Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas
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When the stock market crashes on the Thursday before Easter, you—an ambitious, although ineffectual and not entirely ethical young broker—are convinced that you’re facing the Weekend from Hell. Before the market reopens on Monday, you’re going to have to scramble and scheme to cover your butt, but there’s no way you can anticipate the baffling disappearance of a 300-pound psychic, the fall from grace of a born-again monkey, or the intrusion in your life of a tattooed stranger intent on blowing your mind and most of your fuses. Over these fateful three days, you will be forced to confront everything from mysterious African rituals to legendary amphibians, from tarot-card bombshells to street violence, from your own sexuality to outer space. This is, after all, a Tom Robbins novel—and the author has never been in finer form.
monkey nostrils, to feel for monkey pulse, your mind is already scanning for alibis, ways to pin the fatal misdeed on someone else. Barely have you crept over the threshold, however, than AndrÉ startles you by grabbing at his rump in an irritated manner, a gesture that culminates in his pulling a tarot card from under him, as if it had been pinching his tight little scrotum, and casting it aside. Although he has not opened his eyes and he stirs no further, you are satisfied that he is okay (you
he caresses your forearm, by the moony look in his eyes. He is ripe for a little harmless exploitation, yet you must be cautious, you must proceed slowly. “Listen,” you say, “you and AndrÉ need to spend some time alone together. Why don't you take him over to your place for an hour or two? Then, maybe you and I can visit for a bit. You can secure him later on and come back over here. But only for a while, because I've got a huge, stressful day tomorrow.” “Well, all right. I heard on the radio in
stressful week in a stressful occupation, but on this “Friday,” which is actually a Thursday, the population of drinkers has nearly doubled—and it gives no indication of thinning out. Indeed, many of the brokers will remain in the Bull&Bear until it evicts them at two in the morning. It isn't simply a matter of pouring alcohol on their wounds or of a reluctance to go home and look the family in the eye. There are practical reasons. Everyone is on pins and needles (or fleurs-de-lis) waiting to
Porsche is hiding in the bushes from the repo man. Short-term, the only way to stimulate a pulse in this flatline victim is to crack another vial of war under its nostrils. Is it so far-fetched? Certainly, the President would have no moral qualms about it. Wartime presidents are more popular than Santa Claus, and this one is aching to be reelected. As for an enemy, there is hardly a shortage of attractive candidates. Now that the U.S.S.R. is gone, most of them are rather fish in a barrel, but
more plentiful and aesthetically refined, but my heart ticks louder for the Bozo for the simple reason that they've remained so loyal to the water world. They're consummate river folk. The first toys a Bozo child are given are fish bones and fish heads. They eat what swims and are themselves strong swimmers. A Bozo believes the crocodile is his father, and he claims to have a blood pact with the crocs: a Bozo doesn't hunt crocodiles, and crocodiles don't hunt Bozo. Witnesses swear it's true. From