eyeball It being a female.
Pat: Males can do that too.
Andrea: The way she knows it is female is because of the eggs, oh god, the eggs, stuff of nightmares.
Pat: I don’t think she’s even fucking conscious when that happens, and she’s just fucking spindled up in spiderwebs.
We also learn that It basically chomps on glands to suck on fear juice.
Andrea: a;dlkajfls;kdj;alskdj;lkj
It is kind of a dick.
Pat: The fears of children could often be summoned up in a single face … and if bait were needed, why, what child did not love a clown?
Isn’t the answer “all children do not love a clown”?
Andrea: I sure never met a kid who loved a clown.
Pat: Stephen King didn’t INVENT the childhood fear of clowns, did he? He seems blissfully unaware. Or at least It seems blissfully unaware of the deep-seated fear of clowns.
Andrea: I mean, I think most adults are not really aware of the fear of clowns. At least not until it became a cultural thing, which SK/John Wayne Gacy pushed into consciousness.

Again, It is mostly concerned with whether or not it should be concerned about the Losers, who at least this time aren’t possessed of the magic of childhood. OR ARE THEY?

Pat: If there are ten thousand peasants who create vampires by believing them real, there may be one—probably a child—who will imagine the stake necessary to kill it. But a stake is only stupid wood; the mind is the mallet which drives it home.
Andrea: Did you just make that up?
Pat: That’s from Its mind. Hence the italics.

In The Tunnels/4:30-4:55am (1985)

The Losers find the long-rotted corpses of Messieurs Criss and Huggins. Vic’s skeleton is headless, not that he’d be doing much with it if it was still attached.

Pat: These are like the little weird sites on It’s A Small World After All before you get to the big finale.
But, you know, in a sewer.
Andrea: Sassy Bev makes Bill snap out of his stuttering stupor with the power of her fab red hair, luscious even in a sewer.
Pat: You realize that neither of them had washed up after sex, right? That makes it extra gross in the sewer.
With their love-stink clinging to their junk.
Andrea: You are so weird. That is the least of the grossness of the sewer.

In The Tunnels/2:20pm (1958)

Here comes the Crawling Eye, Richie Tozier’s All-Time Worst Nightmare, complete with vile, flesh-rending tentacles! It starts grabbing them, and a few land nice punches that go right into the gelatinous body of the eye, which is super gross. Eddie Kaspbrak, noted user of an Inhaler That Does Not Actually Do Shit, pretends it’s full of battery acid and fires it at the eye. “BATTERY ACID, FUCKNUTS!” He exhorts them all to stomp the thing to death.

Andrea: W. T. F. I did not even remember this part from when I read it before and it’s so weird and gross. I really, really hope it’s in the movie.
Pat: You don’t remember “BATTERY ACID, FUCKNUTS”?
Andrea: I didn’t remember the eye from when I was a kid and I read this.
Pat: It’s totally in the movie, but not the huge crawling eye, I don’t think.
“Jesus Christ you fucking pussies I’m doing the Mashed Potatoes all over It AND I GOT A BROKEN ARM!”
That made me lol.
I got on lollerskates and rolled right down the hill on that line.
Andrea: I mean, what could be worse than an eye? Oh, I know, a giant eye. With oozy slime and fucking tentacles. Why does SK love things with tentacles so much?
Pat: He’s secretly Japanese.

They succeed and realize that the tunnel is getting taller and wider. Also, it’s sort of glowing green, because why the hell not? Then Mike’s bird comes after them, but it is handily defeated by Stan Uris, who insists that no such fucking bird has ever existed, which damn well works!

Pat: Finally, Stan is of ANY FUCKING USE AT ALL.
And even then, it’s by being the dick who has no fucking imagination.
That made me LOL maybe even more than the mashed potatoes.
Pat: There’s a moment where Bill is thinking that they could beat the versions of It with magic all they wanted, but Henry was still after them.
Magic would not work on Henry. He was too stupid.
I guess that’s the difference between real magic and fake magic. Real magic doesn’t work on the stupid, and fake magic only works on the stupid.

They find Its front door. It has a symbol on it that isn’t any real letter in any alphabet, and all seven see it as something different. They enter the little three-foot-tall door. What a bunch of morons!

Pat: Completely fabricated symbol. Doesn’t mean anything.
Why does It even have a door? So Avon Ladies have something to knock on? To keep Jehovah’s Witnesses out?
“Excuse me, Mr. Gray, do you have a moment to hear about Our Lord and Savior, Turtle?”
Andrea: You already made that joke.

In The Tunnels/4:59am (1985)

Right near the door, the adult Losers hold hands and talk about their feelings. Well, moreso how the hell Tom and Audra ended up in Derry. Short explanation: because Bill and Bev are idiots.

Pat: Yeah, that’s about right.
Andrea: Richie likens it to a soap opera where everyone keeps turning up, which seems about right.

Derry/5:00am (1985)

Meanwhile, Derry is about to be the first town to successful ford Shit Creek without a paddle. First off: the town’s Baptist church, with its expensive clock that never doesn’t strike the hour, doesn’t strike the hour, which has been a long-standing portent of some shit going down. It happened before, of course: any time Its cycle was coming to an end. The old folks notice that something is unknowably wrong most keenly.

Pat: This is basically “News From Everywhere” from The Talisman, but made into like three chapters. And, arguably, better.
Andrea: I mean, it could have just been called “Old People Freak Out, Are Incontinent.”
Pat: I’m not entirely sure you should be watching the miniseries when we’re not even done discussing the book
Andrea: WHAT?
Andrea: Why are you telling me what I should and shouldn’t do, fool?

