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Old 02-13-2017, 02:24 AM
Rilchiam Rilchiam is offline
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Did the authors make these things up? Or are/were they real?

Three passages in three different novels have puzzled me for years, so I'm finally asking in one post if what I read was author invention, or if it has any basis in reality.

-- Everybody's All-American by Frank Deford. This was in the movie as well as the novel. One character is a compulsive gambler and gets deeply in debt to some dangerous people. Three goons show up at the bar/restaurant he manages, intending only to send a message, but because he fights back, it becomes a murder. The last thing they do before they leave is throw his body through a glass partition between the bar and dining area. Later, another character states that this is an indicator that it was not a random incident. The people he'd owed all this money to were from New Orleans, and "Down there they got this code. A man welsh on bets long enough [or, I guess, crosses OC in any way], they beat him up, throw him through glass. That tells the police it's just private business." Is that, or was that ever, true, (in New Orleans) or did Deford make it up?

-- Seventeenth Summer by Maureen Daly. Teenagers hooking up, breaking up and making up in Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Hanging out in and in front of a drugstore in the 1940s is hardly mysterious, nor is a gossip mill, in any era. But what the narrator, and by extension, the author, describes is somewhat creepy. A group of guys are described as "the 'checkers'. They are the more popular crowd at high school...sharply watching the cars going by to see what fellows and girls are out together; they watch to see who is having a coke with whom and to report any violations on the part of the girls who are supposed to be going steady...also keep their eyes open for new prospects among the young sophomore girls who are growing up and show signs of datable promise...they can start or stop any of the younger girls in town just by passing the word around."

Again I say, of course small towns gossip, but this takes it to a disturbing level. I mean, how could these guys have been popular if all they do is stand around spying on people -- didn't they have steadies of their own? And sure, report girls' "violations" but not boys'. Anyone heard of a dedicated spy system like this in any other context? By "popular" guys, not wannabes? I can kind of see it if it was junior-high guys wanting to impress the older guys, but beyond age, deciding who shall live and who shall die has always, IME, been the province of girls, not boys.

-- Catcher in the Rye. Holden checks into a hotel and looks across the courtyard into other guests' windows. One room has a transvestite, and another has a man and a woman who are taking mouthfuls of some liquid -- "it probably was highballs, not water" -- and spitting it in each others' faces. Now, I won't ask what they would get out of that; kinks don't have to be explained. But I am wondering, has this ever been a thing, the way golden showers is a thing?
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  #2  
Old 02-13-2017, 03:31 AM
Evan Drake Evan Drake is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rilchiam View Post
Three goons show up at the bar/restaurant he manages, intending only to send a message, but because he fights back, it becomes a murder. The last thing they do before they leave is throw his body through a glass partition between the bar and dining area. Later, another character states that this is an indicator that it was not a random incident. The people he'd owed all this money to were from New Orleans, and "Down there they got this code. A man welsh on bets long enough [or, I guess, crosses OC in any way], they beat him up, throw him through glass. That tells the police it's just private business." Is that, or was that ever, true, (in New Orleans) or did Deford make it up?

Sounds an excellent way to engineer a return to the Big House ---- 'Somewhere A Voice Is Calling; Calling Meeee' --- carting a corpse about, chucking it through glass and having that as one's regular M.O....

Anyway cops don't really recognise 'private business'. And haven't these 80 years --- even then they had to be paid off to look the other way.




Quote:
A group of guys are described as "the 'checkers'. They are the more popular crowd at high school...sharply watching the cars going by to see what fellows and girls are out together; they watch to see who is having a coke with whom and to report any violations on the part of the girls who are supposed to be going steady...also keep their eyes open for new prospects among the young sophomore girls who are growing up and show signs of datable promise...they can start or stop any of the younger girls in town just by passing the word around."

Again I say, of course small towns gossip, but this takes it to a disturbing level. I mean, how could these guys have been popular if all they do is stand around spying on people -- didn't they have steadies of their own? And sure, report girls' "violations" but not boys'. Anyone heard of a dedicated spy system like this in any other context? By "popular" guys, not wannabes? I can kind of see it if it was junior-high guys wanting to impress the older guys, but beyond age, deciding who shall live and who shall die has always, IME, been the province of girls, not boys.

The 'Bodies' in George Douglas Brown's most famous work certainly hung around the village green --- dressed all in black as auld miseries should, on the other hand nearly everybody wore black in small Calvinist 19th century Scottish towns, it was the fashion at the time --- and checked behaviour.


In The House with the Green Shutters, an important element is the 'Bodies', a group of malicious gossips whose chief occupation is discussing their neighbours' affairs, and gloating when these go wrong. Gossips in the community are also shown as causing harm to the inhabitants of Kinraddie.

BBC Learning




For some reason no-one up-ended them in the village pond until bubbles stopped coming to the surface.
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Old 02-15-2017, 05:56 PM
Rilchiam Rilchiam is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan Drake View Post
Sounds an excellent way to engineer a return to the Big House ---- 'Somewhere A Voice Is Calling; Calling Meeee' --- carting a corpse about, chucking it through glass and having that as one's regular M.O....

Anyway cops don't really recognise 'private business'. And haven't these 80 years --- even then they had to be paid off to look the other way.
Yeah, that makes sense.

Quote:
The 'Bodies' in George Douglas Brown's most famous work certainly hung around the village green --- dressed all in black as auld miseries should, on the other hand nearly everybody wore black in small Calvinist 19th century Scottish towns, it was the fashion at the time --- and checked behaviour.
However, I hardly think mid-20th century American teenagers had the same motivation.
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Old 02-15-2017, 07:41 PM
Barkis is Willin' Barkis is Willin' is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rilchiam View Post
-- Catcher in the Rye. Holden checks into a hotel and looks across the courtyard into other guests' windows. One room has a transvestite, and another has a man and a woman who are taking mouthfuls of some liquid -- "it probably was highballs, not water" -- and spitting it in each others' faces. Now, I won't ask what they would get out of that; kinks don't have to be explained. But I am wondering, has this ever been a thing, the way golden showers is a thing?
I just assumed they were completely wasted on who-knows-what. I'm not aware of it having been a common fetish.
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Old 02-15-2017, 10:41 PM
Snowboarder Bo Snowboarder Bo is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evan Drake View Post
Sounds an excellent way to engineer a return to the Big House ---- 'Somewhere A Voice Is Calling; Calling Meeee' --- carting a corpse about, chucking it through glass and having that as one's regular M.O....

Anyway cops don't really recognise 'private business'. And haven't these 80 years --- even then they had to be paid off to look the other way.
But the "throwing the body thru glass" could be a calling card/signal so that the cops who were paid off would know to look askance.
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