Previously on Res Ipsa Etc., we started a terrible book. This week, we continue to blaze an intrepid path through the literary desert, a wilderness of suck, if you will, on everyone’s behalf. Suffering: All the Cool Kids Are Doing It. (No really, they are! Docta K has acquired a copy of 50 Shades of Grey and may be joining us in some future posts! Woot!) Anyway, BDBCB4:BS continues on with chapters 2-4 of what is arguably the worst book either of us have ever read. We snark because we care.
Katie: Bitch, you are late for Book Club.
Rooks: I know, I know – sorry. Can you blame me for being less than enthused?
Katie: Actually, no. Is Docta K joining us this week?
Rooks: Naw, don’t think so – we’d just talked about it pretty recently, and we’d have to pick a time that spans three time zones and three very different gigs, so I think she might send me her thoughts and/or join us starting next week. And speaking of, let’s get on with this so you can get some sleep, Mono McSluttylady.
[In which Ana drives home from the interview, works at a hardware store, and elaborates on her rampant Daddy Issues, in so many words.]
Rooks: She’s free! Free at last from the blonde deathtrap building where interior decorating goes to die!
Katie: I can’t believe Ana’s annoyed at Kate for Ana’s failure to know shit about him. Don’t be irritated that Kate didn’t give you a biography; be irritated that you didn’t fucking spend 5 minutes looking him up instead of brushing your hair repeatedly, which doesn’t actually help anything and probably only made it frizzy, really.
Rooks: Seriously. I mean, the woman is supposed to be sick as a dog, and you’re mad because she didn’t haul ass to Google something on your behalf?
Katie: Also, success != right to be arrogant, fuckface. And if he doesn’t suffer fools gladly, then why are there three fucking books in this series? It should have ended halfway through chapter 1.
Rooks: Hahahahahahahaha. <3 Also, Ana just said she overreacted. Understatement of the decade, and yet somehow par for the course.
Katie: I CAN DRIVE AS FAST AS I WANT.
Rooks: Hush Katie, not while she’s ineffectually deciding to rebel against the perfectly reasonable admonition to drive carefully.
Katie: Why is that? Because she has no desire to go above the posted speed limit? Or has her fleeting contact with a supposedly powerful man resulted in his privilege rubbing off on you? NO CONSEQUENCES.
Rooks: We’re watching a vehicular temper tantrum unfold.
Katie: Why does she keep going on about how she never has to see him again? THE WHOLE PREMISE THAT STARTED THIS BULLSHIT IS THAT HE’S GOING TO BE AT GRADUATION.
Rooks: Also, this “it’s weird that he’s so driven” trope – like, why is she so sure he’s “like a man double his age”? What’s up with her, age, and authority? Daddy issues much?
Katie: Oh, just wait – I’m slightly ahead of you again. It’s nice how clearly they lay out her daddy issues for us.
Rooks: Seriously, is this girl in Playskool Learnin’ and Growin’ college? She’s a senior English Lit major who is writing a purportedly satisfactory final “essay” in under 4 hours? As in getting to bed by midnight having started the essay after a late-ish dinner? What in the fresh hell . . . [ed. note – One of my favorite Internet Friend comments about this book is, “She’s about to graduate college, and she’s writing about Tess of the d’Urbervilles? (And that’s my biggest problem with this book so far?) Argh.”]
Katie: Right? Did you get to the phone call with her mom yet?
Rooks: SO MANY DADDY ISSUES. And what is with her numbering people? Husband #3, Blonde #Shinty-Six, good lord.
[In which Ana again works at a hardware store, despite knowing nothing about hardware, and has a not so chance encounter with our
stalker hero, which leads to a photo shoot and a coffee date.]
Katie: His cream chunky knit sweater sounds…hideous.
Rooks: How does one go about being “rushed off [one’s] feet” in the context of being busy? Also, did you also find it a bit odd that her favorite (American) daddy’s favorite sport – nay, he only sport he apparently watches – was European soccer? I mean, it’s not impossible, but it sure is handy.