George/5:01am (1985)

Fucking George Denbrough appears in the last bit of tunnel before the door that marks Its lair and, possibly, the only subterranean Chinese restaurant in Central Maine. Bill confronts his lifelong guilt over his brother’s death while shouting his old speech therapy mantra and realizes it wasn’t his fault, which kills that particular version of It.

Andrea: Poor old Georgie.
What do you think was the worst of all versions of IT? Did we discuss that already?
Pat: I don’t know if we did, but I’d say the werewolf would probably scare me the most.
Andrea: Worst than the horny leper?
Pat: Horny lepers don’t have supernatural speed and agility and claws.
Andrea: The giant eyeball was also pretty gross.
Pat: And then they were around him, his friends, and no one lit a match, and someone held him, he didn’t know who, Beverly maybe, or maybe Ben, or Richie. They were with him, and for that little while the darkness was kind.
That’s probably the apex of them returning to a child-like state.
Andrea: Agreed.
Pat: I expected that the way Bill was going to defeat that Georgie illusion would be by hugging him and apologizing. Which would totally have grossed It out.
Andrea: It’s grossing me out, you wuss.

Derry/5:30am (1985)

A freak rainstorm is descending on the town. The truck depot burns to the ground, a fireman gets electrocuted, there’s a mild earthquake and a sewage geyser, a woman is killed when an old gear from the Ironworks explodes from her toilet, the Kissing Bridge is hit by lightning, and Mike Hanlon wakes up in the hospital to find another agent of It ready to euthanize him.

Pat: It didn’t occur to me at the time, but is the whole A STORM’S A-COMING too played out?
Andrea: Yeah, probably. Considering I just read another book where at the apex of action, all of a sudden there was a hurricane.
Pat: There’s Storm Of The Century, as well.
Is barometric pressure all that frightening?
Andrea: I mean, I think it is a lazy way to compare the tumult the characters are facing with the tumult of the weather. That said, I think it works fine when done well.
Pat: It’s just not working fine YET.

Under The City/6:49-54am (1985)

The Losers sense something is up and join hands to send Mike their shared TURTLE POWER (copyright 1982 Hasbro). Mike receives the POWER DELIVERY and smashes a glass into his would-be assassin’s face. Thanks, Turtle!

Pat: I really honestly did not know if Mike was going to survive this, so the tension and suspense was there. Whew boy!
Andrea: I knew that he was. This part was so anticlimactic that I don’t even remember it.
Pat: You don’t remember them joining hands and sending Mike the Carebear Stare?
Andrea: Vaguely.

They reach the door at long last.

Pat: “What if it’s locked?”
“Places like this are never locked.”

Now how in the fuck would you even know that, Bill?
Name one other “place like this.”
Andrea: I think he means “places that an alien demon spider thing is trying to lure you to.” That would be like Ted Bundy locking the door of his murder van.
Pat: Or maybe he knows doors like that are never locked because spiders don’t have hands.

Oh, that’s right: what we forgot was that It is a huge fucking spider. Or at least that’s what Its true form looks like on this plane. Everyone is fucking unnerved by this revelation, and no one particularly faults Stan for taking the easy way out—after all, he was the one who first realized that It was a female spider, and even worse: was getting ready to drop a brood of baby ethereal spiders!

Pat: Okay, I have a mild problem with It being female and a slightly larger problem with It being pregnant.
Andrea: Describe said beef.
I mean, come on. And given its true nature as DEADLIGHTS BEYOND THE MACROVERSE, the whole reproduction thing doesn’t jive.
Andrea: Yeah, but disgusting spider babies give the thing a whole added level of grossness.
Pat: HOWEVER, I am willing to write it off as the imperfect representation of It on this plane. And my puny human brain cannot conceive of the idea of It procreating.
Andrea: Can I talk about how bad the movie spider was? It looked like a stupid robot.
Pat: The miniseries spiders is the Bullshit of All Bullshits. And when they beat it up, it’s like, uh… guys, that thing doesn’t even move at ALL.
Andrea: I don’t even know if it has babies because I was so thwarted by its lameness that I wandered away to get a snack, and when I came back everything was fine. It was so abrupt that I thought Tim changed the channel while I was gone.
Pat: Our high school short film of The Dark Half had better production values, and we had a guy with a hook for a hand that was actually an umbrella.
Andrea: Why does that not exist on the Internet now?
Pat: I dunno, Internet Spiders or something. Bill shouts, “You killed my brother, you fucking BITCH!”
Calm down, Sigourney.
Andrea: So for such a wonderful book, the “boss battle”, as it were, was kinda lame.
Pat: Are you fucking mentally unstable? Maybe in 1958 it’s lame, but that was when they didn’t even fully kill It.

This part of The Ritual Of Chüd is also called The Ritual Of Chüd. It’s the Inception of section titles.

In The Lair Of It/1958

All sorts of webbing. Jesus Christmas. Bill runs forward and is captured in Its shadow.

Pat: This is basically the moment Stan must have remembered when Mike called
Andrea: Agreed.
Pat: Do we get an actual size on this motherfucker? It has to be at least, what, twice the height of Bill kneeling? Or standing, I can’t remember.
Andrea: I assume that it is as big as it was in the movie, which was like three times the height of the kids. Not sure why I am referencing the movie as a primary source since they basically built a spider out of Construx.
Pat: So the idea is like, yeah, most folks are scared of clowns, but EVERYONE is scared of spiders
Andrea: And they are sort of otherworldly in their total disgustingness with all those legs and eyes and shit.
Pat: And so, what, Its true form, the Deadlights, must be the archetypal form of fear itself. Come to think of it, everyone who sees them goes insane, catatonic, or explodes.
Andrea: I think that is a fair conclusion to draw.
Pat: So my vote is YES.

