From the sublime to the ridiculous

The Law of Immediate Forgiveness is posted through November 25. Meanwhile, I thought you might like to see just how low a writer desperate for word count can sink. Here’s a scene between Professor Fogarty, our antagonist, and Amy June Pilgrim, that takes place in a Chevy Yukon and ends with a – well, you’ll see. 

“Normally I would agree with you completely, young lady. I worked with your grandfather for a long time. Perhaps no one knows him better than I do, at least in some ways. I know what he is capable of, that’s certain; and he is capable of judging character extremely accurately. As accurately as any human I know.” Professor Fogarty checked his mirror, then accelerated to pass the car in front of them. “But every once in a while, even Marq Pilgrim lets his emotions get in the way of making a clear-minded judgement. And this time, that’s exactly what has happened.”

Amy June stayed quiet. She wanted to see what else the professor might say, and she knew staying silent was one of the best ways to make other people talk.

“You see, he blames me for a lot of things that aren’t my fault. He blames me even for his wife’s death, I think. Your grandmother was an astounding woman. She had a brilliant mind and a kind heart. Yet your grandfather thinks I am responsible for the cancer that ultimately ended her life. Can you imagine? No one in their right mind would think that I could control cancer.” Now the professor seemed to be talking more to himself than to Amy June. He went on. “If I could control cancer, wouldn’t I be in the cat bird’s seat. The college would never have fired me – I’d be a hero! And here I am now, on the verge of something even more powerful, in its own way, than a cure for cancer. And I am hounded out of my chair at the college, exiled from scholarly life. It’s the scholars who should be desperately interested in what we’ve nearly found! Instead, its the corporations who are interested – interested in squashing it, of course, but at least they understand its significance. At least they know its – and my – importance.”

At this last bit of ranting, Licky the black lab let out a huge dog fart. As if to say, you might be an important professor on the verge of something significant, but one dog fart and you’re coughing out your Chevy Yukon window like any schmuck.

And that’s exactly what Professor Fogarty was doing; Amy June rolled her window down, too, and chided the dog. “Oh, LICKY!” she said. “That is a stinker!!” But the girl giggled too, and gave the dog a big kiss on her head, as Licky seemed to grin from ear to ear.

Yes, it ended with a dog fart. Downhill, here we go! Read more here. 

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