Katie: In related “bwuh?” news, one of his sexual-innuendo laden purchases is masking tape? That doesn’t seem right.
Rooks: I mean, it has its uses, but I wouldn’t call it any kind of ideal material. There is such a thing as bondage tape though, yes – the thing that makes it different than, say, masking tape is that it adheres only to itself.
Katie: Regardless, he did not just happen to show up at that hardware store out of the blue to buy bondage gear. Stalker level 1!
Rooks: Well, I mean, you can go DIY BDSM absolutely, but yeah, given his resources, control freakishness and avowed hobbies, it strikes me as really unlikely unless they are about to do a scene right there in the parking lot.
Katie: Why are we supposed to be attracted to someone who is a petulant child?
Rooks: Wait, him for being jealous because she like, knows another dude, or her for freaking out every time he looks at her, then convincing herself that he’s not really interested, and then pouting about having convinced herself that he’s not really interested, then getting flustered because he does something that indicates that he might be interested, then getting mad at herself for getting flustered, then blushing because she’s mad about getting flustered, then pouting about having blushed in regards to getting mad about being flustered . . .
Katie: Does it matter?
Rooks: . . . No? Oh christ, a photo shoot? Really? And the Just-A-Friend dude who’s super into you and is our Dude-of-Color Jacob stand in – named José, for the folks playing along at home – just happens to be the only photog available on such short notice? Could this be any more contrived?
Katie: “Yes, Mistress. She is so domineering. I roll my eyes, but do as I’m told.”
Rooks: You could’ve just said yes, you know.
Katie: Could that be…FORESHADOWING?
Rooks: It is ridiculous that he asks her out for a coffee after the photo shoot – I’m still incredibly confused about why they all had to car switcharoo, I mean, is Kate’s car a two-seater? – and the biggest thing she can think of is that she doesn’t like coffee. Bitch, no one is going to force you to sling java down your whiny gullet, so SHUT UP ALREADY.
Katie: It is ridiculous that apparently we’re meant to believe that all the gorgeous boys want me, but no one has ever held my hand!
“I like my tea black and weak,” I mutter as an explanation.
“I see. Is [José] your boyfriend?”
Katie: Good god, she is something else and so is he. “You should find me intimidating.” What a jackass. Fuck you.
Rooks: You mean this wouldn’t be your ideal first date? English Breakfast tea and a total asshole? Also, Rikka was going to write tea and sex toy pairings for the blog. I should ask her what goes well with English Breakfast.
Katie: God, stop harping on the gay question, jesus christ. It’s so offensive to go on about it like it’s the most horrible and mortifying question ever.
Rooks: Wait, it isn’t? Well shut my mouth. I mean, can you think of anything worse and more unutterably terrible than being asked if one is gay, but for being the person doing the asking? Also, I really thought the gay question wasn’t one of Kate’s but now it seems like it was, and I can’t bear to go back and check. [ed. note: I caved and checked – it was actually one of Kate’s questions.]
Katie: Oh gee. His mom’s a doctor and his dad’s a lawyer, but there’s no luck involved in him being a successful businessman whatsoever. None. How dare she have suggested it.
Rooks: Goodness Katie, stop questioning the man’s narrative. He did it all by his lonesome. Get over it.
[In which Ana is unfortunately saved from getting run down in the street, takes her finals, and gets wasted, only to discover that Christian is actually even more of a stalker than any of us could’ve predicted.]
Rooks: Also, I really wish that she’d actually been run down by that bike and dragged him along with her. I mean, it’d suck for the bicyclist, but it’s for the greater good.
Katie: Christian didn’t kiss her, so now she’s crying on the floor of the parking garage?
Rooks: Well, don’t you think that that’s a more important source of emotional strife than nearly having been killed four pages ago? Also, she’s never actually been rejected before, so why is she constantly diving for her self-esteem somewhere in the Mariana Trench? And are we sure she’s not just majoring in Tess of the d’Urbervilles, aka the only book Dave’s never finished, if her in-class final, for a different class, is on freakin’ Thomas Hardy?