Bill In The Void/Early (1958)

If you’ll look to the right and left of the bus, you’ll notice we are now in a vast nothingness where Bill Denbrough and It are having a chat, nice as can be. It introduces Itself as the Eater Of Worlds and a real Eternal kind of gal. Bill gets thrown towards the edge of the universe, which is the metaphorical counterpart of the whole biting-each-other’s-tongue-and-telling-jokes ritual. He tries to fight it, knowing it isn’t really real, and meanwhile, he skids on by a humongous Turtle. THE Turtle. Dollars to donuts his name is Maturin, by the way. Bill asks the Turtle how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll Tootsie Pop, but Maturin never made it without biting, and Mr. Owl is on vacation in another macroverse this week. Shit!

Andrea: Uhhhhhh
I’m not sure how to respond to this.
Pat: Well, it is what it is. You didn’t dig it?
Andrea: Not so much. I mean, you know I can’t get behind the whole stupid turtle idea.
Pat: Oh, but the DEADLIGHTS BEYOND are okay?
Andrea: Yeah. cause they are scary.
Pat: Bill understood somehow that there was yet Another, and that Final Other dwelt in a void beyond this one. This Final Other was, perhaps, the creature of the Turtle, which only watched, and It, which only ate. This Other was a force beyond the universe, a power beyond all other power, the author of all there was.
Pat: Probably the single paragraph that made people think that Stephen King would be what Roland found at the top of the Dark Tower.
Andrea: Like Manon.
Pat: Is that Rose Madder?
Andrea: The Craft. You know, the movie?
Pat: Wow, the only thing dumber than Rose Madder! CONGRATS
Andrea: “If God and Satan were playing football, Manon would be the stadium.”
Pat: Just stop.
Oh, also, the Turtle says this while he’s conversating with Bill: “Once you get into cosmological shit like this, you got to throw away the instruction manual.”
How can you not like a space turtle as chill as that?
Of course, it’s not cosmological shit at all. It’s outside of the cosmos. It’s, uh… what, metaphysics, maybe? Astral? M Theory?
Andrea: I would like him better if he was smoking a giant hookah a la the Cheshire Cat.
Pat: What is it like not to love, Andrea? Hating on a goddamn TURTLE. Turtles are loved by all.
Andrea: I like turtles. Just not space turtles.
Pat: WHAT THE FUCK IS THE DIFFERENCE? THIS ONE IS HUGE AND CREATED YOUR WHOLE FAMILY AND PLANET AND TALKS LIKE HE’S HIGH. “My name’s Andrea, I do not like when turtles—an animal I like—talk amiably and float in space and created all things. Happiness makes me sad.”

What’s basically happening is this: It is hurtling Bill to where the universe ends; beyond that is where Its true form lies, something so patently horrifying that it turns people catatonic (Audra) or makes them burst like a tube of toothpaste in the sun (Tom); the true form of It is this thing called the Deadlights, which sounds pretty unappealing on the whole.

Pat: For some reason, my lasting memory of this battle involved a one-dimensional CGI space, with like a grid of green lines designed by an IBM Aptiva. With the Turtle like fighting the Spectral Spider. I wasn’t even fucking close.
Way to go, memory!
Andrea: Yeah, that is so not how I pictured it at all.
Pat: I mean, it’s just SPACE. SPACE PLUS TURTLE.

Turns out, all Billy Boy had to do was shout “HE THRUSTS HIS FISTS AGAINST THE POSTS AND STILL INSISTS HE SEES THE GHOSTS!” without stuttering, and then demand he be taken back to his particular ‘hood of the universe. Also, it helps that he believes in all of the things of childhood, which It absolutely HATES.

Pat: This is so on the fringe of comprehensible that it works perfectly.
Andrea: I mean, yeah. It’s just dumb enough to work.
Pat: I don’t know if this counts as the deplorable The Magic Was In Him The Entire Time trope, though.
Andrea: Um, it is clearly that exact trope.
Pat: “Even at eleven he had observed that things turned out right a ridiculous amount of the time.”
I can’t even decide if that’s true or not, but I like it.
Pat: Well, if It feeds on FearTM, then Bill being fearless is poison to It.

They fucking win, and they sort of believe It is dead, even though the Turtle was all like, hey, you should end this now. But what does the Turtle know? Dude fucking throws up universes!

Pat: I really, truly, entirely do not understand why they just fuck off out of there when the Turtle EXPRESSLY SAID to finish It off. It’s the only really implausible action in the whole book.
Andrea: Cause they are kids I guess?

Bill In The Void/Late (1985)

It is making fun of the fact that Bill is now bald. Low blow, It. Why chicks gotta be so cruel? Besides that, It says that the Turtle died. Threw up in his own shell and choked on the vomit, just like Hendrix. As It hurls him to the end of the universe again, Stuttering Bill times his tongue-bite poorly and misses. Whoops!

