Thursday, February 16, 2012

2/16 - Quick Takes

Having survived Tuesday without reuniting with anyone (always a danger for someone insufficiently inclined to deny people things they request), I want to see if I can set a speed record today.

L2: As for handling the situation in the here and now, LW2 might do a bit better either going a more innocent route than suggested by the Prudecutor - for instance, asking how such a client could tell her to be a new hire, or perhaps being fully open but taking her size as a strength. Those poor slim-line oil paintings, they had to take so much time keeping themselves so gorgeous that they just never got any good work done. It must have been terrible for the poor client having to work with them. Then she can watch Get Realwith particular attention to the scene between Kevin and Linda at the school dance, in which Linda gets considerably the better of the encounter.

I would wonder, though, why LW2 never thought to bring up the matter with her employer. There would be no need to make a dramatic splash about it. Just present the question matter-of-factly. The company had a history and an image. The hire is apparently a step in repairing that image. How does E2 want LW2 to presnet herself? And how ought she to respond to client comments? Easy enough.

L4: LW4 appears to be reacting in typical victim fashion. The initial flavour of the letter is that there is potential abuse here. But which of the two is the cart and which is the horse? It can occasionally be the other way around, although that seems unlikely here. On the whole, one wonders how the first instance or two of this sort of thing were handled. When BF4 returned from his first trip and made the first comment, why did not LW4 channel Ms Messy and make it only too painfully clear that (s)he harboured no desire whatsoever to play the role of Mrs Monk? Much too easy. Hiring a maid would have been a much more appealing idea had it been raised earlier. While it is likely a good solution, the timing suggests that it might do more harm than good. As for whatever BF4 might have, I leave that diagnosis to the quacks.

L1: Now, why couldn't the Prudecutor simply have answered the question without bringing up squicky references? If she'd wanted to make nasty comments about FT1s, she had plenty of reason. Had she wanted to answer the question in a straightforward way, she could have done so. Is there something sinister in the background? It could be like the Laceys in The Killings at Badger's Drift, in which a sister/brother pair of incestuous siblings wreak various forms of havoc. But they were far from the most disturbing related pair, an honour which belonged to the Rainbirds, mother-son owners of the mortuary who were quite creepily attached to each other and fond of blackmail on the side.

As for the general situation, the procreation argument doesn't apply, and the argument against people raised together is a bit flimsy. There are always tangents about relations not raised together or blended families, etc. This is the sort of reason why I did not aprticularly want marriage in the first place. Ideally, a paradigm could have been drawn up to serve the needs of same-sex couples, and I'd have rather had something specific and special rather than trying to crowd into the already leaky boat. But it would not have done.

It would be interesting to ask T/L1 a few questions. Why suddenly want to be open about it now? What are the logical gains and/or losses? Does T/L1 expect F1 to rally behind the couple? Does he intend to advocate for incest rights? Was being gay insufficiently controversial? Is he just that bothered by the pressure to settle down? Does the idea of dividing the family actually appeal to him? It's hard to say. But there are some people who just enjoy being edgy. Now that gay has become considerably less edgy, they look to advance three spaces to something more provocative.

L3: The only thing for LW3 to do is to frame the dog for a crime. The idea makes the letter bearable, as it suits a comparison to Dumb Witness, particularly the televised version. Rich old Miss Emily Arundell trips and falls downstairs, but does not die. Did she trip over Bob's ball, which Bob liked to bunt down the stairs? Poirot discovers soon enough after she dies some time later that a member of the family inserted a screw at the top of the stairs to hold a tripwire, but not until after the spiritualist Tripp sisters hold a seance in which (at least on television) the mediumistic sister, speaking "as Emily", declares the murderer's name to be Robert Arundell,there being no human of that name.

Miss Lawson, Miss Arundell's companion and the beneficiary of the new will Miss Arundell makes after the fall, presents Bob to Poirot at the end of the case. In the televised version, however, this is moved up to the middle of the investigation, so that Poirot (with Hastings attendant) and Bob spend some time together as the case develops. Poirot is highly sympathetic to the plight of poor Bob, who knows who murdered his mistress and who finally, when Poirot asks him to speak, goes and barks at his own reflection, which provides Poirot with the solution to the whole case by clarifying for him whether Miss Lawson saw Theresa or Bella reflected in her mirror.

In the book and the radio version, Hastings is the one who gets on better with Bob, and appropriates the dog at the end. In the televised version, Poirot has to find some way to get Bob a home in the country. But he manages it neatly. Just at the end, he and Hastings call on the Tripps to reveal a remarkable encounter from the night before when the spirit of their late springer spaniel appeared and told Bob to go and live with his people.

Moral: "You don't understand dog psychology! Now Bob and I understand each other perfectly, don't we?"

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