In the beginning of this chapter, the speaker is talking about taking Highway 58. “You look up the highway and it is straight for miles, coming at you…” The entire time I was reading this, and re-reading this, and re-reading this, I kept thinking “what is the point of this?” Well, the speaker is describing his trip with his boss and a few others in the boss’s cadillac.
Sugar-boy was driving the boss’s cadillac. Now, when I first read that they called him Sugar-boy, (page 4) I was extremely confused. Apparently, “His name was O’Sheean, but they called him Sugar-boy because he ate sugar. Every time he went to a restaurant he took all the cube sugar there was in the bowl” (Page 5).
Some other people in the Cadillac were Lucy Talos, Willies wife, and Tiny Duffy. It says that “Duffy and Lucy Talos were never exactly what you would call soul mates. So Lucy sat between Duffy and me and gave herself to her thoughts” (page 6). See, I wasn’t quit sure what the speaker meant when he said they weren’t exactly “soulmates.” I guess they didn’t really get along, or have a lot in common?
Lucy Talos is a school teacher. She is married to Willie Talos who has “…a look of dog-like devotion and wonder in his eyes when they fixed on her” (page 6). Is it just me, or is that low key kind of romantic? We also learn that “you wouldn’t have to catch her in the bath-tub to discover her sex. She was the maternal type, and there was a place provided for man or boy to pillow his cheek and cry his little heart out” (page 7).
On page 9, we get introduced to Old Leather-face. In all honesty, I think I had to read this at least ten times just to understand what he was saying throughout this whole conversation between him and the Boss. Old Leather-face was extremely southern. It took me a while to translate “Hit wuz fahr and squahr , but he had leetle bad luck. He stobbed the feller and he died” to “It was fair and square, but he had a little bad luck. He stabbed the fellow and he died.” After I got the first few times down, it got easier to translate his dramatized southern drawl.
After arriving in Mason City, Willie attracts several adoring fans yelling “Speech, Willie, speech!” After claiming that he is “not going to make a speech,” he made a speech about how he’s “not a politician today” and that he’s “taking the day off” (page 14). He mentions several times that he is not “asking for anything” and that he didn’t want their vote, well not right now at least.
On page twenty-three, the Boss mentions something that I’ve never really thought of, but is honestly really smart. While the speaker is trying to figure out weather the Boss winked at him or not, he is causing himself to worry. Basically he’s sitting there going “Did he just? No, there’s no way. Maybe there is a way. He Didn’t! But what if he did?” Our brain works in the weirdest ways sometimes. Like for me, when someone says they have something for me and I say “Awhhh that’s too sweet, what is it?” and they answer with “It’s a surprise.” OOF! I hate that so much! When the speaker asks Boss if he winked at him, he answers with “If I was to tell you, then you wouldn’t have anything to think about.” That speaks so much truth. If they told me what they got me, I would be grateful, of course, but I would know about it, so It wouldn’t really be as fun to receive.
I know that was kind of off track 😦 sorry. I just thought it was worth mentioning!
Alrighty, toward the end of chapter one, we see Jack and Willie go and visit Judge Irwin. Willie speaks to Judge Irwin kind of rudely. The Judge insults Jack because he is working for such a man. Willie then ends up trying to blackmail Judge Irwin and the the judge gets angry and kicks them out. The Boss then tells Jack to find dirt on the Judge. Jack thinks he won’t be able to find anything on him, but the Boss tells him that “There is always something” (page 71).
The Boss then tells Jack that “Man in conceived in sin and born into corruption and he passeth from the stink of the didie to the stench of the shroud. There is always something.” Then he said to “make it stick.”
As we finish the chapter, we see that it says “that was all a long time ago.” We learn that Masters, Adam Stanton, Anne Stanton, and Judge Irwin are all dead now. “And the Boss is dead, who said to me, ‘And make it stick.'” The final line of the chapter is “Little Jackie made it stick, all right.”
Hopefully we will learn what Jack made stick in the next few chapters! Chapter 2 will be posted on Wednesday, January 16.