Andrea: Stupid Bill. I like him less because of Audra.
Pat: Pat: The bald insult is brilliant because what is more indicative of youth lost?
Andrea: Yeah, but it’s also an easy cheap shot.
Pat: We’re talking about a supernatural, extra-universal entity that preys predominantly on children. I don’t think playing fair is Its chief concern.
Andrea: What I mean, though, is he can’t do any better than that? Lame one, It.
Pat: I know you hate the Turtle, but I really like the image/concept of this lumbering creature that created the universe by puking, this really reflexive, disgusting bodily function, and now it’s dead because it puked in its own shell. I like the idea of the creator of all things being sort of witless. Or at least clumsy. I really believe that, man, if Something Made Us All, it was definitely not on purpose. A puking Space Turtle fits my ideology very well.
Andrea: I will accept the puking space turtle for the purposes of this discussion. As long as that means we can move on to another topic.
Pat: Right after It says the Turtle is dead, It mentions that it died right around the time Bill was suffering from writer’s block.
Andrea: So… are you suggesting that the Turtle is a product of Bill’s magical writer imaginings?
Pat: Exactly the opposite. Way to glean the EXACT WRONG THING from that correlation.
The Turtle gives Bill his writing powers?
Pat: It gave them all power, that’s why they’re all successful. They were touched by the Voice Of The Turtle. And probably also a little bit by having fought It when they were kids. I mean, it ties into something I think SK believes, which is the fateful power of experiences or objects. He talks about the three reams of different-colored paper in college, one which was picked up by him, one by his wife, and one by some other dude. And all three became writers of some acclaim. He used his ream to write the first part of The Gunslinger.
I believe Tabitha wrote the lyrics to “What If God Was One Of Us?” on her paper.
Andrea: Is that a joke that I totally don’t get?
Pat: Isn’t it always?
This really, finally gives a good description of the whole hurled-across-the-universe idea: “And as It threw him, as he felt his mind swatted out of his body, he concentrated all of his being on seizing Its tongue … and missed his grip.”
Andrea: Agreed. This is the part of the book—any battle scene, really—where it is clear that SK really needs a very stern, almost merciless editor
Pat: I have zero problems with it. It wasn’t Pipe Vague. I’ll have to link that phrase to the Running Man post.
Because earlier, you kind of feel like, yeah, this is ACTUALLY happening. But no, it’s his consciousness being tossed metaphorically across a figurative universe towards madness. It’s like a metaphorical representation of going out of your mind.
Andrea: That makes sense to me. I can get behind that.


Luckily, Richie is on the case, using the Irish Cop Voice to bite down on Its ethereal tongue. Now he gets hurled towards the nothingness, but Richie is in way better shape, because he’s never stopped being a goober. He does more voices, laughing madly, and It is not having any of that. It promises Richie whatever the hell he wants, a life of hundreds of years, money, fame, all that good stuff, but Richie just wants It dead and Bill back. They find each other in the void, but the combined thrust is too much for Richie.

Andrea: I do applaud Richie for sticking with the Losers in the face of a lucrative deal with the devil.
Pat: Oh my dear god, everything that they use against It is from the arsenal of things people use to cope with fear. Laughter, sex, friendship, blah blah blah. WHY DIDN’T THIS WIN A PULITZER?
Andrea: Is that all a book needs to win a Pulitzer?
Pat: It’s yet another reason.
Pat: And if It can just go YOU’LL LIVE MOSTLY FOREVER, why can’t It just be like, OH HEY YOU’RE DEAD?
Andrea: OMG, you rival Avery with your asking of why.
Pat: What exactly do you think our damn job IS with this blog, woman?
Andrea: It isn’t to nitpick every damn thing! He’s just not strong enough to do that. Period.


Now Eddie knows what’s up, that Bill and Richie are in trouble, and he goes for his trusty lung-sucker and gives It a good old dose of imaginary battery acid. It works! But Eddie stupidly has his arm too close to Its mouth, and the Spider chomps down on him, severing his arm.

Pat: This is some bozo shit. I hate when characters I like die because they do something stupid like, you know, sticking their hand in a 30-foot-tall spider’s mouth.
Andrea: Him and his stupid fake battery acid.
Well, I mean, you want him to survive just because you like him?
Pat: I want him to die because it’s a huge fucking death-spider, not because he lost all of his blood from losing his arm when he stuck it down the spider’s fucking THROAT.
Fuck a damn duck.
“—eds oh my god bill ben someone he’s lost his arm, his—”
“Richie,” he whispered.
“What?” Richie was down on his hands and knees, staring at him desperately.
“Don’t call me Eds,” he said, and smiled. He raised his left hand slowly and touched Richie’s cheek. Richie was crying. “You know I … I ….” Eddie closed his eyes, thinking how to finish, and while he was still thinking it over he died.

Andrea: You are such a vagina. I hope a giant spider stumps you to death
Can we talk about how there should have been more spider-related carnage?
Pat: What, EATING A FUCKING ARM WHOLE isn’t enough carnage? Making Tom Rogan BURSTING AT THE EYES LIKE A BLOOD FOUNTAIN isn’t enough?
Andrea: OK, I GUESS THERE WAS. It just wasn’t in the movie. I think the whole end of the book is colored for me by the damn robot spider.
Pat: This is why I told you not to watch it.
Andrea: You are such a control freak.
Pat: Oh yes, fuck me for knowing you’d be like EVERYTHING IS TAINTED BY THE MOVIE.

Derry/7:00-9:00am (1985)

Storm’s getting worse. A tree crushes a convenience store, a beer cooler falls on and kills an old guy, the church clock chimes thirteen times and is destroyed by lightning, the streets are starting to flood, Boogers Taliendo witnesses a bunch of beer taps all turn themselves on and start pouring blood, Police Officer Nell has a fatal stroke just after speaking the same sentence that let Richie bite down on Its tongue, the Derry Mall makes like the Kitchen Ironworks and explodes, a doctor is decapitated by a flying manhole cover.

Andrea: So, if you had a clock and it chimed 13 times, wouldn’t you just shit yourself all over the place?
Pat: No, you want to know why?
Who hears a church clock tolling and counts the number of times it rings?
How else would you know what time it is?
Pat: My phone, my watch, my iPod, my tablet, my understanding of the sun and the moon.
You generally know what hour it is, so when a church bell tolls, you just go, “Oh, I guess it’s the next hour, then.”
Andrea: I hope you trip over a sundial and then fall into the path of a double decker bus.
Pat: You wouldn’t believe how many sundials there are near tourist bus stops.