Katie: Guess what else? “I’ve never been drunk before.” SHOCKER.
Rooks: She has never done anything before, ever. We should start calling her Anastasia “Tabula Rasa” Steele. And ok, I mean, I know we hate Christian because he totally blows, but a first edition of one of your favorite books is a really nice and sort of thoughtful gift if someone can afford it.
Katie: Your favorite book about a girl getting raped and her life falling apart?
Rooks: Well, bitch is twisted, but devoid of all context, like the fact that this means that the Kingdom of Mixed Signals is totally at hand, and including which book-
Katie: -it’s a nice gift. Yes, I agree. “Tess says it to her mother after Alec D’Uberville has had his wicked way with her.” I’m going to murder this girl. I really might.
Rooks: Wait, this girl doesn’t really drink and she’s had champagne, five margaritas, and is about to go get a beer? She is totally about to be shitfaced hosed, for realsies.
Katie: So José is one of her best friends and doesn’t know she’s moving to Seattle?
Rooks: No one knows anything in this book.
Katie: DON’T DRINK AND DIAL, BITCH.
Rooks: Epic drunk dialing! Also, she’s freaked about Christian looking at her in the face 95% of the time, but has no problems talking to him on the phone while she’s peeing? I mean I know she’s never been drunk, or held hands, or anything in the history of ever, but that stuck me as odd, though not as odd as the fact that she’s apparently been living with Kate since freshman year – paying next to nothing in rent – when she only met Kate freshman year. That must’ve been some fortuitous Craig’s Listing. Oh man, why so rape-y, José?
Katie: He’s super creepy.
Rooks: OH MY GOD HE HACKED HER PHONE’S GPS TO HUNT HER DOWN.
Rooks: So wait, who’s creepy?
Proto-rapist or stalker? José or Christian?
Katie: Both, but I was talking about Christian. Listen to your instincts, lady – if he tracks your phone because you happen to be drunk, sure as shit he’s a stalker, especially if he doesn’t want you to tell your friends where you’re going when he takes you home.
Rooks: I mean, are we supposed to feel positive about him stalking her because José suddenly got all rape-y? Like it cosmically balances to be stalked if it saves you from sexual assault? Because . . .
Katie: Jesus god. THIS IS NOT OKAY. Stalker Level 2!
Rooks: Oh man, digestive pyrotechnics. I do enjoy that she wants to be swallowed up the azaleas she just threw up in, because I think I would like that for her too.
Rooks: Also, Christian’s so JUDGEY. Yeah, know your limits, but “we’ve all been there” is a far cry from “this is beyond the pale[,] do you make a habit of this kind of behavior.” Daddy issues notwithstanding, you are not her dad.
Katie: She needs to grow a spine.
Rooks: Shit yeah. Also, the author’s Brit is showing again – “ringing him in the middle of the night.” Bitch, we are Americans; we call people. And how the hell did we get from “you’re drunk, we need to leave like, now” to “we’re on the dance floor, never trust a man who can dance”? What the fuck? How the fuck did that happen?!
Katie: MAN-LOGIX. Let’s just say that I think it’s entirely appropriate that the last word of this chapter is “FUCK.”
[In which your intrepid readers are even more disheartened than last time, a feat they once thought impossible.]
Katie: I cannot handle this book. She’s obnoxious. He’s creepy. And entitled. And probably worships Ayn Rand.
Rooks: You should assign a summer associate to read it for you. Is there anyone who isn’t a creep in this book?
Katie: Well, Kate has the potential to be awesome. Comparatively.
Rooks: And thus far she’s apparently the only person who knows how to work the internet for not illicit GPS purposes.
Katie: Whatever, when it comes to the main characters, I hate them both.
Rooks: I think we’ve invented a new fetish – Bibliomasochism.
[A popular book that’s ostensibly about sex, yet is terrible and still has yet to feature any consensual sexual activity? If Bibliomasochism isn’t a thing, it surely will be by next week, so join our potentially expanded(!) book club next Hump Day for yet another installment of WHO DECIDED TO PUBLISH THIS CRAP?!]