Under The City/4:15pm (1958)

The Losers are hopelessly lost. A few of them are unconvinced that they really finished It off. Beverly, on the other hand, is thinking, “Now would be a great time to have sex with six guys.”

Andrea: I really just… no.
Pat: Before you get saddled up to ride this sex pony, Andrea, this isn’t it yet.

In The Lair Of It/1985—Ben

Eddie is fucking gone, man, and Audra is a vegetable. Lose some, win some. It is running away, but Bill and Richie are having NONE of that. Meanwhile, Ben is going to have to destroy all of Its eggs, which: GROSS. Little spiders run out when he steps on one of the eggs, and he has to run them all down. Jeepers.

Andrea: OMG. This might be the grossest part of the book or at least the most nightmare-inducing.
Pat: The whole thing of trying to relate the physical manifestation of Its true form leads me to questions about killing the eggs that you won’t care about.
Andrea: *sigh*
Go ahead, Einstein.
Pat: But the important thing is: if the eggs/babies can just be killed wholesale with a pair of boots, then why couldn’t they have sauntered into Its lair, shot it in the face with a bazooka, and gone home?
It’s not like Ben is CHUDing each spiderbaby.
Pat: Still, though, they just run after It and beat it to death. All I’m saying is: shotgun, to the face, and Eddie would still have his arm.
Andrea: Eddie doesn’t deserve his arm after getting fooled by fake asthma meds.
Andrea: He was fooled! At least for a while.
Pat: Yeah, he was, but then it became a talismanic thing that had whatever power his imagination gave it, INCLUDING being real asthma medicine. It’s part and parcel with the childlike wonderment that makes him one of the Dudes Who Can Fight It.
Andrea: I stand by my harsh judgment. HAVE FUN WITH YOUR STUMP HASBROUCK.
Pat: I can only assume that Hasbrouck is the child Ben Hanscom and Eddie Kasprak secretly adopted.
Andrea: See? You got what I was going for.
Pat: Sidebar: do you think It is related to the Fushing Feef spider from Talisman?
Andrea: Probably.
Pat: Side-sidebar: how much does it ratchet up your fear of Its eggs hatching if they all would’ve grown up to be Mr. Fushing Feef?
Double Dog Sidebar: Why are you so profoundly weirded out by a spider with a speech impediment?
Andrea: Why are you trying to give me nightmares?
Pat: “Double dog sidebar” is the funniest thing I’ve ever said.
Andrea: I don’t like that he talks. I don’t care if he has a speech impediment or not. It’s the talking and giggling that bother me.


It is running away and wondering how the hell this could possibly happen. Especially Its children being murdered. You wouldn’t know it to look at It, but that Spider is staunchly pro-life. It prepares to stand Its ground and fight.

Andrea: Now I am picturing It literally running away. On disgusting spindly legs.
Pat: It’s skittering, mostly. And mewling. Your favorite word.

Beverly—Love And Desire/August 10th, 1958

Is this really happening? Is this what’s actually going to happen? Unfortunately, yes. Eddie is first at-bat. Then Mike, then Richie, then Stan, then, finally—because who cares about Bill?—Ben. We learn that Ben has a pretty significant cock.

Andrea: Don’t call it “at-bat.”
Pat: All of a sudden, the exact dates matter? No one’s thinking, well shit, is it still the same day? We didn’t know what the fuck day it was up until now.
Andrea: I just would love to know how Bev came to this conclusion.
Just OMG. They were all obviously wearing Bad Idea jeans.
Pat: There’s a lot of conflicting arguments to make here.
Andrea: I cannot imagine the gross and sliminess of it. I mean, she didn’t even have a towel.
Pat: This is easily the most adult thing in the world. And everything about this book is about staying on the child side of that line.
Andrea: And these kids don’t know anything about foreplay!
Pat: It isn’t foreplay that’s going to save them. Foreplay never saved anybody.
Andrea: I am busy talking about how much this probably sucked for Bev. Is there anything grosser than a 13-year-old boy? I think not.
And will it still work if they prematurely ejaculate?
Pat: Are you really telling me you were thinking, “I can’t believe not one of them went down on Bev”? Maybe Eds could have, but everyone after him would be going down on the cumulative efforts of his friends.
Andrea: No, I was just thinking that it probably hurt and was unpleasant and embarrassing.
Pat: Or did you want Beverly to be like, “Hey, Mike, pay some attention to my nipples. They’re erogenous zones, too”?
Andrea: She is quite literally taking one for the team. Which is why she, not Ben Hanscom, is the true hero of this book.
Pat: No, she is taking the team.
Andrea: I UNDERSTAND why there was no foreplay. I am just saying DUDE IT MUST SUCK TO BANG SIX 13-YEAR-OLDS IN A SEWER
Pat: “She recognizes that it is too big and too old for her, something, some feeling that walks in boots.”
I initially thought that was about Ben’s massive schlong, but it isn’t. Still, it’s a great line.
“Show me how to fly.”
Jesus, Bev. Pump the breaks.
Andrea: This was so cheeseball.
Do you think that this was ultimately a mistake since this is like, the main thing anyone remembers about this book?
Pat: I just don’t know if it was necessary. It’s questionable thematically, and it’s more than a little disturbing.
I know my bias is apparent by now, but it is the sweetest with her and Ben.
Andrea: You are talking. about which pubescent children. had the sweetest sex.
Pat: Also, did King feel as uncomfortable writing this passage as I felt reading it?
Andrea: Probably. But I don’t know. If he felt uncomfortable then why did he write it? Especially as someone with young children.
SUBQUESTION: I’m really curious about how that was received at the time it came out. It’s pretty shocking even now.
Pat: Critics probably never even read it.
Andrea: You think?
Pat: No one who wasn’t already a devotee probably dared ford the 1,000-plus page river of It.

Ben gives her an orgasm because he is the best. Then Bill comes and bats clean-up, giving her another orgasm, but that’s like taking credit for opening the peanut butter jar when someone else had already twisted it off earlier.

Andrea: Okay, that’s funny but true.
Pat: What, “bats clean-up” is okay, but not “at-bat”?
Andrea: When you say bats cleanup in that context, it makes me think that his ween turns into a vacuum hose.
Pat: I am actually speechless.

Derry/9:00-10:00am (1985)

The Standpipe topples while a really stoned dude watches.

Pat: My eyes sort of started to glaze over here. I was about five hours into killing the last 200 pages at this point. But then the stoned guy is like “GREAT FUCKING SPECIAL EFFECTS!” and “STEVEN SPIELBERG EAT YOUR HEART OUT!” and I was born anew.
Andrea: I LOVE LOVE THIS STONED GUY. That part ruled. I am glad we are in agreement about this.
Pat: You always love the stoned guy.
Andrea: It is a particular weakness of mine.
Pat: It ruled because of the stone guy, or because an Edifice Of Evil was destroyed in spectacular fashion, or both?
Andrea: Both, and because he thought it was special effects. It brought in some much needed levity.
Pat: I actually giggled.

The Kill/10:02am, May 31st, 1985

It comes after Bill and Richie, promising them everything again, and Bill and Richie charge the fucker. They beat It to fucking death. The Turtle speaks to them from the ethereal plane and is all like, “Good game, guys!”

Pat: OH IT’S MAY 31ST, COOL. After an entire chapter where King doesn’t even bother telling you what fucking YEAR IT IS, the dates are annoying.
Andrea: What happens next?
Pat: Did you not read what I pasted?
Pat: He plunged his hands into It, ripping, tearing, parting, seeking the source of the sound; rupturing organs, his slimed fingers opening and closing, his locked chest seeming to swell from lack of air.
Andrea: Oh gross. This part was gross.
Pat: He laced his fingers together over the pulsing narthex of Its heart, palms spread apart in an inverted V—and brought them together with all the force he could muster.
Who walks around with a word like “narthex” just jangling around in their head?
Andrea: No one. SK totally had to look up narthex.
Pat: It collapses into a heap of “steaming alien meat.” At least now we know where high school cafeterias get their meatloaf OH SNAP
Andrea: Is there any grosser concept than steaming alien meat, particularly when said alien is a spider and thus probably hairy?
Pat: It is a girl, so It probably shaves or does electrolysis.
Oh, also: with all the groping around in It in the last fight, how did neither Bill or Richie end up feeling Eddie’s arm?

Derry/10:00-10:15am (1985)

Gee, how are we supposed to know what day it is now? Downtown collapses into the Canal. It is completely badass.

Andrea: That is very fucking cool, I agree. And yet, the shitbird miniseries couldn’t be bothered.
Pat: See also: the statue of Paul Bunyan just straight up EXPLODES.
I have no recollection of this from when I was 11, which is strange because it is fucking BIBLICAL.
Andrea: Do you think there is some symbolism to the Paul Bunyan statue? Like, why him?
Pat: I don’t know, but this clearly was the inspiration for the anthropomorphized statue of Jebediah Springfield YEAH THAT’S RIGHT I CAN REFERENCE THE SIMPSONS TOO BIZNATCH
Do I shout at the end of every sentence in this blog? It’s starting to feel that way.
Pat: Anyway, buildings are literally just being sucked into the earth. Holy shit. Usually you have to steal a talisman to cause this kind of seismological event. Like some kind of FUSHING FEEF
Andrea: The hair on my arms stood on end when I read that.

Bill (1985)

Bill returns to the main lair carrying Richie’s insensate body. They have to leave Eddie behind and grab Audra.

Andrea: Oh God, I felt bad that Bill is stuck with this catatonic chick forever.
Pat: This is when all the moorings on all the webbing comes loose, too. And the strands burn, don’t they? Which, hello and welcome to The Mist.
Andrea: Yeah, all spiderwebs burn in the SKverse.
Pat: Richie kisses Eddie’s cheek and shouts, “Fuck you, bitch!”
Even with a goofy line like that, Eddie’s death is easily the saddest thing in this entire book. It’s even sadder than adult Bill confronting the ghost of Georgie.
Andrea: Disagree, I found adult Bill sadder.

Derry/10:30am—Out/10:54 (1985)

The glass corridor in the library explodes. The remaining Losers try to find their way out of the sewers, get lost, but find a nice big hole in the ground where part of the town has collapsed into the sewers.

Pat: The photograph of them after they emerge from the street and the caption: “SURVIVORS.”
Andrea: Total shiver.

Derry/Later The Same Day


The storm stops all at once, and there is national news coverage, which pretty much proves that It is dead, and Al Roker and Willard Scott visit the town, which proves that there is still evil in the world. Audra is taken off to the hospital, and Bill runs into that skateboard punk again, telling him it’s all right now, and the kid’s like, duh. Their scars are already disappearing again.

Pat: Al Roker and Williard Scott. Well, at least we know what year it is now.
Andrea: I don’t want to rush! I have a lot to say about the ending!
Pat: I want to leave off just before that.
Andrea: FINE OK
Andrea: I have nothing to say about Willard Scott, now or at any other time.
Pat: Perfect
Bill should’ve closed the door of the ambulance and then gone back to England and been all like, “Audra who?”
Andrea: If only. Man, she sucks so hard.

Out/Dusk, August 10th, 1958

They emerge from the sewers, and Stan takes a broken Coke bottles and cuts each of their palms. They join hands in a circle and swear that if It ever returns, they’ll all come back and finish the job they started.

Pat: Kids are so woefully unaware of blood-born pathogens.
Andrea: Well, yeah, in 1958.
Pat: At last Ben drops his hands. He starts to say something, shakes his head, and walks away. Richie follows him, then Beverly and Mike, walking together. No one talks; they climb the embankment to Kansas Street and simply take leave of one another. And when Bill thinks it over twenty-seven years later, he realizes that they really never did all get together again. Four of them quite often, sometimes five, and maybe six once or twice. But never all seven.
How utterly fucking sad that is.
Andrea: So THIS is the part of the book that brought me to tears:
“And he sees them, really sees them, for the last time, because in some way he understands that they will never all be together again, the seven of them—not this way.”
Pat: The best thing about it is how understated it is.
Andrea: Yes. That’s my favorite kind of prose. Moving but sparse.
Pat: They just kind of walk away, like they’re going home after a regular day.
Andrea: Right. But they know it’s not.
Pat: Except that they will NEVER BE THE SAME AGAIN.
Andrea: It kind of reminds me of the summer after high school, how everything just sort of… trickles away.
Pat: It’s sort of that quote they throw up at the beginning of The Stand miniseries. This is how the world ends, not with a bang, but with a whimper.
Andrea: Exactly.
Pat: Copyright TS Eliot and Bone Thugs.

Derry: The Last Interlude

June 4th, 1985

Bill visits Mike in the hospital, and Mike offers to let him stay at his house with Audra. They’re already starting to forget again, but what they both still know for sure is that Ben invited Beverly to come with him back to Nebraska, and she said yes, at least until she has to return to Chicago and file a missing asshole report on Tom.

Pat: ALIsudfyhqpe o8rap9 wiueh t_*Y!#H%PR@U$NEGP@OUEN{@OEINV{WDv\as
Andrea: The process of forgetting. I just couldn’t. It’s too sad.
Pat: There are more important matters afoot here.
Like Ben and Beverly Ben and Beverly Ben and Beverly Ben and Beverly Ben and Beverly.
“And when she goes back, I’m betting Ben will go with her.”
And to Bill’s credit, he was right: Ben’s the man who’s supposed to see the lady home. I’m getting chills all over again. “Squee” is the only word.
Andrea: I thought that was a really nice touch and not nearly as corny as it could have been.
Pat: I kind of wish the reveal had been something like Ben showing up at the bar from the beginning of the book with Beverly in tow. June 5th, 1985 was a Wednesday. He could’ve been back at Hemingford Home well in time for his Saturday visit to the bar.
Andrea: SO then I kind of had this dawning horror about the forgetting when I read about how even though everything was being written down—the words would fade. They are all going to lose each other again.
Pat: EXCEPT Ben and Beverly. But we’ll talk about that in a second.
Andrea: Well, right. How do you think that works though? They just forget together but remember each other?
Pat: Well, hold on:

June 5th, 1985

Ben and Beverly come to the hospital to say goodbye to Mike. It’s enough to make your heart burst. They’re going to drive back to Nebraska, long and slow-like. Mike observes to himself that if they aren’t fucking already, they will be before they get to Hemingford Home.

Andrea: I can just picture you doing a little happy dance when you read this.
Pat: I believe dancing is an apt, if not entirely accurate, description of what I did at this point in the book.
To answer your question, I don’t know. They’ll go back to Nebraska, and they’ll forget. But does being with another Loser slow it down? I guess not because Mike and Bill see each other for a while, and it still goes away unabated.
I like to think that they forget everything but that they grew up together, Ben had a crush on her, and they reconnected later in life, somehow, they can’t remember exactly when or where or why.
“I guess it must’ve been a school reunion, right?”
Something like that.
Andrea: I like to think of it that way, too.
I hope SK never writes a sequel to this.
Pat: It’s the exact right amount of bitter with the sweet.

June 6th, 1985

Mike calls up Richie, who’s already back in LA, already forgetting names and events.

Pat: The forgetting really starts to get… I don’t know, odd? Eerily constructed?
Andrea: yeah, it is unnerving. Perhaps because of its relation to Alzheimer’s.
Pat: Like, Mike can’t remember if Ben was fat or had a club foot. A CLUB FOOT, MIKE? You know that wasn’t it, Mike, because no one’s had a club foot since Dickens was alive.
“And the reason I let you talk to the tape as long as I did—”
“—was because at first you didn’t have the slightest idea who I was.”

Andrea: I am not even sure what a club foot is, I literally always picture a foot shaped like a club
Pat: I think that’s the general idea. Or it just thuds a lot because it’s a piece of shit? I don’t know, and I sure as shit ain’t googling it. I’ve been burned too many times before.
One problem I just invented to have with the memory loss: why is it still happening? It is dead and gone.
Andrea: Oh yeah, I thought about that too . If It is really dead… Maybe the human brain just can’t handle the situation?
Pat: And not only that, but Derry is no longer Derry. Both physically and, uh… characteristically?
Andrea: What do you mean?
Pat: Well, if Derry was a place of some power or charm because of Its long-standing presence beneath it, then with It gone, the town would have to be intrinsically different, its character would be changed.
Andrea: Right. But I mean, SK can’t think of everything, you know.
Pat: Like, say, a person with a brain tumor who has it removed and, welp, there goes all the weird shit the tumor was making him say and do!
Andrea: But does it always?
Pat: There’s usually some outward weirdness when someone has brain cancer, and it goes away when they’re cured, yeah.
Andrea: No, I know the weirdness part, but I didn’t know if it totally goes away.
Pat: So are you worried that maybe It ISN’T dead, since the forgetting is happening?
Andrea: Yes.
Like for example, my grandfather had a stroke in the early 90s and even though he doesn’t have any outward disability anymore, he’s never been quite the same.
Pat: Well, strokes are different, which is why I didn’t USE a stroke as the metaphor.
Andrea: I don’t know if he was leaving it open for a sequel or if he just didn’t bother to tie up those loose ends.
Pat: You didn’t remember?”
“No shit?”
“No shit.”
“Then this time it’s really over,” he said, and the relief in his voice was unmistakable.

Pat: There is that. Mike is forgetting. And he’s the only one who never did.
Andrea: Oh, true. If you think of him as the keeper of it in some way, then that makes sense.
Pat: I don’t think there’s any equivocation about it: Pennywise the Dancing Clown has ceased his cicadian dance.
When Richie and Mike are getting off the phone with each other, and he’s saying, hey, if you’re ever in LA, and Mike says sure, but he’s already crying. God, that sly insinuation that, no, in another week or so, I won’t remember that I know someone in Los Angeles.
Andrea: Another sad part: “I loved you guys, you know. I loved you so much.”
Pat: Is that the very end?
Yeah, yes.
Andrea: Right before the epilogue.
Should have been the end, since I don’t care about Bill taking comatose Audra on his bike.
Pat: Cool, I’ll just cry at my desk.
There’s something about the fact that Mike keeps writing, even though he knows it’s all going to disappear from the pages. What would’ve happened if he had scanned the journal?
Andrea: File corrupted, I imagine

June 7th, 1985

It turns out that the Police Chief was killed by a restraining chair for drunks that fell through the ceiling during the rainstorm. Audra ain’t doing any better.

Pat: It’s like SK was writing the last interlude and went, “Oh right, fuck that guy as well.”
Andrea: Audra sort of wakes up, but nobody cares.
Pat: Fuck her as well.

June 8th-9th, 1985

Mike discovers that the ink in his journals is fading. Then the names and addresses in Mike’s address book have faded, but he still manages to make out Ben’s home number. He calls and gets a recorded message saying that the line has been disconnected. YES.

Andrea: That means he moved in with Bev.
Andrea: YAY
Such a simple detail, and yet it makes a supernova of glee burst in my head and heart and pants.
Andrea: Do you have Bev and Ben teddy bears?

June 10th, 1985

Mike’s going home tomorrow, and Bill’s ready to try his one trick to bring Audra back from the depths of the Deadlights beyond the edge of the universe.

Pat: I like that the “can’t be careful on a skateboard” quote comes up again just before the end of the interlude. And Bill stutters when he says it. Probably the last time he’ll ever stutter.
I’m almost done with this diary now—and I suppose a diary is all that it will ever be, and that the story of Derry’s old scandals and eccentricities has no place outside these pages. That’s fine with me; I think that, when they let me out of here tomorrow, it might finally be time to start thinking about some sort of new life … although just what that might be is unclear to me.
I do wonder what was ahead for good ol’ Mike Hanlon.
Andrea: Hopefully a career as a librarian somewhere else, where he can make slightly more money.
Pat: Oh god, I wish Mike the best. I am an old sentimental fart.
It would probably be something grand, like he’s asked to run the Library of Congress or the main branch of the New York Public Library.
Or Bill gets him a job as an editor.
Andrea: That would be AWESOME.

Bill Denbrough Beats The Devil (II)

The idea is this: put Audra on Silver and ride like a bat out of hell. He does this in between recollections of leaving Derry when he was a kid. His trick works, and Audra comes back. THE END.

Andrea: OMG
I can’t believe we finished talking about this book
Pat: It wasn’t for lack of SK trying to slow us down by NEVER STOPPING WRITING.
Andrea: Yeah, but even The Stand didn’t take this long to talk about. Probably because we didn’t love it as much.
Andrea: Although historically we have more to say about things we hate.
Pat: The Epilogue: where you find out just how little love you have for Bill. I mean, it’s all spent by this point. I just do not care about Bill at the end of the book, and I cared SO DEEPLY before.
Andrea: His stupid wife doesn’t make him any more appealing either.
Pat: And the fact that he gets Beverly before Ben does.
Andrea: Yeah, I don’t really care about him that much. He’s sort of just a figurehead for the real leader, who is Ben.
Pat: Do you think that about him, though? That Bill is the leader only because, by the dint of his brother having been taken by It in the first killing of that cycle, he had to be?
Andrea: Yeah. Kinda. He is leader by default.
Pat: King tries to play him up as the natural leader, the one who decides and comes up with plans, but in truth, he’s only sort of minimally leading. “We have to kill It.” Well, yeah, Bill, that’s obvious.
Andrea: I mean, all the other guys do kind of look up to him.
Pat: He’s tall, too, right? For a kid, I mean.
Andrea: He wouldn’t be able to do it without all seven. That’s the message behind having a weak quasi-leader I think. That it’s about all of them.
Pat: Oh, I like that idea.
Andrea: Tomorrow: wrap up/final thoughts/ranking?
Pat: We’re pretty much done.
Except for me to say: top of the list. By a long fucking shot.
This may be the only time we agree.
Pat: Not for nothing, but our top and bottom picks are the same: IT and Roadwork.
Andrea: Clearly King’s best and worst works.
Pat: One last thing: when I finished that last page, I closed the book, but I didn’t put it down for about ten minutes. I just held it in my hands.
Andrea: I wish I’d known you were a girl when we were growing up.